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where do your Zoochat photos end up?

Discussion in 'Animal Photography' started by Chlidonias, 13 Mar 2013.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    sometimes when you're browsing on the internet, you come across a photo of an animal on some random website that looks suspiciously familiar...yes, it is your photo lifted from Zoochat and used without any sort of permission. A few of mine that I've come across follow. Have you seen any of your own Zoochat photos surface in unexpected places?

    *Fea's muntjac from Chiang Mai Zoo, used on a website which even has the gall to state "Feel free to download any of the Fea's Muntjac deer pictures for your personal use": Fea's Muntjac Deer Pictures

    *The same animal (but different photo) used on an accommodation site for a Thai national park: http://www.khaosok-hotels.com/wildlife/mammals/fea’s-muntjac.html

    *Spiny sea dragon (dead specimens) at the Southern Encounter Aquarium on Wikipedia: [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiny_pipehorse]Spiny pipehorse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]



    *A gaur at Zoo Negara in Kuala Lumpur used on a youtube video (!):
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Jul 2017
  2. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Very cool. You should feel honoured that your pics are used. So did you contact anyone to tell them that they stole your pic?

    Unfortunately, this is an all too common story. Many people believe that if an image is on the Internet and shows up on Google Images, then it is free to use as they please. One solution is to not post any photos online at all. Another solution is to only post the pics that you are happy for the world to use freely and with no credit to you. And of course, the long term solution is to educate people about 'intellectual property'.

    I can't recall ever seeing any of my pics being used online.
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    nope I'm too lazy. The way I see it, if you put photos on the internet you've got to expect that people will use them. As you said people generally think that if it's there they can take it. I doubt any of them are making money off my photos so I think its more funny than anything. I do like when people ask though before using them!!

    The spiny sea dragon one I might report because the uploader has claimed it as his own photo, and it is now on Wikicommons. If I bother getting round to it.

    If any photos turned up in actual publications without permission however that would be a different story.
     
  4. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Sorry guys, but they aren't your photos any more. I quote from ZooChat's Terms of Use (paras 2 and 4 of the Content and intellectual property section ).

    All intellectual property in relation to content included on this site, including any user submitted content, belongs to Hampel Group, its licensors or advertisers. All content on this site is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. You must not do anything which infringes the intellectual property rights in the content or is contrary to any law.

    By posting any content to this site you irrevocably licence Hampel Group to reproduce, edit or distribute that content in any form in any location worldwide, and you waive any moral rights you have in that content. This licence is non-exclusive so you can continue to use your own material in any way including allowing others to use it.​

    These terms were introduced a while ago, previously the copyright of photographs was retained by the photographer. In conseqence, I no longer post my best pictures here - they go to my blog and to my Flickr page, where they are marked as my copyright.

    Alan
     
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2013
  5. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating and scary at the same time.
     
  6. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    Where is your blog gentle lemur? I found your Flickr, but not your blog.
     
  7. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The photos are the same in both places at the moment - but if you'd like to read my deathless prose/barely relevant ramblings as well
    Creature Photos by Gentle Lemur

    Alan
     
  8. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    All the images I upload are compressed (apart from scans of photos which are of a small size anyway), so if someone does steal one it's not high resolution. If an ownership issue ever did crop up, I've got the RAW shots.

    :p

    Hix
     
  9. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    Various of my volcano rabbit or teporingo pics from zoochat have been used by different mexican enviromental agencies. I was proud to assist conservation agencies of my country, though i felt saddened that zoochat was not mentioned as the source.
     
  10. Kibathewolf

    Kibathewolf Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Jul 2017
  11. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Never seen any of mine from ZooChat anywhere else. Of course images are too small for anyone to do anything serious with them (a printed image requires about five times the resolution a screen image does). And as stated above, my very best images are generally not posted on ZooChat.

    As for the terms of use quoted above (which neither myself or most of us have ever bothered to read), I think that is something the ZooChat moderator had to put to protect himself from getting sued in the scenarios we are discussing here (a third party site taking your image from ZooChat). However I do know one photographer who uses my lab who was going to join ZooChat but then refused when he read that statement.
     
  12. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    As far as I am aware, the only occasion when a third-party has taken a photo I uploaded onto ZooChat was in the aftermath of the recent fire which wiped out the nocturnal and reptilian collection at Five Sisters - a member of the zoo staff used one of my springhare photographs in a memorial video the zoo created for the deceased animals. As it is general practice that the collection retains any copyright for use of photographs, I was perfectly happy when I learnt this had occurred :)
     
  13. Monty

    Monty Well-Known Member

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    My few are very small files as well. I reduce mine to 800 -1000 pixels wide just to speed up the download through my slow connection.
     
  14. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Actually - you do retain copyright over your photos. We make no claim on that.

    However, by posting them, you grant us a non-revokable (but non-exclusive) right to publish them on our website in various forms.

    The main concept behind the T&Cs is that by uploading your photos to our site for the purposes of sharing them with our community - you are allowing us to do exactly that - publish them and share them with our community.

    The terms and conditions are not there to "steal" your content, they are there to permit us to publish what you submit in a variety of forms (the internet is not just web browsers on a PC any more), but only in association with the ZooChat site.

    It does not give us the right to sell or otherwise profit from your photos, other than any incidental revenue we might earn from advertising shown on the site and such.

    The photos are still yours - you are still free to do what you like with them elsewhere, we just want to publish what you upload to our site, on our site.

    Does that make sense?
     
