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A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Somone has been using one of my photos without purchasing a license. When challenged they told me it was free to download as shown on my page. In the screenshot they sent I understand why they thought that and it makes my pursuit of a license fee impossible.

The ad itself mentions no product and so it seems natural to assume the words in the ad apply to the photo it is shown underneath. I am now over $300 out of pocket due to the ad policy vilolation.

I reported it to Google via their form on 14th October 2015.

1) When can I expect to get a reply?

2) What is the likelihood of Gogle paying that lost license fee?

 

Thanks in advance for any insights.

 

Here's a link to the screenshot:

https://goo.gl/photos/honCpi33UAXoB2ZJA

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Accepted by topic author Mark H
October 2015

Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

Top Contributor
# 11
Top Contributor

Well... This is a whole new ball game here, because now it turns out that this is essentially an AdSense case.... Smiley Surprised

 

AdSense allows publishers to block certain advertisers from showing their ads on the publisher's site.

Having said that, I reiterate, that Google does not write the ad-copy / ad-text. This is submitted by the advertiser. Hence, your statement that "Google placed misled the visitor into thinking my image of the flower was available for free download, free of copyright." is incorrect. The content of the ad-text is solely in the advertiser's hands, while the type of ads shown on the site, and the advertisers allowed to publish are in the hands of the publisher (i.e. You)

 

You should file a complaint with AdSense, though, since you did not block the publisher, I question whether there was, indeed,  a violation of the Adsense Policy.

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Mark H;

Not quite sure if I got you right...

What ad violation  Policy are you referring to? The screenshot you attached  does not show any ad.

 

Was the advertiser  referring traffic to your site? (On which he has no control). If so, what would be the advertiser, business model? (Remember, the advertiser pays for the clicks. How would he / she make monetize from a site  the advertiser doesn't own?)

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

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# 3
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It fooled you as well, MosheTLV. The big green download button, together with the text to its right, is the ad.

It looks like it's part of my site and looks like the official way to download the photo the ad appears under. The ad itself advertises no product, it's more like 'click-bait' it seems to me.

I've no idea where the ad leads as I don't see it - it was the organization using my copyrighted photo without paying a license fee who provided the screenshot as their defense.

Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Well... The screenshot you attached is not clear. We need to see the page and the format of the ad. Note: Google image ads have a small blue triangle in one of the upper corners of the ad. I don't see that on the. Are you certain this is a Google ad?

Please include a clear screenshot of the ad within the webpage it is shown, and a separate enlarged screenshot of the ad itself, so it would be easier  to check.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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Hi MosheTLV, here's a clearer version I put through photoshop: https://goo.gl/photos/uAqrvdnLuiYmbFFX6
You'll hopefully see the small blue triangle now. Unfortunately, I can't see the ad in situ so can't take an enlarged screenshot; the screenshot I've linked to was sent to my license agent by the person/organization who used my image without paying a license fee.

Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
If that image wasn't very clear, try this one: https://goo.gl/photos/7WoNwu8KdYoSuHig8

Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
OK; this is a copyright issue. Someone promoting material you have copyrights on.
File a complaint, after reading the instructions on this page;
https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6018015?hl=en
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

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# 8
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Thanks for your attention on this, MosheTVL. I don't think it's a copyright issue per se. Just to be clear, the web page is my own: http://photoready.co.uk/flora-fauna/purple-poppy-variation.html
The ad starts under the photo's title, which is Rock Rose.
So it's me promoting my own image, the ad misleads peeps into thinking the photo is free to download. If the ad included mention of a product then the confusion wouldn't exist.
I hope that fully clarifies it?

Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

@Mark H;

There are new  details surfacing here. Now you are saying that you are promoting your own pics with your own ads on your site.

If so,  you are the advertiser. If you are the advertiser - then you have full control of the ad-text / ad-copy and you could modify  / edit it yourself

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: A violating ad has cost me over $300 in lost royalty fees

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
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Sorry for the confusion in me not explaining clearly. Let me try again.

The page is one from my gallery of flower images. I am an adsense publisher. I have put the adsense code right underneath the title of the image - of the rock rose in this case. Google chooses the ad this is placed in that 'slot'.

The ad that Google placed misled the visitor into thinking my image of the flower was available for free download, free of copyright.

The ad is NOT mine. It has been constructed, I believe, so that whatever website it appears on, a visitor to that site will be misled into believing that whatever the subject is of the page is available for free download.

This deceives the visitor who clicks the ad for sure. But far worse, a visitor who only notices it and doesn't click it, will be misled into believng the subject matter of the page can be downloaded and used free of copyright.

And that's just what happened, they must have right-clicked and saved the image for use on their commercial site. My licensing agent spotted that use, contacted them for the license fee of just over $300 but got the screenshot in reply, with a note saying 'but it says here it's free to download'.

I have no defense against this claim because indeed, that's what it looks like, so I will have to forego the license fee. $300+ out of pocket Smiley Sad

It misled you, it fooled them and it would fool any visitor.