Lamar Smith Caught Infringing On Photographer's Copyright

from the but,-of-course dept

Any time you have someone who is vehemently copyright maximalist, it's really only a matter of time until someone discovers that they, too, violate copyrights. There had been some questions asked a few months ago about whether or not SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith had licenses to put up videos of news reports on his site, but that didn't seem like a huge deal (and was likely fair use anyway). However, the latest, as a ton of you are sending in, is that some enterprising folks at Vice discovered that Lamar Smith's campaign site was making use of a photograph in violation of its Creative Commons license. It seems this was what Lamar Smith's campaign website recently looked like:
That background image? Turns out it's this (quite nice) image from DJ Schulte
Take it away, Vice folks:
And whaddya know? Looks like someone forgot to credit him.

I contacted DJ, to find out if Lamar had asked permission to use the image and he told me that he had no record of Lamar, or anyone from his organization, requesting permission to use it: "I switched my images from traditional copyright protection to be protected under the Creative Commons license a few years ago, which simply states that they can use my images as long as they attribute the image to me and do not use it for commercial purposes.

"I do not see anywhere on the screen capture that you have provided that the image was attributed to the source (me). So my conclusion would be that Lamar Smith's organization did improperly use my image.
Ooops. And this is a big part of the problem that we're talking about. Thanks to the ridiculousness of today's copyright laws, it's pretty much guaranteed that everyone infringes, whether you intend to or not. Which is why we ought to be exceptionally careful about doling out quick and powerful punishment for those involved in infringement. After all, the supporters of these things never know when it might just come back to bite them directly...


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  1.  
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    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 11:39am

    Sue him...sue him I say...

    ...Thanks to the ridiculousness of today's copyright laws, it's pretty much guaranteed that everyone infringes, whether you intend to or not. Which is why we ought to be exceptionally careful about doling out quick and powerful punishment for those involved in infringement. After all, the supporters of these things never know when it might just come back to bite them directly...
    Sue Lamar into the ground for this I say and let him experience the pain he would try and inflict on the American people before he pushes this nonsense any further...

    Make him spend time and money defending himself in court rather than trying to get reelected.

     

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  2.  
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    xenomancer (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 11:59am

    In Hopes of Moving Things Along

    Some bad/wasted/useless arguments/thoughts:Some good/relevant/useful arguments/thoughts:Hopefully this'll move us past the near obligatory grumbling, fishing stories, and mud slinging and open up the debate a little.

    /misguided-distractions

    I'd be interested in knowing exactly how sympathetic DJ Schulte is to a hypothetical request by Lamar Smith for permission to continue using the picture. I realize its more or less of moot consequence as Smith's web lackey has likely changed it by now, but it would be a nice contrast for displaying the snense of entitlement that seems to be roughly proportional to the quantity of intellectual properties with an expected positive monetary return on investment.

     

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  3.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Copyright maximalists rarely give a frick about copyright. A better term for them would be Middlemen Protectionists.

    In other words, they don't give a rat's ass about some photographer. But they do care if Disney's profits are deemed insufficient.

     

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  4.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Where is ICE on this? Shouldn't they be shutting down this dangerous website that is dedicated to infringement?

     

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  5.  
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    TMWaH, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    I legitimately hope that Schulte sues the living piss out of Smith. I wonder if he'll enjoy taking a taste of his own medicine. Better yet, I hope this comes up in the next Congressional debate.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Not at all surprising. It never fails to astound me how those pushing for such unenforceable and unrealistic laws never seem to think those laws will apply to them.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Under the existing DMCA Act this wouldn't this be considered "fair-use"?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    Of all the kinds of Copyright infringement they could make, they had to trip on the most basic (and, in my view) the worst kind: They failed to credit the artist.

    Even the so called pirates don't stoop that low...

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    Set phasers to D'OH!

     

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  10.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    Maybe he'll just repost it with a "(c) Google" watermark. It works for major publications. And by works, I mean "works" in quotation marks.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    Only after you get your butt hauled into court for a judge to say so.

     

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  12.  
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    mark, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    After all, the supporters of these things never know when it might just come back to bite them directly...

    What do they have to be worried about.

