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Standing Up to Creative Content Pirates?

Advocate ,
Dec 03, 2017 Dec 03, 2017

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Some movies portray pirates as humorous. But, when overseas pirates steal those movies and rob all the creators of those films of their income, not much of the Western World laughs over those types of very real pirates.

We know the saying, “See something, say something.” That became popularized in relationship to preventing terrorism.

We’re told not to get involved when an armed robbery is in progress—we’re supposed to leave that stuff to trained law enforcement officers. But what about when you hear of intellectual property thieves at work? Do you get involved, then?

The Internet is filled with innocent questions like, “I’ve recorded all 18+ seasons of ‘Law & Order SVU’ to the DVR from my satellite TV provider. How do I get them out of the DVR and onto DVD to give as Christmas gifts for people at work?”

The proper response is, “You can’t. Those materials are copy protected. It’s just for you to watch at home.” But you see that someone has responded with a product which is sold on the darknet to break the protections. You research further and learn that it’s illegal to do and use in many places in the Western world. But, not just copying, but selling such intellectual property is happening elsewhere in the world.

Do you chime into the innocent question and let the person know that it’s not legal to extract all those TV episodes (even if it is happening in other parts of the world) and it’s a punishable crime of theft in North America, Europe, Oceana, and elsewhere? Or do you tell yourself, “Who cares about those laws. The guy paid his satellite service to get those TV shows, he should be able to do anything with them he wants.”

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2017 Dec 03, 2017

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I will respond when I see such a question... such as...

Find and ask the owner for a legal copy if you want something from you tube

People here (Premiere Pro) do video as a business... so, no, I will not help you break the copy protection on a DVD

and so on... which probably doesn't stop the thieves, but it does at least let everyone reading know that the question is wrong

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Advocate ,
Dec 03, 2017 Dec 03, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/John+T+Smith  wrote

People here (Premiere Pro) do video as a business... so, no, I will not help you break the copy protection on a DVD

and so on... which probably doesn't stop the thieves, but it does at least let everyone reading know that the question is wrong

Thank you, John-

Getting the word out that it's illegal is the first project.

The next one is that just because someone thinks they can get the latest feature film, while it's still in cinematic exhibit, today, means they may be under the impression they can use your copyright materials, tomorrow.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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The worst examples to my mind, are the recent cases of movies and major TV series being hacked and held to ransom.  We hear that this sort of thing comes out of Russia and North Korea, and might even be state sponsored like the Sony Pictures hack.  Then there was the Game of Thrones hack, but I think the finger was pointed at Iran for that one.   It makes you wonder about the extent of the producer's online security, although we don't  necessarily know where in the distribution chain these hacks occurred.

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Advocate ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

We hear that this sort of thing comes out of Russia and North Korea, and might even be state sponsored like the Sony Pictures hack.  Then there was the Game of Thrones hack, but I think the finger was pointed at Iran for that one.

Our first book was released prior to the Internet. It sold close to 100,000 copies. Publishers thought our 2nd and 3rd books would do even better.

#2 was out for less than a week and it was being sold or given away in China. #3 had the same happen a few days before it was released.

No royalties flow our way from that and the not a penny to the publishers either.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Brian+Stoppee  wrote

Trevor.Dennis   wrote

We hear that this sort of thing comes out of Russia and North Korea, and might even be state sponsored like the Sony Pictures hack.  Then there was the Game of Thrones hack, but I think the finger was pointed at Iran for that one.

Our first book was released prior to the Internet. It sold close to 100,000 copies. Publishers thought our 2nd and 3rd books would do even better.

#2 was out for less than a week and it was being sold or given away in China. #3 had the same happen a few days before it was released.

No royalties flow our way from that and the not a penny to the publishers either.

Something that probably affects more of us, is image theft.  I was astonished the first time I used Google's reverse image search finding about twenty instances of images from my flickr stream.   This is a good example  and I see more instances this time when I looked for the link.  The problem is that I sold some images to a local web developer a few years ago, so I don't know if these are sites he made, or just ripped off from flickr.   It's not my main income, so I can afford not to worry about it.

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Advocate ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

It's not my main income, so I can afford not to worry about it.

If one of your images started appearing on big billboards and on the side of buses and in train stations all over the Middle East, would that bother you?

