Freedom of expression?? Telling the truth??

May 15th, 2007 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

not popular with flickr administration, apparently.

so, in case anyone is wondering where my post about my stolen photos , the long caption, and all 450+ comments went (some of them very well written and containing useful information for all flickr users and photographers and web-users in general), it was deleted by flickr.

this photo composite here, remember?:

stolen-photos.jpg

The explanation?

“Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse,
impersonate, or intimidate others. If we receive a valid
complaint about your conduct, we will send you a warning or
terminate your account.”

beautiful.

i find this more than a little depressing. to say the least.

and to think, just earlier today i was talking to a reporter from one of icelands main newspapers, saying what a great thing Flickr is and how its done so much for me and yada yada yada.

i don’t believe i was harrassing anyone. I was doing the only thing left for me to do when i had tried to seek legal assistance, after being victim to having my copyrighted work stolen and resold for profit by a dishonest company. I was told by my lawyer that i should just accept the fact and move on. Im not a big fan of giving up. I simply told the truth.
the fact that people sent harrassing letters to only-dreemin was a direct result of my post, but I myself wasnt harassing anyone. I was simply making it public that someone did wrong by me, and i think that’s a pretty far cry from harrassing some innocent party directly.

im extremely disappointed, to say the least.

Read 424 comments

424 comments for this post

Cristina Fumi wrote on May 15th, 2007

Hi, If I were you I would hire a lawyer and get money from this abuse. There are lawyers who deal with copyrights infringements and I am sure you will win. You are so talented, you should get represented by some major agencies. Flikr was really bad to you, but I am pretty sure things will turn out right for you. I belong to a pro photographers forum and somebody mentioned what happened to you, that’s why I am here, and let me tell you that everybody there got inspired by your amazing work.
Have a good luck!
Cristina

sigh. if only you could have read what had already been written under the post. So many good comments, and all of this “you should hire a lawyer” and “you need to do that” and “maybe you could try this” had been covered over and over again. i honestly think every suggestion humanly imaginable had been put forth in that thread.
this is nothing but censorship.
thanks for the kind words tho.

Trent wrote on May 15th, 2007

Might be because you were dugg (http://digg.com/tech_news/Stealing_IS_a_crime_right). The Digg Army can be a little….fanatical, and are quite good at doing the things that flickr is accusing you of.

I’m betting they’ll back down from this soon, because you are the flickr star. If they don’t align themselves with their most popular player, they’re pretty dumb. I suspect this is some sort of autopilot/idiot event and will be rectified soon…or at least, I hope that’s what it is.

jestem wrote on May 15th, 2007

Giving up seems like a solution just in order to let things go and move on. I’m not a big fan of this. When injustices go unheralded they will just continue. I wish I had good advice for you. I know full well there is little that you, I or even accomplished lawyers (though perhaps some British lawyers have some insight) can actually do.

I hope you do not give up. I hope you do not find bitterness. I hope your artistic drive prevails. I hope by some grace of humanity, those who wronged you receive their comeuppance.

That’s pretty sad. While it’s a free magazine, and they are probably not making money directly on it like they do with your photos, I got a similar problem with a (free) danish magazine that now twice has used one of my photos in their mag (danish entry about it in my blog: http://www.rockland.dk/show/?post=275). But as a private amateur photographer, what can you do? My pictures are under the Creative Commons Attribution license, so they just had to give me credit as a photographer, but didn’t…

Oh, btw… I love your photos Rebekka! You must be my favorite Flickr photographer, and you make me dream even more about visiting Iceland that I did before I saw your work:-)

brutal. maybe it’s time to abandon flickr. better yet, do a self portrait with a flickr sticker covering your mouth. you can even call the photo “thanks for nothing”

This is ridiculous! You are one of the most famous people on flickr (the most famous?), and your work was stolen. It is definitely an outrage for them to delete your post.

Maybe someone still has a copy of the flickr page & comments in their browser cache. The page was http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/497746041/

Try going there with “Work offline” checked in your browser’s File menu.

Rebekka,
That sucks that flickr deleted the photo.
I posted a comment on the digg story about this post, but i don’t know how many people it will drive here.

We sure had a good run though, huh?
I really enjoyed some of the good comments on flickr.

Good luck and if i were you, I’d keep pressing the issue till you get SOME sort of compensation.

Well, certainly wish you luck and am still willing to support you, or others in your situation in any way I can. I personally am in some sort of shock after seeing the incredible response from flickrites, Digg, and other important names around the web (thomas hawk, Strobist etc).

I hope you will keep sharing your fantastic art with us, and keep us all in the loop as to what happens with this dirty company that has caused you this grief.

luciferscage wrote on May 15th, 2007

Rebekka,
Well so much for free speech, though putting only-dreemin in Google shows that the incident had reached an audience far wider than flickr.
Might be worth while sticking an invoice for royalties due in O-D’s direction – you never know your luck and it would give grounds to chase them later if they default on the payment.
Keep up the photography, your shots rock.

http://thomashawk.com/2007/05/flickr-censorship.html

Yahoo censoring you will not make this problem go away for these thieves. This really sucks. I would have thought that Flickr would have the balls to stand behind their users instead of rubbing salt into the wound and making it that much worse.

I’m sorry to hear this Rebekka.

If this is how Flickr treats their most popular user, I’d hate to see what’s in store for the rest of us.

Chalk it up to the fact that Flickr is owned by Yahoo now, I guess.

This is deeply disappointing. Flickr should stand behind its members, support their stance against thieves, not censor and undermine them. I’m sorry this happened Rebekka.

We all deserve better from Flickr.

I’m saddened to hear about this. Due to people’s lack of respect, photographers have a hard time trying to protect their copyright at the best of times. One would have expected Flickr to support one of their members in this, especially as you’re something of a Flickr success story, for want of a better term.

I wouldn’t blame you if you cancelled your account in protest, though for selfish reasons I hope you do not. And the way it’s going these days, perhaps they wouldn’t care anyway.

Startup becomes big business and completely loses sight of what it was all about in the first place. Soooo familiar…

[...] In case you were wondering where Rebekka’s photos and flickr post went, Flickr apparently removed it.  Thomas Hawk has more. Bookmark this BlinkBits BlinkList Blogmarks Buddymarks CiteUlike [...]

This is disgraceful. I think flickr have panicked and done something very wrong and very very stupid. Support you all the way.

Rebekka,
I am amazed at the speed and energy that your plight has risen to the top of the blog-o-shere. I hope that you recieve good, wise counsel on what to do with this situation.

I would also like to suggest that you consider joining the Zooomr community (http://beta.zooomr.com). I do not speak for us, as I am but just a participant. However, I know that, with open arms, we would love and accept your joining our solid little family. (Plus, we don’t have any limits, uploading or file size.)

God bless you as you struggle through this,
Trevor

fickr should be ashamed of themselves. We, the users, are what have made flickr what it is today. Without us they would have fuck all, they should support us especially in the face of having our art ripped off.

I hope this, along with the recent JPGmag incident, isnt the shape of things to come.

Shame on you Flickr, shame on you.

The times, they are a-changing. I remember Old Skool Flickr, it’s more and more like it was a very long time ago. I agree with whomever that this is just a corporate kneejerk reaction and I hope that soon the Flickr folk come to their senses. In many ways you are the mascot/cheerleader/epitome/rock star of Flickr, and out of all the ugly, misogynist, crass, vulgar, immature comment strings I’ve seen on a lot of photos, I would call those far more “harassing” than anything you have ever done!

We have your back, and wish, hope, for the best of luck for you!

]kac[

thanks folks.

one question.. JPGmag incident??

i don’t follow….

salguodbocaj wrote on May 15th, 2007

I commented on your flick’r page on the same topic. I’m sorry this happened, I wish I could help… this stinks. As my Mom used to say all the time “this is the pits!”

So let’s get this straight. It’s now more acceptable to break the law than to point this out on Flickr? Nutters. This is why I moaned years ago about You-Know-Who taking over.

Big last couple of days for the community:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/jpgmag/discuss/72157600216573353/

Pissed that our comments are gone …

matt wrote on May 15th, 2007

one of the fundamental issues we are running into with web sites such as Flickr is that there is no accountability on their part. There is no one place to go to actually speak or correspond with someone with a name and identity who has the power to actually do something about righting wrongs. The result is that arbitrary decisions by these faceless bureaucrats hurt or help without rhyme or reason.

Unfortunately, Orwell’s 1984 is only a few years later than he predicted.

Have faith and hope….

Rebekka
I just spent ages looking for the latest on your post. No show. Flickr deleted !!! blimey…
I would have thought they would help …

To try and be balanced I can partly see that abusive emails to the other company and posts suggesting going round and doing something to them could cause Flickr some problems – but surely those particular posts could be dealt with?

It is a real shame Flickr hasn’t taken a balanced view and alongside dealing with abusive posts , offered their support for the original issue …

Good luck – presume you have heard no more from Only Dreaming..?

Flickr has become too big for its own good. Many top/popular photographers are experiencing theft of photos/copyright infringement and poor treatment from flickr. Only a matter of time until someone (Rupert Murdoch? Google?) capitalize on this and create a ‘flickr killer’. Until then, you have many behind you, Rebekka. Not giving up is a good thing.

[...] a good thing, or maybe it’s b/c my photos aren’t up to snuff UPDATE: what the hell is up with Flickr? « Previous Post | Next Post [...]

I’m sorry. :(

Flickr has been steadily losing my respect… I wish Yahoo would give the original staff free rein.. but apparently this is not going to happen.

I’m sorry Rebekka. I feel that you and flickr fed off each other for so much of your respective forays in this stuff… I cant imagine flickr without rebekka and I can’t imagine rebekka without flickr.

This is like a big slap in the face :(

Yada wrote on May 15th, 2007

First, I’m sorry that your images were stolen. That is truly awful, and it shoudn’t happen to anybody. I wish that it were possible for you to get your due compensation.

Second, I’m sorry flickr did act to censor you on this. However…

You get an ungodly amount of attention on flickr for two reasons; you are a very talented photographer, and you are a beautiful woman. As such, your work – even the so-so stuff – is viewed and favorited at an insane rate.

Once, just for kicks, I counted the views as you posted an image. Within twenty minutes it had skyrocketed and people were favoriting your image non-stop. And, while some of your images are truly good work, this particular image was nothing special. And yet, the amount of attention paid to it was HIGHLY skewed in your favor, and far from anything a normal flickr user might get for a photo that was even better than yours.

I hold no grudge, and think it’s great for you, but it does illustrate just how much “beauty” matters in this world. While your images are great, you would receive half the attention, and have half the articles if you didn’t look exactly like you do.

Thus, when you run into a little problem like this – one I’ve heard countless people on flickr run into – the supporters come out of the woodwork to wish you well and damn flickr. Again, it’s nice, but it’s an illusion. The average user doesn’t look like you, and no matter how great their work and how bad they got ripped off, they would never receive the support you do.

My point… Count your blessings and let the thing go about being ripped off. If you post images on the Internet, and they are as good as yours are, you can count on them being stolen. Period.

Be happy that you are “the star” of flickr as some of the people that support you say. Because, were you not “the star” you may actually begin to understand what good photographers who don’t look beautiful go through.

And no, I’m not bitter. And no, I’m not jealous. And no, I’m not trying to be hurtful. I’m simply stating a fact; you enjoy a hugely skewed following for your work. When something less than nice happens to you, you enjoy a hugely skewed well spring of support.

I’m sorry you got ripped off, and I truly believe you are a very talented photographer, but welcome to the real world.

@ yada:

that was one of THE most pointless comments i’ve read in AGES.

my fucking appearance has NOTHING to do with people going around stealing LANDSCAPE photos and profitting from them, and it has NOTHING to do with people going around deleting my posts and hundreds of comments from other users.

this preposterous argument about the way i look got old sometime in late 2005.

@ yada:

what rebekka said.

and im not quite done..
if other photographers have some sortof problem with their appearance, they should eat healthier, go to the gym, fix their wardrobe, get a haircut.. whatever.

they can NOT go around being annoyed that someone else gets nore attention, citing the fact that they look better. I happen to live a lifestyle that lends me a good, healthy appearnance. I’ve lifted weights and jogged since i was 16. I don’t overeat. i drink lots of water. my face is nothing spectacular. I have more bad hair days than good ones. (i just disguise it really well in photos). But all that notwithstanding, its just such a dumb fucking argument.

im also pretty sure of this: there are FAR MORE less-than-gorgeous successful MALE photographers in the world, really BIG photographers, that make millions from one session, than there are gorgeous female ones. if it were the other way around, if the photo industry were dominated by stunning female photographers, instead of male photographers pointing their cameras at stunning female models, i MIGHT see some glint of validity in your post above.

as it is, i only see it as bitterness.

Thanks for letting us know what happened. I had referred someone there due to the great information being shared and then found out the image and all the comments were gone and wondered what the heck happened. It irritates me that flickr did this. I agree it was probably the digg army that got out of line with threats and what not, but you are not accountable for their actions because of your post. Very poor decision to delete flickr!

It’s only you who can decide if this upsets you enough to bail on flickr. Pull your sight down, cancel your account, and move to another one of the photo hosting services.

Only a thought I guess, but one that might make them (Yahoo) take notice

i doubt yahoo gives a flying fuck at a rolling donut who uses flickr these days.

i’ve been interviewed i don’t know how many times as a sortof “success story” because of flickr, cited as their most popular user.

the impersonal way they dealt with this leads me to believe they really do not care, at all, about their users.. their PAYING customers.

Brad wrote on May 15th, 2007

I was going to say something about Flickr and how they screwed up everything on Rebekka’s right to free speech, but I stumbled over this hate-filled effluvia.

@yada,

That diatrible against Rebekka has to be one of the most wreckless, hateful, revolting, and abhorrent things I have ever heard.

Tell me, what do you have against her? Are you jealous of the attention she gets? (sorry, but it has to do with talent and not on good looks)

This woman produces some of the finest photography art I have ever seen and most of the 100,000 people who visited her site in the past 24 hours would agree. And yes, she has the right to be in some of the photos…OK?

Have you ever seen her head swell to a level of arrogance on the comments she sends to her fans? She never talks down to them. Ever. What she does is engages in conversation and mostly thanks them for their support. If she disagrees she does so in an intelligent way.

When you say,

“Be happy that you are “the star” of flickr as some of the people that support you say. Because, were you not “the star” you may actually begin to understand what good photographers who don’t look beautiful go through.”

The feelings you’re projecting are of pure jealousy. So, should Rebekka stand jump in front of a car tomorrow so her face won’t look as good and then she can be a “true photographer” for you?

Please try to open your mind just a wee bit and take this in, ok? No one makes you come to Rebekka’ photostream. Her site is not a billboard on your local interstate to show herself off. It doesn’t pretend to be. It’s a place for her to share her joy and love in photographic art. Period. You don’t like it? Leave.

And leave her alone.

I do not get this part:
“I was told by my lawyer that i should just accept the fact and move on. Im not a big fan of giving up. I simply told the truth.”
Who is this lawyer to give such advice? Did you waive your rights? I do not think so. Anyway I know that there have been a lot of “good” advices. The one given to you by your lawyer should also be put in quotation marks.
Fight Rebekka!

nice work. i support you.

I am so sorry you have to deal with this, on both fronts – the jerks who ripped you off, and the unhelpfulness of flickr. That would never have been their response in the early days. Anyhow, as another single mother/artist, I know just how draining an experience like this can be. You are in my thoughts.

cube wrote on May 15th, 2007

@ Yada: sorry to say but:

Yes, it does sound bitter. And yes, it does sound like the bitterness of jealousy… if your neigbour’s car was stolen you probably would not visit her/him to tell her/him sth. like “welcome to the real world”, would you? Unless it might the beautiful Ferrari you always wanted to have, of course. ;)

@ Rebekka:
- I certainly will never get an own flickr-account because of their “reaction” regarding your post. I do understand that they want to stay out of any trouble but since they are not a small start-up anymore they should be offering help instead of intimidating their users.
- If you can proof that this is your work (which I think you can) then get another lawyer! It is your work. It is the way how you earn money to buy bread for your kids. (BTW: It is not really clever to tell the world that you just give in. It fact it could sound a bit like an invitation to steal your pics…)

all the best. cube

Brad wrote on May 15th, 2007

FLICKR TURNS INTO COWARDS

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people” This was a quote by Emily Cox and it applies here. Flickr for some insane and idiotic reason decided to turn into cowards.

What are they afraid of? What in the world could Rebekka’s photostream could have possibly caused any harm? Why end it? What are the repercussions?

To add insult to injury they decided to threaten Rebekka by saying, “If we receive a valid complaint about your conduct, we will send you a warning or
terminate your account.” OK.

I thought she got fucked over by getting art work stolen now she might lose her account for, uhh…exposing a scandal of lies and hideous crimes. Do they want to add a prison sentence too for trying to right a sinister wrong?

Well, Flickr does punish her with a threat to end her account that I know is a very prideful thing for her. There’s a joy, happiness, and passion in her work and her comments to her fans when she interacts with them. I used to respect Flickr…not sure anymore after this episode of shame and disgrace.

Hmmm. I can’t ever recollect anything recently as unfair as this. This reeks of something of a Fascist state. No fair game as the big bad company; and in this case the governing institution (Flickr of all people) set the rules and we just sit there and take their bullshit.

Well, I for one am not going to take this. I will follow this to the end and support Rebekka in her right to justice. Sometimes, we have to fight for what we believe in and this is not right.

Let’s not sin by silence and act to help Rebekka in her moment when she was clearly violated by a heinous crime of theft.

Bobo wrote on May 15th, 2007

Everybody go to flickr and report abuse. Tell them that censorship is wrong and bring Rebekka’s page back.

why dont u use http://www.deviantart.com

Everyone knows about how cool they are

Hello,

I am rather upset by Flickr’s actions here. I have emailed them as well as put a link to this story on my blog.

I wish you luck.

–Alex

Hello,

I am rather upset by Flickr’s actions here. I have emailed them as well as put a link to this story on my blog.

I wish you luck.

–Alex

Without been too contentious what yada said in the first half of his post is essentially true. Rebekka gets more hits than an average user because she’s popular, and there is nothing wrong with that. She has a reputation of producing good work, landscapes, self portraits etc. and people come back for more. That is what the community is all about. However as to yada second half well that’s just sour lemons.

In some ways it is good for the community that some thing like this has happened to a popular flickr member like Rebekka (even though I’m sure she wishes it wasn’t her) it means that other users see whats happening with the way yahoo treats users (i.e. us) and may be moved to press flickr en-masse to be more respectful of their users like the way Digg got kicked in their ass last week by the whole MPAA/AACS fiasco.

Tony Hawk has covered his censorship woes and infringements on flickr a few times, Yahoo, which is ultimately pulling the strings probably still haven’t wrapped their head around web 2.0 and cottoned on to the fact that if you mess with the users you mess with your content source.

Whoops that Thomas Hawk, I’m sure Tony is somewhere else been extreme to the max :

http://www.thomashawk.com/

Palinka wrote on May 15th, 2007

I got so annoyed by reading yada´s comment. What the hell is the connection between beauty and respectless treatment? This was such a dumb and sexist comment, that I (!) am really pissed off right now.

Why is a talented female artist oblieged to justify her appearance again and again? Even if there is no obvious (even none) connection between rebekka´s look and the fact, that her images were stolen and her following post was deleted by flickr.

Sorry, rebekka, I used this comment to vent my anger. I love your pics and I wish you a lot of luck. The stolen pictures were bad enough, but the reaction by flickr was the straw to break the camel´s back. I´m so sorry!

I´m still annoyed….”welcome in the real world”….pah!

I just heard your name for the first time today in the Wall Street Journal. Now I read about this on the same day. Sorry to hear about it.

I guess this is why Yahoo is #2 and always never reach the “top”. People know when a company is run right and when it is run by bad decisions. Sad, but what do you really expect?

I always thought that a good way to make money would be to print a bunch of great pictures off of Flickr and then sell the framed prints at the local “swap meet”.( do you have these?) However, I am honest, so I never did this. Sad to hear that someone else did this very thing and is not so honest.

Although I’m Icelandic I’m writing in english because I wan’t the rest of the world to know what I have done, am thinking of doing and so on, as a citizen of the net.

I wrote a letter and sent it to all the major newspapers and television stations in Iceland with a plight to them to cover the events of this catastrophy as well as inform news services around the globe they are associated with – although I think that happens automaticly. (Darn, I just realized I forgot two of them. Gonna fix that in jiff. Might as well shoot an email off to wired.com as well.)

Also I am going to write to Yahoo and Flickr, and tell them that if I will cancel my accounts on all their systems if they insist on this approach on the matter.

I seriously think we might get a Streisand effect* on this and force them to reconsider if we all pull our weight.

best regards and all the luck to all of us
Kristján

p.s. Rebekka, þú ert hetjan mín þegar kemur að ljósmyndun.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

@ yada

It’s obvious to everyone reading this that you need a reason to make yourself feel better for not being more popular on flickr. The self-portraits that you refer to are almost always well thought out and thought provoking. She puts a lot of time into stirring an emotion with her unique color pallette and perspectives. I find it brave that she takes many photos of herself in inflattering poses and often shot with wide angle lenses very close to her face. I mean, who takes a bikini shot-mid winter from a high camera position and a wide angle lens if you were indeed attempting to be salacious?

It’s a ridiculous comment in general and in this particular situation, completely off topic. If you’re wishing you were the “star” of flickr instead of Rebekka, you might try spending more of your time working on a unique style instead of complaining that someone elses views are “skewed”.

And one more thing, if your point were somehow true, why does she seem to have as many female as male fans? Are they all lesbian voyeurs? Think before you comment.

[...] meanwhile, is facing a mini-revolt after a staffer deleted a photo and comment thread about Rebekka Guthleifsdottir and her experience trying to resolve a dispute with a company that was using some of her photos [...]

Palinka wrote on May 15th, 2007

One last thing to the “what did you expect”-fraction: The chance to commit a crime is no excuse for commiting a crime in the end. Nor should it be tolerated. Even if an artist displayed his/her work on flickr, he/she should neither accept nor tolerate the fact, that someone makes a lot of profit with it without telling the owner.

The “what-did-you-expect”-statement occurs like the old “don´t wonder if your skirt is that short”-discussion.

[...] check out Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, a great landscape and self-portrait photographer. She recently discovered a huge amount of copyright infrigement of her fantastic inspirational work. She’s also one of flickr’s most popular [...]

I think people are missing the bigger point here. Isn’t the larger issue that photos are being illegally sold? Can’t we all band together to help affect change? 100k people viewed the story?

I like Kristján’s idea.

I started contacting their sources of revenue. I sent a note to a friend who works at eBay. Official policy states that only the copyright owner can report things, but back channel works. I’m also contacting their merchant provider (romancart) to advise them that one of their customers is selling stolen goods, and that makes them liable for any future sale.

If you really want to get people acting for you, post this over on Slashdot.

I find it interesting that Only-Dreemin’s contact information isn’t available on their site. Just to help them out…

only-dreemin UK
Unit D, 88 Vernon Road
Aylestone
Leicester
LE2 8GB
United Kingdom

+44 (0)1162 440 349

Dear Yada,

I believe after reading all the comments after you, you will eventually get a sense of reality. “welcome to the real world” is actually quite a motto for you.

as you can see, in real world, people appreciate beauty, not ugliness. and your words are real ugly.

now you still wonder why you are so bitter and not “as popular”? not your appearance certainly.

may peace be with you.

I’m horribly disappointed. I wrote a very windy letter to flickr giving them notice that the community which made them rich can not be treated like garbage. Without the community, Flickr is nothing.

I’ll likely be canceling my pro account soon. First it was Yahoo’s own use of copyrighted images without permission on their own sites, now this.

Pathetic.

somehow it seemed that i couldn’t post this here, let me try again.

Rebekka,

Here you have all my support from Beijing China. I posted on my blog part of your words linked to your not-yet-deleted letter yesterday。As I thought the anger like this should be heard and treated with respect although the chance that my blog readers might be of some help is rather slim.

I was pretty shocked and enraged to find out today that yahoo and flickr deleted your letter and all the comments. Censorship? I thought that only happened here in China!

I retrieved the letter from bloglines but too bad I don’t know how to get those comments back.

Best!

the letter deleted by flickr:

Stealing is a crime, right?

I have a LOT on my mind right now.. to be honest, i’ve rarely been so royally pissed off as i am today.
The photos shown above all have one thing in common (besides being rather lovely landscape photos):

They were all taken , without my permission, by the London based print-selling company Only-Dreemin. This company prides itself on offering its customers only the best quality canvas prints of the finest photos , by top artists.

What they fail to mention is that some of the photos they’re selling prints of have been illegally obtained, and are being sold without the artists consent or knowledge.

In my case, a friend of mine came across their store on ebay and recognized one of my prints. (this was way back in january i think)
I looked into the matter and discovered 7 more of my photos being sold there. In the case of pictures 1, 2, 6 and 7, the image had been divided up into 3 vertical panels. ( Something i would never DREAM of doing myself. ) Furthermore, the images had been given new and exciting titles, like “Seraque II” and “Attica”, “Dawn expander II” and ” Joga” (barf)
I spent a good many days researching, going back thru their customer feedback, and was able to track back the sales of at LEAST 60 prints made from my images.
These prints sold for a total sum of 2450 british pounds (around 4840 US$ )

I gathered all the evidence , saved each webpage displaying my work , saved the list of customer feedback, printed all this stuff out and took it to a lawyer here in iceland.
She was confident that by sending them some well-phrased letters i’d be sure to get some damages out of them. After all, i had tons of incriminating evidence.
The letters did nothing other than make them take the images down from their site. Further letters got no response from them. My icelandic lawyer could do nothing else, so i was stuck with a bill and the infuriating fact that I, being only a non-wealthy art stutdent/ single mom in iceland, will have to accept that these people stole my work and made lots of money off it, and apparently are going to get away with it.

This is NOT OK BY ME.
I could think of little else to do than to at least tell people about this.
I have reason to believe that they’ve stolen images from other people, maybe other flickr users.
The reason i suspect this is quite simple. My photos were being sold under the bogus name of “Rebekka Sigrún” (the nerve of keeping the first name the same is somewhat amazing).
I saw a number of other photos being sold under that same artist name, and they werent mine. And obviously this Rebekka Sigrún doesnt exist.
Looking over the pictures i remember being sold under that name, it appears they’ve changed the artist name to “marco van eych”. If anyone knows a landscape photographer by that name, let me know. i very much doubt he exists.

So i encourage everyone that has been displaying similar landscape photos on flickr to look at their site and see if they see something suspicious.
It would also be pretty cool if as many people as possible would send them angry letters, (address them to info@only-dreemin.com ) but that’s just if you feel like it;)

ok. i’ve said my piece. Quite a load off my back.

Yada: your argument might be logical, except I (a straight female) enjoy Rebekka’s photos and I am not attracted to her what so ever, in fact my favorites of hers do not even involve her face. If I do stumble on the photostream of a pretty girl but with bad photos, I exit my screen.

In other words…Welcome to the real world, not only are you bitter but you’re looking for pathetic excuses for your lack of internet popularity.

PS: Jealousy is an ugly thing, and if you’re as unattractive as you claim then why make it worse?

whatever wrote on May 16th, 2007

Wow, first the censorship, then the girl gets her back up about being called good looking and welcome to the real world. As an outsider, all I have to say is western society is too confused and screwed up to possibly thrive and survive in the long-term.

Good luck trying, y’all gonna need it!

Oh My Dear:
I`m With you!
You’re loved by flickr users… I’m really sorry for you…
A big hug and all the best =D
Be strong!

[...] have to be paranoid, but sadly to avoid such problems we have to. I’m a huge fan of _Rebekka and it pains me to see that she is dealing with this, but the reality is that a little knowledge [...]

Geez, is flickr trying to severe ties with the photographic community or what?

That’s a real shame to say the least. Be sure to explain your displeasure and lack of support in cases of copyright infringement if you get any publicity. That definitely should not go overlooked.

They are simply siding with the infringers. Which is disgusting.

I wish you luck on fighting this.

What some don’t understand is that every battle won against those that abuse the work and art of others provides jerks with one less reason to misstep in the first place.

I hate when someone says it isn’t worth fighting or tries to place blame on you. Especially, when you are actively taking a stance to defend your rights and artwork. The only ones that deserve this sort of thing are those that don’t excercise those rights and do nothing to protect them.

Keep it up.

[...] thankfully the story continues. Check out _rebekka’s update, blog and Thomas Hawk’s take on [...]

@yada

It is people like you that make it ok for others to be selfish. It is people like you that make others think it is ok to give up on what is right. It is people like you that make the real world a real ugly place a lot of the time.

I do not think it should matter who leads the goodfight. I’m just thankful someone is.

I have never seen what rebekka looks like. I have only seen the images she took that she explained were stolen. I don’t care why so many people were first inclined to join her side.

All I know is that because of them this issue has been put in front of tens of thousands of people that were previously ignorant about copyright and what is ok and not ok.

I know I will have a slightly easier time protecting my own artworks now because of this. Again, I’m thankful Rebekka is not a pushover and is out to prove just because it is on the internet it is not ok to use/take/sell her art.

[...] How did Flickr/Yahoo deal with it? They’ve deleted her images! [...]

Fred wrote on May 16th, 2007

So, Rebbeka, where will you go from here? I don’t mean this as a challenge, it’s a bona fide inquiry.

Unfortunatley, as you know, your situation is a situation that has been experienced by many other artists, writers and photographers. We get ripped off, we are one person with limited resources trying to fight against compartmentalized corporate entities with big bucks. What will you do? Keep posting your artwork on Flickr, or for that matter elsewhere on the web (it’s as easy to steal from your site as it is from Flickr)? I struggle with this issue. Sites like Flickr have much future potential as a revenue stream for people who would like to sell their images, but putting your images in the public domain makes them easy to steal. What is your assesment of the cost/benefit ratio after this incident? I just opened a Flickr account, after much trepidation. I have had other accounts on similiar “photo sharing” sites and terminated them because my images were pirated. I just can’t make up my mind if risk of posting saleable shots will pay off. It hasn’t yet – at least not directly.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and the thoughts of others.

Rebekka: Like everyone else, I am sick that someone other than you has made money from your images. That isn’t right. I would add a note of caution though: don’t get involved in a legal process to make yourself feel better. That doesn’t happen. The law is not for fairness, or for justice. It’s a nasty system that can be used to get what you want if you play the game right.

My 2 cents, and warm wishes.

p.s. I am visiting Iceland this year, not least because of your images – maybe the Iceland Tourist Board should give you a cut :-)

[...] Just when the outrage over the theft of Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir’s photos by Only-Dreeming was beginning to calm down, Yahoo/Flickr finally reacted.You’d expect that they stand by their paying customer, who got her pictures stolen precisely because she decided to use Flickr to showcase her work, enriching the Flickr website in the process and ultimately benefiting Yahoo as a corporation. But no, instead they behaved just like you’d expect a soulless, gutless, dumb corporation to behave: they stood by another corporation, who probably had its lawyers send Flickr a nasty letter, and screwed the individual customer! [...]

Rebekka, really sorry to see it come to this. Poor, poor show from flickr and Yahoo! Which muppet makes this kind of decision???

Firefalcon wrote on May 16th, 2007

Hi Rebekka. I’m annoyed that Flickr removed that photo and thread. When I saw it was gone I was hoping you’d just made it private after legal pressure from the other party.

If you want any of the information or explanations regarding company and copyright laws here in the UK (note however that I am not a lawyer/solicitor), please contact me off forum and I’ll give you that info again.

Good luck with getting this resolved to your satisfaction.

Firefalcon (my ID on Flickr – at least until I decide if I want to remain there.)

PORTO wrote on May 16th, 2007

As much as this might hurt Rebekka, you posted a link to the company’s website and a link to email them.

You may not have been the one to pull the trigger but by doing that you were well aware of what was going to follow.

Incitement/harassment big issues for web sites.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Your terms when you signed up would have told you that.

[...] Give Rebekka your support here. [...]

Go Get Them! wrote on May 16th, 2007

So, I don’t know if you have contacted eBay about only-dreemin selling your copyrighted content, but there is more info at:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/tp/vero-rights-owner.html

They say that it must be the copyright owner who files the complaint. Get those bastards where it will hurt!

Yada: What is the exact point that you’re trying to make? That it’s a bad thing that Rebekka is bringing this problem to attention? Or that she’d only be allowed to talk about this if she didn’t look the way she does?

Even if her popularity was solely due to her looks it would still be a good thing that she’s pointing to this problem (which does not affect her alone, btw).

Wow, Flickr didn’t handle this situation very well. They could have temporarily hidden your photo, so libelous or inflamatory comments could have been edited/deleted. Or another course of action that circumvented deleting everything…

Let’s hope they learn something from this incident, and do things differently in the future.

By the way, Rebekka, I did manage to find some of the comments on the deleted photo in Google’s cache:

http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:yY2UfVXkf60J:www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/497746041/+http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/497746041/&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1
http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:w5Of79VLPfMJ:www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/497746041/page3/+http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/497746041/&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8

It’s only one fifth, but it’s still something.

[...] to Flickr about it, and gathered hundreds of comments. However the Flickr Staff have seen fit to delete that photograph, giving the reason Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate [...]

this is unbelievable!!! I wanted to look at the new comments on your photo today, and there’s nothing anymore!!

I think that flickr’s beahviour is unacceptable. they’ve built their success on photographers’ work and they are now acting against the interest of one of the most talented and successfull photographers on flickr. I can’t find words…

all my support (for what it’s worth…)

Paolo

[...] משתמשים הניזונות מתוכן גולשים. הסיפור כולו מסופר אצל רבקה ובבלוג של צלם פופולרי אחר – תומאס הוק (המנכ”ל של זומר [...]

as someone who originally hails from Leicestershire I offer my apologies on behalf of these disgraceful thieves. unfortunately arseholes do exist in all geographical locations and I have emailed the gits in question, and encouraged my personal contacts to do the same, letting them know just how low they have sunk.

on an up note – stunning work, absolutely stunning.

My god – this is outrageous. I had read your post on flickr yesterday…. and now it’s gone.

Are flickr quietly selling people’s photographs or something?

I’m gobsmacked…

[...] |Rebekkas Blog Artikel| – |Thomas Hawks Meinung und Kommenteren zu/bei/über Flickr| – |oder gediggt bei [...]

[...] 16th, 2007 by tinfoiling  A huge controversy has evolved around Rebekka and someone ripping her photos off. Then Flickr reacted, then retracted but when you view the [...]

Man.. try not to get too down about this, although it must be just horrible. Keep up the incredible work and fuck the corporate haters! You have tons of people behind you.

Jack wrote on May 16th, 2007

Came across this story on http://www.photographyvoter.com – it’ll be very interesting to see how this one develops – I’ve recently being reading more and more as regards the issues with the use of images from Flickr. I await with interest to see if Flickr will make a public declaration on this one..

Flick Photographer Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir has photo deleted by Flickr…

Freedom of expression?? Telling the truth?? -not popular with flickr administration, apparently.
so, in case anyone is wondering where my post about my stolen photos , the long caption, and all 450+ comments went (some of them very well written and con…

Lapin wrote on May 16th, 2007

Yep ! I’m on Flickr too and i really like your work, too bad we can’t see it in full size anymore. But it’s cool anyway.

That’s the probleme with flickr. My ex girlfriend told me about a guy at her last job (webdesign) that told her flickr was a cool database that they were using for their work. Just crop a picture, change two colors, and let the musiiiiiic play.

That’s what they do call “The Web 2.0″. People posting free content for everyone to enjoy so no one will have to pay for anything.

Many graphic design societies are using flickr pictures.

Anyway, keep your good spirit !

Dear Rebecca,

It’s very sad that Flickr has deleted your picture. I find it unacceptable. As you said and many people has repeated, it was not a threat to anybody but just a public space to comment on what has happened.

Probably the company selling your photos got in contact with Flickr and threated them, because I bet they can hire a lawyer with the money they made from selling your pictures.

I was writing the company expressing my dissappointment for having read that they had been selling your work. I told them that of course I won’t buy anything from them. Is that harass? I don’t think so.. I just was expressing my point of view.

Flickr sucks a bit (a lot) lately with this thing of “decency” filters, deleting pictures, etc…. I’m sorry to say that it’s a reflection of the double moral that somehow characterizes the States. I bet there are many nice people there… but in general the country has a problem with this double moral of decency.

I would suggest to create a blog to complain about flickr, or better…why don’t we write flickr instead of writing the company? We can “threat” flickr saying that if they do not take care of the copyright or they continue with this censorship…then we might reconsider to renew our suscriptions…that will hurt them! For sure!….. we should remember that WE PAY for flickr… so… as customers we might have the right to complain, don’t we?

I just can tell you: keep on taking those fantastic pictures! You are the best!

Regardless on how Flickr felt about the case and what complains they might have got about the picture, it is still pretty harsh by them to delete your image and all the comments related to it.
If they felt forced to remove your image from public, they should have modified its visibility so that you and only you, Rebekke, can access it. That way they would have responded to complains and at the sametime let you retrieve all the information that peoplel had put in comments and do whatever you want with it.
While the original case with only-dreeming was nasty, I think flickr’s response to your image was even worse. With this trend going on, I don’t see much point in extending my flickr pro account, once current subscription expires …

John wrote on May 16th, 2007

I followed the original thread on Flickr yesterday too and can’t believe that it’s been censored in such a way by being removed.

I really hope you get some justice in this – you totally deserve it.

Interesting to see that the theiving scum’s website seems to be showing an awful lot of blank pages today!

Good luck and KEEP FIGHTING!

Hi Rebekka,

I’ve been an admirer of you and your work for a long time on flickr – old skool I guess. But flickr is changing and not for the better. I suspect quite a few people will not be renewing their subscriptions in light of your censorship. Their loss. And as for the people who stole your images? Well, their site appears to be down and hopefully they have suffered and terminal lack of confidence.

I remember reading about a digital watermarking service that can insert an invisible copyright and watermarking device, but most importantly can track usage of your images …

It ain’t cheap (starts at US$79 per annum) but it might be worth considering for the future – I have no connection whatsoever with these people:

digimarc.

Hugh

but most importantly can track usage of your images …

scratch that, seems like it’s only available for the “professional” product which costs 500 bucks a year. Too expensive!

We need a cheaper alternative!

[...] wonder that I’ve posted a deleted picture yesterday and still leave it on my blog. But the story of Rebekka is going on and new unbelievable things happen. I was watching my contact’s photo stream on [...]

How dare flickr/Yahoo do that?! They should be protecting members’ rights.

flickrl, is one of the most superficial sites on the net….

it is all about “fantastic picture” “fantastic picture” “fantastic picture” “fantastic picture” “fantastic picture” “fantastic picture”

In aticipation of Yahoo! fnucking Flickr up, I deleted my account when Yahoo took over Flickr.

Yahoo bought Flickr because of its user base. If Yahoo don’t fix this and give you an apology, you and everyone supporting you, should delete their accounts or at least their photos.

Deleting one account probably won’t matter (but I’m glad I did), but a few 100 delting their pictures on flickr and leaving a message as to why, will.

As will blogging about it. Keep blogging!

I wish you the best.

Kristján wrote on May 16th, 2007

Oh Flickr, what have you become – what has Yahoo done to you. I’m really sorry to hear about this, Rebekka. I saw in your photostream that you got an apology, though – that’s a start, at least. Any word on whether the picture will be reinstated?

it wont. they claim its “impossible” (might be a little work, but i seriously doubt its impossible)

[...] for support and was upheld by hundred of thousands of people all around web including those over Flickr and Digg. She had raised her voice against a company stealing images shot by her and selling [...]

[...] Rebekka posted, but they also deleted all the comments which were left by the community! This is the notice Rebekka got: Flickr is not a venue for to you harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate others. If we receive a [...]

This is so messed up. First you get ripped off then flickr gives you a kick in the butt (deleting photo). talk about adding insult to injury…….

Let’s see how well they can “monetize flickr” when they piss off too many of the best photogs and they go somewhere else. Maybe Zoomr? pbase, photo.net, etc, etc.

I don’t expect flickr to be utopia-perfect, but this is stupid.

Rebekka, chances are you dont need a lawyer. In the UK you can either make a Small Claims Court application (no lawyer needed, just filling in a few forms) or report the company to the UK Trading Standards Office.

The only downside is when theres a Small Claims Court hearing you’d need to be present. Its a fair amount of form filling but if your case is as strong as you say it is, it should be a formality.

The Small Claims Court is for the settlement of business issues below a certain amount, as lawyers getting involved at that level is too expensive to make the pursuit worthwhile. Its still legally enforcable though, and the image theives would be required to present a defence or lose by default.

Flickr is increasingly being seen as a cheap or free source of imagery for companies and commercial entities. Its contrary to the original remit of Flickr and is profoundly damaging the incomes of full time photographers into the bargain.

Theres a forum on Flick now called LAW which is attempting to increase knowledge of these issues. I’d check it oput if you get the chance.

[...] is al vrij lang actief op Flickr, en wordt volgens Thomas Hawk als “old skool” beschouwd. Maar Rebekka is boos. Nadat ze op haar Flickr account haar frustraties had geuit over de weigering van Online-Dreemin om [...]

Looks like all the suggestions have been made Rebekka; I wish you well in getting the recognition YOU deserve for YOUR pictures. As for Yahoo/Flickr, its a disgrace on their part!

Regards

Chris

That really is a shame, I love your photos and you deserve to get all of the credit that you deserve.

Flickr has to get out of the censorship game or they will find themselves quickly losing their popularity.

I just heard about all of this through a friend and, as a photographer, my heart goes out to you. I know that it’s hard enough to make it through this business doing the craft that you love while rarely making a profit; let alone getting hit with blows like this.

I hope you are able to receive some kind of compensation from them and that the other photographers who’ve had their work stolen from them can do the same.

Photonad wrote on May 16th, 2007

I tried to go to the web site of Only-dreemin and you only can get to the home page. Other pages are not available and give error messages… I think we should e-mail them en masse and tell them what we think of all this!

info@only-dreemin.com

I’m blown away by this. I can not believe Flickr would do this. This can’t the world we live in.

You have our support.

Gunnar Hrafn wrote on May 16th, 2007

Well, it’s a good thing we didn’t have enough space to print the part about how great flickr.com are, lol ;)

I hope you get some kind of relatively fair resolution out of this in the end.

Regards,

— Gunnar Hrafn

FYI, incomming Slashdotting. You’ve been posted here: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/16/1247201

[...] It was two days ago that Rebekka shared all this with the world by posting an image on flickr. Unfortunately, Flickr has taken down that image, but she made a post about this matter on her blog. [...]

asdh wrote on May 16th, 2007

Is Flickr out of its mind? I had blogged your post on StumbleUpon, now I’ve updated to this one. Shame on Flickr!!!

[...] the search cache because the bastards deleted it off of Flickr in a move to kick someone when she’s down.  Throwing this up here to preserve it because I [...]

I am also very upset about the way that Rebekka has been victimized by unscrupulous art thieves and then further traumatized by Flickr’s response to the whole affair.

I joined Flickr just to post my support for Rebekka in this matter (it was posted to an Olympus Camera User’s mailing list) and after seeing how things worked out I will certainly not be posting any of my images there. In fact, I am giving serious thought to moving my website hosting away from Yahoo’s Small Business site.

I don’t know much about copyright law, but I do know that in the United States it is a criminal (not just a civil) matter now: there are serious fines and jail terms handed out for theft through copyright infringement. So: the site of the theft (Yahoo’s Flickr) is a U.S. company; and the location of the stolen goods’ sale (eBay) is a U.S. company….

Consider: if an British man were to mug and rob an Icelandic woman in New York City, and sell the jewelry so obtained in Los Angeles, would he be immune to prosecution because neither the victim nor the criminal were U.S. citizens? Of course not! Now, I realize that things are not as clear-cut as that in cyberspace but, perhaps someone with a little more knowledge on these matters could look into this for Rebekka? I am sure that any kind of criminal conviction on her behalf would bolster her chances of success (and lower her out-of-pocket expenses) in any subsequent civil case…

P.S. Beautiful work, Rebekka. I doubt that any of the people who stole your work understand what it is like to be up at all hours of the day and night just to catch those magic fleeting moments that so fully express the depth and breadth of a special place, in order that others might enjoy them without all of that effort!

Riccardo Maia wrote on May 16th, 2007

Rebekka,
your story is just unacceptable.
This short comment is just to let you know a discussion is going on about your case in the Milano Flickr community: http://www.flickr.com/groups/milanomilano/discuss/72157600220713039/#comment72157600220928069
I’m not sure their attitude will turn out to be a good choice for the Company itself.

Riccardo

mfkenney wrote on May 16th, 2007

I’m truly sorry to hear about this. I dumped my Flickr membership a couple of months ago and this makes me all the more glad that I did.

One piece of advice to amateur photographers out there; do not post your full resolution images online. The pros learned this lesson a long time ago. There is still a chance that your lower-res versions will be “borrowed” by some lazy web designer but you will minimize the chance of some scumbag selling your prints with their name on it.

Maybe we all should add the photo and the post to our Flickr Account.. Just like digg revolt :) thay can’t manage hundreds of users at the same time..

Fortean wrote on May 16th, 2007

I’m a bit slow, so please explain to me: How was Rebekka harmed? She doesn’t (as far as I can tell) sell prints of here art, so Only Dreemin can’t have hurt her income. They should pay royalties, obviously, but why death threats and so much talk of huge lawsuits?

Good luck with all of this. A lot of photographers out there hope that you get what is due to you for your photos.

anonymous wrote on May 16th, 2007

I realize that the following comment is clearly not in line with what others have posted here, but….

While I feel terrible that your photos were reproduced without your consent and sold under a pseudonym, I’m not sure why this is surprising. You posted your photos to a public forum on the internet. Of course they’re going to be reproduced! Once content you post is out on the internet, you have no control over it.

Furthermore, people who are angry at flickr: flickr is a service, one that has to protect their own legal liability. In any case, if you read flickr’s terms of service, you’ll see that their actions were probably taken for this reason.

One last thing. If you’re angry that someone could possibly reproduce your work without your consent, remember that flickr has the legal right to do so. Read the terms of service agreement:

“With respect to Content other than photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service other than Yahoo! Groups, the perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed.”

If you seek to gain popularity and make a name for yourself, services like flickr are great, but if you’re a professional who hopes to make money off of digital content, I would not use flickr or any other service like it that requires you hand over the rights to your work. As a professional, you probably also want to water mark any photos you upload.

Evidently, Flickr IS a venue for image theft!! I’m canceling my paid account with Flickr…

By the way, your photos are BEAUTIFUL.

Johnny Hearthrob wrote on May 16th, 2007

I dont believe only-dreemin bought the pictures off some 3rd party that sounds like a big lie. There is no way they paid £3000 for image files. This could be easily prooved in court. Even if they did buy the rights they are still liable for abuse of copyright. Even if they did not know.
You will find Getty and Corbis the big photo companies are suing anyone around the world who is using there pictures without consent for approx $1000 per picture. And alot of people are running scared. There is a company that retrieves money on a commission basis for Getty and Corbis. I will let you know if I find out.
Some people dont realise that you cannot use other peoples photos. But Im sure only-dreemin knew what they are doing as they sell stills form movies.
I dont think only-dreemin are making alot of money either. They have been selling on ebay for a 2/3 years now and if you look at sales they are low.
But I would look into recovering compensation. Get a lawyer who specialises in photo copyright based in London.

I saw the news on slashdot then I realized Rebeka is one of my flickr friends.

I have written an article about this very topic . I think the fact that all of our user generated content are so concentrated on Flickr and YouTube or similar websites, would leave them at the mercy of corporate greed or Pro-Censorship governments. I have recommendations for Open Source developers to start planning for building decentralized online communities and media management systems similar to flickr or youTube, and also develop technologies so people could export, migrate, and import their content to a new place with few clicks of a button.

MissColor8 wrote on May 16th, 2007

change for ipernity :D

@Fortean: do i need to show bruises in order for you to feel i was “harmed”?

it doesnt matter wether or not im selling prints of my images at the moment or not.
that doenst give someone else the right to do it.

Im living of student loans at the moment.
I had to pay my lawyer for the work she did on this case, which resulted in no damages paid to me by Only-dreemin.
i spend an entire weekend gathering evidence. It was a great deal of work.
So i would say this has affected me a great deal.

i personally don’t feel any need to be payed any HUGE sum of money. But getting NO money , when they’ve admitted to what they did, is also hard to accept.

And not for the first time, i would like to say that i do wish some people hadn’t gotten so carried away with their letters, of course any threat of violence was completely uncalled for.
perhaps it WAS wrong of me to write that line about sending letters in the first place, considering how things turned out, but i must say i think they had it all coming.
if they’d run their damn business in an honest way none of this would have happened.
can’t feel very sorry for them.

