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Stolen Real Estate Photos Being Used to Build Website

In: 
Published: 14/10/2007
By: larry

Adam Maurer down under at aerialview.com.au reports that the photo rip-off artists are at it again. Adam says:

I am appalled how many fellow photographers blatantly ignore copyright. My own images have shown up on yet another website purporting to be their own, to help sell their products and services. I am now going to start naming these companies so that a "shame file" can be established. The latest is Firefly Ads, based in Ventura CA. As professionals involved with imagery, we should respect copyright, no ifs or buts. Not even the basic courtesy of seeking permission to use an image beforehand, is simply a reflection of the poor ethics that these individuals have. Maybe no ethics at all.

The photos Adam is talking about are here. Adam's excellent example of the benefit of using Pole Aerial Photography. Whoever owns www.fireflyads.com (I'm not going to grace them a link) is using Adam's example photos on the front page of their site.

I'm thinking that if a bunch of us let www.fireflyads.com know how we feel (via the contact form on their site) about using stolen photographs it may discourage this behavior.

15 comments on “Stolen Real Estate Photos Being Used to Build Website”

  1. Have you called them Adam? You should contact them immediately to sort this thing out. Most people are pretty ignorant regarding copyright.

  2. Whether they've been called or not (despite their international phone number), behavior like this is appalling. Jay Thompson had a copyright issue that he resolved- he may be able to give you some direction. 🙂

    BOO AerialView dot Com!!!

  3. Personally, I would have an attorney friend fire this person a Cease and Desist Letter and let them know that you are pending legal action citing international and US copyright infringement suit and potential grand theft (are your photos worth more than $2500? ). I would also contact his provider and make them aware that they have someone breaking international law and there may be a repercussions involving US and Australian authorities. That should shake his tree if he does not play nice.

    Also contact:
    Better Business Bureau, Ventura, CA 93001 (800) 493-8817
    the Ventura county Superior Court - Small Claims 805-654-2610 and download:
    http://www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/forms_packets/small_claims.pdf which is small claims filing and
    http://www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/vn087.pdf which is a request to testify via phone
    Julie Camacho julie.camacho@ventura.courts.ca.gov Court Program Manager
    Alyson Kenyon alyson.kenyon@ventura.courts.ca.gov Court Program Supervisor

    Another avenue is to contact the
    Australian Consulate-General -Innes Willox in Los Angeles
    Century Plaza Towers 2029 Century Park East, Suite 3150 Los Angeles CA 90067
    Email is :losangeles@dfat.gov.au
    They might be able to direct you in a situation like this..

    I would also advise all the major search engines that this site is in violation of federal & International Copyright laws. In most cases they will investigate and pull his site.

    Just my 2 cents.

    FYI I'm from New Jersey - New York, We don't play around... 🙂

  4. @Adam--

    I agree with Scott. You should notify them that they have used your copyrighted material without license and invoice them (some photographers make it clear on their webpage copyright notice that any unlicensed image use will be invoiced at three times their usual image licensing rate). I would also contact an attorney who has experience in representing photographers.

    Carolyn Wright is an attorney whose practice is focused solely on representing photographic interests. Her website is http://www.photoattorney.com/ (Yes, she has registered the trademark PhotoAttorney with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office). While I have not used her, Scott Kelby and other well respected photographers who have been financially successful have made mention of her work on their blogs. She has been an expert panelist panelist at a number of photographer friendly forums, very recently at the PhotoShelter Town Hall meeting in Atlanta with notable photographers like Bill Frakes and John Harrington.

    Good luck. All the best,

  5. Site is Still unavailable....We have a lady in our parts that has registered her customized maps, people keep stealing them off her sites and use them on theirs. She sends a cease and desist, followed by a call from her attorney. "$5,000 please or it's more when we go to court" I am not sure how it applies across the pond...might want to check.

  6. Almost once a month I send Adam a new link with a new website sellin a poor quality over price piece of junk pole that has stolen his photos. The worst thing about it is that these guys are selling an aeial pole system and its obviously not good enough to produce photos that they can use them self. Adams system is state of the art. Lets get em Adam!

  7. Shame on them! The site appears to have the pictures on its front page again. Go get 'em Adam!

  8. How funny. I sent Adam an email a couple of days ago regarding some pole seller in Canada using his images. Apparently their pole isn't good enough to take pictures with!

  9. Here is the website technical contact that they registered when they established the URL. I got this from Network Solutions "WhoIS" service.

    Inglis, Robert inglis@wilshireinc.com
    Wilshire Inc
    P.O. Box 6405
    Oxnard, California 93031
    United States
    (800) 586-4415

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