    Copyright Maximalist - High Court - get a warning
    Everyone Else - Low court - get $100000 fine and jail for felony infringement of a business model

    http://torrentfreak.com/return-of-the-high-court-and-low-court-111002/

     

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  13.  
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    bwp (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    no.

     

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  14.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    Well, considering Lamar is so zealous about SOPA and copyright infringement he should set the example and takedown his own site before ICE or anybody else. After all, if you advocate for some law and disrespect it, even if not on purpose, you should be the first to set the example amirite?

    I expect to see the infamous ICE/DOJ banner informing that Lamar's website was closed because it was engaged in child porn distribution.

    "But, Ninja, it's copyright infringement!"

    Oh... No problem, ICE will fix it in 48h like the 84k sites seized by mistake. No damage done to his image, right?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    people take a look at what is considered a fair-use of copyright protected work.
    mike, gez man, even you know better!

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    where do we donate to the artist to sue?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Mr. Smith's website is acting really strange now (bad/fake redirect?) Are they scrambling or did Schulte file a DMCA takedown?

    Either way, I'm laughing.

     

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  18.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Re: accred.

    *fair-use with proper accreditation
    FTFY

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    accreditation? for what, 1/8 of the original photo?

     

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  20.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

    Won't hold water

    Yes it's fun to poke at Lamar for this infringement and I think Mike says it right that this illustrates how easy it is to infringe.

    If I were to guess his web designer simply didn't understand what Creative Commons means or maybe s/he didn't care. It's going to be easy for Smith to brush this off as a mistake and either give Mr. Schulte proper attribution or simply get another piece of photography that is properly licensed.

    On the other hand, if he's going to play the part of copyright avenger, he better make sure he's 100% complaint with the laws/bills he supports.

     

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  21.  
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    another mike, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re:

    No, Lamar, this isn't "fair use". You violated the terms of the license by not attributing the image.

     

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  22.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Re:

    "Down for maintenance. We'll be back shortly."

    Well they are quick to act...well someone is anyway. Either Smith's designer is scrambling to scrub the site for any images that are not properly licensed OR perhaps, though less likely, a DDoS?

     

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  23.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    Umm, people are being taken to court over music playing in the background of a video with their baby dancing. There are also people remixing music that use a few seconds of a song in their remix and are taken to court. So yes 1/8 is more than enough.

     

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  24.  
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    DC, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Re:

    Which fair use criteria apply here?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    a*hole trying to hide the dirt now. robots.txt archive block just went live

    rofl.. the a*hole managing the lamar smith website is trying to hide the dirt under the carpet. They just nuked the archive.org snapshot via the robots.txt that EXCLUDES the archive specifically:

    http://www.texansforlamarsmith.com/robots.txt

    # See http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/norobots.html for documentation on how to use the robots.txt file
    #
    # To ban all spiders from the entire site uncomment the next two lines:
    # User-Agent: *
    # Disallow: /
    User-agent: ia_archiver
    Disallow: /


    f.y.i. the ia_archiver is the user agent used by the web archive project. This means they ONLY block the archive for showing past website contents

     

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  26.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Be Careful of What You Ask For

    As Anonymous has already pointed out, those who make these unreasonable laws do not seem to think that the law applies to them. Pure hubris.

    As these laws have been aggrandized, the ability to interpret and apply the law has become increasingly absurd.

    Once a law becomes sufficiently convoluted it looses its meaning. Society as a whole then suffers because we no longer have the rule of law that applies equally to everyone. Instead we have a whimsical legal system based on "extenuating circumstance" and "novel" interpretations. Only those who can afford a loquacious lawyer who can spin some fantastic psychedelic explanation will have ersatz justice.

    Seems that we could refer to our new legal system as being an outgrowth of the Twinky Defense.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    "Which fair use criteria apply here?"

    The only one(s) that are legal.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    The only fair solution to this to problem is to block Lamar Smith's website from everyone, and order all TV & Radio stations to refuse to air ANY of Lamar Smith's reelection ads.

    Oh, and the US government should also go after Lamar's supporters for circumventing the blocks on his website, especially if they lend Lamar Smith financial aid through campaign contributions! That's even worse then piracy, that's paying the pirates for someone else's content!

    Sure it'll be inconvenient for Lamar when it comes to running for reelection, and for his supporters. But come on, this is alleged piracy we're dealing with, that's almost as bad as murder! Which makes it perfectly ok to punish Lamar Smith and supporters first and figure out if they're guilty or not months or even years later when a trial can finally be scheduled.

