Screen Grabbing Images

Posted: March 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

Something which is becoming somewhat more prevalent is potential customers screen grabbing our images from the online secure galleries. Most offenders are actually the kids themselves who either don’t want to part with a few pounds for an image or just don’t care how this not only affects our income but also places the coverage of events in jeopardy.

When we are made aware of such violations we simply find out their log on emails and send a polite but firm email regarding copyright etc. Easily done via the registration process for viewing our galleries. Nine times out of ten we receive an apologetic email from a parent who had no idea said child had been screen grabbing and the offending image gets removed.

I still find it amazing that some people will happily have one of our images with the word “Proof” slapped over the middle as a profile pic on social media. The subsequent comments gushing about how great the image is and how wonderful the individual is at their sport flow into the comments column yet nobody refers to the word “proof” and that the person posting is a cheap skate purveyor of copyright theft.

Our images are not expensive and we do indeed sell a massive amount online to parents unable to attend for a multitude of reasons. My concern here is that the youth of today has scant regard for digital products and their worth and thus what the future holds for digital content. I for one hate downloads of music and video. I still prefer to hold that physical copy of the CD or Bluray just purchased. The kids of today don’t seem to have that need for the physical product and as such either don’t see the value or choose to ignore. Does this mean that the future of galleries is limited? Will the youth of today grow up with scant regard for digital content copyright thus causing online galleries to disappear?

Regarding sales, compared to known numbers of screen grabbing the issue is nothing major at the moment, though I’m sure there’s plenty we don’t know about. What concerned me enough this week was a selection of screen grabs taken from one of our online galleries and actually placed onto a club site. My email to the head coach was, as always, polite yet firm about copyright and unauthorised use of the images. Her reply was something of a shock as she appeared to genuinely think that she had not done anything wrong. She thought the images were of superb quality and wanted to use them to promote the club as they had nothing of any similar quality. My reply explained that the quality of the images comes at a price. We are not using iPad’s and mobile phones to capture these images but high quality professional cameras and lenses. Our total equipment list for such events rocks in at just under £15,000 which, from her reply, she clearly did not understand. The fact is that just the camera, grip, lens and batteries comes in at roughly £4k. We have 2 of these operating and a backup body also at every event. Add the printers, laptops, screens and additional media and that £15k is quickly reached.

She asked if she could have a copy of the images, all eleven, for promotional purposes. I gave her a discounted price and whilst I shouldn’t have been shocked by her answer it did bring home the digital content issue and obviously the information above about costings hadn’t sunk in. The reply, along the lines of “I only want the Jpegs so didn’t expect to pay as I would have for a print etc etc….” was amazing.

My usual line, when someone just doesn’t get it,  is do you work and can you do something free for me in exchange for my free work to you. The answers can be comical because obviously almost nobody works for free.

The images have now been removed along with all the gushing comments of how super the competitors looked. I do however have a screen grab of my own as proof. I have blocked the actual club name and covered faces but show what could, or already is, a potential threat to the future of digital imagery content. I’m sure there would be moans if the galleries disappeared and non attending parents were unable to purchase anymore.

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