C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Wordy C on A Case Study In Accidental Copyright Violations Part 1 of 5

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2009

A Case Study In Accidental Copyright Violations Part 1 of 5

What Drives Your Blog? Original or Borrowed Content?

I am going to take you out of the Rain to Google. When it comes to researching about copyright violations, Lexus Nexus and Google are my best electronic friends. As a Paralegal, I pay thousands of dollars to access Lexus. Since Google is free, lets stick with the equal opportunity use search engines and the on-line clearinghouses available for you to conduct your own research to check the veracity of my statements.

I would like to bring your attention to the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse on-line samples. Have you heard of it? Have you visited this database? As a blogger you should. Start here at the KazaA complaint to Google. Read the entire link because I am not going to paraphrase it here for you and the Q&A section underneath is fabulous.

Sometimes you have to see things for yourself to understand why I say and write the things I do to you. If you knew what I knew about how bad a copyright violation could get you would, like I, hesitate to use third party works that you have no idea where they originated from.

I am not against third party providers, I am against people who do not watch their copyrights or check the veracity of the third party claims. Some third parties provide for academic use, others for commercial use. Some fly by nights steal other peoples work, make some quick on-line money, then disappear. Watch your licenses and use the material according to the rights provided for. If you don't have written permission or a licensing agreement you are leaving yourself wide open for a world of hurt if your blogging habits result in a copyright violation complaint being lodged against you.

Did you know if you accidentally accuse someone of a copyright violation and it's really "Fair Use Doctrine" material they can get damages from you, possibly into the six figure realm? Here's an example of what I am talking about: http://www.onlinepolicy.org/action/legpolicy/opg_v_diebold/

Here's an interesting warning I shall quote from Google to make Blogspot bloggers think: "Please note that you will be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that a product or activity is infringing your copyrights." http://www.google.com/blogger_dmca.html

Creating original works can keep you out of trouble and possibly bankruptcy court (if you lose after getting caught). Why is my picture blurry on this post? Because I want you to get it out of your head that it has to be perfect. You can shoot a picture of anything and make it interesting if you just try... BTW, my three year old took several pictures in our garage of my neighbor's bike while Mama stood there smiling. You people telling me you can't take a friggin' picture yourselves? Seriously? He was hanging off of me trying to get the camera back while I shot a few. It was great. We had fun. Took two minutes. You don't have two minutes to invest in your blog by whipping out a camera and shooting whatever you see???

Do you know your ActiveRain community rules? Do you understand they assist in copyright violation investigations? Do you want to go to another social media spot and acquire photographs from people you do not know who may not even own the rights to those photographs? My kids supposedly made it to a photostock company that supposedly sold their pictures to a third party. They changed their tune when I said I was their Mama, there was no model release and fax me the receipts.

People lie. Can you afford to pay $100,000 if that social media account mysteriously closes down and you have no receipt or written permission from the "owner," just the picture you are accused of stealing sitting on your blog?

Disclaimer: Any comments and contributions provided on ActiveRain.com (or other electronic or print media) does not establish an agency relationship with any third party. Blog posts are intended to be informational only. Please be advised that real estate practices vary in regions and from state to state and market to market. The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. All parties in need of legal, accounting, tax, or real estate guidance are directed to consult with the licensed professional of their choice. Please seek specific guidance from a retained professional in the specific field(s) required to service your interests. I and/or team blog writers make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site and its associated sites inclusive of but not limited to CarolynTannStarr.com MySpace/TannStarr 46486 NY Working Moms Examiner ActiveRain Group Club Chaos ClubChaosAgents.com CyberMinions.net CTannStarr Outside Blog CTannStarr Localism Blog TannStarr.net UberMental.com

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Comment balloon 52 commentsC Tann-Starr • September 15 2009 12:37PM


sigh - alright already... alright already... I get the idea.... I've retired Elvis.  (sheesh... wordy C is right... she just goes on and on like the Energizer some generic Bunny... hammering, and hammerin'.... okay, okay... hundreds of thousands of dollahs, and Active Brad will be helpin' em... and maybe they bring in TLW and Lenn with their shotguns... and BB will shoot a video while they blow the hair gel outta my hair.... yeeff...)


