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Subject: Meta thread: Dubious use of BGG photos on other websites rss

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Daniel Danzer
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Thanks to more and more of you (contributors to BGG) realize, that retailers from different countries use photos and/or files uploaded on BGG to advertise their products.

This violates the guidelines on BGG Terms of service:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/terms:
Quote:
E. You shall not engage in the use, copying, or distribution of any of the User Submissions other than expressly permitted herein, including any use, copying, or distribution of User Submissions of third parties obtained through the Website for any commercial purposes.

We should stand together here as a community of boardgame lovers and contributors to the largest information site worldwide about our hobby. We are not the hunting ground for great content for free while being disrespected as copyright holders.

Plus, these actions violate copyright laws of most countries worldwide. If you don't have a problem they use your photos you are free to attribute them accordingly. Additionally, keep in mind, you keep all rights putting images on BGG. So, when a blogger is asking you, whether he might use your picture, you can freely allow him to do so, credit you or not, how you please.

These retailers did use the photos without even asking, let alone getting a permission, and sometimes they even bookmark the pictures on their site as theirs. They know what they do, even if they apologize afterwards and delete the pictures from their website.

This thread is thought to offer a kind of overview for all threads for individual stores.

What to do?
If you find a new store using BGG pics illegally for commercial purposes, please open a new thread for this and post a link to your thread here. I will edit this OP accordingly, so it will be updated to keep an overview.


On your thread show some examples of pictures and a link to the copied ones on the website. Doing so, everybody can easily see, whether the photos are deleted or not. If you see photos from other users, feel free to link these, too, and send a personal mail to them, so they may join in (or not, if they have no problem or gave permission).

Write them (most sites have a contact page or something like that) and inform them friendly about their infringement. Best link this thread or others, so they see, we as a community and the admins of BGG take care about this. Also, Matthew (Octavian) will probably contact new offenders as an BGG official. It is fine, when more than one user is contacting the same store, so they get 5 or more mails requesting them to remove copyrighted material.

When things are resolved (stores promise to take photos down, photos vanished), please post this here, too, so I can edit the OP accordingly.

Please, do not use this thread to discuss the matter. This was mostly done in the original Illegal reproducing of boardgamegeek photos? and you might want to join there.

Store: www.svet-her.cz The initial thread: Illegal reproducing of boardgamegeek photos?
Mails sent, also from Matthew (Octavian) and Josef Olt from the store promised to take the photos down as soon as possible.
It seems that they removed the pictures adressed particularly, but not all of them. Plus: They still have watermarks on pictures taken from BGG.
Contact: info@svet-her.cz

Store: www.regatuljocurilor.ro - see this thread
Alex mailed back to Matthew promising to "remedy the situation" - but it takes time.
He also mailed back to me within 5 minutes apologizing and saying they will remove the pictures, but it will take some time.
Edit 09/10/15:
Alex (regatuljocurilor.ro) wrote:
What we have done so far is that all new games uploaded on the website have only images from publishers or from people who agreed to use their images.
We've also contacted several boardgamers who agreed to provide us images with the games they have.
I'm currently waiting for a few batches of images to replace the ones you complained about.
Don't worry it will be done as soon as we can.
Well, so far, I was not connected and the whole thing is not resolved that way.
Re: Illegal Use of Images on Retail Site regatuljocurilor.ro
Contact: regatuljocurilor@gmail.com

Store: www.nobleknight.com, discussion threads: Asking Noble Knight Games to end years of commercial use of BGG images w/o user permission and Images rights
Noble Knight Games has for several years been engaging in a widespread use of BGG images without permission to sell games on their website and on eBay. They sometimes even watermark them as their own images. This issue has been going on since at least 2007. They apparently continue to do this despite being contacted about it numerous times, and being called out about it in several BGG threads previously.
Contact: nobleknight@nobleknight.com