     

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  29.  
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    DC, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Re:

    Assuming you are a copyright maximalist (%99 sure), the hypocrisy is the point.

    Otherwise, please marc sarc.

     

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  30.  
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    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Re:

    I second this. Speaking as a creator, somebody taking my work for non-commercial purposes without paying for it (assuming it's one of the works I actually expect payment for) would get you an eye roll and, if you're really lucky, a "Naughty, naughty, naughty!". But claim credit for my work, and now you've seriously pissed me off.

     

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  31.  
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    DC, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Re:

    So you can't specify any? Telling ...

     

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  32.  
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    The ICE Enforcer, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Here to save the day

    Do not worry my fellow American's. I am Capt ICE and I will stop this evil pirate of our proud internet community. 1st. I will stop all payments and freeze all bank accounts that are remotely tied to his business, family, ex college roommates mother~in~law, and everyone else who has heard of his name. 2nd. I will seize his house, vehicles, and his mistress house indifinetly. 3rd. I will then notify him about the seizures with a follow up on how he is now a suspect in funding terrorist activities in some country that doesnt have roads or running water but is clearly a threat to the USA and its allies. But do not fear my fellow American's. I will allow due process after I start the legal process. Unfortunately the legal process has been copyrighted, so it will take a mere 75 years after he dies to become available.
    V/R
    Capt ICE Enforcer.
    These things I do, So you won't be able to.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Which fair use criteria apply here?

    Powerful senator versus some nobody.

     

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  34.  
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    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Be Careful of What You Ask For

    "As Anonymous has already pointed out, those who make these unreasonable laws do not seem to think that the law applies to them. Pure hubris."

    I don't know about that. It seems more often than not that those wealthy and powerful enough to make laws are wealthy and powerful enough to not be prosecuted for breaking them.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re:

    The info is available on any legit Gov' website.
    If that's to much work for you type fair-use in google.
    What would be the point in me giving you the info?
    I didn't write the laws, but the information is FREE and available.

     

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  36.  
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    John Doe, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    Can we shut down his funding?

    Seems like we should be able to get the banks to put a hold on his campaign contributions and get ICE to take his domain name. Seems fair doesn't it?

     

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  37.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    Thirded. I have zero problem with people using my code. It's when it's used without attribution that I get a little miffed. But I take it as life's little annoyances, like the posters above, I'm not going to try to destroy somebody's life over it.

     

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  38.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Here to save the day

    Wait!?! You are going to notify him!! Don't give him special treatment, never notified anyone when taking they domains. Just let him find out by the notice nailed to his door when he comes home.

     

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  39.  
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    Just Another Moron In A Hurry, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Eh

    Amusing, but ultimately not relevant to SOPA. This is a domestic site, so it would not be subject to SOPA's influence.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re:

    I take it as life's little annoyances ... I'm not going to try to destroy somebody's life over it.

    Especially when you stop and think about the cost of attorneys, and the aggravation of civil discovery, and the years of your life wasted in court.

     

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  41.  
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    John Doe, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re:

    Just ask Men at Work how much a few seconds of a sample folk song is costing them. More than they made off the song in over 2 decades. So apparently 1/8 would be more than enough to sue someone out of existence.

     

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  42.  
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    John Doe, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re:

    Just ask Men at Work how much a few seconds of a sample folk song is costing them. More than they made off the song in over 2 decades. So apparently 1/8 would be more than enough to sue someone out of existence.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re:

    I take it as life's little annoyances ... I'm not going to try to destroy somebody's life over it.

    Especially when you stop and think about the cost of attorneys, and the aggravation of civil discovery, and the years of your life wasted in court.

     

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  44.  
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    crade (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    In other words, you are full of crap.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    When you are championing a cause, accusing your opponent of doing that which you encourage does two things:

    1) It belittles your argument that the action should be allowed. Afterall, you just accused him of some infringing therefor you acknowledge that the practice is wrong.

    2) It makes you look childish. "He started it!"

