Wednesday, January 7, 2009

An Important Note About Copyright

Here at Polyvore, we take copyright issues very seriously, so we wanted to take a moment to clarify our copyright policies and address the concerns of copyright owners.

Polyvore was originally intended to be a fashion website that allowed people to clip products from online stores in order to create outfits. However, the Polyvore user community turned out to be much more creative than we ever imagined and began using the site to make all different kinds of collages, ranging from fashion spreads to interior design mood boards to wedding boards to artistic collages.

If you find unauthorized use of photos or artwork on Polyvore that you own copyrights to, please contact us so that we can remove them. We respect other people's work and try to respond to takedown notices immediately. You can report a copyright violation using our online takedown form.

To help explain how images get into Polyvore and how we deal with copyrights, we've put together a short FAQ.

How do images find their way into Polyvore?

The Polyvore user community imports images from other websites into Polyvore using a tool called the clipper. Most people use the clipper to import cool clothing that they want to include in their fashion collages.

How are images being used on Polyvore?

Polyvore is a vibrant community of fashionistas and designers who create collages (or "sets", as we call them) by mixing and matching images in the Polyvore editor.

Here is an example of a fashion collage composed of 9 images from different sites. The scarf is from TopShop.com and the bangles are from Forever21.com. You can see this set on Polyvore here.



Polyvore always links back to the original site that the images came from. People click on these links if they want to buy the product or learn more about it. This results in hundreds of thousands of clicks to other websites from Polyvore every month.



How can I get my images removed from Polyvore?

If you find your copyrighted images on Polyvore and don't want them there, please let us know. Polyvore has a formal copyright notification process and once you notify us, we will try to take your images down within 1 business day. To make it as simple as possible, copyright owners can submit takedown requests directly through our online form.

150 comments:

Tiffany Thompson said...

If you indeed took copyright seriously, as you claim, you would make it abundantly clear to your users that "clipping" images from blogs, websites, commerce sites, and anywhere else online from which they do not have express permission to use the images is a violation of copyright law.

It is a very simple thing to require that your users gain permission, and a very obvious snub of the nose to artists, photographers, and everybody else, frankly, that the worst "punishment" meted out is the removal of a set once the original owner manages to track down the violator.

Saying "We take copyright law seriously" does not make it true. To use a cliche but appropriate phrase, actions speak louder than words, and the very nature of your site not only allows, but encourages the THEFT of images. It is deeply irresponsible, and a little blurb on your blog is an insulting response to the concerns of artists.

Bria said...

So you take down copyright violations but do nothing to prevent them from happening in the first place? Is that how I understand it?

Anonymous said...

OMGG thank u for this, i mean people should be nice when addressing some one who used their artwork and they want it off, It's not cool to be mean and hateful, there is a petition going on to stop us from clipping, but i wish they read this and understand why we do clip. I think they should be happy in some ways that we bring them more viewers to their blogs and websites, that we introduce people to certain items, models and images that have not been exposed to them before poly came along. Anyhow you guys are great, love thie site and how fun it is to be creative with images we find inspiration from and adore. HUGSSS
PaintHead..oxoxo

Anonymous said...

Don't steal my artwork and I wouldn't have to sign a petition.

PolyVore users need to be educated about Copyright - it is ILLEGAL to use ANY ARTWORK OR IMAGE without the EXPRESS CONSENT OF THE OWNER OF SAID ARTWORK OR IMAGE unless that artwork or image is distributed as FREE OF COPYRIGHT by the OWNER.

Polyvore - please please inform ALL your users of this by INDIVIDUAL EMAIL or MESSAGE rather than put up an obscure blog post none of them will read, that doesn't even give a succint definition of COPYRIGHT (like I did for you).

Anonymous said...

I hope that, in addition to taking down the images and the sets they were in, the accounts made by those artists to harass and threaten us were also removed.

Anonymous said...

I did not realize there were so many people upset about our clipping until I read the other comment. A quick search turned up 4 petitions online by photographer's annoyed that we use their work. As an artist of sorts away from my Polylife, I certainly see their point. However, as was already pointed out, we're actually giving them exposure, and I doubt any (or many) on this site intend to "steal art" as one website put it. Those of us who make artistic collages by manipulating photos aren't claiming the photos as ours or trying to make money from them. In most cases, it's no different than when teens cut up magazines to make collages for their lockers.

Have you ever right clicked on an image only to receive a message that due to copyright, the site won't let you save it? Isn't there a similar measure that concerned sites could employ against our clipping? Then there would be no problem at all.

My concern, however, is that Polyvore will eventually be forced to modify the clipper so that we can only clip from sites that have given their express permission. And since Polyvore is a fashion site, I'm afraid only clothing websites already affiliated would give that permission. That would mean no more art sets, which would be a very sad thing for many Polyartists.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if it's due to this but I have to say that because some images...mostly backgrounds and some decorative things have become invalid...all of my sets have been ruined. I now wonder why did I work so hard on them if they were going to be destroyed later. The wost important pieces of the sets are now invalid and the sets are hidden. How does that help me? At least leave them as they are and take them out. I love those sets and it's not like I can find unique items everywhere.

Jay said...

nice collestion...

Please visit my site below!

http://unseen-photos.blogspot.com

Engreida said...

I was just about to express what Painthead already wrote. I agree completely with every word! Engreida

maura_ea said...

@ PaintHead

I agree that even artists need to be polite when asking for their images to be removed, but Poly users are NOT following the proper channels when "clipping" images for their sets.

Using 3rd party sites that collect images from Flickr means that you're not linking back to the artist - you're linking back to the 3rd party site. How is that promoting the artist?

Not only that, but the reason why sites like Flickr disable the right-click feature and the ability to use such "clipping" tools is because the artists requested it.

Respect copyrights for what they are. Just because you're linking doesn't mean you're giving credit or getting permission.

Anonymous said...

To anynymous: When you make a collage in polyvore, how would you feel if I clipped it and changed it and called my own? Would you sign a petition to stop me from doing that? Is it okay if I go to polyvore and clip any collage anyone there makes? Then it would be up to polyvore members to search the internet and find where I have uploaded your work - after I make improvements on it. Please think of it from that angle.

Anonymous said...

I've seen the comments by the offended artists all over the web and even this site. A couple of them (that I'm aware of) joined Polyvore for the sole intent of harrassing those who have inadvertantly used their images. In fact, the person they were attacking wasn't even the one who'd clipped the image. I've seen sites with our sets mocked and usernames mentioned. It's getting ugly out there, people. I really hope Polyvore can mediate this in a way that will still allow art sets--or even fashion sets which often use images that aren't clothing related as enhancements.

Anonymous said...

Please sign to keep Polyvore open --->
http://www.gopetition.com/online/24411.html
Thank you!

Kaila xo said...

If you don't want your images to be used, copyright them on your website!!!! It's not our fault that you posted them on the internet! You posted it there for people to see and enjoy, and if you don't want people to use it you can prevent that from happening! Clipping some images doesn't work, meaning that people have prevented Polyvore from using them! YOU CAN DO THAT TOO! It shouldn't be a big deal! If you don't want images to be clipped onto Polyvore, prevent them from being clipped onto Polyvore!! It's as easy as that!

Christina said...

Please do not assume you are doing artists a favor by stealing from them. I do not want my work presented in the fashion that many of these collages do - rainbows, hearts, and sometimes even blood.

I do my own marketing and market my art according to my business plan - in a very professional way that will attract buyers who are looking for modern and elegant home decor items.

Putting my images next to things like blood, grunge, and all kinds of other stuff is not helping me reach my target market... in fact it is counteracting the way I am trying to represent my items to buyers.

Polyvore is suppose to be for creating fashion collages not for stealing art and altering it.

Polyvore is obviously not taking copyright infringement seriously and even plan to allow people to print 'their' collages.

That is why so many are working to have the site shut down.

Shutting down Polyvore may make a lot of users sad and they'll have to find another hobby, but keeping it open is hurting my business and in any already shaking economy I cannot afford for my business reputation take such a large blow.

Thanks,
A concerned photographer.

Anonymous said...

Quite clearly, Polyvore and its members have very little understanding of, and scant regard for international copyright law.

Can I suggest you take a serious look at the following links. Inform yourselves - then maybe you will have at least a vague idea of why such a huge number of Flickr/Ety/Redbubble etc artists are so angry about this situation.

http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:2p_dFtfompEJ:www.copyright.org.au/pdf/acc/infosheets_pdf/G011.pdf+australian+federal+government+-+copyright+laws+-+photography&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=au

http://www.copyright.org.au/information/art-design/visart.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act

http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/iclp/dmca1.htm

http://www.asmp.org/

I find it extremely arrogant of Polyvore members to even suggest that they are somehow doing other artists and photographers a service by blatantly infringing on their copyright, using their work WITHOUT PERMISSION, and then flippantly claiming that they are bringing attention to the work of that artist or photographer. As if they are somehow doing them a favour. Kidding, right???

Sorry guys, but I for one won't hestitate to exercise my legal rights if I find my work being breached anywhere on this site.

Polyvore - you may well have had 'innocent' intentions when you first created this site - but the fact that you are now experiencing (and not for the first time as I understand it), such widespread and deeply held hostility towards yourselves from so many different directions, SHOULD tell you something. You don't think?

PaintHead said...

@ maura

Everything does link back to the original site we clip from even from flickr, the reason it did not show the link for a certain artist who stared all this is because once your images are off this site them there would be no link, but the images on the site stays. All her images have been removed. Now more artist are coming along and doing the same thing.

Which is fine, as the artist you have the right to want ur images removed, outside of poly i am an artist , i have a degree in fine arts, i have artshows.
If someone clipped my work i would not mind it at all because i know there is a LINK to my original,all the LINKS are to the right of each sets, where it also shows u what items where used.

I actually have a painting up and people have used it, i'm fine with it, as long as i know who i am as a person and artist i know it will not be used for money making or something else unknown to me.
now if flickr has blocked poly then great ur work will no longer be clipped, but there is still harassment in my sets from people who are making fake profiles. now would that be cyber bullying ??

Anyhow in the end i hope that the outcome is a good one for everyone, especially for POLY which took many hard working days, months to make this site happen.
PaintHead

TripMyWire said...

Hasn't Polyvore made it impossible to clip images from sites that request it? You absolutely can not clip an image from deviantart.com. If there are images from deviantart on this site, it is only because someone else stole it, posted it, and then someone clipped it.

Second of all, if we were actually allowed to clip images from deviantart.com, it would be linked back to the artist, thus there would be free advertisement for them via this rather popular site.

It's all harmless. I really don't understand why people are getting so furious over this. I would understand if someone claimed the art piece or photo they were using as their own, then yeah, I'd be mad too. But nobody on this site is claiming that it is theirs. I've never claimed that the clothing in my sets are of my design and craftsmanship. It's common knowledge that it's not. So, why then would anybody think I was claiming the artwork in my set as my own craftsmanship? It's just ridiculous.

I would be flattered if someone were to use my art in their set. Not angry.

BellaMarie said...

boy, people have too much time on their hands.. whats w/ all the petitions? those artists should be happy that their work is being exposed to so many people like that.. thats what, 440000 potential buyers..? since when is that a bad thing? uhm.. how about: you're welcome!
man, there always has to be that group of people who have to shit all over something new..
i mean i get if someone is upset if privat epictures are being used.. that i get.. that shouldnt happen.. i dont ever wanna see my face w/ my family appear on someone's set or anything like that..
but artists? get real! and thankful!

charlie w. said...

If a Polyvore user is using a copyrighted image in one of their "sets" it is absolutely appropriate to comment about the copyright infringement. Ignorance about the laws do not absolve you from your responsibility to follow them. For some of these kids, the comments will be the only way they find out about this issue.

That said, I'm really disappointed that the powers-that-be at Polyvore have let this issue go on. It's out-and-out copyright infringement and the moment they start to make any money from the artists who are being infringed upon, it's time for a lawsuit.

I understand what Polyvore's original intentions were, but I think that they need to take a step back, look at the direction the community has taken with their technology and reevaluate the future of the website and that community. As an artist who has been sharing my own copyright images online for over 10 years, I've seen this issue come up time and time again.

We need to learn to respect intellectual property, not devalue it and reduce it to nothing more than collage fodder.

Anonymous said...

"Those of us who make artistic collages by manipulating photos aren't claiming the photos as ours or trying to make money from them."

This really doesn't make any difference. It's still breaking the law if you do not have a license to use the image - no ifs, no buts.

Some of my own images do have a creative commons license which does permit non-commercial use, however, Polyvore users will still breach my license by not providing correct attribution and also by creating derivative artworks.

Also, such a flexible license is a rarity - most images have no such license in place and are therefore completely unavailable for even non-commercial uses.

As for right click protection, this really doesn't prevent image theft. It just makes it a tiny bit more difficult and also irritates legitimate visitors at the same time. Additionally, sites like Google, Flickr, Etsy, etc. will never enable this.

Instead Polyvore users should stop breaking the law by taking and manipulating images that they have no right to use, rather than expecting the owners of these images to be the ones doing the work to prevent them and to repeatedly have to spend time getting images removed.

Additionally, Polyvore itself should ensure this is the case and should also penalise any user found to be breaking the law, which as far as I can see is almost all of them at this point!

Polyvore looks like a great set of functionality at its heart, but its current execution is very badly flawed.

Anonymous said...

Another Anonymous said:
"However, as was already pointed out, we're actually giving them exposure, and I doubt any (or many) on this site intend to "steal art" as one website put it. Those of us who make artistic collages by manipulating photos aren't claiming the photos as ours or trying to make money from them.

Have you ever right clicked on an image only to receive a message that due to copyright, the site won't let you save it? Isn't there a similar measure that concerned sites could employ against our clipping? Then there would be no problem at all"


There is no technology that stops a user from clipping a copyrighted image. A determined person with no regard for infringement can find a way to grab an image off the web.

As an artist, but you may want to research copyright law because many of the things in the first paragraph I've quoted here are incorrect. If you use a copyrighted image, even if it is not for making money from it or if you are not claiming it for yourself it is still infringement.

As for anonymous saying "I doubt any (or many) on this site intend to "steal art""
I've seen a lot of watermarked images on polyvore so some of the members are quite bold about the images they clip and put up on polyvore. Please read carefully the terms of service that polyvore has on their site and follow them.

Yes, your sets will be broken or removed as people find their images on polyvore and ask for them to be removed.

Josh said...

"To anynymous: When you make a collage in polyvore, how would you feel if I clipped it and changed it and called my own? Would you sign a petition to stop me from doing that? Is it okay if I go to polyvore and clip any collage anyone there makes? Then it would be up to polyvore members to search the internet and find where I have uploaded your work - after I make improvements on it. Please think of it from that angle."

I'd feel pretty awesome.

But, see, I'm also someone who knows art like the collage work of Man Ray, Marcelle Duchamp, Jess, and who enjoys hip-hop like Paul's Boutique.

I'm someone who recognizes sampling, and wouldn't feel bad about someone sampling my sampling at all.

Anonymous said...

It is one thing to use one photo and then say its yours. Its ANOTHER thing to use that photo in an artistic way and never say or imply that the images are yours.

I feel that some artists need to get "in touch" with their inner artist and look at what good can come from this.

As an artist you should understand what found art is.

If someone was making money/selling or claiming that images were their own, then you'd have a problem.

That's not what's happening. And as a fellow artist I'm saddened by the viciousness of some people.

Engreida said...

I'd like to ad that for the past six months on Polyvore, I've been so pleased to see so many young ladies and girls using the site in a positive manner, to learn and be creative. I think this makes Polyvore an exceptional place. Surely, we can all come to an agreement.

http://www.gopetition.com/online/24411.html

Anonymous said...

One more comment about copyright. There are hundreds of polyvore sets being displayed on Flickr. They are not using the embed code, which means that polyvore's intellectual property has been stolen.

Anonymous said...

Can Flicker be blocked from Polyvore's end since it seems a source of problems?

mona said...

I think that every artist has the right to claim for their work, but i don't think anybody in polyvore has stolen their work because nobody in here gains any money from them and nobody is taking the artist's credit as their own.

i'm an illustrator, a fashion & graphic designer myself, and i have never uploaded any of my artwork... why? because i know the pros and cons about uploading it, so if i don't want anybody to use them in anyway i just don't upload it. i think we all SHOULD know the consequences about doing it.

maybe you should think it twice before uploading... there are sites, and there are ways so people can't just copy & paste them anywhere... think about using them.

i think that maybe polyvore could filter those sites so polyvore users can't use them.

or maybe keeping polyvore just as a fashion site, just like when it started.

but i don't think it's fair to shut it down, i know there's a fair solution to everyone in this problem.

trinlayk said...

At the VERY LEAST Polyvore has a moral obligation to educate it's users about Copyrights.

When someone has been caught violating copyrights (and the TOS) they should lose their account.

Instantly, with a big black warning notice to anyone coming to look at the removed account.

People downloading and using my art for their own purposes has lead to instances where I lost an opportunity to sell a particular piece for publication. It was deemed "over used" even though it had been overused by someone who downloaded my work (clearly marked All Rights Reserved) without my knowledge or permission.

This usage actually interfered with my ability to make a living from the hours that went into that one piece.

This problem was brought to Polyvore's attention over a year ago, and this continues to be a problem. It could be fixed by only allowing users to post photos from "member sites" that have Opted in (an artist should NOT be expected to hunt down polyvore to opt OUT.)to being used, and all other sources should be blocked.

Also maybe allow the users to post photos they've taken themselves. And if they are found to have used photos or images from other people should know they risk losing their account and all their prior work.

HOW ABOUT ENFORCE YOUR TOS?
that shouldn't require rocket science.

trinlayk said...

If something doesn't SAY copyright, the DEFAULT STATUS of that piece is "All rights reserved"

at the very least you have the moral obligation to enforce your TOS and educate your users about International Copyright Laws.

trinlayk said...

What if someone took embarrassing photos of you at a party. or in a swim suit on the beach... made a million photocopies and posted them in public places.

what if those same photos were on a billboard? What if the billboard was for "family planning" services , "if you think you have an alcohol problem call 18000---" or a diet pill? would that still be OK with you?

would that still be OK with you?

In the same way the silly party photo on a billboard for detox services is out of your control and perhaps "not fair"... the loss of control over our copyrighted images isn't right.

It also often HURTS our ability to sell that image, and many of us are taking photos, making illustrations or even knitting toys to make a living. So randomly distributing our work is taking away part of our livelihoods.

Even if your intent is "free advertising" you have to ASK FIRST.
It's International Law... it doesn't matter if the artist is in the middle of the Gobi Desert and the person using their image is in the middle of Nowhere. Their work is still protected by copyright.

Anonymous said...

"If someone was making money/selling or claiming that images were their own, then you'd have a problem"

This is a claim I hear over and over.