(just kiddin C... I love ya!)

Posted by Alan May, There's no place like home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) about 11 years ago

Plain and simple...if it ain't yours and you didn't write it or it's not your picture to use....  quit stealing!  Good reminder AND good info for those who 'don't know'.   hmmm...yeah, right.

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) about 11 years ago


Very good and somewhat frightening information. i really need to get a full understanding of "fair" use and see where it fits into all of this.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 11 years ago

WayWard Child Of Mine...

This was nice. Not half as wordy as I thought it was going to be :)

I think it was Lenn that was telling us they've now actually set up little companies to hunt down copyright violations. Apparently, that's all these companies get paid to do. They find the violations and split the proceeds from either a court case or the fines they're able to collect.

Hey, maybe they'd hire me to hunt for them. I'd be good at that :)

Oh. And accusing someone of a violation they didn't commit is just as bad as being serial violator :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

That was very wordy...lol   Ok, so is there a site where you can go and use photos and not get into trouble???   Is it my understanding that if I google something and then go to images and use it I am in trouble?  I am lucky glad that I have used all my own writing and have not copy pasted others.

Posted by June Tassillo, Let me help you with the next phase of your life! (Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty) about 11 years ago

Hey wait a minute... Is that my harley?   Oh no... mine is yellow and black. 

TLW ~ would be good at hunting them down and so would C 

Posted by June Tassillo, Let me help you with the next phase of your life! (Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty) about 11 years ago

Great post!  I hope it reaches some of the people who need to see it.  I've been fighting this copyright violation issue for many years, issuing warnings to an audience that just didn't, or chose not to get it.  You don't want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit.

And for Alan, personally I like you better this way even though for some, they might be disappointed that Elvis has left the building.

Posted by Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert (Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103) about 11 years ago


Why not just dress up as Elvis and snap a photo? :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

C, I learned something from you and I appreciate it. Because I had been operating under an assumption. :)

Thanks my dear, MWAH. Now go wipe my lipstick off your cheek. People will talk! HA :)

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) about 11 years ago

I think it would be hard to ignore this issue after reading this post.

Posted by James Lyon (Vista Pacific Realty) about 11 years ago

Hi C . . . I thought your were very on target.  I did not know you are a Paralegal. No wonder, and now it all makes sense.  I am too!  I am "certified" through the Beverly Hills Bar Association -- HA HA HA.  I LOVE NEXUS and LEXUS too!  I don't work for attorneys anymore, so the research days are over for me.  But I know what you mean . . . great tools of the trade.  And now I understand where you're coming from too with some of your posts.  I actually did wonder how you wrote so well, and "legal" . . . I GET IT NOW!!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 11 years ago

"C" --- you are, of course, right on, friend.  If it doesn't belong to you and you don't have permission to use it ------ then, don't.

                  Mama Liz

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) about 11 years ago

C, I wrote a check last year for stealing a picture off of Google images. Cost me $2,000 to settle. The sad thing is I knew better. I had already gone through my blogs a year before and deleted many many images. I missed one and I got nailed. The attorney that sent me the cease and desist letter was a pretty nice guy about it. He told me that his FULL TIME job was working for this one image company finding thieves and getting money from them.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 11 years ago

I just take my own photos.  In fact once when I wanted a superhero for a post I used an old photo of my baby girl dressed up as a pink powerranger.  And since I bought the pattern and material and my mom sewed the dang thing and I took the photo I can use that right??

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 11 years ago

Mama, I shall go read the user licesnse agreements and terms of service before I comment because I have never visited their website and do not know (LOL). Most music sights (like Blip.fm, etc) have worked out agreements regarding what users can and can't do while blipping music from the recording industry. I love what you have been doing with the sound files and shall get back to you as soon as possible lovely. We gotta look out for our bay-bays. ;-) BTW, they do have those companies Lenn was talking about. They make mad money too...