    Stop trying to lead some activist revolution against supporters of SOPA/PIPA, and instead focus on facts. Until you do so you are just spreading propaganda and it makes you look like a school yard bully. And I don't want to here any arguments about the other side starting the bullying see item 2 above.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So you mean, " I don't fucking know I am just pulling shit out of my ass, why the hell would I know how CC copyright works." Thanks for clearing that up.

    I believe DJ was using this one based on his comment in the article:
    "This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials."

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

    It is not fair use to take another persons work and use it as your background picture w/o crediting them.

     

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  47.  
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    William, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Fail troll is fail.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    How is it propaganda? It is a fact that Lamar infringed on this guys work. According to the artist himself. It's not a matter of bullying him or who started it. Mike (and the original author of this story) are just showing how easy it is too accidentally infringe (assuming it wasn't done on purpose) and how stupid it is to be trying to make people felons for shit he does himself.

    Under SOPA DJ would have had the right to get his Lamar's site shut down. That is funny and worth pointing out. It shows how clueless these people are in demanding that every follow strict rules that they can't even abide by themselves.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Be Careful of What You Ask For

    Should these laws pass (and then pass constitutional challenges that would undoubtedly happen), I imagine the small will be steamrolled just as foretold. But when the large bite on the large...that'll be the tipping point that sets precedent for all.

     

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  50.  
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    William, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Eh

    Yes, because everyone knows SOPA is only for evil overseas pirates...

    lol

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Re:

    Make sure to pay your lawyer with money from an ATM Machine after entering your PIN Number.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    Wow, you really are desperate. It's sad.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is not fair...

    Quit whining.

    It is too fair when the power-differential is high enough: When you're a high-status politician, you can get away with stepping on little people.

    If you're a large public corporation, with in-house attorneys and outside counsel, then you can beat up on folks all day long.

     

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  54.  
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    Some Guy, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Couldn't you make the argument that this guy is liable for a huge sum of money? It's a commercial site, and he's making this other guy's photo available to everyone who visits his site. So, if he had a million web page hits, then wouldn't he be liable for:

    $1,000,000 page hits X $150,000 per page hit = $150 billion dollars?

     

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  55.  
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    anonymous, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    remember how the RIAA recently were caught out because IP addresses registered to them were used to download copyrighted files? their excuse was the those IP addresses only 'looked similar' to their addresses. perhaps Smith's excuse will be that this image only 'looks similar' to the one copyrighted by DJ Schulte and therefore expects to get away with using it.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    and his site just came back up. brand new site - that was fast...

    http://www.texansforlamarsmith.com/

    looks like a pretty fast/ rough job though.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re:

    STOP BULLYING US!!!

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Re: In Hopes of Moving Things Along

    "I'd be interested in knowing exactly how sympathetic DJ Schulte is to a hypothetical request by Lamar Smith for permission to continue using the picture."

    Under SOPA, there would be NO allowance for such a request!
    You break the law...your site is OURS, boy!

    I love it when hypocrites are hoisted on their own petards!

     

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  59.  
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    SD (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Re: a*hole trying to hide the dirt now. robots.txt archive block just went live

    As far as I know they don't delete snapshots if someone just puts up a robots.txt file. When they launched the new Wayback Machine about a year ago I was able to access snapshots of sites that were blocked for years. My theory is that they didn't import the existing exclusion database from the classic Wayback Machine, but had each site's robots.txt recrawled. That sometimes left open a window of 5-10 minutes to browse a site that was supposed to be blocked. I think if someone wants something truly removed from their servers they need a court order and as a library they have some protections against that happening.

     

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  60.  
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    Tophe, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

    Re:

    That header picture looks a lot like the one here...

    http://www.home2riverwalk.com/san-antonio-hotel.aspx

     

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  61.  
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    byte^me (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: a*hole trying to hide the dirt now. robots.txt archive block just went live

    Nope, it's gone. I just checked archive.org and there are absolutely NO copies of Lamar Smith's website.

    I don't know what they did specifically, but they appear to have had it removed.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    ...doing that which you encourage

    Never fall for your own propaganda: Just because you and the MPAA and RIAA call each and every one of us a pirate....

    Let me put it this way, I've just quit caring whether you call me a pirate or a piracy-apologist or a piracy-supporter or whatever the word du jour is.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re:

    Back up and it has a new image, which is also being used here:
    http://www.saabj.org/
    and on a red roof inn site for San Antonio, haven't been able to figure out yet if anyone holds the copyright.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re:

    "Wow, you really are desperate. It's sad."

