back to article Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog

Hollywood film actor Tom Hanks' WhoSay page is attributing copyright of a photograph to the millionaire rather than to the British photographer from Cornwall to whom it actually belongs - and the plucky Brit is now fighting for the recognition he deserves. The photo was taken by snapper Tim Martindale last year, and features …

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  1. JDX Gold badge

    Isn't Hanks one of the decent ones, and this is therefore most likely casual ignorance of the type "that's cool, I want to share it"?

    Hopefully it will get a good outcome and my illusions won't be shattered :)

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      "that's cool, I want to share it"?

      but put a copyright logo and your name on it so noone else will share it?

      1. Gav

        As the article notes, it was most likely the whosay website that added the copyright. Notice that they also splatted their logo onto the bottom right corner. Hanks didn't add that.

        This is typical tactics on many websites. Lift content from elsewhere, add your own watermark.

        1. Fink-Nottle
          Thumb Down

          Humbug

          I note that Tim Martingdale stated on his website that he'd be wearing his dad's medals on Remembrance Sunday.

          The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

          I suppose the moral niceties of attribution and rights only apply to your own works when you're a commercial photographer.

          1. Random Handle

            Re: Humbug

            >The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

            ...... the official position is that they should be worn on the right.

          2. Martin Summers Silver badge

            Re: Humbug

            Aren't you a joyous individual. The man is proudly displaying and honouring his father's achievements and heroism. Not passing off as your sick suggestion would make him out to be.

            1. Fink-Nottle

              Re: Humbug

              > Aren't you a joyous individual. The man is proudly displaying and honouring his father's achievements and heroism. Not passing off as your sick suggestion would make him out to be.

              I did not imply that he was passing off his father's medals as his own. I am aware of the custom of wearing a family member's medals on the right breast on Remembrance Day and, as a number of commentards have pointed out, provision for this is made in the Ceremonial Rules of the Royal British Legion. Nevertheless, although the practice is generally accepted I believe it is not officially sanctioned.

              The point of my previous post was that an analogy can be drawn:

              It's unlikely the photographer would be aware that wearing his dad's medals does not conform with the letter of the law. Similarly, it is unlikely that Tom Hanks (or more likely a staffer) was aware that posting the image would fall foul of copyright law.

              Also, just as wearing his father's medals is not an attempt by the photographer to claim them as his own, it is equally improbable that Tom Hanks intended to pass off the images as his own.

              As the OP noted, this is more than likely a case of 'casual ignorance'; to claim that attribution has been stolen is unnecessary hyperbole.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Humbug

                > It's unlikely the photographer would be aware that wearing his dad's medals does not conform with the letter of the law.

                But it does conform with the letter of the law. It is not breaking any act of Parliament or any local ordinance.

                1. Fink-Nottle

                  Re: Humbug

                  >But it does conform with the letter of the law. It is not breaking any act of Parliament or any local ordinance.

                  You may not like it, but the law is unequivocal. Wearing a decoration without authority contravenes 197(1)(a) of the Army Act of 1955.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Humbug

                    > You may not like it, but the law is unequivocal. Wearing a decoration without authority contravenes 197(1)(a) of the Army Act of 1955.

                    You may not like it but the Army Act 1955 was superseded by the Armed Forces Act 2006 which has no such provision.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Humbug

                    > The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

                    > Wearing a decoration without authority contravenes 197(1)(a) of the Army Act of 1955.

                    Even when the Army Act 1955 was in force it still did not prevent you from wearing the medals your Father earned. If you are given the authority to wear the medals then you can wear them.

                    It is highly unlikely that an organisation such as The Royal British Legion would actively promote breaking the law by encouraging you to wear a relatives decorations. I suspect that the authority to allow a person to wear another’s medals has been delegated to the Royal British Legion.

                    1. Fink-Nottle

                      Re: Humbug

                      > You may not like it but the Army Act 1955 was superseded by the Armed Forces Act 2006 which has no such provision.

                      I apologise for my initial comment.

                      You are indeed correct. Since the repeal of the Army Act 1955 anyone is free to wear their relative's medals.

                      > It is highly unlikely that an organisation such as The Royal British Legion would actively promote breaking the law by encouraging you to wear a relatives decorations. I suspect that the authority to allow a person to wear another’s medals has been delegated to the Royal British Legion.

                      I believe the BL rules to be consistent with the special case of posthumous medal presented to next-of-kin. I suggest that the British Legion FAQ supports this reading.

