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Copyright © Issues

Stealing on the Internet

By Jock Dempsey, anvilfire guru

Copyright exists so that creative people, artists, writers, photographers, movie makers and others can make a living from their creative works. Copyright does not last forever, it lasts for the author's life PLUS a certain number of years and a renewal period (the heir's lives?) so that they might make some money from having supported their "benefactor". Then the work reverts to the public domain. Until that time those creative works are personal property, just like your tools, car, home.

The profits from creative efforts can be very little, thus the common phrase "starving artist". Authors of fairly popular works often need dozens of books in print to make a living. Copyright infringers can easily steal all the profits. In our field of interest, one book author wrote to me distraught because his sales had plummeted. A Russian "wares" site was distributing his book FREE as a PDF. It wasn't a lot of copies, just the few it took to make a profit. Pursuing legal action was not economical. He will probably never write another book and the book itself will go out of print. We will all be poorer for it.

Over the years we have had numerous copyright issues with people copying our articles, our images and sometimes outright stealing of band width by linking our material into their web sites from our server. If you do this you will eventually get caught. It is illegal by both U.S. Federal law, International laws and treaties.

The Internet is a VERY public place and easy to follow tracks are left on search engines and our servers as well. People THINK they are stealing in the dark when they steal on the Internet. But they are stealing in broad daylight in front of witnesses and should not be surprised when someone yells STOP THIEF!

I am yelling STOP THIEF and I will name names when the thieves do not remove the stolen material from their web sites immediately upon notice.

If you steal from me, I am going to list your name in public.

If you ignore them, thieves will steal everything you own one piece at a time. It is not ONE thief, it is the multitude of thieves each one stealing a little piece at a time.

In many third world countries where there is lots of poverty you cannot turn your back on anything. Pickpockets will steal your wallet and passport. Opportunists will steal your camera, GPS or laptop computer. If you have a house they will steal your belongings first starting with the valuable easy to sell items, electronic goods, guns, jewelry, appliances. The same thing drug addicts and professional thieves steal in developed countries. But then they steal your furniture. . . Maybe they want it for themselves, maybe it will make good fuel to heat their home. Then plumbing fixtures will walk away and also the pipes if they are metal. Even in the US we have had people strip homes of copper plumbing and wiring.

Once your home is an empty shell (and now actually abandoned) that roofing material looks pretty good and is the most difficult thing for the poor and those living in shanty towns to obtain. So the roof disappears over a period of a few weeks. Then the floor tiles and a window or a few bricks. In a few months or a year there is nothing left except the foundation print in the ground. IT HAPPENS. I've seen it.

The Internet is like a giant third world country. If you do not watch your property it will ALL walk away. . . right down to your URL.

The poverty is a lack of creativity and laziness.

Recently we have had numerous sites linking directly to images on our site. This is both copyright infringement AND theft of services. By linking to these images they are being served from our server into their pages. This has a specific cost per unit. It is no different than picking my pocket or making a long distance phone call on my phone without my permission. It is theft, pure and simple.

Running my articles on other's sites deprives me of advertising revenue which is what made those images and articles possible in the first place. It is stealing from MY meager income. It is copyright infringement. It is illegal.

One local fellow had the gall to copy my entire Anvil Dressing article which is a wholly original work, including the diagrams and dimensions. Then he had he image links go back to our server. These links now display the ugly sign below declaring copyright infringement and theft of services.



Another group on a fantasy league game site was linking to a high resolution copy of our anvilfire flaming anvil art as THEIR team logo. They also now have that same ugly notification over their names. This "team" was abandoned over a year ago according to their stats but the page is still running and our logo was showing there and on every game page. Those pages will probably run for YEARS more with that notice. Their team page is now a wall of shame.

A big scam:

One site, photos1001 indexes images from sites all over the world under key words. They list thumbnails with spammy advertising links, then link to YOUR images (stealing band width) on a page with more advertising. One keyword they indexed was ABANA. This has resulted with them stealing bandwidth from dozens of blacksmithing sites. They steal band width from thousands of sites and then make money off it.

