Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Il -2 board hosted by Asisbiz.com - picture, text and book theft -Asissbiz Asisbiz JG, KG, photos -edit January 2016

Pictures are a large part of the stuff that makes this blog interesting. Some of my contacts have given me some fantastic images. However when putting these pictures on line, there is always a chance that someone will come along and copy it, and put it on their own site. Or in other words, steal it ! OK so we all 'borrow' the odd pic from time to time to illustrate our articles, usually with a link and a thank you I hasten to add, but at the Il-2 board hosted by asisbiz.com they make a habit of just taking whatever they fancy with apparent impunity - in fact most of 'their' stuff is taken from elsewhere. They even have a page where you can subscribe to access book downloads! And when people contact me to say 'have you seen these great pictures' and they turn out to be mine then enough is enough! There are those who would argue that placing images on the web without setting limits on their distribution is tacit agreement for the images’ re-distribution. There are also plenty of forums and sites that re-publish pictures from books with a suitable credit - their view is that this is free advertising so therefore nothing inherently wrong with it..I'm personally not sure about this argument, but would probably come up with a similar line myself if pushed. Many of the authors and publishers I've talked to about this don't accept it either. In fact there seems to be a big divergence between producers of copyright material and consumers on this point. The well-known photographer Scott Bourne says he makes more money from suing people who steal his images than from the ones he sells. He has created software that finds a copyright infringement in minutes after the photo is online. Then he sends an e-mail asking for fair payment in 48 hours. If none is forthcoming then all communications are cut and the next step could well be a court of law....

At a more mundane level many web site owners try to protect images they put on-line, usually by incorporating a bit of Java script into their code to prevent visitors 'right-clicking' an image. A complete waste of time; you can simply inhibit Java in your browser or even do a screen copy with the 'print screen' button, so most of us take other half-arsed measures such a putting a link or a 'water-mark' on the picture. This still doesn't prevent the thief from republishing the image. And if you're sitting there thinking, well, he does that too, then let me tell you I always ASK!

Some of the pics posted on at least one particular link at asisbiz.com ( Fw 190 A, Hubert Engst) were just taken from this blog - they still have my 'mark' on them, although most of them on the particular link I'm referring to happen to 'belong' to jg300.de. The point is they certainly don't belong to Asisbiz.com. There is not even the courtesy of a link back..

When I asked asisbiz.com to remove my pictures I received the following rather pathetic and incoherent response ;

" I didn't steal the images they came with the skins. All my images are free and people are forever taking images from my site but that's why I upload them in the first place. As a photographer I also contribute to Wikipedia and upload all my images as copyright free. I'm just trying to build a good historical site. I don't put small images up but only the best I can find. This is history after all and like yourself it's my hobby. Unlike you I don't plaster my website name all over the images which I feel is so unnecessary but you obliviously (sic!) feel otherwise..I won't be taking them down as they are referenced to you..... Matthew  "

You can probably imagine my response.

".. Hang on a moment. You cannot just take other web sites' photos. They are not yours. Do you not understand that basic concept? Maybe when you've done some original research, corresponded with vets etc and received their photos, then maybe you can put your own photos up. I don't see why MY pics should end up on your page..by the way the only pics I mark with my website address are those that I have obtained personally, not just scanned in from somebody else's book - no doubt you do that too.."

To which the delightful 'Matthew' Acred responded;

" ..I don't vandalize photos by putting my website name all over the image. I wont take them down because they show people the difference between someone who honors history and someone who vandalizes it. My parents had their house destroyed by German bombers my Dad was in the RAF. My family has fought German tyranny for two generations so basically get ...deleted.."

Of course it's not just my material that Matthew Acred helps himself to. For example the following is lifted almost exclusively from 'Luftwaffe in Focus' magazine, including pictures and text. I'm sure there's much more but you get the picture by now. (page content at the following link now REMOVED!).


Storm in a teacup ? Maybe, but I fail to see why I should have my stuff taken by this unpleasant little twit. Had he bothered to ask and then linked back here I probably wouldn't have had a problem with it - I don’t mind people using the photos I put online as long as they add a credit and link to my blog. There’s a quid pro quo there. Still, two can play at that game...

And here is a link to an old thread on the LEMB calling out the blatant thievery of the asisbiz Luftwaffe pages

"...Is it naive to think that it's just possible that Asisbiz ..could herald the sharing of knowledge that hitherto had only been accessible to the privileged few or those with the financial muscle to buy books at £50 a throw ?..."

The "privileged few"?   I have to say that is one of the most pathetic defences of Acred I've ever read. As one author points out "...This seems a bit like saying it makes sense to buy from a fence because he has wide and attractively priced range of stolen goods..". If you can't afford a £50 book, that is your problem and not something I'm going to feel guilty about. But scanning copies of new works  and then posting images from such sources constantly will surely have an impact on the production of new works and I, like others, don't for one moment see why Acred and his 'friends' should get away with doing that..

 Nor do others. And the very apposite response from a well-known Luftwaffe author; " Bullshit. There are already sites where the sharing of information is common.."

Countering the theft practised by the IL2 board hosted by asisbiz.com is straight forward - I'm tempted to say that there simply won't be any more 'new' stuff posted here for 'Matthew' to lift. Jean-Yves Lorant was right - he tells me he won't be producing an up-dated edition of his 'Le Focke Wulf 190' book since in his view most of it, including all the best pictures, will likely end up scanned on some thieving little no-mark's web site ....and I don't think he meant me!

oh ..and just in case you were wondering - this is a 'google' blog so google search requests with 'assisbiz' will bring up this blog among the first pages requested !