Is it true that Polyvore is not making any money from this service?

Is it true that Polyvore never intends to make any money from this service in the future?

I find this quite interesting!

Anonymous said...

If you don't want your images to be used, copyright them on your website!!!! It's not our fault that you posted them on the internet!

That's exactly like telling a jewelry store owner - if you don't want your jewelry to be taken, don't put it on display where I can take it"

The images are copyrighted on our websites. They are still being clipped.

PaintHead said...

One more thing i'm sure POLY is not the only site where their artwork is found. When u upload images to the INTERNET in general then u open urself up to things like this. If it's not POLY it's something else.

You can block the clipper, but people still drag images to their desktop, so "taking" from a site is still OPEN.
I'm sure if u look around u will find ur work other places, but why keep bashing POLY and making silly remarks, there's a REAL WAR going on in the world and people are focused on "used artwork"
I have POLYVORE"S back and if there is a lawsuit i will gladly speak on their behave oxoxoxox

Anonymous said...

Uh, Josh, you realize that in those songs, those artists get permission to sample that music, right? And if they can't get permission, and use it anyway...guess what? they get sued. by big record companies. :-) So, your analogy, while flawed, actually works really well here! Steal other people's artwork, and they will file a copyright notice against you. Very simple.

Anonymous said...

I've been a member on this site for some months now and I just happened to stumble upon this discussion.

Copyright violations are a serious problem for this site, who has obviously started to expand beyond what the creators initially thought it for. I also think that the clipping tool, while of course quite comfortable to use, allows users to just take pictures or graphics from unprotected sites (mostly sites where the artists or original posters didn't leave their pics/graphics etc.). That is definitely not right.

I like using this site for creative outlet, it's really fun to come up with different styles or ideas, but I have to agree with the artists/original posters - while it's not cool to take things without asking, it's also very illegal to do so.

I do hope that this conflict can be solved without too much abuse coming from both sides.

The Dealers Club Selected Google Books said...

All sets on Polyvore are stamped with the Polyvore watermark, ergo, sets are known to be content of a composite nature. To clip to Polyvore implies that nobody is taking the artist's credit for images as their own. And, there is no profit being made from the sets uploaded to Polyvore. Where is the copyright infringement? Sounds more like Fair Use. Lets look closer at Fair Use in the legal sense.

Visit Stanford University's site regarding Summaries of Fair Use Cases - http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/9-c.html. Under 2. Artwork and Audiovisual Cases:
"Fair Use. A search engine's practice of creating small reproductions (thumbnails) of images and placing them on its own website (known as inlining) did not undermine the potential market for the sale or licensing of those images. Important Factors. The thumbnails were much smaller and of much poorer quality than the original photos and served to index the images and help the public access them. (Kelly v. Arriba-Soft Corp., 336 F.3d 811, 816 (9th Cir. 2003)."

Of particular relevance to our discussion is the line,
"thumbnails were much smaller and of much poorer quality than the original photos and served to index the images and help the public access them."
Hmmm, sounds like images in a Polyvore set to me.

If someone attempts to make money from a Polyvore set, then both Polyvore and the artists of the set's contents are in a position to seek legal redress.

Those artists who allow clipping will benefit more financially and by reputation than those artists who somehow don't understand Web 2.0. There is a social revolution going on which enables anyone to make fair use of content in new and exciting ways (remember blogs? YouTube?), and then to get together and form communities around it. Shame on flickr for kowtowing to a vocal minority.

For artists to say their images used in Polyvore sets are copyright infringements is to try to turn the internet back to the 1990s where everything was brochureware and dead.

Birdie said...

"It's not our fault that you posted them on the internet! You posted it there for people to see and enjoy, and if you don't want people to use it you can prevent that from happening!"

Wow, I can't believe some people actually think like that. Hmmm....so I guess that means that I can walk into your house and steal your computer because you left your door unlocked. Because if you really don't want me to do that you'd lock your doors and you'd stay off the Internet so people wouldn't see you own a computer.

Anonymous said...

Josh also doesn't understand that museums don't allow people to take photos of Man Ray artwork because of copyright violation. It was a nice try tho Josh. :-)

And, is it true that Polyvore is not making money off the website? one of the big (although false) arguments I hear a lot is that no one is making money off this art that's uploaded. Is that true - no one is making money? Why does polyvore exist if not to make money?

Anonymous said...

To the polyvorians who say they have polyvore's back - i ask if you have read the terms of service on the web site. If you violate people's copyright, polyvore does not have your back. they accept no liability if you are clipping copyrighted work. you are responsible for what you clip. You are supposed to own the images you clip.


No one would have a problem with clipping if you used your own photos and your own artwork or one's you have permission to use. That would be fine.

Gale Franey said...

I left a comment within the past few days and it is not here, I would first like to ask why it wasn't posted.

I have just read every post on this blog and am amazed by the lack of knowledge among Polyvore members regarding International Copyright Laws. I have taken an Internet and New Media Law course and for those of you who think that images are free for the taking on the internet, that is false. Copyright is implicit. It does not have to be stated, stamped, watermarked, declared. It automatically belongs to the copyright holder and there are large fines that can be charged to those who steal images.

The reason why artists are angry, I've had first hand experience ... is that I've had to write to Polyvore on numerous occassions to have my art removed. People take my art that has taken me 100s of hours to create, not including the years to learn advanced Photoshop and other software apps. They paste gaudy, tacky, truly ugly stick ons overtop my art, which was made with deep meaning. ie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/galefraney/210224927/in/set-1722568/ I made of my own daughter. Both the photography and the digital art are done by me. The piece has a deeply personal meaning. To find someone else giving it some nonsense new name and pasting thingys all overtop it is a violation. This was stolen by several Polyvore members and posted as their own. When I politely asked them to take it down, they scoffed at me and said that anything online is free for the taking because it's in a public place. This would be the same as saying if you park your car on a public street it is free for anyone to steal.

And this art http://www.flickr.com/photos/galefraney/189830346/in/set-1722568/ that I created for a grandfather who had lived in a prison camp during the World War 2. He spent his interned years counting the days and painting butterflies on his prison walls. His daughter asked me to create this image of his grandchild. I afterwards find it on Polyvore stolen with tacky, pixelated, gaudy stickies pasted everywhere, obscuring deep meaning, ie: the grandfather and his wife are etched into the trees. When I ask the person to remove it, they laugh in my face and say insulting things.

Then this image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/galefraney/1009338593/in/set-72157601216758274/ I created for a customer. It is part of a children's book The Mushroom King, but Polyvore members steal it, add crap on top, and give it some other unrelated title.

Artists like myself, after writing to Polyvore time after time, over and over, get fed up and naturally we become irrate. And we are further angered when we hear uneducated comments by Polyvore members who although they presumably had to consent to having read Polyvore's copyright policies when they joined, it seems that they lied when they pressed "I Agree".

I have written to the Polyvore Admin and asked them to forward my suggestion to the Polyvore CEO and Senior Management (if these people exist) ... that the problem can easily be rectified by adding a simple, inexpensive javascript app. to the members' upload page that asks the question: "Are you the copyright owner or do you have explicit permission to upload this image?" checkbox "Yes". If they don't have permission, they simply abort the upload. If they check "Yes", they see a javascript message that says "If this information is afterwards found to be false, your membership privileges could be revoked"

Additionally, to ensure that only the original uploader is punished, there could be an auto-naming system added to the uploaded images that apends the original member's name to the image name string. This way only this person faces the repercussions and other members who inadvertently used the image after it was already loaded to Polyvore are left alone. However, as per Copyright Infringement Laws, the stolen image would be removed from all sets.

This is a very simple solution which would actually save money for Polyvore because the Support Staff, instead of constantly dealing with irrate people and spending time removing stolen images, could be put to more productive work promoting the website. Also, Polyvore would begin to regain a good reputation, instead of being perceived as a hack website that profits from its members using stolen images, instead of spending money to purchase a library of images for your members' use.

Sincerely,

Gale Franey
www.thegraphicgroove.com
www.galefraney.wordpress.com

mijori said...

All sets on Polyvore are stamped with the Polyvore watermark, ergo, sets are known to be content of a composite nature. To clip to Polyvore implies that nobody is taking the artist's credit for images as their own. And, there is no profit being made from the sets created on Polyvore. Where is the copyright infringement? Sounds more like Fair Use. Lets look closer at Fair Use in the legal sense.

Visit Stanford University's site regarding Summaries of Fair Use Cases - http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/9-c.html. Under 2. Artwork and Audiovisual Cases:
"Fair Use. A search engine's practice of creating small reproductions (thumbnails) of images and placing them on its own website (known as inlining) did not undermine the potential market for the sale or licensing of those images. Important Factors. The thumbnails were much smaller and of much poorer quality than the original photos and served to index the images and help the public access them. (Kelly v. Arriba-Soft Corp., 336 F.3d 811, 816 (9th Cir. 2003)."

Of particular relevance to our discussion is the line, "thumbnails were much smaller and of much poorer quality than the original photos and served to index the images and help the public access them." Hmmm, sounds like images in a Polyvore set to me.

If someone attempts to make money from a Polyvore set, then both Polyvore and the artists of the set's contents are in a position to seek legal redress.

Those artists who allow clipping will benefit more financially and by reputation than those artists who somehow don't understand Web 2.0. There is a social revolution going on which enables anyone to make fair use of content in new and exciting ways (remember blogs? YouTube?), and then to get together and form communities around it. Shame on flickr for kowtowing to a vocal minority.

For artists to say that their images used in Polyvore sets are copyright infringements is to try to turn the internet back to the 1990s where everything was brochureware and dead. Get with the program and get social.

little_strawberry said...

I've been following the discussion regarding copyright infringement and polyvore since mid-December, and have researched online extensively and read through both petitions.

As a professional graphic designer and musician, I feel that while the argument to shut polyvore down has highlighted many valid concerns regarding obtaining permissions, it has begun to turn into an hypocrisy. Almost laughable. Here's why:

One of the reasons we create, is to show our work to others. Think about it - if nobody was ever allowed to see your work, how would you sell it, let alone promote it? If you became well-known via people repeatedly showing your work through this polyvore site, I very much doubt you would be ranting about copyright infringement.

If you publish your artistic content online, you are consenting to it's presence in the public arena.
This neurosis about polyvore 'stealing things' has got to stop. Not everyone in the world is out to bring you down, and the least you can do is be happy that others love your work enough to show it off. Maybe you could even leave a comment on their set, both to thank them for the free publicity and to promote yourself at the same time.

Think about it. We artists could really benefit from using polyvore as a promotional tool. It taps into a demographic with considerable spending power and a strong ability to influence it's peer group on a global basis.

Gale Franey said...

mijori ... your own argument actually proves your theory wrong. A thumbnail image is typically 50 pixels x 50 pixels. The Fair Use exemption to Copyright Law was created to allow commentary, news reporting, parady, research and education. ie: a thumbnail of my art would be used in a magazine article about my work, or to do a news review, etc. Fair use exists so that free speech is not impeded. It has nothing to do with stealing the image and having it used by another person to create a new composition that has nothing to do with the original author, artist.

I just finished a Law Course on Internet and New Media Law where I learned the latest, cutting edge laws regarding Copyright for web content and New Media.

little_strawberry what you are saying is also the opposite of the actual Laws that are currently in place. You may wish your opinion to be true, but wishing does not change the law. Current Laws regarding Copyright are the opposite of what you are saying. Copyright Law is now offering more protection to copyright owners, not less as you would like it to be. Nations now adhere to the Berne Copyright Convention which states that any art or image created privately and originally after April 1, 1989 is copyrighted and protected whether it has a notice or not. By default the work is copyrighted and may not be copied or used without permission.

The problem with others using my art, especially here on Polyvore where people hack it to pieces and make it appear gaudy and tacky, which could actually cause prospective customers to think that I've not mastered correct methods of extraction, color matching, correct size and perspective, ligting methods, etc. In addition it completely alters the original message that my art is intended to portray, ie: the piece I made for a World War 2 internment camp survivor that a Polyvore member had stuck frivilous pasties at random over it. I had customers emailing me and questioning me about who had actually created the image, asking if I went by the name of George, or Olivia, because people of those names were stamping their names on top of my art and calling it their own, entering it into contests, etc.

This actually harms the sale and promotion of my art, and for this reason, there are new protections within the Law and stiff fines for violations. Polyvore would do well to get up to speed on these Laws in order to avoid the potential of future Class Action lawsuits put forth by irate artists and photographers whose works are not only being stolen, but others are thumbing their noses at them in forums such as this one.

Cheers,
Gale Franey
www.thegraphicgroove.com
digital art blog: www.galefraney.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Think about it - if nobody was ever allowed to see your work, how would you sell it, let alone promote it? If you became well-known via people repeatedly showing your work through this polyvore site, I very much doubt you would be ranting about copyright infringement.

That is a compelling argument. What do you think about polyvore gaining authorship of your work once it's uploaded to their site? Have you read the TOS in regards to what happens to ownership of your image once it's imported to polyvore? If an artist uploads their own work for publicity on polyvore, how can the artist sell that image afterwards if it becomes the property of polyvore? The issue is complex.

Gale Franey said...

Dear Anonymous, I have NEVER uploaded images to Polyvore, I have only signed on so that I am able to leave comments on my art that Polyvore members have stolen and uploaded without my permission.

I only upload my art to reputable websites like Flickr, deviantart, CGSociety and my own personal website: www.thegraphicgroove.com and my digital art blog: www.galefraney.wordpress.com

You say "if nobody was ever allowed to see your work, how would you sell it, let alone promote it?" ... It is exactly the same as if a person were to walk into a shopping Mall or Art Shop ... they are allowed to see the art, appreciate it, and can buy it if they want ... but they are NOT ALLOWED TO STEAL IT, CHOP IT TO PIECES, GIVE IT A DIFFERENT TITLE AND CALL IT THEIR OWN!

For some reason, people are still extremely uneducated when it comes to the internet. Luckily there are companies developing Web tools that will search the internet for image pixels, and will find all stolen images, even those where the artist's name is not mentioned.
The tool is called Tineye www.tineye.com. Here is a link to a video (just press Play) to see an overview of how the tool works. http://tineye.com/faq

If you do a Google search for Polyvore image theft, there are 8 pages of search results which confirm that there are many irate people, tired of Polyvore condoning the theft of images by doing nothing to rectify it. Even in this blog, I assume that it is being hosted by Polyvore Staff who must be fully aware of Copyright Laws, yet they do not interject at all when their members make comments saying they are allowed to use copyrighted art taken without permission. Why are Polyvore Staff not stating clearly the correct Copyright Laws when people make these incorrect comments? I believe the answer is that Polyvore is likely benefiting financially from their members using stolen art and images, because they then do not have to spend the money to supply their members with a legitimate Image Library, which would be costly. This is why I believe Polyvore chooses to turn a blind eye to the issue.

mijori said...

Gale,

I was pleased to see you equate Fair Use with free speech. Interesting how you misspelled parody and proceeded to ignore it as a valid Fair Use mode of expression for visual works. What else are Polyvore sets but low-res visual parodies of art and advertising? You fulminate about Polyvoreans who take your art and "hack it to pieces and make it appear gaudy and tacky" - d'uh, go to Google and enter define: parody.

Not all Polyvore sets are parodies, some are tributes to the beauty of composite images brought together in new and exciting combinations. Some sets explore narratives and ideas which the individual images could never express on their own. Parody, yes, but also art.

The internet is a highly textual AND visual medium. Parody has long been accepted in the fields of literary, musical and theatrical arts. Now, Polyvore is bringing Fair Use parody to the visual arts. I quote back your statement, "Fair use exists so that free speech is not impeded." Where does that leave you and your fellow litigants?

You could try to be social instead. Embrace the creativity of others and highlight the many gifted creations by talented young and older members of Polyvore. There is a huge sense of fun and dynamism. Your attitude is the polar opposite of your fellow artist little_strawberry, and what is happening on the web. I would suggest you and other like minded 'artists' become added to a no-share list of the disgruntled, but that would be giving you more attention than you deserve. Are you perhaps blowing so long on your trumpet to drum up a little business?

As for thumbnails being 50 by 50, that is only one of many settings for thumbnails. I have seen thumbnails of 300 by 300 pixels. If you try to increase a clipped image in a set beyond a certain limit it becomes very pixelated and unusable. Are clipped images low-res thumbnails of clipped source images which link back to the source image? Most certainly.

Gale Franey said...

mijori ... You are grasping at straws. Parody as a defense for Polyvore's use of stolen art would not be accepted in a Court of Law for several reasons. For one, your members repeat over and over on blogs and forums and on their collages that they are creating beautiful art. Even in this blog your members try to convince the victims that the beautiful collages should "help" us sell our art ... and besides, a parody would have to be of a recognizable celebrity, Institution, or famous art by famous artist. Otherwise it would not be understood by an audience and would have no meaning whatsoever.

Besides I can prove otherwise on each of my art that have been stolen and put into collages:
http://www.polyvore.com/lindas_rambling_other_things_fairy/thing?id=4628780 This is my stolen image.
This is what one of your members did to it: http://www.polyvore.com/st_valentines_fairy/set?id=5760487
You will notice that she dedicates it to her friend:
"THis is for -Catherine- .... you are an amazing and caring friend .....Thanks so much for the lovely set...LOve Licely"
and you will also notice that in every one of the 128 comments, people say "this is the most beautiful glorious set", "gorgeous and stunning colorz", etc. There is not one single comment among the 128 comments that says that this is a funny parody of Gale Franey's original Mushroom King Fairy art. Not one single "lol" or "ha ha" or "oh so funny".
Same with the other Polyvore member who used my art within a colage:
http://www.polyvore.com/to_land_fairies/set?id=5761656
which she entitles "To The Land Of The Fairies" ... there is no mention of my name, not in the title, no credits, no metadata, I even viewed "source code" and there is no description metadata or keyword metadata that links back to my original image or that mentions my name or that mentions that this is a parody of my art.

I am wondering if you are a Polyvore staff ... if you are, don't rush to delete these pages to remove this evidence. I have already done a screen shot of my images and of the collages and have saved the entire thread of 128 comments that praise the art and make no mention of parody or laughter.

I have also made a copy of my comment, including this one, and of this entire thread, which is entitled "An Important Note About Copyright", yet I have not seen a Polyvore Staff person come on to clarify Copyright Law to their members, although this is the perfect opportunity to help educate them. Instead, when someone like myself mentions the Law, I am ridiculed for a spelling error.

Sincerely,
Gale Franey
www.thegraphicgroove.com
www.galefraney.wordpress.com

Birdie said...

Little Strawberry you need to get off the pot. "One of the reasons we create, is to show our work to others. Think about it - if nobody was ever allowed to see your work, how would you sell it, let alone promote it? If you became well-known via people repeatedly showing your work through this polyvore site, I very much doubt you would be ranting about copyright infringement."