James, I've been battling a lot of issues with my intellectual copyrights lately. You never know which post is going to be the one they really like. One site was claiming to have one of my paintings for sale. I was shocked beause the painting is off the market and hanging in my hall over hubby's computer. It's the one behind my profile picture here. I gave it to my kid. It's been off the market for years. The website also claimed the other paintings on the next page were done by me. They were not my paintings... I contacted them livid. Turns out another user uploaded the information on this particular auction site. They suspended the account immediately. They stole the shot off my blog here at ActiveRain. Check out question #2 on this Meme. There are four original works embedded there.

Candice, let 'em talk. Let 'em eat cake. I'm keeping my virtual kisses, so there (LMAO). ;-)

Alan, suggestion #9 I would love to see (LOL). I'd rather have my bay-bays safe than sorry any day of the week. ;-)

Erica, rumor has it that I am the anal retentive Paralegal from Hell (LMAO). ;-)

Geri, if it will get one person to be more cautious then it was well worth the effort.Too bad Elvis has left the building... I'm gonna miss Buckwheat too (LOL). ;-)

June, I'd hunt anything with TLW. I mean ANYTHING (LOL). ;-) Google images simply collects them into a searchable format. Each image is owned by the person who created it. The moment they snapped a picture it automatically became their intellectual property and subject to that person controlling the copyright (unless they are violating another person's copyright by copying their image which was previously created). Sometimes you will discover that Google images will have several copies of the same image linking back to several sights and a lot of people catch copyright violators by using the database. Don't collect anything from there. Go to a reputable company (e.g. Kodak, etc) and shop their photo-disc collections to buy images you like. You can also ask other Rainers or Facebook friends who you really have a relationship with and get permission to use their vacation photographs or images. I have four friends who travel all over the world and they sit with me while we go through their photographs. I haven't used them yet, but they are going to be the basis for a couple of my paintings so we are working out the details. The agreement doesn't have to be elaborate, just in writing and really their signatures (hint: use a notary).

Richard, I am working on the Fair Use post right now... I have to visit my attorney girlfriends before I post it. Don't want to get accused of the unauthorized practice of law (LOL). ;-)

C-Sally-C, you have summed that puppy up rather nicely. :-)

Alan, I think we can actually make that little film (ROTFLMAO) ;-)






Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Carla, I was working on my NALA certification but when I realized that was like passing the "baby bar" I backed off and decided to be a Real Estate Paralegal for a couple of years. Two year aniversay is the 26th of this month. Now I just have to decide if I still want to do this or go back to the gallery (LOL). Who knew real estate could have so much friggin' drama? Oh my word... (Hmm... Can't leave, Melodious would kill me - LMAO). Thank you for the kind words. I play so much sometimes people get thrown off when I actually behave and write something useful (ROTFL). I think I did hint there would be sarcasm... Hmm... maybe next time? Four more to go... (LOL) ;-)

Liz, sometimes we have to just say no... It can be hard. Trust me. I know... :-)

Bryant, I have friends who are licensed private investigators, so I know... It's tough wandering cyberspace sometimes, especially when we think we are okay and then we find out we are not. I am sorry for the loss but thankful they were reasonable. Some people are not reasonable. I've been trying to be reasonable but my artwork and Shea Stadium stuff is running amuck with the help of some unreasonable people. When my kids started running amuck I drew the line. Those are my boys. If they want to use them they should contribute to their college fund, not steal my shots and lie about where they "purchased" them from. If they are in a photo-stock company you do realize all hell will break loose and I will be calling on Lenn, right? Seriously... After I check out how the shorties have done of course (LOL)

ROTFL @ Tammy. You are soooo cool. ;-)


Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

That's why if you want to make a point in addition to a good post - use the reblog feature that AR and many other sites use.

Posted by Nicholas Goraczkowski, Your Mortgage Resource - (720) 83-RATES about 11 years ago

Nicholas, I'm with you. Excellent point.

The re-blog is a writer granting permission to re-post what they have written on the platform syndication of their choice. One should never cut and paste a post. That is not a re-blog, that is a copyright violation if you duplicate a post without permission. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago


I appreciate your efforts to publicize this point. I find my own stuff all over the internet, and many times without my name on it.

People just apologize, say that someone sent it to them, without a name on it, and that's that.

