Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm impressed with Tripod on paper (Let's see how it plays out for real)

As our case against the art thieves at Cretaceous Studies builds (we've identified over half their victims!), I've been looking into our options for going after them on an overall site basis. While the pictures that feature stolen palaeo-art only make up 7-10% of their overall image content, I'd say nine (at moment) separate violations of different people's copyrights should be sufficient cause for at the very least severe sanction by their host server (and this is not mentioning the other 70-80% that feature no doubt equally illegal movie stills). I'm kind of hoping for an outright shut down of the site myself.

Now in looking into what Cretaceous Studies' host server Tripod has to say on image copyright, I'm actually very encouraged. According to my reading on the Tripod site's terms of service, all Tripod users must tick a box in their image uploader stating they own the copyright to anything they upload. Therefore our thieves at Cretaceous Studies have violated their terms of agreement with Tripod. This also means they should not be able to hide behind satire of parody claims when we go after them.

All I need to do now is contact and rally the affected artists, and once I have them all confirming their copyrights were violated, we can inform Tripod. Hopefully, based on what I've read, it should be a pretty clear cut case with this number of substantiated violations.

That said, this is all only in writing. For all I know Tripod is going to disappoint by not actually actively or diligently acting on its terms of service. So for now I'm on the fence, but soon I hope to have many praises for Tripod and its copyright policies soon!


davidmaas said...

Have the person or persons at Cretacious Studies responded?

Craig Dylke said...

They did to Dinoraul, the first artist I successfully contacted when this all "broke". When he demanded they remove his piece they (appear) to have...

Now I haven't contacted them directly since that point.

My current strategy has been to find out how many people they've ripped off, and see what these victims all wanted to do as a whole (keeping in mind I am one such person due to that photo they took of mine).

The options are pretty simply. We either:

1. All of us individually demand they remove the pieces that infringe on our specific copyright


2. Contact Tripod and have the whole site shut down.

Now I'm pushing for option 2 for two reasons. First and for most their attitude and arrogance in that initial email really ticked me off.

However second reason I think is just as valid. If we don't shut the site down we'll have to monitor it longterm to make sure they don't do it to someone else (or us again). Us having to keep tabs on them gives them more traffic (and they have ads on their site), and doesn't send as powerful a message.

As for talking to or with them, I haven't beyond that opening day as I wanted to sort out the scope of the infringements. I don't really see it being useful coming at them until we have a strong unified case to bring at them...