Are you freaking kidding me?! I'm quite capable of making sure my art is shown to the RIGHT audiences, thank you very much. The fact that it is on the internet in the first place is a sign that I am showing it to Potential Customers myself. I do not need Polyvore's help; and frankly this line of thought is full of bulls... .

Not one of the images that has been stolen and used on Polyvore has sold. Hmm...that's odd, isn't it.

"If you publish your artistic content online, you are consenting to it's presence in the public arena. "

Yup, I'm consenting to you to LOOK at it, just the same as when I hang my work in a museum I am consenting to the public to view it. Not take it down and cut it up or paste other pictures on top of it, or photograph it and send it to all their friends.

In fact if the museum or gallery which displays my work wants to use an image of it to advertise MY show I need to give them my written permission to do so. If the museum or gallery wishes to make a catalog for the show in which my image(s) will appear I need to give them my written permission to do so.

I think your extensive online research is flawed. But this issue will soon be left to the courts to decide....and I know which side of the law I'm on!

Gale Franey said...

I submitted a comment a few days ago but the Moderator of this forum has not yet posted it on the Blog. The same thing happened last week, where although I said nothing to violate any Rules, my comment disappeared and never got posted. This time I made a copy of my comment and I am posting it again verbatim. I'd appreciate it if you kindly post it this time, even if it doesn't match the Moderator's perspective:

mijori ... You are grasping at straws. Parody as a defense for Polyvore's use of stolen art would not be accepted in a Court of Law for several reasons. For one, your members repeat over and over on blogs and forums and on their collages that they are creating beautiful art. Even in this blog your members try to convince the victims that the beautiful collages should "help" us sell our art ... and besides, a parody would have to be of a recognizable celebrity, Institution, or famous art by famous artist. Otherwise it would not be understood by an audience and would have no meaning whatsoever.

Besides I can prove otherwise on each of my art that have been stolen and put into collages:
http://www.polyvore.com/lindas_rambling_other_things_fairy/thing?id=4628780 This is my stolen image.
This is what one of your members did to it: http://www.polyvore.com/st_valentines_fairy/set?id=5760487
You will notice that she dedicates it to her friend:
"THis is for -Catherine- .... you are an amazing and caring friend .....Thanks so much for the lovely set...LOve Licely"
and you will also notice that in every one of the 128 comments, people say "this is the most beautiful glorious set", "gorgeous and stunning colorz", etc. There is not one single comment among the 128 comments that says that this is a funny parody of Gale Franey's original Mushroom King Fairy art. Not one single "lol" or "ha ha" or "oh so funny".
Same with the other Polyvore member who used my art within a colage:
http://www.polyvore.com/to_land_fairies/set?id=5761656
which she entitles "To The Land Of The Fairies" ... there is no mention of my name, not in the title, no credits, no metadata, I even viewed "source code" and there is no description metadata or keyword metadata that links back to my original image or that mentions my name or that mentions that this is a parody of my art.

I am wondering if you are a Polyvore staff ... if you are, don't rush to delete these pages to remove this evidence. I have already done a screen shot of my images and of the collages and have saved the entire thread of 128 comments that praise the art and make no mention of parody or laughter.

I have also made a copy of my comment, including this one, and of this entire thread, which is entitled "An Important Note About Copyright", yet I have not seen a Polyvore Staff person come on to clarify Copyright Law to their members, although this is the perfect opportunity to help educate them. Instead, when someone like myself mentions the Law, I am ridiculed for a spelling error.

Sincerely,
Gale Franey
www.thegraphicgroove.com
www.galefraney.wordpress.com

tessa said...

a good portion of us on flickr copyright our images. while there are some that honour "some copyright"; a good portion of us have all rights to images; therefore what you are doing is illegal if you do not ask permission first. asking permission includes drawing up a formal contract between the two artists. this is illegal! change your policy and inform your users of what the proper protocol is before we sue!

Miss Ranty Pants said...

Mijori, being that you are the official spokesperson for Polyvore and a Polyvore employee, I find your lack of understanding of International Copyright Law and Fair Use precedents astounding and appalling.

I am NOT flattered that people are butchering my work and then claiming it as their own.

I am NOT impressed by your (Polyvore's) continued misrepresentation of the term "Parody" in the context of Copyright and Plagiarism.

I am NOT impressed that my work continues to appear even after I have requested it be removed, that all my works be blocked and that your members are not informed of why removed works were against the law.

I am NOT impressed that you refuse to educate your Members on Copyright, Fair Use and the Law.

Just because something is published on the internet (or anywhere else for that matter) does not give anyone the right to use it to create a derivative work. Perhaps you need to do a little research regarding this issue, instead of perpetuating Myth and Wishes.

Gale Franey said...

Before I thought the problem was with the Polyvore members, but after I took the time to examine the Polyvore website interface, I see that the Image Library and the Create / Drag & Drop function are set up in a very deceptive way, making it appear as though it is a legitimate library of images provided by Polyvore to its members, inviting them to drag & drop as they please.

I no longer blame the Polyvore members and I have stopped leaving comments on my images that they have inadvertently used. I consider them to also be victims of Polyvore. They innocently drag & drop the images that Polyvore invites them to take, and afterwards they are blamed for it.

I place the blame sqaurely on the shoulders of Polyvore. I noticed today that there is a simple solution to the image misuse issue that would cost Polyvore nothing to implement. On the Drag & Drop page, there is a huge area of white space that says Drag items here ( as per this screen shot http://www.thegraphicgroove.com/oddBits/polyvore_interface.jpg )

If Polyvore were to put in large bold text within this white space: Warning! The images in this Library do not belong to Polyvore. You must seek permission of the copyright owner before dragging this image to your set, this would go a long way to resolving the problem.

In addition, this Official Blog of Polyvore on Copyright could be used as a way to begin to educate Polyvore members regarding correct Copyright Law and Infringement. Up to now it's been used to condone the theft of our images, making excuses like saying that Polyvore is "parodying" our images, etc., which is silly at best.

Anders said...

Moderators (and Gale),

I've also posted comment here (last week) with a message much in line with Gale's. It does also not show up here! Same thing with one of my friends. Funny thing Polyvore in discussions refers to free speech...
'
/Anders

mijori said...

Miss Ranty Pants/Gale

Ha ha ha ... Talk about perpetuating myths, me, a Polyvore employee? I am but a humble member of Polyvore and the public who hates to see blow hards rant and intimidate many of the young people who want to express themselves in a community setting.

If you are in any doubt as to the beauty of some Polyvore sets, I submit the following examples:
http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=329912
http://www.polyvore.com/can_feel_night_beginning/set?id=5768131
http://www.polyvore.com/laotong_nu_shu/set?id=5658870

This is the age of the mash-up, where businesses and people are expecting you to embed their content in weird and wonderful ways to promote their businesses and products on the web. Why else does Amazon allow us to embed 30 second clips of music into our sets, but to help sell their products? Note, this is smart.

At the end of the day, artists concerned so much with copyright can use watermarks to protect their images.

I hope Polyvore divest themselves of your 'work' soon because I'm sure everyone is exhausted with your manic protestations.

Gale Franey said...

Once again my post of yesterday is missing, although I see that there are several new ones, including a new one from mijori. How is it that you once again (this is now the third time) you have failed to post my comments, although I have only talked about correct Copypright Laws that Polyvore has failed to state on this Official Polyvore Blog on Copyright.

Although Pasha Sadri, the CEO of Polyvore, states it is our policy not to censor public discourse and further states that Polyvore respects the rights of others to express their viewpoints. But these missing comments show direct contradictoin to this statement.

Also, mijori, I merely "asked" if you were a staff person, and Pasha replied that you are "official
moderator on the site". I have been referring to you as Moderator, not as staff, however this does not distance Polyvore from the misleading and inaccurate comments you've been making in this blog regarding Copyright because the banner that runs across the top of the page clearly says that this is "The Official Blog of Polyvore.com" which would indicate that any Moderator that Polyvore would entrust to oversee, would reflect the views of Polyvore.

As to my missing comment (I've learned to keep copies of them) ... I post it again verbatim:
________________________________

Before I thought the problem was with the Polyvore members, but after I took the time to examine the Polyvore website interface, I see that the Image Library and the Create / Drag & Drop function are set up in a very deceptive way, making it appear as though it is a legitimate library of images provided by Polyvore to its members, inviting them to drag & drop as they please.

I no longer blame the Polyvore members and I have stopped leaving comments on my images that they have inadvertently used. I consider them to also be victims of Polyvore. They innocently drag & drop the images that Polyvore invites them to take, and afterwards they are blamed for it.

I place the blame sqaurely on the shoulders of Polyvore. I noticed today that there is a simple solution to the image misuse issue that would cost Polyvore nothing to implement. On the Drag & Drop page, there is a huge area of white space that says Drag items here ( as per this screen shot http://www.thegraphicgroove.com/oddBits/polyvore_interface.jpg )

If Polyvore were to put in large bold text within this white space: Warning! The images in this Library do not belong to Polyvore. You must seek permission of the copyright owner before dragging this image to your set, this would go a long way to resolving the problem.

In addition, this Official Blog of Polyvore on Copyright could be used as a way to begin to educate Polyvore members regarding correct Copyright Law and Infringement. Up to now it's been used to condone the theft of our images, making excuses like saying that Polyvore is "parodying" our images, etc., which is silly at best.
__________________________

Anonymous said...

where's the comments left my me and other artists that have a problem with the way Polyvorers have misused our images????

Why are you, mijori, not posting all the comments that don't line up with your opinion and wishes????

Those that are commenting and not having their comment published here are keeping records and screenshots of this on going problem.

Gale Franey said...

I see that my comment from yesterday has now suddenly "appeared" after I sent a letter of complaint to copyright@polyvore.com I very much appreciate that there is someone in your company who respects the policy that was stated to me by Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's CEO, stating that "It is our policy not to censor public discourse" and he further stated that Polyvore respects the rights of others to express their viewpoints.

So I am happy to see that after lodging a formal complaint, my missing comment of yesterday has reappeared. I hope that in future, all comments will be posted and that the Moderator refrain from cherry picking only the comments that align with her views.

Miss Ranty Pants said...

In response to Mijori:
mijori said...

Miss Ranty Pants/Gale

Ha ha ha ... Talk about perpetuating myths, me, a Polyvore employee? I am but a humble member of Polyvore and the public who hates to see blow hards rant and intimidate many of the young people who want to express themselves in a community setting.

If you are in any doubt as to the beauty of some Polyvore sets, I submit the following examples:
http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=329912
http://www.polyvore.com/can_feel_night_beginning/set?id=5768131
http://www.polyvore.com/laotong_nu_shu/set?id=5658870

This is the age of the mash-up, where businesses and people are expecting you to embed their content in weird and wonderful ways to promote their businesses and products on the web. Why else does Amazon allow us to embed 30 second clips of music into our sets, but to help sell their products? Note, this is smart.

At the end of the day, artists concerned so much with copyright can use watermarks to protect their images.

I hope Polyvore divest themselves of your 'work' soon because I'm sure everyone is exhausted with your manic protestations.
January 19, 2009 3:57 AM


Now that you have made me aware that you are not an employee of Polyvore, nor it's Official Spokesperson, and obviously completely oblivious to the law in regards to Copyright, Fair Use and Licensing - I can see there is no purpose in addressing my complaints about the theft of my work to you.

Polyvores' members are under the impression that if they personally are not selling anything, that what they do is legal. It isn't. It's against the law and I am in the process of pursuing individual Polyvore Members and Polyvore itself for the continued breach of my Copyright.

Nadia, as you are the poster of this blog, can you please respond to the concerns and comments raised here, both by your members (such as Mijori) and by others like myself who continue to see our Copyright abused so blatantly?

Thank you.

Gale Franey said...

mijori ... well at least we agree on one thing ... that we both hope that Polyvore divests itself of my 'work' and the copyrighted work of each and every other photographer and artist. Amen!

But alas, that is unlikely to happen unless Polyvore begins to take concrete steps. I have suggested many times, both on this blog, and by writing to copyright@polyvore.com, and by talking directly to Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's CEO, that to resolve this issue you merely need to do 2 very simple inexpensive things:

Simple Solution 1) add a simple javascript, identical to the one that you have when people leave comments on sets, where a pop up window comes up asking if this is a copyright issue "yes" "no".

You simply place this same javascript app. on the Drag & Drop page with the message "Are you the valid copyright owner of this image "yes" "no" (if not you must first gain permission from the image owner)

Polyvore already has the javascript code, it simply has to cut and paste this code into the Drag & Drop page and change the words in the message. This solution won't cost Polyvore a single cent and could help enormously to resolve this issue.

Solution 2) Instead of using this Official Blog Of Polyvore regarding Copyright to bash image owners whose images have been stolen time and time again, use it as an opportunity to teach Polyvore members the copyright that is buried deep in the bowels of your own website's Copyright Policy ... not the la-la-land copyright that is fabricated by some in this Blog.

Again today I found another image of mine being used not once, but 11 times on Polyvore !!!! I had already emailed last week to have images removed, then a few days later found 7 more, and now I find these:

http://www.polyvore.com/fairie_water_reflection/thing?id=3245500

http://www.polyvore.com/soothing_stream/set?id=5196480

http://www.polyvore.com/fairy_party/set?id=4125576

http://www.polyvore.com/magical_incense/set?id=4599491

http://www.polyvore.com/untitled/set?id=3631847

http://www.polyvore.com/garden_my_dreams/set?id=4616765

http://www.polyvore.com/water_lily/set?id=4699170

http://www.polyvore.com/untitled/set?id=4556325

http://www.polyvore.com/untitled/set?id=4173573

http://www.polyvore.com/cant_help_fallin_in_love/set?id=3775020

http://www.polyvore.com/fairy_dust_love/set?id=3905273

Please note how my original image title and string has been completely stripped from the image names (which is completely illegal and subject to fines) as per the DMCA that Polyvore purports to follow.

If you want to see us copyright holders disappear, instead of making our comments disappear, how about implementing these 2 simple suggestions? I just might work !

mijori said...

This is my final comment to this particular topic. I am not an 'official' or any other kind of moderator at Polyvore. I am simply a member who creates sets here.

You and your 'anonymous' cohorts are incredibly presumptuous to tell Polyvore how to conduct their business. You have to step down a few steps off your ladder and discourse like a normal human being if you wish to be welcomed in public discussions such as this.

I would dispute with Samuel Johnson; litigiousness, not patriotism, is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Goodbye and adieu

Gale Franey said...

mjori ... it seems that you are so focused on promoting copyright infringement that you are not bothering to read comments carefully before jumping in to try to discredit us.

As I said before, and I will repeat once more for you, since it seems that it takes more than one repetition for you to grasp a concept ... I have NOT said you were a staff. As I mentioned in a prior post (scroll above if it hasn't disappeared again) and you will see that I ASKED if you were a staff. There is a difference.

I also emailed Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's CEO, and ASKED if you were a staff and he replied to me on Janaury 17, 2009, 4:48 p.m. ... his own words verbatim: "The "Polyvore" user is the official moderator on the site."

Those are his exact words that I cut and pasted from his email. Since he clarified this, I have referred to you as Moderator. If you are not the Moderator, then Pasha will need to explain why he said this to me in his email. Until he sends me a correction to his earlier statement, I will continue to refer to your as Moderator.

You tell us to use watermarks, which shows that you must not be aware of the Berne Copyright Convention, which is upheld in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the SAME copyright standard that Polyvore purports to follow. The Berne Copyright Convention states that any art or image created privately and originally after April 1, 1989 is copyrighted and protected whether it has a notice or not. By default the work is copyrighted and may not be copied or used without permission. This is the second time I've mentioned this to you ... takes you a bit longer than others to grasp facts.

This means that we do NOT have to watermark, stamp, plead, beg, declare, post or any other thing to protect our property ... just the same way that you don't have to erect an iron fence with barbed wire around your property, nor do yout have to paint big ugly words over top your car when you park it on a public street. By default these things belong to you and others are not free to help themselves to your property.

You mention mash ups. The components that go into mash ups are to bring multiple services to a target audience, It is not for others to hack into the components, reverse engineer them and use them illegally for another purpose. There are enormous fines for people who do that … they are called hackers and pirates. Is this what you are suggesting Polyvore be allowed to do?

You speak of anonymous posters as my "cohorts" ... you seem not to realize that the people who are on this blog trying to educate you and others about copyright infringement are from all over the world. I do not know them. If you do a Google Search for - Polyvore image theft - you will see that there are people from all over the globe who are steaming mad about Polyvore image theft.

You speak of 30 second music sampling and try to group it with images. If you had taken a moment to read the Digital Millenium Copyright Act you would already know that there are different laws pertaining to each. They are covered under very different Sections of the Act ... I suggest you take a refresher course, because you're lack of knowledge is an embarrassment to you at best, and downright misleading to Polyvore members at worst. How about sitting down and reading the contract before spouting ridiculous things that show totlal lack of knowledge.

tessa said...

i don't think reminding your users to not plagiarise is not enough. many of your users are very young and do not understand what exactly copyright infringement is. may i suggest a tutorial to put up? actually make that mandatory.

nadia said...

Hi this is Nadia. I work at Polyvore and author many of the posts on Polyvore's blog. I'd like to clarify that in addition to myself, Pasha and Jess are the only other official "moderators" and Polyvore employees on here.

While we feel that Polyvore is a venue where artists can gain exposure, in the end it is entirely up to the artist whether or not they want their images on Polyvore. In other words, artists reserve the ultimate right to request that their images be taken down, and Polyvore respects that.

You can easily request that your images get taken down by filling out the copyright form here: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/copyright.notification.

Additionally, in response to the concerns of artists, we've blocked the ability to clip images from etsy.com, flickr.com and deviantart.com. If you would like your personal website to be blocked, just let us know by filling out our copyright form.

Gale Franey said...

Hello Nadia, It's refreshing to hear a more reasoned response coming from Polyvore.

Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's CEO, responded to my qustion in an email dated January 17, 2009, where I asked him if mijori was a staff person. He replied to my question: "The "Polyvore" user is the official moderator on the site."

Are you saying that the information I received from Pasha Sadri is incorrect?

Anonymous said...

Nadia, I, an artist, understand that you take down images when it is requested.

The heart of the misunderstanding between Polyvore members, Polyvore staff, and the artists whose images are clipped, is that no one asks our permission. Basically we don't want our images imported into Polyvore in the first place. Our copyrighted work finds it's way into your Library, and it is incumbent on the copyright owners to search the internet and find violations.

I personally have decided that polyvore members may sadly be right in one thing - If we don't want our images clipped, we shouldn't put them on the internet because the members claim the right to clip all images including copyrighted ones.

In the future the unfortunate result of this could be that there will be fewer art, photography and other images available on the internet for viewing pleasure and education and that will be a shame.