I usually give people permission to post one of my blogs on their sites, as long as there is proper attribution.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) about 11 years ago

Brian, I have given people all sorts of permissions and have been tickled pink with some of the results. A lot of people get a free pass with me. Then there are those who have bad intentions, are arrogant and seem to think they are entitled to take anything they want from anyone. Those people are the ones in my cross-hairs. They have caused me a lot of problems because if someone thinks they have an original painting of mine and I know nothing about it and did not paint it, it whomps.

Artists keep origination files of their work. We provide galleries with certificates of authenticity when we do editions. It's the digital age. If you only make 500 prints or less it's a nice collectible. If someone steals a photograph and creates art posters and hundreds of thousands of copies are floating around, the loss in royalties that should have been yours can be astronomical. 

One photograph can generate a tremendous stream of revenue from tee shirts, posters, mugs, scarfs, bed linens, jackets, greeting cards, a logo license... Don't underestimate the worth of your blog having original art and photography people. Seriously... Distribution houses pay people to troll for new material for mall outlets. I haven't said yes yet, but the contracts are interesting to read. I keep refusing to sell off my rights. I'd rather sell a first North American printing right license than lose control of the copyright completely. I have to think of my kids. It's passive revenue for generations to come if I don't jump at the first offer.

You guys should look into licensing your images rather than creative commons give aways. Just sayin...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

I'm just evesdropping.

We have a hearing early in October for damages before the court for a default judgment.  We'll go for about $50,000.  No idea what the judge will award.

The insurance company that used my map agreed to settle for $3,500, then refused to pay when one of her agents said that she didn't have to. 

Not a chance of me making a false claim.  I have copyright certificates for any image I take to court. 

It's a lot less expensive for the thief to just pay a couple of thousand when we catch and notice them.  Once they run up my legal fees . . . . . . .   The limit is $30,000 per use up to X 3.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 11 years ago


What a great series to keep us out of the Cosmic Cow Pie of copyright!  I now wonder at istock and dreamstime where they have a "free" section?  Should we NOT take those free pictures? They do not provide receipts.... it's easy.. just download.  At Dreamstime they will have one free picture from an artist and maybe 15 more that are similar but you have to pay for them... mmm lots of questions.... take your own pictures and write your own content!  But input on the free stuff would be appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by the Cosmic Cow Pie.

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 11 years ago

Man, I had no idea you could get into trouble for using other photos.  Thanks for posting this.  I guess I need to do some research on how to post photos without getting in legal trouble. 

Posted by David Krushinsky, AZ MB-0949619 MLO NMLS #202115 (Dk Home Loans, LLC) about 11 years ago

While I totally agree about the copyright stuff, I could never bring myself to post a blurry photo, or one that doesn't match the content of the post. I'm just too anal retentive to do that o.O  lol  But thank God for photo processing software, and a little thing called "sharpen"  ;-)

Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) about 11 years ago

C - Great post and one that everyone should read. I never considered that gaining permission from someone, or WORSE paying someone for the right to use their photo (or whatever) and then learning that they stole the original. Yikes! I am staying tuned to this series.

Posted by Judy Jennings, Tap into Judy's real estate expertise & resources. (Top Agent Plus) about 11 years ago

Great stuff, C. Looking forward to parts 2,3,4 & 5!

Posted by Judy Chapman (Referral Network of Illinois LLC) about 11 years ago

Carolyn, Well, this just stopped my latest blog post :)  Maybe it saved me, I'm not sure.  I just found not one but TWO of my articles on another person's site who is promoting a book and was going to put it up, name, links and all (including the original date and source of the articles (mine).

I have to say if you don't have money to persue it legally, there's not much you can do.  Basically I feel as if MY words are helping to sell someone else's book.  There's no email address, nothing I can find and it's a terrible feeling of violation.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 11 years ago

Lenn, feel free to take me over completely :-) I am always lurking on your blog even if I don't always comment. I do that a lot (LOL). 