Store: www.uplay.it - see Dubious use of BGG photos: uplay.it online store
I mailed them, Matthew did, Ender did, others did. Some response and hint to "pictures are upoaded by users".
Update 19/08/15: All pictures but the box cover shots seem to have vanished from their website.
Update 21/08/15: They plan to change their website in a way, that only thumbnails of BGG pics can be seen and a dirct link to the original BGG picture by clicking on them. See the uplay.it thread for more about this. Great!
thumbsup
Contact: info@uplay.it

Store: www.boardgamewarehouse.com, see thread: Illegal use of BGG images: retail site boardgamewarehouse.com
Steph has mailed them previously, and they have removed the photos she asked about. It seems as if they have removed more or less all but the box covers and other "official" ones.
thumbsup
Contact: sales@boardgamewarehouse.com

---

To find pictures from you on other websites:
a) use google picture search by clicking on the camera symbol and copy/paste the url of your BGG picture (to get this, right click with the mouse on the picture, do NOT copy the url of the page with the picture) and search it. The result shows "similar" pictures or websites containing the picture.

b) check stores in question by browse their store for games you know you have contributed some nice shots - especially components overviews and soon in the chronology (they prefer shots from Nürnberg or Essen for games with no other shots available).

If you have remarks to the structure and organization of this thread, think about sending me a geekmeil first - so this stays rather clean and uncluttered. THANKS.
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Ron A
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites

What about blogs using our BGG photos without permission? Do you want that in this or a separate thread?
 
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Derry Salewski
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
SBGrad wrote:

What about blogs using our BGG photos without permission? Do you want that in this or a separate thread?

are they commercial purposes?
 
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Wendell
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
I doubt anybody has used my photos but I applaud Daniel, Ender et al for this effort. Good luck.
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Ron A
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
scifiantihero wrote:
SBGrad wrote:

What about blogs using our BGG photos without permission? Do you want that in this or a separate thread?

are they commercial purposes?

As far as I can tell, this blog is not commercial.
 
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Mikko Saari
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
As someone who has used BGG photos quite a bit on other sites, but never without permission: if you're fine with having your photos used, especially for noncommercial purposes - like most people are - you can let people know that: Use the Creative Commons license for your photos. That's a permission to use your photos, and you can also specify some conditions, eg. you must be attributed, or that the photos can't be used for commercial purposes.

Now, I think, many people are sticking to the default "All rights reserved" just out of not knowing about the other options, even if they actually would agree to something else.
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Daniel Danzer
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
SBGrad wrote:
What about blogs using our BGG photos without permission? Do you want that in this or a separate thread?
In my experience, gaming blogs are almost never "commercial", but of course they should ask for permission, too, if the photo is not attributed "free to use" or give credit to the photographer.
I was asked quite some time by bloggers and always gave my permission - and I spotted some occasions where somebody used them and gave me credit.
When I see a massive use of my photos without permission and no credit, I contact the blogger or write a comment. In 100% of the cases, they apologize and add the credit.

So, well, I do't know, if this is as much of a problem here as it is with online game stores.

So, if you come across a game reviewer / blogger who uses a LOT of BGG pictures without ever asking for permission or giving credit (always check for the creative commons license of the picture in question first!) then YES, it should be added here.
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Russ Williams
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
msaari wrote:
As someone who has used BGG photos quite a bit on other sites, but never without permission: if you're fine with having your photos used, especially for noncommercial purposes - like most people are - you can let people know that: Use the Creative Commons license for your photos.
Indeed. Or of course use "No Rights Reserved" for an image to make it completely freely usable / public domain, if you're fine with that. (I usually am with the images which I create and upload to BGG.)

Quote:
Now, I think, many people are sticking to the default "All rights reserved" just out of not knowing about the other options, even if they actually would agree to something else.
I agree. Heck, most BGG users seem to not even know how to upload images, much less about selecting licences/permissions for them.

I think the various rights options can be confusing at first also because the "All rights reserved" can sound as if YOU the uploader are asserting copyright over the image; but it can also be an image which someone else created and asserts copyright over, but gave you permission to upload here. (At least that's how I understand it, based on reading the docs about the rights settings...) I kind of wish BGG would explicitly distinguish those cases.
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Peter Dringautzki
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Thanks for collecting this and also I saw that I to have been effected even I did not upload much pictures at all.
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Ron A
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
duchamp wrote:

So, if you come across a game reviewer / blogger who uses a LOT of BGG pictures without ever asking for permission or giving credit (always check for the creative commons license of the picture in question first!) then YES, it should be added here.

http://theboardgaminglife.com/2014/04/12/ghost-panzer-democr...