Members should be encouraged to either ask permission before clipping work, or upload photographs and artwork that they own personally. This way their sets won't be broken when a copyrighted image gets removed from Polyvore's Library.

If a member reads this and thinks to herself, "but it's sooo hard to take photos and make art of the things I want to collage with". Yes it is! It is hard for us who create to make what we do. It's heart wrenching to see it pulled into someone's library with the ease of a click of the mouse.

Thank you.

Gale Franey said...

I am still waiting for a reply from either Nadia, Pasha or Jess ... answering my prior question. How is it that you are now saying that mijori is not a moderator, whereas on January 17th, in an email to my question, Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's CEO told me that although she is a regular Polyvore member, he said "The "Polyvore" user is the official moderator on the site."

And if mijori is/was not the moderator, then I would like to know who is the person who has been making comments disappear and posting them days later only after I lodge formal complaints to copyright@polyvore.com? And even then, some comments have never re-appeared, despite the fact that I received the confirmation message that Polyvore received my comment.

When Pasha Sadri told me this, I replied to him: "Polyvore is allowing a regular Polyvore member, who does not appear to be familiar with Copyright Laws to represent your company and place grossly inaccurate and misleading information regarding Copyright throughout the Blog, you are setting yourself up for a myriad of problems."

My images have been used more than 20 times on this website which has given me the opportunity to speak with many Polyvore members. Each one I've spoken to was surprised to hear the image was copyrighted. Polyvore’s Image Library looks exactly as though it is part and parcel of Polyvore so it is natural for members to assume that it's being offered to them for free. In bold letters the “Drag Items Here” feature invites them to help themselves. The library even misleadingly refers to our copyrighted images as "items", not "images", which adds further confusion. This deceptive library interface is the source of the problem.

There is not a single Warning! or Caution! on the Drag Items Here page, although there is half a page of empty white space where a warning could be prominently posted, notifying members that images in the library are copyrighted and that members must seek permission before using them, or alternately, if not all images are copyrighted, then there could be a javascript pop up window (same one that already exists when you leave a comment on a member's sets) .... the pop up window would only pop up on those images that are copyrighted.

I therefore believe that Polyvore members are also being duped, being used as pawns, Polyvore blames them for the theft and absolves itself of blame, all the while continuing to offer up our copyrighted images in the Library instead of spending money to purchase its own Image Library. Polyvore hides behind what it thinks is a legal loophole that allows itself to blame its members, while its Polyvore who is committing the infringement. But this loophole might tighten into a noose ... because the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, mentions if the provider has the right and ability to control the infringing activity (which Polyvore does by placing prominent warnings), then the provider must not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the activity. This would not bode well for Polyvore in a Court of Law because without Polyvore's Library of our copyrighted, stolen images, it would have only a small amount of content to provide its members so Polyvore would likely do poorly or would more likely fail as a business enterprise. So it is actually a case of Polyvore benefitting financially from our stolen images.

Gale Franey said...

Seems like not only is the onus on us to find our own stolen images, but we also have to keep an eye to see if our comments will be posted. If we don't launch a complaint to copyright@polyvore.com, then our comments don't get posted. Last week I posted a comment early Friday and it didn't get posted unti late Sunday.

Despite Polyvore saying many times that it doesn't censor comments of people with views that differ from one another, it seems that those who do not condone image theft, who try to talk about Copyright, those people's comments are not posted ... or are posted days later, which in essence is a form of censorship because the comment then loses some relevance within the context of previous comments.

I have been contributing to blogs for years and have never seen this "missing and unposted comment" situation on any other blog before. And despite Pasha having told me that mijori was moderator, and yesterday Nadia saying only she, Pasha and Jess are moderators ... despite these 4 moderators, not one of them bothered to post yesterday's comments.

Gale Franey said...

Is it ethical for Polyvore, who claims to adhere to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, to link to our images from websites in countries that do not adhere to DMCA, such as Russia.

When I do a search of my images on Tineye … www.tineye.com, I see that most of my stolen images show up on Russian websites, where they openly sell them and watermark them as their own. It is almost impossible to contact them because the language font characters are different from ours and most of these sites won't accept comments in English text.

Polyvore is (or should be) well aware of which countries adhere to the DMCA, I would like to ask Polyvore (a DMCA compliant website) if they think it is ethical that they are tapping into our images through these back door routes in non-compliant countries.

I look forward to hearing a reply from either Nadia, Jess or Pasha.

I also notice that my previous question, although I've asked it two times, has gone unanswered.

Anonymous said...

Is it ethical for Polyvore, who claims to adhere to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, to link to our images from websites in countries that do not adhere to DMCA, such as Russia.

When I do a search of my images on Tineye … www.tineye.com, I see that most of my stolen images show up on Russian websites, where they openly sell them and watermark them as their own. It is almost impossible to contact them because the language font characters are different from ours and most of these sites won't accept comments in English text.

Polyvore is (or should be) well aware of which countries adhere to the DMCA, I would like to ask Polyvore (a DMCA compliant website) if they think it is ethical that they are tapping into our images through these back door routes in non-compliant countries.

I look forward to hearing a reply from either Nadia, Jess or Pasha.

I also notice that my previous question, although I've asked it two times, has gone unanswered.

Jodi_C said...

Nadia says "You can easily request that your images get taken down by filling out the copyright form here: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/copyright.notification."

Well I've done that Nadia. First off, I filled out that form. After a week of no response, I found all my blythe photos and reported them individually, with a link to my Flickr URL. And guess what - my pictures stayed up there. I went through again and reported them. But still Polyvore have done nothing to remove them. Explain to me why my requests to take down my photos are being ignored?

Joanna said...

I am not going to even read more- I got to this comment:

"Kaila xo said...

If you don't want your images to be used, copyright them on your website!!!! It's not our fault that you posted them on the internet! You posted it there for people to see and enjoy, and if you don't want people to use it you can prevent that from happening! Clipping some images doesn't work, meaning that people have prevented Polyvore from using them! YOU CAN DO THAT TOO! It shouldn't be a big deal! If you don't want images to be clipped onto Polyvore, prevent them from being clipped onto Polyvore!! It's as easy as that!"

In response- my image used on polyvore has copyright mark embedded- on the very fron and very visible. The site image was pulled from, in comments just under the image has copyright note- that the copyright belongs to me.

So- what where you saying, Kaila?

Morgan said...

This just make me so sad. :(

Gale Franey said...

It's a case of the thief telling the victim to put a better lock on their property, otherwise the thief feels within their right to steal the victim's property. Here on the internet, thieves feel even more invincible and anonymous, hiding behind user names. They can even comment anonymously on this blog, so have little fear of having being caught as a theif. This allows them to openly taunt their victims.

Regarding the many comments suggesting that photographers and artists 'copyright' or 'watermark' their images, well despite the Law saying that this is not required, here is a link to one such copyrighted image from a Flickr friend that was stolen by Polyvore and used by 3 Polyvore members (despite his copyright stamp on the image!)
http://www.polyvore.com/the_worlds_best_photos_sky/thing?id=4511521
Here's the image on his Flickr gallery:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawng13/940037577/

He's been trying to get this removed for several weeks, but so far ... not much luck.

So far the thieves continue to Rule! It's a David against Goliath situation.


Although Nadia mentioned that there are several moderators on this blog, one of them being Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's own CEO, not one of them has come onto this blog even once to clarify correct copyright law to their members. The sheer arrogance and self righteousness among those who openly condone theft, here on this Blog is astounding.

Anonymous said...

How LONG has this been happening? How 'creative' is it to steal other people's work and paste it together? How do artists and photographers benefit from this at all? Are THEY getting commissions from this? No. Rarely is a mention given for 'clipped' images, and asking permission...yeah right. The works ends up so mutilated and trashed in many cases, the copyright holder doesn't want their name attached to it.
Your 'fasionistas' can get written permission to repro a work, like the rest of the world. Limit your clipping tool to use on Corp sites you have contracts with to do so please.

users: An artist or photographer can sue you for copyright infringement. If you continue to steal images after the artist has informed you of lack of permission - which a few of you here are complaining about happening on polyvore as they have every ethical and legal right to do - don't think polyvore will pay your attorney's fees or fines... up to $150,000 per violation. Just so you all know, the moment an image is fixed and created it is owned by the creator for their lifetime plus at least 70 years. Putting that image online does not wave that right in any sense. It is not up for grabs and you are not entitled to use it because it is there. Removing a copyright symbol, artist's sig, or watermark does not negate the copyright. If you did not create that original image with your own two hands (take the pic yourself or draw/paint it yourself from a permissible source) you must get permission to use it in ANY way including 'changing' it a bit, as a photo reference for art work, for collages, etc.
You can take your OWN pics, draw or paint your own works, or use copyright free images. For example: Pictures taken by a government employee are not under copyright. They fall under 'fair use.' You must still give a credit.

amy said...

Users that snag artwork are really hurting artists and photographers financially and professionally:

"You understand that any items you import, and sets you create on the Website will be made available to the public. Further, you hereby grant us, our affiliates, and our partners a worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive, sublicensable license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, transfer, transmit, distribute, and publish the sets you have created using the Website."

--TOS on polyvore's website. They get to use our stuff free to make money. What repercussions does the actual copyright holder have when something has been used again and again? Are they going to be compensated? What percentage of images in the 'library' are in the public domain or free use licensed?

misskittenly said...

I agree that infringements on copywright have taken place.

However, as an artist whose work has been 'clipped to polyvore', the buzz that is gained from having your work shared, commented and appreciated and used in a way that has the potential to expose it to new consumers, can be a very positive thing. Recreational users of polyvore, an ONLINE COMMUNITY, are more likely to be, like myself, ONLINE CONSUMERS. ONLINE CONSUMERS BUY YOUR ONLINE STUFF.
Seriously, get some business sense. I have art on my walls from art shows. I am a small time hobby buyer of art. I am your TARGET CONSUMER.

I have also followed links to online artists and online shops selling jewelry and house items with the express intent of purchasing these things if the price is right. IE: I have bought things as a result of following links from polyvore.

Your rights may have been 'violated' but it seems important to me that we don't lose the bigger picture: the internet has createed a new frontier, and if you want to conquer it, use the opportunities that arise - like having your art exposed to us, polyvore users, a huuuge online community, instead of bemoaning them. Advertisers spend millions of dollars trying to 'infiltrate' target communities and groups. You have infiltrated our community for free.

Try to cheer up and enjoy the attention.

Anonymous said...

Drop it already, it's getting old.

Anonymous said...

misskittenly,
I completely agree with you that having your work which links back to your store or shop from polyvore can be a great marketing tool.

The point is that the shop owner or artist should be allowed the opportunity to grant that permission. In fact, it is required.

A little common sense netettiquite could go a long way to stopping the outcry we are seeing in regards to copyright infringement.

Gale Franey said...

misskittenly ... My art images on Polyvore DO NOT link back to my website, because Polyvore taps into illegitimate websites from countries who do not adhere to the DMCA. First off, this is not even ethical practice. The members do not acknowledge me. They do not give me credit. In fact they put their own name on it !!

My images have been used on Polyvore more than 30 times. Not one person gave me credit for my art, nor linked back to my website, and if I asked them to remove the art, many became verbally abusive towards me. Please tell me how this helps me sell my art.

My art takes hundreds of hours to create, using Masking, Blending Modes, filters, adjustment layers, dodging, burning, creating lighting effects, etc. Here on Polyvore it is destroyed, the meaning is lost, it is given a new name unrelated to the story I was telling. It is covered in pixelated truly ugly, flat, 2-dimensional stick ons, pasted at random on top of the most important elements in the image. It becomes a hideous gaudy mess …

You use the argument that these thieves are a potential market for my art? A thief, who has already stolen my art is going to buy it? Uh .... when pigs fly maybe ... when hell freezes over. A thief is a thief is a thief. A thief doesn't suddenly morph into a legitimate consumer of products. Why would I go to a den of thieves to try to sell my product that the thieves have already helped themselves to? Polyvore and its members have been stealing my art for more than a year. It has not brought me one single solitary sale. Can you say “kleptomaniac” boys and girls?

Anonymous said...

maybe the attention is great but the point we have been trying to make is but apparently people forgot how to read is: NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST. NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST.NOT ALL THE TIME IS THERE A LINK THAT IS TRACEABLE TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST. get it?

Anonymous said...

ok kit cat or whatever attention is great, but the point we have been trying to make but apparently people don't know how to read is: HOW ARE THE ARTISTS GOING TO GET THEIR ATTENTION IF THERE ISN'T ALWAYS A TRACEABLE LINK BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST???

HOW ARE THE ARTISTS GOING TO GET THEIR ATTENTION IF THERE ISN'T ALWAYS A TRACEABLE LINK BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST???

HOW ARE THE ARTISTS GOING TO GET THEIR ATTENTION IF THERE ISN'T ALWAYS A TRACEABLE LINK BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST???

HOW ARE THE ARTISTS GOING TO GET THEIR ATTENTION IF THERE ISN'T ALWAYS A TRACEABLE LINK BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST???

HOW ARE THE ARTISTS GOING TO GET THEIR ATTENTION IF THERE ISN'T ALWAYS A TRACEABLE LINK BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST???

HOW ARE THE ARTISTS GOING TO GET THEIR ATTENTION IF THERE ISN'T ALWAYS A TRACEABLE LINK BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST???

HOW ARE THE ARTISTS GOING TO GET THEIR ATTENTION IF THERE ISN'T ALWAYS A TRACEABLE LINK BACK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST???

get it?

Anonymous said...

Well said, misskittenly!

I too am a Polyvore member, and I have been paying close attention to the complaints and concerns regarding copyright. I agree completely that every artist has a right to demand their work be removed from the site, and to demand that reasonable measures are taken to prevent this problem from continuing. But I place heavy emphasis on the word reasonable, as I believe the behavior/ attitude/ expectations of some "artists" has become quite unreasonable.

First, I am sick and tired of the open ridicule and harassment of Polyvore members. You artists claim to be morally superior, but I have seen behavior that shows otherwise. Calling us "ignorant little thieves", opening Polyvore accounts for the sole purpose of harassing and "shaming" Polyvore members (even ones as young as 13) - this only hurts your cause, and it needs to stop.

Also, I can't believe the arrogance! Threatening legal action to shut the site down?! Look, anyone who spends five minutes on Polyvore can see that it is primarily a fashion site, and the majority of it's users do not alter/ manipulate images. The ones that do are a minority, and it bears noting that not all do so with allegedly copyrighted images. It is unfair and arrogant to be making generalizations, and unreasonable to expect Polyvore close down because a small but vocal minority feels they have been wronged. And another thing- the 'clipper' has been disabled at Etsy and Flickr, to the dismay of some sellers and photographers. Do you even care that THEIR rights have been infringed upon? Some Etsy sellers have Polyvore accounts specifically to promote their goods, and blocking Flickr also blocks access to Flickr Commons. This is unfair to other artists, but I'm sure you're not thinking of that.

Overall, this copyright drama has really turned me off to many artists. I have discovered many artists through Polyvore, like Art and Ghosts. I was planning to buy some of her work in the near future, but that of course won't be happening now, or ever. It seems to me that Polyvore is being unfairly scrutinized. Why is there not more complaints about ffffound or weheartit? Why is it okay for these sites to remove images from their originating site, thus giving the impression that these images are meant to be seen, distributed, and yes, "taken"? Because we all know the internet is about impression, not the fine print. I think there is a bigger issue here, and I also think the Polyvore staff will find a viable solution to appease everyone on all sides (i.e. a modification of the clipper box where we acknowledge we have copyright ownership or permission, or images are public domain or creative commons). I do hope this situation clears up to everyone's satisfaction. Polyvore is a wonderful community, and no one here meant any harm- please understand this.

Gale Franey said...

Anonymous ... There are many wonderful Polyvore members who use the website for what it was intended, composing fashion layouts. There are also many wonderful members who use the tools to do art collages. Most members are completely unaware that they are violating copyright because the images are being offered up to them freely in Polyvore's Image Library. The Library posts no warning to notify members that many of the images are copyrighted. It invites them to freely drag & drop. I don't blame most of Polyvore members. I blame Polyvore, the company, the business enterprise, that is using my images for its financial gain.

What makes Polyvore different from ffffound you ask? ffffound DOES link back to the original artist and DOES NOT DISTORT the image in any way. It simply features high quality photography, graphics and art.

I have always allowed people to post my art on their blogs, provided they don't change the image (nothing pasted on top, and no cropping or cutting). They must also place my name and a link to my website. My images are all over the web being used in perfectly legitimate ways by people who want to decorate their blog or home page, etc.

But I DO NOT allow a website to post my images as part of their image content to offer their members to cut and paste stick ons over top, and make something entirely different from the original art. This is quite different from other websites. You say you are tired of artists and photographers complaining … that is because you’ve not walked a mile in our shoes. You might not realize that many of us live exclusively off of sales of our images. To have someone take it, distort it, confuse prospective buyers as to who the original creator / copyright owner is, hinders our ability to make a living, to make an honest day’s living. I literally have people emailing me asking whether I also go by the name George, because George has taken my images, distorted them, put his own watermark on them and is entering them in contests on the Web. But I consider Polyvore to be the most damaging to my potential sales because it invites people to chop my art to shreds.

Sandra said...

Oh my God!
"I'm losing money because of Polyvore, it's destroying my market" What the hell kind of crap is that? Who cares if they see your photo together with blood and such? As long as it wasn't YOU who put it there people DO NOT CARE. If using your photo does anything it's to make it more popular! If people like a photo in a collage then maybe they will check out your website, Jesus Friking CHRIST!

On the other hand, I do agree that it's silly how Polyvorians call their sets "theirs", and such. For instance I think it's stupid with groups that are "against copycats". People go all crazy over ppl who supposedly "copy" their sets. I tell them "how can you say that, when it's not your work in the first place? It's just a collage you put together, you can not claim it".
I am a polyvorian, but I never take credit for anything other than putting together a set. I don't go crazy over ppl who "copy" sets, because if that's a problem then EVERYONE on Polyvore has copied their sets.

Also, I don't make sets from photos, pictures, art and such. I may find a nice background behind some of the clothing sets, but I do not see what's creative about taking a picture somebody else has made, and putting some text and extra texture on it.
I have always gotten annoyed at that, because it's NOT creative. ANYONE can do that.

But with that being said, I don't think polyvore should be shut down, or people's sets should be ruined/ deleted. Polyvore should instead put more time and effort into explaining to users about copyright, if it's such a big problem for artists to put a barring on their photos (from Polyvore).

Thank you. I hope I did not offend anyone, it was not my intention. I just feel passionately about this.

misskittenly said...

