TinEye in action
CamStand Fakorama

Note 1 (June 2): As @InvisbleGreen pointed out; the images could actually be licensed and the photographer simply lying about their origin. So a blatant lie but not theft per say.

Note 2 (June2): the photographs have been removed from the website without explanation so they were likely never licensed. See the website screenshot at the end of this post.

Note 3: Daryl Lang from PDN Online picked up my blog post. Read the comments to his story. Very enlightening. Not only were the photographs on The CamStand not taken by the photographers who claimed to have taken then but the photographer profiles were also plagiarized! We have to thank David for his incredible detective work!

I am at a loss for words as to why anyone would pass someone else’s work as their own. A word of advice: you are going to need to become a more sophisticated image thief if you really don’t want to be found. Between the community (I was tipped by a photographer that I will credit once I hear back from him) and tools like TinEye you are going to have to up the anty. Seriously up the anty.

Mr. Kent Arlington from Kent Manufacturing Company manufacturer of The CamStand which is basically a camera stand: I am not even sure you exist but I can tell you that the macro photographs that you claim are your first attempt at macro photography are actually someone else’s work and they certainly were created a long time ago, not on June 1st, 2009.

Let’s look at “your” photographs:

TinEye tells me the above photograph which you mention having shot yesterday is actually an istockphoto photograph created by zimmytws and uploaded to istockphoto on February 19, 2007. Here are the TinEye results:

The TinEye search results:

Maybe the first image was just a mistake. So let’s look at “your” second photograph:

hmmm… Not original again: this photograph was taken by sandsun and was uploaded to istockphoto on April 4, 2007. TinEye, the little search robot that can, got to work and found these results:

I still want to believe that may be one, at least one of the photographs you claim as yours, are actually yours. But no. All my hopes were dashed:

Your coin photograph is also an istockphoto image uploaded by Alina Vershinskaya on July 28, 2007.

And your strawberry photo? Well it belongs to Joanna Pecha and it was upoloaded to istockphoto on March 15, 2009.

I don’t know what to say except: stop stealing being unethical and claiming that a photograph is yours when it is not. You will get caught. And I am just going to assume that most of the photographs on your website The CamStand are fake and stolen come from istockphoto. A brief look at this page confirms it again: I suspect there is no Heather Fields photographer and if she exists she is stealing lying as the photograph are from istockphoto contributors:

The original which was shot by Jared Hudson and the TinEye search results:

Does the camera stand you are selling really exist? Kent Manufacturing Company: you need to clean up your act. Thanks and bye for now.

New blog post with removed images!

The CamStand website also includes a list of contributing bloggers who are photographers. You can see their profiles here:

These bloggers include Mr. Kent Arlington and Ms. Heather Fields. Their profile photographs are actually istockphoto photographs:

24 COMMENTS

Nice catch, but when their image files are named things like “istock_000000465072xsmall.jpg”, you don’t really need tineye to figure out where they come from.

Jon June 02, 2009 at 10:44 am

There is no Kent Arlington either. Or at least, his picture isn’t him but rather another iStockPhoto image. One would tend to wonder if their product exists at all.

Michael Glenn June 02, 2009 at 10:54 am

The photos may not be ‘stolen’. They may have been legitimately purchased and downloaded from iStock, for an exact use of what stock is for…illustrating advertising.

What is unethical, is the claim that these photos were taken with the CamStand, by the author. Which as you point out,is clearly not the case.

False, misleading advertising… yes. “Stolen” photos…probably not.

“You can take macro photos like these.”

without claiming that they were taken with the CamStand would easily place this advertisement in a more truthful light.

==An iStock Photographer==

jim June 02, 2009 at 11:03 am

Given that the images aren’t watermarked, it seems possible to me that they were properly licensed.

marcus June 02, 2009 at 11:15 am

Brilliant, great find

Jason June 02, 2009 at 11:21 am

Great catch, Leila, and all the Tineye team. As your pool of 1.05 billion crawled images grows we’ll see a lot more of this.

It will be really interesting to follow the story so please post the response from “Mr. Kent”

David Sanger June 02, 2009 at 11:48 am

great work Tineye team and thanks for sharing.

Lee Reddish June 02, 2009 at 12:03 pm

@Jason and @DavidSanger thanks! I hope they respond. They could have simply said that they licensed the images instead of pretending to have actually created them.

Leila Boujnane June 02, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Marcus: yes it is possible that the images have been licensed. I am hoping that they did license them and the only thing they are guilty of is really lying about their origin.

Leila Boujnane June 02, 2009 at 12:07 pm

This is great work, Leila and a wonderful example of what you and your TinEye team can do! I love how the shots by “Heather” are so obviously by three totally different photographers. LOL.

Jain Lemos June 02, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I left a comment on that post but its yet to appear but it looks like Betty left a comment

Betty says:
June 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Wow – those are great photos!

Jason June 02, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Well, even if the images were paid for, the licensee still have to abide by the terms of use. I’m not sure claiming the work as your own falls under this category.

And it’s douchy as hell.

Rasmus June 02, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Looks like Mr. Kent is really a direct marketer named Dave Malby in Placer County CA

http://kentmfg.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/DaveMalby

http://www.DavesShitList.com/

David Sanger June 02, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Nice bit of detective work there Mr. David Sanger! Nice work!

Leila Boujnane June 02, 2009 at 2:04 pm

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

I personally know the interns that set the CamStand site up. The “licensed photos” were removed today and the interns fired. I REALLY think this blog should be removed for your piece of mind! I have inside info that their legal team is considering legal action against your company if they prove that there is a loss of revenue caused by your blog. It wouldn’t be worth it to exploit their obvious screw-up to pimp your software!

DO NOT PUBLISH THIS!!!!

Tom Schefer June 02, 2009 at 3:16 pm

As one of the images was one of mine, I already have contacted an attorney. I have the screen captures…bastard!

Joanna Pecha June 02, 2009 at 4:24 pm

…forgot to add my Thanks for exposing this breech!! Well Done! Joanna

Joanna Pecha June 02, 2009 at 5:17 pm

This whole thing is so “out of hand” it isn’t even funny!! The licensed photos were “Place Holders”, an intern actually published it. No one was fired! In one day you guys make this exploitative blog. The photos are all removed and everything here is just blown so out in the sky it is nuts! I think its time to move to a different subject because this one is just BS!

Ed Wecks June 02, 2009 at 6:01 pm

This is a prime example of making a story of of nothing! You guys are great Spin Masters! BTW – Lawsuits are for losses and damages .. there are no damages or losses by anyone. I guess this makes an interesting read though! LMAO!

Tom Fredricks June 02, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Nice explanation on what the product (Tin Eye). Is there something similar in the way a song, riff, or lyrics are often stolen seems more prevalent.

Christophor June 02, 2009 at 6:40 pm

“Kent” and “Heather” also are on Twitter

http://twitter.com/FieldsPhotos

(see http://bit.ly/neH93 )

http://twitter.com/kentarlington

(see http://bit.ly/3wmVGt )

where they carry on a lively conversation !!

http://bit.ly/HuB2

“Heather” is fond of copying photo tips from lots of other people’s websites

davidsanger June 02, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Note that now has new pocket watch imagery
http://www.thecamstand.com/camstand-photos/
and that’s also from iStockphoto via TinEye

Jon Bradbury June 03, 2009 at 11:22 am