LEGAL NOTICE TO PICSCOUT , GETTY IMAGES, PICSCOUT CLIENTS, CYVEILLANCE: You are prohibited from accessing this site

You are prohibited from accessing this site

Legal Notice to PicScout, http://www.picscout.com/ ,Getty Images, http://www.gettyimages.com/ trading as: GYI , all other customers of PicScout, and Cyveillance Intelligence Center http://www.cyveillance.com/, and to any and all clients of Cyveillance Intelligence Center, their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns are prohibited from accessing dcdirectactionnews.wordpress.com

1: Permission for the copyright scanning robot program known as PicScout and for robots owned or operated by Cyveillance Intelligence Center, Getty Images, their subsidiaries, agents, and assigns to access this site is explicitly denied. All other robots which scan content for the purpose of any law enforcement, criminal or civil, are also denied permission to access this site at any time.

2: Most of the photos here were taken by our own cameras or are open source; All videos that appear on dcdirectactionnews.wordpress.com our Facebook page, Google+ profile, and our YouTube Channel were made by *your company or site* for the sole use of *your site or company* and our customers. All photo, video, and audio content on *your site.com* is licensed for all noncommercial reproduction with attribution to *yoursite.com or your company* EXCEPT by any law enforcement agency, Getty Images, PicScout, and Cyveillance Intelligence Center or any of their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns; or by any other corporation that has at least once filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against one or more online users of their content. Use of any original dcdirectactionnews.wordpress.com story, photo, audio, or video recording for any purpose, by any entity which is a plaintiff in a copyright infringement case is hereby prohibited.

3: Getty Images, PicScout, and Cyveillance Intelligence Center their subsidiaries, agents, and assigns are explicitly prohibited from using any image or video that originated in a *yoursite.com or your company* camera for any purpose. These photos are released for noncommercial use by the general public with or without attribution to dcdirectactionnews.wordpress.com; their use for any monetary gain by any party claiming copyright against a third party downloader from a third party web site shall be treated as a copyright violation under this Notice.

Notice concerning demands for damages originating from Getty Images, PicScout, Cyveillance Intelligence Center, or any of their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns or any other scanning robot users sending “demand notices” prior to DMCA takedown notices
We regard Getty Images, PicScout, Cyveillance Intelligence Center, or any of their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns as entities engaged in extortion. As such, all payment demands SHALL BE REFUSED if any threats of legal action are ever received from Getty Images, PicScout, Cyveillance Intelligence Center, their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns or any other copyright holder demanding “damages” prior to sending DMCA takedown notifications. Not only will we refuse to pay the funds you demand and we shall instead seek liquidated damages in the amount of $25,000 US per violation of our Terms of Service concerning image scanning robots.

22 Responses to LEGAL NOTICE TO PICSCOUT , GETTY IMAGES, PICSCOUT CLIENTS, CYVEILLANCE: You are prohibited from accessing this site

  1. Joe says:

    Sounds harsh but they’ve made it so that most sites are blocking the entire bezeqint.net IP ranges because of DoS issues. The legal harassment over previously given away images is just the icing on the cake for blocking those ranges. If you’re in Israel, you will need a different ISP or get them to stop helping hide the bot runners by constantly giving them new Class C blocks when they get blocked.

  2. Moe Hacken says:

    There’s plenty of good reasons to block the PicScout spybot. Gross bandwidth usage and rude disregard for robots.txt come to mind. Their only goal is to find anything that even remotely resembles a copyright infringement so that their clients can send extortionate letters making ridiculous claims for settlement. Google “extortion letter info” to learn more about PicScout and their client base. Everyone who publishes content on the web needs to be aware of this gross practice of copyright trolling lest they fall into the trap.

  3. buddhapi says:

    May I have permission to use this Legal Notice on a new copyright troll project I’m getting set to launch???

    Greetings Moe, funny seeing you here!

  4. Moe Hacken says:

    Hey Buddhapi! I actually posted about this legal strategy on the ELI forum. You may have been on vacation. Let me know how I can help with your project. Thanks for the insights, dcdirectactionnews!

  5. Can we also have pomission to use the legal notis on our page
    we are beeing crawlt repeatly, and have a battel with a ambulance chaser in cohud with picscout in Sweden.

    Best regards

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Hell yeah: You have permission to use it and modify it as you see fit. I’d love to see one of these fuckers get hammered for liquidated damages they agreed to by law when their bot hit your site. Set the damages in your version of the notice as high as you think you can get a court to enforce. Then you could even offer to settle for a few grand to pay for the bandwidth and the hassle, using an “inverse Getty letter” of your own to hit them with their own hammer. As for that ambulance chaser, they should know better than to access your computers in violation of posted TOS, which wou;d be like an attorney for the RIAA getting caught offering an independant, unsigned band’s album as a torrent without permission,

  6. Pat says:

    I want to use this on my site in the USA. Should I get a copyright lawyer to go over this, or can I use it as is. I do not know the legal jargon that well. f ghetty.. I am thinking if I can use it as is, and they try to send me their bs letter, I can get a copyright lawyer to help me shove it right back in their face. I try my best not to use copyrighted images, but heck if I purchase a website theme, and there is a 10x10px image of a arrow or something and ghetty comes after me, I want to be somewhat protected..