In response to Gale Franey who said:

..."Here on Polyvore it is destroyed, the meaning is lost, it is given a new name unrelated to the story I was telling. It is covered in pixelated truly ugly, flat, 2-dimensional stick ons, pasted at random on top of the most important elements in the image. It becomes a hideous gaudy mess …

You use the argument that these thieves are a potential market for my art? A thief, who has already stolen my art is going to buy it? Uh .... when pigs fly maybe ... when hell freezes over. A thief is a thief is a thief. A thief doesn't suddenly morph into a legitimate consumer of products. Why would I go to a den of thieves to try to sell my product that the thieves have already helped themselves to? Polyvore and its members have been stealing my art for more than a year. It has not brought me one single solitary sale. Can you say “kleptomaniac” boys and girls?"

A thief doesn't suddenly morph into a legitimate consumer???

What I am telling you is, firstly, I am NOT a copyright lawyer and I dont know if polyvore and its users are covered under 'fair use' or not.

But I do know that THERE ARE MANY, MANY LEGITIMATE CONSUMERS ON POLYVORE. WE ARE A RICH VEIN OF POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.

Maybe we are theives - I didn't think so but lets step aside for a moment, and agree to let the courts decide that issue.

But do you honestly believe that polyvore online community members are not potential consumers??? this seems so ignorant and suprising.
to typify the polyvore user, we are little artistic geek girls and boys who feel some connection to the art that we have begged, borrowed or maybe as you think, stolen... so you could perhaps ride that wave. We are obviously fans of the work or else we wouldn't bloody borrow/steal it in the first place. I am not saying that makes it right. I am just saying it gives you an opportunity to connect with people who are fans.

And i also reitirate::: I SHOP ONLINE AND HAVE USED POLYVORE AS A SHOPPING RESOURCE. I bloody well have art hanging on my walls - this is NOT AN EXAGGERATION - and so do other users.

In addition to this, if you looked at polyvore members' sets more closely, you would see that while some of the sets are perhaps infantile and meaningless, a great deal of members attempt and are successful at creating work that shows the images in a flattering light. Some of them express such beautiful sentiment.This is why they get 'favourited'.

Hence, it seems reasonable to suggest that little harm is being done to the images that are being uploaded. I can't say if it is legal or not but is it moral?

I think it is moral and more than that, it frequently results in the marrying of the image with semtiment and ideas that are exciting, beautiful and innovative. That's why it could potentially be good exposure.

I question wether an image being shared in this way decreases its sale appeal. Perhaps in some cases this is true but did i mention I HAVE BOUGHT THINGS OFF THIS SITE???

MAYBE THE HOURS SPENT ATTACKING POLYVORE .....
BY DISGRUNTLED SELLERS-OF-FAKE-FLOWERS, KNITTERS-OF-STUFFED-ANIMALS AND PAINERS-OF-PICTURES, WOULD BE BETTER SPENT ENSURING THAT YOUR PRODUCTS ARE CORRECTLY LINKED BACK TO YOUR SHOP!!!???!!!

As for the argument that classy products have been coupled with blood and pasties, destroying the image you are projecting to your selected markets... Well that is just silly. It is probably in very limited situations occassionally true.
But hey, I am looking at buying an online homewares trunk that I saw on polyvore... Seeing it coupled, in a really flattering light, with pretty couches and a gorgeous background on a set just got me salivating. Again, I'm not exaggerating.

Perhaps polyvore needs a warning to the public under sets reading :
ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS SET HAVE BEEN IMPORTED FROM OTHER SITES AND ARE NOT NECCESSARILY SEEN HERE IN THE SAME CONTEXT THAT THEY ARE SEEN ON THE OWNER'S SITE. ANY OPINIONS, STYLES AND IDEAS EXPRESSED IN THIS SITE ARE NOT NECCESSARILY SHARED BY THE COPYWRIGHT OWNER. THIS SET HAS NOT NECCESSARILY BEEN MADE BY THE OWNER OF THE ITEMS CONTAINED WITHIN.

Or something like that.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what the courts think of this little storm in a poly-tea cup.

amy said...

misskittenly (and others :),
No, polyvore and it's users are not blanket covered under fair use. An individual image much be licensed as 'fair use' to be used fairly for free, with credit given to the original source, but not for profit. polyvore TOS says they may use in basically any way any imported image. It also says all users are legally responsible for any image they upload and/or use.

Many of the sets have all rights reserved copyrighted images within them that may not be used in any way - any- without permission. A large number of the ones I have found did not link back to the artist's website. It went back to google or iheartit. And the watermark that was there on google is gone. Google even states under every image search item that 'image may be subject to copyright.' Many items in the library are stock images and you're actually supposed to pay to use them. That's how the company and photograpghers make money.

By removing the watermark or copyright symbol and artist's name, the user is showing intent to claim the image as theirs or acknowledge by their actions they know what they are doing is wrong. the courts look at intent. One does not have to show intent to profit to be found guilty of infringement.

The clothing companies featured on polyvore get nearly free advertising yet some of the sets in the fashion subsection use copyrighted images. So someone is making money off the image if someone that likes that set buys an item from it. That image helped hold the appeal of the set. That artist should get a royalty yet often there isn't even a mention because hundreds of works have had the watermark removed and any link goes to who knows where. Not a very reliable or beneficial adverting system for artists. I have found works that I know belong to certain artists and that was the only way I recognized them.

As for the courts, I imagine they would view it like they did Napster. Many rather famous artists and photographers works have been swiped. I even found renderings from an very large New York architectural illustration firm who fees start at $400.00 for a 2D drawing of an exterior. I doubt they'd give it away for free use but heh maybe they did. There are artists or firms who have the monetary means and the time or a lawyer on retainer to pursue legal action. More will make time. The rest may eventually file a class action lawsuit which will affect polyvore not users. Users can be sued individually like the recording industry giants did with the Napster and Limewire thing.

As for making sure all items link back to your site who has hours a day to spend doing that when there are dozens if not hundreds of your images being used day after day? that in itself could become a full time job. Should we start billing for those hours and who should we bill? It is not the copyright holders responsibility to do such things. Potential users are the ones that ask for permission. Period. The artist has the right to approve any use of their image to protect their rights and the integrity of the work. How far would one think they'd get using Mickey Mouse, the Golden arches, or the Nike swish without permission? Artists not backed by mega corporations deserve the same respect and are legally entitled to it.

It is never moral to take what belongs to someone else. They must lend or give it to you. One of the bedrocks of a free society is the right to personal property. The guise of using it 'for your own good' doesn't fly with me. If someone likes a work they buy it, send appropriate links to friends or promote it through word of mouth. The 'this piece of this collage..right here..is from the artist X' doesn't go down well.

I'm not meaning to call you out per se. More to address a few things you mentioned. Many of my comments are for others and just general. I don't want to see kids, or rather their parents, sued because they were clueless. Ignorance is never a justifiable defense in court.

Gale Franey said...

Sandra ... You made me smile for the first time reading this blog. I could suddenly see the total irony when you said about Polyvore members and Polyvore Groups:
_____________________________
" I think it's stupid with groups that are "against copycats". People go all crazy over ppl who supposedly "copy" their sets. I tell them "how can you say that, when it's not your work in the first place? It's just a collage you put together, you can not claim it".
______________________________

This shows that even Polyvore members DO UNDERSTAND that it's not fun having "their stuff" stolen by others, yet they come onto this blog and treat the actual artists (who longf hours creating the original art and hundreds of additional hours learning the software they used to create it).

This is such an enormous contradiction that these Polyvore members get all huffy when someone steals "their: sets, which are merely cut and paste stick ons of other people’s art and images ??!!?? Well this made me laugh out loud and I am still smiling. It shows how futile it is trying to communicate with people on this forum. They can't even see the irony and contradictions that they are wallowing in.

Sandra ... I completely agree with you when you say " Polyvore should instead put more time and effort into explaining to users about copyright, if it's such a big problem for artists to put a barring on their photos (from Polyvore)." Thank you for your voice of reason and for making me smile.

misskittenly ... when I mentioned "den of thieves", I was trying to get the point across that copyright infringement is equivilent to theft, which so few on this Blog seem to grasp. Polyvore members are for sure potential customers, and most don't even realize they've 'stolen' an image. My words were in response to the prevailing attitudes on this blog, not to the actual Polyvore members who innocently drag & drop images that Polyvore encourages them to do.

My real issue is with Polyvore who makes a conscious decision NOT to post any notice or warnings on the copyrighted images because it directly benefits financially by providing members with a vast image library, knowing that artists have to go to a lot of effort to find their stolen images, and knowing that artists will blame the members while Polyvore sits all smug in the background, allowing its members to take the flack from irate artists.

Have you noticed how NO ONE from Polyvore comes on this forum to speak about copyright ... because they know if they do speak they have a duty to uphold copyright laws as clearly stated in their own Legal Policies which uphold the Digital Millenium Copyright Act ... they can't slither out from under these Laws. So instead they remain silent and let their own members take the blame for them.

amy said...

Those in the U.S. should read the following to better understand copyright law;

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

Gale Franey said...

Once again I find my art being used by Polyvore. I wrote Polyvore twice last week to request removal of my stolen art, but once again Polyvore chooses to display my art without permission and without paying licensing fees. As per my last email to Polyvore regarding repeated unauthorized use of my art, I notified them that I will now begin charging them US$500 per each use of my art.

For those of you who doubt me when I say that my images are completely destroyed on Polyvore and actually hinder sales of my art, take a look at this pixelated, stick-on pasty mess:
http://www.polyvore.com/the_road_not_taken/set?id=6183570
Please note that the name of my art has been changed to "The Road Not Taken" and beside the image it says it was "created by sylvester207" This is totally misleading. The image DOES NOT link back to my website, nor does it mention my name, nor does it give me any credit whatsoever.
Here is the link to my original art:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/galefraney/1009338593/in/set-72157601216758274/

This art of mine was stolen via Photobucket, which is a back door route that Polyvore uses to get its tentacles on our images. Photobucket obtains images through mostly young kids who post their favorite art and photographs without copyright permissions.

Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's CEO is a very astute and capable business man. He knows well that tapping into our images through websites like Photobucket, ffffound, google.com and others, is a way of bypassing copyright permissions, and in essence, a way to steal our images without our becoming aware.

Polyvore can easily add a notice on its Image Library notifying its members of sites that contain copyrighted images BEFORE the member drags & drops into their sets. Additionally, Polyvore already has a javascript code that it already uses to make it difficult for image theft victims to place comments on their stolen images in members' galleries. Polyvore can easily use this same javascript code to add a copyright pop up window on the drag & drop page. However, Polyvore makes a conscious choice not to implement this very simple way to resolve the theft issue.

Polyvore continues to benefit from our stolen images because by filling its Image Library with our art and images, (which it deceptively refers to as “items”) its members then have more 'stuff to play with' so they don't become bored with the meager offerings of the Library if our images weren't there, which would result in members no longer using Polyvore. It is only because of our stolen images that Polyvore has 'lots of fun stuff' for members to use within their collages. Polyvore knows this very well. That is why, despite repeated requests by numerous photographers and artists from around the world to remove our images, Polyvore continues to stock its Library with our stolen images.

Gale Franey said...

oh goodness ... and here is my image used YET AGAIN, 5 minutes from the last one ... and after me emailing Polyvore several times last week to remove my other art!

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/thing?id=5329963

This is a never ending cycle !! Absolute and total disregard for copyright !! Polyvore's poor reputation will be its own downfall.

Gale Franey said...

Aggghhhh!!! And 5 minutes later, yet again my stolen art. This time used 4 times. Yet again Polyvore taps into my images via the backdoor route of Photobucket.

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/thing?id=1725205

Add this to the 2 previous ones, and when I invoice Polyvore that will US$500 x 6 art licenses, for a total of $3000, enough to pay for my wasted time having to hunt for my stolen images that Polyvore offers up as a feast for its members' appetites.

Gale Franey said...

And here are 2 more of my stolen art ... let's see US$500 x these 2 images ... that's $1000 plus the $3000 from the previous invoice. A cool $4000 that Polyvore now owes me from my search of its Image Library this evening. Please remit payment ASAP. I will email you my billing address.

Gale Franey said...

Lo and behold, the most interesting phenomenon has occured. It seems that money talks. The moment I announced that I will begin invoicing Polyvore for a US$500 license fee for each of my images, and yesterday I posted links to my images on this Blog … suddenly .... POOF !!!! .... my images magically disappear from Polyvore, without my having to do the usual begging, pleading, groveling, filling in notices, writing to copyright@polyvore to have my images removed. By invoicing Polyvore, they suddenly begin to take quick action. Interesting how money is a language that everyone seems to understand. Suddenly the fog lifts and Polyvore begins to realize the implications of copyright infringement and image theft. Interesting phenomenon.

But this doesn't absolve Polyvore of having to pay the invoices. I've done print screens of each piece of my stolen art and will be posting all these screenshots to my main website this week to document this repeated, ongoing, blatant, systematic theft of my art by Polyvore.

And you’d think 8 stolen images was already too much. But afterwards I found another 26 !!!!!! of my art here on Polyvore. I have done screen shots of each and every one and have made note of each URL and will be billing Polyvore an additional US$500 for each of these, a total of $13,000 plus the $4000 for licenses of my art that I found on Polyvore yesterday, for a total amount due of $17,000. I will be sending these invoices and expect immediate payment.

nadia said...

Gale: Just to clarify, we respond to all DMCA take-down requests within 1 business day, which is why the images you mentioned in your previous comments were taken down. If you have future requests for images to be taken down, please follow the formal procedure and send your requests here or to copyright@polyvore.com.

gale franey said...

Nadia ... never before has Polyvore removed my images that I mentioned on this Blog, without me first having to jump through a bunch of hoops by emailing Polyvore at copyright@polyvore.com and having to include all URLs to my stolen images and additionally include URLs to my original images on my own web galleries.

ONLY NOW that I state that I am in the process of invoicing Polyvore for each and every use of my art, due to long term, repeated, blatant, systematic copyright infringement and image theft do my images suddenly ... POOF !!! ... magically disappear. It shows that money speaks … it’s a universal language that even violators seem to understand.

This appears to be a pathetic attempt by Polyvore to destroy the evidence of my stolen images to thwart my ability to invoice ... but not to worry, I’ve made screen shots of each stolen image since January 19th (after I had already contacted Polyvore on many, many, many occasions begging, pleading, groveling to have my art removed).

I've now uploaded ALL of the 48 screenshots of the stolen images committed by Polyvore to an evidence folder on my website, and will refer to these when I invoice Polyvore. Feel free to peruse the link which contains a whopping 48 pages of my stolen art by Polyvore, despite repeated requests to stop offering my images in Polyvore’s Image Library:

http://www.thegraphicgroove.com/polyvore_copyright_infringement/infringe1.htm

And today I've heard some extremely disturbing information from Polyvore members, indicating that images are not actually 'deleted' from Polyvore, but merely 'hidden'. This means that Polyvore is still in possession of all my stolen images.

Anonymous said...

gayle franey: you have said that people need to understand copyrite better. well, i thought this was true and so i decided that i needed to read up on it for myself. so i did. and unfortunately it seems that internet law states that EACH POLYVORE MEMBER IS CONSIDERED TO BE RESPONIBLE FOR THE 'SETS' THEY UPLOAD. Polyvore is legally allowed to host the site without responsibility for the content. This is what the law says. I'm sorry that I have forgotten the name of this law but i am sure you're familliar with what polyvore has been saying all along - if you want to send a bill, i believe you would be sending it to the hapless users who have maybe violated copywright law by posting the sets. I don't think you can actually sue polyvore, as a host, as they are not legally responsible for the content. That's my understanding at least!

ps i am just a polyvore user writing this as i am keen to see both sides happy and comfortable with the outcome.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but notice that on the set comments feature a little window pops up asking if you're reporting a copyright violation. It begged me to inquire if any little windows pop up asking users if they are using copyrighted images before they finalize their set or clip an image or place it in the library?

Are you trying to keep users from receiving a personal cease and desist notice from artists? or even educating them since you seem to refuse to do so? Are you giving copyright violators a protective cushion from the artists whom they've violated? Not sure and just asking as I really want to know. It seems just...very ironic. All I've ever seen are vague 'don't infringe copyright' things like this blog and the TOS offer no actual education about what IS infringement. Your current system of hunt and spend hours filling out forms is beyond insulting. You obviously really don't care about copyright or the whole website and clipping tool would be reformatted.
You should have moderators actively monitoring the image library and deleting improperly clipped images. You should be terminating the accounts of those who are persistent offenders and blocking their IP Addy's to prevent creating new accounts. You could freeze accounts of offenders for short probationary times. You could make users read actual copyright law and agree to it before they can 'create'. You could provide interactive examples of how copyright works. Sign up info should be more than an email address and user name. It should include real information and those under a certain age should have to have parental permission. That way parents can read the copyright information that should be required reading and help police their own children. Just a small number of measures you could take.

I fail to see how you all don't seem to think it is your responsibility since you've provided the means to clip just about anything. This is obviously an ongoing problem you aren't taking seriously enough. You have hundreds if not thousands of users that think just because something is online it's fair game it it's the artist's problem to keep track of their stuff. They'll come out and tell you so and refuse to remove it upping their liability and the damages that can be sought. You are enabling them to do it as it's the hole premise of your site. Are you aiding and abetting copyright thieves? I think Tiffany Thompson's comment up top is right on.

There are plenty of art related community sites and most ACTIVELY monitor copyright vigorously, yet not you.

Anonymous said...

people have been calling polyvore users thieves. in order to make a case of theft you have to first prove intent to steal. those users who copy images to polyvore don't know that their actions are potentially theft - they have no intent to steal. they don't know they could be breaking a law. so because there is no intent to steal, they are not thieves. they are ignorant. they should not be taking people's images if they are breaking copy right law to do so. but they don't mean to steal.

polyvore users need to have this issue clarified so they know how to behave and what is expected of them. polyvore should clear up the grey areas and explain more clearly what copy right law means. polyvore users should not break the rules but many of them are ignorant of the law and need some help understanding it.

if a person is ok with another person using their images, it is not a breach of copy right. it is hard to know who is going to view the use of their images as an advertising tool, and those who will view it as theft. so maybe it would be easier if the people who dont want their images copied would collaborate with polyvore to get their sites blocked?

Anonymous said...

QUESTION FOR POLYVORE: Why are there so many watermarked and copyrighted images in the polyvore library? If the users who upload the images from stock photo sites have permission to use them, why didn't they get the un watermarked versions to upload?

Anonymous said...

This whole situation is getting out of hand... and quite ridiculous.

Polyvore is a user-generated site, like so many others. It quite clearly states in the TOS that no copyrighted images are to be uploaded to the site, unless permission has been granted. But like with all other sites, some users either don't understand, don't pay attention, or simply don't care- is that really the fault of Polyvore? I mean, there are PLENTY of 'all rights reserved' images at Flickr that quite obviously do not belong to the uploader. Perhaps Flickr should shut down because of these blatant violations? My point is, every site has it's problems, and it's unrealistic to expect every single user, every single upload, to be policed.

