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Flickr user Lara Jade has images stolen

Flickr user Lara Jade has images stolen - 17 year old Flickr user Lara Jade has had photographs taken of herself at the age of 14 stolen and used on the cover of a pornographic DVD without her consent.

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Flickr user Lara Jade has images stolenLara discovered that her photograph was being used by a company called TVX films for the cover of their pornographic DVD Body Magic. TVX had removed Lara's watermark from her image and added it to a DVD cover advertising the movie as “Hustler's Highest Rated”. After contacting the company she was told by the owner that the cover would be replaced and that her “ten seconds of fame” would soon come to an end, but later discovered her image was still popping up on various sites around the web. When her parents tried to take the matter further by contacting an American solicitor, they were told they would be charged £50,000 just to take the case on.

The discovery comes just weeks after Icelandic single mum Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir had her images stolen and sold to Only Dreemin, a canvas print manufacturer who made thousands using her work. Rebekka contacted a solicitor, who had the prints removed, but she failed to gain any compensation out of the matter as she was not in a financial position to take the matter further.

Yahoo! company Flickr for example uses no watermarks to safeguard images and they can be anything up to 1280 x 960 pixels in resolution, making easy for someone to copy and re-use images without the owners permission. Other similar photography galleries include photo.net, whose images are anything up to 650 x 651, and Photobucket, which contains images of up to 1024 x 768 in resolution. Aside from the photographic based galleries, there are also now many social networking sights which also lend themselves to image theft. MySpace, possibly the most popular social networking site, contains images of 600 x 480, while Bebo's maximum upload are images of 500 x 376 pixels or less.

What can you do to protect your images?
The only way to prevent this happening to you is to either mark your photo in some way, such as with a watermark in a place that cannot easily be cloned out, or only upload low resolution versions of your images. There is also a method of embedding secret codes into images as proof that they belong to you should they ever be stolen. For more information on protecting your images using secret coding, try this Steganography site.

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mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
That is really bad. Can't believe that the solicitor is charging such an outragous sum. If it is a clear breach of copyright, you would have though they would be thinking 'kching!'

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The Telegraph reported the DVD publisher as saying that they could use the picture as she had allowed it to be in the "public domain".

If the DVD is available in the UK then the action might be possible in the UK courts rather than the US. I also wonder if other laws have been broken - a 14 year old girl on a pornographic video box?
Doesn't copyright law cover images even if they are in the public domain? I would have thought they would have done. I wouldn't try to cover my photography book with a Carlos Clarke Image that I'd taken off Google and sell it as my own. It's a relatively similar point.
Its a cracking shot though isn't it Smile
Typical big company shitting on the little person. Hell it is not like it would cost them a fortune to pay for a photographer to do a shoot.
The other one that is getting my goat right now is the amount of companies even the BBC is doing it, that is running a comp and in the small print they own the copyright. It is called image grabbing and it is a bloody cheek to think just cause you enter a comp that they then own your image and it's copyright.
Her parents should contact CNN or any large, New York newspaper and the story would become big enough for all the ambulance chasers here to take the case for far less than the one her mom contacted. This is an absolute disgrace and being that she is underage and being violated in this way, she would have a very strong case. Such a talented, young woman. It's so sad to see something like this happen to her.
mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
I wonder if they have a 'Model Release'?
One, a picture with a copyright notice is NOT in the public domain, you have to remove any copyright for it to be in the public domain.

Two, you need a model release for any use of a model shot.

Three, the use of a model under 18 may break US federal law, or maybe not, not a lawyer.

Four, the company may not be worth much, and as such is not worth suing.

Five, the CNN route sounds fun but on the other hand, does she really want the publicity?

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