Manufacturer removed my watermark...thoughts?

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Funtastic
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Manufacturer removed my watermark...thoughts?

EDIT 2: Removed the company name since I don’t want to bring bad publicity to them Smile

EDIT: Maybe I just don’t worry, I was just a bit annoyed when I saw the photos just now and came here to vent lol. I’d still appreciate what people think though.
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I reviewed a flashlight and the company asked for my beamshots, I sent them with my watermark only for it to be cropped and shared on their facebook.

In the agreement “All your photos or videos about our products can be used by us.” but this doesn’t mean they own them and can do as they please, does it???

I’m wanting to know what you guys think, is this okay?

I’m not exactly happy for them to crop out my watermark, it’s there for a reason. Unsure what to do about my review for their headlamp now.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

Edited by: Funtastic on 10/14/2021 - 10:41
tatasal
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Now that this happened, perhaps the next agreement should clearly stipulate possible gray areas.

YuvalS
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IMO cropping your logo not fair. 
Using your photos does not mean edit the photos.

I guess you got the light for free for you review so in case you remove the review you have to return the light....
The best solution IMO is to keep the light and the review but stop reviewing this brand lights or to inform them that you are willing to review products only if they keep your logo on the photos    

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Lumen9000
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I think it’s in the: “All your photos or videos about our products can be used by us.”
I’m afraid. If you dont like what they have done, and you can’t agree upon something, don’t review their stuff ever again.

Funtastic
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Lumen9000 wrote:
I think it’s in the: “All your photos or videos about our products can be used by us.” I’m afraid. If you dont like what they have done, and you can’t agree upon something, don’t review their stuff ever again.

Yeah, I’m not too worried about the ones for the flashlight, but going forward it could be an issue if it was something really decent.

The problem is that very few reviewers take good still photos, it’s more just videos like what Flashaholic/Matt Gill or Charles Bridgtec has.

Maybe I place a near transparent watermark through the middle, this is something that can’t be removed.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

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Lumen9000
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Yes, or leave the really good photos out of the review, have a separate catalogue of the best ones, for sale..

TIFisher
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Did they at least give you credit/mention for providing the shots?

Funtastic
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TIFisher wrote:
Did they at least give you credit/mention for providing the shots?

Yeah, just a thanks Jacob for the photos, but who’s Jacob?? haha.

I’m not going to worry too much. I’m getting better with my beamshots all the time and if I was to take something really good, it just got me thinking about whether I’d be okay with that. I guess that if any other Chinese seller/company is going to use them they’re going to crop it or edit the photo anyway. Usually you’ll see on other brands that they’ve left the watermark intact and/or give full credit in the title

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

Notmyrealname
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Remember who you’re dealing with. With all the theft committed by China over the last 35 years do think they’d give a second thought about doing what they want with your photos?. They don’t share our ethics. Also the fact that they gave you the flashlight for review adds a little gray to the situation. The semi transparent watermark seems like a good idea

I feel sorry for people who don't have a hobby or interest to escape to.

kennybobby
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So you got this flashlight for FREE, didn’t even have to pay shipping.

And you feel wronged because your amateur review photos were modified?

That’s easy—Just return the flashlight and ask them to give your pictures back.

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Funtastic
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kennybobby wrote:
So you got this huge, heavy, powerful and expensive flashlight for FREE, didn’t even have to pay shipping.

And you feel wronged because your amateur review photos were modified?

That’s easy—Just return the flashlight and get your pictures back.

Have a watch of the review that’s already published, took me over 60hrs that did incl editing.

As stated in the comments, it’s not these photos I’m bothered about, but going forward since my photography is improving.

You’ll find that almost every pro photo is heavily edited in lightroom and/or photoshop. They often look like mine before then. I have a pretty expensive camera and sigma lens Smile

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

Funtastic
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kennybobby wrote:
So you got this huge, heavy, powerful and expensive flashlight for FREE,

Where’s this flashlight you’re referring to?? I’ve never been sent anything that fits that description lol

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

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I think tatasal is on the right track. Have a simple boilerplate agreement that you send before accepting a review that spells out your expectations in simple language. Make sure it has been vetted by a native speaker so that there is no confusion about translation.

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Oli
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They gave you something and you GAVE them something. They didn’t tell you what you could and couldn’t do with their flashlight. If you want to put restrictions on what they can do with photos or other in the future then you need to spell that out in clear language that everybody understands BEFORE you accept their gift and terms. You’ve given them the keys to the car. They can drive it however they like. Edit. You can’t take back the miles that they’ve already driven. You can’t erase those dents. You can choose whether or not to give them the keys to the next car.

