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idyourbreyer
02-08-2016, 12:33 AM
Most eBay sellers use their own photos of the model they have for sale. They might not be good photos, but at least they represent the model actually for sale. Some sellers, however, will use photos belonging to other people as their own. Sometimes they will call these photos “stock photos” (when they clearly are not) but most often they will claim that these are their photos and that they represent the item for sale. If you do find one of your photos or other intellectual property being used in a stranger’s auction you have two options.

First. Contact the seller via eBay messaging. Be nice, explaining clearly what photo(s) are yours and that they need to be taken down. You can also tell them tell them that what they are doing violates eBay’s policy prohibiting the unauthorized use of photos and text copied from other websites. Many sellers will (nicely or not so nicely) remove your photo without much fuss. I’ve had several sellers do this, claiming that they hadn’t known they were doing anything wrong. :doh

Second. Don’t bother trying to report the auction using the Report Item button in the auction. If eBay responds to this at all it can take months. Go straight to eBay’s intellectual property infringements (VeRO) program instead. You can report the infringement by submitting a Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI) to VeRO. The NOCI is currently located here (https://www.docusign.net/Member/PowerFormSigning.aspx?PowerFormId=2a19462d-d717-4b23-9d60-cb9bed94ccac). You’ll have to state that you are the rights owner--that you took the photo or bought it with the model you purchased, that kind of thing. If you were using the photo with permission but don’t own it yourself you’ll have to have the actual owner file the claim.

Once you have reported the auction (it’s easy, less than a single page of paperwork that you can email to them) eBay acts quickly, usually within 24-48 hours. The auction in question will be removed (even if it has already ended) and the seller will receive a “ding” against their account. eBay won’t close an account for a single violation, but if it happens often enough the account can be suspended or closed. The seller is warned not to do it again and eBay won’t let them relist the auction without significant changes.

This process will also work with other types of intellectual theft on eBay, including text. Sellers are not allowed to “cut and paste” from another site or auction and add it to their own auction, so if you see something you’ve written or photographed in an eBay auction, take action!

One way to prevent this from happening again is to add a watermark to each of your photos that you post anywhere on the Internet. Google’s search bots will find every photo eventually and then they're on Google Images for anyone to find and use. Programs like Photoshop and Microsoft’s Paint will let you manually add your watermark one photo at a time. Other programs will add that watermark to multiple photos at once, something to consider. If you have a lot of photos online it may seem like a lot of effort, but in my experience doing it will decrease or eliminate theft altogether, making it a worthwhile investment.

I hope that you never have to deal with this, but it's good to be prepared.

Janice Cox

ElreniaGreenleaf
02-08-2016, 07:42 AM
Or do what a friend of mine did once and change the photo the ebayer had linked to (but keeping the same URL) to a photo of the asparagus they were having for tea and wait for the seller to quickly take it down. XD

SeaWatch
02-08-2016, 09:22 AM
Thank you for posting that info, Janice.

I have had my photos 'stolen' and used in Ebay auctions on a few occasions, and it is good to know that there is a better way to report these infractions to Ebay.

Mary
02-08-2016, 09:36 AM
Thanks so much, Janice, for taking the time to write up what you have learned and share it with us. We'll make sure this info remains easily available.:tiphat :rays

Faracat
02-08-2016, 10:12 AM
Or do what a friend of mine did once and change the photo the ebayer had linked to (but keeping the same URL) to a photo of the asparagus they were having for tea and wait for the seller to quickly take it down. XD

Genious. :D

Avalon99
02-08-2016, 11:53 AM
Or do what a friend of mine did once and change the photo the ebayer had linked to (but keeping the same URL) to a photo of the asparagus they were having for tea and wait for the seller to quickly take it down. XD

I love it! And now I'm imagining ebay filled with nothing but pictures of asparagus. :)

PixelPerfectStables
02-08-2016, 03:07 PM
Also, I would add that if you're going to add watermarks, I've seen a growing number of people put it on top of the horse, rather than in the corner of a photo. Some people will simply crop out the watermark if they are able to. Putting it over the horse (what they want to have in the picture) will make it harder for people to remove it without fancy software (assuming that's possible?).

Eviejean
02-08-2016, 03:16 PM
Thank you Janice for taking the time to post this. :thumbsup

idyourbreyer
02-08-2016, 03:36 PM
Or do what a friend of mine did once and change the photo the ebayer had linked to (but keeping the same URL) to a photo of the asparagus they were having for tea and wait for the seller to quickly take it down. XD

:lol How funny! I'd be tempted to use photos of my kitty litter box. THAT ought to show them! Most people seem to save the photos to their own drive and then upload them, but this is a great way to fix the rest. Oh, and Google Images works this way, so if you add watermark info to your online photos you don't need to change the file name. Links through to your page will show the new photo right away, and the photo Google Images shows in search will change not long afterward, in my experience.


Also, I would add that if you're going to add watermarks, I've seen a growing number of people put it on top of the horse, rather than in the corner of a photo. Some people will simply crop out the watermark if they are able to. Putting it over the horse (what they want to have in the picture) will make it harder for people to remove it without fancy software (assuming that's possible?).

I'v seen quite a few transparent watermarks done over the model that look very nice. My one suggestion would be to be certain that the watermark is visible to the casual viewer. Some of the ones I've seen have been so small or faint that they are almost not there at all, which sort of defeats the purpose.

I've found that printing the watermark on the edge of the photo can work fine as long as you don't apply it above or below of the model itself. My normal position is just below the tip of the ears and before the tip of the nose or the tail, so that anyone attempting to crop out the watermark will have to crop part of the model as well (or have a non-rectangular photo, I guess). A determined thief could absolutely find a way around most or all of these fixes, but I don't think most want to work that hard.

Mary
02-10-2016, 10:02 AM
Also, I would add that if you're going to add watermarks, I've seen a growing number of people put it on top of the horse, rather than in the corner of a photo. Some people will simply crop out the watermark if they are able to. Putting it over the horse (what they want to have in the picture) will make it harder for people to remove it without fancy software (assuming that's possible?).


...
I've found that printing the watermark on the edge of the photo can work fine as long as you don't apply it above or below of the model itself. My normal position is just below the tip of the ears and before the tip of the nose or the tail, so that anyone attempting to crop out the watermark will have to crop part of the model as well (or have a non-rectangular photo, I guess). A determined thief could absolutely find a way around most or all of these fixes, but I don't think most want to work that hard.

These days, watermarks have become essential, without them one is basically handing out free photos to the people you most don't want to use them. And watermarks do have to be placed where they can't be cropped out, or not easily. :grump

IMO the most serious protection means the watermark is on top of a key part of the image. Pros are doing this and are not worried about obscuring miniscule bits of the photo.

Hopefully watermarking will help ebay sellers find it easier to take their own photos than to steal them. I suspect some of them just haven't learned how to do it, although it isn't difficult these days.

Miss Susan
02-10-2016, 10:28 AM
Thank for the information. :)

Love the asparagus :lol

I know of one blog that was stealing photos and then adding their watermark to the photos. :somad Last I checked, their blog was gone. :)