Canadian Anti-Infringement Enforcement Company Caught Using Infringing Photos On Its Website

from the casual-infringement-for-all! dept

IP “enforcement” is a Herculean task (according to the enforcers), one that requires so much time and energy that those pursuing infringers barely have time to make sure their own backyard is clean. Many in the copyright industry (or closely affiliated) have been caught infringing on others’ copyrights: hosted infringing material. SOPA pusher Lamar Smith. NBC Universal. Righthaven. The US Copyright Group. The list literally goes on and on.

Here we are again, discussing an entity so concerned with outside infringement, it can hardly be bothered to notice the infringement within its own walls. Canipre, the Canadian “forensics software” company that has hunted down IP addresses for a “million pirates” on behalf of lawsuit-happy studios like Voltage Pictures (‘Hurt Locker,’ anyone), has decked out its (rather overdramatic) website with the unlicensed photos belonging to others.

Canipre, as a company, offers to track down people who are illegally downloading copyrighted material from record companies and film studios. According to their website, they have issued more than 3,500,000 takedown notices, and their work has led to multimillion dollar damages awards, injunctions, seizure of assets, and even incarceration.

In a recent interview, Canipre’s managing director Barry Logan explained that it’s about much more than just money—he’s hoping to teach the Canadian public a moral lesson:

“[We want to] change social attitudes toward downloading. Many people know it is illegal but they continue to do it… Our collective goal is not to sue everybody… but to change the sense of entitlement that people have, regarding Internet-based theft of property.”

Well, it seems the “sense of entitlement” goes all the way up. Here’s a screencap of Canipre’s website that features a self-portrait by Steve Houk.

We’ll quote Vice here:

So, just to be clear: Canipre has written “they all know it’s wrong and they’re still doing it.” Referring to copyright theft. On top of an image that they are using without the permission of the copyright holder. On their official website.

Houk says no permission was given to use his photo. He contacted Canipre directly to discuss its infringement and to point out that is was “disheartening” to see a company claiming to “champion intellectual property rights” obviously disregarding the rights of others. This led to Canipre’s marketing director firing off a volley of emails and phone calls before finally deciding to pass the buck.

Logan claimed that the company used a 3rd party vendor to develop their website and that the vendor had purchased the image from an image bank.

I pointed out to Logan that if that was true, he had basically paid his vendor to rip off other people’s creative work. Logan told me that he would contact his web provider and have the image removed. He also told me that he would provide me with the name of the website developer and the name of the image bank where they obtained my photo.

So, it’s important that Canipre maintains a presence on the web that properly (and noirishly) delivers its message on the importance of intellectual property rights, but not important enough to dot i’s, cross t’s and make sure its “third party vendor” isn’t simply grabbing images from “the internet” (or image banks with their own infringement problem).

Logan has yet to provide the name of the developer or the image bank, so it still remains somewhat of a mystery which 3rd party vendor slapped Houk’s photo onto an IP enforcer’s website. And this photo, taken by Sascha Pohlflepp. And this one, taken by Brian Moore. At this point, all of the infringing photos have been taken down, but only after Vice called attention to Canipre’s actons.

The ironic thing about the last two photos is that they’re both Creative Commons-licensed, meaning all Canipre (or its vendor) had to do was properly attribute the photos. But neither could be bothered.

Now, some might say that in the scheme of things, Canipre’s infringement is nothing compared to the infringement it’s fighting. But here’s the difference. Canipre is a company that helps studios like Voltage sue alleged infringers based on not much more than an IP address. File sharers aren’t turning a profit or presenting themselves as righters of the world’s wrongs. If you’re going to put yourself in the position of “educating” people (via mass lawsuits) about the importance of the intellectual property rights you’re being paid to protect, you had better make sure you’re not stepping on the IP toes of others.