              2. Gav

                Re: Humbug

                "Similarly, it is unlikely that Tom Hanks (or more likely a staffer) was aware that posting the image would fall foul of copyright law."

                Tom Hanks is a highly experienced operator in Hollywood. His staff are running a high-profile website. It's not credible that they are happily oblivious of copyright law. But, as I said, I think it's more likely that the culprit here is whosay, a publishing outfit that should certainly know copyright law.

                The practices (not laws) regarding wearing medals are far more arcane and a photographer has no particular need to know them.

              3. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
                Flame

                @Fink-Nottle

                If you dig deep enough, you may find some coal. Is that why you are doing this?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Humbug

            For your information Fink-Nottle regarding the wearing of a deceased relatives medals. Maybe read further than the first comment in an article.

            Taken from www.britishlegion.org.uk

            CAN I WEAR MEDALS BELONGING TO MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY?

            "The Legion takes a pragmatic view and our Ceremonial Rules state:

            The official rules for wearing medals allow only official awards to be worn. Unofficial purchased medals and foreign medals which do not have the Sovereign's permission to be worn are not allowed. Standard Bearers, Parade Marshals and other officials on Legion duty are bound by this ruling and unofficial medals must not be worn when on Legion duty.The medals awarded to a deceased Service / ex-Service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative (mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter and son). Not more than one group should be worn by any individual.

            One thing is certain, no action will be taken officially if anyone wears a relation's medals. In the Legion this practice is banned for Standard Bearers and parade officials and as stated above for other members."

            Taken from: www.rsl.org.au

            The Wearing of Medals and Decorations

            War medals may only be worn on the left breast by the persons upon whom they were conferred. The honour afforded remains with the individual and does not pass to a widow, parent, son or relative when the recipient is dead. Similarly, the same rules apply in cases where a posthumous award is made.

            The policy as it stands is that on the death of a recipient, technically, any honours and awards revert to the commonwealth in the first instance. The reality of course is that family members have an ambient claim and the commonwealth would not seek to intervene in medals being passed on directly within the family.

            Family members may wear their forebears medals on the right breast which indicates that they are not their own. There is no limitation or formal policy on what occasions they should be worn. In essence, the wearing of forebear's medals on the right breast is a convention passed down over the years that is largely dictated by the occasion and (ideally) a measure of decorum fitting the event. They should not be worn lightly or where it would be inappropriate to do so.

            For uniformed personnel, on ANZAC and Remembrance days only, modification of normal service dress code is allowed whereby they wear their own medals on the left breast accompanied (if they wish) by their ancestor's on the right.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Humbug

              > For your information Fink-Nottle regarding the wearing of a deceased relatives medals. Maybe read further than the first comment in an article.

              Taken from Veterans Affairs Canada

              Can I wear my relative’s medals?

              Medals may only be worn by the veteran. This is considered of such high importance that it is a criminal offense to wear military medals that someone else has earned.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Humbug

                > Taken from Veterans Affairs Canada

                He is British, not Canadian. He will be wearing the medals in the UK, not Canada. The medals were awarded by the UK Armed Forces not the Canadian Armed Forces.

                This means he can even wear the medals in Canada since the Canadian law only applies to medals awarded by Canada and not to medals awarded by any other country.

          4. Chas

            Re: Humbug

            From the British Legion's website:

            "The official rules for wearing medals allow only official awards to be worn. Unofficial purchased medals and foreign medals which do not have the Sovereign's permission to be worn are not allowed. Standard Bearers, Parade Marshals and other officials on Legion duty are bound by this ruling and unofficial medals must not be worn when on Legion duty.The medals awarded to a deceased Service / ex-Service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative (mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter and son). Not more than one group should be worn by any individual."

          5. Gergmchairy

            Re: Humbug

            Officially you are correct, but these British Legion rules seem to be the most popular:

            The official rules for wearing medals allow only official awards to be worn. Unofficial purchased medals and foreign medals which do not have the Sovereign's permission to be worn are not allowed. Standard Bearers, Parade Marshals and other officials on Legion duty are bound by this ruling and unofficial medals must not be worn when on Legion duty.The medals awarded to a deceased Service / ex-Service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative (mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter and son). Not more than one group should be worn by any individual.

            I hope that one day my son will continue wearing the medals I have earnt serving my country...

