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mmacro

Fighting back - Skyride

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I also have seen that Skyride has practices that are arguable. The courts should decide the legality of their business…

But we can fight back. They are using photographs that they have not asked permission to use. They are a 3rd party that facilitates jumping. They should pay individuals and businesses for the right to use images, graphics and other intellectual property.

I used to work at Newsweek in the photo department for 5 years. And I teach photography at a government school. One of the classes I teach is copyright. End of story – an individual owns copyright for life plus 75 years; then it becomes public domain unless the family/person inheriting the copyright renews it. It is not necessary to file for a copyright. It is automatic, and it does not need to be labeled. But you have to prove you are the copyright holder.

If an individual sells the right to an image they can grant exclusive rights, North American rights, European rights, one time usage, web rights, print rights, and more: the list is up to the discretion of the owner of the photograph.

If you want to hammer Skyride, take note of the photos they use. Contact the people that took the image. Send them a registered, notarized letter that informs them they are using an unauthorized image and they must stop using it immediately (give them a time frame to comply). Let them know that if they do not comply you have legal options available and they could be held responsible for payment for using the photo; the amount to be determined by you and/or the court. If they do not take it down a send a second, noterized registered letter telling them that they are past the timeline you set, and a call to a lawyer should get you a nice check for your troubles.

What burns my pants is seeing the “justification” by Skyride for their business practices and their insistence that they are an ethical business (note I did not say legal). An ethical business that sells tickets for events/attractions they do not run would ethically pay royalties to the artists/photographers/businesses for using the materials used in promoting their referral service.

In today’s digital age, all photographers/artists, regardless if they are professional or amateur, should take steps to safeguard themselves from predatory business practices.

1. Rename your files so they are not the default names from the camera/software. Use a consistent method. We use specific information separated by dashes: the date in yymmdd format, followed by an individual’s identification (something like initials and a unique number that stays the same), then a sequence number, and finally the file format. This sorts the photos by date automatically Example: 090716-MTM3345-001.jpg
2. Embed the photo’s file name in the metadata of the jpg, along with the photographer/artist name, when it was taken, where it was taken, and that it is copyrighted. Put anything you consider necessary into these data fields. They have spaces for contact information, etc… And you can lock this so that it stays with the file no matter what they do with it in Photoshop.

If you do this then you have a fairly airtight case for copyright infringement. Make it too expensive for them to do business and they will back off.

There is a fine line in Skyride’s actions. The crux is; are they fairly representing their abilities to provide a service? Just because a particular practice is legal does not give them a free pass to do it. They must have a fair and reasonable ability to provide the services advertised. Since they are working in the commercial travel realm it might be advisable to take up their business practices to the FAA and the governing bodies that regulate air travel and agencies such as Expedia, Hotwire, etc... I would think they would have a better chance to change their practices since air travel has tighter controls.

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If they are using one or more of your photos, why not just just invoice them with a threat to sue of they don't pay? They are already using the photo so charge a fee for use of the photo in web advertising.
Andy
I'll believe it when I see it on YouTube!

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FYI
The court case of
Skydive Arizona, Inc v Quattrocchi. et al
United States District Court Case No. CV05-2656-PHX-MHM
will commence the jury trial on Aug. 4 2009.
It may take up to 3 weeks to complete.

The case will be heard at
Sandra Day O'Connor Courthouse
401 Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Anyone in the area may attend the proceedings and take notes.

I am a plaintiff witness in this case.

.
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Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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If they are using one or more of your photos, why not just just invoice them with a threat to sue of they don't pay? They are already using the photo so charge a fee for use of the photo in web advertising.



If threats of lawsuits or fee-for-use invoices would have stopped them, they would have stopped years ago.

(P.S. - do we really need a new thread?)

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As a professional photographer and a jumper looking to transition to photography while jumping, I have a vested interest as to the ethics of businesses in the skydiving world.

From what I have seen Skyride is abusing intellectual rights, using images and graphics they have not paid for. That is theft. We might as well allow illegal music downloads and pirate DVDs. We are talking about the same legal requirements.

And I’m not talking about threats… do it! Get a lawyer and offer to let them keep all damages – or a percentage of damages – so they will work at no cost to you. If individuals bring to bear the weight of all those that have a stake in their illegal usage of copyrights, trademarks and likenesses of businesses I can’t imagine them being able to maintain their current level of offenses.

We can sit around, and moan and groan; belaboring how horrible it is that our USPA dues went up, that they are not fair, that they stole images from us. Or we can act, sometimes it takes individuals to act together to get results.

Why another post, because they are still conducting business as usual.

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Why another post, because they are still conducting business as usual.



Sorry, that's not what I meant. Because you're new to DZ.com, you may not be aware that we already have a long-running thread discussing the Skyride issues that you're discussing. So it's probably better to have this discussion, and your posts, appended to that existing thread rather than starting a new one, is all. Thanks.

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"Because you're new to DZ.com..."

Did you really go there? While you do have a D license and I just have an A with just under 100 free-fall jumps (add another 50 or so military rounds) - I've still been a member of the site longer than you.

