Kotaku Steals Pictures from a Blogger

One of our forum members has discovered that Kotaku, a popular gamers’ news site, is taking pictures from his blog, cropping them, and posting them as part of their gaming stories. Not only did Kotaku not ask Prince17 for permission to take his pictures, they did not credit his work whatsoever. To make matters worse, this has happened twice: once by author Luke Plunkett and the second time by Brian Ashcraft. Kotaku is often sourced by Neowin both on the forums and on the main page. Pictures need to be sourced just as words do, we have strict rules for that here and we are disappointed to see that Kotaku apparently does not. Prince17 has sent an e-mail to Kotaku; we hope this problem can be resolved without legal action.

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46 Comments

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we have strict rules for that here and we are disappointed to see that Kotaku apparently does not.
Yeah, that'll make them feel bad, knowing that you're disappointed in them.

Prince17 has sent an e-mail to Kotaku; we hope this problem can be resolved without legal action
Oh dear, has the "Or else I'll sue you" e-mail already been sent? Come on, hands up how many people have received one of those and how many have actually been sued as a result? None? I thought so....

Believe it or not, a set of good pictures can sell for a five figure number - you know, an annual salary for some of the people here. Those'd be the ones saying 'who cares?'

This is hilarious, Neowin and Kotaku duke it out! What a bunch of pure e-penis bull****. If you don't want your grand old photos stolen, don't post them on the internet. I don't even post any of my real information on the internet nor my articles or any thing of that matter simply because it is - the internet - Piracy is the King here.

because of this I wont be going to Kotaku website I dont like going to a news site that steals info. Actually if you report it to bill orielly he may do something about it he a news perosn on fox news.

CUBBYJR2005 said,
because of this I wont be going to Kotaku website I dont like going to a news site that steals info. Actually if you report it to bill orielly he may do something about it he a news perosn on fox news.

Report it to O'Reilly on Fox News... that's funny!

GreyWolfSC said,

Report it to O'Reilly on Fox News... that's funny! :)


well it probably work orielly would love to get his hands on this and say the internet need more laws so this doesnt happen.

I'm actually not familiar with Kotaku (Hope that doesn't get me in trouble ;)), but I find the fact that you have to "audition" to become a commenter quite hilarious. I guess this helps weed out the people who they steal from?

Here are their requirements:
"Audition to become a commenter. To become a registered commenter on this site, you first need to be approved by our team. We're looking for comments that are interesting, substantial or highly amusing. So write a comment, polish up your words and choose a username and password below. Your comment will only appear once (or if) you're approved."

Oddly... They appear to consider the following ok (Does this fall under 'interesting', 'substantial' or 'highly amusing'?):
"BY SLY AT 02/19/07 10:08 PM uhmm i`m prob going to get introuble for this but indians are the cheapest people in the world they have more money than u and me"

And under their legal section concerning copyright infringement regarding images, doesn't this sound rather threatening?
"Please note that you will be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that any material on our sites is infringing your copyrights.

Indeed, in a recent case a company that sent an infringement notification seeking removal of online materials that were protected by the Fair Use doctrine was ordered to pay such costs and attorneys’ fees. The company agreed to pay over $100,000. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether material available online infringes your copyright, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.

Please note that a copy of each legal notice we receive will be sent (with your personal information removed) to Chilling Effects for publication."

Sounds like a site to steer clear of IMHO.

And to the naysayers, theft of personal images by a revenue-generating organization should NOT be permissable under any circumstances. It may be a "god damn picture", but it's a "god damn picture" that isn't theirs to use.

that's pretty low of Kotaku, but a lot of news sites grab images off everywhere, permission or not, if its not copyrighted then there's no grounds

who the funk cares seriously
you hypocritical idiots are all for copyright infringement on massive scales.. yet for this stupid picture no one cares about you flip out.

LOL That's so true! People download music, movies, and games, all day long and don't think it's stealing. Somebody steals an image and it's a holy war!

Well, boohoo! Instead of making such a big fuss about it, email them and ask them to remove the photos. But no, let alone that the original owner of the photos goes posting about it on the forums, someone from Neowin decides this is somehow frontpage news. Give me a break!