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Companies: canipre, voltage pictures

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Comments on “Canadian Anti-Infringement Enforcement Company Caught Using Infringing Photos On Its Website”

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Re: applying as a Phil. Representative of CANADA ANTI PIRACY CAMPAIGN

In the Philippines, have a lot of pirated item to name a few Airplane bearing,Shoes,various clothing,bags and soft-drinks, liquors, such as [Pundador, Black level etc.This can be effectively monitor by a will organized group and or company in the country,among of such locally monitoring private company which have engaged in security services, patent infringement monitoring and evidence build-up gathering has been done by PATROLGUARD & ALLIED SERVICES CORPORATION, with office address at GF-PATROLGUARD Building 91 Elizalde St.BF Homes Phase 2 Paranaque City, Philippines 1700-Tel No.478-13-64;Ceo ATTY.EPAFRODITO NOLLORA-President of LAWYERS ACCOUNTABILITY & WARRANTY RULE SOCIETY INC. with cell-phone no.09077796896-09475034027/09275168187

Ninja (profile) says:

Why, wasn’t it dead easy to tell if something is infringing according to copyright maximalists? What happened here? Sure it would have been very easy to avoid this err, right? And these same maximalists want service providers and 3rd parties to play copyright cops and magically know everything that is infringing including what they don’t have any control or contact then obviously Canipre should have policed themselves instead of assuming the webdesigner would use legal stuff eh?

The irony is too much to bear…

Also, cue these same morons blabbing something about “exceptions” or “anomalies”. What’s the anomaly count now?

jameshogg says:

“[We want to] change social attitudes toward downloading. Many people know it is illegal but they continue to do it… Our collective goal is not to sue everybody? but to change the sense of entitlement that people have, regarding Internet-based theft of property.?

Perhaps it is your social attitude that needs to change, in particular when people feel that it is appropriate to lock people up for doing the same thing as borrowing DVDs from friends.

And perhaps you need to change the sense of unjustified entitlement copyright law has when it comes to claiming authority despite its irrationality.

out_of_the_blue says:

"all of the infringing photos have been taken down,"

“but only after Vice called attention to Canipre’s actons.” — That’s the way the current copyright system works: the owner has to complain first. NOW you’re jeering that owners have to police the net, though have often used the flip side to argue against automation or assumptions that works are copyrighted.

Canipre’s infringement is nothing compared to the infringement it’s fighting. — I copy/pasted, but not quoted because that’s exactly what I’d say! The minion knows the obvious truth, and only tries to dodge it. — This likely unknowing mistake, easily corrected, is NOTHING like you pirates ripping off someone’s $100 MILLION dollar movie. NOTHING LIKE.

Take a loopy tour of! You always end up same place!
If Mike supports copyright, why are the pirates here? They take him same as I do: PRO-PIRACY!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "all of the infringing photos have been taken down,"

Actually, it’s just as bad. All copyright enforcement agencies follow similar mantras – including that anything that’s viewable on a computer screen constitutes as a performance. Never mind that it’s an image; it still counts. The fact that this website is intended for a massive audience (i.e. not private viewing) makes the infringement worse. Calling this infringement “small-scale” is disingenuous based on copyright supporter logic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "all of the infringing photos have been taken down,"

“NOW you’re jeering that owners have to police the net”

No. We’re not saying that there should be some mechanism where the photo owner doesn’t have to watch out for this sort of thing. We’re jeering that an anti-infringement group couldn’t police THEMSELVES. They’re not protected by the DMCA here. They aren’t acting as a service provider to whoever they hired.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "all of the infringing photos have been taken down,"

According to troll logic, copyright infringement is theft.

If so, then Caprice commited theft. Now you are arguing that “this” theft isn’t as bad as “that” theft.

Which is it, man? What happened to “the law is the law” and natural rights and all that horse-crap you like to spew?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "all of the infringing photos have been taken down,"

When your nut pendulum swings back, it’ll no doubt be to complain about the invasion of privacy by the gub’mint, which of course is being done in the name of your beloved copyright, Blue. Admit it, you’re part of the problem.

When a movie studio goes broke because of piracy, not mismanagement, I’ll take you seriously.

Beech says:

Re: Re: Re:

No shit they took it down. Otherwise they would have opened themselves up to even bigger lawsuits, should the arise.

The main point of the story is that a bunch of people who are allegedly so concerned about “theft” that they can’t be bothered to stop “thieving’ themselves. Its like preaching about how morally bankrupt chop shops are while hot wiring a car.

RD says:

Re: "all of the infringing photos have been taken down,"

Bullshit you little lying shill. In principle, this is EXACTLY the same. You are arguing scale which has ZERO to do with whether there was infringement (breaking the law) or not. They broke the SAME law in exactly the SAME way, but of course you have to swing in with your lying shill attempts to deflect and excuse THIS instance as being “different.” It’s not. The fact that you could support actions against everyone else, and not these SAME infringers, shows your true colors.