Funtastic
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Trying to keep brand names off here, don’t want to give anyone bad publicity.

Kenny – it’s not the fact they’re using them, it’s that they removed the watermark. This concerned me going forward as some photos are really decent that I’ve taken in the past. For example, look at this one of the Sofirn IF22A mounted to my drone – http://imgur.com/GAcaKIp

I’d love to hear from another reviewer who takes beamshots.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

MascaratumB
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Funtastic wrote:
Trying to keep brand names off here, don’t want to give anyone bad publicity.

Kenny – it’s not the fact they’re using them, it’s that they removed the watermark. This concerned me going forward as some photos are really decent that I’ve taken in the past. For example, look at this one of the Sofirn IF22A mounted to my drone – http://imgur.com/GAcaKIp

I’d love to hear from another reviewer who takes beamshots.

Well, although I do some reviews, my photos are nothing compared like yours and some other folks here. My cellphone doesn’t allow better.
Also, I don’t do watermarks on them, but I also don’t have a business nor am I a professional concerning reviews.

However, once I had a photo of mine used by a brand in their AliExpress store (they also sent me a flashlight for review), and I didn’t care that much. I normally appreciate if someone gives credit to the work, but I didn’t complain.

So, I cannot give you a definitive opinion, because on the one side you agreed that they could use your photos, but on the other, they removed your mark from that unique photo, which retrieves the credit to your work.

I’d probably ask them to add a link for your review (written or video) so that people can see it in the original context and “follow you” and look for more or your work Thumbs Up

Funtastic
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Going forward before getting any future models of theirs I’ll have a chat with them.

I appreciate the replies.

Btw all these covid lockdowns, mandates etc is stressing me out and causing my business a lot of problems, so can’t think straight and overreact now and then. Taking a 3 week break to try and calm myself from this mental overload

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

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China and many other countries may have signed bilateral copyright agreements with your own country. China has signed such agreements with international organizations, including the World Trade Organization. You should become familiar with the agreements that are still in effect and mention, when you agree to submit a review with photos, that you expect the country of the product seller/manufacturer to abide by those agreements.

You can also send them a statement listing your requirements for doing a review of their product – including whatever restrictions you would like them to respect in using your photographs.

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

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Maybe on your next review, place your watermark in the center of the picture.

Ugly? … Yes. But would probably be impossible to crop out.

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Funtastic wrote:
.

nice photo
no, I do not expect to “own” an image that I post on the internet

who would you say “owns” this image, that I “borrowed” from your imgur and edited myself?

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personally, I consider watermarks really tacky.. thats USA speak for “in poor taste”…

imo I dont “own” anything I post on the internet

but I dont understand how to make money from photos.. so.. if you find a way, more power to you… USA speak for, Im happy for you

NorthernHarrier
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The law in the USA gives the person who pushes the shutter release on a camera the exclusive ownership rights to the resulting photo. That ownership gives the photographer a “copyright” in the photo throughout their lifetime and for 70 years afterward. The copyright applies whenever the photo is placed in a tangible medium, such as the web, or a magazine, or a book.

Under the USA law, the only exceptions to the exclusive ownership rule occur when, either 1) the photographer takes the photo while an employee of another party; or 2) when there is a written agreement between the photographer and another party stating that the photography being done under the agreement is considered “work for hire.” Being hired for one job, or a few jobs, doesn’t make the photographer legally an employee of the hiring party, for purposes of this law.

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

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NorthernHarrier wrote:
The law in the USA

thanks, so, I “own” all the pics I take and post.. cool.. how do I get paid? Wink

fwiw, OP is in New Zealand.. and gave review images to a company in China..

in your opinion, was he injured financially, when they removed his watermark? If so, how does he get paid?

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Damm sure sucks when one steals from another. Just for fun, I DuckDuckGo’d “Watermark Removal App” and boy, there’s a ton out there. Damm look at this list! Top Watermark Removal App

Funny thing is Photoshop is first in that list. 

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Maybe ask them to give you full credit. “Thanks to Jacob Funtastic Studios for the use of his photos”

I don’t like watermarks. Cheezy/Tacky.

Funtastic
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jon_slider wrote:
NorthernHarrier wrote:
The law in the USA

thanks, so, I “own” all the pics I take and post.. cool.. how do I get paid? Wink

fwiw, OP is in New Zealand.. and gave review images to a company in China..

in your opinion, was he injured financially, when they removed his watermark? If so, how does he get paid?

