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Copyright infringement on pan0.net

This message was sent out to the webmaster of pan0.net in reaction to http://www.flickr.com/groups/equirectangular/discuss/72157620918068114/

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Date: 2009/7/14
Subject: Copyright infringement on pan0.net
To: <hidden>
Cc: PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, wwp@yahoogroups.com

Dear Sir or Madam,

The IVRPA (International VR Photography Association) as an
international association, represents a large number of panoramic
photographers world-wide and their interests. It has come to our
attention that an user of your site has uploaded copyright protected
content to your website pan0.net, including the work of some of our
members. We would like to point out that copyright is internationally
standardized and must be respected.

Therefore we ask you to remove all images originally marked with "©
All Rights Reserved", before Wednesday July 15th, 2009 at 12:00 noon
UTC. You don't have the right to use these images on the pan0.net
website without prior consent from the authors.

Additionally, we ask you to respect the Creative Commons Licenses by
attributing the images to the correct author immediately, on all
images that where originally marked with "Some rights reserved". Note
that only providing a link back to the originating page in itself does
not constitute attribution, unless the author or licensor specifically
agrees it does.

If you do not meet our demand, we will advise and fully support our
members in their legal actions to have their content removed from your
website.

The IVRPA board of directors,

Donald G. Bain
Carlos Chegado
Willy Kaemena
Jürgen Schrader
Aaron Spence
Matthias Taugwalder
Jan van der Woning

---
International VR Photography Association
http://www.ivrpa.org

»

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Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net

That is the reply of the pan0.net team in reaction to IVRPA's first message from July 14th, 2009.

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Date: July 15th, 2009 18:06
Subject: Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net
To: <hidden>
From: <hidden>

> Dear Sir or Madam,

> The IVRPA (International VR Photography Association) as an
> international association, represents a large number of panoramic
> photographers world-wide and their interests. It has come to our
> attention that an user of your site has uploaded copyright protected
> content to your website pan0.net, including the work of some of our
> members. We would like to point out that copyright is internationally
> standardized and must be respected.

The pan0.net website is a world-wide non-commercial web system specialized in editing,
hosting and publishing of photo & panorama images.
The service is hosted in Bulgaria, EU and currently is in beta state.

As public non-commercial web service we have Terms Of Use which apply to every
registered user in our website (available at http://pan0.net/page.php?page=tos).

First of all we would like that you name the user and/or supply URL link to his/her
profile on our website, so we would know what do you have in mind.
Speaking “in general” is not the best way of solving copyright issues, you can
trust us on that.

> Therefore we ask you to remove all images originally marked with "©
> All Rights Reserved", before Wednesday July 15th, 2009 at 12:00 noon
> UTC. You don't have the right to use these images on the pan0.net
> website without prior consent from the authors.

Second - we would like to point that you cannot ask (or demand) us to remove
pan0.nets users content, unless that content is in violation of the following:
1. pan0.net's Terms Of Use
2. Bulgarian Copyright Law (if not covered within point 1)
3. Europe Union Copyright Law (if not covered within points 1 & 2)

If the content meets the requirements described within the Terms Of Use,
and is not violation against Bulgarian & EU Copyright Laws (Bulgarian laws have priority
over the EU laws as we are hosted in Bulgaria in first place), then it can be hosted
on pan0.net website without any bounds or limitations.
If we remove such content then it would be a violation of our own Terms Of Use and
the content owner can raise up legal charges against our company for not following
the TOS they agreed upon, and which represent the digital contract between us and the user.
Meaning, it has to be proven that there is in fact copyright violation, before you can
ask for (let alone “demand”) any actions against that user.

Third - we would like to know which images you are referring.
As you didn't specified any, we would conclude that you meant all images hosted
on pan0.net website, and that would be wrong.
We have many users which sign up their work and actually host it on our web system
despite the fact that we still work on it and it’s not production stable.
We are pretty sure most of our users don’t know your organization/association and
don’t have any connections/membership with it.
Trying to “represent” those authors without their consent & permission
(let alone demanding actions according their work) is an awful and straight
violation (by your organization) of their human rights and/or Bulgarian & EU Copyright Laws,
as you are trying to become a middle side between two contract sides (us and the users).

Fourth - we made some research about "© All Rights Reserved" marking on the images.
We weren’t able to find any image containing exactly that mark.
Please, supply URL links on our website that contain such marking.

