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Stolen Photos?

Earlier this week I posted about a beautiful but unusual website that I had come across. We were all perplexed a little by the English/Korean layout (Here's the best translation of the site that I've gotten yet. Thank you Anne Marie!) but then it became obvious to myself and many of you that the website has "borrowed" images from Flickr.

So a few of us did some investigating. I found 7 of the photos used on that site at 5 different Flickr accounts and the pictures most certainly did not belong to dress-form.co.kr. It was so obvious in fact that most of you would recognize the true photographers names immediately. Then a friend of mine tried to place an order from the site to see what would happen and the site requested her social security number! Use caution when you're ordering online from this or any other site. There should never be an occassion where a retail site needs your social security number!

If your Flickr photos have been "borrowed", typically you could send the site a cease and desist letter if you can find contact information but this particular site is out of the country so it's not likely anything would come of it. Since Flickr can't do anything if the abuse is taking place outside of Flickr, I did a little online research (keep in mind of course that I'm not a lawyer)... You can report it to the Yahoo copyright and intellectual property Agent. Flickr is part of Yahoo so they might be able to help. Here are the details for how to do that. And you can file a DMCA Complaint with Google to have the website removed from the search engine results page. However in this instance, as you would guess, when you google "dress-form" a bazillion results come up and the website in question isn't in the top couple pages anyhow.

Although it doesn't seem like there's much any of us can do, I felt compelled to at least post a warning. And to ask you who have helpful advice or who have been in this circumstance before to leave a comment. Please tell us if you know - what can be done to prevent online photo theft? And is there an effective reporting agency to contact if your photos are stolen?
Let's have an old fashioned townhall meeting...

18 comments:

  1. I definitely recognize many of those photos.I know that one belongs to Jo of "Old Flowers 4 Me" blog and some others belong to Heather Kowalski of Pretty Petals blog. I know I recognize more, but can't recall exactly who they belong to.

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  2. ...thanks for the update!
    It truely is sad when others present smoke and mirrors (no matter how lovely!) and then glom onto someone else's true, authentic work ~
    Again ~ what does your heart hold?
    treasures...or tricks?!
    I love how the awesome creative women, protect and educate in this blogging world ~ thank you dear Polly!!
    xo, Rosemary

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  3. Thanks so much for the info! Sadly its hard to trust alot of things these days..Blessings, Rachel ;)

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  4. that's terrible!! and actually gives me the creeps to think what else they do with pictures posted all over the internet!! thanks for the update - you should have been a lawyer!!! :)

    xo+blessings,
    Anne Marie

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  5. Hi Polly,
    I am so glad that you like your rosette. Thank you so much for the sweet compliment about it and my blog. It is such and honor to hear that from you. Your blog has truly inspired me!!
    About the above post, it is ridiculous that people feel the need to steal others hard work including photographs. It's a shame that it's hard to find them so that they can be reprimanded.
    Thanks again.
    Sincerely,
    Melinda

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  6. Thanks for posting an update on this situation. What a sad state of affairs when someone does that.
    Maureen

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  7. Copyright infringement of any sort is irritating, but especially for their obvious intended purpose of stealing identities/ss nos. Maybe we need to request that blogspot and other such hosts provide us with an optional way to prevent copying images. Just a thought.

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  8. I'm glad that you took the time out of your busy day to post about this. Personally, I'm not sure what type of action can be taken to have the stolen images removed - especially since this sounds like a shady business to begin with.

    One thing I have run across on the internet though is that there is some type of program that you can use when posting pictures on a web page that make it so that the photo can't be copied. I'm not sure what the software for that is called but it's an idea. Anyone know what the software is that I'm refering to?

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  9. thanks for the info. i also find those obscure comments on my blog about 'we can add your blog to our site if you would like' and i totally ignore them.
    i always say if it looks a little suspicious, it usually is. there are hackers out there and all kinds of ways to get info. now i'll be more careful. thanks again.

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  10. That is just awful, and I know that you don't have much help avaliable because it is all over seas! Good Grief! Hopefully others will be on their toes too.

    Thanks for the heads up!
    Donna Lynn

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  11. Such a terrible thing to happen.
    Alison

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  12. I had a funny feeling something was wrong with that site when I clicked on it. The only time I will buy from a far away place is through etsy and only if the have good feedback. I have bought fome beautiful beads and findings that are very high quality. Shipping takes a little longer but being retired means I am never in a great hurry.
    Laraine

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  13. Thanks for sharing...That is sad that things have to be like that...

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  14. wow, crazy stuff! thanks for the heads up... bummer that everyone out there isn't in it for the good of all.
    ~hugs

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  15. I received my swap package today! WOW! What can I say?! It's all lovely. The taffeta rosette is divine. What fun! Thank you so much! Looking forward to the blog party for this!

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  16. I've heard about this before and it just makes me so mad and sad. You know people are doing some of everything just all kinds of wrong. Thank you again for sharing with us.

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  17. soooo looooow!
    But they do know what we like!
    xo,
    Debra

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  18. This is a very interesting post. You really did your homework. Thank you for all the tips. This actually makes me angry. The other thing that really ticks me off are the Asian comments that have the links to Asian porn sites. Does that bug anyone else?
    ~Liz

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