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Brian+Stoppee  wrote

Trevor.Dennis   wrote

It's not my main income, so I can afford not to worry about it.

If one of your images started appearing on big billboards and on the side of buses and in train stations all over the Middle East, would that bother you?

Not as much as it would you Brian.    I certainly wouldn't obsess about it, but if a copyright lawyer came to me with a 'no win no fee' offer, and was prepared to chase it without my having to stress about it, then I might say go ahead, and I'd probably enjoy any publicity that came out of it.    If my primary source of income was being compromised, and in all reality, I could do nothing to stop offshore knockoff companies from stealing my work, then I'd look for a different business model.  Maybe give up on printed books, and concentrate on online video tutorials with subscription access.   Check out Aaron Naces's Phlearn site income

Photoshop is an excellent example of how this approach can work.  After Adobe were persuaded to create the Photography plan for Photoshop & Lightroom, CC subscriptions skyrocketed.  Jim (ProDesignTools) says there are now over ten million CC subscribers.  At one time I was the only member of my camera club who actually paid for his Adobe apps (before I got the orange badge) but nowadays none, that I know of, use pirated versions of Photoshop.  Scott Kelby said there was huge resistance from Adobe to offer the cut price plan, but by doing so they have substantially increased their bottom line.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 16, 2017 Dec 16, 2017

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Anyone remember Getty Images' Demand letters? They would send notice of unauthorized use to people who had any of their images online and demand $1000 to settle. Some fearing a costly court battle would pay up.

Some grabbed images off the internet without buying a license and in one case a website owner got burned because she paid an offshore web designer and he did not clear the images.

I do not hear much of these demand letters, because I think now the sum has to be fair market value.

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Advocate ,
Dec 16, 2017 Dec 16, 2017

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gener7  wrote

I do not hear much of these demand letters, because I think now the sum has to be fair market value.

Had not heard that one.

Thank you.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 16, 2017 Dec 16, 2017

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Brian,

Advice from an IP Attorney: http://kelleykeller.com/the-getty-images-demand-letter-fighting-the-copyright-bully/  which does mention the "fair market" part. (Hate to say stuff without proper citation, but it happens).

Gene

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Advocate ,
Dec 16, 2017 Dec 16, 2017

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gener7  wrote

Advice from an IP Attorney: http://kelleykeller.com/the-getty-images-demand-letter-fighting-the-copyright-bully/  which does mention the "fair market" part. (Hate to say stuff without proper citation, but it happens).

Thank you,

Janet & I have sold thousands and thousands of images to Getty.

It encouraging to know they're being protected well.

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Advocate ,
Dec 17, 2017 Dec 17, 2017

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I had a question in my email box about this topic, but I'm not seeing it here:

"If they do discover one of your images has been used without permission, do they notify you and pass on any of the damages?"

That's a good question, for which we do not know the answer. All the images that Getty has of ours were shot in relationship to educational projects we did. As we shot them (over the course of years) with the input of editors in various divisions (which have since been folded into Getty), they bought them, one-by-one for specified rights. So, we do not get royalties. (We're talking tens of thousands of images.)

Some of that stuff has perpetual use, especially food images. The people shots drop in and out of visual styles, so many of them are in declining use.

The other issue is that when Getty initially released them, they would appear EVERYWHERE, so many of the photos become over-used. So, astute photo editors might look at some of our people photos and think, "I LOVE that shot… but that's the couple who appear on the photo frame that they sell as Kohl's."

Still, if we go to the Getty site, most of those images are still there, unless Getty has sold someone an exclusive. So, yes, Getty still needs to protect valuable assets.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 17, 2017 Dec 17, 2017

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I had concerns about my original question was poorly phrased which is why I deleted it it.

Thanks for clearing up the licensing part. Getty had received criticism for their enforcement policies, so I supposed since then they revised them.

But it has put the "fear of God" in others about clearing images before using them, so in that way it's a deterrent. Getty has a legal department and will use it is the lesson here.

Gene

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Advocate ,
Dec 17, 2017 Dec 17, 2017

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gener7  wrote

But it has put the "fear of God" in others about clearing images before using them, so in that way it's a deterrent. Getty has a legal department and will use it is the lesson here.

