Author Topic: Ebay--reproductions, theft, copyright, etc...  (Read 41448 times)

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Offline Laura Mabee

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Ebay--reproductions, theft, copyright, etc...
« on: July 02, 2006, 11:58:52 AM »
Over the past few months there has been a member(s) here (unsure who) who is saving and taking all our colored, and nicely scanned images and selling them on eBay for profit. This bothers me a great deal, as we take our time and hardwork to scan these to share (or colour for that matter) and he gains profit from it. I have contacted the seller directly and he's just blown me off. I am curious what, or if, we can do anything about it?

julia.montague

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2006, 01:23:07 PM »
I also always go crazy when I search for "Romanov" on E-bay and everything I get are printed out photos.
And what is quite sad is that some people even seem to buy those. :P
One can easily see that many of these pictures were originally posted here and some are even artwork of our members :-X >:(
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by julia.montague »

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2006, 02:51:32 PM »
I suggest doing what we have started to do on the main website.  I photoshop a faint but distinct "Alexander Palace Time Machine" across the middle of the picture. So you could put  "copyright Laura Mabee 2006" on your work for example.  At least that way they couldn't steal the picture without your being able to prove to ebay that it IS your picture. Then you could force them to take it down.

Here is an example:


Offline Cullen

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2006, 03:10:55 PM »
I have been "lurking" around this site for a couple of years now, and am particularly impressed with the wealth of information that can be found here.  The site has grown tremendously over the last year or so.  I have been hesitant to join and post, but the type of behavior you describe made me "take the plunge."  eBay takes this type of activity very seriously, and will remove an item and suspend a seller for intellectual property violations.  The description of eBay's program says:

"eBay developed the Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program to facilitate cooperation between eBay and rights owners protecting their intellectual property rights.

"Highlights of the program include:

"Expeditious removal of listings reported to eBay by over 5,000 intellectual property rights owners.
Proactive monitoring and removal by eBay of listings that violate eBay policies designed to prevent the listing of infringing items on eBay.
Ability to save searches and have the results emailed to you through Favorite Searches.
Suspension of repeat offenders.
Cooperation with rights owners seeking personal information on alleged infringers"

The webmaster for this site, or the poster if that person claimed ownership, would be the appropriate person to make a complaint.  Detailed instructions and forms can be found on eBay, under “Transaction Problems and Protections,”   “What eBay Can Do,” and then “Reporting Intellectual Property Infringements (VeRO).”

I am not associated with eBay, but have bought through their auctions.  I have seen instances where infringing merchandise is removed and the seller suspended.

Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2006, 03:14:31 PM »
I've also noticed it, but didn't think much of it until Laura brought it up. I thought the colorers were selling their own work. If only everyone could be that honest.  :'(

I think the admin is suggesting a watermark. Does anyone know a simple way to do it? I've looked up how to do it on photoshop help, but the instructions might as well have been in Chinese, I couldn't have understood it any less.

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2006, 03:20:15 PM »
It is a watermark, but the easiest way (which I use) in photoshop is to create one last new blank layer, insert the watermark as text and adjust the text color and layer opacity so that it isn't too obtrusive once you flatten the image.

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2006, 04:47:43 PM »
Indeed. I think water-marking is a great idea.
I guess when it comes to posting rare or larger photos I don't want to have a part of the watermark obstructing the image. However, as sad as this is, it seems it's our only solution. It's a shame, as it's ruining the experience of the image for the rest of us who are legitimately just wanting to see the picture.

If you guys want to take part in reporting the members they are Lacrimae74 and Smw1966. The problem with reporting is that you HAVE to have proof that the images they are selling are your own. And without a watermark or a proper documentation there isn't much one can do.

However, I am surprised that people are paying for these "prints". I don't understand how people could be so gullible to purchase them. What I think is even funnier is that the seller Lacrimae74 took the liberty to tell me that
"Sorry, your email was useless and you could have saved your time and tell those who steal our repros and put them on those forums or websites!" He/She even told me that he was talking to Lanie and that "Bye the way, just told Lainie and [unknown name] about your email- they were quite amused." Which I thought was funny, being I talked to Lanie that night, and she also reported him.

I have a rather big project I'm doing at the moment, and I don't want to have to watermark it all, it would put such tarnish on the project itself. But... alas, money greedy people put such a ruin on things. :-[

Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2006, 06:25:47 PM »
Actually, I think I'd be gullible enough to buy them! Of course, I wouldn't if I knew they were someone else's work and didn't give their permission. We have some very talented people here, and the pictures look great.

Offline Margarita Markovna

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2006, 08:15:21 PM »
Oh my gosh. I can't believe someone will do something like that. I don't have photoshop but I know that when I color an image from now on, I'll go in MS Paint and put my name or initials across it or something.


Offline grandduchessella

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2006, 10:26:00 PM »
Sad to say, ebay won't do anything despite their policy. :(

I used to sell reprints of some my items before they just started popping up and I was being undercut on my own items. Now it's just not worth the hassle--plus there is now such a stigma. I used to get nasty comments from people about it. I mean, if you post a photo here (or another site) that's yours and then sell a reprint later, the assumption, if people don't know you're the same person, is that the item was 'lifted'. I know other posters/sellers used to have the same issues and decided to not sell items--basically chased off because of unscrupulous people.

I started altering ones I posted slightly from the original, not enough to be noticed except by me--an idea given me by another member. I would see these pop up on ebay and, despite my contacting them dozens of times over dozens of items, ebay doesn't do anything.

This is why I started putting 'grandduchessella' on items. I even started putting something on ones I post here that aren't mine, like scans from books, just to keep them from popping up on ebay for sale.

Even the 'grandduchessella' doesn't always work, unfortunately. I try to put it in an unobtrusive place, like the bottom, and I've seen the photos then pop up cropped off where the identifier used to be.

Lacrimae and smw, the 2 Laura mentioned are the worst. Those items are straight out of this website and the Romanov collection at Yale. I even contacted Yale so they could contact ebay but there was no response. I noticed that they are starting to put watermarks on some of their photos though. I know the 2nd seller (through ebay, not in person) and tried talking to them before going to ebay but they blew me off. At least they don't put the ridiculous 'these are from my own collection' on there like lacrimae does. What a bald-face lie!  

I know several people on the Forum who won't post their stuff at all because of this. And I know they have good stuff because we're frequent ebay competitors!  ;) So that's a loss for people but I don't blame them.
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2006, 10:34:14 PM »
Quote
Smw1966. The problem with reporting is that you HAVE to have proof that the images they are selling are your own. And without a watermark or a proper documentation there isn't much one can do.

Perhaps lacrimae is talking to smw1966 since the latter is now putting 'Sample Copy' in big bright letters diagonally across their WHOLE (illegal) image.  ::) Rather ironic that they want their 'own' work protected.  :P

I can't believe lacrimae had the cheek to say that to you, Laura! Obviously, they have no shame. I glanced through their listings (even though it always angers me so I try to quickly go by them when I see them) and I counted (before I got angry and gave up)about 6 images they have that I own. Of course, many are quite common and the originals are sold on ebay, which is how I got them, so there's no way to do anything.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2006, 10:45:07 PM »
Very ironic. I've posted a few of those "sample copy" images here. I was hesitant to do it at first, since I thought maybe they didn't want anyone taking the picture. But then I decided they put it on ebay, so they must not care if people see the picture, as long as it wasn't stolen. And wow. I learned they stole them themselves.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by clockworkgirl21 »

Offline Lanie

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2006, 11:04:24 PM »
I've got to laugh. I emailed the guy in question and no response - also emailed eBay and stuff.  It's sad since I have sold nice printed out copies of my own colored pics on eBay (and Grand Duchess Ella was sweet enough to PM me asking to make sure it's me! :) ).  There's not much we can do about it, though I do have my name and copyright date on the bottom of the image; people just get rid of it.

Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2006, 11:25:50 PM »
I don't order a whole lot online, is it ebay or amazon that has the page where you can comment on the seller? If it's ebay, perhaps we can post that this person keeps stealing pictures, since ebay doesn't seem to care.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: eBay Theif - Using us for Profit
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2006, 12:05:17 AM »
On ebay you can only comment if you've bought the item. I'm not sure about amazon--I think it's probably the same.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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