Jan 18, 2017

Copyright Infringement - Step by Step directions on how to fight it, and why it is important.

Types of Copyright Infringement

1. Hotlinking, Inline linking, or direct linking your images 



Hotlinking or direct linking is a techniques used to have an images from one website show up on another website.  The infringing website simply links to an image on from another website. 

Why you should be concerned about this type of copyright infringement:


1. Website owners are using your bandwidth to serve images to their website.  Basically you are paying for their content., and they get free content.

2.  Most websites that "hotlink" will hotlink many of your images, not just one. This slows down your website which affects your web ranking.

3. Google ranks you on your unique content. When other websites use your images, it could lower your web ranking because it doesn't have unique, and this could cost you potential customers.

2. Derivative Works

Derivative works are basically copies of an original works with some basic changes. If a work can still be recognizable as coming from the original work, then it is a derivative. Derivative works are copyright infringement.

3. Using your Images without Your Permission

It is illegal to copy an image and use it on a website without the permission of the copyright owner. 


Not Always a Bad Thing

Remember you do want backlinks because this is also good for web ranking. However, you have to decide which are good backlinks and which aren't. You don't want a disreputable website linking to yours because this can also affect your web ranking.  If you see a website that is using your image and they are reputable, make sure that they are giving you credit and linking back to your website with an active link that doesn't have a rel="nofollow" on the link.  If they put the "nofollow" on the link, they are basically telling Google that this link is not important. You may get some credit for that link as far as web ranking goes, but it may be considered lower. Google says they don't follow rel="nofollows", but every image on Pinterest has a nofollow and they definitely follow those.

Nofollows - You will have to look at the source code of the website (the html) in order to find out if the link has a rel="nofollow" on the link. This is done differently in different browsers.

Chrome:
Safari:

So if you can get the web owner who is using your image to give your web site credit and link back to your website without using the nofollow this can be of benefit to you.

Reporting Copyright Infringement

I have been reporting copyright infringement for many years and have developed a technique that works for me.  Here are some tips.

1. First put your url - web address - on all your images so it can be clearly seen.

This is important because no matter what you do there will be images that you just cannot remove from the web.  If it has your url, at least people can see where to go to find out more about the image.

2.  Place clear copyright regulations on your website on a separate page. 

Tell people what they can and cannot do with your images. Post a link to your copyright regulations on every page of your website.

3. Contact the infringing website owner if possible.

This isn't always possible, but if it is, try to contact the website owner and let them know that you aren't happy with their infringement. Many people do not understand copyright law. They think that if they state where the image comes from they aren't in violation of copyright law.  Be polite and explain that this is not true, they must have permission and follow your copyright regulations.

Finding all images from your website:
https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search

To check to see if websites are using your images, type in your web address to see all images from your website.  This will not only show the images you are using on your website but any images other websites are hotlinking. Just float your mouse over the images and you will see the url of the site that is using them.

Use Google's "Image Search" Feature to find all website using a specific image. Right-click on the image and select "Search Google for image" and you will get a list of all websites using that image or similar images.

If you find an image in a search that no longer goes to the page have Google remove it from the search.

Note: If you find a website that is just using images from other websites, clipart websites, coloring pages, etc. to make money off of advertising, don't contact them directly.  They really don't care and they know that they are infringing.  They do it because they know they can get away with it. They will just keep doing it unless you fill out DMCA notices against them.  If they get enough of these, their web service may cancel them.  But they will probably just find a new web service, but at least there is a record of their illegal activity.

Contact the Web Host


The first step is to find out who hosts the infringing website.  There are several websites that can help you find this. You can use the following website to find the web host of infringing websites:

http://www.whoishostingthis.com/
whois.com

EU - https://whois.eurid.eu/en/

http://www.domainwhitepages.com/


Here is a List of Web Hosts 

Here is a list of web hosts, their Copyright Abuse Addresses, and tips on sending in the DMCA takedown notice. (See below on how to make a DMCA takedown notice.)  Many web hosts require you to fill out their online form, while this is quicker, you don't have a copy of the infringement notice.  

