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I was alerted to this debacle by NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), of which I've been a member for many years. Dana Dawes in Atlanta set up a photographer blog a few days ago and somehow got herself a deal with Groupon. Groupon is a site that offers daily local deals at a nice discount, and they handle the payment processing. What Groupon didn't know was that this "photographer" downloaded a bunch of images from various other websites and was passing the work off as hers. Some real photographers, wondering how she could afford to do a photo session for a mere $65, clicked through to her site, recognized the work of photographers they knew on her site, and blew the whistle.

The wankfest is here.

I'm surprised she was able to get into Groupon so fast. I think Groupon usually has a line of legitimate businesses a mile long trying to get in on the deal of the day.

Ms. Dawes has removed all the images from her website, though plenty of pissed-off photographers took screencaps. She also then claimed someone had hacked her site, and she created some sock puppets to tell everyone that no, she really was a real photographer. Really. A good one.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
egret17
Sep. 15th, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
Gah. Did you read about the site in China that sells bootlegged Paul Richmond prints on ebay, claiming that they painted them?
jordan_c_price
Sep. 15th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
I didn't :(

That's so horrible. It really feels like such a huge violation when this happens to you.
ali_wilde
Sep. 15th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC)
I just read the 'wankfest'. It was interesting and funny, especially when her male 'sock' answered a question posed to her female 'sock'. The whole she was digging was just getting deeper and deeper. Awesome!
jordan_c_price
Sep. 16th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC)
Aaagh, I didn't read the thread that closely. What a fool!
ali_wilde
Sep. 16th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
I can not believe I typed 'whole' instead of 'hole'. D'oh!!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)
Photo Piracy
Hi,

Your copyright agent here. I told you about the celebrity photographer who called me. It must be pretty wide spread in photography. He said he has four lawsuits at a time going on constantly. Most are against foreign sites, outside the U.S. (I forgot my user name.)
jordan_c_price
Sep. 17th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Photo Piracy
Luckily there are tools in place for photographers to find unauthorized usage of their photos online.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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