Chris Craft barrel Back low2Over the past couple days we have published some amazing photos and thought this might be a good time to interrupt a fun day of Woody Boating to do a story on Copyright, Facebook, Instagram and general use of Woody Boater content. AHHHHHHHHH!  So you say, why are you doing this, did something happen? Yes, in fact it happens sometimes daily. We have to spend a ton of time being copyright cops, and generally being the people we don’t want to be. But after swatting flies for the past year, it gets old. So we felt lets just say it all here. This story will also apply to your stuff and how its used on different media channels.

Copyright. So there is a bunch of stuff out there regarding this, but in a nut shell, if you didn’t shoot the shot yourself, you can’t use it without permission from the photographer or Illustrator. Its not just theft, its a federal crime. Artists spend a fortune grabbing images. Camera equipment, travel, time to set up the shot or wait for the special moment, not to mention the years of school, and doing it over and over. Just look at Kent O. Smith Jrs photos and you get it. I cant shoot that stuff. A person that shoots the shot, even if its your mother owns that image. You can go further like we have and register the work. But bottom line, if you did not shoot it, it aint yours. Period!

Directive Copyright Infringement. OK, this one is all over the place, lets say you like a boat here on Woody Boater, so you steal it, place it into your picture or art, and then try and sell it as your art. This happens a lot. For the record, stealing images that someone else shot is NOT art without permission, it’s theft.

Miss-torch

Busted last summer, the Torch Lake image was used for the Lake Geneva Poster. So who owns the copyright on the art? Can he sell these. He did. They did. Was it legal. NO. Were we OK with it. Not really, but it put us in a tough spot, after all the poster was used to help friends, the artist is cool, and if asked, we would have said sure. But that did not happen. So its a little creepy and awkward since it has in some way been a money maker.

Facebook – So when you grab an image and create a group or fan facebook page using those images without permission or respect of the artist, that’s a NO NO. Now, are we talking about you sharing a story from Woody Boater on your facbook page, so its in context and properly covered? No, That’s encouraged. What we are talking about is literally downloading the image and placing it on your site as if it was yours. We have no choice but to report that, or charge you. And Facebook will shut down your site, and we will charge you a fee and legal fees. All our images and content is protected on Copyright.gov and we will go after you. You can read all about Facebook Copyright stuff HERE.

Instagram – This has been the biggest pain in the aft lately. Why? Because Instagram is a far far younger audience, and generally that age group has yet to be educated on things like Copyright and usage. To be clear. YOU CAN NOT USE ANYONE’S IMAGES ON INSTAGRAM WITHOUT PERMISSION! A credit alone is NOT CONSENT. It’s like going into someones garage and stealing the car and once caught, saying sorry, you told everyone its that guys car in the garage. You already used the image to make your Instagram page stronger. This has been an ongoing issue, and we will no longer warn second offenders.  Here is the Instagram Copyright page.

Commercial Use Of images. – We get requests weekly, and are more than happy to oblige and have a network of photographers to help. It will cost, but generally it’s very fair and reasonable. Far far cheaper than shooting the shot yourself, since a daily boat rental for a shoot can be over $2,000

Personal Use. So you want to make a screen saver, great, no problem, but the minute you want to sell it, or post it on your site as such, now you are using that image to promote yourself. NO!  Want to make t shirts and sell them from art found on a site like Woody Boater, that’s a no no, want to paint your walls in your room with Woody boater quotes. Have fun, and get a dictionary. Cause they are most likely not spelled correctly. This is an area that gets confusing, buts simple. The second you use it outside of your personal use, its a crime. Yes, thats right, that album art you like from Iron Butterfly being re purposed as art is a copyright issue, as your desk top screen saver?

Music. Like making a youtube video with the Beach Boys. NO WAY! That’s a major violation since the Beach Boys may not want to be part of your boat restoration. There is Stock Music out there for that reason, in some cases it’s free.

Words – Superbowl is a Trademarked name, you can not use it without paying for it in commercial use. For example if we wanted to do a Woody Boater Superbowl Sale, that’s not allowed, The same goes for Woody Boater. Woody Boater is a Trademarked name. Yup, Just like Coca Cola, Woody Boater is our name and Registered at the Trademark office. You can not cal yourself Woody Boater on a web forum, nor can you start any website using that term.

Hasn’t this been fun. IT SUCKS! I have put this crap off for months. Texx and I are not fans of being this way, but since there are roughly 30,000 images out there on Woody Boater, and its a fantastic source for stuff, its tempting to use it and talk youself into thinking its OK. So sadly here it is. Ruining a fun day that we could be spending drooling on fun images of classic boats, that are copyright protected and you will be electrocuted if you download.

 

Happy header day! Please don’t steal any of them!

 

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73 Responses to “A Long Overdue Talk About Copyright, Facebook and Instagram. Sorry.”
  1. Troy in ANE

    First I can’t imagine anyone altering someone else’s picture than trying to sell it as there own. That is sad.

    Fine lines and menusia are always the real challenge.

    So here is a question I have, regarding simple snap shots. If I take a snap shot, like a couple of years ago on the St. Johns river, than you put WoodyBoater over it, now who’s is it,yours, mine, or ours? (I want to be clear: I was and still am thrilled that you used a picture I took. I LOVE being part of this community and am glad I can contribute in some small way.)

    And what about the people in the picture? They never gave permission for us to post a picture of them or their boat. Is that a problem?

    Reply
  2. Matt

    That photo is yours since you shot it, we were given permission to use it by you sending it to us, and thus we can use it. For example, If you upload an image to facebook, they can use it, they cant sell it, but can use it. So, here is the rub, someone uses this, your image for there facebook page, and you did not. Now Facbook thinks its the other guys image. Here is one we had happen. One kid uploaded an image to his instagram account, and another asked if he could share it, he asked which was right, but the original kid did not have that right , but granted it, BAM. Two violations, and BOTH are liable. What added to the issue is that the last kid is selling stuff off his instagram account, thus using our images to sell his stuff. Now to confuse you more, The ENTIRE site of Woody Boater is protected. We spend a fortune doing it, but if your image is on Woody Boater it should be protected by us and thus you. Honelstly, no one is getting rich ..so far using our images, but the time spent chasing and varifying stuff is costing a fortune, so from now one we are just handing the stuff to lawyers, who charge a ton. And the person violating the copyright, have to pay the lawyer. believe or not, I get yelled at for telling people. Which is strange, since its the nicest thing we could possibly do. Now back to raking leaves like staib said.

    Reply
  3. John Bailey

    There is also the ‘grey’ area of shots taken of a boat with people onboard. Without model releases they cannot be used for commercial uses. There is some leeway for ‘incidental’ use, but privacy prevails.

    While I don’t have the knowledge on this one, the sunset photo of your boat with the name prominently displayed may also be restricted if it ends up in an ad without permission. Again, many pros would seek a release so there are not downstream issues. On the other hand, a photo of you, your boat and many others at a boat show which is published may fall under allowances as a public event.