Make sure you have a system to keep track of the DMCA notices you sent. (See keeping track of DMCA notices below).

Cloudflare - Go to https://www.cloudflare.com/abuse/form

Fill out the form online.
Warning - Before filling out this form type everything out in an email to yourself.  If you take to long to fill out this form, it will timeout, and you will have to start all over again.
Choose an abuse type - Select "Copyright infringement and DMCA violations"
If you are filling this form out more than once, make sure you use your F5 key to refresh the page each time or it will not work.
You don't have to fill out the form each time, just double click on the box and it will fill it out for you after the first time you fill it out.
Once the form has been submitted successfully, you will get a message at the top of the page that says they have received it.
Make sure you include all the information for each url because you can only submit one DMCA for each page every 7 days.

Ripe - https://stat.ripe.net/specials/abuse#abuse-contact-finder.resource

You must know the IP address (number of a website) to use this form. Instead of typing in the url, you type in the number.  Use this website or another to find the IP address of a website - https://www.site24x7.com/find-ip-address-of-web-site.html or http://www.whoishostingthis.com/.

Once you find the IP address, type it in the box with the yellow outline that says, "Enter an IP address".  The server abuse email address for that IP will show up in the box below.

Hetzner.de  - https://abuse.hetzner.de/issues/new?lang=en

You must fill out their from online.
Source* - is the infringing website's IP address - this is a number that corresponds to the web address. Use http://whatismyipaddress.com/hostname-ip to find the ip address. Just copy and past the web url into the book and click on "Look up IP address, a long number will appear. Copy and paste that number as the source.

Bluehost -  https://www.bluehost.com/copyright-claims-policy

Google Blogger blogspot.com - Fill out the form here - https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dmca-notice?pid=4&rd=1

Godaddy Copyright Infringement Form - https://supportcenter.godaddy.com/abusereport
Under "Other" click on "here" under "Copyright/Trademark Infringement.
Just type in the website url without the rest.  Don't include the http://  Place the actual image address in the form or use the IP address.

abuse@eatserver.nl or postmaster@eatserver.nl
Send this website your own DMCA takedown notice, they don't have an online form.

Amazon Web Services
Send a DMCA notice to copyright@amazon.com
Or use the form on this page: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/reports/infringement

redtedart.com - send copyright infringement to abuse@paragon.net.uk

dmca@vultr.com
abuse@ioflood.com

.pt   Portugal Web sites - Use this page - http://www.websitecop.co.uk/DMCA-Notice-Generator.html


Privacy Protect - abuse@privacyprotect.org


How to keep track of your takedown notices

1. Every time you send in a DMCA notice make sure you send a CC to yourself. Place the email you sent to yourself in a folder in your email program that says something like "Sent DMCAs".  When the infringing material has been removed, more the email to another folder that says, "Completed DMCAs".

2.  Many companies require you to fill out their own forms. This can be a problem because you don't get a copy of what you filled out.  I always type up the copyright infringement in an email to myself with the web address of the company in the email.  I then save it in a folder called "Sent DMCAs"  When the image or text has been removed, move that email to a folded that says "Completed DMCAs". This makes it easy to keep track of DMCA that you filled out online.

Youtube Videos  - Youtube encourages you to allow your videos to be embedded on other websites. This is because it benefits them.  But it doesn't benefit the video copyright owner.  Always upload your videos in private, make it public, embed the video on your own website, and then deselect "allow embedding" so other websites can't embed the video. I have found that the only websites that embed your videos are scam websites, phishing and malware sites. I wouldn't recommend letting other websites embed your videos. Once they are embedded it is hard to get them taken down.

If you are monetizing your videos, do not let people embed them unless it is a reputable website. Also if you allow embedding there are many websites that have video players that strip the ads, annotations and any other words you have on the video. You will be losing money on those embedded videos.  If you don't allow embedding, when the searcher tries to watch your video on these video players, they will be forced to go to Youtube to watch the video which is what you want.

Removing Images from Search Results

After doing a google image search for your images on a website, follow the link to the website to make sure the image was removed.  Once it has been removed you can fill out a Google request to remove the image from the search results.

