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This blog follows both my personal and professional life, featuring my children, photography jobs, and of course, my love for animals. It's basically my own personal photo album combined with an information source for my clients. This site is very informal and allows me to share a little bit of my personality with you. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I feel completely VIOLATED!!!

I don't even know where to begin right now. A photographer, Sean Peele - or so called - photographer has decided to steal my images and put them on his website as his work! I seriously don't even know what to say and can't believe someone would stoop so low! Here is the link to his website: http://aglimpseofyouphotography.com/index2.php#/gallery1/2/

33 comments:

alicia said...

That is so nuts!! I wish I knew more about your rights so I knew how to direct you. I'm sure there are laws though. Good luck. It totally scares me with how many photos I put on my blog though. Let us know what happens!

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

Thanks so much Alicia!

Carter Clan said...

Melissa that is horrible... the nerve of people! On the up side (not that there really is one) but it's another compliment to how awesome you're work is that someone would want to claim it.... hope you are able to get it all worked out.

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

Thanks Wendy, I never looked at it that way...leave it to you to look at the bright side of things! :) Thanks!

Natalie Horrocks said...

I learned about this is a business class for photographers. It's copyright infringement and you could take him to court and sue him, if you wanted to. That is so frustrating!!

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

Thank Natalie. I know I can take him to small claims, but is it really worth the hassle? I just wish he would remove the images that he is stealing from others and more than that stop lying to innocent, unknowing clients. Thanks so much everyone for your support!

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

oh no! I have seen this to often in the food blogosphere also. Just keep putting him out there where ever you can, twitter, facebook... maybe we can all gang up on him in his contact section. lol

I will go tweet this right now...

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

How did you find out?
I just googled his photo. name and found this: http://photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/00WGIu

Ginny said...

You should write him at least and ask him to remove them from his site. He shouldn't be using them, copyright is copyright.

Scott Smith said...

Unfortunately this happens all the time. Check out this link for info on what you can do to work with the photographers ISP: http://www.naturescapes.net/docs/index.php/articles/314

Mindy Mae said...

Well...first. Take it as a compliment that he wanted to use your photography in the first place. (Haha)

You can email him, introduce yourself and tell him if he doesn't 'cease and disist" (there are actually templates online) you will be getting a lawyer involved. It's usually enough to get someone who is doing something wrong to stop. Or you can just get a lawyer involved and they will write the letter for you for a fee (usually $50-ish).

This happens A LOT to good photographers- so get used to the process. I'd save a copy of your letter so that you can just ship it off. Also: DOCUMENT everything now, just in case you DO end up in court. Thing like, the day you found it: website, take a picture of it (unless you have a screen-saver like Camtasia), the date you send the letter, if and when they took down the pictures and if they put them back up again.

Do you have a watermark on your photos?

Anyway..let me know if I can be any help!

P.S. this is Nicholette Weekes from Facebook. ;)

Multiple personalities.. said...

Are you kidding me?!! OMG!! That IS very low Melissa, and if it were me, I would be taking legal action. I absolutely abhor people who steal other people's works. I can imagine how infuriated you are, because I would be. I love your work, and know you work very hard to get such wonderful images, and seeing someone else steal from you is just disgusting. Hang in there Melissa, we're rooting for you.

Multiple personalities.. said...

P.S....I forgot to mention, I'm a follower of your blog now, and I'll have a link to your photo blog on my photo blog. Us photo-bloggers gotta stick together right? I can only to be as good a photographer as you one day. :-)

Through Maan's Looking Glass

tami and todd said...

So what do you think you'll do about this, because he has to be put in his place...

roberta_mac said...

Also, contact the BBB with any documentation and if it goes to court. I know before we use someone's services we always check with them.

Maddycakes said...

HI! I can't believe people would do this but it happened to me as well. I own a children's party theme business and another event planner posted one of my parties as her work. I sent her an email and called her on the phone and told her that I was aware of her posting my work as hers. I asked to kindly to remove it or I would take legal action. It worked she took my photos off her website.
Good luck,

Michelle
www.maddycakesmuse.blogspot.com

KS said...

That sucks, I wish I knew how to help. Your photo's are incredible.