  15. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    That's kind of the point (although not specifically about 3rd parties - they are in the wrong if they use your content from this site without your permission) ... if you upload your content, I need you to understand that I will be publishing it on the ZooChat website - and I don't want you turning around and complaining that I've done so.

    It might sound obvious (if you upload it, it will be published), but it does need to be spelled out just to make sure everyone understands.
     
  16. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    All uploaded photos are resized to be no more than 1600px wide anyway (which just happened to be the horizontal resolution of my monitor when I set it up :rolleyes: ).

    That's only about 1.9MP resolution - not high enough to do high quality large prints from.
     
  17. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    I've had one of mine appear in a very popular TV blog here in Australia - it was a story about a TV show recorded at Taronga Zoo and the author used my photo of a Major Mitchell's Cockatoo flying at the Free Flight Bird Show. I challenged them about it and asked them to at least credit the source (ZooChat).

    I've had other photos used too.

    Most recently, a photo of elephant Samorn at Adelaide Zoo in the 1970s was uploaded to the Facebook page Adelaide Remember When (which then received 1,986 likes, 203 shares and 339 comments!). The owner of that page did contact me and explained what he had done - after the fact! It was actually my father's photo and he didn't have a problem with it being used - in fact he is generally quite delighted to have other people find his photos interesting and useful.

    We do actually get quite a lot of requests from people asking to use photos on ZooChat.

    In these cases, I always contact the person who uploaded the photo and ask them permission for the photo to be used - I don't have the right to allow other people to republish your photos - you've only given me the right to publish them on ZooChat.

    We actually received a request yesterday - this photo uploaded by Maguari http://www.zoochat.com/1334/european-red-fox-british-wildlife-centre-137227/ was requested to be used by the Tweed Shire Council in Australia in an education banner they are producing (probably about introduced pests!).

    I'm not sure whether Maguari has given permission - I've only just sent the email to them!
     
  18. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    'Up to a point, Lord Copper' (if you have never read Scoop, Evelyn Waugh's classic novel, this is a passive way of saying 'No').
    The meaning of the sentence "By posting any content to this site you irrevocably licence Hampel Group to reproduce, edit or distribute that content in any form in any location worldwide, and you waive any moral rights you have in that content." seems to be rather wider than you suggest.
    I realise that this is only intended to protect ZooChat from unfair or unreasonable accusations, and I am quite sure that no exploitation is intended. However I prefer to retain all the rights for my favourite photos.

    Alan
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2013
  19. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, I understand what you are saying.

    The problem we face as internet publishers is that nature in which content (in this case, photos) gets published and distributed as a result of being put on a website.

    It's not just as simple as "web page with photo displayed in a web browser". There are lots of different ways to view a web site, including on mobile devices and tablets, on televisions, and even on fridges these days!

    Similarly, the as a result of being published on our website, the photo becomes viewable anywhere in the world that you can connect to the internet.

    What's more, the image gets reproduced in a variety of (digital) forms on our website and in search engine results and so on.

    If we were to publish a mobile phone app to view content on our site, the nature of the publication then changes as well - we need to make sure we are covered there too.

    The "moral rights" part is possibly causing some concern - and that is a difficult one. I've not retained legal advice on this, I can only go on what I've read online and what I see other sites doing in their terms and conditions.

    My understanding of Moral Rights in relation to copyright is that you have the right, as the creator or author of a work, to claim authorship and prevent alteration or modification of the work in such a way that may detract from the original intent or your relationship with that work.

    This is where it gets tricky though. How do you define "alteration or modification"? Does resizing the image to thumbnail size count? If that resizing process somehow automatically crops the photo, is that considered a derogatory modification?

    It gets even more complicated when you consider that you can consider photographs to have two sets of copyright contained in them - the photo itself, and the subject of the photo. In many cases, zoos claim copyright of the subject and if you take a photo of anything at their zoo, they reserve the right to use that photo for their own purposes.

    Some even try to assert that you may not use photos taken at the zoo for commercial purposes without prior authorisation (and usually a hefty fee for permission).

    So where we stand as publishers of photos that you may not even have full copyright over in the first place, is even more complicated!

    My argument is that, since we are merely sharing the photos for personal/community purposes, and are not publishing the photos themselves for profit, then it is okay. I don't feel that the zoos are being commercially harmed by what we do on ZooChat - indeed, most of them are being benefited by the promotion they receive on this site.

    That still doesn't answer the moral rights question - and I'm not exactly sure how it works in all cases.

    At the end of the day though - we do NOT claim ownership or authorship of your photos and ultimate (economic) copyright remains with the person who owns the photo (notwithstanding the complication of subject copyright previously mentioned). I think this could be better communicated in the terms.

    Indeed - that is exactly what it is intended to do. In uploading a photo, you give us the right to do with it what you expect us to do - publish it on our site in all the many and varied ways and means that entails in the modern internet.

    I think I should probably go back and revisit the terms of use for the site and make things more explicit and less wordy, exactly what we claim and what we don't. Looking at Yahoo's terms of use for Flickr, I think they word it better.

    Yes, that is completely fine. If you are not comfortable with sharing your images online, then don't upload them!

    PS. never upload your photos to Facebook without carefully considering their terms of use - last time I looked (admittedly a few years ago), it was quite nasty!
     
  20. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your latest post, Sim. I appreciate the potential problems you face and I am grateful for your thoughtful response to my points.
    I am not unhappy with the current situation and I will continue to post images here on the present basis. I almost always shoot several images of a particular subject, so that if I wish to retain full rights to one particular image, I find an alternative one to share here. I don't think anyone loses this way :)

    Alan