Carra, the beautiful thing about the free sections is that it brings the websites traffic. People Google "free" all the time. I do it daily myself. I evenb have an iTune widget on iGoogle that updates me as to what they have over there free (LOL). As people realize the value of the sites that interest them, they stick around and eventually start purchasing what they need. Why do you think iTunes routinely offers free movies, cartoons, music and hooked up with all of the major colleges to post their podcast classes for free? Do you have any idea how many free language courses I have downloaded on my computer? The kids giggle at Russian and love watching the Hebrew letters do their electronic flashcard routine. NASA is awesome! You can see outer space from the telescopes and space stations. We are always in iTunes and the Amazon Unbox. Free is good when the company is legit. ;-)


Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

David, you are very welcome. It can get complicated when you least expect it to. :-)

Lisa, you'd be surprised how one line in a post can suddenly make a photograph that doesn't "match" make a lot of sense (LOL). Besides, people rarely swipe blurry photographs (LMAO). If I posted a smiley and frowny face together the cartoon would trigger a subconscious tie in regardless of what I said because people who read automatically make assumptions as to why a picture is there. The question "What drives your blog?" automatically triggered "engine, ahhhhhhh" to the male readers I know who went on to read and not think about the photograph again. People who own bikes e-mailed and asked what kind of bike because they can't see the icon (LMAO). Some also wanted to know if I'd be posting more bike shots for the rest of the series. I think I will... ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Judy J, thank you. Sometimes people believe that the WWW is so huge they will not get caught. If they are in another country they feel bold and sometimes think what are the odds of you finding out or finding them? Anyone can (1) set up a dot com, (2) program a shopping cart, (3) burn a bunch of CDs, (4) make a sample on-line catalog, (5) claim 5,000 images for $19.95 and not care if the site gets busted because they have others. Let the games begin... If there are no major complaints then they rake in the electronic transfers as fast as they can.

I vote for original content. Original content can be copyrighted. You can't copyright what doesn't belong to you. On one simm card alone I have 4,995 images. I have filled up over ten simm cards since blogging here and have approximately 4 gigs of original images on one computer and 2 gigs on the laptop. If you shoot something every single day no matter the weather, you'll have a great collection in no time. On some days I do 30 shots, on other days I do over 400. Never know what you're going to see, so don't leave home without the camera. Use your cell phone if you have to but take a shot. Get into the habit of capturing random images and pretty soon you'll start planning where to go and what to shoot because you know your appointment may take you near a landmark or point of interest.

If you are near a fruit stand, do closeups of the food and flowers. See an interesting detail on a building? Zoom in and capture the stone work. You can open the hood to your car and shoot odd angles of the parts to create interesting patterns of light and dark. I shoot clouds all the time. The tutorial I am working on has fifty cloud shots dissolving into each other every couple of seconds with quotes floating in the foreground as titles explaining blog concepts. My ADD is having a field day. Go find stuff to shoot that interests you. :-)

You can do anything you want. It's your blog. A splash of color is everywhere you look and see life... If you avoid shooting people you don't have to worry about having a model's release (LOL). If you shoot from the street and not on private property the stuff you capture is readily visible in public and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy if you're going for a generic overview shot. Don't zoom into people's houses if you shoot a house. Peeking through a window with a telephoto is a no-no. Just sayin... ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Judy C, I am having a lot of fun with it because my girlfriends are editing me to keep me out of trouble (LOL). Fair Use is a delicate matter. They don't want me to pick "the wrong type of cases" to share and are giving me homework to research my talking points. We are pouring over cases having late night. I love my smart neighbors (LOL). Mikey is playing War of Worldcraft and ignoring my on-line shenanigans with my fave attorneys (LOL). I will probably go to bed by midnight...

I should post part two around lunchtime. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Carole, gather every bit of documentation you have regarding your work and the other site. I frequently print the pages out, then use the save as a web page feature in the browser to download and save the entire page onto my hard drive (you can peek at the source code if you do that - LOL- but I digress). Start calling attorneys and ask if they do free consultations and will they take the case on a contingency fee basis (e.g. you win, they get paid from the proceeds). I am always harping about having a consultation with an attorney if it is very important. Everything is negotiable so never think you have to give up protecting your rights because it is cost prohibitive. A lot of people love you in the Rain. Time to network bay-bay. I think you and I should have lunch... Seriously... :-)

