Adventures in Detective Work
All of us are aware of the fact that some cheaters are posting stolen photos on tsu . I'm sure that no honest people want to support that by sharing those stolen posts, but sometimes it's hard to be sure if work really belongs to someone.
Yesterday I saw a gorgeous photo I really wanted to share. The setting is commonly known in English as the Iron Gates of the Danube River. My husband remembers reading about it in his geography books in Serbia when he was growing up. This was a photo of it at sunset. My husband and I both loved it. But it just looked too good to be posted by someone that didn't say anything personal about herself, her profession, or her hobbies. Most professional photographers have that mentioned in their profiles and they watermark their photos. None of this person's photos were watermarked with her name, though someone else's watermark was on one of them. I decided to do a bit of research.
The photo was distinctive enough that there weren't too many to sort through. I finally found it, watermarked, in the “see more” section of Google images. So I clicked and traced it to Pinterest and clicking there took me to the photographer's website. The photographer's website had an email address, so I emailed her telling her I had found her photo on tsu and had reported it as violating copyright . I also asked if she had ever posted her work there under another name and she said she'd never heard of tsu and she never posts anything without a watermark . Both women had a Facebook page and they didn't match. She asked where she could see the post.
I answered her reply by inviting her to join tsu, since she needed to be a member to see the posts in question. The idea was that she could then report the photo herself, and any others I might not have recognized. I told her there was no need to make a profile or be active unless she wanted to and I gave her some reasons she might want to.
She joined tonight and liked a couple of my posts, but she doesn't have profile photos up yet. I told her I hope she will post that photo so I can finally share it and some of her other photos without any guilt. I don't know whether she will decide to be acitve or not. Meanwhile, she can look to see if anyone else on the site are posting her work so she can report them.
I discovered through more detective work that the woman who stole the photo of the Danube had stolen another photo from an organization's website. My email to the address on their website bounced, so I had no good way to report the misuse of the photo. If it's not yours, you have to supply the email address of the one who has the rights to it in order to report it to tsu. I guess that is to avoid false accusations. To report a violation, click the “more” button under the post for the drop down menu.
I haven't had time to find out if any more of her photos are stolen. Tonight I was checking someone else who did watermark, but I still wasn't sure if the photos were his. I looked at hundreds of spider photos, more than I'd ever want to see, and his was not among them. So until I have a solid reason to believe what he posts isn't his, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and watch him. I may even share some of his photos.
I am making a request here. If you see a photo on tsu you know is stolen, please message me there and let me know so that I can beware of sharing anything that person posts. I'm hoping the thief I found will be deleted soon. But I can't guarantee it. The best way to put these people out of business is to report them when we catch them and refuse to follow them or interact with their posts.
Meanwhile, I'm not afraid to share my own photos on tsu. If people plan to steal, they will probably steal the photos from some other sites and just post the stolen ones on tsu. They are more likely to steal them from Pinterest or Google images than from tsu to post them on tsu. They can even steal them from this site. I don't think there is any really safe place to post photos with no risk of theft.
Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved
Image Credit » Public domain courtesy of http://pixabay.com/en/detective-cartoon-magnifying-glass-309445/