Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rant

image from http://funnyphotosto.com
I wanted to talk about the whole Revlon/Sinful Colors Nail Polish debacle.  Here is the Change.org Petition about it.  And here is the reddit article about it. Also a blog called Nailed It has a good article about it. Other stories by the Bloggers themselves have been taken down until the situation has been rectified. What basically happened is that 2 independent nail polish bloggers (from outside the US) had their images allegedly stolen by a firm that made marketing material for a nail polish company called Sinful Colors.  The marketing material gave no credit to the bloggers whose images were used, removed watermarks from the original images, misrepresented their own brand by using images of nails that were not painted with Sinful Colors polish and misrepresented the nail art techniques by saying a swirled design could be accomplished via extra polish and a toothpick when the actual image of the nail art clearly shows it was a nail art stamp (like a Konad stamp) used for the design.  There was a big uproar in the beauty and polish blog-o-sphere. There were complaints posted on Revlon's Facebook page (because Revlon is the parent company of Sinful Colors) and many bloggers voiced their disappointment and anger with the 2 companies for such obvious copyright infringement.  I even posted about it on my Facebook page.  Revlon has issued an apology via Facebook and claims they are in contact with the 2 bloggers whose images were allegedly stolen.  Their apology was:
Dear Revlon fans --- We are aware of the issue regarding SinfulColors and are taking steps to resolve this unacceptable error. We deeply respect the rights of our blogger friends and are taking the following measures:
1. We have reached out to the bloggers, Jeanette and Mary, to apologize and quickly resolve the issue.
2. We are correcting any materials featuring the bloggers’ images as soon as possible.
3. We are putting additional measures in place to prevent this from happening again.
Please accept our heartfelt apology and know that we are doing everything we can to make things right.
That's nice..at least they addressed the concern since they are the parent company of Sinful Colors.  Revlon itself had nothing to do with creating the marketing materials.  But what has bothered me the most about this issue is the number of people making statements on the Revlon Facebook page saying:

(Names and Profile photos have been hidden to protect the ignorant)







That's what is really bothering me...well that and the missing comma from Mrs. Purple's statement. This idea that it's "no big deal", that, "this stuff happens all the time", that "hey, the bloggers are getting free publicity", that taking images off the internet that aren't copyrighted isn't illegal and that we should all "get a life". These people and the mo-rons that liked their comments are truly puzzling to me.  It is NOT alright, it IS a big deal and those images were protected under copyright laws regardless of having a fancy © symbol or a watermark on them.  This kind of apathy towards outright illegal actions makes me worry for the future.  This, "well it didn't happen to me" or the "Everyone is doing it anyway" attitude is the reason that so many things in the world are broken. Just because it didn't happen to you, doesn't mean it won't affect you. When did it become every "man for himself"? What happened to community?  Those that retort with, "This kind of thing happens all the time." makes no sense to me.  Murder happens all the time, does that make it OK?  Should we stop prosecuting people for murder because it's so common?  Bank Robberies happen all the time. Should we stop jailing the thieves because, well, it's gonna happen anyway?  Of course not! That's NOT how this world should be. It makes me sad that there are people out there that think a bloggers photos are "free" and that bloggers should be happy for the traffic. I can't pay my mortgage with unique page views from my blog. Most importantly, when you photoshop out the watermarks and don't credit the bloggers in the first place how is it supposed to drive traffic to their blogs?  

I really don't know where I'm going with this other than to say how deeply saddened I am that there are people out there that think it's no big deal and that just don't care.  Perhaps I had unrealistic expectations of people understanding that this kind of thing is wrong. Perhaps it is "every man for himself."  That would explain the ridiculous sense of entitlement I see by people on the internet. It would explain the increasing inability to accept personal responsibility for ones own actions.  When did we as a society become so disconnected from empathy and compassion? 

34 comments:

  1. I agree that it's not acceptable. However it looks like they hired some agency to do work, and these are the ones who stole the pics. I can tell you I don't spend time double checking my agencies have the right to use the pics they use for me, I just suppose they did their job and checked on that. So I feel like the rage has fallen upon the wrong people here. Although this will definitely backfire from Revlon to their agency!!!

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    1. I'm not looking to place blame on Revlon or anything. The point, which I didn't make too well, is my general distaste for in-duh-viduals that think this whole thing is no big deal. The apathy and lack of compassion is my issue.

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    2. Oh no you made it very clear and I agree :) I'm just saying I kind of find it sad for Revlon they have to deal with all the sh!t now!

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  2. why hide their names, they posted it on a public site they wanted everyone to see how stupid they are. People say dumb stuff about everything, including the shootings out here in Colorado. Seems like they get brave over the internet

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    1. I hid their names because I don't want to be sued. I also did not have permission to post their names and images on my blog. But yes. People are very brave on the internet. They feel the anonymity gives them the strength to be stupid.

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  3. There were some serious morons in that Revlon facebook thread, I tell you what.