    Yes, sad to say, SOPA supporters ARE desperate, boy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: a*hole trying to hide the dirt now. robots.txt archive block just went live

    Putting up a robots.txt also causes them to dump all historical versions of the page.

    See the comment in the FAQ

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    That header picture looks a lot like the one here...
    http://www.home2riverwalk.com/san-antonio-hotel.aspx

    No, it's that image...
    http://www.home2riverwalk.com/resourcefiles/mainimages/downtown-san-antonio-hotel-location-top.jpg

    hastly-extended in Photoshop...
    http://www.texansforlamarsmith.com/heading-1.jpg

    Get your facts straight! ;-)

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    That new header is also being used here

    http://graceavenuechurch.com/our-story-1/

    and the file name has "iStock" in it...

     

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  68.  
    icon
    ChrisB (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    When you are championing a cause, doing that which you discourage others from doing does two things:
    1) Weakens you argument
    2) Makes you look childish.

    Was that so hard to understand?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And not ONE word about SOPA on http://www.texansforlamarsmith.com !
    Interesting...

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Also found here: http://www.saabj.org/

    Can't figure out who has the copyright yet.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    He's commenting on it? Using it for educative or reporting purposes?

    Care to elaborate, rather than just "But if you think about it, really, isn't it ok? Shouldn't we all just vote for Lamar?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: a*hole trying to hide the dirt now. robots.txt archive block just went live

    So the point of a Wayback Machine is what then? sigh

    It's like a magazine deciding take the old copy you have and say you can't look at it any longer :(

     

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  74.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You have just won this thread. Mike, shut'er down.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Now he has another new header on his website and it looks like the header here

    http://www.propelmg.com/siemens-rcs/conf/

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    THe owner of this image should sue Lamar Smith for as much cash as possible.If he did use this image without permission then I say sue this prick and give him a taste of his own medicine.
    If this story is false then nothing will happen but to bring out the truth of the story only.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    THe owner of this image should sue...

    Don't try to egg someone on into doing something. Lawsuits are hideously expensive, drag on forever, use up endless amounts of time, emotion, resources, and rarely result in satisfaction for anyone.

    The court system in the US is pretty broken right now. Everyone should stay out of the courts—if at all possible.

     

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  79.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Practice what you preach

    I think what is most interesting here is that Lamar Smith is a strong promoter of Copyright but on his own website he is using a Creative Commons photo. In other words he is promoting payment enforcement but then using "free" himself.

    I am sure there are much artwork protected by Copyright around that would welcome his usage charge.

    Naughty Lamar Smith should have credited the artist. Now that is not much to ask considering what a nice free non-commercial use background it is.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    "If this story is false then nothing will happen but to bring out the truth of the story only."

    The story's already been shown to be true, son.
    What part do you doubt?

    The screengrabs showing the site and the infringing image?

    The multiple verifications of what was on the site from unrelated sources?

    The fact the site's webmaster took it down and replaced it with a pitiful replacement a community college student could do better?

    The fact the site's webmaster is desperately trying to scrub site from the Wayback Machine?

    Is there one I missed?

    PS: I do hope someone sucked/downloaded the site before it was pulled.

     

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  81.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Eh

    Amusing, but ultimately not relevant to SOPA. This is a domestic site, so it would not be subject to SOPA's influence.

    For the sake of argument, let's say that some foreign website does have that exact image available for illegal download and someone uses SOPA to go after them. With Smith having it on his site also, wouldn't that go against the anti-circumvention provisions which are not limited only to foreign sites?

     

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  82.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    "My donation is secure"?

    Really? In a swiftly banged-together site with what looks like the finest tools Geocities had to offer?

    http://www.texansforlamarsmith.com/contribute

    I don't see an "s" at the end of that http and I'd really rather not enter a bunch of info just to see if it redirects somewhere safer with my cc info in its possession.

     

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  83.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Apparently they already changed the Home page header image, but About page still has the iStock image.

    Talk about shoddy work!

     

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  84.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ahh...it's a random picture picker.