    Also, the National Park Service has specific rules about commercial photography in national parks-that image showing your boat in front of the Indiana National Lakeshore and sold as an image for a calendar is a no-no!

    Yes, confusion reigns…what happened to the days of Kodak film, the local camera store where you developed the images and having them in the Carousel slide show you showed to family and friends?

    Reply
  4. Greg Lewandowski

    Matt, as an example of how these photos can get around, when I got a newsletter a while back from one of your advertisers, it contained a sunset photo that Marianne took over the stern of Water Lily, and you had used about two years ago.
    I was flattered, not upset, but I contacted the advertiser and they confirmed that it came from WoodyBoater. I really like the photo!

    Reply
  5. Matt

    UGH! Yes, model releases are nessasary and we get them all OKd if the shots are going to be used commercially. Notice that all our ads in the brass bell are released models etc. Also Greg, thats not our policy, so not sure how that happened. NO ONE can use our image without permisiion, and if we are asked, we ask the original photographer and people in it. For example, lets say you were used in an image for Epephanes, and you use Pettit. … Yes.. We just stopped that from happening

    Reply
  6. Rick

    A couple of years ago I ran afoul of this on WoodyBoater by using an internet pic in my reply. Matt caught it in time though and it was never used. Thanks Matt, I don’t think I’d thrive behind bars. If using the image is a Federal offence it might be better to steal the actual boat and face a lesser crime? Hmmm, I’m feeling the need for a Gar Wood ride. I promise to put it back though so I don’t have to do the maintenance.

    Reply
  7. Dennis Spillane

    Michele and I were thrilled to have the original picture on WB. The back story how Matt got the shot from the water shows the amount of effort that was put into getting it just right. I witnessed this same effort for 3hours with Hagerty’s contracted photographer to get the shot of our Commuter on Torch Lake that used in their ads. Of course there was releases signed. These were both examples of photos that were not just random shots. It would be nice to get a copy of the poster to frame at least. We never heard from anyone. Michele wants a cocktail for having a bad hair day in the public domain!

    Reply
    • Matt

      HA! It was a crazy day that harvested some amazing photos. And if that was a bad hair day, WOW. You guys are the best models so far. I just spoke with Matt B who explained the entire back story of how Neil got the shot for the poster. All inocent and of course all right since it was all in the family. Its just a fun illustration..get it.. illustration of how stuff happens

      Reply
  8. Sunday Funday

    I get that there are unpleasant aspects to running WoodyBoater, but know that there are many of us who do not speak up often that are VERY happy that you put forth the effort everyday. I have been a boater for many years, but don’t have a wood boat…yet. This site is my fix for varnished wood and a good portion of the reason I want one.
    Thanks for putting up with the unpleasant stuff in order to bring us the good stuff!
    Scott.
    P.S. Was I allowed to use WoodyBoater in my post? 🙂

    Reply
  9. Dennis Mykols

    Like Greg, I also found a picture of Lyman Tyme on the poster promoting this years Antique Boat Museum’s August show, featuring Lyman’s. When I saw the big 5 foot banner, which I now have, and asked the Marketing director where he found that picture, he said on pinterest. He did not know it was our boat, he just liked the action shot, which just so happened to be taken by my favorite photo guys, on Lake Dora!!!
    They took Matt’s picture, then did an oil painting of it for the poster and sold tons of posters. Matt, did you event know about this one?
    Before today, I did not see anything wrong, so I never said anything. Thanks for educating all of us laymen (not Lyman) as to all the issues around images taken of our toys.

    Reply
  10. Dennis Mykols

    The picture below is the one Matt and Texx took on Lake Dora, which then was found on pinterest and altered to appear on this 4 foot banner that the Antique Boat Museum had on display at the Sept 2014 N.Y. ACBS event.
    They then had an artist paint an image from this picture for the final poster, which they sold at their event this past August.

    Reply
    • Matt

      Yes, Dennis, that is a classic case of a directive copyright infringement. Here is how it happens, We shoot the shot, so in a strange way, even though its your boat, and you in the shot, and your wife on the floor after she fell over. The shot belongs to the photographer, not you. So The Museum asks you for a shot, you send it. THEY should have asked who the photographer was. THEN asked us for permission. The same if a book wanted to publish it. Its all innocent, but sadly ignorance of the law is not excusable. It does keep me up at night, is there something on WB that is a copyright violation in its self. We try, we try very hard to avoid it. And when we find it, we just delete it ASAP. There have been a couple over the years and its embarresing. Like Kent said, its a respect thing.

      Reply
      • Matt

        By the way Dennis the Pinterest excuse is beyond weak since all Pinterest images are linked to the origin. Woodyboater.

        Reply
  11. Sean

    Interesting. So, in a non commercial setting, posting a picture on the internet in a public domain does not imply permission for use; while an e-mail to a person that posts on a public domain does constitute permission?

    I think to be safe I’ll just post pictures of my boat regardless of the subject at hand.

    Reply
    • Chris

      The photo on our Southern Comfort home page showed up in a dozen gift shops in the Bahanas last year.

      Honored or appalled?

      We just said your welcome. Actually pretty nice coffee cups we bought four.

      Reply
  12. Kent O

    When you distill it down, taking someone’s photo(s) without permission is just a lack of respect for that individual.

    Some of us spend thousands and thousands of dollars on equipment and travel trying to get that killer shot. Others simply snap a great capture with their cell phone. Either way, respecting that person’s intellectual property is the right thing to do.

    Recently, an individual that frequents the comment section on WB asked me if he could use one of my photos for his personal FB page and would happily credit it. I gave him permission. Not only did he credit me, but he wrote a post praising my work and a link to my photography site. That’s first class, that’s respect.

    Sure I enjoy selling some photos along the way, it helps pay for gear or travel. I also love classic boats and enjoy sharing my vision of them with the boating community. And I always appreciate respect.

    Reply
  13. Nautilus

    Timely topic. For the second time in the ACBS Rudder magazine, Hennen Engine Rebuilders has used my photo of a Chris Craft ML engine that I rebuilt in their display ad. Beneath my photo it reads, “Experience Hennen Quality.” My original photo can be seen at: http://www.nautilusrestorations.com/beforeandafter.html

    I have contacted ACBS about this (for the second time) and hopefully the situation will be corrected prior to the publication of the next issue.

    Regardless of whether Hennen is using my photo or someone else’s, their obvious claim is that someone else’s work is “Hennen Quality.” That’s not only theft, it’s blatant misrepresentation.

    Reply
    • Matt

      So in this case, you should contact the advertiser. And ask for them to stop and charge them money.

      Reply
  14. Matt

    Just so you guys understand how much this is happening. Possibly to you. Here on ebay today. Again is “artist” Paul Baily using a Don Ayers image on a poster and selling it. I asked Don and he no clue it was happening. You be the judge, is this the same image? On top of that, the boat belonged to Seth Katz, and that is Alex Kays driving. Shot in Mt Dora for the brass bell and Woody boater. NOT Paul Baily.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Yep, that’s all kind of wrong. So assume the artist makes a million selling the poster (highly doubtful) and Don feels he should have been compensated.