BTW, I would like to bring your attention to the Q&A section of the K Google complaint link and give you a brief quote that may give you some hope: "The most common defense to an infringement claim is "fair use," a doctrine that allows people to use copyrighted material without permission in certain situations, such as quotations in a book review. To evaluate fair use of copyrighted material, the courts consider four factors: 1. the purpose and character of the use 2. the nature of the copyrighted work 3. the amount and substantiality of copying, and 4. the market effect. (17 U.S.C. 107)"

Have the (free) consultation, bring your material to an attorney of your choice (in person, by fax, e-mail, etc) and see what can be done for you. If I ever got that bee in my bonnet I'd call Lenn and ask for an introduction to her attorney. Sometimes the faith and trust of your friends can open the door for you to have faith and trust in others. Third party referrals beat eenie-meanie-miney-mo. Trust me. I love my girlfriends to death but they are criminal attorneys. I frequently get them to pick the brains of their other attorney friends (and drive a lot of people really crazy paying them $1 for attorney client privilege - LOL). When it comes to intellectual property rights you want a specialist in the field. We definitely need to do lunch. I vote for bugging Lenn and finding you a great referral to a talented attorney. After all, she's eavesdropping (LOL). ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago


I was checking out TLW's link and have to say what a cool place to play in (LOL). It advertises as a MP3 and lyric search engine in the header. BTW, I clicked on privacy policy and got an error message stating that this page no longer exists. Oh no! First red flag. I have no idea what it is hypothetically capturing (e.g. IP address from my computer, click history, search history, download history...) Hmm... maybe not such a cool place to play in after all... Lets go find their disclaimer list...

Second red flag on their disclaimer page: Quote: "Seekasong.com is based on its links to third party sites. The linked sites are not under the control of Seekasong.com and Seekasong.com is not responsible for the content of any linked sites or any links contained in a linked site. Seekasong.com is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Seekasong.com of the site or any association with their operators." What? Are we not down with the record labels? Seriously?

Third red flag: Quote: "Seekasong.com user agrees that Seekasong.com is hereby absolved from any and all liabilities, losses, costs and claims, including attorney's fees asserted against Seekasong.com, its agents, officers, employees, or associates, that may arise or result from any service provided, performed, be agreed to be performed by Seekasong.com."

Fourth red flag: Quote: "Seekasong.com does not represent or warrant that the Service or the server that makes it available, are free of viruses or other harmful components."

This is the point where I close my browser tab and run like hell (LOL).

Mama, go back and delete every single embed. Seriously. You have no idea what is in them (LOL). Their disclaimer leaves a lot to be desired for any potential user. (e.g. Might be a virus??? Use at your own risk???) BTW, I am too poor to be agreeing to pay someone else's legal fees (LOL).

This is not a legal opinion, this is a common sense I'm into self preservation and like to eat out so you can't have my food budget comment. I am also tripping over the virus portion of the disclaimer. When something is a free download in iTunes I do not get the urge to run like hell (LOL). Mama, I love you, so leave these people alone. I am not downloading a single MP3 from them. Off to clean my cookies... ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Hi C!  EXCELLENT post and congrats on the feature!  This SHOULD be brought to the attention of newbies and even those who continue to do this on a daily basis that KNOW better!  I use iClipart.com if I don't have a photo for my post but, frankly, like you, I just LOVE taking the photos FOR the post--especially if I'm writing Localism, which is what I do most of the time--the locals love to see their neighborhood shots and the shop and restaurant owners love to see their buildings photographed in a new light. 

As for the writing--I would worry that people would recognize that those just aren't MY words--you can just TELL!

Have a wonderful Wednesday...

Debe in Charlotte

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 11 years ago

OH!  I forgot to say, I'm glad Elvis has left the building!  Alan just looks SO much more ALIVE!!


Debe in Charlotte

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 11 years ago

Haaaaaa! Alan is a cutie, isn't he Debe? (LOL) Thank you for the kind words. Very much appreciated. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Good information.  The risks are so much bigger than any rewards you might get from using content that isn't yours.  It's just not worth the risk at all.

Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) about 11 years ago

This is a very helpful post. There are a lot of people out there that don't realize that using the work of others without their permission is a very serious offense.

