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ImageLogr Scrapes "Billions" of Images Illegally 271

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you're-gonna-go,-go-big dept.
PurpleCarrot writes "In what must be one of the largest attempts to scrape images from the Web, the site ImageLogr.com 'claims to be scraping the entire "free web" and seems to have hit Flickr especially hard, copying full-sized images of yours and mine to their own servers, where they are hosting them without any attribution or links back to the original image in violation of all available licenses on Flickr.' The site even contains the option to directly download images that ImageLogr has scraped. What makes this endeavor so amazing is that it isn't a case of 'other people gave us millions of infringing images, help us remove the wrong ones,' but one of 'we took all the images on the Web; if we got one of yours, oops!' The former gets some protection from the DMCA, whereas the latter is blatant infringement. ImageLogr's actions have caused a flurry of activity, and the site's owners have subsequently taken it offline, displaying the following message: 'Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.'"
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ImageLogr Scrapes "Billions" of Images Illegally

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  • Yeah. That's it. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:04PM (#32297950) Homepage

    "Improving the site"? You guys can fuck all the way off.

  • Don't cry now (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:08PM (#32297994)

    Oh I see, it's ok for everyone to steal music and movies in support of "freedom from record companies" but as soon as someone takes something of YOURS it becomes a problem. Give me a break. If you download music, books, movies, tv shows, etc. for free and violate the owners' copyrights, don't start crying foul now. Go ahead and have a legitimate beef if you actually own all the content you have.

  • ah... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by charliemopps11 (1606697) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:09PM (#32298018)
    Can we just make a rule that any image you post on the internet doesn't belong to you anymore? Anyone with any sense already figured that out a decade ago anyway.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:15PM (#32298150) Homepage

    The problem isn't that they are hosting it, the problem is that they aren't providing origin links. That's where the primary issue is.

  • Re:ah... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:21PM (#32298238)

    I certainly wouldn't mind if you used your magic powers to create copies of items in my house. Feel free to duplicate all you want.

    If that's not what you had in mind, your analogy is stupid and flawed.

  • Nice euphemism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RKThoadan (89437) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:23PM (#32298266)

    I like how they say they are trying to "make people happy" as if it's just some minor bureaucrat the need to appease when it's more like "we flagrantly broke the law and are trying to get out of Dodge!"

  • I highly doubt that the majority of Slashdot, who are largely developers who rely on copyright's protections for their income, say that copyright should not exist. Software patents, however, are a different matter. Get it right.

  • Re:ah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:26PM (#32298304) Journal

    Can we just make a rule that any image you post on the internet doesn't belong to you anymore? Anyone with any sense already figured that out a decade ago anyway.

    Perhaps we can do that with text, too, since there really is no difference in text and photos in this context. Of course, that means that all worthwhile content will disappear, such as news websites, individual blogs, Google Earth, Maps, etc.

    The complaint isn't about getting paid, it is about attribution. I release most of my personal photography under CC with attribution. I have also written many nasty letters to competitors who lift our images from our website to use on competing websites. (we shoot everything, even stuff I can get manufacturer's photos of, to insure we have a unique look). The reason I do this is not only because I don't like working for free for other companies, but it dilutes our efforts to maintain a unique look. That and I don't need someone competing with me unless they are willing to spend the same amount of resources into photography that we have. ie: I don't want to subsidize my own competition.

    So, no, I think I should be able to keep the copyright on stuff I create.

  • Re:Don't cry now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:29PM (#32298348)

    When people download media that violate the owners copyrights, they at least don't cut the actual copyright notices from the media (movie credits, etc).

  • but wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buddyglass (925859) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:31PM (#32298382)

    Doesn't information want to be free? If you're going to download movies and music without paying, why can't they scrape your images and serve them up to "whoever"?

  • by Peach Rings (1782482) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:32PM (#32298398) Homepage

    Frames are the right way to do it, and I applaud Google for using them instead of listening to pseudo-engineer web designers who think they know anything yukking it up about how frames are so five years ago.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:35PM (#32298438) Homepage

    How the fuck do you propose they do that? Should they write over the image with a white font, "THIS IMAGE CAME FROM JOEBLOW.COM"?

    Google seems to manage with no trouble. [google.com]

  • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:38PM (#32298502) Journal

    How the fuck do you propose they do that? Should they write over the image with a white font, "THIS IMAGE CAME FROM JOEBLOW.COM"?

    How about doing it the same way Google does it, with attribution and a link to the original source? Is that too difficult for you to grasp?