      Does he have a case? Yes and no. I’ll guess Don gave the photo to Brass Bell and Woody Boater totally gratis the by line he didn’t even require.

      The court would have to decide if the photo by itself was of value? Well that question is already answered because it was given for $ 00.00.

      The value of the poster was solely derived from the artist’s interpretation.

      I don’t agree with this thinking but in countless cases the outcome is just that.

      Reply
  15. yourchildren

    Very interesting and controversial topic. When you google videos of the difficulty of controlling copyright in the internet age- you get hundreds of excellent sources. Here is one:

    https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_lessig_says_the_law_is_strangling_creativity?language=en

    We are living in a watershed time- between the practices of the past, and what our kids are doing, and will continue to do.
    The present copyright law is being flaunted so widely, so durably – that common sense says it is mostly unenforceable, and the laws will change. The above video talk makes the point that, up until a time in the nineteen forties, a plane was considered tresspassing if it flew over private property – you needed the landowners permission to fly over the land – because the land rights extended upward to the sky. That law was completely ridiculous, due to Transcontinental flights,and was abolished.
    The talk makes the point that anyone under thirty essentially has no belief in “ownership” of digitaly available media. I think it is obvious, with the vastness of the internet, and the fact that it crosses across all countries- so it is difficult to even determine what countries laws apply – I think it is common sense that the laws will be greatly loosened.
    Laws are about control. Everyone wants to get paid – site owners, lawyers, on down the line. Matt is obviously trying to do a good thing by running Woodyboater – and has reasonable fear that he will be sued for copyright infringement – but he also is motivated by economic concern- how he makes money thru advertisers, or selling tshirts, or even maintaining his spot as a major “venue” in the hobby. Some of his concerns are altrusitic, some are about his way of making money.
    In the present internet environment, with millions of eblogs and tumblr sites- where the motivation is not to make money – a typical user googles a topic, finds an image, and with a click “reblogs” it. It is fun – and very very few people are concerned, where did this nice wooden boat picture come from? In practical terms, with the massive availability of digital media- it is not practical to think they would ever take the time to find the owner, and ask permission. That would take a huge amount of blog content off the internet, and it simply isnt practical.
    Somewhere, there is a line between these billions of daily informal infringements- and a foriegn company stealing a Sony pictures movie before release – but it is not obvious where the line will be.
    Our kids- and anyone up to about the age of forty, doesnt give a hoot about these laws- and in twenty years, they will be mostly the only ones around: you can bet they will change the copyright laws, and have a good laugh at the old days, when copyright lawyers made a fortune trolling the internet to find infringement, and sending stock threats to demand payment – mostly against children and teenagers. What were they thinking?
    It will seem obvious in retrospect. It will evolve to a point where anyone who produces anything, will have to figure out how to make money off of it in a different way – but not by copyright. As always happens, new opportunities will arise from this new paradigm, and society and culture will continue to progress, for better or worse.
    I see that the header for this debate thread is a picture from Gilligans Island – it is sad if you actually had to get permission to use that- what a waste of time. The inter net is now instantaneous – it mucks it up if every time someone wants to illustrate an idea with a Gilligans Island pic- they have to contact Hanna Barbabra, and wait for a response. The trade off simply isnt useful or enforceable.
    Did you actually get permission to use the Gilligans Island picture? So last century.

    Reply
    • Matt

      HA, I have been deleting those images and headers since I learned about all this. Glad you found it. And no, I looked around for 99, and this was an image in hundreds of places. NOW, I evoked the News Reporting Fair Use Justification, But to be honest, not sure, We are clearly News and Information for the World OF Classic Boating. We DO not sell boats or anything other than Shirts, with our original art. The thing from all this is thats its a grey area, and we try and stay clear. we are fair folks, and always ask. Did we ask 99? I suppose we should have.

      Reply
    • Matt

      I just watched the Ted Talk thing. He is right, we have become very radical in our opinions. but I think his entire premis is off. Here is why, it actual discourages art and the creation of it, since it basecly rips off any artist who makes anything. Using ones art and image to create your own is theft. Ya ya, I understand his speech, I get it, but I have also been in marketing for over 35 years, and helped countless artists be artists by paying them. ALOT, why, because corporations make money from there art. If these, “kids” are so good, then make there own art, like artists have since cave men. HA. Needless to say I am on the extreme end now. I didnt start that way, only now because we have been ripped off so many times. Each case I have shown here is someone making money from art we made, is that fair? How would you feel if you painted homes and I walked around and sold myself as a house painter using your work as the example. NO DIFFERENCE.

      Reply
      • yourchildren

        Glad you watched the TED talk. It introduces the topic, and there are likely far better ones on MIT, or Harvard Law sites.
        Your feelings about your work being stolen is well taken- and it is also fair and moral. But, society is not fair or moral all the time. Their are millions of people living off hard earned tax dollars of others; there are young men and women sent to Afghanistan, and come back dead.
        The way I am seeing it is not the way it should be, but the way it is. I guess it is like those damn warning tags on mattresses, explaining that you will serve time in a Federal Prison if you remove the tag.
        That would be an excellent documentary, wouldn’t it – interview the hundreds of thousands rotting in US prisons because they removed a mattress tag.
        What we think as right and wrong is highly dependent on where we live, and in what time context. I make the usual arguments about who could vote, or who we could enslave. You argued that it was since the caveman that we had an artist producing their own work. I don’t think that was true – I imagine that, before say a hundred or two hundred years ago, any new idea was immediately copied without attribution, and spread that way. My guess is that this was largely a function, going all the way back to the Neandrathals, that lawyers were simply killed on the spot, and used as lawn fertilizer.
        But, seriously, this modern idea of rigid contract law is just a blink in human existince – but it is so much of our mindset, we make the assumption that it is handed from above, when it is all a construction.

        I watch my two daughters on the internet – I mean I watch what they are surfing, not with a webcam – and it is truly stunning to see that the vast majority of the sites they visit are parody sites – where someone takes a popular song and parodies it- but the music is the real song; or there ate thousands of sites that have humans playing out superheroes in costume- it is a vast forest of copyright infringement. Google Spiderman Video for kids – thousands. Nobody is paying Marvel comics a dime. It is not fair, but it is what is happening. You could find examples of this anywhere else you looked. Any topic has thousands and thousands of knock-offs. Are we going to somehow put the Genie back in the toothpaste tube?
        We can’t. Most big named companies have stopped threatening to hold their breath until they are blue- and realized the obvious- this is free publicity.
        I think, in the same way that we now reluctantly accept that when we send an email to a friend mentioning our upcoming trip to Mexico, that within minutes of sending the emails, we get banner ads for Corona beer and Penicillin shots. We have given up, and accept it, and maybe targeted advertising isn’t all bad anyway. So, the paradigm has changed, and I am guessing that, within a year or two, so will rigid copyright laws. As I said in the earlier post- people will simply figure out ways to make money in the new way. Survival of the fittest reblogger. Is it so hard to imagine that you produce a great photo, with years of accumulated skill, and it goes out on the internet, and is used by anybody, but you are good enough that all this means is that more people know your work- isn’t imitation the highest form of flatware? The amount of time that is being wasted pursuing this is a crime – let it go, move on. You are a typewriter repairman circa 1996. The world is moving on around you. It is not fair, but it is reality. Couldn’t your energy be spent doing something more productive, and it sickens me that your lawyer has done so well handling the infringements- shouldn’t he be dying in a fire?