          6. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            Re: Humbug

            > The official position is that you should not wear medals other than your own.

            The official position is that your wear the medals you have earned on your left side. If you are wearing somebody else's medals then you wear them on your right side.

            He has every right to wear his Fathers medals.

          7. rh587 Bronze badge

            Re: Humbug

            As Random Handle states, medals worn on behalf of someone should worn on the right. You wear your own medals on the left.

            This is what Beckham got called out for at the Royal Wedding - he'd wore his OBE on his right, incorrectly as it was his.

          8. Uffish

            Re: Humbug.

            Fink-Nottle, you're a cad.

          9. Chris Parsons

            Re: Humbug

            Gussie Fink-Nottle, after whom you no doubt have taken your nom de plume, was a nice character. I suggest you change your online name to 'Spode'.

            1. nematoad Silver badge

              Re: Humbug

              "Gussie Fink-Nottle, after whom you no doubt have taken your nom de plume, was a nice character. I suggest you change your online name to 'Spode'".

              Yeah, stick to the newts and leave thinking to others better equipped for it.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Gav- "This is typical tactics on many websites. Lift content from elsewhere, add your own watermark."

          IP attorneys love it when people and organizations do that. It supports a claim of "Willful" infringement and the possible statutory fine can be $150K in addition to punitive awards and attorney's fees. It can be much cheaper to leave the original copyright mark on.

    2. NotWorkAdmin

      "that's cool, I want to share it"

      Fairly normal human response. Difference is, I just watched Saving Private Ryan and while I'd love to share it, it's a crime to do so.

    3. BillG Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Isn't Hanks one of the decent ones,

      A celebrity's public image can be the opposite of their real persona.

  2. 's water music Silver badge
    Joke

    disgraceful

    tom hanks, like, actually took part in the american liberation of yerp at normandy. I think it is disgraceful to be attacking a war hero like this. #notcoolbro #whatwouldwilsondo?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Copyright

    Is an archaic and obsolete arts trade union/ guilds law that is no longer fit for purpose in the modern age. When an entire library can be held on a postage stamp and copied in an instant it makes our law makers and enforcers look foolish and stupid in trying to stop copying.

    This case highlights the not very funny joke that is copyright and it's purpose to perpetuate a protected monopoly on the production and distribution of media by the incumbent and wealthy.

    Good luck to Marindale using their own weapons against them and I hope he gets at least $1m dollars damages.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Copyright

      Yes, Tim like every individual needs strong law to protect his digital property rights. So justice can be done. I'm glad you agree that stopping copying is so important.

      (The rest of your comments just reflects your intellectual confusion. But that's only really a problem for you.)

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Hollerith 1

      Re: Copyright

      rm -rf, I can only guess that you don't produce any music, art, written words etc for sale outside your employer's environment, so you have never watched something you devised and spent a long time to create suddenly become 'free'. I do think that the antique ways that individuals can enforce copyright works against their interests. We need a lot more controls built into anything we release. I am not meaning DRM, but sort of 'who is using'?

      When a short story of mine appears in an anthology selling for 49cents, grabbed by thieves and added to an ebook, or when someone grabs it and offers it as their own work online it loses all value for me, because people will not buy if they can use a pirated copy. I not only lose the tiny bit of money i would get, but the recognition for my work. And really, the recognition is important, because the money is something.

      But I guess you'd say my stories want to be 'free' and that there can be no concept of my 'owning' them if I offer them digitally. I guess that leaves me with my paperbacks, and closed out f the modern world. Is this where you want to head? The little guy elbowed out of the creative arena?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copyright

      "Copyright

      Is an archaic and obsolete arts trade union/ guilds law that is no longer fit for purpose in the modern age. When an entire library can be held on a postage stamp and copied in an instant it makes our law makers and enforcers look foolish and stupid in trying to stop copying."

      What? Someone produces something (music, art, photo, a poem), therefore they have every right to profit from that work. Just because it's quick and easy to copy doesn't mean that copyright is obselete.

      "This case highlights the not very funny joke that is copyright and it's purpose to perpetuate a protected monopoly on the production and distribution of media by the incumbent and wealthy."

      Anybody can produce 'stuff', it's the publishing which is the difficult bit. In the old days it was the publishing houses, record companies, picture libraries which had the control, now it's Amazon, google and Apple. In the case of google, it's actually based on the back of piracy (half of youtube is someone elses copyright).