I just did not post, preferring to sit back, read a lot and wait to see how I felt on things once I had more experience.

Yes there are older threads. But sometimes it's worth posting anew so new members, who might not be aware of Skyride, see the posts.

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I just wanted to say that metadata is useless (sometimes).

For example, my company uses Microsoft Sharepoint Services and no matter what I put in the metadata or just whatever the camera information is, is GONE after I upload the images to the server. I never looked into it, maybe it's the program or maybe it's just a setting in the program but that data is removed after upload.

BTW, we use Microsoft Picture Manager to upload the images, so maybe IT removes that data when it resizes the image for web? Regardless, I think my point still stands.

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There are ways to embed tracking codes in metadata that is not stripped out. You can also watermark images in an area of the photograph you can't crop out.
And from what I've seen SR does not take too much care in disguising their handywork.
My original point was that if you have a CD or DVD with files burned on it with the metadata present and you demand they stop using your work, you have a legal basis to prove a case. You can prove when the disk was burned, you can prove it's yours with the time stamps on the images themselves - they even record camera serial numbers that take the photos. If SR is smart enough to strip the images of metadata then it will all be blank, or the false data will be timestamped differently.
If a large number of photographers have the same story, and provide credible evidence then it's highly unlikely SR could snow a judge.
Locks keep an honest man honest. Will they try to get over - sure. But we can sure make it a hell of a ride for them as individual skydivers.

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My reference was based on a quick glance at your post numbers only; I didn't take notice of your "member since" date. I really was trying to be polite and respectful toward you. Sorry you saw it the other way.



That's OK.

I guess this post is as much about raising awareness of photographer's rights as it is about SR.

It bugs me that businesses that are for profit don't get that even if it's a photo or graphic that an “amateur” produces is fair game to use to make money with.

It’s our biggest hurdle to get new artists to realize they should not sell themselves short just because they are not Norm Kent. If a business wants to use an image they should pay a fair, consistent fee no mater if you take 100 photos a year as a hobby or 10,000 as a professional. If it’s good enough to use for advertising or other professional use then pay a professional fee.

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I remember Skyride used a bunch of Brent Finley's pictures without his permission. I have no idea what's been done about those as it's been a few years and he doesn't seem to post here anymore.
"Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people." - SIX TIME National Champion coach Nick Saban

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I just wanted to say that metadata is useless (sometimes).

For example, my company uses Microsoft Sharepoint Services and no matter what I put in the metadata or just whatever the camera information is, is GONE after I upload the images to the server. I never looked into it, maybe it's the program or maybe it's just a setting in the program but that data is removed after upload.

BTW, we use Microsoft Picture Manager to upload the images, so maybe IT removes that data when it resizes the image for web? Regardless, I think my point still stands.



Good points, but the meta data does not need to be in the uploaded, used , just your originals.

(.)Y(.)
Chivalry is not dead; it only sleeps for want of work to do. - Jerome K Jerome

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From what I have seen Skyride is abusing intellectual rights, using images and graphics they have not paid for. That is theft. We might as well allow illegal music downloads and pirate DVDs. We are talking about the same legal requirements.

And I’m not talking about threats… do it! Get a lawyer and offer to let them keep all damages – or a percentage of damages – so they will work at no cost to you. If individuals bring to bear the weight of all those that have a stake in their illegal usage of copyrights, trademarks and likenesses of businesses I can’t imagine them being able to maintain their current level of offenses.

We can sit around, and moan and groan; belaboring how horrible it is that our USPA dues went up, that they are not fair, that they stole images from us. Or we can act, sometimes it takes individuals to act together to get results.

Why another post, because they are still conducting business as usual.



There is actually a MUCH easier way to fix the problem, only most people do not know the method. It does not involve lawyers.
I used the method last summer to have some of my copyrighted materials removed from SR web sites.
I tried every administrative avenue to let the people that still have copyrighted material improperly used by SR know about the method to remedy the situation. That got me the attached threatening letter and a call from CQ to get on the 'Jan Meyer Good Guy list'.
See my avatar and post #3 in this thread on how to do it.

BTW the court dates have been changed.

They are now:

Sept. 15, 16 and 17.

Sept. 22, 23, 24 and 25

Sept. 29, 30 & Oct. 1, 2.

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Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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But we can fight back. They are using photographs that they have not asked permission to use. They are a 3rd party that facilitates jumping. They should pay individuals and businesses for the right to use images, graphics and other intellectual property.



I wonder if you(or anyone) would feel as strongly about a 3rd party using someone else's property if it was something other than a photo. Something like.....oh I don't know....maybe someone else's music used on a tandem DVD. Not that anyone would do that.

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I wonder if you(or anyone) would feel as strongly about a 3rd party using someone else's property if it was something other than a photo. Something like.....oh I don't know....maybe someone else's music used on a tandem DVD. Not that anyone would do that.


Ouch. Excellent point.

