Photo Theft: ‘He found out his girlfriend was cheating…’

I didn’t plan on posting today, but this tripped me out.

Today a friend of mine commented on a picture of me on Facebook saying, “Sydney, I saw a picture of you in an advertisement! It was next to a picture of a guy crying and the ad said ‘He found out his girl was cheating. Spy on your girl NOW’.

Of course I laughed it off.  I commented back that I’d like to see this look-a-like and asked where he saw the ad.  But he insisted that it wasn’t a look-a-like.  It was me.  And it was the picture he commented on. He said he saw it on http://www.worldstarhiphop.com.  He claimed he showed it to 10 of his teammates (he’s a football player) and that, without a doubt, it was me.

By then, I was a little creeped out.  I hardly talk to this guy, so the I knew he probably wouldn’t make up this whole story just to pull my leg.  I went to the website and saw the ad banner but no picture of me.  I figured I’d have to refresh the page a few times to shuffle the ads so I did.  Sure enough, after the fourth refresh, this ad popped up (click to enlarge):

This is the original picture:

*_*

My initial reaction was to laugh.  You know, the “that’s tripped out!” kind of laugh.  But then it set in how messed up this is.  Especially to use my image with a caption like that WITHOUT my permission.  It’s libel, isn’t it?

I’m not trying to sue anybody or get paid, but I do want my picture not to be used for this ad anymore.  The advice of you aspiring lawyers would be very much appreciated right now.

ps

If you want to see the ad on the website itself, go to http://www.worldstarhiphop.com.  It’s right at the top of the site. Keep refreshing the page. It’ll pop up sooner or later.

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7 comments on “Photo Theft: ‘He found out his girlfriend was cheating…’”

  1. You know, if you want, I could do some super computer shit and shut that whole site down. I’m just saying.

    I don’t like that shit. At all. I do believe that you can sue but don’t quote me on that. (I’m a Computer Scientist in training. No law over here lol.) I think that if you can, you should take legal action. Who knows how many people saw that. That could damage your public image. Especially since WorldStar is one of the most looked at sites on the internet. At least among me and the people I know. But that’s enough ranting from me. Let us know how this turns out please.

    -Mr. Heartbreak

    P.S.

    This may seem off topic but um, what happened to your Twitter account? Just wanted to ask.

  2. I remember this pic of you!! Those bastards.

    There’s a couple of ways you can go about this situation. First, if you really just want the picture taken down, you can contact the website adminstrators directly and let them know the problem. With the threat of a lawsuit I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to simply take it down.

    Now, if you would like $$$ for them not asking your permission, basically stealing it from your blogsite, and causing you complete and utter mental anguish, (LOL) you need to get an attorney. An intellectual property attorney. The laws and statues are differnet by state, so I can’t quite tell you how it’ll work exactly, but I do know you have grounds for a suit. And a good one.

    Please note that if you do decide to simply send them a cease and desist letter to stop using your imagage, they will probably comply and you will not be able to collect damages— ever. So… that’s my two cents.

    Oh and on the lawyer tip- make sure you’re able to find one who’ll take a percentage of your winnings (cause, hell, you’ll win) instead of you paying like x amount of dollars up front. Lots of attorney’s are doing this, it’s a recession damn it!

  3. This is a crazy situation, but I am not surprised.

    You see, once you post pictures of yourself on the magical world of Facebook, then they are NOT your property anymore, they belong to Facebook (see a lot of ppl don’t know that). So basically, FB can do whatever they want with your picture, for example, advertisement purposes. Though worldstarhiphop used your image on their site, once anything dealing with your image is on the “world wide web,” then it’s pretty much fair game, sad to say.

    Legal wise, I wouldn’t know how to deal with it. I mean you’re obviously not flattered about the situation. From my journalism classes, it’s definitely libel because it’s definitely showing you in a negative light through a written (or in this case, digital) media. According to FB’s terms, “When you publish content or information using the “everyone” setting, it means that everyone, including people off of Facebook, will have access to that information and we may not have control over what they do with it.” So i guess that’s what happened.

    I hope all that info helped in some way.

    • whoops, i was incorrect about FB owing your stuff…

      the site says “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook,” so i had to correct myself 🙂

  4. This is just utterly insane…

    GLO has the best advice. If you just want the picture gone, send them a cease and desist letter. Most people would be so afraid of libel suits that they would treat your request with the utmost seriousness and the ad would never appear on the site again.

    If however, a libel suit is the way you want to go, then GLO is right. Find an attorney that specializes in intellectual property law and start the ball rolling.

  5. ok this shit freaked me out. worldstarhiphop is almost youtube status now…so many ppl have probably seen it! ugh! please contact them.

    someone did this to you. pictures of ppl dont willy nilly pop up on ads, and that’s all im gonna say about that.

  6. I’m sorry this happened to you, dear. I don’t have any advice. I feel that once a pic is uploaded to the net, you’re screwed and it can end up any and everywhere. I pray that nobody has any pics of me that I don’t want out.


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