      "Good luck to Marindale using their own weapons against them and I hope he gets at least $1m dollars damages."

      Your logic has just done a 180 degree turn. Either copyright laws are obselete or they aren't. You can't start your argument in one way, then finish it with the contrary point of view!!

      I think your desire to justify your own piracy has just crashed into your desire to 'stick it to the man'...

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Copyright

        You can't start your argument in one way, then finish it with the contrary point of view!!

        In a stunning example of cognitive dissonance, that is exactly what was done.

        1. Not That Andrew

          Re: Copyright

          I think he was attempting sarcasm, if so it was an "epic fail" as I believe the kids say today.

    4. sorry, what?
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Copyright

      You seem a bit confused. Firstly lambasting copyright and then wishing the victim of copyright theft luck. Or is it me getting confused?

      My dad is an artist and without patents and copyrights his livelihood would have been jolly rogered. It was hard enough growing up as the child of artists, with their Bohemian approach and two pennies to rub together. It would have been far worse without those pennies.

    5. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Copyright

      I have sympathy with both views. As a society we wish to provide protection to the creators, however the copyright laws as they exist are based on the premise that copying is a difficult process so that anyone who does copy has willfully infringed.

      I recently got accused of copyright violation because I copied an email to a blog, not realizing that the text was intended to become part of a book. My subsequent investigation into copyright law showed there are many misconceptions about copyright law and how easy it is to transgress.

      Even when trying to do the right thing, trying to ascertain the copyright status of a piece of work is a minefield. To work out whether a photo is still in copyright in the UK you have to know the following(http://photographyformortals.blogspot.com/2014/05/copyright-or-copywrong.html)

      When the photo was taken

      Who by

      Are they still alive? If not when did they die.

      Was it published and if so when.

      It is no surprise then that many face with the situation will just say bugger it and use the photo anyway.

      Remember as well as allowing proper remuneration to the creators the idea of copyright is that the works eventually become part of the creative commons. Unfortunately the power grab by companies such as Disney (a company founded on ripping off historic work with little recompense) has meant that copyright law has extended the privilege with little given back to the general good.

      Like I said I have sympathy for anyone who feels there work has been stolen with no recompense. On the other hand, copyright law as designed does little to protect the individual but does give huge power to the mega corps. It is a question whether we should be continuing the myth that copyright protects, and instead look at new ways to ensure the creators get there due recompense without the need for a law which pretends to be for eh public good, but in fact does the exact opposite

      1. Tom 13
        FAIL

        Re: copyright laws as they exist are based on the premise that copying is a difficult process

        Copyright law has ALWAYS been premised on the fact that copying is easier that writing the original, hence the penalties and enhanced penalties.

        1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

          Re: copyright laws as they exist are based on the premise that copying is a difficult process

          Well it's always been easier, but it was still involved a large industrial process and so was restricted. Now the barriers to producing a perfect copy are ridiculously low and open to virtually everyone.

          On that basis enforcing copyright as originally defined is not really feasible anymore.

  4. IT Hack

    Shurely if its digital its free...stands to reason innit...

    oh wait...

  5. FlatSpot
    FAIL

    "Martindale says he isn’t out for personal enrichment, but wants to raise awareness of digital property theft – a digital right that self-styled “digital rights” activists never seem to recognise, let alone defend."

    Don't be a tool.. what is good for the goose is good for the gander.... its a crime just ask the FBI. An open and shut case $250k and 5 yrs in a federal prison.... it also funds terrorism so actually make that a cool $1 mill..

    Nice pic BTW

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "its a crime just ask the FBI. An open and shut case $250k and 5 yrs in a federal prison"

      Yes, because despite not extraditing CIA terrorists who bomb airliners, clearly the US will make an exception to their unspoken 'we'll prosecute your citizens but we'll never help you prosecute ours' rule over a JPG. Not.

  6. Rampant Spaniel

    I hope he sues. Whilst it's possible that Hank's never had anything directly to do with the infringement (most likely it was some agency hired to manage his internet image etc) the people responsible should be educated. As they are American a lawsuit and damages is the most appropriate way of doing that.

    His 20 quid may be a little low. I assume from that he is talking about its value as microstock as opposed to selling it via an agency as 'macrostock'*. Given the resolution used, the quality of the execution and the strength of the original concept the licence would have been in the 500 to 800 region, well worth recouping. I'm not sure if he would be able to go for punitive damages, especially if the copyright wasn't registered.