However, there are a couple distinctions:

(1) Skyride appears to claim these pictures and videos as their own, and potential customers are likely to think that this is the case. Whereas with a tandem video, if I hear "Garden Grove" playing, I, as a customer, will make no assumption that videographer also has a successful rock band. This example is apropos, as after finding an AFF skydiving video that used this song (and "Same in the End"), I actually went out and bought a Sublime DVD (because I live under a rock and had never really been exposed to them before), resulting in a sale for the original artist. Skyride gives no credit, and no potential to the copyright owner to get paid.

(2) For the song example, the music serves as a secondary feature of the product (the DVD). It certainly improves the product, but doesn't constitute a major factor in the product itself. In fair use evaluations, they'd refer to this as "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole". In the tandem video example, the substantiality is minimal, even if the amount is high. I'd argue that in the Skyride case, the substantiality is high, as they are saying, "This is what you will do here." It's used as evidence that the place exists, whereas in the tandem video, it is pretty insubstantial which song they choose to use.

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I wonder if you(or anyone) would feel as strongly about a 3rd party using someone else's property if it was something other than a photo. Something like.....oh I don't know....maybe someone else's music used on a tandem DVD. Not that anyone would do that.


Ouch. Excellent point.

However, there are a couple distinctions:

(1) Skyride appears to claim these pictures and videos as their own, and potential customers are likely to think that this is the case. Whereas with a tandem video, if I hear "Garden Grove" playing, I, as a customer, will make no assumption that videographer also has a successful rock band. This example is apropos, as after finding an AFF skydiving video that used this song (and "Same in the End"), I actually went out and bought a Sublime DVD (because I live under a rock and had never really been exposed to them before), resulting in a sale for the original artist. Skyride gives no credit, and no potential to the copyright owner to get paid.

(2) For the song example, the music serves as a secondary feature of the product (the DVD). It certainly improves the product, but doesn't constitute a major factor in the product itself. In fair use evaluations, they'd refer to this as "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole". In the tandem video example, the substantiality is minimal, even if the amount is high. I'd argue that in the Skyride case, the substantiality is high, as they are saying, "This is what you will do here." It's used as evidence that the place exists, whereas in the tandem video, it is pretty insubstantial which song they choose to use.



Buying a CD, purchasing a download from iTunes, yadayada doesn't constitute any sort of a licence to put the music to video. This has been discussed ad nauseum in the Photography forum with links to dozens of sources.
Doesn't matter whether the song is ancillary or the video was edited around it; it's still a copyright violation.
At least half the DZ's in the US are violating copyright laws that in terms of legal value carry far more damage than any image Skyride may have illegally used.
If Skyride uses stock music in their videos (I've seen a couple that do), then they're fine. Just as they've purchased a few photographs from stock agencies, they may be running totally legit now.
BTW, FWIW, EXIF and other macrometadata can be fairly easily stripped from a file making it non-referenceble/traceable to the originating source.

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Buying a CD, purchasing a download from iTunes, yadayada doesn't constitute any sort of a licence to put the music to video. This has been discussed ad nauseum in the Photography forum with links to dozens of sources.
Agreed. This also makes 90% of Youtube videos a copyright violation. It also means that if you buy a ringtone for your cell phone, and you get a call while walking through the mall, you may need to pay a licensing fee. It also means that if you sing, "Happy Birthday" at your daughters next birthday party, that's probably a public performance and you could be sued.

I wasn't arguing that the use of a song in a tandem video was legal. I was merely arguing that it may be more legal and/or ethical than representing that a video or image is your IP.

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Doesn't matter whether the song is ancillary or the video was edited around it; it's still a copyright violation.


No, it does matter, and the Supreme Court has ruled so, and it has since been codified into law. It is one of the factors to be considered when considering a fair use defense. See Title 17, section 107.

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At least half the DZ's in the US are violating copyright laws that in terms of legal value carry far more damage than any image Skyride may have illegally used.


I agree with this. In legal value, the sum of all dropzones' videos far, far outweighs anything Skyride may have done. However, it's the actual cases, not the theoretical ones, that really matter, and in this case, such a suit against skyride could work, especially if we buy into your theory that any use is a copyright violation.

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If Skyride uses stock music in their videos (I've seen a couple that do), then they're fine. Just as they've purchased a few photographs from stock agencies, they may be running totally legit now.


They might be running legit as far as copyright goes. They're not running legit as far as mispresentation goes, as they are still pretending that they run a dropzone in my home town, while I'm very certain that no dropzone within 3 hours takes their coupons.

***BTW, FWIW, EXIF and other macrometadata can be fairly easily stripped from a file making it non-referenceble/traceable to the originating source.


What does this have to do with anything? There are better ways to prove an image's source than the metadata in the file.

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It also means that if you sing, "Happy Birthday" at your daughters next birthday party, that's probably a public performance and you could be sued.



Damn I hate thread hijacking, but ... an interesting read.

http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp

NOW... Back to the original discussion! :)
"Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me" Dorothy

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I wasn't arguing that the use of a song in a tandem video was legal. I was merely arguing that it may be more legal and/or ethical than representing that a video or image is your IP.



Maybe I'm missing something but how can breaking the law become more(or less) legal and/or ethical. I only break the law a little bit? (it was only cracked not broken)

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