There are 2 of my photos there, another from BGG and all he says is 'courtesy of Boardgamegeek...' and he lists the URL but he sure as he!! didn't ask me for permission. When I pointed it out to the guy that runs the site (he has a BGG acct) all he did was add the 'courtesy of' lines.

I didn't go looking at every post he makes but I'd say that he gets many of his photos from this site.

...and all my BGG photos are marked 'All Rights Reserved.' I know exactly what Creative Commons is and I do not mark my photos that way. Creative Commons allows others to use them, including for commercial use, so no, I never mark my photos CC.
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Daniel Danzer
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Ron, do you have an e-mail adress or the name of him - the blog site is not very clearly structured, I could not find any contact possibility ... you can do this also per geekmail. Then I could contact him and tell again, that the "terms of use" on BGG clearly state, that the right to the content is still the individual user's , NOT BGG. So "courtesy of BGG" doesn't make sense. Also, Matthew could do something about it, I guess.
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Alex Berry
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Why would you try and hurt someone else's business? People have often used my videos without permission, I'm not going to throw a fit and hurt someone over it.
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Daniel Danzer
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Tuttle757 wrote:
Why would you try and hurt someone else's business?
Nobody does that. All we want is tell them, that it is not okay. Why don't they just ask for permission?
Tuttle757 wrote:
People have often used my videos without permission, I'm not going to throw a fit and hurt someone over it.
If you want to handle it that way, fine. If others don't, so what?
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Mikko Saari
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
SBGrad wrote:
Creative Commons allows others to use them, including for commercial use, so no, I never mark my photos CC.

It's possible to choose a Creative Commons license that only allows non-commercial use.
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Tuttle757 wrote:
Why would you try and hurt someone else's business? People have often used my videos without permission, I'm not going to throw a fit and hurt someone over it.
A different viewpoint on this: Other companies, which respect copyright, have far fewer photos to show, which will require a lot more effort to gather, and so are at a competitive disadvantage. Why would you want to reward those companies that are acting illegally (and, depending on your personal position about the worth of copyright, possibly even immorally), and are so getting ahead of those which aren't?
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
SBGrad wrote:
...and all my BGG photos are marked 'All Rights Reserved.' I know exactly what Creative Commons is and I do not mark my photos that way. Creative Commons allows others to use them, including for commercial use, so no, I never mark my photos CC.
Your knowledge of CC is not exact.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

Try marking one of your images CC in the BGG interface and you'll receive a choice of which specific CC license you want. CC does not necessarily allow commercial use; it depends which CC license you select.
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Daniel Danzer
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Regarding "theboardgaminglife" I sent the owner of this website an e-mail, and he answered by sending me his answer to Ron's recent e-mail:
Quote:
I sincerely apologize if we wronged you or BGG in any way. Please be absolutely assured that was never our intent. The Boardgaming Life is a non commercial online magazine whose sole purpose is to promote the hobby of Boardgaming that we all love. We promote online gaming websites, gaming conventions, publishers and gaming clubs in the hope that our diverse hobby continues to thrive.

We get article submissions from many different sources some which contain graphics whose sources are not clear. Nevertheless it is our responsibility to insure that no one's rights are infringed when an article is posted and so once again we apologize to you as the creator of the images in question.

Therefore I will remove the images within the next 24 hours.

We do understand your feelings regarding this issue as we have had content from our website posted elsewhere without the simple attribution we request.

...

In the future we will not use any images from BGG to make sure rights are not infringed.