     

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  85.  
    icon
    Al Bert (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Creative commons and copyleft

    Oh but that's under CC license.
    Everybody knows that's not real copyright if it doesn't belong to the entertainment industry. He should be glad that someone is using his work for free!. Use without attribution is still good advertisement.
    /sarc

    fwiw, i know an artist whose works have been ripped off on the website for one of the tv series owned by WB. It's probably still there. I wouldn't believe for a second that protectionist laws like SOPA would give him or this photographer any authority to act against those misusing their work.

     

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  86.  
    icon
    bjupton (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Re:

    The type of people who think that the powerful are 'bullied' and the weak are 'bullies' are the worst type of lickspittle worms.

    Are you the same loser who thinks that organizing a consumer boycott is 'censorship'?

    Are you well paid for your supplicancy or do you do it for free?

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Well this is simple. Sue him, fine him arrest and imprison him, seize his website, and plaster his face everywhere exposing him as a copyright infringer. That seems to be the norm when pirates are caught.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    *facepalm*

    Am I the only one that is ROFL that Lamar Smith, who is representing MAFIAA interests, can't seem to get original graphics for his own website?

    Here's a challenge, Mr Smith.

    Close Google.
    Turn off the phones.
    Open Photoshop.
    Create! Go Go!! What are you waiting for?

     

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  89.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    Using wufoo.com scripts apparently. Code seems to be using https for the script itself so hopefully that's enough.

    The entire page doesn't need to be https only the submission of data.

     

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  90.  
    icon
    SD (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: a*hole trying to hide the dirt now. robots.txt archive block just went live

    I know it's been blocked from viewing online, but the copies probably weren't deleted from their servers. Here's an example of a judge ordering a company to remove a robots.txt file from their website so historical pages could be restored and the Wayback Machine could be used for discovery purposes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayback_Machine#Netbula_LLC_v._Chordiant_Software_Inc.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    R Taylor, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    hmmmm

    So, under SOPA, the original artist could have the good Representative's site shut down and payment processors would refuse to process campaign contributions?

     

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  92.  
    icon
    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Here to save the day

    You forgot to relate him to child pornography.

    Don't forget the IN YOUR FACE banner.

     

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  93.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Eh

    Nevermind.

    After further reading, I don't think that would qualify under the anti-circumvention provisions. So please disregard my above comment.

     

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  94.  
    icon
    xenomancer (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I award you one internetz, see Ted Stevens about getting one over night.

     

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  95.  
    icon
    TheNutman69321 (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Lamar Smith is hosting a dangerous rouge site that is a threat to American jobs and national security. Censor it now.

     

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  96.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Re:

    instead focus on facts.

    Fact: Lamar is a hypocritical douchebag.

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    cameron, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Just too much fun

    OK so someone should either delist his server from DNS, or sue him for $^0,000,000 and drag it out for ever in the courts, or have him display a tiled notice that the image was removed because of a DMCA request. OK this is just too much fun, back to work.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Too bad Jon Stewart wants to address SOPA tomorrow already. That would be just his kind of angle.

     

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  99.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Be Careful of What You Ask For

    > I don't know about that. It seems more often
    > than not that those wealthy and powerful
    > enough to make laws are wealthy and powerful
    > enough to not be prosecuted for breaking them.

    When it comes to members of Congress, they usually put a clause into just about every bill exempting themselves and their staff from its application.

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if the final versions of SOPA/PIPA have similar clauses that will exempt Congressional web sites from having to abide by or be penalized under the new law.

    The problem for Lamar in this case is that his law hasn't passed yet, so he has no exemption to fall back on.

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 3:17pm

    Re:

    And how do we know it does not contain secret links to child porn and password stealing malware? This is looking very suspicious to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

    Do as I say...NOT AS I DO!

     

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  102.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    so true, hell, alot of times I have seen torrents posted with a link to the authors site saying "if you like this support the creator/artist"

    and the funny thing is, I have a few times seen the creators show up on those trackers(like the noid) and thank people for their support and say the same thing the post did "if you like my work please support me/it so I can continue to do XXX" (thats a rough example)

    I am of the strong belief that piracy dosnt hurt the sales of quality products, only the sales of poor products(like your average UBI soft console port...)

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    The Amazing Sammy, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 5:11pm

    I really hate to defend the guy. I think he's a cunt, and I think SOPA/PIPA are an afront to my freedom, so please don't call me his butt boy or anything retarded like that.

