9 March 2005. A Cryptome search today at the US Copyright Office by author, claimant or work title for the two photos below found no record of copyright by Barbara Haddock Taylor or Les Hassell:
23 February 2005
Those guys at sportsshooter are nothing but a bunch of washed-up losers.
I had people on that site accuse me of ruining photography by posting my own work for free on my site, openphoto.net. I suspect this is because my free work is better than most of the stuff they charge people for. They also said that someone should call the police on me because my work is 'scary'
Anyways, keep up the good work. It's heartening to me that you are one of the few folks left who care about our rights as citizens.
23 February 2005
** ADVANCE FOR TUESDAY, FEB. 22. ** Eighth-grader Lauren
Dennis holds a portrait of her second cousin, Kyle Grimes, a marine
who was killed in the Iraq war Monday, Feb. 14, 2005, at Parkville
Middle School, in Parkville, Md. The portrait was done by Lauren
and her teacher and is one of 40 in a student exhibit called ``Fallen
Heroes: The Cost of War,'' on display in Parkville Middle's media
center lobby. (AP Photo/Baltimore Sun, Barbara Haddock Taylor)
Note: This photo, another which milks the Iraqi war photo pathos
frenzy, came from an AP public archive of photos, and had no
copyright notice or public-use restriction on it, despite the following
presumptuous e-mail, another bastard idiocy of the DMCA. Preston
presented no proof of copyright, no proof of identity, no evidence to
support his copyright-scam.
Subject: Illegal photo usage
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 14:12:39 -0500
You have a Baltimore Sun photo on this we page,
http://cryptome2.org/ik36/iraq-kill36.htm, which is copyrighted material.
Remove it immediately and cease using our copyrighted material without
permission or legal action will be taken. The Associated Press is also
being notified as to your illegal usage of this content.
AME News Photography
The Baltimore Sun
Balimore MD 21278
Good to hear from you. Thanks for looking at our site.
A pleasure to publish your opinion.
23 February 2005
A DMCA scam going around is for the perpetrator to place an alleged copyright work in the public domain without restriction (this is often done also to get publicity, as with giving photos to Associated Press), then watch for its use by the unwary (as Les Hassell brags on Sport Shooter, by arranging for notification by Google). A threat is then issued against the user warning of copyright ownership and citing dire penalties under the DMCA, along with threats to take legal action.
The intent is to extort payment from the user with nothing more than a few legalistic e-mails to users and their IP providers, with maybe a follow-up fax and/or mailed letter. It is a practice copied from the super-bandit intellectual property industry who also uses the DMCA to extort payments for corporations, not much of which goes to the low-paid creators of legitmately copyrighted works.
Sleazy legal sharks offer advice on how to execute this extortion and aggressively pursue cuts of the profits, for DMCA-bandits big and small.
If such a threat is received, demand proof of copyright from the accuser, double-check how the work was made public, whether a copyright notice was embedded in it (a verbal claim that the work is copyrighted is insufficient), and do not be bamboozled by legalistic flim-flam of the kind used by copyright hustlers.
Without documentary proof, and best, without a court order, it's all fake-cripple con.
Internet service providers are aware of this scam and the honest ones ask their customers for a response before knee-jerk pulling a file or cancelling service (Yahoo is an exception, it yanks files without prior notice to customers). If a service provider does a knee-jerk file-yank or a service shutdown, make it public -- the Net is a great tool for that.
22 February 2005.
Discussion of this on "Sports Shooter, The Online Resource for Sports Photography," with initial post from Les Hassell:
§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Release date: 2004-04-30
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use
of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or
phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for
purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching
(including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or
research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether
the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the
factors to be considered shall include:
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use
is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to
the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of
the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of
fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above
As far as the DMCA is concerned, I don't think that you have any choice
in the matter. It's a horrible law, but the black letter of it is quite clear.
It will likely be overturned in whole or in part someday, it can't be too soon.
Cryptome: nothing like a lost cause inspires Cryptome to join a one-sided
fray. Especially when there are legalistical threats, bluffs, right at the start,
compared to polite requests to warm our cold heart.
Dear Mr. Hassell,
I work in advertising and regularly purchase photography for use in marketing materials. I am knowledgeable about fair and appropriate use as well as copyright of imagery under United States and international law.
Cryptome is a non-profit, education-based group as are their mirrors. The disks they sell create revenue used to keep their site live, which in the end, is to inform the public. They are not selling their archives to get rich.
If you re truly concerned about appropriate use of imagery and compensation, why don t you send a check to the family of the soldier who was being buried in your shot? After all, you interrupted their privacy by shooting what was a painful and important event in their lives laying their son to rest.
While I understand that the funeral could have been shot from a public place and it was likely legal to do so, it's indecent. You and your employer were essentially harassing a family in their time of loss. For you to suggest that you are owed anything is greedy, rude and irresponsible.
21 February 2005
Mourners gather around the flag-draped coffin of Army Pfc.
From: Les Hassell <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Copyright violation Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 04:41:11 -0600 To: firstname.lastname@example.org It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of my copyrighted work in the preparation of a work derived therefrom. I have reserved all rights in the work, first published in The Longview News-Journal (Cox Enterprises, Inc.) [and have registered copyright therein]. The work entitled "Eyeballing the Iraq Kill Zone - Sep-Nov 03," located at http://cryptome.quintessenz.org/mirror/ik5/iraq-kill5.htm makes unauthorized use of the work. The domain quintessenz.org, whether knowingly or unwittingly, is illegally hosting the work and responsible per The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. As you neither asked for nor received permission to use the Work as the basis for "Eyeballing the Iraq Kill Zone - Sep-Nov 03" nor to make or distribute copies, including electronic copies, of same, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein. I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the work, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to me, if applicable, all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future. If I have not received an affirmative response from you by February 25, 2005 indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall take further action against you. Very truly yours, Les Hassell Longview News-Journal
To: Les Hassell <email@example.com> From: John Young <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Alleged Copyright violation Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 09:16:11 Dear Mr. Hassell, We have received a copy of your e-mail to quintessenz.org concerning a photo which originally appeared on our website Cryptome.org and was subsequently mirrored by Quintessenz. The photo came from a public library which offered AP photos without restriction and there was no copyright notice accompanying it. You may know that the AP photo archive is widely available through public institutions for educational purposes. We believe your photo is a valuable contribution to understanding the pain and suffering of the war by families of military dead. Cryptome.org is a non-profit educational website, and among some 25,000 files offered to the public without charge, it has published several hundred AP photos of the Iraq slaughter and there has been no complaint of copyright violation. On the contrary the photos have been heavily viewed and we have received numerous appreciations for making them available. Your photo is no longer on Cryptome.org, due to the file containing it being removed, but we hope it will remain available on the several worldwide mirrors of Cryptome, all of which are also non-profit public-education web sites. Cryptome has published considerable information about DMCA, its value to creators and its abuse by commercial marketers of creative work. Best regards, John Young Cryptome.org 251 West 89th Street New York, NY 10024 Tel: 212-873-8700
From: Les Hassell <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Alleged Copyright Violation Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 20:52:31 -0600 To: John Young <firstname.lastname@example.org> Mr. Young, The Associated Press is authorized to host my images, and while I understand your intentions and appreciate your efforts, neither cryptome nor quintessenz has gained that authorziation. As cryptome, supposedly, no longer hosts the file, cryptome is not in violation which is the reason the Cease and Desist was sent to quintessenz. It would be appropriate for quintessenz to link to the image hosted by the Associated Press however, it is illegal and in violation of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 for quintessenz to host the image on its servers without making arrangements and/or providing compensation to the copyright holder (myself, Les Hassell and/or The Longview News-Journal and/or Cox Enterprises, Inc.). If either cryptome or quintessenz were Associated Press members, they would be authorized to host the images however, neither would be authorized to make sales of the images. You, however, have your archives, including the unauthorized images, available for sale. This is, again, in violation of the DMCA and, again, would require authorization from and/or compensation to the individual copyright holders. I had hoped the response from cryptome and/or quintessenz would be quick, positive and show responsibility and credibility and not require any further action. However, with the continued hosting of the images as well as the fact that there is now evidence to show unauthorized sales of the images I am forced to turn this matter over to my corporate headquarters and the Associated Press. Thank you for your reply, Les Hassell