To stop this theft of services from your site google Hotlinking and Bandwidth Theft

The scams grow:

Everyone wants to make money from the web without creating content. So they STEAL content. The new scams are automated systems that claim to be search engines or indexes. . they are NOT. These systems take images or documents such as Adobe PDF's and make "previews" of the documents. These "previews" are often the entire PDF document full size or large image "thumbnails". In both case they link to your content and display it on THEIR page. This IS copyright infringement AND bandwidth theft. This is entirely different than google images where the link goes to your page where the image resides. Where google AND you benefit, these others are just plain theft because you do not benefit at all unless the user goes to the effort to searech for the document location on your web site.

Some of the sites that do this large scale theft are ebookbrowse.com, zeably.com and webfetch.co.uk. These people KNOW they are stealing but they also know that millions of web site owners will not notice or complain. If they have to remove 5 or 10% of their stolen content (or even HALF) they can easily replace it with content from other sites and it costs them nothing. . .

Want to find out if they are using YOUR content? Google it.

anvilfire SITE:zeably.com

As of February 5th, 2013 the pages on this site should not contain any anvilfire.com content. I specifically asked them to remove nearly 100 images AND all links to anvilfire and our other web sites that they are stealing from. Google will say there is for a long time but the links on the page should be gone.
These guys no longer exist - probably to many legal issues. But I'd bet they are out ther under a different name doing the same.

Try your name, your web site name, the file name of a popular image on your site without the .jpg or .png extension. You can also enter these in the sites search. Search for something with an unusual or uncommon name.

How to Link to anvilfire:

We appreciate your linking to our site and individual pages as long as it is not stealing our content.
  • If you want to refer to one of our articles post a link to it, DO NOT copy it. If you want to use a short quote PLUS a link that is fine as well.

  • If you want to refer to one of our images then it is best to post a link to the page that it is contained on.
  • However, folks want to link to images for simplicity, that is also OK as long as only the text link displays and the image does not display on the other site, in a frame, or under someone else's banner.
Just because you give credit for someone's image or content DOES NOT make it OK. Any use without permission except under the fair use exemptions for book and movie reviews is copyright infringement. It is illegal. It is stealing.

NOTE: In only ONE specific case do we allow others to link directly to our images. That is on our web-ring server as part of the ring navigation code.

"Common" Images : Donated Images

Almost all property generally belongs to SOMEONE. Manufacturers often provide images of their products to dealers to use to sell their products. But the photos still belong to the manufacturer. Technically, if you are not a dealer or work for that dealer you do not have the right to use those images.

In our case we often produce the images used by the dealers. All our book review cover photos are OUR studio photos. They were not provided by the publisher. With only a few exceptions the vast majority of photos on anvilfire are ours.

We are often given photos OR ask permission to use photos on anvilfire. Most of these are typical amateur photos with various defects that we clean up and repair. Often the photographer cannot recognize their own photos when we are done. These are now digital art and are both ours and the photographer's creatively. To use these you would need permission from us both.


Infringers Hall of Shame:

Ted "Woody" Mcgrath who publishes a CD with "16,000" plans. . . But it is not, it is only a few thousand, many stolen and then links to the ever changing world wide web (where the plans are often FREE).

Ted's new video has a rant against the "big publishers" who think they own everything and that he will not bow to their demands. Apparently *I* am one of the "big guys" because he has stolen my woodworking bench article and uses my photos in his advertisments!

Ted's Woodworking - don't pay for the plans!

Yahoo! GeoCities: For letting an anonymous user post my entire anvil series and doing nothing but obfusticate rather than remove the offending material that THEY were proffiting from. GeoCities died largely due to the infiltration of porn, wares sites and gross copyright infringment sites.

ALL the free hosting sites and blog sites expect many users to lose interest and abandon their sites. Then whatever thoise users have created becomes the property of the hosting service (including infringments). The free hosting company continues to get traffic on those sites and whatever revenue system they have in place continues to make money off your abandoned property. . . Read your TOS carefully.