    The comment from the beeb is golden! I assume then they will not be claiming any copyright over any of the work they put into the public domain over the airwaves or via the internet? I think they may be confusing trademarks with copyright? Or just making it up as they go along.

    *Microstock is basically where a SMWAC uploads thousands of pictures of their kids, their holiday to Skegness and half rotten fish heads on the beach to a website and maybe gets paid a quid or two for a very generic licence if they are lucky but in theory the volume of sales makes up for a decent total (there are occasionally some decent microstock images but in general its dross). Macrostock is where photographers place a more honed selection of images with an agency who sell more specialised licences for much higher sums. At the end of their career a photog might have thousands of images placed but they will placed an order of magnitude less that microstock photogs over the same timeframe.

    1. Dave Bell

      The term "public domain" has several different meanings. And there is a distinct meaning in US copyright law which seems to confuse a lot of people elsewhere. In the UK, "in the public domain" means (mostly) that the work is widely known. It's nothing to do with copyright. It's about privacy and such.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Public domain in the UK seems to correlate with "published" in the US. That might only be in the eyes of the public. In law, most first world countries are party to the Berne Convention regarding copyright and I believe that "public domain" is the same for all, ie; a work who's copyright has expired, a work by a government agency that does not qualify for copyright protection or a work that the author has release all claims for (a tough thing to do as copyright is fixed upon creation).

    2. heyrick Silver badge
      Unhappy

      especially if the copyright wasn't registered

      Not technically necessary, except in the US, as the granting of copyright is an automatic thing. However, in typical screwing-with-everybody-else's-laws: "The case Kernel Records Oy v Mosley found that registration is necessary for a lawsuit and that anything published online is considered a US work." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_registration]

      Accordingly, perhaps the best approach is to make a lot of noise about how "Tom Hanks, a fellow artist, STOLE my creation" and hope that either he or his agent come to some sort of arrangement to make the bad publicity go away, as the legal route is likely to be balanced heavily against the foreigner - - that bollocks about lack of registration removes punitive damages? The US is barely even bothering to follow the Berne Convention (witness the arbitrary messing with lengths of copyright protection in order to "protect" a stupid mouse).

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: especially if the copyright wasn't registered

        Not quite :) Copyright is formed at the creation of the work and you can sue, but you can only sue beyond the value of the work \ your loss if the work is registered (at least in the US). i.e. no punitive damages unless it has ALSO been registered.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: I hope he sues.

      As a 'Merkin, I do too. The site should be primary with Hanks as secondary, letters as appropriate to both before filing in court. I expect Hanks to settle quickly which should expedite rolling over the website. And yes, he should apply for the enhanced penalties since they slapped a false copyright on it.

  7. Peter Simpson 1
    Pirate

    Not subject to copyright laws?

    "Twitter is a social network platform which is available to most people who have a computer and therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain."

    So is Pirate Bay...

    :-)

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: Not subject to copyright laws?

      Cute!

      But the big difference is that the copyright holder is the one who posts the work to twitter... ;-)

      1. photobod

        Re: Not subject to copyright laws?

        Hardly. In the course of my work, I produce thousands of images for performers, celebrities and models. Much of the time, those images are licensed by me for them to use on their own web sites and social media feeds. My licensing conditions require that watermarks are retained. On performer's web sites, I require metadata to be included too. Where feasible, links back to me are also to be included. Of course social media doesn't usually make metadata retention or embedded links easy (though FB is actually not so hard wrt links or attribution tags) but none of that alters the fact that the vast majority of images of performers, etc. are most definitely *not* being posted by the copyright owner in most cases.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Not subject to copyright laws?

      ahhhh, No. Posting an image on the internet does not place it in the "public domain" anymore than publishing an image in a magazine or newspaper. The term "Public Domain" has a very defined meaning in copyright law and does not mean "viewable by the public". It's a very common mistake and can be a very expensive one to make if you copy an artistic work.

  8. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Devil

    I always knew Tom Hanks' nice-guy image was a sham!!

    He's probably putting puppies in a blender as I write this!

    (More likely, its someone working for his publicist that thought "Tom would think this picture is cool!" and got carried away with trying to prevent monetization of content placed on Mr. Hanks profile.)

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: I always knew Tom Hanks' nice-guy image was a sham!!

      From what I can tell the social network does this with every schleb's photo as they assume its the schleb owns the rights. A clumsy and stupid assumption.