This is an answer I would like to hear from the game stores in question, too (without mentioning they are "non-commercial) - well, actually, Alex from regatul jocurilor DID answer like this!
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Quote:
In the future we will not use any images from BGG to make sure rights are not infringed.
What we want to encourage is that they simply ask for permission first, and offer to give proper attribution. If it's not a website for a retailer or a money-making business, I think it's great if they want to use the photos of boardgamegeek users! But just ask first and acknowledge the source by giving appropriate credit. I see this as quite different than a retailer using images without permission in order to advertise their products and to increase sales and make more money.

In most cases, if someone has a blog or a non-commercial website that's simply trying to promote the hobby of board-gaming, I am quite happy for my photos to be used with appropriate attribution, if I'm politely asked for permission. It's basic human courtesy - both ways.
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Daniel Danzer
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
After these replies to the thread I want remind everybody (including me) again, that this should not be the best place to DISCUSS the issue (see OP). You can still contribute here:
Illegal reproducing of boardgamegeek photos?

Ron just asked, if he should add a blog, and this is clarified now.
 
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Here is a new offending retailer you can add to the original post in this thread:

Offender: www.boardgamewarehouse.com

Discussion thread: Illegal use of BGG images: retail site boardgamewarehouse.com

Steph has mailed them previously, and they have removed the photos she asked about, but they continue to use numerous others from boardgamegeek. Check to see if yours are among them.

Contact: sales@boardgamewarehouse.com
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Thumis Dalidalisa
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
You guys should stop the witch hunts. The "illegality" of game stores' using these photos is not clear. It also opens up a can of worms (and frankly can of hypocrisy) of all the users who reproduce game images without asking permission.

The whole thing is also reminiscent of the "human flesh search engines" that Chinese use to hunt down people sympathetic to sympathetic to Tibetan nationalism or whatever.

if it bothers you that someone uses your photos, write them and tell them.

Stop the witchhunts.
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Kolumel wrote:
if it bothers you that someone uses your photos, write them and tell them. Stop the witchhunts.
Here's why collective action is necessary:

1. At least one BGG user did inform the most recently mentioned retailer about this issue previously, and on more than one occasion (see this post). They only took specific photos down, but continued to use others, including hers.

2. Removing specific photos I ask about doesn't completely solve the issue. What my about my other photos they've reproduced? Do I have to wade through their entire catalogue trying to find all of them? That's absurd. As long as they only take responsibility for specific photos they're asked about, and not for their general practice, this issue will be ongoing.

3. This issue is much bigger than just one person's photos. Someone has to speak on behalf of the many other BGG users whose photos are being infringed, and who can't possibly know about it. In the case of some retailers, we're talking about 100s of users and 1000s of photos. That's also why a BGG admin need to be involved. Thank you Octavian.

4. Retailers reproducing photos without permission need to do more than just remove photos they are asked about. They need to change their approach, and adopt a policy of asking for permission before reproducing them in the first place. Thank you to boardgamewarehouse for being willing to take the action needed after our collective efforts.

There has been at least one other US retailer I have contacted about this issue in the last week, where they were using many boardgamegeek photos. Not only did they promise to remove my photos, but also took this wider action needed by removing all boardgamegeek photos they'd used without permission, and by changing their policy about image usage. I have seen no need to name them or shame them, since I first gave them opportunity privately to respond appropriately, which they have done. Good on them.
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Thumis Dalidalisa
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
I don't think your argument that collective action is necessary is compelling.

1) A BGG user informed the user. He refused to take it down (or probably just ignored the request). OK, that's too bad. I am not sure anyone's been harmed, though.

2) "Do I have to wade through the entire catalogue ...?" No, actually, you don't. You choose to.

3) "Infringed" implies illegality, which is far from clear. I don't see why BGG Admin should be involved. I can think of one big reason they shouldn't though. BGG itself is a for profit accumulation of content reproducing, duplicating, or expanding other people's copyrighted games material usually without permission. Sort of the Napster of boardgames. Should we start a witchhunt every time someone posts on BGG a photo of a copyrighted gamebox?

4) You don't like that they do it. Ask them not to. Done.
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Daniel Danzer
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Re: Meta thread: Illegal use of photos on other websites
Discussion please on the other thread. Thanks.
 
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Derry Salewski
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Wouldnt a geeklist be easier?
 
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