    The thing that got me about this was that an advertising agency stole the pictures. Advertising agencies know all about copyright, so they just didn't give a shit. Not to mention the fact that what they did is incredibly lazy. THEY ARE SO FIRED. SO. FIRED.

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  4. What was done was wrong, sloppy, and lazy. I'm disappointed that it happened, because professionals should know better. I can't take a decent picture of my nails to save my life, so I really appreciate all the work that so many bloggers do to make their pictures great.

    I admit to saving pics off of websites to my PC for my own personal use. It's much easier to decide on what new polishes to buy and go through nail art by looking at thumbnails. However, if & when I want to post somewhere about a nail polish I really like, I post a link to the website, using the site's name or the product as the link. It's just the right thing to do and that seems to be something that too many have forgotten how to do these days.

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  5. Unfortunately, as you said, the anonimity of the internet makes everyone feel like a badass. I would almost bet money those people dismissing the issue aren't bloggers themselves and would feel differently if their likeness was used without their permission. Companies, especially those as large as Sinful and Revlon, should have safeguards in check to avoid these types of things. Would it have been so hard to have an intern do their own nails, or even hire someone to do it for them? Also I wouldn't be surprised if there were some sort of backlash from MAC and Color Club for those were the products featured in the printed brochures and displays.

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  6. This is horrendous. I don't tend to put watermarks on my photos, but since I had someone jack my photo on tumblr I always do on my jewellery photos. It pisses me off that people think they can just use what they want when they want just because it doesn't belong to someone famous or well known. It's lazy also, it's not like it would of been hard to get there own images or ask permission to use them. I can't believe they actually went as far as making a booklet...Thats disgusting. So little respect. When I want reviews, pics, hauls etc anything beauty related I go look for blogs. but not magazine blogs or big company blogs, I go for indie or smaller blogs because its more real and honest then someone getting paid a tonne to bullshit about stuff. These bloggers are what MAKE the community what it is. These brands get to much publicity and stuff from these bloggers and this just takes the piss. ERGH. Rage.

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  7. I love how someone said that it's online and not copyrighted and called people ignorant of the law when they themselves are the ignorant of the law ones. If it's published it's copyrighted, period. I am disappointed in SinfulColors.

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  8. I agree. The mainstream society is all "meh, it happens" until it happens to THEM and then they look around and yell "hey, what about MEEE!!!!?!11". Sad and ego-centric.

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  9. As a copyright and trademark lawyer, I run into these fallacies all the time. People cannot grasp the notion that copyright attaches to the work AT CREATION, and does not require marking, stamping, mailing it to yourself, or publication to qualify. Just because a copyright owner chooses to make the work available for others to see -- even on the Internet -- does not mean they authorize it to be taken or used for any other purpose. Even sophisticated corporate clients and their agencies can be ignorant on this point. Well, at least it gives me job security.

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    1. Excellent explanation for the clueless :) Not only is this illegal (and I am no lawyer, but I think Revlon should at least rectify the abuse by compensating monetarily those whose work was stolen, even if they didn't do it "themselves") - I believe it boils down to a complete lack of RESPECT. Even if you COULD just take someone's work and use it commercially without permission, which you cannot, legally, should you?? Hell-to-the-no!! Even on my Pinterest boards, I make sure that the blogger who did the work gets credit, and that is just common courtesy!

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  10. I am BAFFLED at the "it isn't illegal" comments. Sounds like someone does need an education on "the laws"... And even aside from the copyright and impermissible use issues, were those commenters never impressed with how cheap and lazy and wrong it was to plagiarize and copy and cheat in school? Really now, FB folks.

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  11. Here! Here! And all I hear from those Facebook warriors is "Rubble rubble rubble!"

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  12. This is the moment I get disappointed of people, it's wrong because they infringed copyright rights of the bloggers. I can't understand is it really difficult to put the names of the bloggers, they work hard to do a post, so they deserve at least the recognition of they work.

    I want to hit the people that think it's alright

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  13. Agree eleventy billion percent with this post. Those attitudes expressed on Facebook make me angry and sad.

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  14. I do *not* condone what these corporations are doing, but when I put it into context with everything else that is occuring around us, every day, it really doesn't seem like a big deal. If this is one of the worst things these bloggers have experienced in their lives, they should consider themselves lucky.

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    1. That kind of "logic" upsets me. This is excact kind of apathy and lack of compassion I spoke of in my post. It is a "big deal" if something is stolen. It's against the law. By saying that there are worse problems in the world, you invalidate the entire issue. You're right. It isn't as big of an injustice. But I didn't ask you to compare The Sudan (for example) with Nail Polish Pictures, did I? Why belittle these bloggers injustice by saying such a thing? That's the same kind of apathy and lack of compassion I have been talking about. Little injustices can grow if ignored.

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    2. I said I do not *condone* it. Did they lose anything over it? No. In fact, they've probably gained from it. The big corporations probably didn't make any profit, either. I also didn't compare it to the Sudan, either, nor did I say it should be ignored. You're also belittling the opinions and feelings of those who don't see this as such a huge issue. I would (personally speaking) have *more* compassion (not that I don't have any) if these bloggers suffered an actual loss. I get they may feel violated, but in context, it isn't a life-altering event.

