[Plagiarism] How To Protect Your Copyright With A Video Camera

Last year we told the story of how Noam Galai's self portrait image had been stolen and reprinted hundreds of times around the world without his permission. What people were shocked to find out was Noam did not threaten or take legal action of any kind (instead he used the momentum to propel his career). Duane Lester of All American Blogger decided to go a different route and film his confrontation with the paper who plagiarized his work.

You can read Duane's full article on his site here. I'm all for upholding copyright and believe those who copy and paste (or print and sell) other people's work should be held accountable. I'm not sure if showing up to the front door of a copyright violator and filming the incident is necessarily the best thing to do but that is exactly what happened in this case. Duane marched into The Oregon Times Observer and demanded that the publication of his original written piece be paid for on the spot. After some hesitation, the newspaper wrote Mr. Lester a check for $500 which might have been a small price to pay compared to the full legal battle that could have ensued.

After watching this video, it made me think, if I was faced with having to deal with a copyright infringement suit, could I ever stoop to this level? It might be easy to say "no" but without having been in Duane Lester's shoes, maybe I'd be surprised by my own actions to mend such a wrong doing. What do you guys think after watching this? Are Lester's actions commendable or did he exploit this old man in a similar way his own article was exploited?

Patrick Hall's picture

Patrick Hall is a founder of Fstoppers.com and a photographer based out of Charleston, South Carolina.

Log in or register to post comments

Did he walk 15 miles in the snow, uphill, to school both ways as well? Gotta love the 'back in my day...' reference.

I like how defensive he got, and eventually how he didn't even bother to call his lawyer because he knew how wrong he was. 

Oh wow!!! Nice job!  Yeah that's pretty crappy... he was even saying that the article had even copied the spelling errors from the original article... that even goes to prove more than there is no way it could have been a coincidental identical work!

well in his defense, stories get pushed around the web so much that he could have easily copied a copy of a copy, doesn't change the fact of what he did but I can see how it could happen.  

<em>This comment has been flagged for review.</em>

Was that really necessary? Go put some ice on your vagina

Sorry Chase, but that one had to be said.

go put some ice on your vagina too Rob... and then you and john can go ___________ (open to the public to fill in the blanks)

Oh my god I'm devastated... Your almost verbatim re-iteration of Chase's scathing rebuke has wounded me mortally... I'll never voice another opinion again.

Still.... What I don't understand is why it offends you two that a thief got caught and publicly confronted with his crime? This particular thief didnt think twice about splashing the sheriff's "crimes" all over his newspaper... How is what Duane did any worse? Patricks opinion that Duane's act was immoral clearly suggests he considers himself above such reprehensible behaviour yet he's basically done the exact same thing by publicly taking the position that Duane's approach in reporting this was somehow inappropriate and using the pulpit of Fstoppers to do it!

Here's the irony... Patrick reported on Duane, because Duane reported on Bob because Bob reported on the sheriff. Seems to me everyone's doing the same thing. Publicly trashing the next guy down the line.

Actually, Patrick simply stated he felt that it was a bit much. It was uncomfortable to watch, but a good lesson. No where did he say that Duane is immoral, you asshat.



If you like reading or watching anything without the opinions of its writers, well good luck....it can't be done :)


Yes it can. It's called reporting. 

someone hasn't seen the news in 10 years -.-

Just because it hasn't been practiced correctly in the past 10 years doesn't make a difference.  It should still happen.

I seriously dont understand the mentality of some of the readers of this site. Why is it that you all feel its cool to be flat out rude to and bash the creators of the site? He merely stated his opinion and asked how you all felt about it. No part of that required him to be called a Twat. If anything all you negative two faced readers are the twats. You're all nice and cheerful when its time for a give away but god forbid if someone has a fucking opinion. You're all a bunch of mercenary kids with bad fucking manners. 

No, i dont agree with Patrick's opinion on the subject whatsoever either, but unless he's on the site preaching bigotries and insulting our mothers, then there's no reason to personally attack the guy.

Actually, my issue with Patrick stems from this reply he made to an honest review of the Peter Hurley DVD: http://fstoppers.com/fstoppers-original-peter-hurleys-the-art-behind-the...