        Reply
        • Matt

          I think we may be talking about two things here. Commercial use of another’s images is theft. Period. Not sure about trends. As my mother said, just because the other kids are doing it, doesnt make it right. Look at napster. That was a trend. not anymore. There has to be some way for people to make a living doing art. Or it dilutes the value. We are not talking about airplanes over land. What a crock of crap that guy was spewing. He was drawing from an argument that was not relevant. You sell a poster with another persons art is not a sign of the times. Its sleazy theft to make a profit. I would imagine if one of “your children” had there rip off Youtube video stolen by a large corporation, there tune would change? Wait, thats already happened. Yup, Hollywood folks have had all sorts of law suits from kids who’s images were used for Album covers of famous folks.

          Reply
          • yourchildren

            The Header that just went by was The Sons of Varnish one – with the logo style essentially a recreation of Sons Of Anarchy.
            That isn’t copyright infringement, but it flirts with it. You are making money benefiting from someone else’s original idea. The writer of the show reportedly spent years in prison himself- which gives the series an an amazing sense of reality.
            Is it fair to use his years of accumulated experience, that created an amazing work of art – to sell T-shirts about boat varnish? In a realm of “fairness”, I would say no – in a strictly legal sense, since you changed a word, you are maybe OK.
            Clearly, your Sons of Varnish logo style and placement are a direct copy of the Sons of Anarchy vests. I am not saying this to be either threatening or mean- just trying to show how easy it is to cross the line. Slippery Slope is not just a club in Bangkok.
            I totally support your work, Matt- and I actually agree with you- but arguing the otherside strengthens your understanding of the issue.

        • Matt

          Ha! Funny you caught that. But here was my position when doing that art. Btw the skull with brush is original art by Scott sawyer and ours to use. Second the sons of anything is a generic rip of all gangs which the show its self used. There are hundreds possibly thousands of sons of this and that, The font is available anyplace and not a listened font for the show. So the name is not infringement, the art isn’t, even the type in the arch is a very common patch used by gangs. Nothing is the same. Even the intent was not to leverage off the show but to build a brotherhood of sorts. Was the show an insperation? Not sure. But one things for sure, I am more fearful of the brotherhood of lawers than anything! Haha I love all these comments and agree, it’s a fun debate and at least points out some of the crap we deal with here. Thanks for a fun day my children!

          Reply
  16. Chris

    I hate to be the fly in the varnish but fair use and copyright are tough things to explain even harder to comprehend.

    Take for example those iconic images in Chris Craft ads from the 1930’s. While the photos are public domain the Chris Craft name is still trade marked. In other words you can sell a t-shirt with the image but it can’t say Chris Craft. Except if the Chris-Craft is un-stylized since the name is as ubiquitous as Xerox.

    Matt has a point about Woody Boater being trade marked. It’s his show and he’s worked hard to build the franchise. But what about Woodie Boater? Woodee Boater? Woody Boat?

    So let’s say you post on Instagram a photo of a cool barn find that showed up on Woody Boater. Except the barn find was more of an eBay find than barn find? Who owns the rights? Woody Boater? eBay? The guy who posted the photos who has his boat for sale? Or the teenage nephew who took the photos?

    The seller is probably thrilled to get the photo out there, but what if the Woody Boater post is, say less than supportive? Case in point that yellow banana colored Chris Craft out of Florida a few weeks ago.

    Now with the Lake Geneva poster once an artist gets a hold of it the usage rights get really convoluted.

    Tort law is fun stuff, legation is my passion. But most of the time the offending use is so limited and the expense of trial even with a sure victory is seldom worth it because while the win is easy, collecting even a dime is impossible.

    Often its best just to say you’re welcome.

    Reply
  17. Matt

    I will assume you know more than I do, OK, I will assume that everyone knows more than I do. HA. Chris Craft clearly owns the rights to the name and especially the logo, and the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club has permission to use the logo, I can not vouch for others. It was a bone of contention with the club that people out there make Chris Craft shirts and sell them. I suppose Chris Craft doesn’t want to chase anyone, but go make a Dysney shirt and see what happens. In regards to a publication like Woody Boater since its a news website, there are other rules, I think, but we just stay out of stuff like that. Like the news that can use stuff to explain a story. Youre right about the real litigation, but the rule of thumb is to try and avoid the law suite, and it costs money to defend a case, and in my case, we will co after folks out of principal if we are clear in the right, and then the offender pays the legal fees. We have been successful in this, very successful as has our attorney. It all depends on the use of the image. Now, since our images are our inventory and product, we must protect them to the fullest. And they are, with the Library of congress, the entire site. And there are clear rues regarding that as well. Regardless of the details though, as Kent said, its rude and sleazy. By the way, we have been successful in having several Facebook pages taken down as well as Instagram accounts removed because of infringements. They are also very clear in there policies.

    As to images on ebay, YIKES! Here is what we did to protect ourselves. We are on the ebay Partner program and only promote those stories, so in a way, Ebay retains the rights to the images when uploaded and we are promoting ebay. I think that makes sense. BUT, we would NEVER use an ebay found image for an add for Woody boater for example. BTW, I am shocked that i know enough to really get myself in trouble. This keeps me up sometimes. Why is it the more you know about something, the less you really know. HA. Thanks Chris. Your hired!

    Reply
    • Chris

      Matt, really a great topic sort of.

      No secret your WoodyBoater.com is top shelf and 99.999 percent of us are here to be entertained and informed, as well as many (myself included) are living vicariously through your photos, stories, humor and knowledge.

      It would be a shame to have you start “watermarking” your photos., or degrading the image quality to keep the .0001 percent at bay.

      I will keep a eye out and gladly give you heads up I should stumble across any WoodyBoater pirated photos. I’m sure the rest of the 99.999 percent will be happy to do the same.

      Reply
      • Matt

        Thanks Chris, the law no longer cares about water marks, its up to the user of the image to make sure its not owned.

        Reply
  18. jim g

    Matt,

    Back in the early 90’s when I worked at an independent Alfa Romeo shop. We had a advertising agency doing our ads in the national owners magazine. In some of them the Alfa Romeo emblem was used. When I questioned the use of it we were told as long as it was change 30% or some percentage around there that it was legal to use.

    Is that still the case and if so does it apply to copyrighted pictures and trademarks or just trademarks?

    Reply
  19. jim g

    One other question. if someone takes pictures of say you riding in Miss America with your camera. Who is the owner of the pictures?