    But if someone you liked had the same allegation against them, you would likely point out this is clearly fair use, and that a recent court decision just a couple weeks ago confirmed that you can in fact use a work in it's entirety under the doctrine of fair use. So... it's moot there.

    But discount that entirely for a minute. Is it really that unusual for the artist of the original work to have no idea who's actually using it? Is it the least bit unusual that the artist would have no idea what websites use his work, or who licensed what? No, of course not.

    Smith's website was probably created by a third tier web development outfit, like any of the small web design firms you'll find in the Midwest or elsewhere. These companies are usually pretty good about licensing. If you could find the people who designed the website, you're likely to find the licensees of the stock photography.

    This is how it's done.
    It's totally legal.

    You should know better than to ignore this very basic reality of web development.

    Techdirt is supposed to have some technical bearings.

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

    Re:

    1. No artist will be able to know how his work is being used legally or illegally, there are so many hours in a day and we live in a world with 7 billion people in it, how are you going to check each and every one to be sure they didn't use it in some way?

    2. Most web developers copy and paste things from different sources and I have to see one yet that credit any source from where they took anything unless they use it unmodified, how many people do you know edit the EXIF data on their images to include copyrights and author names? there is not even a standard for those entries anywhere.

    3. Copyright is so messed up that is not possible for anybody to fallow it not even with infinite financial resources, that is why any defender of strong IP will always get burned by it, in this case the copyrights where standard when the work was created and changed it along the way, there is no database that people can consult anywhere to see those changes, so if you bought something in the past and used today and the terms changed, which one is the one that applies? obviously the one at the time of licensing, but it was for life? does the guy have a hardcopy of the contracted anywhere? would have those people cared to archive those documents? how much would it cost to start archiving licensing agreements?

    Oh crap that is a can of worms.

     

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  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 5:48pm

    Re:

    Pointing out that Mr. Smith likes to play loose with copyright is as legit as pointing out that a politician who drones on about the sanctity of marriagebetweenamanandawoman hires callboys.

    If the issue is important to him, he better make sure that at least his own website lives up to the standards he wants to force on society.

    The photography in question uses Creative Commons. I.e. it requires naming the artist and non-commercial use and nothing else. Easy enough. But it didn't happen.

     

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  106.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

    Re:

    Lamar Smith is hosting a dangerous rouge site

    It's true. Why, just yesterday, I used his cosmetics to highlight my cheekbones, and I broke out in a rash.

    Obviously, it's counterfeit rouge, which costs the cosmetics industry billions of dollars per minute. We must break the internet to stop this outrage! Won't somebody think of the cheekbones?

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

    Re:

    "But if someone you liked had the same allegation against them, you would likely point out this is clearly fair use, and that a recent court decision just a couple weeks ago confirmed that you can in fact use a work in it's entirety under the doctrine of fair use. So... it's moot there."

    Mercy begets mercy, and malice begets malice. When you crusade to punish people for something and then do it yourself, it's only to be expected that a lot of people will want your head on a pike. If you couldn't see that coming before you even began your crusade, you really don't have the minimal level of foresight necessary to be making laws, to begin with.

    On the specific Righthaven case you're referring to, I was actually skeptical of that particular verdict to begin with. I can't speak for anyone else.

    "Smith's website was probably created by a third tier web development outfit, like any of the small web design firms you'll find in the Midwest or elsewhere. These companies are usually pretty good about licensing. If you could find the people who designed the website, you're likely to find the licensees of the stock photography.

    This is how it's done.
    It's totally legal."

    That remains to be seen for the new image; it is a stock image that is licensable, and as such may potentially be licensed. The image that started this thread, however, was very definitely not. We know this because it has a permissive license with mandatory attribution. No payment is required to make use of it, but failure to attribute the image makes it unlicensed by definition, and hence copyright infringement.

    Now, it is possible that this was done by a third party web page designer, and not Lamar's office. While this might venerate Lamar, it is, in reality a worse situation, because it means that it was commercial copyright infringement, rather than simply use for non-commercial purposes. In which case the only reasonable course of action for Lamar would be to call up an attorney general to start criminal copyright infringement charges against the company.

