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eBay - gregjsmith

Discussion in 'Orchid Vendor FYI' started by Jon, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    This guy stole my photos. Twice. I talked to him in April about it, and he assured me he was new to eBay and that it wouldn't happen again. It did.

    Would you buy plants from a thief? I wouldn't.
     
  2. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    A thief and a liar.
     
  3. rtsingleton

    rtsingleton Bulbo enthusiast

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    Thanks for the warning. I've bought from him once but don't think i will again.
     
  4. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    Maybe he can send you a plant at no charge as you gave a photo at no charge. How much would you charge a seller to use your photo? The amounts are so small that is not really worth worrying. If he sells a plant for $10 he can't afford to pay you.

    I live as a photographer and I wish I got paid more.

    In a situation like this I would do a trade. It is not that it is Logee's catalog.

    It is not that they are actually selling something that has your photo on it like a mug or a t shirt. They are using your photo as reference. You have to put it in perspective. They should have asked your permission but after all it is not worrying.

    I would ask for a trade or something. Unless he is a big seller and makes a ton of money. But even then I wonder how much could they afford to pay for a photo. Look at Kawamoto. They use really basic snapshots and sometimes they use some common photos for the blooms. They can't probably find worth to pay a photographer to shoot their listings. Even Botanic Gardens use interns or volunteers to take photos many times for their websites and brochures.
     
  5. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    What is annoying is the denial - and that the seller is not forthcoming.
     
  6. Candace

    Candace Kept Woman Supporting Member

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    I have to disagree that photo theft is not worrying! It's a nice slap in the face to those of us who've spent a small fortune in lenses, cameras and software to produce these images. Then, they're ripped off and used commercially to put money in their own pockets!


    I'm sort of floored that you're a photographer and you don't care if someone steals your work. Wow. A small theft and a big theft, are still thefts, no matter how you look at it.
     
  7. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    I never wrote I do not care if someone steals my work or someone else's. It has happened. If you have photos online someone can manage to use them without permission.

    A big company will usually never use a copyrighted image without permission as they may get in legal trouble.

    I am just saying that you need to see who steals your photos.
    How much an ebay vendor should pay to use an image of some orchid flower that references a plant that could be sold for $5 or $10?

    The seller should have asked your permission.

    If he did what would you charge him?

    Anyway it does not seem to be a big deal, not worth more than sending a message.
    Often if someone needs a photo and have no budget and it is a small project I let them use, yet I sometimes shoot for charitable non profit orgs and they pay me what they can afford. But they are also paying my time.

    An artist wanted a photo I shot for use in some Smithsonian catalog she was going to be featured and i gave her the right to use that photo, but not for a Polish magazine that feature advertising and stuff.

    I think if someone published a book with your photos and sold them, or a big seller would print a catalog with your photos it would be worth contacting them, getting paid for that.

    But with the proliferation of digital cameras photography has been devalued.
    You took those photos for your own pleasure, it is not that you had to go shoot something you were hired for and you spent time on something on commission. A company owes me 900 $ for some photos I did. the marketing company that hired me does not work for that company anymore. They paid me for later work but not for something 10 months ago. I am not sure if I will get paid for that.

    People these days sometimes download songs from the internet as in the old days people were making mix taped for friends from LPs or CDs.
    It happens.
    I am saying that seller on ebay has not been polite to ask. yet the usage for a small transaction is not really worth worrying. Actually it could mean you took a nice photo that people like.
    Seriously how much can a seller pay for a reference photo for an orchid he will sell maybe only once for $10? 50 cents or so?
     
  8. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    I'm pretty much with Candace on this one. I mean, my photos aren't exactly "incredible", though I do take pride in them. And my equipment cost me a pretty penny. I was willing to let the first offense slide. He was a little stand offish, but I let it go. The second time was unacceptable. He denied liability and said it was ebay's turbolister. He's still using other's photos that he's obviously downloaded from other places. The guy doesn't understand the issue here.
     
  9. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    I looked at his listings. he sells plants for about $ 19 (many incl shipping and Buy it Now). So his profit must be around 10/ 12 / 15$ average per plant more or less.

    It does not justify his rude response maybe you could let him know about copyright usage / fair use etc.

    But to me such a situation falls into a "trade" or free usage. The seller can't afford to pay for photos except for a few cents. He does not have a right to use them without authorisation. But for sure he can not pay for them. he does not sell 100 pots of the same species.

    I used to shoot for Patch (some sections of Brooklyn) which is owned by AOL.
    They pay $25 per photo for online usage. They would pay me $50 for a weekly slideshow. It was just too time consuming to also upload and enter captions. That was an AOL company
    I took better photos than these which were taken by the reporter.
    http://oldnortheast.patch.com/articles/orchid-hobbyist-turns-entrepreneur#photo-7862730


    Anyway I would send him a note, I think you are theoretically right but you have to be realistic. maybe you can ask him if he could send you a plant as a way to compensate.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Yard-Garden...tref=1&_ssn=gregjsmith&_trksid=p3911.c0.m1538
     
  10. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    I am being realistic. I don't want him to use my photos. I don't care about compensation. I never have. I don't take photos for income, so I really don't have the slightest inclination to care (or know) about values. This guy used my photos twice. Like I said, I let the first instance slide because people make mistakes. It's the second usage that pisses me off.
     
