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Thread: Oops, my first DMCA take-down notice!

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    Oops, my first DMCA take-down notice!

    Here's a trap for the unwary (I should have known better really..)
    Those of you looking to make a few $$ from your hobby, be aware when photographing items with prominent trademarks & logos


    The only money I have really made from photography is freelance travel writing & accompanying photography for magazines - Camper Trailer Australia, 4wd Touring Australia, & About Fishing NQ

    But as a lazy way of selling images I have a selection on RedBubble. Only sold a grand total of 5 so far, so can't retire yet as margins are very small on RB

    Anyway, as some of you have noticed, I play guitar & have taken a few shots of my guitar & amp. This shot below I set up with my own guitar & amp, my well-worn Docs & a couple of spirit bottles.

    I quite like it...so I put it on RB without really thinking of the trademarks . Sold 2 prints of it so others took a liking to it as well.

    Anyway, late december, Redbubble rather apologetically informed me that they had to remove the image.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As you will be aware from our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, Redbubble requires a certain amount of information before it acts on such a complaint, including that:
    • the relevant content is specifically named;
    • the complaint came from the owner of the respective rights (or someone authorized to act on their behalf); and
    • they have a good faith belief that the use of the relevant content is not authorized by content owner, its agent or the law.
    On the basis of that information and in accordance with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we've removed the above-mentioned content from Redbubble.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I wondered if Vox, Rickenbacker, Bundaberg Rum, or even Doc Marten had complained...turns out Korg, who currently own Vox submitted a complaint.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Redbubble has moderated the content that was reported in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, as it was specifically named in a complaint received from Korg USA, Inc, the claimed copyright owner or licensee of Korg, Vox, Blackstar, Ashdown, Lag, and HK Audio related IP.
    We have not explicitly said that the work does or does not infringe copyright or registered trademark, but we have a legal obligation to act on reports filed in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy where the content is specifically named.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    My other shots where the Vox logo is blurry are fine (doesn't qualify as "specifically named")

    Naughty image


    Good image



    Anyone ever applied to a company for permission to sell images with their logo?
    Probably not worth my while I am guessing. Could always clone the logo out. Everyone can still tell what amp it is

    While the Vox AC30 is a classic amp, they really don't sell many new ones these days - outgunned by the competition. If someone wants a nice Vox, they will buy a vintage one
    So I reckon they need all the exposure they can get

    So folks, moral of my story is if you want to sell photos, check you are not infringing on copyright by showing trademarks or logos.
    Don't be a like me
    Matt
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  2. #2
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I have had a few of these over the years (for AP). Sometimes I get it, other times I really do not understand why they bothered. As you say, after all it is advertising for them (n your example). But it is easier to just comply than fight it, and possibly end up in having to pay lawyers etc.

    Vox..never heard of em.. and now I have, and it is negatively
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    A lesson learned. I would like to think that the only objection is that you are making money out of the photo with their logo on it, and not getting permission. It costs just a little time to draft an email and ask for permission? love the VOX sound. Haven't played since I was a teenager. cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian. Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX

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    Ausphotography Irregular Warbler's Avatar
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    Photoshop the "V" into a "P" and repost it. It's a bit like Holden objecting to a picture of a commodore, but I suppose if you're selling the image for commercial use, they're entitled to object. If just selling prints, it would be a bit frivolous.
    Last edited by Warbler; 17-01-2014 at 6:50am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
    Photoshop the "V" into a "P" and repost it. It's a bit like Holden objecting to a picture of a commodore, but I suppose if you're selling the image for commercial use, they're entitled to object. If just selling prints, it would be a bit frivolous.
    That's all I'd be doing, or just change it to XOX as the letter is already there.

    There's a lot of good things about copyright law, but in general I think it's just a mess. It's outdated and the whole thing needs to be rewritten.

  6. #6
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    One would have thought that VOX would be happy to have their name plastered around the place for free. If they think you are gaining money by using the name of VOX, I think they would benefit way more than you will.