  • Re:ah... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:39PM (#32298506)

    Thank you. I'm a photographer that has some pics up on flickr and picasa, but I don't put my full best quality version of any image on either site ever. The moment I do, I know it's 100% completely and totally out of my hands, no matter what "technology" a site claims to have in place to prevent it.

    Frankly, I LIKE that the web works that way. That's not a bug, it's a feature. It's the BEST feature of the internet. Anyone using the internet would be well served to learn how to use it to their advantage and how to avoid being bit in the ass by it.

  • Re:ah... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mellon (7048) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:48PM (#32298668) Homepage

    I know, maybe we should just DRM everything!1!!1 That'll solve the problem.

    No offense, man, but the universe doesn't owe you copyright. And unfortunately, the tradition of copyright depends on copying being hard. Now that it's easy, there's really no way to prevent people from doing this. You can send them nasty letters, but the water's coming in faster than you can bail. Like every other content producer, eventually you're going to have to learn to make money from the people who are willing to pay you.

    I'm not saying it's just, or right, or good, but that's how it is. If somebody makes a shitload of money off a picture you took, sue *them*. Don't waste your time on small-time stuff.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:53PM (#32298764)

    That's not true. My images took work to produce, and they're for my benefit on my site. Your stuff-- you do with it how you will.

    If I want my images archived, it's my responsibility and those that I delegate the responsibility to. If someone else has done this, then they've stolen my work, as in ripped me off.

    Should I want to use a license that give rights to someone else, I'll do so. Until then, the decision is mine.

  • Re:Take it Offline (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:58PM (#32298862)

    If you don't want someone to be able to break into your house, don't add doors or windows.

    If you don't want a client to rip you off, don't let them pay on invoices.

    If you don't want to be eavesdropped on, don't use the phone.

  • Re:but wait... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tignet (1303483) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:58PM (#32298864)

    The problem with your logic is that they aren't just scraping images from people that pirate movies, they're scraping images from everyone. Your question would be better posed as: Since everyone in the world downloads music and movies without paying, why can't they scrape your images and serve them up to "whomever?"

    Revised, I think the question pretty much answers itself. Otherwise, in order for your question to have a logical foundation, everyone needs to be allowed to pirate music and movies, or they need to limit their scraping to pirates.

  • Re:About Us (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blair1q (305137) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:02PM (#32298942) Journal

    I'm confused, but I haven't dug through their schema at all, so, if they're an index, don't they have some sort of cross-referencing information to tell you where the picture came from or what it's a picture of? If all they have is the picture and maybe its filename, what sort of searching can you do?

  • Re:ah... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:08PM (#32299028)

    Can we just make a rule that any image you post on the internet doesn't belong to you anymore? Anyone with any sense already figured that out a decade ago anyway.

    Only if you want to see all of the professional and most of the amateur content on the internet yanked overnight. While the current "intellectual property" laws are absurd, reasonable, limited term copyrights do actually benefit both the creators and the common good.

    Try this thought experiment: In the absence of copyright and also the absence of net neutrality -- we're 50% there already -- then everyone's creative work ends up being copied by a few large media corporations and made available only through their sites. Forget direct access; the handful of megacorporate ISPs won't provide it for sites that don't pay their fees. Forget about any payment or even credit to the creators. Independent creators are essentially frozen out, and the general public just gets the same kind of bland, focus group tested crap that ends up on television.

    Thanks, but I'll pass. Comcast and Verizon are bad enough as they are. I don't want to find out what they'd be like with a monopoly on all networked content.

  • Re:ah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pz (113803) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:10PM (#32299058) Journal

    The problem is that most people who use a camera take snapshots, not photographs. Given the explosion in digital photography over the last decade, I'd wager that a vanishingly small number of times a shutter is pressed out of the billions total does it get pressed by someone who is trying to create art, whether commercial or otherwise.

    Most people don't care about their photos, their snapshots. There's no effort to create them. There was no thought put into the composition, no setup to speak of .. it's just a snapshot. And, as such, most of the people do not understand why it is a big deal that anyone should care about photos. The public does not realize that it costs potentially a lot of money and time to create professional images. Witness some of the comments on this Slashdot thread.

    I applaud the parent poster for caring enough to make that effort, and for taking the time to defend their work against dilution. It's a mark of professionalism and high quality that likely pervades the rest of his operation.

  • by rts008 (812749) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:12PM (#32299094) Journal

    ftfy

    The only thing you possibly fixed for charliemopps11 was the mis-perception that you are capable of valid analogies.

    Now if ImageLogr was actually moving the images from the 'owners' webserver to their own webserver instead of making a copy, then you would be presenting a valid analogy.