  11. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    Jon, somehow I agree with you. he is either rude or ignorant of the rules or cavalier or a combination.

    You can try to report him to ebay, but after all i do not think it is worth being upset. Better use energy and time to grow the plants take and share the photos. Once in a while someone may make some inappropriate use. But after all it is a minimal breach not worth worrying. Would be worse being mugged at knifepoint and have your camera stolen. Enjoy the people that enjoy the photos. write an assertive mail to the seller. you can read and forward him this link http://ebay.about.com/od/resolvingdispute1/a/rd_vero.htm
     
  12. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I find the logic of "he sells cheap plants so it is OK for him to break the law" totally outrageous. I can easily see someone using that logic to justify the theft, but it doesn't work for me. He is too lazy to do his own work, too lazy to send an email for permission and is dishonest as well. He could sell a few of those cheap plants and buy a cheap point and shoot camera that would take adequate images. That is the cost of doing business. He just wants someone else to do it for him.

    Report him and anyone else who does this. When I use someone else's images (with permission) in an ebay listing their © and name are across the middle of the image.
     
  13. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    Marni, I agree with you, although I think the ebay use is small and negligible. I am not saying that that seller is following the rules or being polite. But the context does not make it worth losing too much sleep. The images are used at a small size and as a reference. He will not be using the image for a year selling hundred of clones of the same plant.

    Better to bite the bullet and think that someone appreciates the photos.
    I think it is a risk that comes with publishing the photos on the internet. there is always the possibility of someone using them without permission.It happened to me as well and I appreciated when people asked first and often I let them use an image or 2 with a link. A few times I said no if it was a big organization that was not willing to pay even a small sum.

    The fact that he sells plants for cheap makes a difference since he will not make a ton of money or print a catalog. it is probably some side/part time operation and he is not probably able to afford stock photos. He should have asked permission and apoloigized for not doing so.

    Anyway a good way to control your copyright is to register your images. It makes a difference.

    http://www.theprofessionalphotographyforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=276
     
  14. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Actually, I don't think you agree with me. I just said I think the logic of your argument is outrageous and you then repeated it. It isn't that I don't understand your point of view, I just disagree with it.

    When someone is violating my rights, I don't care if they are making ANY money, I want them to stop.
     
  15. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    The value of the theft isn't necessarily important. The moral aspect always is. Some people understand that and some people don't.
     
  16. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    I think I have been misinterpreted. I am saying that seller should have asked permission and if not at least apologized.

    What I mean is that it is an imperfect world and stuff like this happens. Sometimes it is better to let it go. Everyone that watched a borrowed DVD or made a mix tape / CD with songs broke the law. Anyway what did ebay say after that seller had been reported. And what about Shepard Fairey using a copyrighted image for his Obama / Hope poster? http://paidcontent.org/article/419-judge-in-ap-shepard-fairey-fair-use-suit-suggests-settlement/

    and Richard Prince selling the highest paid photographic print that is a photo of a photo taken by someone else?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/artinfo/french-photographer-patri_b_839619.html

    In my case I do not find worth going against everyone that use an image improperly. It is not ideal. I would just bother if someone was making a decent sum with my photo, if it was a very recurrent usage, if it would be used very prominently.

    I watermark my images in the bottom corner. Someone could easily crop it out. I could watermark my images in the center but then people would not be able to appreciate them. I'd rather risk a few unlegitimate uses rather than affect everyone.

    I never said the ebay seller had a right to do what he did, I am just saying looking at the contest it is not worth more than writing him a couplel of messages and maybe report him to ebay. But after all you could look at it as an appreciation of your photography and some sort of reach to a larger audience.
     
  17. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What I hear is that you don't think it is worth my time to defend my rights. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. But no matter how many times you repeat it, I don't agree.
     
  18. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    I just meant it is not worth too much of _my_ time. I see it as an opportunity to educate the seller that is ignorant of copyright rights and issues.

    I meant also to say that it would be worse if he was selling the photo itself in printed form or on a mug / t shirt / calendar. I am not justifying him. I am wondering if he replied or ebay looked into the issue.
     
  19. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    He replied the first time saying he didn't know it was wrong. I pointed out the copyright on the image. He apologized, removed the photo, and assured me it wouldn't happen again. When it happened again, he denied responsibility and said that the eBay TurboLister automatically included the photo. I suggested he delete the file from his computer, so he wouldn't have to make up an excuse next time.
     
  20. stefpix

    stefpix Member

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    Jon,
    could be he was ignorant the first time and i dont know what the turbolister is. he has a camera obviously as he has the actual plant photos. Maybe he never bloomed the orchids he is selling, so he is actually not just using the image but the fact you bloomed the plant.
    There are some photos I see many vendors (not just ebay ones) use and I wonder where they come from. anyway hard to monitor these things.
    Once a friend sent me a link to an ebay auction that was selling some bootleg band t shirt with a photo that I took. It got taken down after I wrote but it is hard to keep track. It is not worth losing sleep. It is stuff that once in a while happens. I think it evens out.