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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Whoever took offense , should probably take a good long hard look at themselves.
    Sure laws are laws but a little less automated thought could have benefited all parties
    A fine example of principles for principles' sake at its peak - hope it didn't cause you much stress !
    Call me Dylan! www.everlookphotography.com | www.everlookphotography.wordpress.com | www.flickr.com/photos/dmtoh
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Redbubble used to be a good thing, or at least the last time I looked at it about 5 years ago.
    Having a look today, they seem to be contactable in California and that about sums it up to me.

    USA = Unusually Sensitive Aliens easily placated by litigation.
    Andrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Redbubble used to be a good thing, or at least the last time I looked at it about 5 years ago.
    Having a look today, they seem to be contactable in California and that about sums it up to me.

    USA = Unusually Sensitive Aliens easily placated by litigation.
    And on the same (contact) page:

    Suite 1, Level 3
    180 Flinders Street
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia

    According to RB, HQ is in Melbourne.

  10. #10
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    And on the same (contact) page:

    Suite 1, Level 3
    180 Flinders Street
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia

    According to RB, HQ is in Melbourne.
    Yes, they do have a presence in Australia, closer looking needs to be done to determine who controls the entity. Funnily enough so much of their product is produced in the USA though and they list Australia as having logistical problems outside of the company's control.

    http://support.redbubble.com/kb/top2...-delivery#from

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Maybe they did not like the association between their product and alcohol ?
    As we know electric guitar players are all tea drinking, health food loving types !

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I've never understood why logos are protected in this manner. I'd be inclined to never buy a product from a company after they sent me a DMCA noticed for a product I purchased myself and photographed, so what they gain in a miserable commercial photo being take off the web! the lose in sales.

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    Ausphotography Regular danny's Avatar
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    Heard a story once that Quentin Tarantino would create his own logo/brand instead of asking permission to use established real world brands. Many of his films have people smoking "Lucky Apple" cigarets.

    danny

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcys1961 View Post
    Maybe they did not like the association between their product and alcohol ?
    As we know electric guitar players are all tea drinking, health food loving types !
    Of course! You wouldn't believe the sacrifice I had to make in the interests of art to make those bottles look half empty

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    One would have thought that VOX would be happy to have their name plastered around the place for free. If they think you are gaining money by using the name of VOX, I think they would benefit way more than you will.
    Most brands go out of their way to be plastered everywhere. But I guess they want that control. Maybe Korg were worried that because I had sold 2 prints, I was on the verge of selling 2 million (which I doubt very much)

    I reckon people bought it because of the Rickenbacker guitar myself. Time to write some e-mails to see where I stand

    Marketing is a funny animal. I always find it amusing that western consumers will pay more for a 'name brand' shirt that has nothing on it but the brands logo (eg Elwood, Levi, etc come to mind)
    They are paying the brand for the privilege to advertise for them.

    Nikon are funny too. They think that I might want to pay $35 for a "I am Nikon" t-shirt or $70 for an "I am covered" beach shelter
    Seriously. I'd prefer to put that money towards a lens.....(preferably a Sigma prime Art series)
    Last edited by MattNQ; 18-01-2014 at 12:31am.

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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Yes, they do have a presence in Australia, closer looking needs to be done to determine who controls the entity. Funnily enough so much of their product is produced in the USA though and they list Australia as having logistical problems outside of the company's control.

    http://support.redbubble.com/kb/top2...-delivery#from
    So, do you also have an opinion about a second gunman on the grassy knoll? I also hear Stanley Kubrick shot the fake Moon landings.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    And on the same (contact) page:

    Suite 1, Level 3
    180 Flinders Street
    Melbourne, Victoria 3000
    Australia

    According to RB, HQ is in Melbourne.
    Yep, but in 2012 it took on $6.5 in funding from Bebo founder and Pinterest investors, Michael Birch and Stan Chudnovsky, and thus it shifted its main operations to San Fransisco. The founder of redbubble is now its CEO. But it would be dubious to call it Australian these days.

  17. #17
    It's all about the Light!
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    While its not worth fighting, my take is that you have not breached any law, i.e. their logo is simply incidental.
    Repost the image with the logo altered and who would care
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    After Korg's action, I figured I'd better check whether my images of my guitar would be a problem.

