I think I always knew this was going to happen. In fact, I caught someone a few years ago that had stolen one of my iphone photos and was distributing it to people that wanted to create composites. I wasn’t too upset about that because it wasn’t a great photo, and it probably wouldn’t have been used for anything since it was heavily edited. At any rate, a simple cease and desist worked.
This recent discovery is much more upsetting. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole that myself and other artists have been delving into the last few days. At first it looked like another poster website selling photographs that didn’t belong to them. A bit of research has lead us to believe its much worse.
I actually found some of your work on their site too. I’ll mention the names in a minute, but I honestly don’t want to give out the website. The reason being that I don’t believe they’re even selling our images. Yes, they have them listed for sale, but this appears to be a phishing website that is set up to steal credit card info. There have been accounts of people trying to buy their own work, with nothing ever being shipped.
I’ve contacted a lawyer, and I’ve made attempts through the website to have my photos removed. The lawyer says there is probably nothing that can be done because the company is located in either Russia or China…its hard to tell, and they keep changing addresses. You’d think something could be done because my logo is clearly on the images being sold. Whats the point if it doesn’t offer any protection?
Honestly, I don’t care if they make a few bucks off of my work. What really bothers me is that they’re using our talent to deceive people and potentially cause major headaches. I know this has already caused me and many others a bit of stress because we don’t know what to do next. The FBI has been contacted, google has been notified of the phishing site, and notifying the department of justice may be next.
Anyways, here are some of you that I searched for and found at least one of your images for sale:
Allan Smorra, Shannon Kalahan, Leanne Cole, Edith Levy, Sally Donatello, Nicci Carrera, Mike Fiveson, Mike Moats, Laura Macky, rumpydog, Maralee Park, Brandon Kidwell, bellanoctis, Meg Greene Malvasi, Angeline Muñoz, doublewhirler, Ben Wurst, Jane Lurie.
I’m sure theres even more.
If you’re on the list and want to know the name of the site, you can contact me and I’ll tell you privately. I really don’t want to drive more traffic to their site and put more people at risk of having their information stolen.