    Reply
    • Matt

      I dont know? HAHA! I would suppose you do since you clicked the photo? But I if i am sued by you, I will charge you rent and turn you in for stealing my camera, I can proove it cause I am in the picture, I didnt take it?

      Reply
  20. Greg Lewandowski

    Wow, what a day! Let’s go back to the days of chicken on a stick a varnished toilet seats. That sure is a lot more fun!

    Reply
  21. dreed

    Not to change the subject, but who on this site besides me has all four Iron Butterfly band members autographs? And If I post a photo of it, can someone copy it and sell it on e-bay?

    Reply
  22. Bobbi Wendt

    Hey Matt,
    Thanks for writing about this important and valuable topic. I feel I need to weigh in here as a few statements above are not accurate.

    I’ve been licensing commercial creative photography and illustration over 38 years internationally for some of the most talented creatives in the communications industry. It’s my job to know market value and the protections provided under Copyright laws so I can negotiate appropriate usage fees for my clients.

    As a standard business practice, I insist that all my clients routinely officially register the copyrights at http://www.copyright.gov Registration provides significant protection from unauthorized use of their photographs and protects the images residual value, which allows us to authorize where and when those images may be used.

    Almost all of my clients have been intentionally infringed by people who think it’s o-k to steal other people’s property. It’s not, and every time it happens and we find out about it, we have been able to recover significant infringement settlements without ever having to go to court.

    Copyright registration at http://www.copyright.gov prior to an infringement allows for the Copyright holder to not only seek usage and punitive damages, but also attorney’s fees and court costs, meaning that if we prevail ( and we always have prevailed, aka, won ) the infringer will not only have to pay for their own attorney fees and legal expenses…they will have to pay for ours too.

    In fact, I’ve found that many Copyright attorneys will take on cases like these on contingency if all your paperwork is in order, so, with all due respect, saying that ‘collecting even a dime is impossible’ is absolutely incorrect, and I totally disagree that it’s ever appropriate to say ‘You’re Welcome.’ to someone who has just stolen your property.

    Protect the residual value of your own photographs and respect the residual value of other photographers and illustrators too. Taking another image and modifying it or copying it to ‘make it yours’ is also illegal. It’s called a Derivative Copyright Infringement, and it can cost you big money too.

    BTW, I’ve been talking about commercial photographers here, but I would encourage talented hobbyists to register your Copyrights as well…ideally before publication so you can batch register a lot of images at a very reasonable fee and be fully covered by copyright protection. The same protections that are provided for professionals are also provided to you.

    Reply
  23. Troy in ANE

    With the help of Jim Staib all my pictures are going to look like this from now on.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Troy

      Funny you should post that photo, we jokingly ordered a stamp to imprint “Stolen from the ship’s library aboard Motor Yacht Southern Comfort”

      Over ten years we’ve had dozens of books grow legs but 3 have made third way back.

      Reply
  24. Matt

    HAHAHAHA! I have sadly almost come to that conclusion. Can you imagine Woody Boater with type all over the images. By the way there is a law that says you dont have to that anymore. By the way, did you take that photo?

    Reply
  25. Troy in ANE

    Suppose I can get in trouble for publishing a government issued image of George Washington without his permission?

    Reply
    • dreed

      You wont get in trouble for that. Just the sausage lady picture will get you in trouble!

      Reply
  26. John Rothert

    wow….am I glad to be so cyber stupid I CAN’T post any photos!!!!
    John in Va.

    Reply
  27. Chad

    And I always cut off those stupid tags on electrical cords…

    I like living on the edge.

    Reply
  28. Paul H.

    This is obviously a burgeoning, incomprehensible miasma of contradictory laws, perceptions and intent. I avoid it rather simply – I don’t post a lot of crap to social media or any commercial sites, and never do so hoping to profit from said crap. If I do use a photo, and the only time I do is if it was taken personally or by someone I know, I ASK PERMISSION. All of this picayune nonsense could be avoided if people simply asked permission – if you don’t want to or can’t, don’t use it. How hard is that people, really?

    I see all sorts of well intentioned hobbyist sites on FB and elsewhere that do this all the time, albeit with no felonious intent. They are sharing a hobby, but they are using the property of others without permission to do so. We, as fellow hobbyists, may think of it all as babies and motherhood when it is done to promote the hobby, but it still unauthorized.

    Speaking for me personally, the first thing I do when I see somebody’s personal FB page or something filled with reposted material, commercial dreck or otherwise, is tune it out. They don’t exist on my network for the purpose of channeling commercial messages to me. Sorry, but I am not interested. Show me a picture you took of your own boat, your kids, your holiday or whatever, but I am not much interested in third party junk on your social media feed.

    Matt – is this simple enough? What is it about “don’t use it” that is hard to grasp? Just because it is easy to steal an image does not mean one should. These cretins that are retouching and trying to sell your stuff and Don’s ought to be charged, to the extent that current laws permit it. They absolutely knew what they were doing – no excuses. A casual user might not know and just needs to be told, the re-sellers do know.

    You have personally caught and brought to my attention people using images of my boats to sell theirs – this past summer when we bloodied the nose of those idiots selling that sunken, salvaged 17′ barrel was just the most recent of many.

    Reply
  29. Yourchildren

    I have spent a few more hours looking at the topic of copyright infringement, and I have certainly confirmed that this is a quickly moving target.
    If we limit the argument of copyright infringement to taking a copyrighted picture from WoodyBoater headers, and selling posters of it on eBay- I think that is fairly simple, in context of today’s law, and is illegal – whether or not it is worthwhile prosecuting is an individual’s choice.
    But what interests me more, and is still important on WoodyBoater, is the irrational fear of posting a picture that one has downloaded off of google images- to use as an illustration of a point in the comment section. Should we be afraid to use a picture of say Elvis Presley, that we didn’t take, or have permission to use?
    Matt has expressed his fear of a lawsuit if he isn’t vigilant about this.
    Well, I am posting below, a ruling from last month that actually opens the door to the other side of the issue: you are actually open to being sued if you take down a copyrighted media piece without considering ” fair use”, which broadly means informal use of copyrighted materials is constitutionally protected. Rock and a hard place.
    I find it amusing because it illustrates what I have been trying to say today: copyright law is murky and changing, and it is moving towards this “Fair Use” ruling- although it is a messy battlefield at the moment. My understanding is that it is now reasonable to claim, under fair use, that citizens can use copyrighted material in informal ways- like posting on YouTube or Facebook, and that someone who initiates RESTRICTING this use has to prove that it does not meet fair use, otherwise they are liable for damages.
    I guess what I am saying is, as a website owner, you think it is smart to err on the side of the copyright owner, because they are the only one with rights- the playing field just got leveled, and it isn’t that simple anymore.
    In the thread today there have been several contributors who are very familiar with these legal issues, and I defer to them, but I would be interested to hear if this fair use is as I describe it- is there a legally defensible right to use copyrighted material in an informal context, and what might that mean?