So many people are complaining that the clipper tool encourages 'theft'. Well, would you prefer that Polyvore users only be allowed to upload images from their computers? Because then you would have absolutely no way of tracking your images that violators upload- is that honestly what you want? The way things are now, at least you can find your images, and in MOST cases there is a valid link to the original site (i.e. credit to you). I agree that links are not 100 percent- but neither are the links on ffffound, which curiously no one is concerned about. Granted, it is a flawed system, one that could use some modification- but the way things are now is far better than the alternative.

I think the real underlying issue here is that artists are offended by HOW their images are being used. And that is fair. Some, many, 'sets' are horrendous- but many Polyvore users are also quite young, please keep that in mind. And call me crazy, but I think anything that inspires young people to create is a positive thing, yes? BUT, if the issue is the very existence of the images on Polyvore (and not how they are used)- then how is this different from ffffound and weheartit, and others? If an images is placed in a fashion set, and not altered in any way, then what is the big deal? There is (usually) a valid link to the site of origin, like the other sites. And I don't know any Polyvore user who judges an image based on the images placed next to it. If we see something we like, we click on the image and follow the link- just like the other sites.

Overall, I think Polyvore is being unfairly scrutinized. Some of the expectations are unrealistic- and some of the claims unsound. This notion that artists are losing sales because of Polyvore- ridiculous! Nobody believes that. This would mean that droves of outside eyes flock to Polyvore on a regular basis to check out the work being done here, our 'silly collages'. The thought of this makes me laugh. And honestly, if this IS happening- it's because of all the negative publicity being generated by artists. I'm not saying you don't have a right to be upset and demand your images be removed (I'm on your side!), but I think everyone could benefit from a heavy dose of realism, and a little objectivity.

Gale Franey said...

Yesterday I sent an invoice to Polyvore for use of 50 of my images. After linking to the Polyvore URLs, the screenshot URLs that I've begun putting together on my website to retain a history of stolen images, and also including the URLs to the original art in my galleries, the invoice ended up being 9 pages long. The invoice is for 50 images @ US $500 per each license use of my images for a total invoice of $25,000.

Contrary to Anonymous's comment, ignorance of the law is not protection from the law. If you walk into an Art Shop on Broadway Ave. and walk out with a canvas painting, get caught and say you thought it was OK to take the image without paying, you would still be prosecuted. Same with digital media, as per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

And those of you who think Polyvore is exempt from prosecution, you may not be aware of other court cases, such as Napster, Grokster and many others.

Contributory Infringement ... the court ruled that a person "who, with knowledge of the infringement activity, induces, causes or materially contributes to the infringing conduct of another, may be held liable as a 'contributory' infringer."

Polyvore directly induces and contributes to the infringment by providing an Image Library that directly connects to websites containing copyrighted images. It invites its members to Drag & Drop these copyrighted images, and instead of warning its members that these images are copyrighted, it instead disguises them by referring to them as "items", not as "images".

Secondary infringement may take the form of inducing the direct infringers to violate copyright laws. This can be evidenced by a business model designed to attract direct infringers or continuing to allow infringement when notified of the wrongful conduct, as is the case with Polyvore.

Vicarious infringement looks at whether the service provider had the right and ability to supervise the direct infringement and had a direct financial interest in the infringed copyrighted work. To escape imposition of vicarious liability, the reserved right to police must be exercised to its fullest extent. Turning a blind eye to detectable acts of infringement for the sake of profit gives rise to liability.

Polyvore can easily remedy the problem by disconnecting links in its Image Library to non-merchant websites such as ffffound, Photobucket, 2photo.ru and others that contain almost exclusively copyrighted images.

It can also put a prominent notification or javascript pop up window on it's Drag & Drop page, whenever a copyrighted image is displayed (it can be a simple pop up that displays if the member hovers their mouse over a particular image). Instead of doing this, Polyvore uses this same simple javascript app. to block and prevent theft victims from leaving comments on their stolen images in Polyvore members' sets.

Safe Harbour ... A service provider is not innocent and will not be able to take refuge in the safe harbor if it has "actual knowledge that the material on the network is infringing. Not only does Polyvore KNOW that the images are infringing, its entire website interface and model is designed to syphon from other websites to provide these copyrighted, infringing images to its members from Polyvore's own Image Library!

Financial Benefit ... Even if a service provider has no knowledge of the infringing material (or, upon learning of the infringement, acts expeditiously to remove the material), safe harbor protection is unavailable if the service provider (1) has the right and ability to control the illegal activity and (2) receives a "financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity.

Polyvore benefits financially by using our images because without them, its offerings in its Library would be scant and minimal, and people would quickly become bored with the website. By using our images, it enhances the attractiveness of the website's offerings ... which in turn enhances the commissions that Polyvore receives from Merchant partners whenever a Polyvore member clicks on to their site and buys a dress or pair of shoes.

Gale Fralney said...

p.s. It is very obvious which comments are from Polyvore staff, despite disguising yourselves as "Anonymous", because when our comments are posted, it takes at least one full day, sometimes up to 4 days to be posted after being viewed by Polyvore Moderators, so when these "Anonymous" comments directly follow my comment without having to undergo the usual waiting period, as ours do, then duh !! ... pretty obvious ... not too swift on the uptake if you thought we'd be fooled by your "Anonymous" disguise.

Question 1
To Nadia, Jess and Pasha ... I have posted a question several times in this Blog asking about contradictory statements that Nadia made on this blog, stating that mijori was not moderator, when I had already been told by Pasha in an email that he sent to me that mijori, although not a Polyvore staff member, was the official moderator on this site. Why has Nadia then come on this Blog and told readers the opposite??? This is a question that has so far been ignored by Nadia, Jess and Pasha. I am therefore asking it a third time.

(mijori was the one who was encouraging copyright infringement / image theft and telling us that Polyvore was "parodying" our art and images, and telling us to "embrace the creativity" of these thefts.

Question 2:
Why does Polyvore's Image Library link to non-merchant websites that contain almost exclusively copyrighted images that owners DO NOT PERMIT to be offered by Polyvore from its Image Library for its members to drag & drop freely ?

Question 3:
Is there some commission that Polyvore or these other websites are receiving by fencing / hawking our images?

Question 4:
I have heard from Polyvore members that our images are not actually deleted from Polyvore, but merely hidden. Is this true? If so, why?

Question 5:
What notification / warning do Polyvore members receive when victims of stolen images write to Polyvore to beg to have them removed?

Question 6:
How does Polyvore keep track of repeat abusers and what notification to they receive?

Question 7:
How many abuses does it take before the Polyvore Member's membership is revoked?

tessa said...

i'm glad someone sent an invoice. i think more should be sent along with a copy of the digital millenium copyright act.

amy said...

http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/01/02/12/010212hninjunction.html

polyvore is doing the same thing as Napster did. Please see the link for the Court's ruling. The article writer, Sam Costello, explains contributory and vicarious infringement quite clearly. 'File sharing' here is images while Napster was music. Both are subject to copyright.


http://articles.latimes.com/2002/mar/26/business/fi-napster26

The Court ruled Napster was liable to prevent copyright theft.


The ignorance plea only goes so far and will go next to nowhere in court. If I see a purse left in the food court of a mall, just because it doesn't have flashing neon signs alerting me 'do not steal' that means it's up for grabs? Please. Everything man made is owned by someone and you know if something isn't yours. Is your neighbor's car up for grabs, the flowers in their landscaping? His car still isn't yours even if he or someone else parks it in your driveway. Unless property is clearly marked 'free' by the owner it is well...owned.
If a student plagiarizes an other's work in a thesis it's bye-bye or F. This is basic common sense.

Copyright law is not a new thing. We have a recent legal precident set by the Ninth Circuit Court with their ruling.

Gale Franey said...

Thanks Amy … the article says so well that “the court decision writes Napster's epitaph. Its days as an instrument for electronic shoplifting are over”

Napster's lawyers unsuccessfully tried to use the very same argument that Polyvore has been using on this Blog, that file sharing was simply an extension of fair use. But the courts ruled in favor of a zero tolerance approach, shutting down Napster until it had made the new effective filters. The new ruling made clear that every file-sharing system has to filter out items that are copyrighted.

Polyvore's website interface and model would be even more liable than Napster because it serves up copyrighted images from its Image Library on a silver platter, openly inviting its members to freely drag & drop them into their sets and provides tools to chop copyrighted images to bits, to cover up watermarks. It then renames our images, and says that the thief has "created them", which Polyvore's own interface automatically stamps on the image set. It diguises copyrighted images by calling them "items", not "copyrighted images".

It puts no warnings or pops up on the Drag & Drop feature, warning members that the images are NOT owned by Polyvore and that they are COPYRIGHTED and require PERMISSION OR PAYMENT to image owners.

It further blocks victims of theft from being able to leave comments on the sets containing the stolen images by blocking with a pop up javascript application, which gives protection to the copyright infringer.

It then uses this blog to encourage image theft ... notice how my questions to Moderators go unanswered, despite Nadia having earlier said there are THREE moderators on this Blog (Nadia, Jess and Pasha, Polyvore's own CEO). Yet these moderators let the comments that are pro-image-theft be posted immediately, while holding back for sometimes 4 days comments that are against copyright infringement. This is proof positive of Polyvore's conscious choice to take no proactive steps to rectify this blatant image theft issue.

Gale Franey said...

I am still waiting for answers to my 7 questions from February 2nd. Although the 3 Moderators of this blog (Nadia, Jess and Pasha Sadri, Polyvore’s own CEO) screen all comments and don't post our comments until they've reviewed them … they seem to have overlooked these very clear, straight forward questions. Yet I notice that they often leap in to counter comments and to quickly defend ongoing copyright infringement ...

This is because the answers to these questions would put them at a legal disadvantage. By Law, as a registered business enterprise, Polyvore is required to UPHOLD the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and I'm quite certain that answers to those questions would go in direct conflict with the DMCA.

I sent an email to copyright@polyvore.com on Feb 2nd, asking similar questions, along with the list of the 50 copyright infringed images of mine that Polyvore currently has on the website. I am still waiting for a reply (although I did receive that auto-reply saying they would respond within 48 hours). An expedient response to all emails regarding image theft is a legal requirement of Polyvore, as a service provider.

Gale Franey said...

Anonymous ... you said:

" I mean, there are PLENTY of 'all rights reserved' images at Flickr that quite obviously do not belong to the uploader. Perhaps Flickr should shut down because of these blatant violations? "

I have the perfect example of how Flickr takes immediate and swift action against copyright infringement. Earlier today deviantart artists had discovered that a lot of artists’ work had been uploaded by a Flickr member who did not give credit to the artists nor link back to their websites. Someone emailed me links to my art in their gallery.

By evening, not only had the images been removed, but in addition to this, the Flickr member's account had been shut down. I was astonished by the swift action of Flickr Admin. I had merely left a comment on my images asking for this person to put my name and a link back to my Flickr gallery because they hadn't altered my images. I presume other artists had lodged a formal complaint to Flickr Admin. I am absolutely amazed at the swift action that Flickr Admin. took regarding this copyright infringement.

Here are some of the links:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/19327448@N08/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/19327448@N08/3248838639/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/19327448@N08/3249557848/

I have seen the same swift action on deviantart, if someone uploads images that aren't their own, without having permission or giving credit to the original photographer or artist. Within one day their account is closed.

This is precisely what makes those websites different from Polyvore.

Anonymous said...

This is both a tough and simple issue. The simple part is that artists who do not want their work used in derivative works should not have to scour the net looking for people who don't understand the rules. The tough part is that if some kid is making a collage and uses my photos without permission I really am not going to go ballistic, but then i don't make a living from my photos. An example. Someone was using one of my photos on a site that espoused a pagan religious view. As a Catholic when i saw that i asked her to remove my picture and she did. I didn't want my work espousing something i didn't believe in. In another case some Christian kids who were cross country blogging used one of my photos. I let them keep it on their site. After telling them they really had a responsibility to contact me prior to using the image.

The nature of the internet tempts many to believe that the content is free, after all we can tape TV shows that come in over the air waves right? But just like TV if you confine your use to your home it's cool but if you redistribute it then you're in trouble. If you really want to do this then go and buy a clip art collection, or go to one of the clip art web sites where you can get a photo, legally, for a buck. Or before you use the clipper send the person who produced the product an email to get permission. Yeah it's a pain but it's also the right thing to do. In the end you'll get a lot more happiness from doing the right thing, trust me.

Oh yeah I'm sure that the offenders here are by and large great people who just don't understand the rules. But if you work hard at what you do and someone else says "Hey I like that. I'm going to use it without your permission." it's not too surprising if you get a bit miffed.

Gale Franey said...

Two weeks ago I emailed Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's CEO regarding 50 instances of my images being used illegally on Polyvore. I also cc'ed copyright@polyvore.com with the following email:
___________________________

Hello Pasha,

You've ignored my seven questions. I would like answers and I deserve answers, especially since it concerns my artwork that takes me days to create and years to have masted digital art techniques. As you are aware, my images are being used more and more on your website. The problem is not diminishing, but increasing. At last count there were 50 !! uses of my images. That is not a small number, not a mere oversight.

Please answer my questions:

Question 1

On The Official Blog Of Polyvore.com - An Important Note About Copyright, Nadia states that mijori was not the Moderator. I had already been told by Pasha Sadri in an email that he sent to me, that mijori, although not a staff person was "the official moderator on the site". Why is Nadia now saying the opposite? I have asked this question 3 times on the Blog and despite Nadia saying that there are 3 moderators, (herself, Jess and Pasha), not one of these people have answered my questions. Weeks have gone by since I asked it, and I repeated the question several times.
(mijori was the one who was encouraging copyright infringement / image theft and telling us that Polyvore was "parodying" our art and images, and telling us to "embrace the creativity" of these thefts.

Question 2:
Why does Polyvore's Image Library link to non-merchant websites that contain almost exclusively copyrighted images that owners DO NOT PERMIT to be offered by Polyvore from its Image Library for its members to drag & drop freely ?

Question 3:
Is there some commission that Polyvore or these other websites are receiving by fencing / hawking our images?

Question 4:
I have heard from Polyvore members that our images are not actually deleted from Polyvore, but merely hidden. Is this true? If so, why?

Question 5:
What notification / warning do Polyvore members receive when victims of stolen images write to Polyvore to beg to have them removed?

Question 6:
How does Polyvore keep track of repeat abusers and what notification to they receive?

Question 7:
How many abuses does it take before the Polyvore Member's membership is revoked?

Sincerely,

Gale Franey
____________________________

Pasha Sadri ignored my questions and sent me an email completely ignoring my questions. The following is his answer verbatim:

"i am on a trip with limited access to the internet. i will not be checking/replying to messages. pasha"
______________________________

Now 2 weeks have passed and he has not yet bothered to reply. And the image theft persists. I just glanced at Polyvore's image sets and immediately found my images once again:

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/thing?id=5790715

http://www.polyvore.com/world_fairies/set?id=5738375

http://www.polyvore.com/we_heart_it_visual_bookmark/thing?id=3939994

http://www.polyvore.com/in_forest/set?id=4659895

http://www.polyvore.com/the_enchanted_forest/set?id=4215186

http://www.polyvore.com/recogedor_mayo_2008/thing?id=2718304

http://www.polyvore.com/the_enchanted_forest/set?id=4215186

http://www.polyvore.com/thorns/set?id=3797395

http://www.polyvore.com/it_can_not_wait/set?id=5023706

These people's galleries are filled with stolen images, I recognize many of them from my fellow artists on deviantart.com What's most disgusting is that one of these Polyvore members who has stolen my images, has set it up so that I cannot leave a message on my stolen image!!!!!

With one hand, you post these community guidelines for Polyvore members, but with your other hand you offer my copyrighted, stolen images from your own Polyvore Image Library, freely inviting your members to drag and drop them into their sets, without posting any warning whatsoever that the image is 100% copyrighted and that anyone wanting to use it must pay me US$500 for each single license use.

Most sincerely,

Gale Franey
website: www.thegraphicgroove.com

blog: www.galefraney.wordpress.com

Flickr gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/galefraney/

deviantart gallery: http://galefra.deviantart.com/gallery/

tessa said...

hey all

even better though is chicago npr (for those that don't know is public radio) right now 11:42 am cst is interviewing a white house photographer and they're talking about how his images are being stolen. i'm not sure if it's on polyvore but maybe YOU WILL take a hint. listen live

http://wbez.org/default.aspx

big red speaker on top of page. and there should be a podcast online tomorrow.

Marv said...

It would seem that the owners and many members of Polyvore.com are quite ignorant of copyright laws. All of my photos are set to 'All Rights Reserved'. Meaning no one else can use them for any reason without my prior approval.

Polyvore.com gets flickr images via http://fiveprime.org/flickr_hvmnd.cgi

If you read at the bottom of their page, you will read "All thumbnail images come directly from Flickr, none are stored on Flickr Hive Mind. These photos are bound by the copyright and license of their owners, the thumbnail links take to you to the photos (as well as their copyright and license details) within Flickr." I would urge polyvore.com to take corrective action immediately.

Anonymous said...

hi there gayle franey i just want to clear something up. the comment pasha made about midjori (excuse me if i have spelt these names wrong) being the official moderator of the site:

i am sure from what i have read that this means that she is taken to be the official moderator of HER OWN site: ie anything she puts on her own polyvore account is considered to be her responsibility as she is the moderator of her own site.

Gale Franey said...

anonymous, if what you are saying about mijori is true, then that gives some ease of mind, because mijori's statements on copyright were completely incorrect, and totally taunted people whose art continues to be stolen by Polyvore.

Even my email to Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's CEO (and cc'ed to copyright@polyvore.com) has been not been answered, it has now been 22 days !! And by Law, as per the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and as per Polyvore's own company policy, emails and complaints regarding image theft are to be responded to within 48 hours !! Why has 22 days passed with no reply to my very specific questions regarding contined theft of my images?

I believe that Polyvore is afraid to state anything publicly, because it knows that it faces a very precarious legal situation.