    Can we just make a rule that any item you leave in an unlocked house doesn't belong to you anymore? Anyone with any sense already figured that out a millenia ago anyway.

    'Can we just make a rule that any item you display to the public might be copied? Anyone with any sense already figured that out a millenia ago anyway.'

    ftfy

  • No! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by History's Coming To (1059484) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:18PM (#32299180) Journal
    The DMCA is evil! Everything should be free! Copyright infringement isn't theft, it doesn't deprive anybody of anything!

    (What? It's my stuff?)

    I'll DMCA their arses! That's my stuff! I sell those, you're taking away my living!
  • by tool462 (677306) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:25PM (#32299276)

    Don't forget that Slashdot is also home to a large number of unemployable malcontents who don't like copyright either because they don't like paying for music.

  • Damn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Alexvthooft (1798010) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:36PM (#32299408)
    Well I am not the best photog out there, but I do get paid for my photos every now and again....

    And a lot of my work is on Flickr.

    Well we'll see.

  • by cyberworm (710231) <cyberworm.gmail@com> on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:38PM (#32299428) Homepage
    Exactly. As a photographer it's my responsibility to archive my negatives/chromes/digital files. I'm certainly NOT using Flickr as an archive. I'm definitely NOT putting print resolution files out there for the world to download either. Generally I'm ok with the average person seeing my image and using it in a non-commercial way, such as a desktop wallpaper or to just enjoy looking at. It's why I put it out there. To be seen and enjoyed. I think the parent is wrong to say that these images won't matter in 5-10 years. Different images will withstand the test of time for different reasons. One good example would be of photos of the Word Trade Towers circa 2000. 10+ years later, and you're not getting another new photo. These guys have effectively robbed photographers of their control over their images and the kiss to go along with this screwing is that you have to ask them to take the images down. That's like some guy stealing my bike and then having to go ask him for it back.
  • by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:40PM (#32299452) Homepage

    They know what they are doing is illegal. Why else would they use domains by proxy to hide their identity?

    The only reason they blocked, ooopp...I mean "Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website."

    I am curious if their robots actually identified themselves or respected the robots.txt file.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:42PM (#32299490)

    You know nothing of my work, yet you accuse me of stealing. Your assumptions are wildly incorrect. You've used the reply as your basis to blather your inability to grasp professional and personal photography, models and their rights, and the role of objects in photography all in one mad dash that adds the idea of a photography tax. Good Friday for you.

  • Re:Don't cry now (Score:5, Insightful)

    by McDutchie (151611) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:00PM (#32299728) Homepage
    Parent is not insightful; it's a troll. Downloading illegally is not even in the same league as downloading and then republishing without even identifying the author, no matter how much the RIAA/MPAA want you to believe otherwise.
  • Re:ah... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:10PM (#32300540)

    The public does not realize that it costs potentially a lot of money and time to create professional images. Witness some of the comments on this Slashdot thread.

    Witness this comment: I know precisely how much work can go into creating professional images - I've been to more than a few professional photo shoots because I have family members in the business - and the overhead of support crew and the time spent to get just a handful of perfect shots can be enormous (if the photog works that way). But copyright is not about how much effort goes into creating a work, if it did then the phone book would be copyrightable.

    There will always be a market for commercial photography because it is by far a commission-based business. A world without copyright would be make stock-photography, which admittedly some people consider their bread-and-butter, less profitable but would have the effect of boosting the business for commissioned work since less stock photos would be available. Furthermore there will always be artistic photography because real art needs to express itself in the way irrelevant to money in the way artists like van Gogh did.

    So, while I'm all for proper attribution, that doesn't mean that copyright in anything like its current form is necessary to the modern world. Even if it does personally benefit guys like the GP by protecting his business.

  • Re:ah... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:20PM (#32300628)

    You don't mind if I make a copy of your family while I'm at it too, do you? Too much of a bother to get my own the old fashioned way.

    Huh? That's non-sensical. Are you proposing making life-size cut-outs of my family and populating your house with them? Go for it if that's what you want.

    Hell, I'll just "copy" your identity too. It's just information, and information wants to be free!

    Go ahead and copy it. But if you use it to commit fraud then realize that the fraud is the problem there regardless as to the means by which you committed the crime.

    But, its not surprise you would get all of that so completely wrong - your beef with the phrase "information wants to be free" is like disagreeing with "water is wet." It refers to the fact that once published, in any fashion, you can't put information back into a cage because you no longer have control over other people's copies. It isn't some sort of hippie slogan, its a statement of fact about the basic nature of information.

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