FlightAware Discussions

Stolen Photos

Hi there hows it going?

Whilst searching for a flight today, I noticed several of my photos being used and claimed by a member on this group. It’s a sad state of affairs when people can steal photos and not even give credit.

Ive sent an email to the support address, but keep an eye out for your stolen pics

Here’s something I’ve never understood. People post pictures to the Internet and then complain when people “steal” them. If you don’t want your pictures posted elsewhere then don’t post them to begin with. Or, at the very least, put an obnoxious, hide-most-of-the-subject watermark on them.


I know right! It’s like when I left the keys in my car by accident and somebody stole it, that was TOTALLY my fault! :unamused:

Yes, it actually is. It was your fault that you left the keys in the car.

When you upload pictures to the Internet, it’s the same thing. As long as the pictures (the keys) are on your computer (your person) then the pictures (car) can’t be stolen.

I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying that if you upload anything to the Internet there’s no guarantee that whatever you upload will not be taken and used in a manner you didn’t want it used in.

If you provide an easy opportunity for someone to commit theft of your property, then uhmm… yeah, you’re definitely 50% to blame for your loss. Perhaps not in a legal sense but practically speaking. Unfortunately there are no laws against lacking common sense. Don’t want something stolen? Don’t make it super easy for the bad guys to steal it.

In regards to the OP: No, it’s definitely not fair but I find that the proportion of unscrupulous people present on the Internets is directly related to the population present in the Real World. Go figure.

Most people, including the majority posting on this forum evidently, have no concept of copywrite law and the fact that a photographer has the sole legal right to the use of his/her images. The fact that it is “easy” to copy copywrited material seems to make it ok to steal someone else’s work. Yes I get the nature of the internet, and I have more photos posted online than I care to think about, however I have no control over the code used to post those photos. So my choice is to use a watermark to render the photo practically unuseable (or at least much less enjoyable for the viewer), or trust people to not steal my work. The host could eliminate the ability to steal photos with a few lines of code disabling right click options on any jpeg. One would think that a more adult level audience exists on a sight such as Flightaware, but evidently not. To say it’s my fault for someone else’s illegal action is just plain stupid.

Right click prevention is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. If the user can view the photo on the internet, they can get a copy pretty easily.

mduell, does Flightaware get many DMCA takedown requests?

I understand there are other ways and yes for the technilogically savvy thee will always be a way, but does that excuse making it as easy as that? So you’re basically saying lets just let any unscrupulous user have them with no effort to prevent image theft on your site. Nice. Glad you have our back.

Well, I do know enough about copyrights to realize it is NOT spelled copywrite.

One would only need to use the Windows 7 Snipping Tool or a similar program to get picture desired.

About watermarks: Go ahead and watermark the picture. Just don’t do it over the subject. Kind of defeats the purpose of posting your “masterpiece”, doesn’t it?

Nice deflection from the fact that you just admitted to being a thief. And a prick.

Excuse me? Where the hell did I say I stole pictures? You are reading way too much into what I wrote. Let me make the following big because evidently you have a hard time reading the normal size print. I was saying HOW it could easily be done. I did not say that I did it for the purposes of claiming a photo as my own! If you would care to look at my web site you would see the only pictures there are one in the public domain or used under a common media license. The addresses are damiross.net/Astronomy.html (among others).

I will admit that I have downloaded pictures from various websites for MY PERSONAL USE only, which is allowable under copyright laws. Never in my 15+ years of making websites have I ever used someone’s copyrighted photo without the permission of the photo’s owner. I haven’t even shared pictures I’ve downloaded for my personal use with even my dearest friends and family.

I know I won’t get one but you owe me an apology for accusing me of stealing photos.

Sure, you own the copyright to your images but you also gave FlightAware an unlimited license to use your photos, however they wish, when you uploaded them. They own the rights to the images you uploaded to their site. From the FlightAware Ten Commandments (TOS):

“You grant FlightAware a worldwide, royalty-free, unlimited, irrevocable license to use, transmit, distribute, and sell any submitted photography or media content.”

FA doesn’t have any responsibility to do anything to protect “your” photos on their site. If they don’t care what happens to the copies you licensed to them then… oh well… not much you can do about it. I personally don’t have any problem with FA’s licensing and policies but I think a lot of folks just don’t understand the implications.

If you believe that there’s any kind of intrinsic (or monetary) value to your photos then don’t provide any thieves with the chance to steal them. If you don’t like third parties like FA owning rights to your photos and allowing them to be distributed without your consent then don’t give them an unlimited license to use them. FWIW, any photos that I upload for public viewing on the internet carry fair use rights in the EXIF. They’re just for everyone’s enjoyment, feel free to share them. Any of my photos that I feel have value and I don’t want stolen only get uploaded to pass-worded client proofing galleries with my copyright spelled out in the EXIF.

Understood, and agree for the most part, but granting FA the rights to them for their own use (and our enjoyment as users) is quite a different thing from having them blatanly stolen and used for others’ gain. It’s not about the money, you and I both know there’s very little of that in it save for the rarest of opportunities, but more a matter of honor among enthusiasts. Folks who respect the art and know how difficult and time consuming it can be generally respect the work of others. Unfortunately those kind of people are getting fewer and farther between. Which is the main reason, if you’ll notice, I haven’t posted any photos here in a long time now. That and I just don’t have the time anymore.