Posted by Dan and Amy Schuman, Luxury Home Specialists (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 11 years ago

I got caught twice ...totally my fault...was a bunch of old blogs before I knew better.....got two messages and removed them immediately...the people were nice enough to actually let me keep them as long as I added a mention of their image...I did....thank you for not suing me:)

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) about 11 years ago

Tim, the risks make me nervous because I see so many people casually using stuff and/or taking for granted that what one person would allow a friend to do is not the same as what he or she would allow a stranger or acquaintance to do. I have very interesting electronic debates/arguments on this subject. Sometimes I think I talk more electronically than in real life because getting it in writing can save you later if you have to prove what has been going on.  ;-)




Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Neal, I've been trying to compromise with people that I catch because if they intended no harm and didn't understand the ramifications of what they were doing I think it is more important to peacefully get their cooperation. Good will goes a long way on-line. There have been a couple of people that pushed me to the brink of litigation but I haven't formally filed anything against anyone regarding this issue. I may with the ones who are really out of hand because I get bent out of shape when my wee people are touched in any manner I did not authorize. My boys are cyber-babies. They love the Internet. They will boot me off my chair and demand that I "go to my room," pull up a video and start howling with laughter at themselves. It's mad fun to see them so happy. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Dan and Amy, I am glad that you found it helpful and I have been working on part two with the girls. Fair Use will be coming up around lunch time. We did late night reading court cases (LOL). Squeezed in some Internet TV too. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

very interesting and informative post although I think that it will continue to happen over and over

Posted by Gene perez (Greater Mortgage Solutions & Valley Hills Realty ) about 11 years ago

Gene, I am hoping as more people talk about the subject less people will be inclined to take the risk. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Wow, Carolyn. Some truly fascinating stuff! I have a friend who will be going to law school soon in order to practice in the new internet world of law...stuff like what happens to your online "stuff" if you die? Who can access accounts you never gave anyone a password to get in? I wish days were 48 hours long...I would love to do this stuff too! 

Posted by SarahGray Lamm, Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience (Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 ) about 11 years ago

SarahGray, BB and TLW mentioned something about making a master list of all accounts and passwords. Might be a good thing to keep with your will so people can be notified of a death through social media accounts and the family estate can supervise the rights. You can pass your intellectual rights down to who ever you choose. Hmm... you may want to write about that. I have to go get Sana so we can start our criss crossing schedules (LOL). If I happen to hunt down a legal eagle gal pal I shall ask.

Time to migrate to the outdoor office. Will be blogging in Forest Hills somewhere, among a few other places (LOL). It's raining so I may pick the NY Sports Club or Starbucks. We'll see...  ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Okay WayWard Child...

I've just deleted comment #12. I only have it posted one time elsewhere. I think. But I'll look around and stay away from that site.

And just so you know I had much trouble locating their TOS page. I also noted that they wanted to dump crap in my p.c. I use AVG and FireFox so they weren't able to. They did however dump 7 LSO cookies. I already poofed them :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

My girl! There you go...  Mama, I was worried about the cookies myself (LOL). Cleaned those puppies out right away. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Alright, so Debe stole my line - Elvis has left the building - I suppose that's copyrighted too!

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 11 years ago

LOL @ Christine. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

C, Thank you for your response and a glimmer of hope!  This has been going on for YEARS but my articles are blatantly being used to promote a book I had nothing to do with.  There is no email or way to even contact this person--IF they exist and they know full well what they are doing.

I had at one point contacted Lenn but her attorney was expensive.  I would also have to prove (I believe) a liability issue such as what impact this had on my business....which I would have no way of knowing.  I had in the past contacted the sites my articles came from including E Blogger, Selfgrowth and Ezines and not a one answered me.  It is so upsetting to get a Google Alert and see your writings promoting someone else's book.


I was going to write a post (Just before you started this series) that was titled with his name...and ended with "And why are you Stealing my Articles?"  I guess I can't do that :)


I'm ready for lunch anytime you are!!  Except weekends, I work most weekends!  Thank you for your help, I appreciate it very much!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 11 years ago

Carole, I will call you after I pick up the kids and drop them off with Mikey. Lunch may turn into dinner if this has been going on for a long time. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 11 years ago

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