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  1. #1
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    I've been ripped off.

    So over this Christmas break, a college buddy of mine who happens to now live out in CA, sends this picture to me.

    I've been ripped off.

    Some bluegrass band was using a piece of mine (one of my older, shittier ones luckily) without my consent or knowledge. I promptly looked them up and found their myspace page that had the image on it everywhere as well as a URL imposed over it which pointed to myspacelayoutspy.com. I contacted the band asking why they had not sought my permission to use the piece and they said that they found it on this layout site that had been hosting and distributing it. The site is full of appropriated content that they simply justify having with phony blanket statement claiming that if they're notified that content is stolen, they remove it. I wouldn't be surprised in the least bit if any of you guys found your work there. I've contacted them about my stolen piece but haven't received a reply and it's been about four days. Now I was wondering how to go about getting ahold of their webhost. Anyone have any experience with this?

    Also, what should I do about the band who printed my image as well as removed my signature from it?


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  3. #2
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    Send in Chuck Norris. He'll get the job done.

    And if that doesn't work, then contact an attorney (or someone you know who knows legal jargon really well) and them represent you. Point is, try to scare them into taking it down before you really have to go into some kind of court or whatever. Oh, and try registrar.com and see if you can locate their webhost through that.

  4. #3
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    thats a pretty cool poster....you could ask the band to credit you? put a link on their site to yours???

  5. #4
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    Get paid. Demand a fee and say that if they don't acknowledge paying it before a specific date they'll have to take it all down or prepare to talk with your attourney.

    If it was a no-profit band using it at a website, there's no problem just removing the content. These guys are making 5 dollars a pop as an entrance fee to their concert, and somebody's already paid for the printing of the poster so there is some money involved here.

    Ignorance is not an excuse for copyright violation.
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  6. #5
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    I would talk to the band directly while you try to work it out with the asshats that stole your work in the first place. Try to appeal to their own artistic integrity and explain that like them, you expect your creative endeavors to allow you to eat. Ask them how they would feel if they found out someone was using their music to promote their own business venture without any kind of credit or permission from the band. Then ask them to either pay some amount you would feel comfortable accepting from them to use the work (and get something in writing, both to make it all official and to let them know that you're serious about being on the level with them), or ask them to stop using your work for their band.

    Let them know that you understand that they were swindled by this 3rd party site just as much as you were and that you'd like to get it resolved so both of you can be happy. And remind them that, in the future, if they're serious about their band, they should hire artists to make artwork specifically for them, and not rely on "free" repositories of art of questionable repute. I'm sure they would appreciate it if people looking for music asked them directly if they could use it rather than just downloading random songs off the web to use in their own creative works.

    Good luck!
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  8. #6
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    At the very least I would try and get a snail mail address for the band and send them an invoice asap. Give them 30 days and start sending notices after that. And make sure to indicate that their are late fees if they go past the given 30 day pay allotment. That alone will show them how serious you are and how much they fucked up.
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  9. #7
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    Bands really don't make much. I'd say ask for $50 and credit and your website url on the poster or "your family lawyer recommends taking them to small claims court." (this is what's called a bluff) Send them an invoice.

    Maybe send an invoice to the web company too with an explanation. Tell them you will be forced to contact both Google and Design Within Reach (their sponsors) about the illegality of the site's annexation of your intellectual property unless you get restitution. Tell them the matter will be "passed on to my lawyers unless they respond in a timely fashion". Explain to them about the band already using your work, so "just taking down the picture from their site." is not sufficient (stress this point). State that you think your claim is reasonable and the amount of the invoice is "fair compensation". Suggest that this way is easier for everybody, rather than pursuing the matter in a legal setting.

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  11. #8
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    haha go ask your other buddies of yours that live around him.. to help you get your cash back

  12. #9
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    That's f***ing shit.

    Hope it will work out for you, dude.

  13. #10
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    Thats F*cked up. I would be PISSED If someone stole my stuff and used it without my concent but unfortunatly alot of people believe that if it is on the web it's up for grabs =( I don't agree in the least but even if you put it on a page where people cant hit "Save image as" people will still find a way to take the image one way shape or form. MAN I hate people.
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  14. #11
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    (This post based on U.S., not foreign, copyright law and not to be construed as the giving of any specific legal advice.)

    The default statutory damages for an individual copyright infringement are low enough that the geeks in charge of your typical file sharing site might not find themselves overly concerned. They may feel emboldened by the low likelihood that an individual plaintiff can spend 10 or 20 grand for a forensic accountant to establish "actual damages" and the low likelihood that those actual damages will then turn out to exceed 10 or 20 grand.

    Of course if it looked like a potential plaintiff might be able to form up some kind of class action, I'm sure a file sharing website would find such a possibility a lot scarier.

  15. #12
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    Download their music and spread it over p2p networks

    Hope it'll get better and you get some cash for it.
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  16. #13
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    Thanks all. I emailed their webhost a few days ago and still no word back from anyone. hmm.

  17. #14
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    Not so much the bands fault more the website that provided it

    MyspaceLayoutSpy.com does NOT endorse the distribution of copyrighted content.

    Right.......of course you don't.....

  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by N D Hill View Post
    Thanks all. I emailed their webhost a few days ago and still no word back from anyone. hmm.
    Well, if they didn't reply to your previous notice then send a DMCA notice to the webhost. Search for "dmca notice sample" to find some samples. If they don't reply to that one then you can contact Google/Yahoo and possibly MSN - the search engines will remove offending pages, and maybe even the whole site from their search indexes.

    Gennadiy

  19. #16
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    By the way, you can also complain to Google Adsense. MyspaceLayoutSpy violates Adsense terms and conditions - they cannot have somebody else's copyrighted content and Google ads on the same page, and they cannot show popup/pop under ads together with Google ads.

    Gennadiy

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