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07/17/2007 01:36:05 PM · #1
From This Article:

"Eric Nakagawa, a software developer in Hawaii, posted a single photo of a fat, smiling cat he found on the Internet, with the caption, 'I can has cheezburger?' in January, 2007, at a Web site he created. It was supposed to be a joke. Soon after he posted a few more images in the same vein: cute cats with funny captions written in a silly, invented hybrid of Internet shorthand and baby-talk. Then he turned the site into a blog, so that visitors could comment on the postings. What happened after that would have been hard for anyone to predict.

'We just thought, O.K., they're funny,'Nakagawa says. 'Suddenly we started getting hits. I was like, where are these coming from?'

An Accidental Entrepreneur

He saw traffic on the blog, I Can Has Cheezburger, which he runs with his partner, 'Tofuburger' (she refuses to disclose her real name) double each month: 375,000 hits in March, 750,000 in April, 1.5 million in May. Cheezburger now gets 500,000 page views a day from between 100,000 and 200,000 unique visitors, according to Nakagawa. The cheapest ad costs $500 for a week. The most expensive goes for nearly $4,000. Nakagawa, an accidental entrepreneur who saw his successful business materialize out of the ether, quit his programming job at the end of May: "It made more sense to do this and see how big it could get.'"

icanhascheezburger.com

From what I can gather this guy is making a small fortune by jacking images from the web and selling advertising on his blog. The credits are often just a link to the site he grabbed them from, or an email address to complain that there is no credit.

If I weren't a photographer I may not care about this, and certainly many are just naive: but this guy was a programmer.

Perhaps I am mistaken or overreacting, but this doesn't seem cool to me.
07/17/2007 01:40:13 PM · #2
He's profiting from the "stolen" photograph of another. Without the stolen photo...the blog never would have started. Maybe I'm also reacting. (I'm at work, so I'm in "drive" mode, lol!!!)
07/17/2007 01:45:25 PM · #3
All it will take is one person pissed off about their image being jacked to run him and "tofuburger" out of business.

Can you say lawsuit waiting to happen? How about punitive damages?
07/17/2007 01:46:58 PM · #4
Is an awfully interesting area of confusion... He's not actually profiting off of the images, but without them he wouldn't be able to sell the advertising. I wonder if anyone who "owns" one of these images has ever tried to go after him.
07/17/2007 01:48:16 PM · #5
Many of them look to be actually submitted. Not all of them though.

I agree with Dowse. It's an interesting gray area. Plus the captions are his (I'm assuming). Does this alter the picture enough to make it his in an editorial sense? Could you prove that the shot itself would make that much money (attracting visitors)? or are the silly captions doing it?

Message edited by author 2007-07-17 13:49:59.
07/17/2007 01:53:27 PM · #6
Originally posted by DowseDesigns:

Is an awfully interesting area of confusion... He's not actually profiting off of the images, but without them he wouldn't be able to sell the advertising. I wonder if anyone who "owns" one of these images has ever tried to go after him.


It's the same as if he took a picture from the net and used it in an ad.

The ad itself doesn't generate profit, but, instead result in sales of product. In this case, the product being sold is ad space on his site.
07/17/2007 02:05:23 PM · #7
Originally posted by rox_rox:

From what I can gather this guy is making a small fortune by jacking images from the web and selling advertising on his blog. The credits are often just a link to the site he grabbed them from, or an email address to complain that there is no credit.

If I weren't a photographer I may not care about this, and certainly many are just naive: but this guy was a programmer.

Perhaps I am mistaken or overreacting, but this doesn't seem cool to me.

But lolcats are created so that people will share them. That's the whole idea.

I don't get the "but this guy was a programmer" bit? Are programmers supposed to be as selfish/greedy/copyright obsessed as photographers or something?
07/17/2007 02:10:34 PM · #8
Originally posted by bod:


I don't get the "but this guy was a programmer" bit? Are programmers supposed to be as selfish/greedy/copyright obsessed as photographers or something?


No, I meant that as a programmer I would have expected him to have a greater awareness of copyright issues.
07/17/2007 02:17:33 PM · #9
Originally posted by bod:

Originally posted by rox_rox:


Perhaps I am mistaken or overreacting, but this doesn't seem cool to me.

But lolcats are created so that people will share them. That's the whole idea.


Oh, is he only using photos that are submitted for this purpose? I understood it to mean that he was taking random photos from the internet and posting them on his site. That's why I started this thread, because the article gives that impression.

I have uploaded photos of my cat that are funny, but if I saw someone making $$$ from them without my permission I would be miffed.

Message edited by author 2007-07-17 14:21:12.
07/17/2007 02:23:07 PM · #10
Originally posted by rox_rox:

Originally posted by bod:

Originally posted by rox_rox:


Perhaps I am mistaken or overreacting, but this doesn't seem cool to me.

But lolcats are created so that people will share them. That's the whole idea.


