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Subject: Illegal reproducing of boardgamegeek photos? rss

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Ender Wiggins
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I just became aware of the fact that many BGG images (including some of my own) are being reproduced on a website that appears to be a Czech retailer. Not only are they taking images from boardgamegeek without permission and without attribution, but they are adding their own watermark to every picture!

Offender: www.svet-her.cz

Some examples:
svet-her.cz page for Trains (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link)
svet-her.cz page for Trains Rising Sun (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link)
svet-her.cz page for Coup (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link); another copied image (link) vs BGG original (link)
svet-her.cz page for Resistance (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link); another copied image (link) vs BGG original (link)
svet-her.cz page for One Night Ultimate Werewolf (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link); another copied image (link) vs BGG original (link)
svet-her.cz page for Power Grid (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link)

This is just a small sample, and many other examples could be given, so it's quite wide-scale, and reproduces the work from many different BGG contributors. In many cases their image galleries can be expanded and you can see that there are multiple photos used in this way. Further, we're not talking about a non-profit hobbyist site to promote board games, but what presumably is a commercial website of a business.

Should I be concerned? I wasn't asked/credited/informed, and I suspect nobody whose photos have been used in this way was asked for permission. Is this a legitimate usage of boardgamegeek photos? What should be done in cases like this?


Current update: (14/8) The pictures haven't yet been removed, but this is potentially approaching resolution, because the site owner has promised to remove all BGG photos over the next week. See this post for the latest.

New offender: www.regatuljocurilor.ro - see this thread
New offender: www.uplay.it - see this thread
New offender: www.boardgamewarehouse.com - see this thread
New offender: www.nobleknight.com - see this thread
Meta thread listing current/new offenders: - see this thread
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Eddy Sterckx
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EndersGame wrote:
Is this a legitimate usage of boardgamegeek photos?


No - IIRC they're not even BGG photos as the copyright remains with the original author.

EndersGame wrote:

What should be done in cases like this?


Send them an email - get an example of such a cease & desist letter from the 'net to make it sound 'legaleze' in which case they might get scared and take them down. Wouldn't count on it though.
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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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Next step is to send the very same letter to their server provider. They may be more sensible to that. Here is their address: http://www.vshosting.cz/
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Mikko Saari
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Why not send them an invoice for the picture use?

Adding their watermark on images stolen from the web is certainly adding insult to the injury.
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Jonathan Morton
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What's the permission and attribution on this one?

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Ender Wiggins
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Jonny5 wrote:
What's the permission and attribution on this one?

Fair use.

msaari wrote:
Adding their watermark on images stolen from the web is certainly adding insult to the injury.

Here's an example - the original photo here is by BGG user Alessandro Fibbi.

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maf man
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OOO OOOOO!
they have a face we can punch!
http://www.svet-her.cz/kontakty/
anyone in that area wanna represent?
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Zoe M
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They actually seem pretty nice, though. I got this response within two hours:

Quote:
Hello,

I’ve taken the picture from our website and it shouldn’t appear now. I’m sorry if that offended you, it wasn’t intended. We are trying to get to our customers as many good sources and informations about the games, as we can and in case of pictures, there’s not plenty of those directly from publishers we can use. I didn’t realize it could offend someone. Anyway the picture isn’t there anymore.

Best regards
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Ender Wiggins
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Dunyazad wrote:
They actually seem pretty nice, though. I got this response within two hours:

Quote:
Hello,

I’ve taken the picture from our website and it shouldn’t appear now. I’m sorry if that offended you, it wasn’t intended. We are trying to get to our customers as many good sources and informations about the games, as we can and in case of pictures, there’s not plenty of those directly from publishers we can use. I didn’t realize it could offend someone. Anyway the picture isn’t there anymore.

Best regards

Well if they were sincerely sorry, wouldn't they remove the actual picture? (hint: they haven't).

And what about all the other hundreds of boardgamegeek images from many other users that they have reproduced and are still on their site?
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Valencia Victorious Von Verrata is the
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I smell big fat royalty commissions....devil
 
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J. Marshall
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EndersGame wrote:
Dunyazad wrote:
They actually seem pretty nice, though. I got this response within two hours:

Quote:
Hello,

I’ve taken the picture from our website and it shouldn’t appear now. I’m sorry if that offended you, it wasn’t intended. We are trying to get to our customers as many good sources and informations about the games, as we can and in case of pictures, there’s not plenty of those directly from publishers we can use. I didn’t realize it could offend someone. Anyway the picture isn’t there anymore.

Best regards

Well if they were sincerely sorry, wouldn't they remove the actual picture? (hint: they haven't).

And what about all the other hundreds of boardgamegeek images from many other users that they have reproduced and are still on their site?


The image has now been removed and a Page Not Found page is returned when clicking the link. It likely took some time for caches to clear the info.
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Ender Wiggins
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As I said, there are hundreds and hundreds of photos from many BGG contributors that have been used without permission. At this point they've only taken down one single image from Zoe because they were asked about that one.

It's not just an isolated few images - pick almost any of their strategic or economic or card driven games, and check out the image gallery for it, and you'll find at least one or more or all the images taken straight from BGG.