Now don't think that I am defending Kotaku. I care less for that site, in fact I never visit it. But this whole situation is just out of proportions and could have been dealt without everybody's attention.

As for the one who made the original photos, relax dude. Been there, done that. If someone takes your work and uses it (even without asking), then take pride in it instead of stomping with your feet. Apparently something you made was good enough for someone, so just go with it. But if you seek attention and recognition, well, tough luck then. This is internet and people use things they find elsewhere. Even large websites/blogs.

Andre said,
Well, boohoo! Instead of making such a big fuss about it, email them and ask them to remove the photos. But no, let alone that the original owner of the photos goes posting about it on the forums, someone from Neowin decides this is somehow frontpage news. Give me a break!

Now don't think that I am defending Kotaku. I care less for that site, in fact I never visit it. But this whole situation is just out of proportions and could have been dealt without everybody's attention.

As for the one who made the original photos, relax dude. Been there, done that. If someone takes your work and uses it (even without asking), then take pride in it instead of stomping with your feet. Apparently something you made was good enough for someone, so just go with it. But if you seek attention and recognition, well, tough luck then. This is internet and people use things they find elsewhere. Even large websites/blogs.

So if you were a professional photographer, you wouldn't have problems with, say, Time or Newsweek using photos you took to sell millions of dollars of magazines? Not much difference other than the revenue amount.

If you read TFA, you would see that he did e-mail Kotaku and is waiting for a reply.

So what was the point in starting a topic then? To say how evil and bad Kotaku is? If you so anal about your work, deal it in private and don't go public unless it's really necessary.

So if you were a professional photographer, you wouldn't have problems with, say, Time or Newsweek using photos you took to sell millions of dollars of magazines? Not much difference other than the revenue amount.

If I were a professional photographer, I wouldn't post any of the photos that I took before some newspaper actually purchased them, unless I want to which then would be for grabs for anyone really.

So he saw his photo's on Kotaku. Who says his photos didn't make to some other 10 websites that don't mentioned him either...

He also had a press pas for the event. Keep that in mind.

So what?

If any of you have ever downloaded warez, an illegal mp3 or even some crappy ringtone that costs money but you got it from a friend, or even used google to search for images that you later used on your blog/site/etc without mentioning the source, you shouldn't come here and say how big of a deal it is that someone didn't get recognition for 2 photos. This is internet.

Andre said,
... used google to search for images that you later used on your blog/site/etc without mentioning the source, you shouldn't come here and say how big of a deal it is that someone didn't get recognition for 2 photos. This is internet.

+1

I don't see the HUGE deal people are making about this.

Andre said,
If any of you have ever downloaded warez, an illegal mp3 or even some crappy ringtone that costs money but you got it from a friend, or even used google to search for images that you later used on your blog/site/etc without mentioning the source, you shouldn't come here and say how big of a deal it is that someone didn't get recognition for 2 photos. This is internet.

These people are using his photos on a website that generates a profit. That's a pretty big difference.

Prince17 said,
Budious : I had a press pass for covering this event.

Right. Well, I didn't read the article in-depth, I just assumed this meant in-game screen captures. Were they taken with a camera of a display running the game, it's another argument I presume.

Wow. I read that topic earlier today on Neowin's forums. Never thought ti would make the frontpage here though!
But yeah... the pics were really nice... it's like... it was almost written "steal me" on them :P

"We hope this problem can be resolved without legal action."

Ok, I understand ripping an article or an original photograph, but isn't this image really the intellectual property of the game developer/publisher? Ethically, it's wrong but maybe a lawyer can inform me on the tort action.

Yeah, I thought that was a little funny. I mean, sure. They're taking pics without permission, but does that warrant to sue them? (unless somehow "Prince17" is losing money, I doubt it tho).

On Neowin's front page, you used to post your own references to the original sources on the front page itself under the stories. Why have they moved? Now, one must click on the "Read more..." link to get to the original source. I don't care for that option. Yes, you're posting your sources unlike Kotaku here, but your old way was better.

Ouch! That sucks on their part that they would do that o.0 is it that big of a deal to just say they got the picture from x???

Netrack said,
keep digging, we need more, lets make this a neowin effort here folks!@

Done. It's on the front page of Digg