We're represented by Hunton & Williams, a law firm which has built a huge positive reputation in copyright law including the filing of Amicus Briefs with the US Supreme Court.

Flexing some muscle on this stuff is essential. It costs money to protect assets, but that kind of business expense has to be budgeted.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 17, 2017 Dec 17, 2017

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That's called "loaded for bear."

I read software licenses and am reminded I don't own the software, but only have permission to use it. I can't copy it around or rent it.

I liked one program so much, i decided to pay after using the demo. Since the demo had a serial number popup, I figured I would get a key. Instead I got a download link to the licensed program.

The programmers must have had a laugh with keygen hackers trying to "unlock" the demo.

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Advocate ,
Dec 18, 2017 Dec 18, 2017

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LATEST

I read software licenses and am reminded I don't own the software, but only have permission to use it. I can't copy it around or rent it.

And, that is one of the many issues with the piracy of intellectual property: the product is owned by the publisher, not the subscriber.

And person who buys something from the pirate may think that got a bargain but they are in possession of stolen property.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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The problem is Brian, is that too many people dont't think that copyright theft is anything to do with them untill it actually happens to them personally, they will treat any questions about copying content as a purerly technical problem to be answered.

Then when it does happen to them, complain about what they have been helping others to do.

Theft is theft, it does not matter if it is a physical item or a purerly intellectual item.

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Advocate ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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pziecina  wrote

Theft is theft, it does not matter if it is a physical item or a purerly intellectual item.

Yes. If you go onto a new car lot and steal a $100,000 sports car do you say, "No big deal. It took me 12 seconds to hot wire the ignition. The dealer and the manufacturer should know better."

Why is that different than stealing a movie that cost $60 million to make?

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Advocate ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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Funny (or not so funny) story:

I don't know how many times Janet & I have had to explain to people in churches, "DO NOT photocopy the sheet music to hymns and put it in the pews. That's intellectual property. That's stealing."

Some people want to get into arguments with us over that.

We tell them, "If the church already buys lots of stuff from that publisher, call them. They'll probably give you permission for one time use."

Sometimes that's not enough. They say, "But this is a church!"

To which we say, "The people who wrote that music don't work for free. That book did not divinely print itself. If everyone photocopied it, there would never be new hymnals."

(Some people missed the Sunday School lesson on "Thou shall not steal.")

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Brian+Stoppee  wrote

pziecina   wrote

Theft is theft, it does not matter if it is a physical item or a purerly intellectual item.

Yes. If you go onto a new car lot and steal a $100,000 sports car do you say, "No big deal. It took me 12 seconds to hot wire the ignition. The dealer and the manufacturer should know better."

Why is that different than stealing a movie that cost $60 million to make?

Apparently Germany is about to insist that vehicles have back door access to their systems, because their security has become so good they can't do what they want to do with criminal's vehicles.   It's terrifying to think what will happen when those same criminals work out how to use that back door access themselves.   They are already able to workaround keyless access security.

Germany's Interior Minister Wants Backdoors In Cars, Digital Devices

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Advocate ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

It's terrifying to think what will happen when those same criminals work out how to use that back door access themselves.

I find it more terrifying as to how pirates can get in the backdoor to steal creative content!

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Community Expert ,
Dec 04, 2017 Dec 04, 2017

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About a thousand years ago (in computer clock ticks) I wrote a dBase3 program which I compiled into EXE with the Clipper compiler (I think this was Dos3 days) to track membership and donations for any small non-profit organization that wasn't big enough to have their own person or custom computer program

I cast my bread out on the sea of shareware, and waited for the $25 registration fee to make me rich... it didn't

One of the things I offered to registered customers was writing a new report, using their specifications, to pull information out of the database if they didn't have dBase themselves to write their own report

I once received an email from one "customer" and, after going back and forth a couple times to verify what they wanted, I finally got around to checking my list of registered customers

I never heard another word from that person when I told him (I think it was a him) that a new version with the new report would be on the way as soon as I received the $25 registration fee... Scofflaw who didn't want to pay

Another person asked for free registration since they were a non-profit (my target audience) I wrote back that just as soon as they sent me verified proof that they were being given electricity and telephone service for free, I would register them... again, no reply

Some people will just try and get something for nothing

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