Despite me emailing Polyvore regarding 50 !! of my stolen images, which took numerous emails to Polyvore before they were finally taken down ... and just days later, my images are again BACK ON THE WEBSITE !

http://www.polyvore.com/world_fairies/set?id=5738375

http://www.polyvore.com/recogedor_mayo_2008/thing?id=2718304

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/thing?id=5790715

http://www.polyvore.com/we_heart_it_visual_bookmark/thing?id=3939994

http://www.polyvore.com/in_forest/set?id=4659895

http://www.polyvore.com/the_enchanted_forest/set?id=4215186

http://www.polyvore.com/the_enchanted_forest/set?id=4215186

http://www.polyvore.com/thorns/set?id=3797395

http://www.polyvore.com/it_can_not_wait/set?id=5023706

This is beyond upsetting to find my stolen art being offered freely on this website, over and over, never ending.

tessa said...

gale if you haven't seen my comment before here it is:
http://blog.polyvore.com/2008/01/important-note-about-copyright.html?showComment=1235670360000#c2657662218257890897

i was listening to chicago npr and they were interviewing a white house photographer who took the famous image of obama. this other artist, who is well known made tons of money by making an illustration based off this photograph, i'm sure you've seen it:
http://tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:xidthAOz-zFSIM:http://www.hanway.co.uk/images/obama-yes-we-can_04-NOV-08.jpg

anyway, the white house photographer sued the artist and now is getting credit for his image. if he can do it so can you: sue these [expletive deleted]!

more info on the case from npr here: wbez.org

Gale Franey said...

Tessa ... Thank you so much for information about that case and about this issue. I will check out the article.

And today, once again I find my art being used 9 MORE TIMES on Polyvore:

http://www.polyvore.com/gallop_on_horse_woman_energy/thing?id=674014

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=6471200

http://www.polyvore.com/into_wild/set?id=1017445

http://www.polyvore.com/white_horse_rae/set?id=6743589

http://www.polyvore.com/for_you_your_white_horse/set?id=6817411

http://www.polyvore.com/smart_snow_white/set?id=1804961

http://www.polyvore.com/princess_rider/set?id=616021

http://www.polyvore.com/untitled/set?id=801327

http://www.polyvore.com/indian_pic/set?id=983154

These are different ones from the 9 that I listed yesterday, so a TOTAL OF 18 MORE OF MY IMAGES STOLEN BY POLYVORE !!!! And this is after they've already removed more than 50 uses of my images !!!

The links above show many Polyvore members take my art, then stamp a ready-made brush stroke in the corner, then post it AS THEIR OWN !! Then they sit their like complete frauds and take credit and accept all the praise for the art, as though they were the artist !! This particular one I made of my daughter. It has very specific meaning. It took more than 100 hours in Photoshop to create ... that is a few weeks of work, people! (and that doesn't include the time it took to set up the photo shoot, take the photograph, and the years it took to learn and master Photoshop.

Polyvore is making no effort whatsoever to stem this enormous theft, in fact the company is complicit in that it offers up MY Copyrighted Art from it's own image library and it continues to invite its members to freely drag and drop my images into their sets. People, take off the blinders. This is blatant theft. Plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

hey tessa,

i understand that artists need to protect their own work from unfair use that takes money and credit fromt he artist...

but about the case you spoke of above; a well known artist reproduced, without permission, a respected photographer's image of obama in an artwork and then made tons of money from it.... this is so differnt from what is going on in polyvore.

in polyvore the image is not reproduced as art owned by the polyvore user, but rather the image is'scrapbooked'... the layout is the thing...

in no way is the polyvore user ever taking credit for the image they have laid out / scrapbooked..

polyvore sets are not done for money but are rather a hobby, which nets no profit for the polyvore user. so polyvore users are not plagiarising work to be sold as their own. that is not happening. they are simply creating scrapbooking layouts for fun... which is a totally different thing than the story that tessa just told about the artist and the photographer.

i dont know what the rules are for the polyvore team, wether they are breaking any copyright laws or not, by allowing polyvore users to clip and paste images in their sets....

but i suspect that if they really were, they would be shut down by now, judging by the fury of certain artists.

i have to say, the cruel hysterical responses of some artists to some very very small, petty infringements, have drained the sympathy i used to feel for them.

polyvore users have been abused and insulted, called thieves and all manner of ugly things, and often they were not even aware that they were doing anything wrong initially. often when informed of the situation polyvore users are happy to remove pictures from their sets.

it might be the case that polyvore hasn't given enough information to their users that they are not allowed to 'clip' images indiscriminately....

so if you are an artist who is not happy to have your work on polyvore sets, at least keep your conversations with users friendly and cordial, remembering that these users are simply engaging in a hobby, not seeking to plagiarise your work or take money or credit from you... we are not taking an image and reproducing it and calling it our own.

Anonymous said...

napster disappeared but limewire and the like have popped up in its place.

napster dealt almost exclusively in 'electronic shoplifting'.

a song is either bought or illegally downloaded. so its totally clear it's shoplifting to illegally download it.

but is it the same thing for an image?
i guess so. but the problem is that people are totally aware that they are stealing when they download a song, but they are not aware that they are stealing when they 'borrow' an image.

so we need to push the internet community to become more aware of what the real issues are concerning image copyrite.

therefore we need to stop victimising people for not understanding the law and start educating them.

Gale Franey said...

Anonymous ... you are right in that most Polyvore members are unaware that they are stealing the images. This is because Polyvore conceals the fact by offering up copyrighted images from its own Image Library, which it invites members to freely drag & drop these "Items" into their sets, with no warning message regarding copyright. Polyvore IS MAKING A PROFIT from commissions from its merchant sites, and it is our “Items” that keep Polyvore’s Image Library looking relevant, esthetically pleasing, full of cool things for members to play with. Without our “Items”, Polyvore’s offerings would be scant and boring. Polyvore is directly profiting from the continued use of our stolen art and photographs.

It is not correct when you say that Polyvore is only about "layouts". On Polyvore's own Explore webpage http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/explore there is an entire section devoted to "Popular in Art" where copyrighted art such as the ones created by me, owned by me, is freely stolen, a few stick-ems pasted on top, then the Polyvore member takes full credit for "creating" the art, the art's original title and meaning is entirely changed. They DO NOT mention the artist's name, nor do they link back to the artist's website. They fraudulently accept compliments on the art and take complete credit for having "created it". The set clearly says "created by Polyvore member's name".

Polyvore, the company and its staff, make no efforts to enlighten members because they feel confident that they can hide behind the members and allow the members to take the blame and the brunt of victims’ anger, instead of themselves (Polyvore – the company) taking responsibility for this blatant continued image theft, created and encouraged by their own website’s design and interface.

You say you've lost sypathy for the victims because we display so much 'hysterical response' and you would like the victims to be more polite. Tell me, if someone broke into your apartment again and again and stole your belongings over and over, would you be entirely polite, and say to them, "please, dear sir, could you kindly refrain from walking away with my valued possession" ... or would you speak more emphatically?

Besides, the victims of Polyvore's continued theft, are not looking for "sympathy". We are looking for this matter to be corrected and resolved once and for all. If the issue had been fixed, by Polyvore discontinuing to connect to copyrighted image data bases and by posting clear warnings on the Drag & Drop web page, then our responses would have never escalated to this level, and all would be peaceful and cheery on Polyvore.

Anonymous said...

gale,

polyvore members ARE NOT PEOPLE WHO ARE BREAKING INTO YOUR HOME AND STEALING YOUR BELONGINGS. SO THEY DO IN FACT HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT.

IF YOU WANT TO LABEL THE ARTIST IN THIS SITUATION A VICTIM, YOU ALSO NEED TO REMEMBER THAT A POLYVORE USER WHO USES YOUR IMAGE WITHOUT REALISING THAT THE LIBRARY THEY PULLED IT FROM IS FULL OF COPYWRITED IMAGES, IS ALSO A VICTIM WHEN THEY ARE SENT RUDE AND HATEFUL LETTERS.

you do need to retain the user's respect if you want them to sympathise. are you a human being?

i am begginning to wonder where your compassion is when i see your relentless condemnation and demonising of ingnorant users who become, like you, victims of polyovre's policies.

gale you seem to have a lot of time to go onto blogs of all kinds to spread misinformation about polyvore, and worse. (i have seen your name & comments on people's blogs - in some cases you have actually tried to start hate campains against individual polyvore users, attempting to demonise them for your images being used, and blaming them even if they were unaware that there was a copywrite on the image in polyvore's library, by providing links to individual offenders polyvore accounts. one such blog moderator actually deleted this link because he thought it was unfair of you to name names.)

i think it is ridiculous and cruel that a (rightfully) upset artist would name individual polyvore users and attack them in public. you need to contain your anger and direct it to the people who run the site - after all, you have actually stated that you are aware that it is polyvore's fault for not educating their users and for inviting them to clip stuff to polyvore, as if they have special permission to do so.

seriously, grow up and toughen up and fight a fair fight for the things you believe in.

Anonymous said...

when the polyvore community sees that someone has done something 'popular in art', they are looking at the way the polyvore member has embellished and pasted things atop another artwork. they may not know who the artist of the original work is but they certainly know it was not the polyvore user unless the polyvore user stated this explicitly or if the link to the artwork website where it was clipped on has their name in it. even if the list of items contained on the right hand side of the set page doesn't provide a link to the bl**dy owner's site, nobody assumes that the picture was imported by the person who made the art. this site has been called a scrap booking site and this is correct; pictures are always assumed to be imported from a third party not uploaded by the artist.

why do peopel keep insisting that polyvore artists are taking credit for the images they use or uplod?
that is not true. everyone knows we dont make the images,w e just import them.

tessa c said...

ok the last poster towards me obviously doesn't get the points we are trying to make. i read all of your words now read mine.

yes i understand that this is a collage site. the issue is not about the collages themselves. the issue is if and when a marketer will see the potential for this web site (hello, it's FASHION) to pick up someone's "artwork" and sell it to a fashion designer who in turn will most likely put it in a magazine as an ad. or the marketer wants to see this work in an art gallery. now the original photographer who has spent years learning technique in photoshop, weeks setting up the idea, and hours working in the studio or in the field shooting the photograph deserves credit and the money that will go to this ad or art piece in a gallery.


the original polyvore user, will be getting all the money and not the artist whose image she/he "borrowed" from. the only way this can work is if the polyvote user links back to the site she/he pasted from. but polyvore.com doesn't always do so. it knowingly steals and doesn't educate its users about it. it happened with that obama image and it will happen here too because some of the stuff on here are more dynamic collages than others based on a white background. get it now? this is wrong!

galefraney said...

Anonymous, your head is buried in the sand. If you haven't noticed, the collages that are created using my copyrighted art, owned by me, without my permission, on each Polyvore web page, clearly says "Created by Polyvore Member" ... it DOES NOT say, art created by Gale Franey.

My images have been used on Polyvore more than 70 times !! Not even once did a Polyvore member mention "Art created by Gale Franey with a link back to my website". The person who creates the collage, by merely pasting a few stick-ems' on top of my art, then takes full credit for the work, saying thank to people who leave comments saying how beautiful the art is. Not once did any of the 70 Polyvore members who stole my art clarify that the art wasn't created by them. Each and every time they happily accept all the accolades being heaped on the 'art'. This is not only deceptive, fraudulent, but most importantly it’s ILLEGAL according to the very copyright policy (Millennium Copyright Act) that Polyvore purports to follow. This is against the Law. For some reason, if a person were to plagarize a writer’s composition or book, everyone understands that this is not only tacky, tasteless, shameful, idiotic, but also illegal. But for some reason the members of Polyvore do not make a similar connection to taking credit for art created by someone else. Time to take your heads out of the sand people. Pretending not to see or not to understand doesn’t make the theft less illegal.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the 2 comments above.

Gayle Franey said that the sets that are poular in art are giving credit to the polyvore member as if that member made the art themselves.

But we know that the art in the set was not made by the poly artist. The art was clipped or used from the library.

Nobody on polyv. takes credit for the image itself.
It is how you layer the images together that people are commenting on.

So Gayle, it IS true that the layout is the thing.

The very fact that you can see a list of what 'items' went into a set, means that nobody could EVER think that the artwork created on polyvore is made from pictures that were originally drawn or created by a poly artist. It is a given that the sets are made exclusively by layering images together in the polyvore editor thing.

misskittenly said...

I HAVE BEEN READING ALL THIS WITH INTEEST. THIS IS SOME INFORMATION I HAVE READ ON THE ARTICLE: 10 BIG MYTHS ABOUT COPYRIGHT EXPLAINED" BY THE ASTUTE AND ELOQUENT BRAD TEMPLETON

http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

"While copyright law makes it technically illegal to reproduce almost any new creative work (other than under fair use) without permission, if the work is unregistered and has no real commercial value, it gets very little protection. The author in this case can sue for an injunction against the publication, actual damages from a violation, and possibly court costs. Actual damages means actual money potentially lost by the author due to publication, plus any money gained by the defendant. But if a work has no commercial value, such as a typical E-mail message or conversational USENET posting, the actual damages will be zero. Only the most vindictive (and rich) author would sue when no damages are possible, and the courts don't look kindly on vindictive plaintiffs, unless the defendants are even more vindictive."

THAT IS ALL I WANT TO SAY.

Anonymous said...

also gayle, you have de-contextualised what is going on in the polyvore community in order to accuse members of plagiarism.

the people who most often see the artwork that is 'most popular in art' are other polyvore members, who understand that the art sets appearing on polyvore are amalgamations of other work/textures/items and objects found on the net. this is a given.

so at no time is any polyvore user attempting to plagarise your work.
polyvore members take credit for the look of the set. yes some people do very little except stick a few 'pasties' on the picture, but this site still allows people to see the 'ingredients' of the set to see the original artwork. so everyone is able to see that the polyvore member has done very little. it is akin to a kid at school taking a magazine picture and sticking glitter on it and handing it up for art homework. it might look great! but it is totally obvious to everyonethat it is not their work; it is just a magazine pic.
if your pic is used in this way, it might not not have a link on the ingredients list, but it is a given that it comes from another source and isn't actually made by the polyvore person.

to tessa c: you have said
"the original polyvore user, will be getting all the money and not the artist whose image she/he "borrowed" from."
but the original polyvore user cannot get any money from making a set on polyvore.

tessa c said...

"the original polyvore user, will be getting all the money and not the artist whose image she/he "borrowed" from."

"but the original polyvore user cannot get any money from making a set on polyvore."


wow i can't believe i have to break it down for you. no polyvore.com can't give money to it's users collages. but an OUTSIDE SOURCE like an INDEPENDENT ADVERTISING AGENCY representing a fashion designer or a magazine might see a collage through a google search and like it and may contact the polyvore user to draw up a contract to sell it. or if they're more internet savvy go directly to this site and do the same process.

THERE ARE TONS OF ADVERTISING AGENCIES IN THE WORLD TODAY competing for our attention. the advertising industry, as you well know is highly competitive, you can't go 5 feet without running into an ad on the bus, your tv, subway tunnels, sidewalks, people walking around wearing costumes, people attacking you with fliers, radio jingles etc.

maybe anonymous i am giving you too much credit. a large amount of polyvore users are between the ages of 10-17. how old are you? if i need to explain myself better i'd be happy to. but then if you're more towards age 16 or higher you know how to use google. look up words you don't know!

Anonymous said...

tessa c, i am the same anonymous that you just attacked, saying ,
'maybe i am giving you too much credit'.

actually i am 29. how old are you?

your rudeness makes no difference as the point still stands: polyvore users are unlikely to make money from this site. if a f**king advertising agency DID find the user's work to be attractive enough to wish to use in an advertising campaign, the polyvore user and the agency would then have to seek PERMISSION to use the artist's or 'item' owner's work in the advertisement, or otherwise this would be a CLEAR BREACH of copyright because both the advertiser and the polyvore artist would be making money off the collage used in the advertisement.

dont use some far fetched hypothetical situation to try and criticise polyvore.

have you tried printing the sets out? the quality of the images is actually so low that nobody would ever take that image and use it in a serious advertising campaign; it would have to be re done in another design application! the resolution is only good enough quality FOR RECREATIONAL USE.

please don't change your tune now and change your debate just because someone had the audacity to challenge your comments.

i hope you grumpy artists all stop victimising the 13-17 year olds that, tessa c, you just stated that you know full well are a large part of the polyvore user community.

Gale Franey said...

anonymous ... you say that the people viewing the "Most Popular Art" section are Polyvore members. If that is so, then why do I receive emails each week from prospective customers who are interested in purchasing my art, but who are confused and send me a link to my images that have been mutilated on Polyvore, asking whether I'm the original artist or this 'polyvore hack' is. Potential customers sometimes turn away because when they see my work all over the place, cut to pieces, made to look cheap with tacky stick 'ems pasted on top. This completely lowers the value of my art.

misskittenly ... you are quoting some Brad Templeton person, who is merely stating his own opinion. He makes no mention of any specific court cases. Anyone's opinion or speculation regarding copyright would hold just as much weight.

My sole income is made by working as a digital artist / illustrator. This is how I pay my rent and my bills. When people steal my art, especially when they mutilate it, they cheapen the value of my art, which has a direct adverse impact on my ability to survive. Seems like Polyvore and its members don’t care, likely because they realize I’m a living, breathing human being trying to make a living, trying to survive. Instead they just see my words on a page, and think that all these words I’m writing is just some game. Trying to communicate here in this forum takes a lot of my valuable time that should be spent creating art. It saps my creative energy, it makes me depressed.

Regarding the subject of money mentioned by several anonymous comments, POLYVORE DOES MAKE MONEY !!!!! directly by offering up copyrighted images freely from its Image Library. It provides this 'cool stuff' to keep its members interested in using this website. Without this copyrighted content, there would be very little cool stuff for members to put in their collages and they'd quickly become bored with Polyvore's offerings.

This is why Polyvore doesn't speak up about copyright infringement and theft, and instead encourages its members to help themselves to copyrighted content that it connects to directly from its Library. Afterwards, when people like myself become frustrated and irate because my images are stolen over and over and over ... Polyvore stands back in the shadows and lets the members suffer the brunt of this. Polyvore deflects blame from its own shoulders and hides behind its members.

This can clearly be seen in this forum. Nadia earlier stated that both she, Pasha and Jess are all moderators of this Blog, yet they have not once left a comment to clarify copyright, as per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that by Law they are required to follow ... they allow all this confusion to continue, because all the while it does, their pockets are filling with more and more money.

But because the majority of Polyvore members who are teenagers don't really read or understand the actual crux of this thread, they continue to be used as pawns.

misskittenly said...

In response to Gale Franey,

If polyvore's set up is actually taking money from out of your pockets:

If as an artist you are indeed losing money from polyvore's illegal use of your images (your products), I 100% support the fact that you should take polyvore and other sites who are guilty of this type of action to court.

If you are losing money, losing income, this is really unfair and i unequivocally support your right to protect your livelihood.

I would love to see the excerpts from your customers' emails stating that they are confused etc about your work being displayed in an ugly/unsightly way, and evidence that this is actually directly or indirectly losing you sales.

Do you have sales figures? Do you have direct evidence?

Brad Templeton is considered an expert in online copyright issues and is probably stating the same thing that a lawyer would say.
Please Google him.

What he is saying, Gale, is that someone like you may actally have a case against polyvore if you are indeed losing money and a livelihood because of polyvore's misuse/breach of copyright.