Riccardo Maia wrote on May 16th, 2007

@anonymous: strange view, really…
Point 9 of “terms of service agreement” says something completely different (I’d dare to say opposite) to your post:

“With respect to photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service other than Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Service solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available”

I draw your attention to the sentence “solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available”.

1) Dreemin is NOT Yahoo
2) Dreemin is obviosuly printing and displaying these pictures for a commercial purpose other than the one the photos were submitted or made available
3) As Flickr people are duly worried about their civilian and criminal liability they should take a better care of legally protected rights of people paying good money to display pictures through their website. This would not be the first case for a “service provider” to be considered liable for making a “crime” to easy and taking no technical countermeasure: do you remembre Napster??

Riccardo

Fortean wrote on May 16th, 2007

@Rebekka
Yes. Specifically because I am concerned with your use of the word damages. Damages come in two forms: compensatory, and punative. Compensatory damages are awarded for actual harm done to you, financially. As far as I can tell, because you do not sell prints, this amounts to 0$, your legal fees notwithstanding. You are also probably not going to recieve punative damages, because at the first documented point where they were aware these works infringed your copyright, they removed them.

AND you incited what amounts to mob violence aginst them. AND you continue to assert that they are dishonest (potentially libel, as it most certainly has hurt their reputation). AND you seem to suggest you are not in the least bit sorry about any of this. (‘can’t feel sorry for them’)

The Photography Web-o-Sphere Sell-Out Trifecta…

Popular Flickr personality gets her images stolen and sold for thousands of dollars: That sucks. She posts to Flickr for advice, to warn others of the rotten company, etc: Obvious thing to do. She then gets the post killed by Flickr because “Flickr is…

Thomas Dudziak wrote on May 16th, 2007

I was wondering, you could perhaps setup a PayPal account and every reader of your Blog could give you a dollar or two, so that you’d be able to afford a lawyer ? I know this worked in the past, and I certainly can spare a few bucks to help you.

Riccardo Maia wrote on May 16th, 2007

@fortean: a lot of fantasy in your words.
If you want to exploit (or even just use for your own pleasure) somebody else’s pictures you’re the one who have to get the author’s consent.
This means the rule does not work the other way round: it is not up to the author to tell you that photo cannot be used.
The general rule is: other people’s photos cannot be used unless you get their permission (and no vice versa)

Dreemin infringed this specific law (existing in all western countries and specifically in the EU): because of that they DO OWE to pay damages! (and royalties, of course!)
That’s it.
I agree damages will not be Millions ££ as Rebekka is not (yet) Sebastiao Salgado but still Dreemin is liable (at the very least) for their careless conduct.
As for the Rebekka boycott campaign; Dreemin get the reputation they deserve and as far as statements made by Rebekka are true she risks nothing and her reaction was perfectly proportionate.
Dreemin should better look for an equitable settlement of their misconduct (and Rebekka should really hire a lawyer in London: this is not a difficult case).
I’m ready to contribute to this legal action as I think this could be a leading case teaching a lot to Flickr management too.

Riccardo

You did a good work on the radio today. You have all my sympathy and I wish you the best best in your struggle. Good luck in the future.

Johnny Hearthrob wrote on May 16th, 2007

Read this how Getty and Corbis chase copyright infringement for fees:

http://www.fsb.org.uk/discuss/forum_posts.asp?TID=194&PN=4

Some very good information in there. Please note only dreemin are still liable for copyright infringement because even if they did it by accident.

Good luck.

Fortean wrote on May 16th, 2007

Where, precisely, did Dreemin go wrong? The photos were provided to them on a CD with incorrect identifying information. They paid for them. It is emminently reasonable for them to have believed they had legitimately secured the right to reprint these photographs. I agree they owe royalties, but damages are awarded in response to harm, of which I see very little convincing proof of.

As long as the statments made by Rebekka are true, yes. Prove to me the company is dishonest, that what they have said is untrue, and I will step back from my point about libel. The mob violence issue stands, however, and BECAUSE of this mob reaction, I believe an equitable settlement would entail no money paid out at all, with Dreemin agreeing not to resell Rebekkas work. Or perhaps some sort of licensing deal, Rebekka really should sell prints. (I feel I should mention I am a fan of your work, Rebekka, but I disapprove of the way you handled this situation.)

Flickr is just a bunch of corporate drones w/o a mind. Apparently stealing is of a higher class than protecting one’s copyright according to them.

You should consult w/ Carolyn Wright – Photo Attorney. She has a new book out about legal rights for photographers. http://www.photoattorney.com

Johnny Hearthrob wrote on May 16th, 2007

these are the 2 top London law firms who are chasing photo theft for Corbis and Getty. Corbis is owned by Bill Gates.

Baker & McKenzie

and

Moreton Smith

Find out how much it will cost or if they will do it on commission.

Best of luck.

[...] was to be short lived. Only hours after it hit the front page of Digg, Yahoo!, who owns Flickr, removed the post. According to Guðleifsdóttir, Yahoo! cited alleged terms of service [...]

[...] en llegar a la página principal de digg. Minutos después la fotografía fue eliminada y Rebekka recibió el siguiente mensaje de la administración de [...]

I’m sorry it must be tough to be censored like that!

Gunnar Hrafn wrote on May 16th, 2007

This was all over the Icelandic media today, both major newspapers and one of the major radio channels covered it, more coverage is forthcoming. High profile lawyers will eventually be commenting, etc., this thing is moving forward imho.

Riccardo Maia wrote on May 16th, 2007

@Fortean: so Dreemin will be very welcome to explain where and how the purchased those pictures but they will have to do that before a judge and they should try to be convincing.
THEY should indicate the seller and he must be a relaible one (i.e. they cannot simply say we boght the pictures from a guy with fair hair…).
The seller wil then be drawn before the judge too (at Dreemin costs) and explain how he got the pictures and so on…
If Dreemin can demostrate they acted cautiously then i agree with they will not be convicted (the seller will…) BUT THEY have to demonstrate the fairness of their conduct and NOT Rebekka their misconduct.
A good starting point for Dreemin coud be explaining why they did not answer to Rebekka’s letter.
BTW I never heard of Rebekka before today but I hate this kind of bullism against weaker/younger artists performed by so called “companies”.

Riccardo

[...] it on Flickr, under a composite image of the images that had been stolen (still available at her blog), starting a major @#$%-storm on Digg, Reddit, thomashawk and elsewhere. •The page on Flickr had [...]

Khen Lim wrote on May 16th, 2007

Rebekka

I feel very strongly about the principle of pursuing justice but only if it doesn’t hurt your artistic pursuit. I have been tracking your flickr images and read what there is to read. I won’t say very much more since everyone here and at Flickr had said them probably far better than I can but I offer you a glimmer of hope. It appears that I do have a complete web page of your flickr commentary PLUS the messages that others had sent you. If you like me to send them over to you, do reply offsite to my email address and I’ll find some way of porting the whole lot over to you. I hope this will help you.

I’m with you all the way!

Khen Lim wrote on May 16th, 2007

Oops,

I was not quite correct with my recent mail to you. I only have the first page….

Sorry…

K.

[...] Yahoo, which owns Flickr. Their “solution” was quick and dirty: they removed the photographer’s pictures from her Flickr account. It seems their people are too busy to bother figuring out who the images really belong to, so they [...]

Brad wrote on May 16th, 2007

@fortean,

Without doubt, I think one of the biggest travesties in life is that you were given a brain.

puffepuff wrote on May 16th, 2007

must say im disepointed by flickr.
strange that they just take a stand in a case where you obv have done nothing wrong. this must be a thing people can talk about, without getting blindly censored..
how can flickr censor something and give a explanation that not a singel member aprove of.
its like we are in a community and they in china..
i have never in my life seen somebody getting censored for harass, abuse,
impersonate, or intimidate where it wasent wery clear. the explanation given is just tragic and sad! i would have expected flickr to stand by one of theyr most popular members.. especially when you obv have a strong case.

you have every right to expres your feelings and telling people the truth!

all the best. your photos are wonderful!

mike rogers wrote on May 16th, 2007

Yahoo Is Evil.

The Yahoo TOS enables it to suspend or cancel your account for any reason whatsoever. There are many, many “abuse” forms scattered through the sprawling Yahoo site that enable random internet nutjobs with grievances to flag your account. Enough of these and you can get shut out automatically. If this happens you may *never* regain access to any of of the resources associated with that Yahoo MemberID, and some or all of those resources will eventually be deleted and unrecoverable. Yahoo CSRs will remain clueless about the “reason” for your account suspension, refuse to re-instate you, and simply repeat “TOS Violation” because that’s all their database shows.

This is why internet consolidation is bad.

Rebekka, I read your plea, found out about it on slashdot

I will do what I can by spreading the word. I feel for you.

I started my book and before I even finsihed the 2nd chapter, I had spoke to my attorney about what I need to do to protect it. Currently I do not have any of the book online, but very soon I will be doing so to receive some feedback.

Feel free to contact me if you believe I can help you with anything

Thank you for the notice… Creative people need to band together to protect our work as our own.

[...] (con mas de 400 comentarios) que parece que al final flickr decidió devolver, no así la imagen. Este es un blog de Rebekka, donde comenta la censura de flickr y las imágenes en [...]

Rebekka

someone in me UK has asked me for your cannot demits as may what to cover your story

would you like to get in touch?

Stephen[at]cotterell[dot]net

Oops!

Rebekka

someone in me UK has asked me for your contact details as may what to cover your story

would you like to get in touch?

Stephen[at]cotterell[dot]net

stoametz wrote on May 16th, 2007

Wow, there’s some silly comments on here from a few choice persons (ahem, fortean, and others demonstrating grand designs of dim-wittery).

Rebekka, I am a big fan and am also truly sorry this happened to you. Please keep me posted if you move to another service in the future.

Hi T.H.!

Yahoo, People, Flickr,…

Yahoo has a new mission statement. I first saw it on Read/Write web.
Last night, Yahoo! announced their new mission, “to connect people to their passions, communities, and the world’s knowledge.” While Google emphasizes the data, Yahoo! w…

[...] can read more about this appalling incident at Rebekkah’s WordPress blog. I first read about it at [...]

Robert wrote on May 16th, 2007

Below is the DNS info for ONLY-DREEMIN.COM

——–

Registrant:
tracee mayes, (traceemayes100@hotmail.com)
2 bretby road
aylestone
leicester, leicestershire LE2 8QH
GB

Domain name: ONLY-DREEMIN.COM

Administrative Contact:
mayes, tracee (traceemayes100@hotmail.com)
2 bretby road
aylestone
leicester, leicestershire LE2 8QH
GB
+4401162837125

Technical Contact:
mayes, tracee
2 bretby road
aylestone
leicester, leicestershire LE2 8QH
GB
+4401162837125

Registration Service Provider:
UK Reg,
+44 1452 541252
+44 1452 538485 (fax)
http://www.ukreg.com/

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 15-Feb-2007.
Record expires on 28-Jan-2010.
Record created on 28-Jan-2004.

Domain servers in listed order:
NS3.LIVEDNS.CO.UK
NS2.LIVEDNS.CO.UK
NS1.LIVEDNS.CO.UK

Theft, unfortunately, is a matter of fact in the photography industry. As hard as it is to accept, your lawyer is giving you good advice in telling you to move on. You’ve stopped the company from profiting from your work, which – in this case – will have to be enough.

You should consider treating this as a wake-up call and begin actively marketing your imagery. Sure, success on Flickr is nice, and it may lead to income (for those who are popular enough, as it did/does in your case), but it certainly won’t allow you a generous lifestyle.

As a start, try writing to Glynnis Jones at Jupiter Imagery: gjones@jupiterimages.com, http://www.jupiterimages.com. Your immense popularity on Flickr, together with your successful automotive shoot, may well be enough to open a very lucrative door.

… good luck!

[...] do my best to suppress the rage that I feel at the moment toward Flickr and the schmucks who stole Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir’s photos, but I make no [...]

Jon O'Brien wrote on May 16th, 2007

I’ve just used the abuse report form to send the following to the flickr administration:

“I’m disgusted at your abuse of Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir. I read everything that she wrote on the page you have pulled and all the comments she made to the comments left by others. I saw nothing there which could lead you to believe that she was using flickr to ‘…harass, abuse, impersonate, or intimidate others’.

All she was guilty of was telling other flickr users how photographs she had uploaded to the site had been stolen and sold for profit. I would have thought that you would have supported her, not added to her misery. You have done your image considerable harm by taking this stance.

I’ve only been here a short time but there’s no way I’m going to remain part of a “community” that is evidently nothing of the sort. I will be encouraging everyone I know that is a member to close their accounts and will doing my best to ensure that no one I know joins in future. The effect will probably be equivalent to pissing in the sea but at least I will not be tacitly supporting your disgraceful attitude.’

So, I’d like to invite those flickr members that feel as strongly as I do about this to close their accounts forthwith.

dave wrote on May 16th, 2007

I for one have removed the few photos I had posted, deleted Flikr from my favorites and they will never receive another hit from me. I hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing your work in the past, as I’m relatively new to Flikr, and am only an amateur photographer with nowhere near the talent you exhibit… I would be apalled if that happend to one of my photos.

[...] I read, with great relief, that it hasn’t happened yet. Stewart’s reply to the Flickr fiasco this week shows that they simply made an honest, human mistake. A painful one, but by being [...]

>>>Fortean Says:

>>>May 16th, 2007 at 2:03 pm

>>>”Where, precisely, did Dreemin go wrong? The photos were provided to them on a CD with incorrect identifying information. They paid for them. It is emminently reasonable for them to have believed they had legitimately secured the right to reprint these photographs.”

>>”As long as the statments made by Rebekka are true, yes. Prove to me the company is dishonest, that what they have said is untrue, and I will step back from my point about libel. The mob violence issue stands, however,”

Sorry; that didn’t post properly. I’ll try again:

Fortean Says:

May 16th, 2007 at 2:03 pm

“Where, precisely, did Dreemin go wrong? The photos were provided to them on a CD with incorrect identifying information. They paid for them. It is emminently reasonable for them to have believed they had legitimately secured the right to reprint these photographs.”

But they hadn’t secured the right to print those photographs; so, what they believed is immaterial. As with any vendor of stolen goods, ignorance of origin is not a defence with reference to stolen merchandise. Stolen propety is still stolen property: do you want us to think that the fact this property can by its nature be sold more than once somehow lessens the degree of criminality involved in its theft?

“As long as the statments made by Rebekka are true, yes. Prove to me the company is dishonest, that what they have said is untrue, and I will step back from my point about libel. The mob violence issue stands, however,”

Certainly, Rebekka has shown due diligence in doing what she can to establish that her photos were used without her permission: that protects her from any allegations of libel in discussing this matter. Further, this topic is definitely one which is being discussed within the context of public interest: users of Flickr have a right to know about this incident. This consideration also supersedes any allegations of libel.

Fortean, you really need to come to grips with the fact that a crime was committed here; and, with the reality that the victim is not to blame. The company involved had ample opportunity to demonstrate that they were functioning in good faith. As for the “mob violence” you speak of: you know, I use to see this sort of thing all of the time back when I was heavily involved with the environmental movement. Some company messes up, and then decides to B.S. their way out of it instead of cleaning up after themselves. First they ignore the situation; then they try to suppress information about the situation; then they have people insert themselves into the discussion to covertly plead their case; then they pretend they didn’t know what was going on and that they are going to fix everything (later); then they threaten those calling them to task with lawsuits and other legal proceedings; then they collapse under the weight of public opinion, and the government steps in to use whatever resources that company has left to clean up the mess they thought they were going to walk away from.

That isn’t “mob violence”; that is the public sphere of social commentary.

You most likely already know this, but you have support. We must find a way to protect our own creative work.

[...] Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir – Freedom of expression?? Telling the truth?? (tags: photography flickr censorship) [...]

Phillippe Dambournet wrote on May 17th, 2007

So, we are dealing with a corporation that sides with thieves and punishes the victim for complaining? This country sinks lower every day.

I would track all recent business stories regarding this website and talk to the writers. Also, get the deleted content from existing caches/archives. And publicly seek an IP attorney who’d like to take this on as a potential test case without asking unaffordable fees. I can understand the advice not to sue, though: normal legal proceedings could result in punishing legal expenses and take up a huge amount of time.

Jezzah wrote on May 17th, 2007

Looks like everyone turned into a legal expert. Yes, it is bad that Rebekka got ripped off, but the sum involved was, to be honest, chicken feed. A lawyer is not going to get out of bed for that amount of money. She should put it down to experience, learn from it, and move on.

