I am writing a post because I received a Google notification about a site that was offering my clipart images as free downloads directly from their site. My goal with this post is to help make caution you about sites like these - as there are probably hundreds or even thousands out there - and to show you how you too can set up to receive Google notifications for information posted about you when it is published online.
Below is a screenshot of the notification I received in my inbox. I would not have received a notification had the guilty site not mentioned my name in the title. When I visited the site, I found that even more of my images were being offered as free digital downloads directly from the site and did not even include my name. I will include the site address at the end of this post for those of you who would like to check to see if your art is also being given away for free.
Because the site is very difficult to search through. I conducted an advanced Google search to look specifically for the images that were hosted on the site.
To conduct an advanced search through Google go to: http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search
This is the screen that you will see once you are on the advanced search options
I then completed the fields for "all these words" and "site or domain"
The image below shows the address where the image has been published. The image itself clearly does not belong to the site. I used Phillip Martin's image because he is very popular and quite well-known among teachers. I added the text on the screenshot.
I then send a cease and desist letter to the site through their "contact us" link for all of the images I found that were mine. Because the site did not include any information about who owns the site, I decided to look up the domain information to try and identify the site owner in order to contact the person directly.
To do this, I used the domain look-up tool at the whois server. Click the image below to visit the site. It is a good one to bookmark and save. (http://whois.domaintools.com/)
- Registrant Name:
- Address 1:
- Address 2:
- Phone Numbers:
- Time Zone:
- Registrant Email Address:
- Domain Booked on:
- Domain Expires on:
- Name Server 1:
- Name Server 2:
- IP Address:
You can contact the site protecting the information directly. I looked up WhoisGuard, inc and eventually found the following link http://suespammers.net/tag/whoisguard-review/. It took me less than a minute to find a way to contact this company.
I clicked on the "contact" link located at the top of the page and completed the form. I included as much information as possible, but failed to include the actual link to the site I was wanting them to look into. I did this to ensure that the company would contact me back and ask. I figured that if they did not email me to ask me for the site address I was referring to, then I would need to take further action elsewhere.
No need.. they responded to my message two hours after I submitted it. They requested the site address. I not only included the site address, but I also included all of the domain information I found on the site. I also included a list of the artists and/or companies I contacted to let them know that the site was offering instant downloads of their images for free from their site, and mostly without a link or credit to the artist of the image.
Phillip Gary Martin
and many more from Teachers Pay Teachers. Some of the clipart being offered could be found on the web for free and other items were paid clipart sets.
This afternoon I received another email from them stating that their company does not actually host the site. They did include the information of the company that is currently hosting the site. I have yet to contact this company, but I will do so before the day is over. If you are also wanting to report this site, please use the following contact information and include the information listed below in your email to them:
Name: Digital Ocean
Click the image below to visit their contact page to open a ticket or to email them with your concerns about the domain listed at the bottom of this post.
IP = 126.96.36.199
[ Informations about 188.8.131.52 ]
IP range : 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11
Network name : DIGITALOCEAN-7
Infos : Digital Ocean, Inc.
Infos : 270 Lafayette St
Infos : Suite 1105
Infos : New York
Infos : NY
Infos : 10012
Country : United States (US)
Abuse E-mail : email@example.com
You might also choose to contact the abuse email at the same time. That email is included in the information I just listed above.
For those of you who may have already downloaded images from the site OR are still thinking about downloading images from the site, there are some very important things you should be aware.
FIRST: If a website is offering FREE downloads of various images without including a fee or license information, chances are, they are violating copyright and you should not proceed to download anything from the site. Instead, immediately report the site as copyright infringement or notify familiar artists they their work is being offered from the site and include the link.
Please do NOT download anything from this site or sites like it. Value the hard work of the original artist and your own integrity by refusing to bring traffic or contributing to the site by downloading the images.
If you would like to receive Google Alerts for things related to your site or images is posted on the web, follow the directions below:
Go to www.google.com/alerts or click the image below
Type the word, title or name that you would like to receive notifications for in the space provided next to the field titled, Search query. It is best to use only one word or title at a time. You can create several alerts.
Choose the options and type your email address at the bottom. Click on the button titled, "Create Alert" once you have completed the form and follow any other prompted directions to complete the process. You might need to log into your Google account or you might be asked whether you want to receive alerts through your phone.
Because I absolutely refuse to include a link to this site, I have included an image with the domain name. You can type the site address manually if you wish to visit the site.
I will continue to update all of you on the progress and information pertaining to the progress of this issue.
Thank you very much for visiting and I hope you gained a little more knowledge about copyright infringement and how to report copyright infringement online.
I would love to read your thoughts, input, or information you might be able to add to this... we can never have too much knowledge!!