    Here is the case: reported in Reuters:

    Technology | Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:51pm EDT Related: TECH
    ‘Fair use’ matters in dancing toddler copyright case: U.S. court
    BY JONATHAN STEMPEL

    People are silhouetted as they pose with mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014.
    REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/FILES
    Copyright holders must consider “fair use” before demanding the removal of videos that people post online, including on Google Inc’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday.

    In a closely followed case over a home video of a toddler dancing to the Prince hit “Let’s Go Crazy,” the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco made it tougher for content providers such as Vivendi SA’s (VIV.PA) Universal Music Group to force Internet service providers to remove material.

    “Copyright holders cannot shirk their duty to consider – in

    good faith and prior to sending a takedown notification – whether allegedly infringing material constitutes fair use,” Circuit Judge Richard Tallman wrote for a 3-0 panel.

    The decision could make it harder for copyright holders to remove alleged infringing content from the Internet by invoking the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a 1998 law intended to curb movie and music piracy online. Critics say abusive takedown notices can suppress free speech.

    Stephanie Lenz of Gallitzin, Pennsylvania had in February 2007 uploaded to YouTube a blurry 29-second clip of her 13-month-old son Holden happily bobbing up and down to “Let’s Go Crazy,” a 1984 song by Prince and The Revolution that played in the background.

    Lenz said she thought her family and friends would enjoy seeing the toddler, who had just learned to walk, dance as well.

    But Universal, which enforced Prince’s copyrights, persuaded YouTube to remove Lenz’s video, citing a good faith belief that the video was unauthorized.

    Lenz had the video restored, and sued Universal over the takedown notice, seeking damages.

    In January 2013, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Francisco said copyright holders must consider fair use, but denied Lenz’s misrepresentation claim.

    Upholding that ruling, Tallman said there can be liability if a copyright holder “knowingly misrepresented” in a takedown notice that it had a good faith belief that a video “did not constitute fair use.”

    But he also said courts should defer to a copyright holder who has a “subjective good faith belief” to the contrary.

    The 9th Circuit said Lenz failed to overcome this hurdle, and instead may seek nominal damages for the “unquantifiable harm” she suffered.

    Universal spokesman Andy Fixmer declined immediate comment.

    Corynne McSherry, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation representing Lenz, said the decision “sends a strong message that copyright law does not authorize thoughtless censorship of lawful speech.”

    The case is Lenz v Universal Music Corp et al, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Nos. 13-16106, 13-16107.

    (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Christian Plumb)

    Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/14/us-vivendi-universalmusic-takedowns-idUSKCN0RE1VR20150914#xWW29JvF0X4f2o8K.99

    Reply
  30. yourchildren

    There you go again! It seems like every time I come back to this site, you are showing a problematic Header shot – Gilligans Island, Sons of Anarchy – and now you seem to be “sampling” historic images. Again, you may have obtained model releases from these ladies -or their grandchildren – or maybe you didn’t. Does this square with your definition of using images that you took or hired fairly? It appears that this was simply copy and paste of another person’s work – how different is this from your examples of the ebay thiefs, or it doesnt matter because the models are probably long dead? It sure seems to kill a lot of the fun when you truly apply this idea of being pure – are you really living up to this standard you are holding up? I think I have seen these three examples of using other’s work – without any effort at all- just looking at the Headers that happen to be there. I am gonna stop looking before I get Silkwooded by a fastmoving barrelback.
    earlier in this thread, you said: Using ones art and image to create your own is theft.
    But it appears in that Header shot you let your hired artist do just that.
    It is quite possible that I am misinterpreting what you have said, and the general moral outrage exhibited in the comments – but it is also quite possible that you are being extremely critical of others, while giving yourself some wiggle room. Stand back a little – you are seriously upset by some Joe painting a copy of your boat into a poster? Isn’t that a little overboard? It seems worth a shrug of a shoulder, but not a legal notice – or, now that I think about it – is it really fair to that guy to use him as an example on this site? If he knows about it, he is not having a good night at all. Is it proportional, or are you using the bullypuppet to strengthen your position? My feeling, and it may be simply that I am not in the commercial art world – is you would be a hell of alot better off just letting it slide- is there really enough harm here to traumatize someone with a law suit? Your photographers are good, and your work is good, but were not talking Robert Capa. Does anyone see this as bullying? I guess, after tenaciously and probably inappropriately pursuing this topic all day, I think I am siding with Chad, who owned up and gave the best perspective of the day, ” I once stole a cactus from a Mexican restaurant”. There is my everyday hero. Thanks Chad.

    Reply
  31. Matt

    I get your point, I really do, The bullying thing hits home, and have for 8 years now, been very passive on the subject. VERY PASSIVE, and to be honest, still am. I have gone to great lengths to avoid any such line in the sand sort of stuff. I also agree on the issues regarding stuff in the comment section. The thing is we are possibly liable if someone posts on our site from a Bully as you call them. The headers you are pulling fall into the fair use clause. We are a Daily News site. Just like CBS or others. But I will also be the first to admit that we may have crossed lines out of ignorance. BUT! And we are talking a bertha but boogie BUT here. Selling stuff with somone elses stuff crosses the ever moving line. We are not selling headers, nor art work from others., but Mr Ebay Poster man is. He is STEALING images and selling them. The law protects us the same as it does Mr Capra. The law does not take subjectivity into play.

    Reply
    • Yours

      I know you want to sleep and go fishing, and never think about this again- but you obviously have to daily. You said that you weren’t selling headers, so that makes you different than the eBay copiers. You have sold headers as posters- not stolen ones, but you have sold headers. The more important point is that your headers certainly promote WoodyBoater, and that ends up in ad revenue and general business improvement- so it is false to say that just because you aren’t selling an image, but you have copied it, that you are in the free.
      You said they were 30,ooo photos on WoodyBoater.
      My question to you is, have you gone after any Instagram or Facebook pages, and had them taken down- even if they weren’t trying to make a profit?
      If they just we’re putting them up because they liked them, but we’re not trying to profit from them- then you should look thru your 30,000 and see how many times you innocently used an image- not for profit, but just cause it was cool. Are there only three like that? Thirty? Three hundred?
      I think the line should be that someone is knowingly trying to steal and directly profit, but not some twenty year old Facebook guy who just puts up a lot of pictures of boats.