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      I’m no lawyer,but you are free to use this. A lawyer could help you tune it for ironclad protection. I am judgement-proof with no job and no real estate, so I can tell Getty to go fuck themselves, and provoke them to the max with zero consequences.If your lawyer says you can sue Getty for ANYTHING, such as crawling your site after notice not to, sue the hell out of them, show no mercy!

      Most important of all, NEVER PAY an extortion note from Getty or anyone else. This notice lets you shut them up with a counter-note for several times as much money. Send it along with a strongly worded refusal, then watch them shut up would be my expected result.

      Also, never pay for anything online when you can get something for free or make it yourself. If enough people did that, Getty would not be able to sell their pictures to anyone. Hell, if it was up to me images from Getty would be blocked on the Internet’s backbone the way spam is, along with all their bots.

      A tip: if you need to poach copyrighted shit, open each image in Gimp or another photoeditor, change the color slightly, crop it a little, resize it, etc. Also be sure to remove all metadata. This will break both hash checking and metadata examination. I don’t know exactly how Picscout’s bot works, but this should blind it unless they have something very fancy. Machines are NOT people, can’t recognize a photo the way a photographer can.

  7. CS says:

    First of all I hate Getty Images and will do all I can to stop them in their tracks. And I love your concept above. Personally I license our photos through shutterstock. They actually have a pretty good licensing platform and their pricing is not far out of line at all. And I get unlimited use of them as long as we don’t resell them. I have been a web designer now for over 18 years. I think what you are doing is okay but you can’t tell someone that they are not allowed to visit your site in a statement like that and also exclude law enforcement too. Unless you are actually going to enforce it by metering the bandwidth they use and then actually going after them by maybe employing the same method they do. There are a lot of people who don’t really understand the law and it is what Getty Images and these other leaches feed on. They have crafted their letter in such a way that it scares people into paying. Most of the time if you actually slow down when you receive one of these threats and quietly visit the sources to check if the image is actually copyrighted, (99% or most of the time) you will find that it is not actually registered therefore it negates their claim. If the image is not registered or copyrighted then how is it you would think that there can be infringement? If you have images you took with your camera you want to protect visit the online copyright site register them and then post them. With a little luck they will stupidly grab them if they like them upload them to their database, and there you go. What you have to hope for is that they start charging for them. Then you will have a legal claim to go after them. That way when they ask for proof you can provide it and tell them the same thing that they tell everyone they try to extort money from. You should have known better, and then require a very large sum of money like they do. And you will be able to get it because you took the time to copyright it. On another note I have a special re-director for the pic scout and all image collection bots. I don’t know if you have ever heard of a bot trap but I have one explicitly made for each of the image bot’s I don’t want on my site. I have one setup to actually trip these extortion bots, they fall in, the web server registers all of the bots information, sends me an e-mail with information about who the bot is and then re-directs them to the google images library since this is where most of their images they use to trap others exist…information for those that don’t know this. Once I get enough of these I am going to put them on the spot by a direct e-mail to them as well as a bill for my time.

    • Ian Shere says:

      Hi CS, I know this is an old thread, but I just came across it – love the idea – I openly declare I have “stolen” the legal notice and am currently uploading to all my sites! I’m no code guru and so am interested in how you catch image bots and redirect them.

      • dcdirectactionnews says:

        This is a wordpress site, I do not have that capability. However, any threat coming from Getty would require admission of having scraped the site, and at that point the $10,000 liquidated damages for violating posted TOS would come into play. In essence they would catch themselves, like a robber coming to your door in person to demand ransom for your stolen goods.

  8. tsweet2014 says:

    I borrowed your Legal notice and had a lawyer friend take a look at it to see how much water it would hold and he suggested the following edits to make it a bit more bullet proof. Other than a couple of additions he said it should do what you want against PicScout, Getty, etc, law Enforcement may be another story though… Here it is in its revised format:

    LEGAL NOTICE TO PICSCOUT, GETTY IMAGES, PICSCOUT CLIENTS, and CYVEILLANCE INTELLIGENCE CENTER their subsidiaries, agents, and assigns: You are prohibited from accessing this site
    Legal Notice to PicScout, http://www.picscout.com/ ,Getty Images, http://www.gettyimages.com/ trading as: GYI , all other customers of PicScout, and Cyveillance Intelligence Center http://www.cyveillance.com/, and to any and all clients of Cyveillance Intelligence Center, their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns are prohibited from accessing *your company*, *yoursite.com*
    1: Permission for the copyright scanning robot program known as PicScout and for robots owned or operated by Cyveillance Intelligence Center, Getty Images, their subsidiaries, agents, and assigns to access this site is explicitly denied. All other robots which scan content for the purpose of any law enforcement, criminal or civil, are also denied permission to access this site at any time without a duly served warrant in accordance with the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and duly codified laws of the State of*your state*.
    2: Most of the photos here were taken by our own cameras or are open source; All videos that appear on *yoursite.com* our Facebook page, Google+ profile, and our YouTube Channel were made by *your company or site* for the sole use of *your site or company* and our customers. All photo, video, and audio content on *your site.com* is licensed for all noncommercial reproduction with attribution to *yoursite.com or your company* EXCEPT by any law enforcement agency, Getty Images, PicScout, and Cyveillance Intelligence Center or any of their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns; or by any other corporation that has at least once filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against one or more online users of their content. Use of any original *yoursite.com* story, photo, audio, or video recording for any purpose, by any entity which is a plaintiff in a copyright infringement case is hereby prohibited.
    3: Getty Images, PicScout, and Cyveillance Intelligence Center their subsidiaries, agents, and assigns are explicitly prohibited from using any image or video that originated in a *yoursite.com or your company* camera for any purpose. These photos are released for noncommercial use by the general public with attribution to * yoursite.com or your company*, our agents, or assigns; their use for any monetary gain by any party claiming copyright against a third party downloader from a third party web site shall be treated as a copyright violation under this Notice.

    Notice concerning demands for damages originating from Getty Images, PicScout, Cyveillance Intelligence Center, or any of their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns or any other scanning robot users sending “demand notices” prior to DMCA takedown notices
    We regard Getty Images, PicScout, Cyveillance Intelligence Center, or any of their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns as entities engaged in extortion. As such, all payment demands SHALL BE REFUSED if any threats of legal action are ever received from Getty Images, PicScout, Cyveillance Intelligence Center, their subsidiaries, agents, or assigns or any other copyright holder demanding “damages” prior to sending DMCA takedown notifications. Not only will we refuse to pay the funds you demand and we shall instead seek liquidated damages in the amount of $25,000 US per violation of our Terms of Service concerning image scanning robots.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Most of your edits have been adopted here, with a few modifications to reflect the nature of this website and the community it serves. I cannot provide anyone with explicit permission to comply with search warrants, as that would violate the strict “no snitching” rule my community observes. It is to defeat search warrants that my own computers are always encrypted, already the police were unable to crack an encrypted computer they stole from me in 2008. Also there is no corporate entity associated with setting up this site. If you are running a local shop and need to use this notice, use the version posted in the comment above, it is more applicable to your situation. Don’t let that liquidated damages of $25,000 per violation swim away after getting billed for extra bandwidth thanks to PicScout!

  9. Vic says:

    Quote “already the police were unable to crack an encrypted computer they stole from me in 2008”

    Well, aren’t you the lucky one, living in the USA with your 5th amendment.
    Here in the UK we have no written constitution, we have such laws as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (enacted 2007). Here a police officer, customs officer, taxman or government official can ask you to hand over the passwords or encryption keys for all your computer equipment, external backup HDDs & flashdrives. If you refuse, you go to jail (sometimes massive fine) there is no getting round this law. It is also a criminal offence to tell a third party (friend, relative, reporter etc) that you have been asked (forced) to hand over your passwords / keys, this is also punishable by a prison sentence and or fine.

    I like your bot notice, I may try and make one for the UK.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Key disclosure laws are useless against those who regard themselves as engaged in a state of war with the government in question-the main targets of such laws in the first place. Would British soldiers in 1942 have submitted to a demand from Hitler’s Gestapo to turn over cipher codes used by the Royal Navy? Did GCHQ expect to get the Eniegma intercepts by simply presenting some German sailor with a court order?

      You use the UK today as an example, I will use the IRA as an example of the importance of snitch control and when necessary self sacrifice that can render Key disclosure laws encryption bans useless. Support heroes like Wikileaks, Assange, and Chelsea Manning, defy any demands to snitch! Don’t forget Lavabit, which shut down rather than comply with US demands for user data. That’s what Yahoo should have done rather than comply with PRISM, but as a greedy and gutless corporation this was not in the cards for them.

      Can the UK waterboard you or put you on the rack for your passphrases? One guy the CIA waterboarded stood up to HUNDREDS of sessions of being nearly drowned before cracking. Can most rats and snitches say the same? In that 2008 raid, the pigs did not have a key turnover law, but they did sent me a message (the raid was timed to miss me) to either snitch or do everyone else’s time. I publicly refused and blew the whistle on them instead, they chumped out.

