Our Booru’s index millions of images and therefore we sometimes get artists who want their stuff taken down from a booru we host. Most artists are calm about this and simply fill in our small takedown form and we delete them within an acceptable time frame. Occasionally we get furry artists who have gone on a complete rampage because images appear on our site, claiming he/she is going to sue the hell out of us because we ‘profit’ from their images. Lets take a step back and start from the beginning.
What is a booru? Well, a booru is a collection of images that’s organized with tags. Anyone can upload images that he/she likes. So if you are an artist who publicly puts his images on the interwebz you can expect people to save these images and want to share them with the rest of the world. It actually means people like the images you created. Now, say an image of you gets uploaded to a site, how do you gain from this? Well for starters – if the site did back-link to your gallery/site. Booru’s have this! It’s called source and supports URL linking. By doing this you can increase traffic to your site greatly. Generally, any publicity is good for the artist. Even if the one sharing does not back-link to your site you could possibly still get your name out by signing the image. People interested would do a simple search on your artist nickname and free traffic would get to your site in no time.
So you want to take down your art, whats the best way to proceed? You should start by looking on the site in question to see if they have a contact link or an actual takedown email/form. As said before we have our form here. For other sites it’s basically a good idea to look in the menu of the site, or the bottom of it. Most of the time they have a “contact us” form or email there. If they do not have a contact link or do not respond you can do a whois lookup on their domain or IP address to find more contact information.
So shouldn’t you contact the hoster/datacenter directly? The awnser is No. Most of the time the hoster is not affiliated with the content on the site. Contacting the hoster will do nothing but pass the message to the site admin. You can complain to them as much as you want but nothing will happen until they receive a court order to take down the site and this only happens if the site admin is not contactable in any way possible.
So now you found out how to contact them, What should you do?
- Keep your message small and civil.
- Give them the infringing URLs. Best practice is the page itself and the direct url.
- Provide some sort of proof like your site URL or something so they can verify that you are the artist or copyright holder.
- Insult or flame the person you are contacting.
- Threaten the person with legal terms or saying you are going to sue them.
- Writing an essay on why you want the images removed or how bad the site is.
Most site operators will respond within a few days and most likely take down your images. Some suggest you should write it in a DMCA style message so its official. That’s great and all but its only valid if the content is hosted inside the US. You can find a quick overview of how DMCA works here.
I WILL SUE YOU AMERICAN STYLE!
It won’t happen. What do you mean “it won’t happen”?! Well first off all you will need to sue them in their own country. So if the site admins live in Russia you will need to sue them in Russia, based on the laws in Russia. And the most you can get out of it is a takedown of your images after hiring a lawyer in the specific country. Trying to claim charges on the person is nearly impossible unless you can prove he earned X amount from your images. You could possibly prove this if the person was selling your art online. In the end you will need a lot of money and time for this, is it really worth it? At this point its properly the best to ask google to take away the search results so the page can not be found anymore.
In the end…
If you create images and don’t want to share them with the rest of the world the safest way to protect them is simply by not putting them online. It’s in human nature to share things they like, is that really a bad thing?