Fifth - as described in Bulgarian Copyright Law, we have in fact the right to show
any type of images/authors’ work as long as we have any type of contract with
the author (or the person pretending to be the author) and users’ registration
(TOS acceptance) does so.
Unless officially proven that the user has no rights over the copyrighted content (and that
content should contain marks as described in Bulgarian Copyright Law) we have
the rights to display that content as described by Terms Of Use (our contract with the user)

Bulgarian Copyright Law
Chapter Three
COPYRIGHT OWNERS

Authors and Other Copyright Owners
Art. 5. The author shall be the natural person whose creative endeavors have resulted in the creation of a literary, artistic or scientific work. Other natural or legal persons may be owners of copyright only where this Law so provides.

Presumption of Authorship
Art. 6. Until otherwise is proved, the author of a work shall be deemed to be the person whose name or other identifying mark is shown in the customary manner on the literary, artistic or scientific work.

Example for proper markings as described by Bulgarian Copyright Law are:
http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=240 (bottom)
http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=293 (upper left corner as a simple text in non-panorama mode)
http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=244 (top & bottom)
http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=245 (bottom)

> Additionally, we ask you to respect the Creative Commons Licenses by
> attributing the images to the correct author immediately, on all
> images that where originally marked with "Some rights reserved". Note
> that only providing a link back to the originating page in itself does
> not constitute attribution, unless the author or licensor specifically
> agrees it does.

Sixth - we are respecting the Creative Commons Licenses and we are
attributing the photo & panorama images to the correct users.
As you can see on our website there are links to the users’ profiles,
personal pages and info. Additionally the user may specify many aspects of
each image they upload, name, tags, description and so on.
We think it’s out of your authority to comment or advise how we design
our web system as you are neither our user nor our company contractor.

Seventh – we weren’t able to find any image containing “Some rights reserved”.
As with the "© All Rights Reserved" issue we strongly advise that you supply
correct URL links hosted on our website, so we can point the problematic
content you are referring.

Eight – speaking of Creative Commons License…
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

You are free:
· to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
· to Remix — to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:
· Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Meaning, if not specified by the author within the content itself or the
source location, it up to the consumer to specify the form of attribution.
Providing a link instead of name is the best way to attribute someone’s
work. What a better way than linking to the author’s homepage?
Also we would like to point that it’s out of your authority to interpret
the Creative Commons License in a way that is best for your organization
needs (or “demands”). The License is what is written, not what you
understand, nor what you “want to be written”. We hope we cleared that
out for you.

> If you do not meet our demand, we will advise and fully support our
> members in their legal actions to have their content removed from your
> website.

As we cleared it above - it’s quite unclear what your demands are.
If your demands are to delete all of the users’ content from our website
(and eventually close it) just because you cannot name the problems,
or show what is the problematic content, or what copyright laws are
violated – then that will never happen.

We strongly believe that you have no authority neither to “represent”
our users which are NOT your members, nor you can ask to remove
their content.
We also believe as you are working in your organization you get paid
to do your job and definitely this e-mail is not what they do
expect for their money.
You didn’t provide any facts, URL links, usernames or whatsoever
to backup you claims, thus turning your claims into real nonsense, totally
out of contents, with zero law value.

It’s good that you care about members, after all that is your job.
As is ours to protect our users content as long as it’s not violating our
TOS and/or Bulgarian, EU Copyright Laws.
We advise your organization for the sake of your members and our
users to try to communicate with the our users that your are referring.
Try to directly solve the problems, with respect and normal attitude.
Even if there are any copyright issues we believe the good manners
are a good start (“demands” aren’t).

If you further investigate the issues and need our website as an arbitrator
on the copyright issues, we would require you to prove that your
members actually own the copyrighted content in the way described
in the Bulgarian Copyright Law:
· Chapter 3, Art. 6 (1)
· Additional Provision § 4 (1)

> The IVRPA board of directors,
>
> Donald G. Bain
> Carlos Chegado
> Willy Kaemena
> J?rgen Schrader
> Aaron Spence
> Matthias Taugwalder
> Jan van der Woning
>
> ---
> International VR Photography Association
> http://www.ivrpa.org

Regards,
<hidden>, <hidden>
pan0.net team

»

Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net

This is IVRPA's reply to pan0.net regarding copyright infringement on pan0.net.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Matthias Taugwalder
Date: 2009/7/22
Subject: Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net
To:

Dear Mr. and Mr.