To do this go to "Removing Content From Google" page - https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905?rd=2#ts=1115655

The product is "Web Search"
Select - A piece of content I am concerned about has already been removed by the webmaster but still appears among the search results
Click on "This Tool" to take you to the form to fill out and fill out the form.

Click on the image in the search so that it shows up as a big picture with links to the page. Right-click on the image and select "Copy image address" 

Paste that address into the form and then click on "Request Removal"

Google will analyze the link and give you results. You will probably get this message " We think the image or web page you're trying to remove hasn't been removed by the site owner
Before Google can remove it from our search results, the site owner needs to take down or update the content."
Has the image or web page been updated or removed?

Select "Yes" and then click on "Next"

Then select - The entire page or image has been removed. 

It will then say "We may not always detect content that has been removed. If you are certain the entire page or image is removed, you can let us know to help us improve this feature."


Jul 30, 2015

Which Should You Buy? - Water Color Paint Lineup

August and September is the best time to buy art supplies for your children. All the stores are advertising back-to-school discounts, but it can be hard to tell which products are the best buys for the money. 

We wondered what brand of water color paint is the best for the money so we purchased three different brands: Crayola, Cra-Z-Art and Art Blast from Hobby Lobby. They all basically look the same on the outside, except Crayola is slightly larger and says "30% more than the next retail competitor". This claim proved to be true.  



We removed the paint chips to compare the amount of paint in each compartment and it was obvious that Crayola's contained at least 30% more.  The paint brush in the Crayola paints was also softer than the other two. The other two paint brushes had hard plastic bristles.

Next we tested the quality of the paint by painting swatches of each color. Here are the results:



Overall, Cra-Z-Art seemed to have the best colors, although Crayola was a close second. Cra-Z-Art had the blackest black.  Art Blast's colors weren't as saturated and even as the other two.

Results:

Cra-Z-Art paint cost $1.64, cheaper than both Crayola and Art Blast, so it was the best quality for the price, however it is made in China.

Crayola which cost $2.97, costs 58% more than Cra-Z-Art, but has a least 30% more paint, so it really only cost about 20% more than Cra-Z-Art paint. Crayola makes most of their products in the USA so you can pay 20% more and support a US business or buy the China-made Cra-Z-Art for 20% less.

Art Blast cost $1.99, and had about the same amount of paint as Cra-Z-Art, but the quality of the paint wasn't as good, however, Art Blast is made in the USA.







 

Jul 24, 2015

Back-to-school Crayon Lineup

We're starting to see stores stocking up and moving their school supplies to the front of store in anticipation of the new school year. They all offer discounts and incentives to shop at their stores, but it can be hard to know which brands you should buy. I decided to visit my local Walmart, Dollar Tree and 99¢ Only Store to see which stores carry the best crayons for the best price.  I must say I wasn't surprised at my discoveries, and was quite pleased that my instincts have been right.

I have always been partial to Crayola brands because I know they have quality products and have been in business since 1885, and best of all, most of their crayons are produced in the US. While Cra-Z-Art (formerly Rose Art) crayons are only half the price and are a close runner-up as far as quality, but they are produced in China.

The crayons I purchased at Dollar Tree and The 99¢ Only Store were actually much more expensive and of far lower quality.

The first thing I tested was the quality of the color and how well it actually spread over the paper.  I colored in the following chart to compare the crayons.

Back-to-School Crayon Lineup - Compare five different crayon products which were all purchased  on the same day. 
Crayola performed the best in the color swatch test, however Cra-Z-Art came in a close second. The purple and green Cra-Z-Art crayons clumped up more when I tried to color over them to make the color darker. The Crayola Crayons cost 50¢ for 24 crayons and the Cra-Z-Art was only half the price at 25¢ for 24 crayons. Even though both of these companies are American-based, Cra-Z-Art makes their crayons in China. So basically you have to decide whether or not the extra 25¢ is worth supporting an American-made product. I'm sure these prices are much lower than they usually are, so stock up now. At this price I doubt Walmart is making much of a profit on them.

