ET Is Still Being Ripped Off


May 12, 2005
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All,

I know from time to time we've all grumbled about other web sites taking advantage of Phil Hind and ET but what can be done about this? Aren't there laws against taking images and information from the internet without permission or acknowledgement? I think traditional publishing laws should apply if they don't.

What has got me riled up this evening is seeing a picture I loaned Phil (and Phil only) on a site called "Back to Titanic" which seems to deal mainly with The Film. The photo is of Cosmo Duff Gordon. It is my own, from my own collection, and I never consented to its being used publicly by any organization or individual other than Phil and ET. I have tried to post a message to this site's guest book but I found it hard navigating around on it so I'm not sure if it went through.

I know Phil has taken the precaution of digitally marking photos which are submitted to him and featured on ET so I am not at all faulting him. But I am angry that this other site would take photos from ET without permission.

I'm sure my photo isn't the only one that's been "lifted" from ET.

Has anyone any idea what we can do, if anything, to prevent this kind of cyber-robbery?

Randy
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Randy, short of asking a lawyer, I don't have a clue. Unfortunately, you're not the only one something like this has happened to. I recall last year, there was a site put up which was so close to being a clone of this one, I thought Phil had helped the site owner design it and put it up.

As it happened, the site owner helped himself...to Phil's work, ideas. and those of the contributers to this site up to that time!

Stinks, doesn't it? Integrity and honesty seem to be forgotten values any more.
angry.gif


Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Randy,

I have something that might help Phil Hind and ET.

I don't know what the .html code is, but you can make it so that when a person right clicks on any photo, a little window pops up and says, "Copyright PhilHind.com 2001 and NO ONE will be able download or copy or save ANY photos.

Teri

P.S. If you're interested in seeing this occur, email me privately for the web address.
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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I'll ask some of my programmer friends to see if they can be of any assistance. Will get back to you on this.

Teri
 
May 12, 2005
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Thank you Michael and Teri,

I know its nearly impossible to copyright information in itself, which is unfortunate, and I've been told its pretty hard with old pictures, too. Of course if one can prove the data and/or image exists no where else but with the original author/owner, there should be some sort of recourse possible.

Thanks again,

Randy
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Unfortunately this is an issue I deal with as part of my work. Basically it's up to the individual copyright owner(s) to take action.

There are technological protective measures, one of the most common being straightforward scripts that a lot of people use on their sites now to 'right click protect' images. Some sites protect the entire page this way, but with the down side that new windows can't be opened by those who prefer to navigate/multi-task that way. (See any java script library for an example of a free script that can be used with appropriate acknowledgement.)

Apart from that, this is a simplified version of what people I've dealt with have found to work in most cases:

[ul][*]Write politely to the owner/author of the website concerned, requesting that they take down the material, and cc the email to the abuse@ desk of the host site/ISP. [*]Even if the material is not copyright (ie photos taken before 1951), point out that the material has been used without the owner's permission. [*]Most ISPs/free site hosts have Terms of Service that expressly forbid such behaviour, particularly as any infringement may rebound on them. If the site owner/author has not responded to your email appropriately, escalate the request to the ISP/free host site and let them deal with it under their ToS. This step is particularly effective.[/li][/list]
While your own local copyright laws may seem irrelevant to someone overseas, that the web is international is not something to hide behind: there are international copyright treaties that protect most material around most of the world. Legal action is an option in some cases, but in this context is not a realistic step for most individuals.

I realise that Phil's probably been doing all this until he's blue in the face and worn out his keyboard. Sadly, there's a lot of people out there who equate material being on the net with it being in the public domain.

Sigh.
F
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Sorry, a bit behind the times on this thread. (Had too many other windows open, multi-tasking ;-)

Randy - under the laws here, information itself (names, addresses, birth dates, etc) is not copyright but may be subject to privacy laws depending on its age. I take it that this sort of material is not what your comment about data refers to? Do you mean family papers? Or have I misunderstood you?

It is the manner or means by which the information is presented/interpreted that is copyright. For example, all the biographies on this site are copyright protected as 'literary works' (for all the good that does).

In the main, letters passed down through a family are still copyright, a situation not repeated for old family photos except where they are 'artworks' with copyright devolved to descendants. Very mucky. Then there's still the ownership and permission of use issue, of course!

Again, this is under the laws that apply here: 'your mileage may vary'. And it's the variance I'm interested in. How do the laws work where you are?

Fiona
IANAL
 
May 12, 2005
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Fiona,

Thanks a million. Your insight is much appreciated.

You are correct, by "data" I was meaning that which has been gathered through exclusive or private sources (family interviews, letters, etc), but you bring up a point that is a good one - the fact that dates, addresses, etc aren't copyrightable (if that's a word); this is unfortunate, isn't it? Since sometimes for a researcher to gather such info takes a lot of digging. A case in point is Lucy Duff Gordon's birthday, which is also freely given on that other site. A birth-record for her, so far as I know (and Phillip Gowan has concurred), does not exist for whatever reason. So it was through family papers belonging to Lucy's daughter and grandson that her date of birth was finally confirmed. Apart from sharing this information privately with some researchers, ET is the only public venue that I've given this info to.