Julian P. (user link) says:

Re: "all of the infringing photos have been taken down,"

Whether it’s a $100 million dollar film or just a photograph is irrelevant to whether infringement took place or not.

Thanks for confirmation of something I’ve long suspected, though: to those defending intrusive interpretations of copyright, a crime is even bigger when it happens to something well funded and mainstream.

What a sham your anti-corporate populism is!

Anonymous Coward says:

as in all cases, the company, person, web site whatever concerned here will simply say ‘sorry, it was a mistake’ and the one infringed will do absolutely nothing about it. had it been an ordinary member of the public, particularly one that, like so many others now, are struggling to survive and couldn’t therefore afford to get legal assistance to fight over a ‘mistake’, the lawyers would have been out at dawn, in force, wanting to lock the poor fucker up for a term longer than if a major crime had been committed. saying ‘sorry, a mistake was made’ definitely wouldn’t have cut it in any way, shape or form!!

Anonymous Coward says:

This is why I refuse to pretty much even listen to the copyright supporters anymore, because when you wade through all their smoke and mirror arguments, and boil it down to the actual facts, you see that this isn’t about fairness, decency, morality or protection anyone’s “right”. At the end of the day their arguments are all about money and control. And just like Prenda, these companies will go to any length, break any rules they can get away with, and twist any arguments as much as they can to procure both.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I agree, IP extremists have absolutely no regard for morality at all. This applies to all private and commercial government established monopolists. They’re morally bankrupt hedonists trying to set moral standards for others when they themselves have no moral standards whatsoever. Abolish IP. Abolish govt established broadcasting and cableco monopolies. Abolish govt established taxi cab monopolies. Abolish all govt established monopolies for private or commercial purposes.

The government has absolutely no business whatsoever established a monopoly or passing anti-competitive laws for private or commercial purposes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

and the only reason the government passes these anti-competitive laws is because politicians receive campaign contributions and revolving door favors in return. It’s absolutely outrageous that laws are being passed not based on the public interest but mostly based on the selfish interests of politicians. This is unacceptable and we should put a stop to this nonsense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well, under today’s fines for copyright violations, and given Canipre’s history of working hard to protect others copyrights, I’m sure that Canipre will be a okay at paying a fine of a mere $100 Billion dollars to the copyright holder.

Oh wait, you mean they just raised the fines for copyright infringement? Well then, I’m Canipre will be even more a okay at paying a mere $10 Trillion dollars to the copyright holder, after all, I’m sure Canipre supported the bill that raised the fines!

Sure some might say that $100 Billion and $10 Trillion dollar fines are excessive, but the courts have already ruled that anything below infinity is perfectly reasonable! I trust their judgement better then my own on this, as I’m sure does Canipre!

Anonymous Coward says:

“they all know it’s wrong and they’re still doing it.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black…

I especially like how IP-enforcers like Canipre sue whenever there is a possible infringement issue, but common artists/etc just make a quick phone call to figure out what’s going on. Solves the problem quickly, efficiently, and without wasting everyone’s time.

I don’t quite get how your point is much different than the current health care system. Currently anyone in the US is covered and people with health insurance (paying customers) foot the bill. Take that system and convert to paying customers at movie theathers and buying DVD/Blue-Ray (which are overpriced as hell just like health care!) and you have a fairly similar situation…

RD says:

Smell the Hypocrisy

So notice the “Logan told me that he would contact his web provider and have the image removed” statement. One has to ask, why does the general public never get such consideration? I mean, I’m sure when infringement is pointed out to the general file sharer (which, by the way, is almost never a notice or request, its almost always at the spearhead of a lawsuit threat), his first move is to take the offending material down. But that isnt good enough when you are Joe Nobody. No, you get dragged into court and sued for $2+ million dollars. But when its a big corp/media/company, its a quiet “oh, sorry, we’ll take that down, no harm no foul.”

Steaming pile of hypocritical bullshit. Live by the sword, die by the sword. They should be immediately sued for maximum statutory damages, just like everyone else is treated.

John85851 (profile) says:

Hold the company responsible for outside vendors

I’m getting so sick of companies claiming it was a “third party vendor” or “affiliate” or whatever else it takes to pass the blame. Yes, the company may have hired an outside vendor to design their website, but did NONE of their lawyers or copyright agents look it over?

I think it’s past time we held companies like this responsible for negligence for not checking their vendors’ work.

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