Oh, is he only using photos that are submitted for this purpose? I understood it to mean that he was taking random photos from the internet and posting them on his site. That's why I started this thread, because the article gives that impression.

I have photos of my cat that are funny, but if I saw someone making $$$ from them without my permission I would be miffed.


He's selling adspace, right?

That generates revenue, right?

He uses swiped pics to generate traffic on his site and that traffic drives ad sales.

He is making money from pics that he doesn't hold copyright on.
07/17/2007 02:24:48 PM · #11
I dont even think the captions are funny. I could think of way funnier stuff then what he has. The pics are funny. The captions are very very stupid.

And you say it's supposed to be shorthand and baby talk? Sounds more like Arnold Swarcheneggar with flash cards.
07/17/2007 02:34:42 PM · #12
The photo's are "submitted", but that only means that person sent him the pic with the caption. It does not mean that the submitter actually has the right to alter and submit said photo.
07/17/2007 02:37:12 PM · #13
Originally posted by Chinabun:

I dont even think the captions are funny. I could think of way funnier stuff then what he has. The pics are funny. The captions are very very stupid.

And you say it's supposed to be shorthand and baby talk? Sounds more like Arnold Swarcheneggar with flash cards.


It's actually supposed to be a partial inside-joke that started with the "All your base are Belong to us!" IRC kiddies, that just blew up into a whole new realm of incorporating cell-text "speech" and myspace comment idiotics into farce captions.
07/17/2007 02:37:25 PM · #14
Originally posted by rox_rox:

Originally posted by bod:


I don't get the "but this guy was a programmer" bit? Are programmers supposed to be as selfish/greedy/copyright obsessed as photographers or something?


No, I meant that as a programmer I would have expected him to have a greater awareness of copyright issues.

Why?
Most programmers don't ever have to deal with copyright - that's down to managers, directors and other lowlifes ; )
07/17/2007 02:42:28 PM · #15
Originally posted by wavelength:

Originally posted by Chinabun:

I dont even think the captions are funny. I could think of way funnier stuff then what he has. The pics are funny. The captions are very very stupid.

And you say it's supposed to be shorthand and baby talk? Sounds more like Arnold Swarcheneggar with flash cards.


It's actually supposed to be a partial inside-joke that started with the "All your base are Belong to us!" IRC kiddies, that just blew up into a whole new realm of incorporating cell-text "speech" and myspace comment idiotics into farce captions.


That and the infamous "Im in ur base, killiin ur doodz"
07/17/2007 02:47:12 PM · #16
well you got me there. i had to google it because i've never heard of that "wetodded phrase". I'm a text & myspace queen and i dont talk like that, so maybe i'm the weird one :>}

Originally posted by wavelength:

Originally posted by Chinabun:

I dont even think the captions are funny. I could think of way funnier stuff then what he has. The pics are funny. The captions are very very stupid.

And you say it's supposed to be shorthand and baby talk? Sounds more like Arnold Swarcheneggar with flash cards.


It's actually supposed to be a partial inside-joke that started with the "All your base are Belong to us!" IRC kiddies, that just blew up into a whole new realm of incorporating cell-text "speech" and myspace comment idiotics into farce captions.
07/17/2007 02:50:19 PM · #17
Originally posted by bod:

Originally posted by rox_rox:

Originally posted by bod:


I don't get the "but this guy was a programmer" bit? Are programmers supposed to be as selfish/greedy/copyright obsessed as photographers or something?


No, I meant that as a programmer I would have expected him to have a greater awareness of copyright issues.

Why?
Most programmers don't ever have to deal with copyright - that's down to managers, directors and other lowlifes ; )


Ahh, well I don't really know that much about how programmers operate. I just assumed that at some point a person with the expertise to create such a website would have learned (somewhere along the line) that many people care about how their images are used. I guess I'm giving programmers more credit than they deserve;)
07/17/2007 03:01:57 PM · #18
Originally posted by rox_rox:

Ahh, well I don't really know that much about how programmers operate. I just assumed that at some point a person with the expertise to create such a website would have learned (somewhere along the line) that many people care about how their images are used.

The site does license everything under a creative commons license ... //creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ ... so they do know something about copyright, and they're not claiming any ownership of any images. Unlike this site which has taken my Creative Commons licensed images and added its own "Image Reuse Prohibited" restriction on them.

They also provide a handy link on every image to report stolen images. What more are they expected to do?

Originally posted by rox_rox:

I guess I'm giving programmers more credit than they deserve;)

A common mistake :D
(Yeah I'm one!)
07/17/2007 03:09:57 PM · #19
Originally posted by bod:

Unlike this site which has taken my Creative Commons licensed images and added its own "Image Reuse Prohibited" restriction on them.

