In the last weeks, many requests have reached us asking if we can help with copyright infringements that had taken place on wallpart.com. The website creates the impression that Wallpart is selling your photos as prints, obviously without permission. They claim to be the largest online shop of posters – and this is how they do it, why we don’t link to them and what action you should (or shouldn’t) take.
Why are my photos on Wallpart.com?
This one is easy to answer: Because all photos are on Wallpart. They simply use a search algorithm that is displaying the results of a search engine embedded in their own context. They don’t save the photos on their own server, they simply show them in their context if you search for example for your name.
Is the offer of Wallpart.com illegal?
Whilst Wallpart claims to “respect the copyright of others”, what they do is a clear violation of copyright in most countries of the world. We don’t actually know of any country in which this service would be legal at this point.
However, it turns out to be difficult to do something against this service. With domain privacy registration in the Bahamas, servers in the Ukraine and pretending to have an office in Australia, the question is where to get them. When we thought about what we can do against Wallpart, we made a few interesting discoveries.
What should I do against Wallpart.com?
Of course you don’t want your photos being sold by Wallpart. So what can you do?
Well, first of all: We’re not sure if any photo has been sold so far. The counter on top of the website is a static image file and not a real counter, so it has absolutely no meaning. The website claims to exist since the year 2000 but was registered in 2014. The phone number on the website doesn’t work and the office address simply doesn’t exist.
Given that, do you think anybody is buying photos from them? Well, yes: it might be a scam to rip off potential poster buyers. However, we think it’s something else, and this is why you shouldn’t do anything at this point.
Why is Wallpart.com stealing photos?
It’s quite clear that photographers are very cautious about their copyright and that they have to investigate such matters carefully. If someone sells photos without the photographers consent, that could result in huge damages to the photographer. Given that the page, on which Wallpart is offering a “takedown service”, is contaminated by a virus, this might be exactly what they wanted.
Everybody is immediately shocked when seeing their photos sold on Wallpart and you want to take action against it immediately. If not for the virus, it might be for the data. A database of potential photographers also has quite some value on the black market.
I completely understand everybody’s concern about this issue but at this point I recommend you to simply not do anything. Don’t give them your data and don’t go on their website. We will monitor this and let you know if there is any update on this topic.
Until then, at PhotoClaim we’re always happy to help you protect your copyright and you would be surprised by how many companies apart from Wallpart might use your photos. Register now to find out about image theft!