Pilfered, ‘Robin Hood’ of the web or stealing copyright?

Updated 01 Feb 2010:

“Another source of hope is that it seems it would be pretty simple to get this site taken down. As loyal readers know, I am not a lawyer; I come to this movement as a creator. But from what I know, at least in the U.S. legal tradition, with the Grokster decision and its predecessors, you have no safe harbor under the law if you are knowledgeable of infringement and appear to be actively encouraging it. The photographers infringed on this site shouldn’t have to learn of the infringement and then send a DMCA  notice, they should know that the site can be taken down by the proper authorities. After all, this site directly calls for infringement in its ABOUT section.”

  • Stock Photography leaders are spreading the word and debating the implications of the website

Original post

If you’re a photographer, you should check out this site,  Pilfered magazine. Since it’s launch, it has had an angry response from many in the photography community due to its call to submit images for the magazine, which it then intends to use without paying any copyright. On their about page the site is described as follows:

PILFERED  is a place where artists, photographers, designers, and the inspired can submit their favorite visuals pilfered from the web to share with one another. Founded on the spirit of web democracy, and built to aid in communicating ideas and concepts, PILFERED Magazine aims to assist in speaking the thousand words – visually

The site is urging readers to actively ‘pilfer’ the web for photography that can be used in the magazine. There will be no payment and credit will only be given if a photographer chases it. The site puts the responsibility with those submitting the content. It appears the team behind the site has spent years using content from the web for commercial presentations and now wants to create a place to share the best work, albeit without paying contributors.

The response from photographers to the site has been one of shock and anger. Many of the comments on the About page threaten with legal action. Both John Harrington and PDN Pulse have written about the website. In their comments they point to the appropriation of content without payment and credit.

‘Robin Hood’ of the web or copyright theft. What’s your opinion?

Picture: Stock Exchange | Crowbar |Richard-Dudley

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

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