The upside is, as someone has mentioned, that it shows her the possibility of selling her work herself. She is a talented photographer, and – which helps – photogenic herself. As Yada got flamed for pointing out – she gets a lot of publicity because of what she looks like. OK – life isn’t fair, but it gives her a big opportunity, should she decide to go that route.

Looks like a lot went wrong in a short time… But flickr’s replied… what do you think of the response?

http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/40074/page3/#reply213196

Reported a hack to Flickr abuse in February. If you uploaded any high resolution image it may have been accessed this way. See the hack, my email correspondences with Flickr abuse and the blogger publicizing the hack in the following blog post.
http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2007/05/16/a-flickr-hack-rebekka-abuse-of-high-resolution-image/

rebekka wrote on May 17th, 2007

for the millionth time, i have NEVER UPLOADED ANY HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES TO FLICKR

72dpi , always.

just wish people would get this one detail straight.

Tyler Riti wrote on May 17th, 2007

Rebekka,

Now that Flickr has issued apologies (both to you privately and publicly to the community), admitted to their mistake in removing your photo, and has promised to work on ensuring that something like this doesn’t happen again, have you considered reposting your photo composite to Flickr, possibly with commenting turned off (to prevent another incident where people start posting hateful and harassing speech)?

>>I’m a bit slow, so please explain to me: How was Rebekka harmed? She doesn’t (as far as I can tell) sell prints of here art, so Only Dreemin can’t have hurt her income. They should pay royalties, obviously, but why death threats and so much talk of huge lawsuits?

not harm in the way you describe it no, but rebekka doesnt have to be in the business of producing prints for there to be damages. what has been done here is that works have been reproduced without permission that MAY have been licensed had rebekka been approached to give such a permission. to knowingly use these images without authorisation implies also knowingly avoiding the potential licensing.

how much that would be is kind of moot. but by rebekka’s description of financial status, it seems every little helps

Brad wrote on May 17th, 2007

I’m sorry, but when irresponsible and wreckess people say, “I’m sorry” the apologies don’t cut it. If my girlfriend was struck and killed by a drunk driver and the drunk driver issued a deep apology of endless, “sorries” would that be exusable and plausible?

No, that person was responsible for death. And in this case the company that stole committed a crime and Yahoo/Flickr for taking off her comment stream is responsible for censorship. Sorry, but sorry from both guilty parties just doesn’t cut it.

In our society when we issue our “sorries” they have become very hollow. It’s just convenient that we can say that and not accept the consequences and repsonsibilities for our actions.

In this case a human being was harmed and violated by severe crimes. Period. When the company, who I refuse to name, says, “well we’re sorry, but we were conned too”. the response is nothing more, nothing less than to get out of trouble.

Wake up people

Tyler Riti wrote on May 17th, 2007

“Yahoo/Flickr for taking off her comment stream is responsible for censorship”

If your home address were published on a web forum and people were sending you death threats and you asked the offending posts to be removed, would you call it censorship?

Seriously, this is not censorship. Calling this an example of censorship or comparing it to a loved one *getting killed*… *losing their life* is shortsighted and shows a *serious* lack of perspective. There are real people in the world right now going to prison because of the things they have published about a government that systematically suppresses such speech and controls the flow of information to their people. THAT’S censorship. Where are your blog comment posts fighting for *that* cause?

This is a case of *one* picture being *accidentally* removed by *mistake*. The mistake was acknowledged, apologized for, and a plan is being put into place to keep a mistake like that from happening again. What more could you want them to do? Rebekka is even free to repost that picture. How can that even be called censorship?

Rebekka having her art stolen is awful. I’ve got a very talented friend who draws incredible artwork and she’s had many many pieces taken from her deviantart page, her signature cropped out or painted over, and then reposted on other sites as their own or submitted to contests, etc. It’s awful when it happens and I hope the responsible parties pay appropriately for what they’ve done.

The vigilante justice mob that co-opted Rebekka’s plight had *no right* to issue death threats to anyone no matter what the cause. There are even people taking advantage of Rebekka’s high profile identity and the added attention to this issue to further their own agendas such as publishing their own groups or stirring up additional anti-Flickr drama to advertise their own website. (Yes… Some of you have been led astray on purpose by one particular person.) That is cheap and distracts from the real issue that Rebekka is having to face. In fact, the whole mob thing may prove to be more damaging to Rebekka in the long run should the craptastic copyright infringing scumbag company decide to sue for harassment. If they’re willing to rip off artwork, what’s to stop them from being completely awful and doing something like that?

Flickr messed up, but they owned up for what they did and is fixing things so that it won’t happen again. That’s what you do in a situation like that. The photo-stealing site has issued a CYA story and is trying to shun responsibility. They’re the despicable ones. They should have removed the photos immediately, issued an apology, and cut a check for the amount made from those photos plus additional for damages– but it’ll probably take lawyers and a judge to get that much from them.

rebekka Says:

May 17th, 2007 at 4:40 am
for the millionth time, i have NEVER UPLOADED ANY HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES TO FLICKR

72dpi , always.

just wish people would get this one detail straight.

I have image interpolation software that I bought years ago for a research project – it does an amazing job of upsizing images. My daughter sent me a .jpg file of herself and some friends (who were in an environmental group) meeting with Jane Goodall (at a book signing); I upsized it into an 11″X17″ and printed them all copies on my color laser printer. I was amazed at the image quality (and that’s when I started to take digital capture images seriously!). The lack of film grain in digital captures makes them very easy to upsize without much degradation in quality.

My understanding is that the company in question was offering ‘prints on canvass’… so, how much resolution does one need for that? It sounds to me as if they were geared up for printing from low res files right from the start.

Some people have been commenting to the effect that Rebekka is getting preferential treatment in this matter because she is herself quite photogenic. The point that they are missing is that this issue is much larger than Rebekka’s images (I really like the horse photos, by the way): and somewhere in the back of their mind, anyone who has used Flickr is thinking: “What if that happened to me; what if someone stole the pictures I’ve posted of my kids, and started doing twisted things with those?”

Well, what if? Clearly, the response Rebekka received from Flickr is totally inappropriate for the issue at hand. A crime was committed, and that should have been addressed in no uncertain terms. If the response Rebekka has received seems disproportionate to some, then they are missing the depth of the issue underlying this incident. Rebekka is right to draw as much attention to this matter as she can, because this is about EVERYBODIES’ photographs, not just the images posted by the most talented members of the community.

As I’ve said before, this issue is a concern that qualifies as being a matter of public concern: it affects EVERYONE who can and/or does upload photographs into a space accessible to the public – such as, Flickr.

paolagraydog wrote on May 17th, 2007

rebekka,I love you, I burn with the hate of injustice commited upon you by those that cannot do what you do so well. you could put on a few lbs for insulation,good god it must be cold in iceland! ;-)

[...] Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir » Blog Archive » Freedom of expression?? Telling the truth?? FUCK FLICKR (tags: flickr censorship photography) [...]

Khen Lim wrote on May 17th, 2007

I have been tracking this forum for two days now and I think most people got the issues fairly right here. Of the many issues that have been brought up, I believe the following are pretty conclusive:

(1) It does not matter if a person’s images have not drawn any revenue or even if the person has not decided to sell the images that belong to him/her. The fact of the matter is that these images are proprietary to that person and if any other entity so chooses to want to use them, permission must be requested and henceforth granted. It is preferable that permission be sought before anything should proceed and not the other way around. The point of whether Rebekka has herself sold anything from her images and/or made any revenue out of them is legally immaterial. The issue here is proprietary rights or artistic ownership. Let’s just say that I decide to upload my images and that I have the intention to sell them but let’s also just say that my shots were just not good enough to draw any interests to purchase but for whatever reason a company decides to lift them out and sell them. The company might even decide to spruce up my images, colourise it and then happen to sell them quite successfully. Even in this matter of course where I did not make a dime out of it, they are still MY images. End of story.

(2) By issuing the warning to Rebekka was wrong of Flickr. By removing the images was also wrong. Both are acceptably so according to consensus at this forum and I agree entirely. But it is important to know that in the course of such events having taken place, any court of law will consider if Flickr did anything to redress the situation and secondly what course of action the redress actually is. Flickr’s co-founder no less has written a fairly thorough – and might I add, quite convincing (at least on the surface) – explanation of what happened but that’s not all. If any of you have read it in detail, you’ll accept that he went further. He accepted personal liability and it wasn’t a simple cursory apology. He went to some detail to underline that Flickr’s leadership management was in the wrong also. He acknowledged that what Flickr did to censure Rebekka as well as to remove her images was incorrect too. The point here is that as far as the court of law is concerned, it will examine how generous Flickr’s attempts to address the mistakes are going to be in their eyes. And from the co-founder’s admission and decision to make sure such will not happen may be sufficient but I am NOT the court of law. It will be up to the force of law to determine if that is enough. In my opinion, I believe they can still do a little more than what they have said in writing. I’ll get to these points a little later.

(3) Rebekka is angry. That far is very obvious. She is also unhappy and feel – correctly – wronged. I do know she reads the comments here and chooses to respond only when she feels it’s worth her while to. Any person in her state of mind and having been wronged this way will feel it in him/her to write what she had written in her Flickr account. However after reading and reading what everyone has commented here, I have come to an opinion that (a) she has done the best she could do seek legal counsel, which she has so far been unsuccessful, (b) she should have been a trifle bit more cautious about what she has written and I’ll explain this part a little more later and (c) she have opened herself up for libel if she’s not careful and that is one thing we all don’t want to happen to her. The that has arisen isn’t always right and this is the core of the issue in part (b). There have been probably more than a few dozen people who have expressed themselves in this forum site alone. Now that the news has filtered to countless other blogsites and news sites, there will be a few hundreds who have their individual opinion just like you and I. Many don’t know how to control their temperament and hence we have people who are liable to worsen the situation for Rebekka. And that’s a serious issue that she doesn’t really need. Threats to kill and the sowing of hatredness are immature and totally unnecessary – they only make the true issues murkier to see.

(4) The way I see it, if we want to be of genuine assistance to Rebekka, we can do the following:

Khen Lim wrote on May 17th, 2007

(a) Word out your support with responsibility. Do not give her more things to worry about. Be careful about staying within the bounds of what are legally permissible.
(b) Stop all forms of threat. You are not helping Rebekka at all by doing so.
(c) Spread the news, yes, but hold off the emotions. Report as it is. If you want to express an opinion, do so measuredly.
(d) Set up a fund and help her pay for her legal costs. I am aware that she has not asked for such and I’m not sure also if she might take offence to this. So it’s best to ask Rebekka if she minds if this is done to help her out first.

(5) The force of the Internet and now blogsites, forums etc etc are very powerful and if used responsibly will affect companies with malicious and/or criminal intent to deceive the public, to exploit the innocent and to commercially undermine people who own their own artistic and intellectual content. It has been proven before and it can still work SO LONG AS there is some semblance of collective responsibility and accountability. Mob brigades will work against this. It has to stop.

(6) Everyone makes mistakes. I too admit that I was furious when I heard what Flickr did to remove Rebekka’s contents and images. But after additional reading and research into legal strategies (yes I work at a law firm), I realise that the humanity aspect is important to put into perspective. Flickr has apologised and no, I don’t buy this bit that some readers have expressed. There is such a thing as and even courts of law do this. Forgiveness is also an important aspect in everything. If you believe you are error-less, smite me. If you have made mistakes in your past and you have felt the gratitude of being forgiven, then we should reflect on this a little more humanistically. Flickr has apologised but as I’d said earlier, I do believe they can do a little more than just that to underline their sincerity.

(7) What the co-founder has written is, in my mind, admirable and I respect that. At the Olympus forum that I’m a regular, there is a broad consensus that what he has expressed in words is good and acceptable. But I would personally like to see Flickr – led by the management leaders by individual names – post email messages to EVERY SINGLE MEMBER registered at Flickr and (a) pronounce their mistakes clearly, (b) lay out the steps that they will take to prevent this from happening again, (c) apologise to Rebekka unconditionally and unreservedly and (d) to make every effort to restore her images as well as readers’ comments. I am also of the opinion that point (d) is possible. I do not believe they are so lost that they are irretrievable. If IBM can recover data from smashed-to-bits hard disk drives from the 9/11 incident, I cannot see why they can’t. It all depends on how far they want to go to prove their sincerity.

K.

Tyler Riti wrote on May 17th, 2007

I agree with most of what you’ve said… Actually, a vast majority of it. This point, however:

“If IBM can recover data from smashed-to-bits hard disk drives from the 9/11 incident, I cannot see why they can’t. It all depends on how far they want to go to prove their sincerity.”

1. The situations are different here. Flickr’s database is a live system. As soon as something is deleted, it’s probably getting overwritten with a new picture within seconds. “Smashed-to-bits” hard drives, by definition, are not being overwritten with new data and so are actually (oddly enough) easier to recover.

2. Flickr would have to remove from service a critical element of their day-to-day operations — An entire database server — to remove a hard drive (or more likely a series of hard drives as they’re probably all RAIDed together) for the data to be recovered. Obviously, they have multiple redundant database servers so they could manage with just one down… Except that in the event of a DB failure, they’d have one less fall back system. Something like that would cripple hundreds of thousands of Flickr users — most of them who know nothing about Rebekka and who couldn’t care less about her, about copyright, or anything other than not being able to access their vacation photos. That is unacceptable and would only make things worse in the grander scheme of things.

3. It’s not Flickr’s business to decide what goes up in someone’s photostream. In all likelyhood, Rebekka can simply repost the original photo. Bam. Done. Takes a minute. It’s right there at the top of this blog page. Heck, several other people have already reposted her photo in their own photostreams (which, ironically, is copyright infringement itself *imagine that*) and those photos aren’t being removed. The issue isn’t about the photo. It never was.

I’ll go out on a limb here and post the supposition that Rebekka is *choosing* to not post the photo because she doesn’t want to see the angry Mob of Vigilante Justice and Truth and Justice start back up and using her plight as an excuse and justification to lob hateful and harassing speech at the accused party.

People need to blow off steam when they get angry. Rebekka was angry, I’m sure, and rightfully so. It’s like writing an angry letter to someone and then throwing it away in the trash. You get these things off of your chest so that you can move on to the next thing in your life that requires your attention.

Rebekka,

Your work is incredible and an inspiration to me, personally, as an amateur photographer. I hope this event hasn’t burned you and turned you off to publishing your work for the world to see. Sadly, the more well known a person becomes, the more likely it is that your work will be stolen by others. It’s not right. It’s never right, and I hope that you are able to deal with this current situation and also with the others that are very likely to happen to you in the future. I have several artist friends and their artwork gets stolen from them in similar fashion. All you can do is work hard to take back what is yours and look for support from your friends, family, and fans.

You’ve done well and I sincerely wish you the best.

– Tyler Riti

[...] Rebekka writes about Flickr’s deletion of her content [...]

the only thing we could do for you and for all the people in your situation is to say NO all together.
I’d like to think to flickr and internet as a possibility, but it’s simply foul, because it’s a possibility only if you are bigger than others, or, few times, luckier than others.

we are the same team! it’s time to be bigger than others… is there anyone with good ideas to create a company to save our picture from thieves, sell them, but over all protect them for futures years?

this is the solution!

@Tyler: thank you for your leve-headed outlook. (that goes to Khen LIm as well)

i agree with you, mostly, about the issue of reposting the photo. I don’t think its whats most important right now.
The discussion has continued elsewhere and that will have to be enough.

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, i never wanted anyone to threaten anyone. (by that i mean death threats or other threats of bodily harm). I deeply regret that people did that because of what i posted. I myself would never use violence as a means of getting my way.

now, i’m the sort of person that gets really mad really easily, but has a really hard time carrying a grudge.

i feel so bad when im angry, so the fewer people i have to be angry with , the better. I have two kids to take care of, and in the last few days ive hardly been able to do so, because of this whole mess.

I’ve chosen to not carry a grudge towards flickr admins for their temporary short-sightedness.
To be quite honest, there are more important things for me to think about.

(But Im still very unhappy about the only-dreemin matter of course. No longer furious, just deeply unhappy)

Khen Lim wrote on May 17th, 2007

Tyler

The amazing odd thing about the is that the very people who sound off their and venting their spleens so explicitly and venomously and the ones who end up masterminding their own gains from it. In my research before I wrote out my horribly lengthy message, I have gleaned through quite a number blogsites belonging to members of this mob that we speak of and it’s kinda like they’re trying to use the to get their own sites popular. Here are the people who talk about being supportive and making promises of but the manner in which this was largely conducted has been to their own personal benefit. I came across one site where it’s not one posting but I counted as many as SEVEN. When one article would have sufficed, the effect of crowding space with numerous posted titles are a way of guaranteeing traffic to his site. I find this quite a disturbing thing and I am not in agreement with such practices.

