General Question

AshlynM's avatar

Are your own personal photos and artwork automatically copyrighted upon creation even though you may not have formally gone through the copyright process?

Asked by AshlynM (6157 points ) August 20th, 2012

I heard they were.
The reason I’m asking is because unfortunately I have found a pic of myself that I took floating on this site called jerk dot com and I’m not too happy it landed on there. Not sure how they got a hold of that picture in the first place. I have never heard of nor visited the site before.The picture isn’t anything racy or bad, just a normal shot one would take.

So would they be infringing on my copyright because they posted it without my permission or knowledge?

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12 Answers

BBawlight's avatar

Heh. Well 97% of my photos are from other people (except my Fluther Profile Pic as of late) and I think they look cool but nobody’s had a problem so… I would discuss it with the person if you don’t like what they’re doing. Just talk over some terms of use if they are willing and if they aren’t willing… report them under the terms that they are ‘invading your privacy’ or some such phrasing.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, they are automatically copyrighted at the moment of creation.

Taking the step of registering the copyright preserves your legal rights, but the item is copyrighted anyway.

AshlynM's avatar

Thanks, I’m discovering more and more about myself online that I never posted in the first place or allowed someone to post. What a messed up world. :-) The hassle it would take to get the offending pics removed just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

Shippy's avatar

I have had that before with my own photos. I wrote to the site and they were quite helpful and removed it.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I’ve had people steal photos of me and claim them as their own, and usually contacting the person and calling them out on it either 1.) causes enough embarrassment that they remove it 2.) makes them vanish. If that doesn’t work, you could contact the site.

AshlynM's avatar

They want you to pay them to even submit a complaint to them, so that won’t work. So I think trying to contact the site might be useless.What kills me is they state on their site, “it’s not possible to remove things from the internet.” If that isn’t the most arrogant statement I’ve ever seen from a website. It’s funny to me how they’re defending themselves by even posting a copyright section and providing you a way to send them a formal DMCA complaint to take down your pictures. But doing that requires signing up and paying them money which I won’t do. I doubt paying them anything will take care of the problem. I have a feeling that site is there only to make money.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@AshlynM is there other contact information anywhere? You could probably just snail mail a DMCA complaint.
There is a possibility that if you file a DMCA that whoever has your picture may counterclaim (because people who know DMCA laws know that sometimes it’s beneficial to counterclaim even if they are full of shit), and you will have to prove that it is your photo.

AshlynM's avatar

The only ways to contact them are to sign up and download the DMCA form, or pay them $25 to remove your picture. There’s no email and no option to change your picture without having to join. I don’t even know if the person hosting the site is still monitoring that site. They could just be taking peoples’ money and doing nothing. But I don’t want to risk finding out and losing out on $25 and giving them my credit card info. Maybe I’ll send them a DMCA complaint on my own, and not use the one from their site.

I just looked on BBB and they have an F rating and are not an accredited business. I’m wondering why this site hasn’t been shut down. Creating a site solely to rate people as “jerks” doesn’t seem very productive to me.

wundayatta's avatar

That looks like a very dodgy site, full of lies and slander. It also looks like they do fishy things to your computer. I wouldn’t pay attention to them at all. Anyone who does pay attention to that site is probably a sick person, themselves.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@AshlynM I just notice that you put the name of the website in the original question. (Goes to show how much more observant I am once I’ve had some coffee, eh?)
This article looks like it will be helpful to you.

Here:

DMCA Complaints
Jerk LLC

16192 Coastal Hwy. Lewes, DE 19958
USA

is a mailing address for jerk.com, you can find a general DMCA form by Googling, and just fill it out appropriately. Filing a DMCA takedown can seem intimidating, but people do it every day, and it isn’t really as scary as it may seem. Hope this helps, a little bit. Sorry that whoever runs this website is being a jerk. :\

AshlynM's avatar

Oh, and the icing on the cake is they have these “buy” and “sell” links in your so called profile box, I guess where anyone can buy and sell someone’s personal info, like phone numbers and email addresses. I’ve never seen that before. I guess the creators of “jerk” really have no morals.

I just can’t believe any site will deny someone the option of removing their personal pics and info. Or at least they make it extremely difficult.
These sites boast so much crap, like, we’ll never remove your info even if you beg us, you can try and sue us, but you’ll lose. That’s basically the message they’re trying to get to you and it really burns me up.
But thanks everyone for your time and answers.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, but if you do not register the copyright, it makes it harder to contest someone who violates it.

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