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dmcaimageThe internet has become a strange place in recent years. Early on, a number of disputes began to break out when someone uploaded something on the internet and the content wound up somewhere else. By this I mean someone would take an article, image, video or other content and use it on their website.

In other words, someone was violating your copyrights.

Congress addressed this issue and passed The Digital Millennium Act or DMCA. The act was meant to come up with a means for copyright holders do deal with those violating their copyrights through what is known as a DMCA complaint.

http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

The problem is that if you have someone who is intent upon having something you published to the internet that belongs to you and you do not have a lot of money to throw around, getting what belongs to removed off of an unauthorized website will be a futile effort.

liartrollCase in point. There is this really strange women in Ohio who has the odd habit of stalking various social media websites looking for photos of those she wishes to stalk on the internet.

This woman then takes photos from these personal websites, even when NOT given permission to do so, Uses image software to alter the images and then publishes them as their own.

Generally it is recognized that the person who takes a photo, writes something or creates something they own is automatically their.

This woman thinks otherwise.

Almost three years ago when I was attending a high profile trial in Orlando, Florida, I applied for press credentials in order to have access to the courthouse. One of the requirements was to provide a photo to the Credentials department of the courthouse so that they could print up a press card.

I used my Nikon digital camera to take my self portrait. I also decided to use the photo on Tagged.com which is an internet dating and gaming website and also used the photo on a number of other websites.

The woman in question immediately went to the website and downloaded a copy of my portrait and started using it on her website in defaming and harassing me in the process.

This is not the first time the woman has done this. She had an ongoing dispute with a Canadian woman and also took copies of the woman’s image and also altered those images as well.

I did some research and found that it is widely accepted among authors, photographers, musicians, and other creators of intellectual property that “if you created it, you own it.”

http://www.copyrightkids.org/copyrightbasics.html

 

“Did you know that whenever you write a poem or story or even a paper for your class, or a drawing or other artwork, you automatically own the copyright to it. Copyright is a form of protection given to the authors or creators of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other intellectual works. What that means is that, as the author of the work, you alone have the right to do any of the following or to let others do any of the following:

–                      make copies of your work;

–                      distribute copies of your work;

–                      perform your work publicly (such as for plays, film, dances or music);

–                      display your work publicly (such as for artwork, or stills from audiovisual works, or any material used on the Internet or television)”

–       http://www.rightsforartists.com/copyright.html

“Copyright:

In the beginning, there is copyright …

An idea comes to the mind of a creator.

The idea takes form. Its form may be a painting on canvas, a pastel drawing on paper, a melody and lyrics recorded on tape, or perhaps a novel penned on parchment.

In the digital world, its form may be a digital painting, drawing, melody or poem … it may be a novel, illustration, web page, software program, or scripting element … all captured on a hard drive.

These are the creative results of an original idea or concept fixed to a tangible medium. Copyright begins here.

Per The Copyright Act of 1976 (effective in 1978), there are three fundamental criteria to establish copyright:

• Fixation to a tangible medium
• Originality
• Minimal creativity

Registering your original work with the Office of Copyright is not required for intellectual property to be protected by copyright.”

http://www.goldenwolfen.com/site/?page_id=232

http://www.gavinlawoffices.com/practice-areas/litigation-negotiation/

Apparently this woman decided that all of those photographers, authors, musicians and LAWYERS are dead wrong.

She seems to think she can do what she damn well pleases and there is nothing anyone can do anything about it.

In this case, she seems to be correct.

The bulk of her content appears on Twitter and twitter does have a straightforward way of filing a DMCA complaint.

In most cases, Twitter will review the complaint and if they see that the content is in violation they will remove it. There is, however, one little problem.

If the content thief decides to dispute your claim, things get a little complicated.

passportphotoShe had the audacity to file a counter claim stating UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that a photo that I took of MYSELF is NOT MINE and that I filing a false complaint.

Say what?

What was even more amazing is that she went on twitter and acknowledged that she KNEW I owned the image but wanted me to PROVE it.

Now THAT is an interesting piece of feminine logic, isn’t it?

Now, the only way to resolve the matter with Twitter, I would have to go 30 miles to Orlando, Hire a lawyer and spend money that I do not have to obtain a court order to put a stop to what this woman is doing with MY images.

Because of that, after 10 days or so of the initial removal of the image from her Twitter page, The image goes right back up.

The woman then mocks my efforts and continues her stalking.

So, what good is the DMCA and copyrights in general if one cannot enforce their rights without being wealthy enough to do so?

People like this woman are now free to go anywhere they please and take what is clearly not theirs and use it for whatever criminal purposes they choose.

I am at a loss as to how to resolve this matter other than to throw in the towel and perhaps file a ripoffreport.com complaint about her actions.

In the meantime it looks like congress should either scrap the DMCA act or look at ways to improve the law so that people can have control over what is rightfully theirs.

Stay tuned

MURT