Wiki pictures used without permission
Fri, 30 Jun 2006 15:38:23 PDT
On 30 Jun 06, at 7:09, Mary Sue Ittner wrote:

> I came across my picture from the wiki of the plant I was working on a
> commercial German site.

It's the potential for this kind of piracy that has led me to put a 
copyright notice on each and every picture I contribute to the wiki. 
Not that I think this will make a devil of a lot of difference, but 
at least no one can say "I didn't know."

In the interests of not obscuring the interesting part of each 
picture, I keep my copyright notices off in one corner. Of course 
this makes them easy to remove, but such is life.

If the problem persists, it may become advisable for us all to put a 
watermark copyright notice smack across the face of the picture where 
it can't be trimmed off.

This is actually fairly easy to do using masks and selective 
adjustment of hue, brightness, contrast, gamma, or whatever suits 
your fancy.

Incidentally, the website is clearly the brainchild of an amateur 
whose understanding of "usability" is unusually shaky. Among other 
things, the long unindented list of plant names on the homepage is 
totally unworkable, while the site demands you have cookies turned 
on. Whoever built this site clearly doesn't have a clue, not about 
copyright, not about usability, and obviously not about acquiring and 
retaining customers.

In a word, they're idiots and we shouldn't expect anything more than 
a seriously subnormal level of competence -- or is that incompetence?

Those of you who have been victimized and who are in a malicious 
frame of mind may wish to simply send them a notice that your fee for 
unauthorized use of your pictures is X dollars per image, please send 
your payment in US dollars immediately or the bill will be turned 
over to a collection agency for action. I suggest that since the site 
is commercial, it would be reasonable to set X at $500 or so.

Complaints to the ISP that hosts the site may also be in order, with 
the overt object of having the entire site taken offline.

Don't get mad, get even.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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