Note* - Although I didn't include the Crayola Twistable crayons in this test, I have used them and found that the colors are far less saturated than the regular Crayola crayons. The twistables cost $2.97 for a box of 24 crayons, far more than the regular ones, but the actual crayon inside the twistable container is much smaller than the regular crayons. Why buy an inferior crayon that cost much more and leaves a plastic container that can't be recycled?  The only benefit to this crayon is that it is a less messy than the others. There are no crayon shavings, or peeled paper cover to clean up, and the crayons don't leave pieces behind when coloring.

I often hear people talk about how great the Dollar Tree and 99¢ Store are, but I have never been impressed. I have never really compared prices, but from what I could see they both have cheaply made products most of which are imported from China and other countries. And most of the things they do sell for  99¢ can be purchased for less at other stores. This proved to be mostly true with the crayons.

The Liqui-Mark Crayons from the Dollar Tree cost twice as much as the Cra-Z-Art crayons and three times as much as Crayola crayons and performed way below both the major brands. Their green crayon was more of the blue-green, not a true green. The pink crayon didn't want to spread over the paper and was streaky. There was no violet crayon, only a light violet and a dark purple. These crayons are more brittle than the major brands so they break easier.

Dollar Tree had by far the worst crayons.  Their crayons are made in Thailand imported by Greenbrier International, Inc. There are no names on the crayons. No matter how hard you press you can not make the color saturated.  Many of the crayons barely put color on the paper, and they smell like stinky perfume. You can't even use these crayons for melting projects because they don't melt at 200 degrees. You may be able to melt them at a very high temperature, but I didn't want to try, and that wouldn't be safe.  DON'T BUY THESE CRAYONS! The 64 crayons aren't worth $1.00, they aren't even worth a penny. I threw them away.

Dollar Tree also sells Playskool crayons. These are more expensive, a little better quality, but do not cover well and are quite messy because they leave a lot of crayon residue behind. The peach, apricot, and strawberry crayons all look like the same color and you can barely see them on the paper.  They are also a waste of money.

I also tested a box of 12 Sargent Jumbo crayons from the 99¢ Store (not pictured) and found that they colored very nicely. The only problem with these crayons is their color choice. They included three different varieties of orange.  It would have been better if they included a light blue or blue green instead of the carrot orange for more variety. These are nice crayons for very young children, but they are too big for detailed work. Sargent is another American-based company that makes their products in China.


Note - Although I didn't include the Crayola and Cra-Z-Art Washable crayons in this test I did test them separately. Both crayons worked well, the colors were saturated and comparable to the non-washable crayons. The biggest problem with these crayons is the cost. Crayola's are $2.47 compared with 50¢ for the non-washable crayons and Cra-Z-Art's were $1.47 compared to the 25¢ for the non-washable.  I decided to see how washable these crayons are compared to the regular crayons.  I wrote the names of the crayons on a piece of cotton and then ran the material under water.


The "W" stands for washable and the "R" stands for regular. The "UC" stands for the Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable crayons. I held the piece of cotton under the tap for about 30 seconds. As you can see by the second picture the washable crayons dissolved quit a bit better than the regular crayons.

Next I wanted to see how washable the crayons were with soap. After scrubbing hand soap into the material for about 10 seconds the washable crayon marks were gone and the non washable crayons were still slightly visible. After another ten seconds of rubbing in the soap all the crayon marks were gone. So both the washable and regular crayon marks were washable with soap without much effort. Next I wrote on a glass surface with all four crayons and then ran water over the surface. The washable crayons dissolved right away with little effort, but the regular crayons also disappeared with a little wipe with a cloth.

I really don't see the point of spending  three to five times as much for the washable crayons when the regular crayon marks can be removed with soap and water and just a little more effort. But if you run a school or child care facility they might be worth the extra money to make cleanup time shorter.

Conclusion:

Buy Crayola if you want a great crayon and want to support the US economy. Buy Cra-Z-Art if you want to save a little and still get a top quality crayon. Stock up now while they are cheap!


You can find lots of back to school crafts and learning activities on Danielle's Place. Check out these pages: Back-to-School Crafts Page 1 and Back-to-School Crafts Page 2, and Ready-for-School Activities for Children.