      Stray thought: if copyright could not be assigned by the creator, no social network would dare do this.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @Andrew ... Re: I always knew Tom Hanks' nice-guy image was a sham!!

        The contracts of the social networks state that they have rights to whatever you share on their networks.

        I think that some state that if you don't explicitly state that you own the works, that the post is freely available under the creative commons licensing scheme.

        This is why you should be careful what you put out there and which social media sites you use.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: @Andrew ... I always knew Tom Hanks' nice-guy image was a sham!!

          Creative Commons has no legal standing unless an author specifically provides a document referencing them. On the other hand, the author of a creative work automatically becomes the owner of a copyright for that work as soon as it is in a fixed media (physical or digital. An idea in not copyrightable)

          The fine print on many social media Terms of Service does claim a rights grab and they haven't been seriously challenged to date. How does a poor photographer take FB to court? It's better not to post anything to a social media site that you care anything about. Use low quality images or embed a link to them from your own website.

  9. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Simply pathetic

    If you look closely at the bottom left corner you can see part of Tim's original copyright mark just below the one added which wrongly attributes the copyright. Even if WhoSay was sent a cropped copy, someone must have noticed the remaining text and wondered where it came from because it's clearly different from a time/date stamp on a digital camera.

    1. Terry Cloth

      Re: Simply pathetic

      I'd like to check out that truncated original copyright, but either a) the photo's been removed from Hanks's Whosay page, or b) my stingy attitude toward allowing Javascript and cookies has interefered with seeing it.

  10. PeteKernow

    No Excuse

    Really Tom you or your staff should read the Terms of Use on WhoSay, seems you overlooked an important section >>> I guess you didn't read this important part > By submitting or sending Submitted Materials to us, you: (i) represent and warrant that the Submitted Materials are original to you, or that you own or have all necessary rights, licenses, consents, releases and permissions to submit and post the Submitted Materials, or that no other party has any rights thereto, The same applies to Twitter, Facebook.

    This Image is the Copyrighted intellectual property of Tim Martindale The Original having been published on his Website with dimensions of 1,231 × 1,500 JPEG (1.8 megapixels) and his Facebook Page on 9th November 2013. Consent, permission, licence should be the norm for such a high profile celebrity. This is definitely a Copyright violation in my opinion.

    Copyright is an automatic right, which means you don't have to apply for it.

    Copyright applies to original artistic works such as paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, photographs, diagrams, maps, works of architecture and works of artistic craftsmanship.

    Copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work lasts for the life of the author and 70 years from the end of the year in which he/she died.

    1. ptmmac

      Re: No Excuse

      The only problem with copyright is the extrme greed and over reach created by the corporate lobbies from companies like Disney. The term of ownership is at least 10 fold too long. The gap between what is and what ought to be in the law always exists until it grows so egregious that the law simply fails to function. The owner has had his work stolen. 2 problems greatly reduce his chances of getting his legal rights protected. One is the ease of the theft. No law can function when enforcement is impossible. The second problem is with the underlying contract between the government and the creator of the work. The government and its citizens are supposed to be enriched with easy access to the copyrighted work after a reasonable period of time. 10 to 15 years is nearly forever in a digital society that creates a nearly exponential growth in media. 20 years was the original grant in the USA before Disney began lobbying for copyright extensions. In a just legal framework, our society should have access to all copyrights before 1994. If this fundamental inequity is not addressed copyrights will die.

      Nothing could be a bigger disservice to our society then the current system. Lawlessness is enriching the thieves, and we are all being forced to pay for works that should be free. So the current situation leaves the law completely free of its most essential component: justice. Is it any surprise the Law is failing?

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Really Tom you or your staff should read the Terms of Use on WhoSay

      Really? Who in the world reads the terms of use of any website they sign up let alone all of them?

    3. Stretch

      70 Years

      What absolute bullshit. 70 years? That's not helping anyone except copyright trolls.

      Anyway. You all must get over this SILLY notion that you have a right to get paid. You don't. Your pictures are not worth anything. Your music is not worth anything. Your art is not worth anything. Your software is not worth anything.

      If you want to get paid, you get paid by working on commission, at an agreed rate and hopefully in advance.

  11. emmanuel goldstein

    shock horror...

    even some news websites "borrow" uncredited thumbnail images for the top stories ;)

    1. Zot
      Big Brother

      Re: shock horror...

      Yeah Reg, who owns the copyright of that 1984 picture, hmmm?

      :p

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: shock horror...

      There are situations where recognized news agencies can use images under the Fair Use Doctrine without seeking the permission of the copyright holder. It's a very fine line and can be a nearly impossible defense if you aren't an established news organization.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From my experience

    I found that some of my images were being used by another 'so-called' photographer. They'd even put their own watermark on one of them!

    They disputed my claim over the image so I sued. They settled when I showed their lawyer low res jpeg's that I'd taken either side of the image in question. I'd also asked the fake snapper to tell me exactly where the images were taken but they declined. They failed and paid me $1000 plus my US Legal costs($4500) as an out of court settlement. The whole thing took more than 6 months of effort on my part. I was even prepared to fly to hichsville USA and appear in court, I was so angry. I am glad that I don't rely on Photography for an income.

    Now, I don't post anything on the internet. A recent holiday saw me take more than 6500 photos. Some are pretty good and may go into an ebook but as for high res images? forget about it.

    My moral is, don't post anything on the internet that is any good. Crap selfies are ok but those really good ones? forget it.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: From my experience

      Thank-you for taking the time to defend yourself, especially as you might have had to travel internationally to do so.

      I think if more people took the time to defend themselves, I think we'd have fewer problems with this sort of thing.

  13. photobod

    It's been a bone of contention among many pro photographers for a long time that systematic commercial copyright theft is not dealt with unless the copyright owner is themselves a bg business.

    UK and EU copyright law allows for criminal prosecution (as opposed to a civil action by the copyright owner) when such theft is committed as part of businesses regular mode of operation. It's the basis for all of the high-profile piracy prosecutions.

    Of course, in those cases, it's done on behalf of a corporation or trade body representing big business, and most often used against individuals. When was the last time you heard about a corporation such as the BBC, Facebook, etc. being prosecuted under criminal law for the literally millions of individual instances of theft in which they actively participate, or enable and encourage, by virtue of their standard business practices? Individuals face fines and/or imprisonment upon conviction. Corporations should face confiscation of assets and restrictions on their freedom to do business. Those found guilty in a criminal case would also find it very hard to fight the ensuing deluge of civil cases.

    So, why exactly is it that the public prosecution service completely ignores well known and documented, systematic copyright theft by big business?

    That's a rhetorical question, of course.

  14. Charles Manning

    Tim, grow a pair

    Instead of just whinging, get your lawyer to send a demand to Tom Hanks for a healthy amount of folding.

    He, whether directly or indirectly through his PR people, has abused your copyright.

    Whinging in El Reg does nothing.

    If you want to get anywhere useful you will need to lawyer up.

  15. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Iplayer

    Iplayer is available on the internet, I shall claim copyright on all of Doctor Who.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF

    So a website has a picture that's credited to the wrong person.

    What an incredibly rare event that must be.

    And a bloke lost 20 quid. That's pretty unusual too.

    </sarcasm>

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: WTF

      Ah, but you don't seem to understand anything. What's important here is that one of two things happen: A) society rewind technological advancement so that we can't possibly violate copyright or B) anyone who violates copyright should have their lives ruined, be made financially destitute for what remains of their sad existence and thrown in a federal ass-rape prison for longer than a murderer.

      Only if one of these two things happens will society have honored the fundamental moral rights of Creators(*).

      Oh, wait, I lied. The world isn't a fuzzy and beautiful place until we recognize the fundamental moral right of creators to perpetual copyright. You see, Creators(*) are just fundementally different from you and I. If you go to work and create a script that saves your company $2M every year you don't have a fundamental moral right to make a living off that script forever. That's a couple day's salary, at best.

      Obviously, you knew this when you signed up, and you have no right to dine on that forever because you're not a Creator(*). Now a Creator(*) deserves perpetuity. That's just and moral. It's how proper societies comport themselves. Everyone else, however, has to generate fresh value every single day if they want to survive. Creators(*), however, are morally entitled to dine on that one thing forever, as are their descendants, and their descendants...at least until the world loses interest.

      Now, the world losing interest is a problem. But this is where that perpetuity comes in. Derivative works must be stamped out(**). The mere idea that someone might take Mickey Mouse and start evolving the character is sacrilege! I mean, you might get Mickey Mouse, Warfighter or Gay Mouse or even Steamboat Slaughterhouse 14: Pluto gets Dead.

      Hell, maybe you'd see an entire series about Mickey Mouse in space, where our beloved childhood hero attempts to colonize another world, and deals with existential contemplation alongside Minnie and Pluto and Donald Duck. Holy shitballs, that would be a moral travesty so dire that our society would never recover from it.

      That's as crazy as someone taking a bunch of children's stories from before modern copyright existed, then twisting and perverting them beyond recognition in order to coldly and callously extract every last cent of profit from another culture's mythology. Then suing anyone into the ground that tried to use that same mythology for their own works!

      Don't you understand why derivative works must be prevented, and copyright must exist forever, and why, above all, copyright must be defended to the point of jailing or ruining millions? No? Then you're obviously immoral. Set yourself on fire, you heathen bastard.

      Of course, sane and rational approaches to dealing with copyright are verboten. Reasonable limits on copyright that mean copyright holders have to work for a living are heresy. Any sort of global copyright pool and actually using technology to determine who gets what % of it is madness. It's better to rail against modern technology and human nature than attempt to use that same technology to solve the problem in a cost efficient and user-friendly way.

      Anyone who uses a carrot is immoral; you must use the stick and beat the sin out 'em, or they'll never learn.

      So here was have a case where copyright was violated. It's a pretty clear cut example of a photgrapher not getting the tuppence he was due, along with his name in letters on the bottom corner. Someone - probably the website used, not Tom Hanks - made a boo boo.

      Instead of sitting down and having a real talk about copyright and coming up with a compromise that suits all members of society, the incident is used for browbeating and the digital copyright equivalent of "slut shaming."

      Stick, stick, stick...and never even a hint of a carrot.

      The thing is - and your comment spells it out beautifully - the average person doesn't give a shit about copyright. Those of us with shrew-like mothers who use guilt as a weapon know why: eventually, you become completely immune to religious-inspired attempts to guilt-trip you into doing something purely for the benefit of someone else.

      The problem here is that there's a bunch of us in the this world who simply don't agree that Creators(*) have a fundamental moral right to perpetual copyright, controlling derivative works and a bunch of other legally sanctioned thuggery. Many of us engage in digital hooliganism because of this, others simply tune out moralistic preaching from copyright maximalists, even when they have a legitimate grievance.

      Bad blood has developed, and the only hope for rapprochement is to set down the stick and start hunting for wild carrots.

      Sadly, this isn't likely to happen. Actual discussion about how to shape copyright in the 21st century to deal with both human nature and the explosive growth of technology will remain stymied until the old guard finally die off. Like science, it seems the evolution of rights must proceed one funeral at a time.

      So expect a lot of this sort of thing. One side or the other holding up every infraction they can find as somehow emblematic and indicative of all of society's ills. Hatred and vitriol, sniping and guilting.

      We have to wait for extremists on both sides to die off before we can reach a compromise that doesn't require enforcement of it's policies upon the masses at the barrel of a policeperson's gun.

      *Actually, what needs defending is the rights of large content pigopolies. You see, these are actually fantastic organizations for reasons that change daily and are difficult to articulate. I think it has something to do with "content creators know what they're doing when they assign copyright to a pigopoly" and "the pigopoly is morally entitled to elevteen squillion times the amount they actually pay artists because of the horrible burden of marketing and producing anything in this era of automated marketing and production." Your milage will vary depending on which copyright maximalist you talk to and how many bits of circular reasoning you've called them out on so far.

      **Ignore the part where everything created since our antecedent species started scratching on walls and banging sticks together is derivative of that which went before. Creators(*) are special in that everything they do is non-derivative, unless someone is deriving from them. Don't look for logic here, this is about morality, damn it!

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: WTF

        Oh, and yes, I'm lumping in together a bunch of extremist copyright stances together to make a point. It's a general disparagement of the collective inability to even consider compromise. Just for those who can't grok that bit...

        1. Sixtysix
          Joke

          Re: Re: WTF

          Trevor, all your post needed was a TL:DR...

          ...but you nearly nailed it in the addendum.

  17. James Boag

    Do us all a favor

    Ban Hanks from the UK,

    Ban all his films.

    Seem only fair and he has transgressed the copyright laws, that's usually a hanging offence nowadays !

  18. astrax

    Tom has issued a statement in regards to this incident:

    "I'm not a smart man... but I know what copyright is."

  19. Irongut

    Screw him for every penny he's got. It might make up for all those god awful films he's made.

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