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    3. Why hide behind an anonymous icon? Lame.

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  15. Unless an image says it's royalty-free, it's stupid for someone to assume that no watermark means there's no copyright. Whoever took the pictures typically owns the copyright, not whatever jerk decides to steal the images. I.e. the copyright happens when the photo is created.

    (citation: http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=1492 )

    I really hate what I've dubbed the decaying of society because of people thinking that the anonymity of the internet means they can say and do whatever they want. Yeah I love the internet but I don't love the jerks on it.

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  16. what gets me is, ok so a marketing company was hired to do the ads (which by the way, have NOT been pulled in my area, still found them at Rite Aid), did Sinful Colors or Revlon at any point actually ask "gee, where did you get these pictures?". my kids are in school and we always get consent forms regarding the school taking pictures and using them in materials, this is done for a reason of course, why would a big company not require the same? Does Sinful Colors and Revlon require a release form from the people whose nails they photograph? that just seems like basic legal steps to take especially when it's a national campaign. I worked in the legal field and I can't tell you how much paperwork goes behind simple transactions to make sure everyone's butt is covered.

    as a beauty blogger myself it's upsetting. it takes time to get pictures that are good enough to be posted, maybe because I'm a crappy photographer to begin with but it's still my time and it's precious and to have my pics stolen? that's just insulting

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  17. I understand why you're pissed off, and it totally gets to me too. I have a feeling that the ignorant dimwits that wrote those comments have never created anything meaningful in their lives so they have no idea how big of a deal it is.

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  18. The blue person really needs to do a damn Google search on copyright law... sometimes I forget how stupid people really are because I tend to try to isolate myself from it.

    UGH. I've had pictures (mainly artwork) stolen a few times and it's so irritating because people don't care. At all. In fact people think you should be flattered that someone likes your work enough to claim it as their own.

    WTF IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE LOL

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  19. A sphincter says "what?!" Wow,just...Wow. I don't watermark my photos-maybe I should,but I figure I have so few readers it would be a waste of time :P Nah,but in seriousness it's art,it's work that a person DID,and for someone to STEAL that is reprehensible.As an artist I really take offense to that,and it baffles me that as much as I had the idea not to plagiarize drilled into me between HS and college why wouldn't others?! *Banging my old person cane here* I don't-personally-ever want to take credit for something I did not do.Just wouldn't sit right. Even images I grab from Google I credit the original source.REGARDLESS,unless the source is obvious or there is a copyright/watermark.

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    1. Apparently having a watermark means nothing though, one of the stolen pictures DID have a watermark (around her cuticle area) which was blurred out by the offending company. :(

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  20. I work with musicians and I am sad to say this attitude of entitlement is far too prevalent. People constantly excuse their illegal downloading of music much the same way.

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  21. To me, this is a victimless crime, but still absolutely a crime. While I don't think the bloggers necessarily suffered as a result of the marketer's lazy, illegal actions, I do think it's wrong and it is 100% their responsibility to rectify the situation as best they can. Even if nobody is dead it is still just all kinds of wrong!

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  22. I hate the "it's not that big a deal" argument so much. It is a big deal. By stealing the bloggers photos and passing them off as their own, they are lying. And if Revlon can't be trusted to be truthful in its advertising, how can you trust it to be truthful in any other aspect?

    Every time you are apathetic and say something is no big deal, you are failing to take into consideration the cumulative effect of the situation.

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  23. I'm familiar with the sites that had photos stolen. They ARE watemarked - whoever created the ad campaign used image software to remove the watermark. One of the photos for sure had a bottle of the nail polish used - not Sinful Colors - in the hand and that was also removed. In addition, the nails from one manicure were copied and pasted onto the hand of the model (who I assume was paid ... but maybe not) for the display.

    These are commercial companies with fairly wide distribution; having worked as a graphic designer in the past, I would assume they have cosmetics professionals on staff who could have imitated the manicures using Sinful Colors' polishes. But instead, someone went to more work altering the photos than it would have taken to create them, to order, froms scratch.

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  24. It seems everyone is presuming it was the company or an employee that took these pictures from the blogs. It could be a shady individual who sells stock photos to others to use for commercial purposes. Sinful Colors may believe they paid for these pictures and obtained the fairly. I don't think all the facts have been made public, so until then, I can't place fault with Sinful Colors or Revlon,

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  25. Hear effing hear! It's clear to me that the people making those comments do NOT have a blog - and if they do, they obviously don't do it for the right reasons. I've been reading this from the sidelines, but hadn't checked out the Facebook page. You are right on point Elvira and the mentality here saddens me deeply as well.

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  26. Thanks for saying that! Honestly, I don't know why people say such things. Is it ignorance or stupidity? I've never been able to figure it out.

    Anyway, they're wrong, and thank you for saying so!

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