His sarcastic, unprofessional and belligerent response to what was a very fair and balanced review ensured I would never put stock in a single FStoppers product ever again, or take them seriously as a business. I don't like people being petulant with me when I've just parted with $300.  

So you see, I have every right to speak this way, because I'm a paying customer of Patrick's products. 

 No, just by buying the product does not give you the right to be rude to anyone.

No, not anyone, that would be pushing it.

No, you see, it really can. Like the person below said, it's called 'reporting'. It's something you'd be able to do if you weren't a petulant, immature, talentless little egomaniac.

It's a popular technique of attempting to present information with as little bias as possible so  the reader is able to make his own judgement without risk of it being coloured by subjective opinion.

Lee carries you, and he's the only decent writer on this site. Just present the videos, and stop dragging posts down with your insipid, stupid, misinformed blathering. 

Reporting tends to be done for news.  This is not a news website.  If you just want straight news and nothing more, you are in the wrong place.  If you don't like the articles the man writes, you are in the wrong place.

Yet still, you stay here.  Telling these people how they need to run their site that they made.

Go make your own site that reports nothing but the facts of stories in the world of your hobby, if this is a huge issue for you that no other site is taking care of.

Its funny you say that actually. I just checked out John's "blog" and every sarcastic, angry lame topic on there has no replies, favourites or comments! Shocking really....

Thanks for looking. I actually only just put the blog back up last month after taking it down for a year, but before that, it was very active and had a lot of replies. I had about a million hits to it in the final year, it was pretty popular.

I'm not a blogger though, I'm a photographer, and I'm lucky enough to earn a living from my work, which means I don't really have real time to dedicate to something I use merely for SEO.

I'll approve your comment calling me a cunt once I log in. Thanks for visiting, Chase.

Except Patrick's got fantastic opinions for the most part and your opinion isn't worth shit. You're clearly the twat here. Go start your own website that no one will care about where you can post your opinionless articles.

Calm down, Kev, Patricks big enough to speak for himself. 

I have my own website, and it contains a blog, it's filled with conjecture, bias, opinion, and I dare say, stupidity. But that's not really the solution. I don't like my country's government, but I'm not going to start my own, am I? If I go to a restaurant and have a meal that doesn't go down too well, I don't, in retaliation, construct a business plan, approach the bank for a large loan, learn the complete art of French cooking from scratch, build a restaurant, staff it, win a Michelin award, and then fax that award to the original restaurant just to show them who's boss, do I?

Do you know why I don't do that, Kev? Because it would be stupid. The only thing more stupid than that is the original inference that if one doesn't like something, that rather than complain or be vocal about it, they should keep their mouth shut and then go off and copy it and do it better. 


no, you're right john, if you dont like the site you can take it off your bookmarks and stop visiting it everyday (it's incredibly easy to track your visits on our end). Actually, if you hate it so much, just dont ever visit at all. Super easy. 

No, I love the site. I think it's one of the best resources on the internet for photographers. I just don't like you or Patrick. The rest of the writers on this site, especially Lee, are fantastic and provide amazing content. I am a purchaser of the DVD, and a huge fan of Peter's as well.

Again, I just don't like Patrick or you. I find both of you to be sarcastic, petulant, immature egomaniacs who haven't got the first clue about the basic concepts of writing for a site like this. 

Please don't make it about FStoppers, it's about you.

Yes, I visit this site several times a day for new content. That's why I have the right to give my opinions and speak the way I do. Not only am I a loyal patron, but I'm also a paying one.

I just think the site would be a lot better if you weren't part of it and Patrick kept his opinions out of it. He'd be fine if he didn't give his opinion in his articles, because it makes them unpleasant to read. Much like this one, where it's so far right, that not even a single person has posted in agreement with him on it. It ruins the articles.

You, though, are by first the worst excuse for a writer and journalist I've ever had the misfortunate to encounter in my life.

Typical pommy... rude and egoistic... should ban his ass from the site

Generalisations based on one's nationality? This isn't 1952, Tulaga. If that's the best you've got, then don't embarrass yourself by making the effort. Best stay quiet, lest you conclusively prove you don't have the brainpower to effectively express yourself.

*sips tea and sings national anthem while eating horrible British cuisine through gaps in blackened limey Teeth*

 Sarcastic, petulant, immature ego-maniac? Cockwin... you just described yourself!