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    lolupdates League of legends, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    This is pretty sad

    I find this pretty sad that someone who is supporting something would be doing something that completely contradicts it. I hope that if SOPA is passed that he will make the same mistake and his site will be taken down like everyone elses.

     

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  109.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re:

    As has been said if the site had attributed the work that would have been fair use. Even without links and all that good stuff. The Creative Commons license used only requires attribution and on a non commercial site or for non commercial purposes.

     

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  110.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: a*hole trying to hide the dirt now. robots.txt archive block just went live

    No point in it at all.

     

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  111.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 7:49pm

    Ahh.. Only human.

     

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  112.  
    icon
    bjupton (profile), Jan 12th, 2012 @ 9:07pm

    Re:

    Oh look.

    He's 100% by the US Chamber of Commerce.

    Makes sense.

     

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  113.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 11:29pm

    Re:

    'Ahh.. Only human."

    SOPA cares not about "humans"...only PIRATES, like Lamar Smith!

     

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  114.  
    icon
    martyburns (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 5:13am

    Re: *facepalm*

    I'm thinking he'd be better suited to MS Paint.

     

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  115.  
    identicon
    Anonymous 314159, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 5:42am

    Just sayin' ...

    Anyone else notice the content of the page as well?
    * "Stays in touch" yet claims there is no opposition to SOPA
    * "I will work every day to defend the Constitution", which says that copyright is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" (Article 1, Section 8, clause 8), yet supports legislation that would impede the Progress of Science and useful Arts
    * "That means reigning in government control" while expanding government control over the Internet.
    Perhaps he should line up his actions with his words.

     

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  116.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Re:

    These companies are usually pretty good about licensing.

    Really? Then why did they take down the entire site and redesign it with photos from iStockPhoto? Why knock it out of the archive database?

    Because he (or the company that developed his site) is guilty of copyright infringement. Also, there is virtually no way that this met any of the four factors of a fair use:
    1. criticism of the work - nope.
    2. commentary on the work - nope.
    3. new reporting - nope.
    4. teaching - nope.
    5. scholarship - nope.
    6. research - nope.

    Allow me to be clear, I don't really care that he infringed the copyright of this guys photo (although it is under creative commons - non commercial, so he could have at least done the attribution). I care that he is trying to shutdown the internet to stop copyright infringement while simultaneous committing copyright infringement.

    Even if this was "someone I liked" I'd still call them out for being a hypocritical douche bag.

     

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  117.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re:

    whoops, 6 factors

     

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  118.  
    icon
    gary (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 10:47am

    Re:

    send him to Guantanamo,bet they'd love him there

     

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  119.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Sue him...sue him I say...

    Hell don't just Sue him pull his site from the interwebs and give him the full SOPA/PIPA treatment. Put a lien on his family since they participated in the picture blocking the stolen material.

    At least he didn't travel twelve hours with his dog in a crate on the roof.

     

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  120.  
    identicon
    Steve, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 8:47pm

    Maybe he found it on Flickr

    Flickr, the land of Creative Commons Photos you can lease from Getty Images

    Like this one

     

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  121.  
    identicon
    Will, Jan 18th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    Here's the zip code if you want to email him 78209-1530

     

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  122.  
    icon
    LC (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:44am

    So in addition to everything else he's also a hypocrite.

     

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  123.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Re: Eh

    PIPA fills in that hole for ya

     

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  124.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Response to: anonymous on Jan 12th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Hey the "it looks similar" argument works well enough for Apple to have competitor tablets banned (Samsung). Funny how it means one thing here and something totally different over there.

     

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  125.  
    icon
    T Jones (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:16am

    Bill him!

    C'mon folks. If you hold up a 7-11, and get caught, it is not "all better" by just returning the goods. The photographer should bill him a "fair use" fee, for using his photograph for a political viewpoint he does not agree with. I'd go for $10K.

    Since we KNOW Lamar is a standup guy, he'll pay it, with an apology. Right?

     

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  126.  
    icon
    T Jones (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re:

    Removed from the Archive Database, after committing a crime? Isn't that tampering with evidence? Another crime?

    Book em, Danno

     

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  127.  
    icon
    T Jones (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re:

    Being a politician is a non-commercial enterprise?

    Not since Caesar.

    T

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  128.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Sue him...sue him I say...

    HELL YES! good thinking!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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