I believe strongly in honest dabate and in transparency.

I would really love to see your evidence that you have lost money from polyovore's actions, as i am certain other polyvore users would.

This would help sway people's opinions in your favour and help create a culture in polyvore of self policing against copyright infringements.

If you can actually furinsh proof that this is the case i will be happy to post that information on my sets, with links etc, and help spread the word that this is happening to you.

IF that is the case, everyone should support you to protect your living.

The funny thing is, there aren't many artists who actually have been or felt directly, negatively affected by polyvore so i am suprised by the direct and negative
affect on the sales of your art. Some people, in fact, feel that they have benefitted from polyvore's use of their works, with sales increasing.

There is a lot of talk about negative effects, but the uproar is strangely empty of direct evidence to support people's fear that they may lose sales.

because of my natural sceptisism, I am unsure as to the truth of your claims of loss of income. But I am totally open to my opinion being changed! Maybe it needs to be!

There are too few artists who can make a living from art as it is, and as someone who wants to protect an artist's right to protect their livelihood, I
would be really really happy to use your proof of loss of income to change opinions that are like mine. I don't want to hold onto ideas that are false, that hurt you.

But the problem i have is that a lot of artists' hatred of polyvore seems to be idealogical only.

They dont want to share their images because, well, they don't want to. And yes, they do have the right to feel this way, and polyovore respects that by deleting images that have been illegally copied. But I am just uncomfortable with that idealogical standpoint putting an end to something that is so beneficial to so many users, who use polyvore to share, communicate, and feel close to other people.

So Gale, please, I really want to see the proof that i am wrong (I will feel silly for my sceptisism, and I absolutely promise to endeavor to make sure all of my polyvore friends are able to understand the problems you are having, fully.)

Please don't think i am being sarcastic. it's just that i believe strongly that both sides of the debate should be given all the relevant information in order to be able to view the truth, fairly.

Anonymous said...

To Gale Franey-

It is clear you are grossly exaggerating or perhaps fabricating Polyvore's negative impact on your art sales. One of your primary complaints against Polyvore is that its members use your images without giving you ANY credit. So then, how are these 'prospective customers' able to find and identify your 'mutilated' artwork (on PV) and thus send an you email query? I mean, never mind the complete inanity of suggesting potential clients browse Polyvore for your work- HOW are these people identifying your work, without your name attached to it? And if they can recognize your images on sight alone, then there should be no question that YOU are the original artist, not the 'Polyvore hack'.

I agree that it is wrong and unfair that your images are continually added to Polyvore against your wishes. But is it honestly worth obsessing over? I seriously think you are giving Polyvore too much credit- I don't believe it has as much influence as you are suggesting. Bottom line, your work is absolutely AMAZING, and nothing (certainly not Polyvore!) should distract you from your talent.

Gale Franey said...

misskittenly ... I'm not sure what to make of your words because since January on this thread you have made vigorous efforts to discredit my comments, and also the comments of all copyright owners whose images have been stolen and came to this blog seeking some justice.

I have kept all the emails from people who made enquiries about purchasing prints of my art, but who then see my images in Polyvore and email back to ask who actually made the art. I will give each of those letters to any Lawyer who takes on this Legal Case. I will share all screenshots, images, emails.

I will even give a Lawyer copes of correspondence I've had with Pasha Sadri, Polyvore's own CEO, who has ignored my emails since February 10, 2009, giving me the excuse "i am on a trip with limited access to the internet." (those are his exact words, verbatim). It's now been well over a month and he has still not replied. This goes against the Laws set out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which says that a company is required to respond with 48 hours.

But, misskittenly, why would I hand over this evidence to a person like you, who has tried to rip apart everything I say?

In your comment you make it sound as though other people whose images have been stolen, if they don't have a good reason for protesting this theft, then they somehow don't deserve their images, that others should have the right to steal them. Are you forgetting that there is a Law that says this is illegal? Or are you like so many people in today's society thinking that because you think the Law can't reach you, then it's OK to break it? That's what I call "Bernie Madoff syndrome". People who openly, brazenly, blatantly thumb their noses at the Law because they think no one can catch them.

As I've stated before and will say again, my ability to make a living is being directly impacted negatively by Polyvore allowing its members to help itself to my images. I am requesting publicly, and have requested privately in my emails to copyright@polyvore.com that they cease and desist connecting to ANY OF MY COPYRIGHTED IMAGES online, and that they ensure my images are NOT being offered up from Polyvore's Image Library.

misskittenly said...

gale -

i have not vigorously tried to discredit you. i have vigorously debated your comments.

to put me in with bernie madoff, is hilarious.

because it seems more to me that you could easily be put in with that brand of person who is agressive over their rights to the point where their rights override any kind of practical, decent human behaviour.

i think you should definitely go to the lawyers. because if your story is true it is really important that you have your livelihood back.

but i am not some ruthless, cruel person out to discredit you, i am simply exercising my right to free speech. i simply don't totally believe you. that is all. i do welcome the chance to be affected by the evidence but i don't agree with baseless badmouthing.

Gale Franey said...

misskittenly ... In my regular life, I am not the least bit aggressive. It is only this particular situation that makes me so upset. Even when this image theft is brought to the attention Polyvore staff and CEO and the Polyvore member community, and in light of each person having agreed to adhere to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , they still continue to freely help themselves to copyrighted images.

When people join Polyvore, they are required to click on a Member Agreement Policy, which states that they agree not to contravene any copyright laws .... and yet, both Polyvore and its members openly and brazenly ignore this law because they think that the victims are from outside their country so it would be difficult for an ordinary person l to launch a lawsuit. They therefore ignore the Law.

Communication on the internet is not face to face so people sometimes forget that others are REAL human beings. They develop a kind of callous anonymity (as can be seen by so many of the anonymous comments in this thread) ... they hide behind this faceless facade and behave towards other people in ways that they would NEVER dream of if they were face to face.

I am quite certain that if I were standing face to face with many of the people who have taken my images, or who have condoned it on Polyvore or on this Blog, they would probably behave a lot differently towards me and my images. I doubt if they'd steal my copyrighted images and chop them up and say they’d “created them” if they were standing in the same room.

This lack of caring and this “I am the lord of all I can get my hands on” kind of attitude makes me upset and also makes me very sad. I know of many others on Flickr and deviantart who have sunk into a depression about it, many have locked up their images and galleries and no longer share them online, which means that a lot of brilliant talent and inspiration has been lost, directly due to this kind of theft. This makes me more determined to continue to try to inform people about copyright and image theft, and I will continue until this issue is resolved.

misskittenly said...

I think you are right, Gale, in a way.

I am sorry that my comments have been a bit too agressive. I'm annoyed at myself for getting so worked up about it.

The only thing that I think you are wrong about in your latest comments above is that no Polyvore member EVER takes credit for another person's work, they simply use it to create a set.

But the reason I started to get really angry is that some of my Polyvore friends have been harrassed really cruelly by artists, accusing them of all sorts of stuff.

Most of the people who have been harassed have also been very hurt about it, like your depressed artist friends. And the worst thing is that they often used the images directly from the Polyvore library, not understanding that they had no permission to do so.

I am very sad that the Polyvore that i used to use to create sets about my feelings when I was incredibly miserable and depressed, the Polyvore that was a haven for me and people like me, has turned out to have such ugliness attached to it.

I don't know how I feel about using it anymore. But the thing that really sucks is that neither side is wholly wrong or wholly right.

I do feel strongly that the kind of hysterical, intense reaction that you are talking about - where artists take their work off line and get upset or depressed about it - is not very widely spread.

I have plenty fo artist friends and have discussed this issue with them and their feelings range from not being too happy about the idea to thinking that it would be totally fine. But none of them seemed to have the kind of revulsed, angry, stressed out reaction that you have discussed.

In fact, some of them are quite successful and yet, despite being protective about their work, none of them seemed to be totally angry and furious about the idea of being on a site such as Polyvore.

Likewise, on Etsy, (I buy from Etsy) the discussion about Polyvore seems mostly to be in the middle - artists are either ok about it or cautious/annoyed about it, but only a tiny percentage of the comments are really anti -Polyvore.

It is this small, vocal minority that have made Etsy ban Polyvore's clipper.

However it seems absolutely true that Polyvore users sometimes upload work from sites that have work by people who do not wish their images to be used.

Then the artist unfairly has to put in too much effort to get their image removed.

Other artists are happy to have their images on Polyvore. But it seems like there is little being done to help artists feel that they have a right to choose wether their work is put onto Polyvore or not. And that is of course, the crux of the issue.

Also, there are plenty of sites that actually take/ copy etc work and many of them have received far less negative publicity than Polyvore!

For me personally the only solution is to decide that from now on I will endeavour to ask permission from any artist before I use their work in a set.

I will NOT be using any image that I know to be by an artist, rather than from an online shop selling homewares or fashion etc.

i am now taking an oath that I will not knowingly cause an artist distress by using their image without permission.

Anonymous said...

I have been following this discussion closely for about a year and a half and have seriously struggle with whether I should support or use Polyvore at all. I am an artisan who makes one of a kind, wearable items. From a marketing point of view Polyvore has helped me to promote my site and my creations because of the exposure and increased traffic/sales. That being said, I sympathize and agree with the concerns of photographers, painters and other artists who depend on the authenticity and integrity of their work in order to make a living.

As a responsible member of Polyvore I DO NOT:

-Make sets with photographers work
-Make sets with paintings
-I try not to favorite or comment positively on any sets that are using other artists work if I'm not sure they have permission to use it. All you have to do is scroll down and see where the backgrounds or embellishments came from in the list of individual components of the set.

They are many ways of making creative sets on polyvore without infringing copyright and we must take responsibility for our actions.

I am quite horrified that the Polyvore creators and staff have let this get so out of hand. You are obviously brilliant programmers and creative people as well. Find a technical and fair solution to the problem. Many have been suggested on this blog and other sites. Simply stating that artists should get in touch with you after they have been infringed upon shows a huge lack of responsibility and concern for the reputation of your site and a lack of respect to artists. I know Polyvore is essentially a fashion site, but if your recall that little incident with the yellow and black Diane Von Furstenberg dress that was copied, sold and promptly pulled out of the market by a certain large chain store, you will understand that even fashion designers are loathe to see their work copied and disseminated without their permission.

Gale Franey said...

Hello misskittenly and anonymous,

It made me feel so much better hearing your kind comments. It seems that for the first time on this blog that there is true dialogue with people considering one another's points of view. It really cheered me up.

I understand your point about the nasty comments to Polyvore members. I think some of the artists/photographers don't realize that many of the members innocently drag & drop images from Polyvore's Library, thinking that the images are free for them to use. There is nothing posted to notify them that the images do not belong to Polyvore and that most of them are copyrighted.

I have mentioned many times to Polyvore that this problem could be resoloved immediately if they would install a pop up javascript app. on the Drag & Drop page notifying members that most images are copyrighted and that permission must be obtained from image owners. It is such a simple solution ... but Polyvore doesn't do this because there's money to be made (or saved) by offering other people's copyrighted restricted images instead of purchasing its own stock image library to provide to members.

Polyvore is also completely aware that its members are the one taking the blame, which makes Polyvore feel secure deflecting the blame onto its members.

misskittenly ... you mention other artists who don't mind having their art used on Polyvore, but I doubt if there art is taken as frequently as mine. On Feb 10th I wrote to Polyvore to have 50 !!! instances of my images removed, then again on March 29th another 19 !! then again a few days ago on April 4th, another 5. It was when people began emailing me about the images, and when several asked who the actual artist is ... that is what made me really upset.

Although you say that no member claims the art is theirs, Polyvore automatically stamps the set "Created By" so-and-so, which makes it appear as though the Polyvore member "created" it. On many of my art pieces, the Polyvore member just puts a little stick 'em on top and then claims to have 'created' it. This causes a LOT of confusion.

Anonymous said...

To the people who claim that they are giving free exposure to artists:

Some artists may not mind having their artwork published in different places, but any artists do not want their artwork redistributed or displayed in different contexts.

Please, at least ask the artist's permission or don't use the work at all.

Anonymous said...

Wow with the ignorance to the members of Polyvore. Work that is created by us is already copyrighted TO US. IF you "clip" someone's already MADE PIECE OF ART you are A RIPPER AND A THIEF. You are NOT giving us exposure. No one wants to see our art turned into a backdrop for someone else's art. All of us use STOCK, LOOK THAT WORD UP, that has been purchased and has rules and restrictions so when you use that stock you are not only STEALING from the artist, you are violating the restrictions of the image.

Just because you find it beautiful does not mean you can claim it as your own. A lot of our art has been published in magazines, we don't think it's a compliment that you've stolen it and put some scribbles on it and renamed it that, is not amusing. So if you get nasty comments from the artist whose art you have stolen it's because we can't understand the lack of respect and knowledge you have for our art. There are consequences to your actions. There are hundreds of FREE stock sites and non-free sites where you can download pictures and create whatever you want from scratch but from what I've seen on this site, I'm not sure that is possible from its members.

Stop stealing our images. Download your own. L2 use photoshop. Make your own images.Then you won't ever have to deal with the people you've stolen from.

Anonymous said...

Bella Maria said...
boy, people have too much time on their hands.. whats w/ all the petitions? those artists should be happy that their work is being exposed to so many people like that.. thats what, 440000 potential buyers..? since when is that a bad thing? uhm.. how about: you're welcome!
man, there always has to be that group of people who have to shit all over something new..
i mean i get if someone is upset if privat epictures are being used.. that i get.. that shouldnt happen.. i dont ever wanna see my face w/ my family appear on someone's set or anything like that..
but artists? get real! and thankful!


First of all, there isn't one artist whose art that's been ripped you the members of this site that is thankful and you want to know why?

Because most of us don't need your kind of exposure. Most of us have already been featured in magazines more than once. And not one of us NOT ONE, have use stolen images.

It is obvious that you guys have enough time to go to art sites and communities and click and paste something you find beautiful instead of going to www.sxc.hu and downloading FREE STOCK and create something original. You can't do that? Are you people THAT lazy?

So no Bella, we're not happy or grateful and we want this site to stop with the ripping or be shut down.

Just create your own art. From scratch.

DressyGirl said...

If someone likes your sets or collages, I would imagine there is no problem to get it and put it into its own site or blog or whatever.. :)

Gale Franey said...

BellaMarie ... you say that we have potential of 44,000 sales and that we should be thanking you for the exposure. In the several years that Polyvore and its members have been stealing my images, not a single Polyvore member has contacted me to buy an image.

And how would they know it's mine? The Polyvore member changes the art, destroys it, makes it gaud-awful ugly, puts their own name on it and gives it a different name from the original ... so uh ... please explain again how and why they would buy my art? (and by the way, this is completely illegal, contravenes the DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act that Polyvore is required by Law to follow ...... )

Put your money where your mouth is. How about buying my art? Lay your money down on the table to prove your point !! How many artists' art have you purchased so far? You throw out these silly words with no intention of backing them up with action. Your words are are filled with a lot of helium and not much else.

Anonymous said...

From some random lawyer...keep this shit going, this thread is gold, I have been referring people here all day, primarily for the purpose of comic relief! That, and it's one incredible catfight!

adidasi said...

have good intentions but do not think you will succeed

Anonymous said...

I joined Polyvore with the intent to upload every item in my shop on the site. I love to see what people are doing with my work. There is no violation being made as no one is profiting fiscally from the sets they create. This is a collage site, for fun, people! And a chance for free advertising! I have analyzed my site and found many of my customers are clicking over from Polyvore. Polyvore is a digital version of making collages from magazines as WE ALL DID back in the day.

A note to Gale, oh the wind she blows! LOL!!!! (I crack myself up). At any rate, maybe your pieces arent worth buying and thats what has your knickers in a twist. You spend far too much time creating trite pieces that no one wants to hang on their walls. I've never been this blunt in a public forum before but I've actually read this entire thread and there really isnt any concrete information that the dreaded Gale is blowing out.

She neglects to include the fact that ANYONE can use a certain percentage of ANYTHING. I just cant remember the exact number. I believe that it is between 10 and 20 percent. Thank you Andy Warhol. I also believe it differs from source to source (i.e. music vs. visual art). That is actually how I came across this thread. I'm trying to figure out the exact law and have been coming up with vague contradicting statements. Reading the actual law is just as difficult to comprehend without the use of a Law Degree.

Parbrize said...

Very unfair !!!

Gale said...

First, I want to differentiate myself from the other Gale. Ironically, I'm an artist too (very different style from hers...I checked out her website).

I've done a lot of research into what is ok to use and what isn't. The idea of "di minimus," that you can use a certain percentage of a work without getting permission, is true, but it's vague. No percentage has actually been set down (and if you had a artwork that filled up most of the collage with just a few things put on top of it, as the other Gale said, I think it would probably not be considered a minimal use). I read once about a famous collage artist who used a page from a magazine ad he found in a huge collage (it was a VERY small part of it) got sued by the company or artist who made it (it was somewhere on this very good page for collage artists about copywrite...but I can't find it there now: http://www.funnystrange.com/copyright/index.html). He lost the suit and had to pay up, even though it was an actual piece of printed work and was a small part of the work.

THAT I think sucks. I think under fair use if it's something published that you can buy and you buy it (or find it in the trash like this guy), then you should get to use it however you want as long as you don't make prints of the thing. If someone bought something of mine and used it in a collage, I certainly wouldn't sue them (unless they just added glitter, or something similarly trivial, and tried to claim it was their own).

BUT, as an artist, I think digital works are different. I think you should always ask permission when using a work for a digital collage, since you didn't have to buy anything to use the artwork, and since the very nature of putting the piece in a digital collage requires copywriting it (unlike traditional, "stuff and paper" collages where you actually use a thing to make your work, and aren't actually copying anything to make the work.)

But the cool thing about online is when you find something on an artists blog or website it's usually very easy to find an e-mail or leave a message to contact them to ask permission. Same with poets, writers, etc. I ask people to use things all the time and 90% of the time the answer is yes. Usually they want some sort of credit (like a link back...which Polyvore nicely provides). But speaking personally, even in cases where I'm ok with others using my work, it's just nice to be asked. Gives me warm fuzzy feelings...makes me feel appreciated.

So why not take a few extra moments to ask if you can use something? They might even help you promote what you're doing in return. And if the answer is no, it's better to find out this way than to get sued (or even just piss off an artist who's work you like enough to want to use.

Parisian P.O.V said...

Bonjour! I am flattered that people use my Etsy jewelry on their Polyvore set! Besides I think that's great exposure! What I still need to figure out is why my jewelry doesn't appear in search product? Someone knows about that?

MarielleDeParis said...

Bonjour! I am flattered that people use my Etsy jewelry on their Polyvore set! Besides I think that's great exposure! What I still need to figure out is why my jewelry doesn't appear in search product? Someone knows about that?

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