Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.



  • I keep an eye on the file sharing...er...stealing sites and have noticed that the main torrent sites haven't had any new Poser or Daz3D stuff in several days. They are complaining that the 'DMCA squads' have been active lately even in their little corner of the world. Ahhhhh, it breaks my little effing heart that the greedy and selfish pirates can't get stuff for free. It's just too bad that they feel entitled to enjoy the benefits of the hard work of some soccer Mom or retired gent without paying them for it.

    I've been badgering all the main vendor sites to get off their darned butts and start sending out takedown notices to the torrent sites for years. Hopefully this will continue. It would also be nice if the sites got together and lobbied the US Department of Trade to ask the Vietnamese government to arrest that sleazy scumbag, Phougdzu, in Vietnam and get all her sites taken down.

    Bob



  • I have filed so many DCMA/Take-down notices against that thief Phougdzu that I've lost count... every single one has either been ignored or I've gotten a reply back saying that the hosting sever won't acknowledge my take-down request as I "haven't shown any proof that the stolen items are (mine)..."



  •      Getting Phoung (or whatever her real names is) taken down is really small beans.  She just repackages items she's grabbed off the Russian sites and tries
    

    to make a few bucks through the subscription kickbacks from the file download services. It'll take the power of government to pressure Vietnam to do something.
    The torrent sites are the big problem since that's where the average person and casual downloader get their (actually your) items. I'm sure that these people
    far outweigh the ones in the other sites like Phoungdzuie-narcissistic -punk-kid's. I just had a peak at the biggest torrent site and they're doing some serious
    whining in the Poser/Daz content thread. Awwwwwww, too bad. Maybe they could consider buying some stuff to support you artists.
    I want you folks to make money so that you'll have the incentive to make the weird stuff I want.



  • Those torrent sites are the hardest to get at... last one I contacted about torrents with stolen items of mine replied that I "had provided absolutely no proof..." that the items were mine and that they were "under no obligation to respond to privately issued DCMA notices..."

    They then gave the impression that only large legal offices or corporations could issue DCMA warnings and that I needed to "get (my) Corporate Offices to contact them... "



  • Often useful is to find out if they are hosting anything belonging to Adobe or Microsoft, then rat them out to their anti-piracy groups.



  • @meshbox that's a good idea, but it may only get specific content removed, not the entire website. Anyway, the whole situation stinks.



  • Maybe someone could enlighten me, but what exactly is the pay off to a pirate site for stealing other peoples stuff?



  • At the very least they get the satisfaction of "sticking it to the man" so to speak... and if they can sell it then they get essentially free cash for no work, plus the fame for having "created" the item(s) they've stolen credit for...



  • Also... they get the items for free if they are downloading the stolen items from a pirate torrent or site giving the item(s) away... means getting paid products for free instead of having to pony up the cash they should be if they were honest human beings...


  • Poser Ambassadors

    It's not just pirate sites that stolen models are found on. There are a number of 3D content sites that sell models that have been stolen from other sources. There's no real way for a content brokerage to trace the origin of every model they sell, so they have to rely on the honesty of their content artists. The more reputable ones will pull the models when they're notified of the issue, but a lot of them won't do anything unless they're threatened by lawyers, and that takes money, and they know that most artists don't have money for lawyers. Laws also require the copyright holder to be the one that issues the takedown notice in order for the notice to be valid, and most content artists don't have the time to spend scouring the web to find all the sites that are illegally distributing their models, so they aren't even aware of it until someone tells them about a specific incidence.



  • Name and shame is one way , but does have any effect on the perpetrators? Nope.



  • @eclark1849 said in Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.:

    Maybe someone could enlighten me, but what exactly is the pay off to a pirate site for stealing other peoples stuff?

    There are two methods that the punks use to make money off the content,

    1. advertisements on the sites. Ad brokers aren't fussy and buy space from even sleazebag sites.
    2. site owners make a few cents every time someone downloads from a file sharing service like Rapidshare.
      who also make money from ads but make most of their money by selling a 'premium' service (ie: fast downloads).

    I'm sure that it's also an ego boost. There's a well known selfish bitch (Phuongdzu) in Vietnam who runs a bunch of these sites. She's the biggest self- aggrandizing narcissist on the net and really needs to have her hands chopped off.



  • @AmbientShade said in Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.:

    It's not just pirate sites that stolen models are found on. There are a number of 3D content sites that sell models that have been stolen from other sources. There's no real way for a content brokerage to trace the origin of every model they sell, so they have to rely on the honesty of their content artists.

    That's right. For example, I found my 1950s trailer being given away on ShareCG, and thankfully, the community there alerted me quickly. Lynn had a lengthy conversation with a contact at ShareCG because at the time they didn't quite get how DMCA takedown notices work.

    That said - a content brokerage is responsible for what they sell, like any other resellers, and should be held accountable or have a clear policy about how to handle this situation. Consider this -

    What if a licensee uses a piece of illegal content in an expensive production, and they receive a cease-and-desist order?

    The licensee has a reasonable expectation that the selling is reputable, and the onus of that is squarely on the seller. Their expectation should be that:

    • The brokerage only works with reputable vendors and / or has some vetting process (many do)
    • The brokerage has some form of guarantee or process to follow in the case that the license is, in fact, voided

    Any vendor's product could be used in productions that are 'millions of dollars' + in scale, therefore the brokerage should take that into account.

    Why would you buy from a source which obviously does not have permission to distribute very well known properties like Batman? Reputable?



  • Sadly there are a great many dishonest people out there... all of whom have no problem stealing from someone else to make a fast buck without doing any of the work to earn it...


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @meshbox said in Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.:

    @AmbientShade said in Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.:

    Why would you buy from a source which obviously does not have permission to distribute very well known properties like Batman? Reputable?

    TS is the largest premium broker in the world for models. While disney and sony likely aren't buying from them (that I know of, but who knows), a lot of other studios do. And yet they most definitely have stolen models in their store - I've seen a number of models there that I'm familiar with myself, that I know full well the "artist" doesn't have a license to resell. It would be interesting to know how a scenario like that would play out though - if a high-dollar production wound up using an illegal model that they legitimately purchased from a brokerage, who would they ultimately sue once they found out? And how much legal leverage does the rightful IP owner have against the production? The brokerage can only be held accountable to a certain extent, since there is no way for them to be 100% sure that the model is really the property of the artist selling it. If it can be proven that the brokerage was made aware of it and chose to ignore it, then sure they would definitely be liable to some extent for damages, but wouldn't it be the obligation of those making the claim to prove that the brokerage knew about it? Mostly likely it would boil down to who had the best lawyers and the most money.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    There's other down sides too - as in, there are a lot of people roaming around the known graphics forums and art sites using non-legit content in making renders and images for contests and such. I have personally run into a few when I was just getting back into 3D in 2008/2009 and one much more recently (actually sent me a site note on an art site asking me for links to content).
    I used to report any/all I could find or became aware of, but had a few vendors accuse me of pirating myself. Now, if I see something I know from one of the vendors I consider friends or am on good terms with, I will give them a heads up.

    Funny thing... recently saw a product of mine on one of Phongdzu's sites (someone made me aware of it) but it was a product that was a free item at RDNA anyway... I just don't understand the logic there.



  • @kageryu Apparently, those users don't know or just don't care. I do find it interesting though that while some users maybe interested in "sticking it to the man", they are still will to pay for it, just to a different "man".



  • @kageryu said in Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.:

    Funny thing... recently saw a product of mine on one of Phongdzu's sites (someone made me aware of it) but it was a product that was a free item at RDNA anyway... I just don't understand the logic there.

    It is strange but there's a logic out there that supports it.

    Some people will share a no-cost product because they don't want to pay the 'no-cost' price of joining the distribution site. They think that free also means there is no license associated with the product either, or there is no 'value'.

    I get that sometimes with our free Toon People characters (Chunk | Slim | Norm | Meat ). Some people illegally redistribute or fill in all sorts of bogus information on the downloads. I don't give away these models for free because they have no value, but that they are useful, licensed and supported products that I am licensing under specific conditions. We know who our customers are, and our customers know us. They can contact us, put in feature requests, tell us what isn't working, etc. Plus they know that since we made them and specifically license them, that they aren't going to be surprised sometime later with a licensing issue (like anyone who buys "Batman" models from sites that are not authorized by DC).



  • @AmbientShade said in Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.:

    @meshbox said in Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.:

    @AmbientShade said in Sticking it to the Poser thieves & freeloaders.:

    Why would you buy from a source which obviously does not have permission to distribute very well known properties like Batman? Reputable?

    TS is the largest premium broker in the world for models. While disney and sony likely aren't buying from them (that I know of, but who knows), a lot of other studios do. And yet they most definitely have stolen models in their store - I've seen a number of models there that I'm familiar with myself, that I know full well the "artist" doesn't have a license to resell. It would be interesting to know how a scenario like that would play out though - if a high-dollar production wound up using an illegal model that they legitimately purchased from a brokerage, who would they ultimately sue once they found out? And how much legal leverage does the rightful IP owner have against the production? The brokerage can only be held accountable to a certain extent, since there is no way for them to be 100% sure that the model is really the property of the artist selling it. If it can be proven that the brokerage was made aware of it and chose to ignore it, then sure they would definitely be liable to some extent for damages, but wouldn't it be the obligation of those making the claim to prove that the brokerage knew about it? Mostly likely it would boil down to who had the best lawyers and the most money.

    My rule #1 is evaluating a brokerage is how many stolen designs they have. If you can find just one easily (search for Batman first, he seems to be a favorite), it means the brokerage does not have your back at all and you are putting your business at risk using them - this is the worst betrayal of service provider.

    I am not a lawyer, however my understanding is that if you do not have a registered copyright on your design, you can still, at a minimum, demand they cease and desist any use of the design. If they fail to do so, then you can sue them for damages (though statutory damages require the copyright, as I understand). There are two 'most significants' in this though:

    • Being sued over illegal use of someones IP can cause severe damage to business image
    • The owner can cause you to lose a huge amount if you actually have to destroy the work (consider if you used it in a film that is already being distributed)

    The safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Act, if abided by, shield a network operator, but this is being constantly tested because you have network operators who themselves repost IP that was taken down as a result of a DMCA complaint - meaning, they are not operating in good faith.

    Despite this, and the many times Ive had to deal with DMCA issues, I haven't had to sue anyone. We've found some people using our content illegally (and seemingly unknowingly) and worked out a license with them.

    What makes me wonder is, for all those people who buy from bad market players, if after they take down a product because of a DMCA notice if they are actually notifying the people who purchased from them or not. Because that is not a requirement.



  • The specifics of copyrights protection vary from country to country... Here in Canada for example, you don't have to formally register your copyright of an item to receive full protection of copyrights law... The act of creating something is sufficient to receive the benefit of protection. Our regulations up here are a fair bit different than US law on the matter...


 

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