John, please dont take what I say sarcastically. I truly mean it when I call you a wanker. 

Corey, the irony is that the only wanker here is the staff member lowering himself to the task of insulting the very people who've actually spent money through this website. 

Name another news website on the entire internet where you can find staff members directly insulting the (paying) readership.

For the third time in this thread, you've broken the number one rule of business. Any moral high ground you could've taken before that post has been lost.

You're on a lower rung than anyone in here. Disgusting.

I know that you think you are justified in anything and everything that you say, but you're not. The customer is not always right. You're not an innocent "guy asking for a better website experience". No matter how you want to play yourself out, you will always be the guy that called the co-founder of this site a "twat" because he has a different opinion than you do. 

Me responding to you is entirely about the absolute HATRED that I have for web-trolls such as yourself. Don't speak to me about rules of business, because you obviously have no personal restraint or self control. When this becomes a news hub or a journalism site then you can start comparing us to a news or journalism site. I'm through speaking to you, you are a small fraction as intelligent as you attempt to come across. Your argument is totally invalid. It's been great chatting with you.

The best part about this is that not a single other post in here has as many likes as my original one.

In summary: Stop insulting the paying members of this website. Stop writing shitty articles. Stop posting crap you've found on Flickr. Actually research what you post, lest we have another stupid animal thread where people point out half the shots are fake, and you do your usual routine of arguing in the comments with people who point it out, only to then delete the shots anyway.

This is from someone who actually enjoys this website enough to risk damaging his reputation by posting all of this under his real name in the hope that it might see change. Bare that fact in mind.

my favorite part was when the guy got in his face as if he was about to sock him one, until the old lady asked about the video camera. then he rescinded his attitude a little. i guess he was on the whole "it's only illegal if you get caught" attitude about it.

"could I ever stoop to this level?". Seriously Patrick? He had three choices:
1. Letting it go and allow the idea to perpetuate that content online may be reproduced at will with no attribution. You're a content creator, both as a photographer and writer on this website. Whatever your stance on copyright may be, you surely expect to be paid for the effort you put into creating content.
2. Taking the legal route and have a threatening letter composed by his lawyer sent to the infringer. Their lawyer would then spend time deliberating a response. Both parties may incur legal costs. He would likely receive payment but perhaps only after legal to-ing and fro-ing.
3. Confront the infringer, express his rights and get paid. The infringer knew he was in the wrong; if he didn't he wouldn't have written the cheque. No lawyer fees were incurred by either party, the content creator received payment for his work, and the newspaper paid for work that another person produced.

or he could have had a simple letter mailed to the paper first, no cameras, no confrontation, site the facts...is that THAT hard?  Legal route after 15 of delivering the letter

He did the same thing only in person; he cited the facts and was very calm the whole time. Any escalation of emotions came from the newspaper staff. And given how the newspaper tried to weasel out of responsibility, do you really think they'd write a cheque after a nicely worded letter? Not a chance. They'd have wrung this out until legal threats came into play. 

 I have to agree with Philip here, a simple letter, no matter how accurate the facts, would have done nothing.

"Stooped to this level"? Really? Do you think for even a second that writing a stern reprimand would have made the same point? Patrick you need to get off your high and mighty throne and come work down here in the ditches for awhile. Maybe then you'd realize that being soft and fluffy when someone steals from you just isn't getting the point across. Showing up with an invoice and a video camera guarantees this prick won't make the same mistake twice.

Ask and I'm happy to oblige.. steal and you deserve what you get!

HAHAHA! Thats awesome. Now, whats to keep Bob from suing Duane for posting his face all over the internet without written consent?  

Hey, it's another fstoppers writer posting something stupid!

I'd imagine the thing that stops him is it not being illegal. That's just a wild, frivolous guess, though. I could be wrong (I'm not).

the term wanker comes to mind when I read your comments. but that could just be the smell of your breath

Uh....nailed it?

Surely then, assuming that my breath smells of a penis, the word that came to mind would be 'blowjob'?

One doesn't tend to wank with a mouth. 

But hey, borderline homophobic sexual vulgarity: Classy!

No, I assure you the word is "wanker"

I agree Corey

More comments