Jenn said...

start by contacting the person and asking for him to remove your images from his site. then contact the website provider and tell them that he stole your images. they should shut down the site.

hope this helps

Jenn
http://chancesimtaking.blogspot.com

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

Wow! Thanks everyone for your comments and help! I have contacted him both by phone and through email asking him to remove my image - which still has yet to be removed. Along with a letter to his website provider/host telling them his images are not his...we'll see...It would be awesome if everyone who read this sent him a nasty email...ha ha ha

admin. said...

Melissa, I'm a photographer from SC. I've been in business for a little less than 2 years. First of all I want to say your work is BEAUTIFUL! Is this guy a member of PPA? There may be some recourse to take through them. He is supposed to be practicing "ethically", which obviously he's not. But I'd look him up on their site and see. Also, I understand about the watermark on the image, but have you considered a lighter version of the copyright symbol w/name or date? So sorry you're going through this. I really do love your work! Sheila

Julie said...

So sorry. This is nuts!! I remember awhile back there was a blog who had her pictures stolen. It is called Urth Mama. I don't remember the blog address, but she is a lawyer and could probably help.

Mama M. said...

Oh my gosh...that's creepy. How did you find out about him?????

Weird, I would totally follow up with it!

Jeannette said...

It appears that the link you posted is no longer a valid website. Maybe he heard that you noticed and took it down? I hope that is the end of it and he doesn't try to repost somewhere else.

Jeannette said...

I did a google search of his name and apparently he has been doing this for some time. All links connected to him are down. I hope it means he's been "run out of town"! So so sorry.

Holly Renee said...

I have heard of stuff like this happening but I can't imagine how it feels when it actually happens to you. It is a violation. How awful. I am so sorry. You are very talented.

emptynest4two said...

You must keep after him until he stops. How wrong and for brides or anyone to be duped my him is terrible. He is representing something that he cannot do. You should also watermark/stamp all your photos that you post to your blog.

Holly said...

I am happy to meet you but really wish I was not reading this post. Why do these people do this kind of stuff...it is appalling. When I was planning my own wedding (pre internet days) I interviewed 3 photographer and they all had photos of a celebrity wedding (the same photos) and all claimed to be the photog.

I had a semi-well known wedding planner steal all my literature and use it on the website...it is still there with a few grammatical errors...And this person has been on tons of reality shows.

Everyone has given such good advice...announcement from the rooftops if after asking he refuses to take down the images. Get a bride to post it on one of the wedding chat/message boards too.

Kaylen said...

I think you should start by contacting the owner of that blog, but I think that should only be the start. He probably stole photos from other people too...

I guess watermarks are going to be something you need to look into for the future. Your photos are so beautiful, it's unfair that someone else would benefit from them.

Arizona Mamma said...

It's sorta a sickening anger you feel right? I actually had someone copy two of my posts and post them on her blog as her own work. Not the same thing, but produced the same feeling. I certainly hope you are able to rectify this satisfactorily!

Sskar said...

We can all contact him and report that we are aware of his copyright violation. That would get his attention...

One suggestion is to put a watermark of some sort on your photos - although that ruins the effect - essentially branding them as your own.

Certainly e-mail him, go this BBB route, contact his internet/blog provider about his infringement. Here is a site with suggestions about addressing this through the hosting sight http://www.loriswebs.com/stop-stolen-content.html

Paula said...

Came over from blogfrog and nuts about photography! Well, it would have been nice to meet you on other grounds. All advice has been given already but you shall know I am in your corner. Hugs across the pond.

tami and todd said...

So the news is going to do a story about this? That'd be awesome so that no one would hire him since he obviously can't take the images he claims.

Michael Shawn Keller said...

It is a horrible feeling, I had a guy steal a posting of mine on my blog about "Love" and put it in a column as his own and get paid for it! He did not know it was from my book when my publishers lawyer threatened to sue him personally he backed down, wrote an apology, and cut me a check for damages! Lawyers have a way with words... It turned out nice because I was able to take the money and donate it to a good cause! Good luck and I love your blog (found you through the Blog Frog)!!
Mike
www.lifeinaweek.com