Man Steals Image, Gets Sued, Calls Photographer 'Malicious'

You may or may not know that I occasionally write satirical articles for Fstoppers. This is not one of those articles. An Internet "entrepreneur" was sued for using a copyrighted image, and he now claims the photographer who sued him was "malicious" for doing so.

While there's some nuance to copyright law, the basic idea that you can't just take an image you found on Google and use it for commercial purposes is generally pretty well understood, especially by those who work on the Internet. Nonetheless, Internet Entrepreneur Dan Dasilva did just that, using images he lifted from a Google image search in his Shopify store, and was subsequently sued, settling for $27,000 plus about $10,000 in legal fees. Open and shut enough of a case, right? Not so for Dasilva, who then took to his YouTube channel, making a video in which he acknowledges that he should have known better, but still calls the photographer "malicious" for daring to protect their copyright and vaguely implies that his followers should track down the person in the hopes it will ruin their reputation. He then goes on to make an entirely irrelevant comparison by examining transformative artistic work, which of course has nothing to do with simply lifting an image from Google and using it in a commercial context. Dasilva even says he still does this in the above video, despite having just been sued for that practice.

Of course, while someone who runs an Internet store should definitely know better, it's not the ignorance that's the most infuriating so much as the arrogance and entitlement coupled with the disrespect for an image creator's property. It's unfortunately not the first time I've seen this attitude, and while I can't attribute it to any particularly obvious single source, it is an unfortunate part of our culture. Let's hope that the perception of creators being malicious is transformed into respect for the hard work they put in. 

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49 Comments

By sharing this video, you're doing nothing but giving him more clicks and more money.

Michael Holst's picture

But also adding support for the photographer under attack. Otherwise this guy is free to spout his nonsense to the world unchecked.

cameramanDop Shanghai Hong Kong's picture

Agree, a video on the photographer side would have been more appropriate.

Perhaps the photographer isn't open to such a thing.

agree with Chris, I would not post the link to his video. I played the start of it but the guy is so full of himself, just a waste of time. Don't promote him by linking to his garbage, especially his video traffic is probably where he makes his money in the first place.

Alex Cooke's picture

He makes his money "teaching" people e-commerce. I'm pretty sure this video isn't even monetized.

There are 5 ads that play throughout the video. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure it's monetized.

Alex Cooke's picture

Weird. I tried it about 10 times just to be sure and never saw an ad. Even so, I think the amount he would get from even 10,000 views from Fstoppers readers would be a pittance in comparison to making the world aware of this sort of attitude.

Joao Camilo's picture

Try without Add Block Plus.. Or in a different browser.. I just checked on Safari and it had 5 adds throughout the video!

Eric Lefebvre's picture

I'm on chrome and never use an ad-blocker (YouTube creators deserve our money) ... don;t remember seeing an ad. :/

Joao Camilo's picture

It was just my experience..

Michael Holst's picture

If enough people view it he could be sued again by the photographer for defamation. The more people that see it the more it could hurt him. Photographer could claim damages to his business.

Cathleen Shea's picture

Well said. And, agree!

I didn't watch the video but the Fstopper's article reports that he encourages viewers to track down the photographer and ruin his reputation. That does sound like something litigious. This guy sounds like SUCH A JERK! I hope the photographer sues him again.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

He says [paraphrasing].

I won't tell you who the photographer is so he can;t turn around and sue me but but if you want't to find out it's easy ... it's public record .. wink wink ... nudge nudge.

I hope to go he had a non-disclosure in his settlement so the photographer can sue him again.

Non-disclosures in all courtroom settlements should be outlawed. When it comes to things like public safety all they do is help hide wrongdoings. That kind of crap goes on with the pharmaceutical industry. Meanwhile the public continues to be exposed to dangerous drugs. Such settlements are exactly like a payoff to keep quiet.

While I support photographers being able to take action against such people, let's also not be naive to the fact that some photographers will take advantage of the opportunity to make themselves a lot of money. The law shouldn't encourage that by allowing such quiet settlements to occur and by allowing for unreasonable awards.

Patrick Hall's picture

YouTube pays $1000 per million views. That's not very much at all and I doubt he's going to make much money from our audience

Michael Higa's picture

Sounds to me that he just saved a bunch of people from making the same mistake.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

Not really. His video is almost 100% wrong on every count.

He admits that the lawsuit didn't discourages him from taking images from Google searches and he still does it.

He encourages people to instead use Creative commons images and that by doing so they won;t get sued ...
That's a very dangerous attitude because images are stolen and posted at CC-0 or whatever all the time.

He then muddies the waters by introducing flawed examples of personality rights and derivative works ...

Pretty much everything he says is wrong.

Leigh Miller's picture

Disagree with others. Posting this is exactly what needs to be done.

His attitude/understanding is precisely why we need to crack heads and knuckles. He doesn't get it but is scared enough that he does what we need...warn others that using work without permission or attribution costs more than the benefit.

As we say in the countryside...the juice ain't worth the squeeze.

Cathleen Shea's picture

He probably voted for Trump, too. In this GYBTP world... hey, why not steal our intellectual property, too.

Good Lord. What's the connection to Trump?

right? I think people can't come up with anything else so they blame it on the president of the U.S.

I'll bet he blames Trump because he can't spell Herbert Hoover.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

There are idiots all over the political spectrum. not every idiot is a Trump supporter. It;s just that trump has a disproportionate number of them. :)

Michael Holst's picture

You're bias is showing. Thanks for making us liberals looks stupid too.

I don't think you can put all the blame on her. ;-)

Michael Holst's picture

She's not to blame for what she said? I get your joke... but it's almost as bad of taste as her comment.

I was joking! If people, with opposing views, could joke more, we'd be better able to put our disagreements into perspective. :-)

Cathleen Shea's picture

It seems like an intellectual property game of Chicken... and let's see who blinks first. The "entrepreneur" gambling with daddy's money or his own dot-com earnings? Or the starving artist no one expects to fight back due to limited resources.

This trend toward... admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations when a hand gets caught in someone else's wallet... is is as ridiculous as current events.

I will never understand why people go to so much effort to do the wrong thing. Karma, however, always cleans up the mess in the end.