This behaviour reminds me of what I just read about a guy who designed an online game based on the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech. It’s a morbid and horrible thing to on the violence and trying to make money out of the incident. Here we have people who might want to look like they are concerned to help Rebekka but invariably what they end up doing is anything but.

My own feelings about the whole thing concerning Rebekka is this:

(a) I respect whatever choice she wishes to take. If she decides to let sleeping dogs lie and move on, or if she decides to explore further where her legal options lie, I’m okay with it. This is her wish and we need to understand how she feels and respect her decision.

(b) I do believe that the company involved has so far been insincere from what I can observe. I did visit their website only to find that many of their areas are no longer accessible, which I think is more than just coincidental. Whether they will recompense her or not, I don’t know, but the very least they can do is to offer Rebekka a heartfelt apology and an explanation for what had happened and they should make that statement public on their own website. Paying for images available on the CD and claiming that they were unaware that they were wrongfully solicited is not an excuse that will stand in court. Ignorance is no longer permissible in many countries today especially when ownership entitlements are well documented even in sites like Flickr let alone that such information is so widely available throughout the Internet and in local libraries.

(c) Being a journalist, musician and photographer, I understand, appreciate and value the protection of all proprietary intellectual and artistic content. But we need to promote this peacefully and firmly. Uncouth behaviour is only counter-productive in the end. We need to use our heads to ensure that people are aware of their legal rights and that it is wrong to lift other people’s images for unscrupulous commercial gains without tacit permission. In this day and age, do not be surprised that many people are not aware especially amateur photographers. Perhaps too it’s time for someone to breakdown the legalese that is involved in contractual laws so that people who are not lawyers/attorneys can understand what these rights, entitlements et al are about. Law being as convoluted as it has always been for centuries needs to be made simple for everyone to understand especially amateur photographers who might want to see revenue potential in their own personal works.

Thank you for your response.

K.

Tyler Riti wrote on May 17th, 2007

“is there anyone with good ideas to create a company to save our picture from thieves”

The only way to prevent your photos from being stolen is to never publish them. If you put them online, those bits can be copied. If you post low res images, those images can be upsized and printed on a medium that hides the imperfections of such processing. If you only sell your work in stores, someone can walk in, buy a print, scan it, reproduce it, and sell it as their own. If you’ve ever been a part of the Japanese animation fandom, you’ll know exactly how much commercial artwork is stolen and resold by bootleggers and how easy it is to do.

“sell them”

There are various sites that allow you to publish your photos and sell them for considerable profit. I won’t mention them here but feel free to Google for them if you like.

“but over all protect them for futures years?”

Here’s how it goes:

1. Storage Space
2. Data Reliability
3. Low Price

Pick any two. Flickr offers numbers 1 (unlimited storage) and 3 (about $2 per month) with their Pro accounts. There are other sites out there that will give you 1 and 2 (which is what you are asking for). You can expect to pay — a lot (like $50 per month) — for that data reliability for anything that will hold more than 10 GB (I shot more than 10 GB of photos in the last month). The best choice, most likely, is to build your own backup system — two 500 GB drives in a RAID 1 configuration should do quite nicely. You can even buy an off-the-shelf NAS from a company like D-Link and pop a couple drives in it for less than $500 US altogether.

[...] Gli sviluppi seguenti: Rebekka ha divulgato la notizia anche alla stampa locale islandese (per quanto sia questo affare non credo abbia rilevanza particolare per la carta stampata, la quale rimane spesso fuori da queste vicende), e ha spiegato la faccenda sul suo blog. [...]

Simon King wrote on May 17th, 2007

hey Rebekka, USE the publicity!

You can probbaly seell more prints off the back of this than you could have done otherwise. Turn it round!

Good luck

Tell the company what you think of them.

They have since removed their contact page:

info@only-dreemin.com

My submission, not Rebeccas.

Alex wrote on May 18th, 2007

My sympathies and support for you … but it was just a question of time to see such things happening. And often us photographers have basically little chance to find out about it or even enforce our rights.

As it seems you are in a very good position now and I hope it will all be solved satisfactory for you.

Your story made the Tech pages of BBC online in the UK, as you may know..

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6665723.stm

Just got here from the BBC website. Also checked the Only Dreemin website and it seems that most of their pages aren’t working now.

Looks like they may be getting some pressure from your supporters.

Hope everything works out well for you, your pictures look great.

TGRalpho wrote on May 18th, 2007

Hi, just found this being covered on the bbc…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6665723.stm

Read this blog too and hope Rebekka will, if the gallery were the victims of someone selling the images to them, at least provide an apology on their ebay & direct sales web sites – and if not then the appropriate legal action taken and that Rebekka is compensated by the gallery; indeed Flickr as a goodwill gesture should act on her behalf in this matter which to my mind would put some credibility behind their apology.

I don’t understand how the company could have made full sized prints from the small images displayed on the Flickr website.
Surely they would have required high resolution images to create anything that could have been professionally published…

andy.s wrote on May 18th, 2007

Flickr users may want to read this thead regarding the safety of pictures at the Flickr forum:

http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/40325/

andy.s wrote on May 18th, 2007

Immediate measures for added protection of your pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/40336/

(hope you don’t mind me posting this _r)

Marcus wrote on May 18th, 2007

Here is the telephone number for Only Dreemin’

0116 2440349

E-mail addresses:

sales@only-dreemin.com

info@only-dreemin.com

Tell them what you think…

Jude wrote on May 18th, 2007

There should be stronger laws protecting copy rights, esply on the Internet. And there should be means to enforce these laws.

[...] Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir is one of my favorite photographers on Flickr. Her photos are amazing, and it’s clear a lot of people agree. That’s the easy part. Then two problems arose: First Rebekka discovered that somebody was selling her photos for profit, and she posted about it. The community was shocked, and angry. And then, and this is the second thing, Flickr removed her post about it. [...]

Rebecca,
my only fear in all of this is that this may set a dangerous precedence for all online creative work for not just photographers but painters, musicians, and sculptors alike. (we know how the musicians ended up)

in whatever you decide to do, you have the entire creative world standing behind you. the support is there if you want it.

stay creative

will

just want to add that even if you set privacy level for your high resolution images, as long as its a public image, the high resolution image can be retrieved (if one knows how to!). so imho never post any high-res images if you think your work is worth stealing.

Alessandro wrote on May 18th, 2007

Consider yourself lucky that you have been warned! My pro Flickr account was terminated last year with no warning and no legal reason either.

I strongly advise you to use SmugMug — they have a feature to superimpose a watermark on all your pictures.

Rebekka, I am sorry to hear about the various mishaps around your photos, particularly the deletion of material from flickr. However, there are other flickrnauts who’ve experienced similar things and who might have useful advice about recovering some or all of that material. The most high-profile example I know of involved tetheredbythesun, whose entire account was deleted, and who are now known as tetheredto. They’ve said most of their stuff was recovered by a helpful user.

good luck

dp

@chughtai: as has been mentioned at least 100 times by myself, i have never posted high-res versions of my images anywhere on the internet.
They were 72dpi, 1200×800 pixels. Apparently, this is enough to be able to blow up to larger sizes , using software that i was not aware existed before this whole issue came up.
i have decided from now on to post no larger than 800 pix across.

@dp: i’m too concerned with the only-dreemin business to have the energy to hassle flickr about reposting the image in question. They say it can’t be done, and wether or not this is true, im not going to lose any sleep over it.
Thankfully the story had already spread all over the net before it was deleted.

You can always use zooomr which has a useful java powered drag and drop uploader which you can set up to automatically reduce the image sizes that are uploaded.’
I believe that they will be introducing an agent service where you would recieve 90% of the fee and they would take a 10% cut for any photos purchased.

Jonathan wrote on May 18th, 2007

Woo! you made BBC…

I wrote them a long e-mail requesting your story. They must have gotten a lot as they published it…. its on the RSS Feed I recieve regularly…. awesome!

Johnny Hearthrob wrote on May 18th, 2007

Only Dreemin website is not functioning properly. I think they are going in to hiding. Maybe because they fear a lawsuit. Its unlikely they make much money.
Rebekka can u reccommend a book or website you use for retouching. Thank you.

Brad wrote on May 18th, 2007

The Webster’s Dictionary meaning of Censorship is the removal and withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body.

Typically censorship is done by Yahoo / Flickr, governments, religious groups, or the mass media, although other forms of censorship exist.

Because of this, the term “censorship” often carries with it a sense of inappropriate or repressive secrecy.

Censorship is closely related to the concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. When overused, it is often associated with human rights abuse and repression.

VERY OBVIOUSLY FLICKR IS GUILTY OF ALL OF THE ABOVE on all accounts of Censorship.
Posted 70 seconds ago. ( permalink

[...] was understandably upset and complained to Flickr and the Blogosphere. They responded in sympathy. One of the incensed community then [...]

Robert wrote on May 18th, 2007

I would issue the copyright infringers with an invoice and if they don’t pay, take them through the Small Claims Court. It doesnt cost much to do this.

They used your images, they have to pay and I feel sure the Court would find in your favour.

candida albicans wrote on May 18th, 2007

Am I the only person whose heart sinks when they read the word ‘censorship’ in this context? Spare a moment’s thought for writers, artists and journalists silenced, imprisoned or killed both in the past and at present, in countries where the state or powerful factional interests impose their will on their subjects who have no freedom to escape from their rule. A very wide world away from a commercially-owned worldwide internet community that anyone can choose whether or not to join and abide by its rules, and which openly acknowledges and apologises for mistakes it has made.

Your photos are so nice. Nothing else to say.

Brad wrote on May 19th, 2007

@candida albicans,

Your message carries weight and obvious truth, but in “your context” it doesn’t apply here.

Quite simply, we can talk about this until we are blue in the face (and we’re getting there), but here the facts are THEY are very simple and straight forward.

-Rebekka had her work stolen. Period.
-Rebekka took the liberties to post the crime on a photostream.
-The company, who I refuse to name, apologized and shifted blame to another entity.
-Rebekka’s original posting was deleted by Flickr / Yahoo
-Yahoo / Flickr offered apologies in acting in a irrational way.
-She is still owed money from the company I refuse to name.

That’s it. Why make this a case into something bigger and larger? She was violated by two companies. One a crime and the other guilty of censorship. Yes, your points toward something larger are very serious and for discussion purposes (many people tend to forget the original crime and focus on something that’s irrevelent to the topic of discussion that was originally presented) your crusade that I agree with doesn’t fit here.

candida albicans wrote on May 19th, 2007

“Why make this a case into something bigger and larger?”

I’d be the last person in the world to do so – it is others who have turned it into a firestorm about ‘censorship’. And I’d prefer to leave emotive language like ‘violated’ and ‘crusade’ out of the debate too. The plain fact is that Rebekka is the victim of both a crime and a civil wrong – an indefensible and infuriating act which has damaged her economically but not put her in any fear for her personal safety. She has legal rights against these wrongdoers and I hope she succeeds both in recovering the money they unlawfully made from her work from them, and in profiting from the publicity which this incident has brought her. Flickr certainly blundered when it removed the page on which this was discussed and sent her an inadequate computer-generated explanation for doing so. But I’m glad that Flickr removed comments containing over-the-top abusive responses posted on the page and that it’s Flickr’s policy to remove abuse of this kind. Two wrongs don’t make a right and in the UK harassment and threatening behaviour is a crime no less unpleasant – indeed possibly more unpleasant – than theft of intellectual property.

Hi Rebbeka,
our site uses Flash instead of HTML so you can’t copy the images. Why not check it out? we’re only two guys working on it part time but it’s quite popular.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/4642821.stm

Regards
Jack

Joof wrote on May 19th, 2007

Dear Rebecca,

Really sorry to hear what happened to you. Your artwork has been very inspiritional to me and I hope you find justice for the wrongdoing that went down on you. More importantly I wish you peace of mind which you may hopefully find in the eyes of your great children.
Try to regain what’s rightfully yours, but balance your efforts, to what matters most. In case these words are well considered by a talented photographer from Iceland already, just feel another of so many warm hearts under your belt.

A comforting hug and all the best,
Joof

Rebekka
I had bad trouble from Yahoo about 18 months ago. I emailed them and phoned too when I discovered their number.
The man on the other end of the telephone was stroppy and next thing I knew he had cut off my website – nearly completed, along with my email account.
I had had a determined hacker and suspected someone at Yahoo in the mail department. Foolishly I voiced my suspicions and cut off was the result. I had named no one of course having no proof.
I sympathise with you a lot and best wishes in your struggle with Yahoo.
Margaret

Hi Rebekka. First, let me say that I have not seen any your photos until this issue arrived. So though you have been victim of the copyright infringement, it went well in your favour!

Secondly, trust me that small things like leave a huge impression on websites. Flickr will never me the same after hearing your story. And I can confirm this on behalf of many other.

And it is great that you did not listen to your lawyers and refused to give up. What you have earned is that million of miles away from iceland, in a small country like pakistan, we have been dicussing amongst friends, how unprofessional has been flickr during this case. dont underestimate the power of media!

Best wishes

Waleed

PS. you flickr album is exceptional!

Cory MacRae wrote on May 19th, 2007

Hi Rebekka,

I read about all this on an eBay Powerseller thread. The upshot of it all was that OD have now made not so subtle threats to take some kind of action against me for comments made. Ironic that they seem prepared to take action when they feel that they have been wronged and yet are refusing to compensate you for the use of your images without permission.

The BBC report seems to indicate that Flickr have apologised for the removal.

I know it has all been said before but I am sure you could find a solicitor in the UK on a “no win, no fee” basis as there has been a lot of publicity surrounding this and solicitors love publicity.

Best of luck!

@waleed khalid: thank for giving me that perspective.. i had not, until i read that, envisioned people discussing this in Pakistan, to be honest:)
and thanks for the compliment on my work.

@Cory MacRae: that’s rather disturbing…they really are in no position to be threatening anyone in light of what they stand accused of. If they’d conducted their business in a more business-like fashion from the start, none of this would have happened.
Im glad this is being discussed on ebay, its ridiculous to think that their store on there is still open, in light of all this.

and yeah, im working on the UK lawyer bit..

malcolm.x wrote on May 19th, 2007

Hi there Sorry to hear of whats gone on, i have followed since Tuesday evening.
I passed this onto my brother who is a solicitor, he had a look then offered this advice:
“Unfortunately, it seems that the case has had too much public exposure now for both parties,for a court to be able to make a sound judgement “.
He added that the internet and it’s transient nature is still a very grey area even now.

Good luck….M.x

In the ensuing discussion at the Olympus Camera User’s mailing list, a consensus has emerged that the “dpi” rating of an image is essentially meaningless unless it is directly related to a physical print size. For online display purposes, only the dimensions in pixels have any relevance.

One poster commented that the image sizes uploaded by Rebekka were roughly equivalent to what the early digital Nikons produced – very expensive and high quality cameras at the time of their release.

My background has made me more familiar with the older ‘photo-mechanical transfer’ technologies, wherein the resolution of a halftone screen actually did directly affect the print quality of the image it was applied to. An 85 lpi screen was good for newsprint; 135 lpi more appropriate for magazine quality paper. So, I too – in the back of my mind – have been equating “dpi” with “image resolution”… but, that just isn’t true with digital files being displayed onscreen. Thankfully, following this incident has straightened THAT out in my mind.

I have, however, been impressed with the way in which Flickr FINALLY ‘did the right thing’ and clearly stated where they stand on this whole matter. That did take some guts coupled with intelligence and tempered by empathy (on the part of their co-founder), so, I think I will upload a few photos there (even though I just joined up to voice my support for Rebekka in that original, now deleted, comment thread).

At a relatively small size, of course – and clearly marked with my copyright notice!