      Reply
      • Yo

        I am thouroughly disgusted after looking into copyright infringement law, and threats made to violators , and money collected.
        Here is what is happening- probably not with WoodyBoater, but I wouldn’t want to be associated with these types of lawyers.
        Apparently, because of the DMCA law passed in the nineties, there exists an entire industry of predatory lawyers who have software running 24/7, with bots scouring the Internet for any use of a copyrighted image. When they find one, they contact the owner, and offer to make them some money, for a 40% contingency fee. If the copyright owner agrees, the lawyer sends a threatening letter stating that they owe eight thousand dollars or they will be prosecuted.
        Can you imagine being a twenty year old getting this- or a typical young Instagram user? It would be devastating- they can’t afford a lawyer.
        The lawyer, meanwhile, taking full advantage of the system , rakes in money for nothing. I detest examples of professionals knowingly exploiting the weak.
        Yes, it is sleazy to steal boat pictures off of WoodyBoater, use them in paintings on eBay and profit- but I think it is infinitely sleazier to prey on young Facebook or Instagram users.
        In matts initial article, he stated very clearly that ignorance of the law was no excuse, but then, in defending himself, he said that maybe he had made some mistakes due to ignorance.
        If you are getting pressure from your lawyers, who you say you are paying gobs of money to- maybe you should step back and ask yourself are you allowing them to profit by threatening non malicious users?
        A simple question would be- you said that hated the topic and hated doing the page- that you had actually been quite passive about it. So the question is, do you have lawyers and other suits, pressuring you to make these Procrustean demands? Where did this suddenly come from? I picture you now leaning back in your chair, and with a hand covering your mouth, whispering to your lawyer, and answering, in a whispered tone, could you repeat the question?
        I do not think WoodyBoater should be involved in any threatening of relatively innocent young internet users- it is cruel.
        If you are only going after real criminal types, that is fine.
        Please make sure you are not involving yourself in this predatory practice, and excuse it because your lawyers are advising making an example of people.
        Your initial article was unusually harsh and was not your normal self.
        The entire thread was mostly about commenters enraged by the rather banal use of copyrighted images: I think the other side of the story – if this is a full discussion – is who really stands to profit from this? On a business plan model, I doubt much of this is about the fairness of copying images, but lawyers taking in large contingency fees, based on software programs that sweep the Internet for violations. Money for nothing and the chicks for free.

        Reply
        • Matt

          First, we do t have trolls out there. Second, if you are 16 and posting pics you did nt shoot and are nicely asked and still defy the law, you should be taken down. Third, the reason for the tone is that we spend about an hr a day now dealing with this crap. Forth, we have not sold any headers. Not even in the case when we are offered.
          The point of this story is to make people aware of the issue. We even are learning, and correcting and trying to teach what we know. Are we in fear of the trolls? It’s like a traffic light camera. It sucks but if you do t run the red light you won’t get caught. The rules are simple actually, if you didn’t shoot it or get permission to use it. Don’t! That simple line of thinking by the way can work for anything in life.

          Reply
  32. Jim Staib

    And recently Dominick’s grocery used Michael Jordan’s name without permission and had to pay millions

    Reply
  33. mahoganymadness

    Not to keep this subject going…but just curious how about stuff for sale at woody boater? The coffee cups this is an obvious take off of a chris craft can? or the shirts modeled after the girl on the through cushion. Is that public domain now or is there a licensing involved? ….just a side note I love them both..and managed
    to break both my new mugs within a month of getting them..the only two cups I have broken in 5 years ahhh!!!!

    Reply
  34. Verne

    I think the common man today views anything posted on the web as being free to the public in as far as reposting it elsewhere. If Jane posts a photo she took of the roses she grew and Pam, Sally and Jennifer copy it and send to their mothers for them to enjoy, I see no harm done even if the strict letter of the law sees otherwise. There are thousands of photos of old cars passed around from one web site to another and I’ve never heard anyone gripe. But if Sally takes Jane’s photo and makes valentine cards with it to sell, now that’s obviously theft for personal gain.
    I’m currently writing a book about restoration details of old cars. I can find plenty of good photos of details in ebay ads, etc., but I know better then to use them in print with getting written permission.
    I think there’s a prevailing attitude that if someone posts an image on the web, they are giving it away to everyone.

    Reply
  35. ChrisWade

    Well my toothache went away…..my whole head is numb now. I better call an Esquire friend as I snapped a pic of a page of a book to make a point elsewhere on this innerweb thingie….I’m guilty and didn’t give it a second thought. It’s a dirty job Matt, glad you do it! THANKS

    Reply
  36. Tom Payne

    That was excellent. Should be common sense for an honest man who wants to give credit and pay royalties, where due. Especially the photos. You guys have stunning photography. That costs big bucks. Well said.

    Reply
  37. Bruce Couch

    Hey, I’m not a boater… but I am a photographer very familar with this issue.

    I’ll try to help clear a few things up…

    1.) Generally copyright infringement is not a Federal Crime. It’s a civil issue.

    2.) The legal terminology is not “theft” it is misappropriation.

    3.) [In the US] if images are not registered with the US Copyright Office they generally are excluded from legal action in US Federal Courts.

    4.) If images are not registered damages for the misappropriation of images is limited to actual damages, which in most cases is rarely more than a couple thousand dollars.

    5.) The problem most offenders are faced with is that you do not know which are registered images and which aren’t. If images are registered damages typically start above $50k and go up from there and can be into the millions depending on the value of the image

    6.) if there is a watermark on a image and you remove it it can add $10-20k to a damage award on top of any judgement on infringement

    Globally images are protected under the Berne Convention. A person who pushes the button ont he camera owns the copyright, MOST countries outside the US do not allow for statutory damages which reduces the damage awards significantly. We recently pursued a case outside the US and ended up settling out of court for a mid 4 figure amount. Companies are buying companies with photo assets purely to legally pursue misappropriation of the images assets they now own… it is a big business.

    So, all that said, yeah… taking images you don’t own and using them without permission can have a very negative effect on your finances.

    Cheers, Bruce

    Reply
    • Matt

      Thanks Bruce, thats great to know and makes sense. BTW, your Snad stuff on Flker is amazing! This entire experience has been horrible, and discouraging.

      Reply
  38. Yo

    Anyone can go to tineye.com and upload an image they have on their computer, and tineye will rapidly find a multitude of versions of this uploaded photo- whether or not it is cropped or altered, and it will reveal the website displaying the image.
    So, if you load a copyrighted image into tineye, you will get a rapid list of infringing use.
    Bruce, my question to you is- what is a ballpark number for copyrighted images being used on people’s Facebook or tumblr or eblog pages?
    My guess is that it would be in the millions. Millions of tumblr users see any image go by, reblog it with a single click, and this happens ad infinitum.
    I read of a recent lawsuit for downloading a single torrent movie that involved 22,000 people.
    What I cannot reconcile is this talk of 10 or 50 thousand dollar penalty for misusing an image- against a background of what most certainly is millions of infringements on tumblr daily.
    There is major international pressure to resolve this in some reasonable way.
    It seems to be common sense that the instantaneous sharing and availability that the Internet allows and encourages, simply has zero relationship to the written law.
    A kid doing a paper on Ernest Hemingway downloads a copyrighted Life Magazine picture of the Author, and posts it on some personal website, and he is quily of a crime that may cost twenty thousand dollars? This is totally unreasonable.
    I would bet a large amount of dollars that, if very copyright lawyer went home and looked at what their kids were doing online- they would be horrified.
    I don’t mind stopping legitimate piracy, but, God Almighty, please be sensitive: there are millions and millions of people that don’t understand this danger. People say that ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Yes it is- the current set of US laws and tax code essentially creates a criminal offense out of each of us daily.
    I go back to that ” dancing Toddler” case that was recently settled – where a video of a dancing kid was put up on YouTube. For 29 seconds of the video, you can hear in the distance, Prince’s song Lets Go Crazy. YouTube took it down because of copyright infringement.
    C’mon, people, that is just sick. What kind of a society has lost perspective enough that this becomes a ten year, million dollar case.
    As far as WoodyBoater is concerned, I love and support this site, but there is something wrong with the idea of Matt not being able to spell, and “learning about” copyright laws, and maybe making mistakes by ignorance.
    Matt is a partner at a very slick advertising agency:

    smithgifford.com

    Visit their site and scroll down to their WoodyBoater summary on how they create marketplace value. There are no misspelled words there. This is about as professional an operation as you can find.
    Matt came out very strong against ANY use of copyrighted images without permission. On casual search, there seem to be some in his pages- I don’t want to be accused of libel, so I am being careful- but there were shots of Raquel Welch in one comment section- I believe – I don’t know- but I bet there are more examples in the 30,000 images. WoodyBoater benefits by the commerce in the comments sections, and the advertising agency gloats at how headers draw dramatic number of page views. Matt said he didn’t sell posters of headers. I looked back- and what I had seen was when the beautiful shots of the little girl at the helm, and the beautiful woman in the bikini won the advertising picture awards- it was suggested they sell posters. They did not, but they ended up as centerfolds in Brass Bell.
    What disturbs me- and this is just a feeling deep in my gut, is that Matt comes across as an almost illiterate guy who spontaneously finds fun and crazy things on eBay, and is just learning about copyright laws, and hates them; but he also has this fairly beautiful house on the water, and beautiful boats, and is a main partner at a very slick advertising firm.
    I love WoodyBoater, but I don’t think it is possible to be a successful ad executive and not be able to spell. WoodyBoater makes an appearance of barely making ends meet, and needs donations, but they also tout their business prowess on their separate advertising website.
    I just don’t get that they appear to be Gordon Gecko and Andy Griifith in the same space.
    But it all boils down to the kids. Please do not send threatening letters about copyright infringement to young people. You have better things to do.
    Could you answer, how many letters have you sent out, over eight years, dealing with copyright infringement? If the answer is twenty, the kids are alright- if it is two thousand, I think there is a problem.
    A very experienced advertising executive, with a cache of thousands of expensively and talent filled photos, has to be very protective of that property. As Michael Corleone said, it is just business. To me, it doesn’t square with this thread. You and your people are not bumbling along- you are being very precise.
    Yes, the laws are clear, but the infringements are daily in the hundreds of thousands. if you can convince yourself that what your lawyers are doing is not causing disproportional harm to innocent weak people- then it is all good. If you can’t, and you are harming people who are making honest, inconsequential mistakes, then please stop.
    How many times, in eight years, has WoodyBoater taken action for copyright infringement of their property?

    Reply
  39. Matt

    So, I see you enjoy this more than others. HA. Of course I am out there and your not. So I continually need to defend this.
    First, Yes, I own an ad agency. I have over 35 years in the business and my background is as an Art Director. Art Directors cant spell. Any writer in the industry will tell you that. We think visual. Add to that a slight learning disability and growing up in three countries France, Germany and Russia, and learning those languages, and its a miracal I do this daily. I will also add, that we have writers at the agency and editors. If I used them for this, it would take a week to do a story.
    Second. I have ALWAYS called or emailed folks using the images wrongly first. Three times BTW. I realize in many cases its not malicious. BUT, when people sell or profit from our stuff, I have, and also, been very fare. IT involved a large corporation and there atorney actualy thanked me for being reasonable.And yes, I have learned about this because its all happened in a cluster since the CBS exposure.
    You are painting a picture that is not accurate. I wish it was. I wish all the things you say were that way. Just like you thought you knew about the posters. By the way, those cost me around $1000 bucks to make, enter and frame. They are not for sale, and will never be sold. Written by the way by an amazing writer, Bruce Bildsten, one of the top copyrighters in the country. HE HATES MY SPELLING BTW. They were part of a promise to the photographer to gain awareness for him and the hobby. To claim we profit on anything here is absolutely ridiculous. I have the tax records for 8 years to proove it. And an angry wife, CPA and agency because of the time suck. Do you have any idea how much time or money this takes? Clearly not.
    The case study on our website is to show how social media can be done. And from a marketing POV, its a very good case study, but a horrible business study. I didnt even write it, The agency felt it would be smart ot show it.
    Lets keep going though, regarding images on the site that we did not shoot. Once we started to understand the law better, and I will admit, about as well as I spell, we started to clean up the site. Regulars who contribute, know we are clear on this now. We are a news site, so Fare Use is part of it, and we are not SELLING the art. You have somehow turned this into a personal attack on me, and my life, rather than focus on the topic. People selling others stuff with out asking.

    Reply
    • Oy

      Thanks for the response. I think you have gone out of your way to be fair, and I thank you, and I will stop now.
      It wasn’t a personal attack on you- it was questions I had that I thought you could answer. You did.
      I am not pretending to be a journalist or debater, but you brought up a controversial topic, and a real discussion involves hearing two or three sides.
      It started out as bad people download images and sell them on eBay.
      I think I added that there is something called fair use, and that the laws are changing, and that the reality of the situation is there are hundreds of thousands of kids doing this daily without a thought.
      I added that there is an industry of lawyers who use these laws in a predatory manner.
      I pointed out that as executives must spell well.
      You proved that visual artists,like yourself, have difficulty getting money out of an ATM machine, but make great pottery.
      You have made it clear that Woodyboater really is a work of passion, does not prey on tweener Instagram users, and carefully considers when to bring legal action against someone. All this was not clear Saturday morning when you channeled the Church Lady.
      Please forgive me asking questions and discovering some of your own images that were suspicious of being infringement. I was in the military and they used to say that you don’t even have to be wrong in your behavior to fail as a leader- just the “perception” of bad behavior is enough.
      You have been very patient with me, and I thank you.
      The free posters of that cute lady on the boat you overnight expressed to me also look great in the living room.

      Reply
      • Texx

        Laclede – Woody Boater was developed more than eight years ago to give our viewers a place to go every day to get away from people like you and simply enjoy the hobby.

        I suggest you keep your disingenuous comments and drivel (and multiple identities) in Moses Lake, WA where it belongs.

        Reply
  40. Matt

    HAHAHA, I knew who you really are. I knew it was all part of the fun and debate. I will add though, the entire subject is depressing and off brand of Woody Boater and myself. I let this crap take me to a place I hate.

    Reply
  41. Matt

    I just saw this new video on the subject that kinda of explains part of the frustration here.

    Reply
  42. Jeff N.

    Wow… this is really a touchy topic and no matter how hard you try and police people, it will continue. It’s just the way things are now and the era we l live in. I do agree with you about people blatantly stealing pics and making money after a few changes. That’s not right and yes I believe it is a crime.
    It’s hard to distinguish the difference of the way you use different logos for profit. Is that ok , Sons Of Varnish ? The varnish mugs, etc ? Don’t get me wrong and I love your site and most of the stuff you do but what is the difference?

    Reply

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