Some more examples:
svet-her.cz page for Condottiere (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link) by Henk Rolleman
svet-her.cz page for Twilight Struggle (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link) by Yeoster
svet-her.cz page for Copycat (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link) by Tiago Duarte
svet-her.cz page for Ghost Stories (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link) by edubvidal
svet-her.cz page for Samarkand (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link) by K_I_T
svet-her.cz page for Shipyard (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link) by Tom Rosen
svet-her.cz page for For Sale (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link) by Michael Jordal
svet-her.cz page for Airlines Europe (link): their copied image (link) vs BGG original (link) by Daniel Danzer



Do we really need to wade through hundreds of game galleries on their online catalogue and ask about each photo individually, or is there a better way? Most of the image galleries for even those games I've listed have multiple images from BGG. And that sample selection of games is just scratching the surface.

Let's remember this is a business website, benefiting financially from this, because these pictures are being used to help advertise and promote their products.
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Michael Jordal
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I did not give permission for the use of my photo. I would have given permission if no watermark was used and they credited me.
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Jeremy Salinas
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This is exactly to a tee one of the things that happened to my work as well, only that it included both publishers AND retailers stealing my work. Very annoying that things like this are being used (videos as well) without the user asking or even giving credit to the original contributor.
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Zoe M
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I got the impression that they were more clueless than malicious, anyway, with the focus on whether the image offended me--it seems like they still don't really grasp what the issue is.
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col_w
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Quote:
Hello,

I’ve taken the picture from our website and it shouldn’t appear now. I’m sorry if that offended you, it wasn’t intended. We are trying to get to our customers as many good sources and informations about the games, as we can and in case of pictures, there’s not plenty of those directly from publishers we can use. I didn’t realize it could offend someone. Anyway the picture isn’t there anymore.

Best regards


This actually really angers me. It's not a question of offense, it's a legal and ethical matter. Taking somebody else's work and trying to pass it off as your own. "Oops sorry" really isn't good enough - a business should know better. If they were sincere about it, they would have immediately taken down all pictures sourced from BGG (unless the originals are marked with the appropriate Creative Commons rights to allow re-use).
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Barry Harvey
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It's the watermarking that annoys me.

Quote:
Hello,

I’ve taken the picture from our website and it shouldn’t appear now. I’m sorry if that offended you, it wasn’t intended. We are trying to get to our customers as many good sources and informations about the games, as we can and in case of pictures, there’s not plenty of those directly from publishers we can use. I didn’t realize it could offend someone. Anyway the picture isn’t there anymore.

Best regards


So they've been unable to find many pictures about the games, either because there aren't many or because the ones they can find have watermarks on them. So they download the ones without watermarks and then watermark them themselves!

Surely they have no right to watermark something unless they actually took the picture (or specifically own any copyright)?
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Daniel Danzer
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THEY WATERMARK MY PICTURE WITH THEIR URL? ARE THESE GUYS NUTS?

The cards from Airlines Europe are also my pic. I wrote them - let's see wjhat they answer me.

THANKS, ENDERS!
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Dennis
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col_w wrote:
Quote:
Hello,

I’ve taken the picture from our website and it shouldn’t appear now. I’m sorry if that offended you, it wasn’t intended. We are trying to get to our customers as many good sources and informations about the games, as we can and in case of pictures, there’s not plenty of those directly from publishers we can use. I didn’t realize it could offend someone. Anyway the picture isn’t there anymore.

Best regards


This actually really angers me. It's not a question of offense, it's a legal and ethical matter. Taking somebody else's work and trying to pass it off as your own. "Oops sorry" really isn't good enough - a business should know better. If they were sincere about it, they would have immediately taken down all pictures sourced from BGG (unless the originals are marked with the appropriate Creative Commons rights to allow re-use).

Agreed.

Additionally, their behavior demonstrates that they are quite aware of the issues involved--they've actually put their own watermark on some of the images they've stolen from BGG. Presumably this is to keep other people from using them? shake
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Daniel Danzer
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Also Panic Station by Jonny de Vries:

"All rights reserved"!
http://www.svet-her.cz/spolecenske-hry/stanice-paranoia/
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James Boardgame
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This is why I only ever take crappy pictures of games!

You guys are getting your long deserved comeuppance for your shamelessly awesome photography skills so generously shared on this site.

If you need any hints on how to take a crappy, lifeless, unstealable image of a game, drop me a geekmail - taking rubbish photos is much harder than it looks, a talent in which I naturally take great pride.
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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schkff wrote:
This is why I only ever take crappy pictures of games!

You guys are getting your long deserved comeuppance for your shamelessly awesome photography skills so generously shared on this site.

If you need any hints on how to take a crappy, lifeless, unstealable image of a game, drop me a geekmail - taking rubbish photos is much harder than it looks, a talent in which I naturally take great pride.


And on my end, I'm happy to provide anyone with tips on how to get enough "glare" in a photo to keep it from being approved for the game galleries
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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I hope that BGG will intervene for you photographers collectively. That's theft, and to have the nerve to put their own watermark on other people's pictures is despicable.
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Michael Jordal
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I sent an email as well, but have not heard anything back yet.
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Zoe M
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It's well after 5pm now in Europe, so I wouldn't expect any further responses until tomorrow.
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