IANAL, but I believe that's covered by:

Originally posted by Terms of Usage:

6.2 You hereby grant DPChallenge.com a nonexclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise any rights you have in the Member Information and Media, and otherwise to make use of the Member Information and Media (including publishing, disseminating, broadcasting, manipulating, reproducing, editing, translating, performing, modifying, or displaying any part of the Member Information) and/or Media alone or as part of other work in any form, media, or technology whether now new known or hereafter developed, to enable DPChallenge.com to continue the specific operation or marketing of the site. This includes, but is certainly not limited to email "newsletters."

07/17/2007 03:15:10 PM · #20
Originally posted by bod:


They also provide a handy link on every image to report stolen images. What more are they expected to do?

Follow the Creative Commons Deed guidelines.

"Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Noncommercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes."

Originally posted by bod:


Originally posted by rox_rox:

I guess I'm giving programmers more credit than they deserve;)

A common mistake :D
(Yeah I'm one!)


Yeah, I sorta' figured:P

Message edited by author 2007-07-17 15:35:00.
07/17/2007 03:34:55 PM · #21
Originally posted by rox_rox:

Originally posted by bod:


They also provide a handy link on every image to report stolen images. What more are they expected to do?

Follow the Creative Commons License guidelines.

"Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Noncommercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes."

Which is why they ask you to attribute the image when you upload it. The noncommercial clause applies to anybody taking the images from their website.

Originally posted by Manic:

Originally posted by bod:

Unlike this site which has taken my Creative Commons licensed images and added its own "Image Reuse Prohibited" restriction on them.

IANAL, but I believe that's covered by:

Originally posted by Terms of Usage:

6.2 You hereby grant DPChallenge.com a nonexclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable ...

IANAL either but "Image Reuse Prohibited" is quite obviously not a sublicense, it is completely overriding the license that I use for my images.
07/17/2007 03:46:39 PM · #22
Originally posted by bod:

Originally posted by rox_rox:

Originally posted by bod:


They also provide a handy link on every image to report stolen images. What more are they expected to do?

Follow the Creative Commons License guidelines.

"Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Noncommercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes."

Which is why they ask you to attribute the image when you upload it. The noncommercial clause applies to anybody taking the images from their website.



If that was my image posted on that site, I would not want attribution, I would demand payment.

If the site has ads that are generating revenue for the site owners and they are using images to get the traffic that drive those ad revenues, that's commercial usage.

Message edited by author 2007-07-17 15:47:32.
07/17/2007 03:54:25 PM · #23
Originally posted by bod:

IANAL either but "Image Reuse Prohibited" is quite obviously not a sublicense, it is completely overriding the license that I use for my images.

We are prohibiting the use of images downloaded from this site, regardless of their licensable status. That would also include public-domain images posted here. I believe the term "sublicensable" means we also have the right to refuse to grant a sublicense.

I suggest you include a link to some other site where these images are hosted so that people can conveniently download them under the CC license terms -- I notice the image details area can now include images and active links.
07/17/2007 04:00:15 PM · #24
Originally posted by bod:

Originally posted by rox_rox:

Originally posted by bod:


They also provide a handy link on every image to report stolen images. What more are they expected to do?

Follow the Creative Commons License guidelines.

"Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

Noncommercial: You may not use this work for commercial purposes."

Which is why they ask you to attribute the image when you upload it. The noncommercial clause applies to anybody taking the images from their website.


The site started out by taking images from other people without attribution. Sorry, but a "handy" link, that I would have to scour the internet to discover, is a pretty crappy way to get my permission for the use of my image (after the fact, mind you).

At some point they also began recruiting others to take images from other people and upload them. Those people get credit for their part (captioning), but a great many of those images give no credit, whatsoever to the photographer who took the photo.

And to top it off, they are trying to restrict me from comercially using the images they stole for commercial use. Seems like hypocrisy at it's finest.
07/17/2007 04:04:22 PM · #25
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

If that was my image posted on that site, I would not want attribution, I would demand payment.

If I post one of your images here would you demand payment from DPC?

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by bod:

IANAL either but "Image Reuse Prohibited" is quite obviously not a sublicense, it is completely overriding the license that I use for my images.

We are prohibiting the use of images downloaded from this site, regardless of their licensable status. That would also include public-domain images posted here. I believe the term "sublicensable" means we also have the right to refuse to grant a sublicense.

I suggest you include a link to some other site where these images are hosted so that people can conveniently download them under the CC license terms -- I notice the image details area can now include images and active links.

I still fail to see where I have given up the right to control my own images. A sublicense of "Image Reuse Permitted" is never going to include "Image Reuse Prohibited" no matter how you dress it up. You can refuse to grant anything you want except the licence I place my images under.

As for telling me to post my images elsewhere, why am I paying for storage space here if I'm not allowed to post my images under my own terms?
ETA: Does this also I mean I must remove all my CC licensed images from DPCPrints too?

Message edited by author 2007-07-17 16:17:06.
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