The "webmaster" (name lost) who stole our anvilfire flaming anvil art and merged it into his clients home page flaming title logo. . . The owner of the site was very appologetic. The webmaster was trite and thought it was MY fault he got caught. . . anvilfire was only a few months old and the thievery had started.

Flaky8lots the ebayer who stole anvil images off anvilfire, first claimed they were HIS photos, then claimed they were "common images" that could be found anywhere on the net (another big lie). He was also using large sections of text out of my anvil series. He used the polished example photo to sell rough as cast anvils (ASO's). He called us a "little" anvil site and to go pound salt, but then had to come back begging to have his name removed from the article in his honor. All he had to do was admit he stole our image by removing it and nothing more would have been said. The same applies to all on this list.

Unnamed Site owner who built a page using images from anvilfire, Paw-Paws-Forge, Alabama Forge Council and my words from anvilfire. When caught the user removed the page but also dropped out of the Blacksmiths Ring out of spite.

This is more common than you would think. I have come across numerous sites built entirely with stolen words and images and sometimes complete pages.

Blue Blade Steel Who stole my temper color chart. Webmaster said "sue me" then later modified the chart (to make it "his") with a graphic of the colors. But the lazy so-and-so still left my spelling and footnote numbers even though he removed the footnotes. As a compilation alone it was copyrightable in my name. But I also added temperature conversions, HTML colors AND the footnotes. I have replaced it with a new temper color chart including Rockwell hardness values for a range of steels. Many of these required hand drawing graphs and manual interpolation of the available data (days of work).

If you want a free temper chart for your web site, steal the one from Blue Blade Steel. If they complain then point out that they stole it from anvilfire in the first place. I'll back you up.

The Russian Locks Site that hijacked all of my iForge lockmaking articles using a system that stripped the headers and advertising links. They put them under their banner to make them look like it was their page. They were stealing bandwidth AND infringing on copyright. I modified the pages so they display with full advertising headers and menus.

Young Gamer and anvilfire user who used our anvilfire flaming anvil art as his avatar on a gaming site. The webmaster removed it instantly. Nice guy, did the right thing.

photo1001 who is stealing images and bandwidth from thousands of sites. They are theives by design so there is no point contacting them. Blocked their access with the replacement theft image.

fantasy leagues who let users link to servers they do not own. Blocked their access with the replacement theft image.

Jeff's Blog Copied my entire Anvil Corner Radius article and had the images served from our server. Double theft. We left a comment since there was no email connection and blocked their access with the replacement theft image. They finally removed the stolen content 4 years after being notified they were infringing.

machine-n-forge on the Practical Machinist website is using our anvilfire flaming anvil logo for their avatar on those forums. I do not give permission to ANYONE to use our logo to represent themselves.

I politely asked the webmaster "Don T" at Practical Machinist to remove the infringing avatar or ask the member to remove the image. His response was that he was too busy to be bothered. Since I cannot directly contact members of that forum and the webmaster refused to do the right thing, I am forced to do so publicly. I warned the webmaster and he said, go ahead. . . He probably thought I meant on HIS web site that he controlled. I am sorry if this causes any embarrassment but I tried to play nice. Complain to "Don T".

Garage Journal who's parent company Atomic Industry who says at the bottom of their pages "Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in.", lets users link images off-site in their blogs. In one long standing article on vises a member had linked to one of our images along with dozens from OTHER sites, both personal and commercial. Just this one article is infringing on multiple copyrights and stealing bandwidth from dozens of sites.

Dave B (NO not OUR Dave B) lifted the first 5 paragraphs (a printed page worth of text) from my Leg Vise page withour even a thought about atribution on his Wordpress page. He also used a photo and illustration (with MY name on it) on his Youtube video. He has the gall to have copyright notices on his pages. . . Letters were sent to both of his e-mail addresses from my anvilfre and gmail accounts with no response for a week.
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