It’s not about getting paid, it’s just an identifier.

What was the point in Lexel, and Texas Ace having their branding on their own driver boards in many flashlights? Imagine if manufacturer’s removed it…

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

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NorthernHarrier
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jon_slider wrote:
NorthernHarrier wrote:
The law in the USA

thanks, so, I “own” all the pics I take and post.. cool.. how do I get paid? Wink

fwiw, OP is in New Zealand.. and gave review images to a company in China..

in your opinion, was he injured financially, when they removed his watermark? If so, how does he get paid?

Whether he was injured financially depends on whether he normally charges others for use of his photos. However, under the US law and under the international agreements to which many other governments are a party, use of any photo not already placed in the public domain by the copyright holder requires first obtaining explicit permission from the copyright holder. If you don’t do that, you’re violating US law and the international agreements, and you are subject to being sued over such a violation in your own country.

China is bound by international agreements and treaties to enforce the intellectual property rights of persons in other countries. In 1980, China became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization. China’s intellectual property laws were enacted with reference to the Berne Convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and also the international Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Other international agreements in intellectual property rights to which China is a signatory include the Paris Convention, and the Madrid Agreement.

Recent trade agreements between China and the United States began a complex, multi-step process of bringing enforcement actions of US intellectual property rights in China’s courts more in line with such enforcement actions in the US. I don’t know anything about the laws in New Zealand, but I would guess that New Zealand is a party to the international intellectual property agreements signed by China, giving New Zealand copyright holders some legal grounds for enforcing their own country’s copyright protections in China’s court system.

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

NorthernHarrier
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chadvone wrote:
Maybe ask them to give you full credit. “Thanks to Jacob Funtastic Studios for the use of his photos”

I don’t like watermarks. Cheezy/Tacky.

Yeah, I would want credit for the photo, even if I didn’t expect to get paid for the use of the photo. Aside from that being the respectful thing to do, it also serves a practical purpose for the photographer. In the past, I discovered people using my photos without my permission, and without my knowledge. That has led me to conclude that I need to use a “copyright” watermark on any photo I care to protect. If you let some people get away with using your work, others will claim the same right – especially when your photos are available on the web for all to see, wherever and by whomever they are posted.

In addition, I have also come to realize that my work (writings or photos) might be edited and otherwise used in ways that I find objectionable or in poor taste. For that reason, also, I choose now to protect the photos I value.

In addition to adding a watermark to each photo during processing, modern digital cameras also can offer another way to protect your images. The camera I use now for photos I might want to protect has a built-in function in its system with which you can automatically add your own name, as the copyright holder, to the metadata in each image.

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

jon_slider
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NorthernHarrier wrote:
use of any photo not already placed in the public domain by the copyright holder requires first obtaining explicit permission from the copyright holder

they asked, and he provided the images

then they removed his watermark.. and used the part of the image they found useful

I see no loss of revenue to the “owner”, so no damages to be recovered..

am I missing something?

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I’ve learned a watermark is useless unless its placed in the photo almost dead center.

Some people like to make it appear part of the picture somehow and I like that but I don’t have time for that.

NorthernHarrier
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jon_slider wrote:
NorthernHarrier wrote:
use of any photo not already placed in the public domain by the copyright holder requires first obtaining explicit permission from the copyright holder

they asked, and he provided the images

then they removed his watermark.. and used the part of the image they found useful

I see no loss of revenue to the “owner”, so no damages to be recovered..

am I missing something?

Yes. The intellectual property laws of many countries often provide for statutory damages, even absent any lost profits from the theft of a particular image. In the USA, a successful lawsuit for statutory damages typically results in the award of between $750 and $30,000 per item misappropriated, plus attorney’s fees. In especially severe cases of copyright infringement, such awards can be enlarged up to $150,000. Most photographers don’t bother with such a lawsuit, and even more would send a “cease and desist” letter before thinking about initiating any suit to recover monetary damages.

Statutory damages in these cases can be greatly reduced if the party sued can prove that they were unaware that they were infringing on a copyright. That’s why a watermark, even if not in the center of an image, is often helpful in enhancing protection against theft of photo images. So is embedding copyright information in the metadata of your images. The use of watermarks and other ways of adding copyright data to images has made using this defense to an allegation of image theft very difficult – and it isn’t often successful. In addition, everyone on the planet knows by now that photos are copyrighted, so it isn’t often a plausible defense.

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

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