Suggestion wrote on May 19th, 2007

Why waste your time trying to recover such a small amount when your time could be spent taking advantage of the spotlight this has caused on your magnificent work?? Sell sell sell!

i don’t feel its a waste of time, its not a small amount to me.

this has nothing to do with me selling prints of my photos
it has everything to do with not letting people get away with taking advantage of other peoples hard work. In light of how many people now know about this, i feel its even more important that they compensate me, to set a positive example, that sometimes the crooks don’t get away.

i do , however have every intention of selling my work.
Its not as simple as just “sell sell sell”

I need to figure out a way to recieve payment (paypal doesnt work too well here in iceland, can’t get money transferred into a bank account, it just sits in the paypal account, of little use unless i plan on using it to pay someone else thru paypal, and thats obviously no good)
im sure there’s a way around this, but i havent found it yet.

I need to figure out where/how to have the prints made, if im going to offer larger than A3 posters.
A3 i can already handle myself, and have in fact sold a handful of prints using direct bank transfer for payment, but its not a practical option, as people can’t do it from their home.

I need to create an online shopping addition to my website.

Im going to do all of these things, but i can’t do them overnight.

also, i’ve been trying to figure this all out in the last months, while also trying to be a halfway decent mom and concentrate on school. I’ll have more time this summer to work on it, and i’ll be sure to make a very large, loud, announcement when my online print store is up and running;)

David W wrote on May 19th, 2007

Rebekka.

First of all, on behalf of all decent, legal and honest eBay sellers out there let me apologise to you for this.

Only-dreemin is an eBay Power Seller, and as such ebay tout him as a “Pillar of the community”.

Now before I go any further, ebay will be on your side, and are quite active in protecting IP rights of people like yourself.

They have in place the VERO ( verified Rights Owners) program

see here
http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/tp/programs-vero-ov.html

Anyone can use it, they dont have to be an ebayer.

If you or anyone else sees your artwork being sold without your permission on ebay, use this program, and ebay will end their accounts.

As a fellow ebay Powerseller, the first I heard of this was this morning when the news reached the ebay Power Sellers Bulletin board, this is a closed board, which only-dreemin has in the past been an active member of.

His fellow sellers have called him to account today and asked him to justify what he has done, including many calls for him to “fess up” and pay you what you are due.

He has replied to some, albeit with rude, obnoxious and evasive replies, all centered around the fact that cannot discuss it because of an impending court case.

Yet I see you have repeatedly said you cannot afford this, so perhaps you are not the only one he has done to this to, or perhaps he is lying through his teeth?.

Either way, his fellow sellers will not let this rest, we dislike dishonesty as much as anyone else, and when a fellow PowerSeller gets caught, it brings shame upon all of us.

You might also like to encourage as many of your fellows to look at his listings as you can because the chances are, if he has done this to you, he has done this to others.

This morning he still had prints called “attica” & “vista” listed, possibly not your prints, but identically named.

The reason?, I suspect its because he knows there is lots of interest surrounding this, and is quite deliberatly using those titles to draw people in to look at his wares and sell more.

And lastly, this is not the first time he has done this, a couple of years ago he baltantly copied and used someone elses HTML templates in his listings, so theft of intellectual property is not new to this unsavoury character.

thanks for the heads-up.

this is a new angle on the matter, i had hoped this would become known among other ebay users. I keep hoping a buyer, that has unknowingly had a print of one of my images hanging on their wall the past months, speaks up as well.

of course,i have all the user-names of people who purchased the prints in question, so if it comes to that, i can have them contacted, or contact them myself.

Hi Rebekka

Under UK law you can file a “Small Claim”. It will cost you £60. Send your submission in writing to the appointed court (it will be Northampton) and a judge will hear your claim in chambers. If the other party do not respond, you will win. The sum in question is small that they are unlikely to defend with legal representation. Good luck and defend your intellectual copyright.

can this be done without being there in person?

Brad wrote on May 19th, 2007

I don’t know anything about small claims courts so I won’t comment on that. My aunt’s a lawyer so maybe she can tell me.

As for your business, sometimes necessity is the mother of invention. With my business I had many variable surrounding the impetous of it. The first question one has to ask themself is: How bad do you want it?

Running a business is very hard work that not only takes a lot of time, but enormous energy and labor. Starting a business is like everything I just noted times 10.

To make a business work you should talk to people who are in business for themselves and what they had to go through to be successful. My business started with just myself and now I have a team of 23 full time specialists.

At the start, you should draw up a plan of what you project the start up costs are going to be…believe me, there are a lot more dollar wise than you can initially plan for.

Here, I think you’re main overhead is going to be printing of photos that are larger A3 size posters. I will never take anything smaller than that size and I believe many more people are in the same boat.

I would first contact Printing companies in Iceland and see if you can set up a meeting on how much it would cost to get printing done on a bulk basis and a one time basis. You can get your prints printed on an ink-jet printer and thus, there would be no need for color separation on a 6 color process printer.

Mailing the product is a small expenditure and I would add it in the total cost of what you are billing each customer.

Creating a website with a “Shopping Cart” is a must. To do this you need to get someone who knows how to design a cool site that attracts, but also is clean, practical, and easy to navigate (gee, I can help you here).

Getting a domain host name costs as much as buying breakfast so don’t worry about that.

Getting set up with pay pal is not hard at all. The challenge lies in the fact that you will have to get set up with a merchant processing company if you decide to (and I would highly recommend this) take VISA, Mastercard, and other credit cards.

I would opt out in taking American Express because quite frankly, they are not popular. It’s not difficult, but advise you to shop for the best rates.

This can be kinda complicated so I would have to email you something regarding the logistics and best companies who have the most competitive rates. in a quick snapshot each company will take a certain percentage out of each sale you have on credit cards.

These credit card merchant processing companies are sharks ( I prefer Blood Sucking Vampires) and you have to watch yourself.

I dont want to take too much of your space talking about boring business *yawn*, but there’s much more involved too.

Your biggest enemy: PROCRASTINATION. Your biggest friend: AMBITION

Good luck and keep your eyes on the prize!

Brad wrote on May 19th, 2007

One final note,

Running a successful business is not EASY…but, it can be very rewarding

My dad told me this all time when I was young. “Brad, if it were easy, EVERYBODY would be doing it”.

I didn’t know at age 12 if he was trying to inspire or motivate me, but it sure made sense to a young little computer geek who loved movies.

Hello Rebekka
I was saddened to learn of your situation; but suspect too that this happens more often than thought. I once discovered that an advertising agency downloaded all of my photographs and then refused to explain their plans with my more than 100 images they downloaded… I now keep some of my favourite images offline until I can decide on the best balance between non-commercial sharing and the potential benefits/risks of doing so.

I have read, in the Guardian newspaper (UK) of your experience, but could not find the apparent advice you have for photographers as we endeavour to share sensibly… – could you post it on your blog? That could help many others.

Thanks much and best wishes

Jon Eden wrote on May 20th, 2007

Hi,

Great photos.

My parents had some of their photos up on Trek Earth and they got used by a variety of people although some people did approach them to ask permission first. Is a shame that people can’t just follow the rules.

Whats even more annoying is that people like this can just fade into the woodwork and come back with a different ID. Kind of like the businessman who takes huge risks for huge gains, cocks up and then goes bankrupt. Looses loads of people money but a few years later is back doing the same thing. Just wish there was a name and shame board for individuals.

Anyway, I hope that you get some money from the individual….

Regards,

Jon

Mark Maynard wrote on May 20th, 2007

He has still been making threats on the ebay powersellers board, namely that he has screenshots of the threads that have been pulled discussing this.

I’ve asked him 4 times when he will pay Rebekka, and he refuses to answer.

David W wrote on May 20th, 2007

[IMG]http://i4.tinypic.com/6gyb894.jpg[/IMG]

Mark Maynard wrote on May 20th, 2007

Thats the best I managed to get out of him, after that he started with petty jibes….

Raoul W. wrote on May 20th, 2007

Hi Rebekka,

I’ve been following your story and have been trying to identify some of the other photographers OD are selling.

I’ve found two. Or rather two is one. David Laurenson and Marco Van Eych are both iStockPhoto user AVTG.

http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=416793

Let’s hope OD come up with their same lame story, or that they failed to buy an extended license. Then iStockPhoto lawyers will have some ass to kick :-)

Regards,
Raoul

PS. More details of photos found & comparisons are in my comment on http://www.rustylime.com/show_article.php?id=455

dear rebba,
i have commented on your photos only a few times but that’s mostly because i am usually stunned speechless by your work.
knowing how small the world is becoming every day, i was moved when you realised that people talk about you in pakistan…
not only talk, we are inspired by your ability to create such magic landscapes through your long exposures which remind us of the music of sigur ros time and again.
we will always be with you, just wanted you to know that :) ,
regards,
ali khurshid,
karachi,
pakistan.

Hi Rebekka,

Flickr really messed up here. I suspect this was a standard email sent to you by one of their support staff. It is probably a standard template that Flickr sends to people that are using the site inappropriately. Of course, that was not you.

However, I disagree with people who have recommended you hire a lawyer. Using a lawyer is the very last resort for sorting out this problem (indeed, any problem). We must fight this litigation culture that continues to develop around the world, particularly in the US. People should have morals and should do the right thing. Hiring a lawyer should be the last thing you think of. Sadly, it is becoming the first thing that some people think of when they hear of any wrong-doing.

Flickr should not have sent that email and they have since apologised sincerely. Good.

But the biggest error was made by the company that sold the photos. If they were made of moral fibre, they would have paid you for the photos themselves because you are the copyright owner. That is the proper thing to do. “Hands up, we screwed up, sorry, here is a cheque for the money we made from selling your photos”.

The world needs more moral fibre and fewer lawyers.

Jake

Joof wrote on May 20th, 2007

YouTuber Valsartdiary (www.valsartdiary.com) sells prints of her paintings via http://www.deviantart.com. Just in case you’re thinking about outsourcing…

Good luck,

Joof

PS Apologees if this has been recommended, discussed, critisiced etc. 147 times before…

Maybe you should put up a donation button on your blog, now that it’s getting a lot of traffic. You could get some money towards hiring a UK lawyer.

Intrepid traveller wrote on May 20th, 2007

Hi all.Just a few lines from a newly qualified solicitor to try and hopefully aid proceedings.I qualified 6 months ago, so my natural instincts were to follow aswell as i could and hopefully offer some legal, allbeit non-binding insight into the whole saga. Such cases don’t become internet fodder very often,so the practice was more than welcomed.
I have spent the last few hours researching the information offered to me via Flickr(and the countless, word for word blogs, is this the future of the web 2.0?) and have come to the following “conclusions”.

After reading what evidence* was available to me(for the sake of legalities, all terms accompanied by * shall mean alleged), i have to point people to a little known, but all the same LEGAL directive in the CD&P ACT.:

97.—(1) Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages against him, but without prejudice to any other remedy

Which means at the time of alleged infringement, if the accused has information/documentation to prove they didn’t know of a copyright of the subsisted work, you cannot sue unless an absolute, definative case can be proven, i:e The claimant(plaintiff) has absolute proof that the accused has directly taken material that was and should have been, their IP material.

Whilst the Claimant may harbour a belief ,unquestionable proof is required. And it seems the proof* isn’t available at this juncture.

In addition,(2) The court may in an action for infringement of copyright having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular to—
(a) the flagrancy of the infringement, and
(b) any benefit accruing to the defendant by reason of the infringement,
award such additional damages as the justice of the case may require.

The flagrancy of such an infringement, seems not to have taken place, the accused* seems to have removed all infringing material at once, upon awareness, so not an issue

The benefit accruing to the defendant has , in this instance no bearing, because the defendant has, it seems, suffered beyond all repair by means of public hounding .

Looking further infield, i have no doubt that the claimant’s lawyer has offered the best advice possible in the circumstances.

Whilst i don’t agree in principal with the accused’s* methods, this case( ok,internet) doesn’t have any strongholds for the claimant since it became public knowledge, she has had her “pound of flesh”, so to speak.

Small Claims court is the best on offer and without legal representation, because we solicitors don’t get paid there!.

As an aside point, had this case* been made anywhere else other than an Amateur photographers and enthusiasts website, i suspect it would have been given very short shrift.!

David Davies wrote on May 20th, 2007

@Intrepid

I’m not entirely sure where you’re going with this. Given that the photos were made available for sale. That they were then withdrawn from sale after receiving a complaint, etc … I would also be surprised if Rebekka did not have the originals in her possession, or some other proof of ownership. Given the number of photographs that she has undoubtedly taken, how could she be sure that these were hers if such proof did not exist? Typical lawyer … making way too many assumptions (like the lawyer who went on for half an hour telling me that mental health problems was not a defence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 when, in fact, in R v Colohan the judges had been very careful to only mention that ‘Schitzophrenia’ not a defence).

Given that she has the relevant proof, the onus then falls on the respondent to prove that they did not know that they were selling copyrighted material.

I hate it when lawyers tell you not to bother, especially when you know you’re in the right. I hate lawyers … period! That’s one of many reasons why, despite recently completing a law degree, I have no desire to become one. They have a well-deserved reputation and I have no wish to lower myself down to their level.

As far as the issue of ‘public hounding’ goes, it’s a non-starter as a defence. Any alleged damage to the defendant’s business cannot be quantified. It may be that it has cost them some business, but I seriously doubt it due to the nature of their business and the manner and place in which they advertise it. If anything, it may even have brought them extra business due to the curiosity factor driving people to their site. Bad publicity is still publicity and they are an eBay Power Seller after all, which suggests that they are reliable. eBay users typically don’t care too much about copyright issues – they’re there to buy from the cheapest outlets.

So I would suggest that Rebekka gives the small claims route a try. As far as I’m aware, you don’t have to be present to make your case but you would need to provide as much information as possible. It may also be possible to set up a telephone conference with the court but not every court has those facilities.

You can also start your claim online at http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

But be as quick as you can. English courts are a pain to deal with if you delay in making your claim.

David Davies wrote on May 20th, 2007

Oh … by the way, I forgot. If you want to start selling online, then I’ve recently started work for a web development company (my background’s in IT). The managing director’s constantly looking for interesting sites to add to the company’s portfolio so he’s been offering to do sites at cut-price rates. I have been very impressed with the quality of the work they produce (currently working on a jeweler’s site that should have cost five times more than he’s charged for it, simply because it was an interesting challenge and one he wanted for the portfolio … he’s mad! The buyer could certainly have afforded to pay a lot more). He can also integrate paypal or another payment system for you as well.

Anyway, if you’re interested, drop me an email.

[...] post). She got hundreds (450+) of comments about it. It got dugg. Flickr deleted the post. She then posted about the deletion of her Flickr post on her [...]

[...] be addressed by the enterprise, you can now turn to the community for support. This is what a longtime Flickr user did, when Flickr removed one of her photographs and a massive string of comments attached to it. [...]

Intrepid traveller wrote on May 21st, 2007

@David.

Did you read my post?. If you did you quite obviously didn’t understand!

I was prepared to explain again and give you the benefit of the doubt, until i saw your second post, reasoned debate on the legal standpoint brushed aside, infavour of your own commercial agenda.

You stick to selling cut-price websites, i’ll stick to law.

Intrepid

I just heard about this today and I’m shocked and think you did the right thing by airing your views on Flickr. I hope that it works out and you get the money you rightly deserve and people like them think twice about using work without consent.

bowa wrote on May 21st, 2007

after what happend to Rebekka in the first place (not mentioning the deleted post for now), her pictures being ‘stolen’ and commercially being abused, today again i come across something vaguely similar. Flickr user “davezack” (http://www.flickr.com/photos/davezack/) had a great photostream with a lot of pictures of his two sons in there. Today he took down all of his photos and posted a farewell message. His pictures have been ‘stolen’ by pedophiles and been distributed and posted on their boylove messageboards. Its not commercial abuse of the pictures like what happend to rebekka. And there is quite a difference than visitors using a picture of your stream for their pc’s wallpaper. I am not a parent, but i can imagine how disturbing it must be for a parent to know what your childs pictures are used for.

will it really end up in no one being able to share his work online anymore ? or only in thumbnail size ? do we have to give in to the people who take advantage?

i don’t know. i just wanted to add this to these comments, because its the second time in a week that i might loose a great photostream.

Khen Lim wrote on May 21st, 2007

It sickens me to read what Bowa wrote about how ‘davezack’ had to withdraw his photos of his two sons. I’m not sure where this world is heading. Give it too much freedom and that’s what we get. Remove it and people start howling. Is there middle ground somewhere I don’t know of?
I’m not exactly keen to draw anyone’s wrath here but between what happened to Rebekka and what the people who stole the photos of the kids intend to do vis-a-vis paedophilia, I think the latter is far more serious. But all the same, a person’s woe is a person’s woe. Rebekka has every right to feel unhappy about what she’s had to go through.
I pray and hope that somehow we’ll have far more effective means to fight intellectual theft be it for commercial, criminal or paedophiliac reasons.