    After all, as well as their logos, Rickenbacker's "R" shaped tailstock has even been registered as a trademark.

    I e-mailed Rickenbacker's head office late last night.
    I explained who I was & what I was selling on RB
    I even included a few links to images on RB.
    I also enquired as to what licensing arrangements they had.
    I had this rather candid and positive reply from their CEO within 4 hours!

    ---------------------------
    Dear Sir,

    Thanks for your e-mail. Many people would not be so diligent to research proper legal rights in this manner, so I really appreciate that you asked.

    Original photographs or artworks depicting trademarks do not infringe on those marks. A classic example would be Andy Warhol's use of the Campbell Soup cans in his artwork.

    The only area of conflict would be in the marketing; as long as they are not sold as a Rickenbacker product or it is suggested they are licensed or endorsed by us. In an eBay listing, for instance, the title has special legal and eBay policy with regard to keyword spamming- you should say something like "Photo of Rickenbacker", not "Rickenbacker Photo" to avoid implication that this is an official product.

    Cheers,


    John C. Hall
    Chief Executive Officer

    Rickenbacker International Corp


    -----------------------------

    Now this seems to be a company who has confidence in their products and has a realistic view of the world.

  19. #19
    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattNQ View Post
    Of course! You wouldn't believe the sacrifice I had to make in the interests of art to make those bottles look half empty

    - - - Updated - - -



    Marketing is a funny animal. I always find it amusing that western consumers will pay more for a 'name brand' shirt that has nothing on it but the brands logo (eg Elwood, Levi, etc come to mind)
    They are paying the brand for the privilege to advertise for them.

    Nikon are funny too. They think that I might want to pay $35 for a "I am Nikon" t-shirt or $70 for an "I am covered" beach shelter
    Seriously.
    That's marketing isn't it. you are not paying to advertise their brand. You are paying to advertise yourself as a user of that brand or a member of that exclusive club .

  20. #20
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjphoto View Post
    So, do you also have an opinion about a second gunman on the grassy knoll? I also hear Stanley Kubrick shot the fake Moon landings.
    Hey John, lighten up a bit.

    I can't quite see how the rather erroneous references to conspiracy theories sit with the discussion but I will answer you questions.

    The gunman on the grassy knoll --- well, the US government conducted reviews, enquiries and made many public statements that there was no other person involved in the assassination so the existence of said gunman must be total bulldust because the US government stands for truth and justice and can be trusted 100% in everything they say.

    Stanley Kubrick ---- saw a film he directed a million years ago called clockwork orange and was left with the distinct impression that he was a genius fruit loop so even if I have never heard of the rumour ( I haven't ) that he shot a film about moon landings I find it entirely likely that the idea would have tickled his fancy. Apart from that, I watched the first moon landing as an awe struck child on TV at school and we all know that everything we see on TV is true. Isn't it?

    Back to the topic though.

    My take on the take down notice issued to Matt by RB is that ---

    Americans are the true champions of free trade, competitive marketing and bastions of the capitalist lifestyle, or at least they say they are. I also believe American companies are hugely protective of their products, whether they actually invented an item or merely adopted a design and made in a different way. Of course in order to stifle competition protect their unique product, they generally pay an annual amount to lawyers that represents a developing nations gross output for a decade to hunt down the verminous elements of society that would seek to profit from their name with sales of images on the net.

    Now that usually works in their favour when ---

    The company that they seek to bully into submission, in this case RB, is a US owned entity and can be brought before an American court where they have a better than average chance of a successful prosecution seeing as they haven't been too triumphant in other countries that thumb their noses at the concept that America rules the world.

    When an image that offers lucrative returns on legal fees offends their sensitive souls is posted on the 'net and detected which happens to be hosted on a server in a "friendly" country they can then send a quick email to that company and demand it be deleted with the threat of litigation if it isn't. Win win either way for the company that has such a unique amplifier that it needs protecting from thieves who will profit hugely from stealing it's likeness and for the lawyers who sent a bill to the company for their professional services. Of course, it all happens easily and everyone plays the game because as we all know it just isn't right to cheat, deceive and otherwise behave badly towards the upholders of morality that own the internet and every innovative product known to man kind.

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