Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Another eBay fraudster used one of my images.

Thanks to someone who knows my work, I was informed yesterday that Angel Secret, a clothing store on eBay in Hong Kong, was using one of my images as their store banner. I checked out their site and confirmed that this was the case. I don't use eBay much but had to create an account in the summer the last time they did that. That time, they had a couple of dozen images of mine even in the product descriptions. Only one this time, but I certainly didn't OK it.

So I emailed them and they responded,
Dear mikewoodphotography,

we used our own pictures

After a brief WTF moment, I sent them an email back expressing my disbelief in the statement given I could name all the models ,where it was shot, had the original image that they chopped my sig off of, that they were being fraudulent and that they were certainly misrepresenting the product and so on. I also told them that along with contacting eBay about their less than exemplary business practices, blogging about it, and putting it on Facebook, I might send a cut and paste email to everyone of their customers who had left feedback on their page telling them to be very careful about using them again as they were frauds and why.

Given that it seems to be a fairly big store, didn't that change things up pretty fast. I got an email back within minutes:
Dear mikewoodphotography,

you should check before taking action. we are using own images now.

I went to their page and confirmed that they had in fact had changed their banner to another group of models that I did not shoot. I wonder where they came from so fast?

At any rate, I take the usage of my images quite seriously, if you want to use the images for any purpose, let me know. No one else is authorized to speak on my behalf as I am the sole copywrite holder for any and all of my images. I will take whatever suggestion you have under consideration and perhaps we can work something out.

Unless you are Angel Secret on eBay. (click on one of the items for sale and scroll down to see any banners the store has).

Do not buy from them, I don't believe their content can be trusted.


Mike Wood Photography

Update 1330hrs same day: I thought it was too fast for them to replace my image, and found after doing a Google Image search that they had in fact picked one off the first page of results for Lolita and Goth and used it. Wasn't too difficult to find out who the photographer was as his image was illustrating an article for an online English language magazine in Japan. So I emailed that photographer to let him know...

No comments: