Tuesday, December 3, 2013

  • I asked Allen Clifton (http://www.forwardprogressives.com / @allen_clifton) to remove an image he had used without credit or permission (commissioned for Bloomberg View)
    here is his response.... 
  • Conversation started Monday
  • Allen Clifton
    Allen Clifton

    We'll gladly add credit to whomever created it, but it's hard to do when there's absolutely no signature or form of reference on the piece itself.
    If you can provide proof that it's yours, we'll gladly add credit and a link back to your website.
    Or once proof is given we can remove it altogether if you'd like.
    But like I said, it's impossible for us to give credit to images when there's no form of reference on them.
    I apologize if this is your work but most likely my editor found it from other sources which were not linked to your site. So again, there's no way he could have known who created it.
    Allen Clifton
  • Leif Parsons
    Leif Parsons

    Dear Allen
    It is not actually my responsibility (or interest) to mark each of my works on the image itself on the chance that someone just decides to rip it off and use it...
    Its existence on the internet, does not make it fair ground for anyone to use it just because they can not find the author. It is your responsibility to find an image source or else by default you can't use it!
    I make my living making and selling these images
    Take a look on my website or google my name and it will be clear that is made by me http://www.leifparsons.com/fast.php
    Please remove it, at this point on principal, if nothing else
    Just as I am sure you would not like it if someone randomly posted your writing on their site because they found it online, I would appreciated the same respect as a professional image maker
    Thanks in advance Leif
  • Allen Clifton
    Allen Clifton

    We'll gladly remove it. I can't help it if you're not intelligent enough to mark your prints.
    And it's laughable you tell someone they're supposed to find the source when there's no reference for the source. It's high-school level drawn cartoon, not exactly something that's in high demand.
    Oh, as for ripping off my work, that's comparing apples to oranges considering MY work actually has MY NAME on it---just saying. Also you can actually Google excerpts from writing to find original sources. You can't do that with random cartoon drawings on the internet.
    We tried to be respectful and apologized for the mix up with your inability to properly market your work publicly. But it's obvious you would rather act like a child.
    Oh, and for the record if you sell your work as you claim and someone bought this piece THEN posted it on the internet for others to use---you no longer own it, they do.
    This image was pulled from a Google link NOT related to your site.
    So in reality, no, we don't have to remove it as we didn't get it from your website. By the way, that link you provided actually doesn't even show that image you're disputing. So we still have no actual proof it's yours outside of, "See, it's similar to those."
    But, because you responded to us like a spoiled child, and we sure as hell don't want one of our most popular pieces to help market you in anyway, we'll gladly pull the amateur image from the article within 24 hours.
    Have a fantastic day.


Arianna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arianna said...


You actually CAN use Google to find the original/most likely original sources for images. Just as you can with text. Go here: http://images.google.com

From there, click on the camera, and either upload the image you're trying to find the source for, or paste the URL if you randomly found the image. While this may not always lead to the original source if an image has been circulating around the 'net for some time, typically with illustrations and the like, it works fairly well.

People using the excuse of "I didn't know who the original source was," with images is ridiculous. You can Google a phrase to find information; guess what folks, you can do the same for images too.

Paul Schmelzer said...

Apropos: http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/nov/26/news-photography-medialaw

Daniel said...

When an artist creates an image for a client that doesn't necessarily mean they own it outright. Usually they only buy reproduction rights.

Allen is incorrect about that part.

Gena said...

The following sites are presented in the spirit of you need to know that there were other options you could have employed to verify the image:

http://www.tineye.com which is a reverse image search engine.

A Digital Journal post on how to make certain you have the right to use images - always assume that any image you find is copyrighted until proven others. To quote the post ""There's no magic language, or statements of 'all rights reserved' required to copyright material," he adds.

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/269368#ixzz2mVvCOgA6

You should also check out http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2012/05/01/finding-images-and-multimedia-for-your-news-project-without-breaking-copyright-laws/

kelly said...


Here - in a similarly themed article from 2012 - is the illustration cited and credited to Leif Parsons

Anonymous said...

Of course you can search for an image with... wait for it... an image search! There are loads of sites and software available but the easiest is Google. This isn't a new thing either.

While it took me two seconds to search your image I found this without an attribution: http://jvnewsnetwork.com/10-questions-every-liberal-should-ask-every-republican/

walkin' tree said...

Thanks, Leif, for posting this. I hope it's widely distributed, as it so clearly illustrates the difficulty artists and photographers face in dealing with this sort of petty theft.

The more I think about this little exchange, the madder I get. Plainly Clifton has issues. The fact that I more or less agree with his politics makes it particularly galling. That being said, someone needs to have a talk with him about intellectual property rights, journalistic ethics, and professionalism. He is woefully ignorant of all three.

Josh McHugh said...

What I love, personally, is when Clifton gets called on his lack of scruples regarding copyright, suddenly the work he stole to represent his article is"amateur"and barely a"high school level"of artistic quality...
But it was good enough to steal and enhance his journal piece and raise the level of his production quality?
Dems suddenly be some mighty sour grapes, eh Clifton?

sanfer said...

Wow. Just wow. Here's all you need to know to not put up an unattributed image: YOU didn't make it, and you don't have permission from the creator. WOW.

Becca Miller said...

Just read this on the Guardian website the other day. They are mentioning photographs, but of course this applies to any image really.....10 bogus excuses people use when stealing photos from the internet

Point number 1 highlights your problem entirely;

1. There was no "copyright" logo or any other watermark on the photo

Copyrights exist by default. A photographer does not have to specify on the photo or the website that the photo is protected by copyright.


Threndalia said...

OMG... you idiots... even at 11 years old my daughter knew to watermark her art and even register it... If this fool didn't perform the preemptive measures to "tag" their work they are an idiot.... You cannot post a pic on the internet and just expect somebody to search you out to give you credit...

Unknown said...

You are too kind, especially when he responds to you in such an insulting way. Watermarks can make things simple, but they are not legally required. If you wanted to, there would have been enough grounds for legal action.

Jennifer Boyd said...

Wow. Allen's response almost made my brain explode. It's common knowledge that you can't publish images, or anything else for that matter, that you randomly find online without getting permission from the source. And then to be so wildly, inappropriately, unprofessionally insulting... I'm not generally a comment-leaver, but jesus, why be a dick to creatives? Who's contribution is the siren song luring your moron target market to your asinine product?