Kevin wrote on May 22nd, 2007

In the future you MUST register your unpublished works with the US Library of Congress and other Copyright registration offices in Europe and Australia.

Registered Copyright offers you ironclad protection. You can sue not only for the unpaid usage rights but also for punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

Make registration a part of your workflow. Before you publish to your website or a 3rd-party website you should register your unpublished works. Always. You can bulk register as many unpublished photos for little money. As soon as you post to any website your unpublished images become published images and the registration process is different. And so is the protection.

Failure to register your copyright will cause you long-term grief. Where can I see your photos?

Best of Luck

Charlie W wrote on May 22nd, 2007

You can still see your post and the comments here – I have saved a PDF of it if it disappears.

Hope this helps

http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:w5Of79VLPfMJ:www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/497746041/page3/+http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/497746041/&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk

Charlie W wrote on May 22nd, 2007

(as you will see, it is only page 3, but at least it’s something).

Also, bringing a copyright claim could be done relatively cheaply and in all likelihood the other party would settle it for a sensible sum. If they didn’t, then they have been poorly advised. (I am an IP lawyer, and this is the sort of situation that, from the other party’s perspective, you want to settle relatively quickly before things (costs/publicity) get out of hand.)

Charlie

@yada

I think people here have been more than a little unkind to you, because essentially I think you’re right. However, I think Rebekka’s reply, whilst somewhat impolite (he didn’t insult you Rebekka, he just gave a reasoned opinion, and there is precious little of that about), hinted at the real facts.

To be a succesful photographer, in the sense of getting mass recognition, you need to be (a) a reasonably good photographer, (b) a very good businessperson, and (c) an expert at self-promotion. Nothing derogatory there – self-promotion is to do with presenting the world with an image of yourself, and requires self-confidence and intelligence, as well as commitment and very hard work. Being good looking is, arguably, helpful, but not a pre-requisite. There are plenty of good looking women on Flickr endlessly promoting themselves through self-portraits, and they don’t get a fraction of Rebekka’s traffic. I discovered Flickr through a article in the Guardian newspaper about Rebekka. Don’t know how it got there, but it was pretty good promotion – and the raft of current links from news.bbc.co.uk to Rebekka’s pages can’t hurt either.

So yeah, getting ripped off is bad, Flickr’s reaction was just plain stupid, but, well, no publicity is bad publicity, as the man said. I reckon the link traffic alone, if well exploited, is worth waaaaay over the lost revenue. The anger at getting exploited, well, that’s the other side of the coin.

Intrepid traveller wrote on May 22nd, 2007

@David Mantripp

You are so right, looking beyond the “offence” it seems the “offended* wants nothing more than self-publicity, however i’m still unsure of how someone can become “Flickr’s” most talented photographer by just a few good landscape shots and countless more self portraits and @shopped photos of herself.

You don’t sell your own prints, it seems you don’t want to, you can afford to be a full-time student whilst being a full time mum!?!.

I also noticed a “I don’t want a paypal fund” thread too!

How does that equate?

You have quite blatantly “Done good” from this, so i am suspecting you are a little bit more well-off than you are admitting.

Rebekka, as a non-flickr user, your look is no more than i would expect in the local bar, so please don’t take all this “Support ” too seriously.

As i

Intrepid traveller wrote on May 22nd, 2007

Said before, had this thread been started elsewhere, it would have died as soon as it took it’s first breath.

But as they say “Every dog has it’s day “

You have been treated attrociously by flickr. They should have supported you, not threatened you.

I’m disgusted by their attitude.

I won’t be renewing when my Flickr subscription.

ANDY wrote on May 23rd, 2007

I just read about this via a dpreview message thread. I then looked up the bbc sie and from there flikr. Rebekka’s photo’s are inspiring.
As a photographer, having images stolen is one of my worst nightmares. Flikr made a bad mistake and will pay from this bad publicity. If rebekka’s photos were one of the main attractions and sucess stories of the site they are doubly reprehensible. I also read the apology, sincere…Yes?

Then perhaps Flikr will help Rebekka pursue the theives. Help them shut down their e-bay account altogether perhaps, I know that e-bay is proud of their reputation for fairness and don’t tolerate theives.
Help her with legal issues.

Personally I am worried as I have recently (before I knew this) started a flikr account.
Is Pbase any better?

Thanks for the wonderful images.
andy
dalinean

ANDY wrote on May 23rd, 2007

Just saw that you posted at 1200 X ~900.
That was supposed to be high res by some people??
Crikey.
I am posting at 900 x 600.
If they can inerpolate yours, they can interpolate mine!
I am worried now…

[...] started (I think) with Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir who posted about her discovery on flickr and then the post got deleted, but an apology was issued a little later. To this day, Rebekka received no compensation from the [...]

wow… i would hate that too… I use Fotki but I liked Flickr so far too – I wouldn’t blame Flickr – it’s more of Yahoo policy to aggressively police, I don’t remember that before…
Sorry to read….
Sanip

runlevel0 wrote on May 27th, 2007

Hey!
I want’s awre of all this s… t going on.

Rebekka has a good backing in any legal cas, as she has not only the pics she uploaded to Flickt, but (I hope) also the “originals” with the EXIF information, wich can be checked.

Judging by the persistence of a few who have chosen to argue against your position, and contrasting it to the many who drop by to offer a quick word of support, I would guess that you are now at that stage of this incident wherein people who have been ‘planted’ by the person that stole your images are seeking to mitigate the groundswell of support you’ve been receiving.

I’ve noticed elsewhere that the person who stole your images is trying to carry on “business as usual”, and pretend nothing has happened – that they did nothing wrong, that they were unaware of any wrong-doing…

That is so typical!

Well, the only advice I can offer to you at this point is to check on whether there is a statute of limitations governing the amount of time you have in which to initiate a legal action on this matter, dated from your solicitors’ letter to the image thief. If that person can devise a way in which to distract your attention until such a deadline has passed, they will try to do so.

As for myself… well, I decided to join Flickr after all; signed up with a group or two; and now I find myself appointed a moderator at the “Nellie Vin Fine Art Magazine” group. Not sure how much time I have for all of that but, it is fun.

[...] het allemaal nog niet erg genoeg is verwijdert Flickr haar bericht over de fraude van hun website. Ze krijgt de boodschap dat Flickr geen plaats is om te intimideren of keet te [...]

Larry Tate wrote on May 29th, 2007

This is like a bad Kafka novel … I am especially bummed because I think your photos are quite amazing. I’ve closed 2 Flickr accounts after getting fed up with their administration, but I was never picked on like it you seems you have been. I hope you can move on and find a better forum for sharing your wonderful images … God Bless ..

Jæja, ömurlegt mál indeed. Illa svekkjandi að komast að svona staðreyndum sem lifa í heiminum, en kannski kaldhæðnislega gaman að vita að maður sé orðinn nógu vinsæll til að svona gengur upp. Ég veit ekki, það er samt ekki sniðugt..en maður reynir að líta á björtu hliðarnar.
Myndirnar þínar eru svakalega fínar og öðruvísi, hver sá sem er á bak við þetta dularfulla fyrirtæki þarna ætti að skammast sín, biðjast afsökunar og gefa þér allan þann pening sem þeir græddu á sölunni, enda ekkert nema sjálfsagt. Gott er engu að síður að flickr hafi þó allavega beðist afsökunar á ásökunum sínum.
En lífið heldur áfram, og það ert þú með hæfileikana en ekki fólkið sem stal þeim og það segir margt, gangi þér vel=)

gibson wrote on June 12th, 2007

Sorry i did not get the point ( I should read careful) but as a professional photographer I think you should avoid places like flickr, flickr is the site which has put the last word on the end of photojournalism, it should be a good site for amateur who they could not become a photographer and they are repressed by them and they are willing to get a compliment (it is a site just for compliments….)
If you want to sell your photos please affiliate with an agency or better do it professionally, I dont understand why you are surprised of this copyrigth infringment, many companies and magazines are looking into flickr to save money, this is the reality and professional people should stay away from that.
g

NorgeFan wrote on June 14th, 2007

I really love your pictures, had to say that first.

Too bad that people steal pictures on flickr. But even worse, that flickr censors the protest. AND recently even locks-out German and some other users from seeing all pictures. That really pissed me off.
To avoid stealing I have to shink my Images to max. 800px. Thanks flickr.

This one makes sence “One’s first step in wisdom is to kuesstion everything – and one’s last is to come to terms with everything.”

Ann Turcotte wrote on June 18th, 2007

Hi Rebekka,
I’m not a photographer, I read about this story on Associated Content.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/285305/flickr_censorship_fuels_outrage_in.html

Unbelievable! First, I’ve heard the same response you got from attorneys before, and in my experience that means they’re bought off. Interview new ones until you find one who has the nerve to fight them. If you start hearing the same wishy washy stuff, fire them and do the drill again. In one case, I went through 3 teams of attorneys who were bought off one after another. (It was a case against the Religious Right back in the ’80s). I won though… by doing it my way, and insisting my attorneys get on board with that.

Second, all of your supporters should BOYCOTT all concerned, starting immediately. THAT, they understand. Go to Flickr’s competition, in droves. All of your photographer-friends should know that if Flickr did this to you, they’d do it to them too. To stay, is to be door mats.

Third… some movies to psych you up: “Erin Brokvich”, “Norma Rae”, “Silkwood”, “The China Syndrome”. Different issues, but the same kind of attitude required.

I love your photos – they’re magnificent. Fight this, even if you have to research the law and file a case somewhere yourself. I did that too. As a single mom, as well. (And won, as I said above – after all the “experts” said it was impossible. Baloney, they’re only trying to keep you out of the legal arena. Bring your case.)

Very best of luck to you. I’ll be following your story.

qwerty wrote on June 22nd, 2007

In relation to the insinuation that your appearance affects your popularity on flickr, I think those suggesting this have been a little harshly treated if I’m honest. The truth is in your 15,000+ view folder you state:

My most viewed, certainly.
My best photos?
not necessarily…

The vast majority of these photos are of you. I don’t say that to take away from what you are i.e. an exceptional photographer. Your photos are inspiring, beautiful and I would be very happy if I could produce images like that in a couple of years time. However, to totally disregard the idea that how you look has no influence on your popularity and that it is entirely an artistic consideration seems rather mis-representative. I don’t personally think that is a reflection on you or your evident excess of ability, I think it’s more an issue of the continual dehumanisation and sexual objectification of women.

I like what you do and I genuinely hope you receive some recompense for what has happened to you, it’s unarguably wrong. Aside from that I’m sure photography is your future and you will excel.

P.s. To test the theory, why not make all images that include you personally private for one month…I would be interested to see the results.

David W wrote on June 29th, 2007

Just to let you knopw only dreemin have changed their ebay user ID to canvasrepublc

Moogal wrote on July 9th, 2007

Yes, Gibson is correct… flickr et al. are only so popular because they are a vehicle to allow people to receive compliments. People crave this kind of attention, which is easy to find on the internet.

Lee H wrote on July 23rd, 2007

http://www.canvasrepublic.co.uk/canvas_prints-scenes_art.htm

Hi Rebekka. Not sure if these are your photos. This is a web site for canvas republic and I think they were once called only dreemin. You photos are remarkable.

delightful wrote on July 31st, 2007

Lee H..As has been stated elsewhere, the pics were removed straight away.

Do people not read?….

[...] blandt andet historien om den islandske fotograf Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, der fik fjernet et billede på Flickr der kritiserede nogle som havde stjålet hendes billeder og [...]

[...] under the Creative Commons some rights reserved). He writes a rant about this issue entitled “Freedom of expression?? Telling the truth??“on his blog. This is becoming a very hot topic and will gain more and more press over the [...]

We love your photos. We hate yahoo.
We will always support you

bad call! wrote on December 20th, 2007

Sure you have found this, but if you needed a contact at the only dreemin website, then this is public information on whois!

Whois info for, only-dreemin.com:

Registrant:
tracee mayes
2 bretby road
aylestone
leicester, leicestershire LE2 8QH
GB

Domain name: ONLY-DREEMIN.COM

Administrative Contact:
mayes, tracee traceemayes100@hotmail.com
2 bretby road
aylestone
leicester, leicestershire LE2 8QH
GB
+4401162837125
Technical Contact:
mayes, tracee traceemayes100@hotmail.com
2 bretby road
aylestone
leicester, leicestershire LE2 8QH
GB
+4401162837125

colin paterson wrote on January 4th, 2008

Hi,
Justdo not publish ANY IMAGES here !!

[...] are some flaws in its operation impacting photo sharing users which even Rebekka experienced and wrote about in her blog. Flickr is a great tool. I like the service and the user front-end. I have an annually renewed Pro [...]

[...] On the surface this doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal. But copyright theft and infringement of photos posted online continues to be a huge issue. [...]

Rebekka- I had never seen your work before, but it is wonderfull! If you ever come to the US and want a free guide to take you around the 4-corners area (Utah,New Mexico,Arizona,Colorado), I’d love to. The theft of your pix does indeed suck, which is one reason I have not been very active putting images on the internet (and why I haven’t made any money last year!). A similar thing happened to me with Indexstock, of which I was a member. Someone purchased both RF and RM images from them, and while doing a google search of my name, I found 12-15 websites selling my images as fine art prints (some via art.com and posters.com). One guy actually had a website selling “Fine-Art prints by Phil Lauro!!! I complained to Indexstock and within a day all the sites or my images were “no longer available”. But, I have no idea how many of my prints were sold or by who, and was already burned out on dealing with lawyers. Good Luck- Phil Lauro, Durango, CO

work parents that day. A huge to my parents returned

I hate copyright, but I hate people profiting from other people’s work even more. Censorship is worse still.
Freedom of speech is key. In my ideal world, you would be able to call for the deaths of people you don’t like. (Yes, I realize that sounds shocking, but many governments would like to make it illegal to even mutter “I wish that person would die” under their breath) Physically harming someone is illegal for a reason, but saying (or typing, or hinting) you wish harm upon someone is just a bunch of meaningless words. There’s something wrong in the world when someone is punished for stating an opinion (often made in haste), but other people go unpunished for crimes that truly hurt.

I know this story is an old one but i thought it would be best to include a minor update, just in case people search for the company on the internet.
Only Dreemin are still trading as canvasrepublic.co.uk as was previously mentioned, and as well as that they also trade with the website stretcherbarsdirect.co.uk and finally they are back on ebay ‘AGAIN’ using the ebay username stretcherbarsdirect.

Новый способ давления на кандидата на пост Главы г. Химки

Новый способ “наказать” тех, кто посмел участвовать в выборной кампании не на стороне действующей власти изобрели правоохранительные органы г.о. Химки.
Руководствуясь не нормой закона, а чьей-то “волей” сотрудники милиции решили “проверить” все фирмы, внесшие денежные средства в избирательный фонд неудобных кандидатов.
Начались “проверки” с телефонных звонков – где директор, сколько человек работает на фирме. После чего последовали “письма счастья” с просьбой предоставить всю бухгалтерскую документацию, учредительные документы фирмы, и даже, план экспликации БТИ.
Такие запросы химкинским фирмам рассылает 1 отдел Оперативно-розыскной части № 9 Управления по налоговым преступлениям ГУВД Московской области за подписью начальника подполковника милиции Д.В. Языкова.
И всё это в то время, когда Президент дал прямое указание правоохранительным органам о прекращении всех незаконных проверок малого и среднего бизнеса. С это целью внесены изменения в Федеральный закон “О милиции” – из статьи 11 этого закона исключены пункты 25 и 35, на основании которых ранее правоохранительные органы имели право проверять финансово-хозяйственную деятельность предприятий.
Видно, об изменениях действующего законодательства местные правоохранительные органы не уведомлены. И не смотрят телепередачи с выступлениями Президента.
Может быть, эта публикация подвигнет их к исполнению указаний Президента, а также к изучению и соблюдению действующего законодательства

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If you are more interested in punishing the company that stole your work than the money, you could allow people to ‘invest’ in your lawsuit. You could do this by selling off the rights to a percentage of any profits in exchange for helping to fund the lawsuit.

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NabuccoSek wrote on December 25th, 2010

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[...] do? Deletes the image & threatens to terminate account. digg.com/tech_news/Flickr_censorship_2 rebekkagudleifs.com/blog/2007/05/15/freedom-of-expression… // Share| Tweet Posted in General | Tags: Arabesque, Cool, [...]

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