  10. Dave R says:

    Were should the notice appear. I don’t want it on my home page. I just received a getty letter demanding $3800 for using a image that was provided to me by the company I am an affiliate for. I talked to a lawyer and the copy write laws don’t require any proof of intent to steal, just that the image is on the site? Even though I was provided the image from a company for marketing, he said that I should have looked into were the image originated. It was the back of a woman holding a laptop and getty claims there regular price for the image on MasterFile for a one time use is $790, so much B S . The laws need changed. They should be required to prove intent and due process for the accused.

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Never pay extortion, never negotiate with these kinds of terrorists. Anyone paying this ransom simply encourages Getty to send more letters. The letters are as common as spam, few are sued-and Getty has also been on the receiving end of lawsuits as well. Hell, for the amount of money they are demanding I doubt a court would award more for someone who used a proof from a hired wedding photographer (without permission or payment) as a cover photo for a magazine with a circulation of millions. In fact, there are complaints among paid photogs about losing in exactly those kind of court cases.

      Never pay a fucking penny without an actual judgement from losing an actual lawsuit, not only Getty but others sending demand notes (such as software patent trolls bothering offices for using software) are notorious for BLUFFING.

      Lastly, Getty’s PicScout bot is based in Israel. Blocking all access to your website from all Israeli IP addresses can go a long way to keep Getty from ever scanning your website.

      • Ian Shere says:

        hi dc

        Do you know if Getty’s bastards are still based in Israel only or mostly? I use Joomla as my CMS and there is an awesome add on called Akeeba Admin Tools which allows one to geo-block. If they truly are still Just, or mainly, Israel then all my sites will have Israel turned off. Thanks.

      • dcdirectactionnews says:

        Most reports are of Israeli IP addresses, I found one reference from last year to an IP address in India as well.
        This post gives a story of someone who drove Getty to their knees with a counter-threat of a lawsuit, they reported two IP addresses from Israel and one from India (possibly a relay?) I recommend blocking both countries, there is also a lot of spam from India. ISP’s in general need to get the message that providing service to Getty and Picscout will get their whole country widely blocked, like blacklisting ISP’s that are sources of spam but on an even bigger scale.

        http://www.hackerfactor.com/blog/index.php?/archives/627-A-Victory-for-Fair-Use.html

  11. The African Rebel says:

    Hello, I’m new here, but I would like to use the legal notice to Getty. I’m not a web designer, just a dinosaur learning how to use Dreamweaver. Therefore, could you kindly advise where I should put the legal notice please? Their lawyers sent me a letter for an image that was no longer on my site already, and I idiotically wrote back to tell them that, so I suspect they will be checking up on me again. By the way, I don’t think they are only using Israel IPs. I suspect they are in the Philippines because I am in Singapore and for some reason or other, I suddenly got a lot of traffic from Philippines. I would be grateful for any advise you can offer please?

    • dcdirectactionnews says:

      Put it somewhere prominant, and also remember this: Getty is about BLUFFING, not suing. Also remember that anyone who pays up when they get one of these extortion letters encourages Getty to send more. This is like spam: if nobody pays the flow will stop. Also, if you are suddenly getting a lot of traffic from ANY country where you have no need to be reachable from while dealing with this, block all their IP addresses at once. I am no lawyer and am more used to aggressive street confrontations, but in a street situation deterrence and not showing fear of an attacker are often the key. Think of Getty as a mugger, and do not hesistate to fight back any way you can. If Getty has a server in the Phillipines, someone should confirm that and then counterattack. This is grounds to block all of the Phillipines if confirmed unless your website has relevance there. Might be a local server they are routing their traffic through, block that IP address range anyway unless you have a need to be reachable from the Phillipines. That traffic spike is not an accident: could be Picscout, hell I would not put it past Getty to resort to DNS attacks like the recent (and failed) extortion attempt against Hushmail.

      For an organized offense, the bext tactic would be to go after their ISP’s, Getty’s paying customers, and any photographer who dares to work with Getty. Do a Startpage search (NOT Google for security reasons) for “Huntingdon Life Sciences” (HLS) and see what can happen to a corporation when their business partners become targets. HLS was once the world’s largest vivisection lab, now they are a shattered shell of what they once were, with $120M in debt to US Bank secured by everything they own. They may go bankrupt. This is because banks, stockbrokers, insurance companies, customers, and suppliers that did business with them got aggressive protests at their offices and at the homes of senior executives from animal rights activists. This was also extended to those doing business with those partners, known as “tertiary targetting.” Suppose digital freedom activists were to do this to Getty, targetting any publication that buys their images, any photographer whose work appears in their catalog, plus their bankers, ISP’s, and investors? Soon Getty would be the Flying Dutchman of stock photography and go out of business.

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