Thanks for your in-depth reply to our message regarding “copyright
infringement on pan0.net”.

About The IVRPA

First we want to remind you with whom you are dealing. The
International VR Photography Association (IVRPA) is the established
organisation of professional VR photographers. All members of our
Board of Directors are volunteers, so we don’t get paid to write to
you. Since we are an association for professionals run by
professionals, we take copyright issues and infringements very
seriously. This is one of the benefits our members pay for.

Your bending and misinterpretation of copyright is an insult to the
panoramic community. If you look through our list of members, you will
see that we rank among our members some of the key players and
well-known panoramic photographers world-wide. We’ll leave it for you
to decide if your treatment of photographers’ rights will help you to
be taken seriously and establish a reputable website for panoramic
content.

About Copyright Principles

We will try to explain to you how copyright works. The basic copyright
principles are the same all over the world, so there is little
difference between US, EU or even Bulgarian law. But let’s have a look
at those:

- Copyright has been internationally standardized by treaties
and conventions.
- Copyright is a right, granted to you by law, to control the
copying, reproduction, distribution, derivative use, and public
display of your photographs, and to sue for unauthorized use
(infringement) of your work.
- Copyright ownership arises automatically when you create an image.
- It is recommended that all photographs carry a copyright
notice, but it is no longer required by law.
- As the copyright owner, you have to license someone to use
your image before they can legally do so.
- This means that you can’t just take the agreement of the
photographer for granted to use his/her image. You need an explicit
consent for that.

About Bulgarian Copyright

You will probably say now that this does not apply to Bulgarian
Copyright Law, but let’s take a closer look:
Bulgarian Copyright Law (Consolidation), 16/06/1993 (2002),
see http://www.kipo.ke.wipo.net/clea/en/text_pdf.jsp?lang=EN&id=458

- “Copyright on works of literature, art and science shall arise
for the author upon creation of the work” – Art. 2
- "The author shall be the natural person whose creative
endeavours have resulted in the creation of a literary, artistic or
scientific work." – Art. 5
- "Until otherwise is proved, the author of a work shall be
deemed to be the person whose name or other identifying mark is shown
in the customary manner on the literary, artistic or scientific work."
– Art. 6
- “A work may be made available to the public under a pseudonym
or anonymously. Until the identity of the author is disclosed, his
copyright shall be exercised by the natural or legal person, who first
has made the work available to the public with the author's consent.”
– Art. 7 (1) and (2)
- "Moral rights under items 2 and 4 of paragraph (1) of the
preceding Article shall be non-transferable. Transfer of other moral
rights may only be explicit and in writing." – Art. 16

So in fact the Bulgarian copyright is very similar. The basic
copyright principles apply in Bulgaria as in other countries.

Facts

Let’s sum up the facts:

1) You are the owners and responsible people for the pan0.net
website, which hosts panoramic content.

2) You copied “real content” into your website to test your system.
This is what you told one of the members of the flickr equirectangular
group, see http://www.flickr.com/groups/equirectangular/discuss/72157620918068114/7...

3) You did this without any prior information of the photographers
who own the images, nor did you have any explicit consent from them to
do so.

4) Some the images on flickr.com were released under the Creative
Commons license, but additionally to those you also grabbed
copyright-protected images. These were explicitly declared as
copyright-protected “© All rights reserved”.

5) Images under the Creative Commons license are not correctly
attributed on your website with the original flickr.com username.
Correct attribution is requested by the Creative Commons license.

6) You are not even permitted to show copyright-protected images on
pan0.net without any explicit consent from the author.

7) The original copyright owners don’t have to prove to you that they
own the copyright content. Their ownership may be assumed, since those
images have been already published on flickr.com.

