Alas, it's not I who has embarked on an around-the-world journey. But my photographs travel so far - often quite unwillingly, I might add - it's impossible to predict where they'll end up next!
For instance, remember this photo, taken on a cloudy day in late June, 2009 at the Westerstraat Market in Amsterdam's Jordaan?
Stella Marinazzo has stolen the photo, removed my watermark, digitally sharpened and darkened the colours and added a black border - then posted it on TrekEarth, claiming it's her photo taken in Brindisi, Italy! That's willful and deliberate copyright infringement, as well as theft!
Stella Marinazzo even copied the title "Diversity" and the Algernon Black quote from my original post containing the photo. Talk about nerve!
The Google Image search page for my photo:
Remember this June, 2007 photo of my friend Sophie Pretalat's brocante gems at Bastille, Paris?
Here's the photo's latest incarnation, as a blog banner:
And from the same Paris Parfait post, this person grabbed my photo, posted it on her Flickr page, then claimed the photo as her own!
The company StudyBlue used my copyrighted photo of a Claes Oldenburg sculpture in Philadelphia on art history flash cards that it's selling and marketing online! StudyBlue willfully and deliberately violated my copyright by cropping the photo and removing my watermark.
Since I filed a formal DMCA Cease-and-Desist notice with its site and server host, the company has made the online document featuring my photograph private. However this does not mean the photo has been removed from the flash cards they've produced and continue to sell. I intend to pursue this company via all legal channels for unauthorized commercial use of my copyrighted photo. Not one person at the company has bothered to contact me to try to resolve the matter.
A radio station used my photo of Frankie Dettori riding Authorized to victory in York, England, but removed it after receiving my DMCA notice.
A German site has used another photo from the same series:
And a French site used several of my copyrighted images from Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris, but removed them, following a DMCA complaint.
Another person who's claiming my work as his own via his Picasa album:
Colorado State University-Pueblo used my photo of baguettes in Paris on their website (but removed it, after I filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice. No apology).
Here's a Canadian realtor using my photo from a boulangerie in Boulogne-Billancourt, France to sell a business. My DMCA cease-and-desist notices to both the realtor and the site and server host have gone ignored).
A blogger has cropped my photo of red Chanel shoes at Chanel, Paris and used it in her blog header:
And here's yet another person on Picasa claiming the same copyrighted photo as her own:
Two teachers used my photo of the Liberty Bell and a steam train in York, England on their education websites (but took them down, at my request).
Hey Lady, a clothing company in California has used my photo of vintage French shoe lasts and tapemeasure in the opening slideshow of its business website. Update Dec. 18: The site and server host removed the photo, but I am invoicing the infringing company for unauthorized commercial use of my work.
California Snow has used my photo of melting snow on pine branches outside my Paris apartment on their business website (and thus far ignored the DMCA Cease-and-Desist notice):
The same photo was used without permission by Thompsons Landscaping to advertise its services.
Another company in Rosemont, Minnesota used a photo from the same series for its business website. The photo has been removed, but I've invoiced the company for commercial use of the photo.
The same photo was used in three You Tube videos, which were removed, after I filed DMCA takedown notices.
A man in Spain hijacked my original December 2009 image of a Christmas window display at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York and added a semi-clad female figure:
A company in Russia is using my picture of antique Tibetan prayer manuscripts (that I own) for marketing:
Here's a screenshot of the Google search page showing the same photo, used repeatedly (without permission or credit) on site after site:
Expat Rent Amsterdam used at least four of my copyrighted photos of Delft, the Netherlands on its commercial website. While my photos were removed following a DMCA request, my invoice for unauthorized commercial use of my work - sent eight days ago - has been ignored. I've sent a second invoice and will involve a local copyright lawyer, if necessary.
My photo of a carousel at Boulogne-Billancourt, France on a photo site in Chile:
The company Style.AZ in Turkey has refused to remove my photo of aqua Chanel shoes, despite receiving a formal copyright complaint.
My copyrighted photo of lit candles at Swayambhunath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal is posted without authorization on this site in Japan:
And a Google search shows four pages of sites which have used this photo without permission or credit (on Tumblr alone, it's been reblogged over 10,000 times, with no reference to the original source!)
Despite filing a DMCA complaint and sending numerous emails in follow-up, this "Wedding Dresses Photos" site refuses to remove my copyrighted and watermarked photo of a mannequin in a Paris department store vitrine:
This is just a small sampling of numerous annoying copyright infringement cases I have to deal with on a daily basis (most photographers are facing similar copyright infringement issues). It seems copyright law is a foreign concept to these individuals and sites, no matter where they're located!
It also appears that the simple courtesy of asking permission before using someone else's work has fallen out of fashion. These individuals and companies may find themselves facing legal consequences for their careless attitude of entitlement and lack of respect or regard for original content creators.
Meanwhile, I shall be pursuing license fees from the commercial sites referenced in this post, who have thoughtlessly used my copyrighted photos without authorization or credit.