Friday, February 10, 2012

What did I do to My Stolen Digicam Photos!

quest to fight my right on my plagiarized masterpiece
September 19, 2012

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." - Howard Aiken

They even put it in a slide show to hide the link intentionally so that it will be difficult to trace and recognize by the real owner.
Ignorance of law excuse no one "ignorantia juris non excusat" is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he or she was unaware of its content. This is the claim of the travel agency website owner who undoubtedly published my three (3) digicam Canon Powershot A310S photos for over a year without my consent and without knowing it was owned by a hobbyist photographer from somewhere.

An excellent rule of thumb...
If you do not have specific permission (preferably written!) from the owner of a PHOTO, you cannot legally display it on a website, post it on the web, copy it, send it around by Email or other means, make photos derived from it, sell it, or otherwise EXPLOIT it...

one of my 3 plagiarized photos published for over a year by Bohol Gateway Travel & Tours

one of my 3 plagiarized photos published for over a year by Bohol Gateway Travel & Tours

one of my 3 plagiarized photos published for over a year by Bohol Gateway Travel & Tours

How did I found-out my photos were stolen;

1. September 18 around 2300H, it was a very boring night. I have this habit to search my name once in a while just to know how it approaches the world wide web. Last time I checked my name associates to some of Filipino bloggers due to our not so secret association. As I used the just to make a difference, my real full name surprisingly reached the 3rd line below the 1st on page 1 and it was associated with a local travel agency. As far as I know I am self-confessed budget backpacker, so its impossible for my service to be hired by them, and vice versa.

2. Curious to know why my name links to that website, I clicked it and run a random check. After couple of minutes I just found out that my 3 photos were used intentionally to promote this travel agency without my consent. They even put it in a slide show to hide the link so that it will be hard to trace and recognize by the real owner.

3. As a hobbyist photographer, somehow my boiling point suddenly elevated and reached its maximum level. That moment, I arranged the photos to justify these are 200% indeed mine. I found out that this photos were grabbed on my personal public picasa albums.

Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work. In Philippine law, Plagiarism is a criminal offense, actionable wrongdoing and can even, in some instances, amount to a crime punishable by imprisonment and fine.

Searching my full name on web where I found-out my photos were stolen

how I reacted and catched their attention on their facebook page

If the photos above really came from that local tourism officer as the travel agency claimed, then still  why did they not ask who is the owner and gave credit to that personAlso, they have permission to post the photo with a sole purpose to promote Danao tourism... what a stupid reason. So what's their business all about, free of charge? What Filipino tagged this kind of behavior commonly known as "PALUSOT" or "HUGAS-KAMAY". For more than a year they used those 3 remarkable and nature-respecting photos for promotional ad which, in my opinion, this travel agency still did not even visited yet. Its like having a restaurant for years and yet the owner still not tasting his best serve meals.

Ways how I did those photos to make it a little masterpiece;
1. Of course, the cave is pitch black, I have to study and learn the capability of a digicam to make it more enticing and sensible.
2. I have to raise my other hand due there was a watery access of chest-deep while avoiding the droplets above from stalactite and avoiding the make damage on the stalagmite.
3. It was rainy day outside so expect a very muddy and slippery trekking.
4. EAT Danao adventure package is expensive.
5. As a budget backpacker and in order to get on the place, I have to ride a habal-habal  on 16km distance off-road from downtown with more than 2 hours distance from the provincial city capital.
6. I live in metro manila and works in an office as a corporate slave. In order to go back in Bohol as budget backpacker, I have to wait for any local airline promo fare which I think have a very, very minimal offer for weekend flights.

day after the travel agency pm'ed me and apologized as if nothing happened

and yet the travel agency said only a SIMPLE SORRY as if it was just a common photo

So what did I do to my published photos without my permission ?

- My grievance went to nothing, my angry did not suffice on every argument we had. I already made a message to IPO and they advised to hire an IPO laywer since this is a strong case of infringement. Fortunately, the travel agency is powerful enough to hire legal services compared to a budget backpacker which obviously I cannot pay an IPO lawyer's fee. So for the conclusion, I ended up just blogging my sentiment.

I will still continue to post photos without watermarks due that it is my trademark (watermarks may ruin the masterpiece and can be also easily edited). If someone really care enough to appreciate others little masterpiece, as humanitarian ethic they know what to do, send a request email.

Bohol Gateway Travel and Tours plagiarized my 3 remarkable photos, abused my innocent masterpiece as if it was a common photo, as if nothing happened, as if they think I am  fool to know their hidden motive.

I always believe in the law of nature, what goes around comes around...


  1. wow...that sucks! but thanks for this post. i'm a hobbyist photographer too and yeah the only reward we get is when people appreciate our work.

  2. I still don't understand why people can't just ask for permission. Was it toooooo difficult?????
    Come on, guys! Respeto naman!

  3. Woah sobrang foul ah. I wonder if the new law on cybercrime has some benefit to this kind of issue.

    - Ang Litratistang Bulag

  4. nakaka badtrip talaga sa aten tong mga nangongopya lang ng mga pictures eh oh! mahirap kaya gawin yang mga yan! minsan nagbubuwis buhay nga tayo eh. kaya i'm forced to put in my watermark na rin. haiz.

  5. Next time na umulit send mo ng quotation agad agad ok lang kung mga advocacy websites e they used ur photos for business Kapal ng mukha :D


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