Who We Represent

As you said correctly, we can only represent our members in this case.
So far two of our members are affected by this copyright infringement.
Please see below their flickr.com user names and the URLs to the their
stolen works:

aldo - CC Attribution-NonCommercial - http://ivrpa.org/user/1206

- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=114 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aldo/448246554/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=175 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aldo/220894961/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=176 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aldo/220895611/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=61 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aldo/3250494562/

erik-nl - All Rights Reserved - http://ivrpa.org/user/2942

- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=1 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2623086304/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=10 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2633924711/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=101 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/453111322/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=106 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2682803470/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=11 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2624528139/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=122 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/685929595/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=2 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2781869550/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=25 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2813738260/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=33 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/870578880/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=34 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/458131716/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=52 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2797590478/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=6 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2689595987/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=7 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2634755050/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=71 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/686499913/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=8 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2790121887/
- http://pan0.net/upano.php?pano_id=9 vs.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik-nl/2631400119/

You will find attached to this message, their written agreements that
IVRPA may represent them and act in their interest.

Our Demands and Actions

Despite copyright-protected content or content published under the
Creative Commons license, all of our members want their works to be
removed from your website. Therefore we request you to remove the
content (as named above) immediately.

Please note that:

1) a complete (but anonymized version) of our correspondence has
been published at http://ivrpa.org/node/2856 ,

2) a copy of this message will be sent to your hosting provider,
which is according to http://tinyurl.com/lns3ka “Paradise hosting”,

3) a copy of this message will be sent to the IVRPA members,
panorama-related mailing lists (as PanoToolsNG and WWP) and posted on
discussions forums (as panoguide.com),

4) a copy of this message will be posted at the flickr.com
Equirectangular user group,

5) Flickr.com has been informed about this abuse.

6) Furthermore, you have been and will be banned from IVRPA
membership, as long as this copyright infringement on pan0.net
persists.

If you do not meet our demands, we can assure you, that enforcing the
rights of our members in this case will be one of our key priorities
until this situation has been resolved.

The IVRPA board of directors,

Donald G. Bain
Carlos Chegado
Willy Kaemena
Jürgen Schrader
Aaron Spence
Matthias Taugwalder
Jan van der Woning

---
International VR Photography Association
http://www.ivrpa.org

»

Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net

OK I have been in this situation a few times now, one very recently, I documented everything that happened on the below thread and publicly shamed the University who stole my image for a header on their website.

http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=138110 (post 37 for the meaty bit :))

I have done a LOT of research into copyright fraud, and now i know the exact laws that are applicable in the UK, EU and worldwide.
The main ones are

  • That nobody else apart from the copyright holder can report or try to take any proceedings against the person who is using the image. This is also specified on YouTube, only the copyright holder can report a copyright violation, nobody else.
  • You must specify the image, show it being used and who owns the copyright, and all other information that you can provide such as dates it was created etc, none of those have been done in this case.
  • The copyright holder is liable to receive money to reimburse any loss of earnings or damages they may have incurred by the use of the image in question.
  • You don't need to have a copyright sign on the image to have it copyrighted
  • You don't need to register with anybody the image, but it helps if you have provided methods of proving you own it, such as sending it to yourself in a sealed envelope with the stamp on the back over the flap to seal it through the post to yourself, when you receive it back through the post, the frank mark is a good enough seal of a date, this is left unopened until you need to go to court where it is opened in front of a magistrate or judge.

Also the response

Thanks for your in-depth reply to our message

I found very unprofessional, it was obviously aimed at saying they have gone on too much in their reply, they are just answering as fully as they possibly can.

Then you wrote

First we want to remind you with whom you are dealing.

Which sounds like somebody thinking they are part of the mafia and have a huge army of warriors behind you ready to back you up

Then

All members of our Board of Directors are volunteers, so we don’t get paid to write to you.

Why do you need to say this, it doesn't make the IVRPA look like a professional organisation at all, it just makes us sounds like a bunch of geeks who have got together and made a club.

Correspondence should be matter of fact, to the point, indicating exactly what images are affected, where they are, hold screen shots to show them in use, and have no personal comments or opinions at all.

I think it is an amazing idea that the IVRPA are trying to help others, but it may be a good idea left to people who know how to do this correctly as to prevent problems in the future.

Maybe some of our subscription money could be used to pay a qualified legal advisor to write up a template letter and the correct procedure, which members can use in the most common cases we incur, such as somebody using our work on a website without out permission.

This is the letter I drafted after days of legal research
http://www.newworlddesigns.co.uk/temp/copyright-infingement/Tyne_bridge_...

I hope this helps
Ian

www.NewWorldDesigns.co.uk
CMS Systems, Web Design, 3D Animation
www.QuickTimeVirtualReality.com
Object, Pano, Multinode, QTVR, Flash, Java
www.bullettimephotography.com
Fashion, Vehicles, Product Photography, and much more

»

Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net

I know many of us go to great effort to remove the tripod from our virtual images, but situations like this are where a tripod cap with a copyright notice can help.

