An anti-piracy company in Canada has launched a moody website ripe with black and white photos which are being used without the original photographers' permission.
Time and time again, lawyers, anti-piracy groups and copyright holders seem to get caught infringing on copyrights themselves, and this time it's Canadian anti-piracy company Canipre who have been stealing photographs for use on their website. As Torrentfreak eloquently puts it, “Copyright is a double-edged sword, and those who sharpen one side often get cut by the other.“
Canipre, who works with the makers of the Hurt Locker, use the ironic slogan “they all know it's wrong and they're still doing it”, while they themselves have been designing their dark and moody website with photographs taken by freelance photographers who have not given the company permission to use the photos. Just a few days ago, Canipre's boss defended his plan to sue thousands of BitTorrent users in an attempt to change people's attitude towards internet piracy.
This photo, by Steve Houk, was used by Canipre without permission
Just a few hours after Vice broke the news on Canipre's blunder, the website removed all infringing material, but there are still screenshots of it circling the web. When Steve Houk, one of the photographers, found out about the infringement, he contacted Canipre, looking for compensation: “I sent them an e-mail via their website. I identified the image, told them that it is my creative property under copyright and requested that they either remove the image from their site or compensate me for its use. I also told them that it was disheartening to see a company that champions intellectual property rights to pirate someone else’s creative work.”
Canipre pleaded innocent, blaming the web design firm for obtaining the photos. This doesn't really fly: the company is responsible for the content they put on their website, just as Canipre hold internet subscribers accountable for infringements committed by others through their connection. Vice later got in touch with Brian Moore and Ascha Phflepp, whose photos has also been stolen by Canipre. “That’s amazing. No, I did not give them permission as far as I know. Go get ‘em,” said Moore.