Anyway, thanks again for imparting your knowledge on this subject. It's a tricky matter. Like in many aspects of the law, it seems that the criminal is aided more than the victim.

Grumbling in Texas,

Randy
 

Steve Santini

Member
Nov 29, 2000
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Hello,
My name is Steve Santini and I own many of the items pictured in the ET "Online Exhibit". Sadly, I have had first hand experience with theft of copyrighted material and I thought I would share my experience so that Phil will see he is not alone in this matter. About two years ago, when the Manitoba Museum of the Titanic was still open and being operated by us, we had a web page which featured pictures of a number of artifacts which were on display in the museum. I was told through a third party that an individual who shall remain nameless had taken some of these images and reproduced them in a newsletter type of publication on Titanic he was selling to subscribers via the web! If that does not take the cake, another "honest" individual took a picture of a section of Titanic Grand Staircase wood we owned and posted it on ebay as if he owned it and started an auction for it! (this was NOT the staircase wood which recently appeared for sale on ebay. The owners of the recent wood being offered for sale own it fair and square). When I contacted ebay to point out that this "auction" being conducted was obviously a fraud and that the person posting it had obviously simply taken a picture of wood they did not own from another website, ebay did NOTHING to stop the auction and merely informed me that since this seller had no negative feedback and they had recieved no complaints about this person in the past that they could take no action! They even had the nerve to tell me that although they would take no action, I should inform them if this should ever occur again!!! At least the photographs of our artifacts we sent for inclusion in the "Online Exhibit" were watermarked by Phil. This should in some way deter dishonest people from using them for purposes they were not intended for. I wish you more luck Phil in enforcing copyright matters than we were ever successful in having. Kind regards, Steve Santini
 

Phillip Gowan

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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Phil H.
I've been concerned to see some of my research that I've freely given to you used on other sites as well--and maybe it is time to make an example out of someone. Pick a major offender and I'll pay the legal expense of filing and pursuing copyright infringement if you're willing to take me up on the offer. If you are successful in such a lawsuit, I think all the details should be made public on this forum and in the future other would-be infringers might just think twice before lifting something from this and other Titanic websites.

We can chat about it further privately.

Phil G.
 
May 8, 2001
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Phil Hind & Phil Gowan. If I am like other E.T. members, we are all outraged at this, and all infringement. Especially of friends. I will be here to back you in any way possible, be it moral to financial support. Just put out the call.
Sincerely:
Colleen
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Jeff Newman once told me that a lot of these digital safeguards (like the "little window" mentioned earlier) can be circumvented simply by turning Java script off. For every measure, there's a countermeasure. If you post, be prepared to lose it. It's depressing, but that's the way it is.

Parks
 
May 8, 2001
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Parks. Come to think of it Jeff was discussing the very same thing with us on the Queen Mary when we were talking about his cache' of photos. I asked him if it couldn't be like a watermarked check, and he mentioned several ways that they could get around it. Sadly, this is keeping MANY from sharing their photos for fear of them being lifted. I'd hate for Phil to have to lock down his site and make it secure just to keep would be thieves at bay.
That story that Steve Santini retold was absolutely appalling, but a valuable lesson about ebay, and reporting negatives so they have some recourse.
Colleen
 
M

martin mc master

Guest
As the issue of copyright has been raised once again maybe someone would clarify the original query I made regarding copyright of the Titanic Inquiry Project.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Encyclopedia Titanica Message Board: Message Board Information: Titanic CD Rom This is the article to which I refer. Any assistance on this matter would be greatly appreciated as I am in the process of not only correcting but compiling a new CD layout for my personal use.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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I know Rob Ottmers did some checking about copyright for the Titanic Inquiry. Rob has this to say about copyright, on the Thanks page:

>Michael Hart - Project Gutenberg - I approached Michael very early on and asked his assistance with this project. From copyright research to their willingness to house an E-Text copy of these inquiries, this group has been outstanding.

More into than that, will have to be gotten directly from Rob. I do remember him saying the copyright issues were all okay.
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Hello Randy,

While I'm in complete agreement about the ethical and professional standards of those who abuse and misuse the research of others - particularly using it without acknowledgement, permission being a lesser consideration - I can't say that I think the basic information itself should be copyright. This doesn't mean I disagree with anything else you've raised.

Just out of interest, could you email me the URL of the offending site? I thought I knew which one it was but it seems I was wrong - unless the combined actions of Messrs Hind and Bigham have seen it ToS-sed already, that is.

Copyright infringement and abuse / misuse of research has affected more people on this Board than I care to think about, not just in their own work. It affects all contributors (past, present and future) to the vast resource of quality historical Titanica that forms ET. Parks stated the reality ('If you post, be prepared to lose it'), but there are ways to make it harder for the opportunist.

I'm with Phil G on this too, but would like to see the ToS method tried first. Leastways that's what works for most of my clients.

Fiona

Martin - FWIW, I've just read the other thread and have responded to part of your question.
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Randy,

I found the site - and your photo of Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon. I ran a 'whois' for the site's registration details, including who hosts them. Please see your inbox for further information.

What I didn't find was your message in the guest book. It seems they did see that and responded, even if it wasn't all that could be hoped for.

Good luck,
Fiona