The "notice" in the image removes any doubt whether there is a copyright and who owns that image

I just updated the "iPIX" cap I've been using so it no longer reads "2004" and made it clear that the copyright is mine not iPIX's.

While "notice" is no longer a techinical requirement of US copyright law, I found that the still photos I have of places on VirtualAlbuquerque.com get "borrowed" a lot less when I remember to put a copyright notice on them.

So far I haven't found any of my photos with the copyright notice anywhere on the 'Net.

I think a big part of it is the "borrowers" don't want to advertise me by using my photo with my copyright notice on it.

And, since they're basicly thieves, they're lazy and don't want to take the time to remove it. A copyright notice in a virtual image would take even more work, software and time, so its even less likely to be stolen.

Enforcing copyrights across international boundaries and oceans is expensive, frustrating and time consuming.

Deterrents to illegal copying like tripod caps with a copyright notice are a lot easier and cheaper.

The thief will just move on to another image with no visible copyright notice.

Douglas Aurand
Albuquerque, NM

»

Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net

Hi Doug :)
Your right it is very good practice to mark your images and tours, this stops any confusion later on and does stop the theft from genuine thieves.

I don't really class what pan0 have done as "malicious" theft, i think they have stupidly taken the best images they can find and added them to the site to give it some credibility.

A bit daft maybe and even unprofessional, but i don't think they have done it in a criminal "theft" way.

Mission Statement
To promote and support the uses of image based VR and related technologies worldwide through education, community forums, networking opportunities, manufacturer alliances, marketing assistance, and technical support of our Member's efforts.

I was wanting to touch on this early but didn't get around to it. One of the main reasons for the existence of the IVRPA is to promote Virtual Tour Photography. It would be great to see some kind of an alliance between the above site (and other sites of course) and the IVRPA, as i love the way it is setup like YouTube so other people can host it on their site so promoting VR tours to a huge audience.

I don't personally mind my images being used if it is on a professional website for photography and not some profitable (or even none profit) commercial website. I do think it is a little bit of an honour that somebody rates your work good enough that they will want to use it as an example of high quality work or their company.

I do agree that the owner of the image should be notified that they would like to use it and not use it until they do receive this permission and of course correctly credit the copyright owner.

To be honest i thought about using my 2 domain names
www.quicktimevirtualreality.com
www.flashvirtualreality.com
to do a very similar site to Pan0, but I just havent the time to build and manage it.

»

Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net

Ian
Nice to "hear" from you.

You're right, it is a backhanded compliment when people "borrow" my photos.

When I've been asked if someone could use a photo, I've always let them as long as I get a photo credit

I haven't had any of the virtual images taken. I think using the iPIX format is stopping that, but unless iPIX/MEV makes a major price reduction for their annual license, I'll be dropping them and switching to Flash with Pano2VR

Time! There just isn't enough of it ;)

Douglas Aurand
Albuquerque, NM

»

Re: Copyright infringement on pan0.net

Hi Doug good to hear from you as well, long time no speak :)

I haven't made any QTVRs for some time now as the Quick Time player is such a mess and so difficult to install for people who aren't tech minded. I hoped with the advent of the Ipods and IPhone using Itunes, this would have changed but it actually seams to have gone backwards.

My PC is a 64bit Vista Ultimate computer, and only when i changed from 32bit XP Pro, did i find that Quick Time doesn't work with Windows 64bit, so there is a huge part of the market that are just not able to see QTVRs at all, including me :(.

Java also has its own problems, for example i have never managed to get it working on my laptop, so that just leaves Flash, which is already installed on most computers and is a simple browser plugin if they haven't which takes 2 mins.

Also unless the thief is very technically minded, it is very difficult to take and modify a flash tour. I know how to do it and I'm sure most signed up members here do, but in general its a lot harder than most other forms of movie such as Java and QTVR.

All the best
Ian

www.NewWorldDesigns.co.uk
CMS Systems, Web Design, 3D Animation
www.QuickTimeVirtualReality.com
Object, Pano, Multinode, QTVR, Flash, Java
www.bullettimephotography.com
Fashion, Vehicles, Product Photography, and much more

»