Taking action.

It was brought to my attention recently that a company called Wallpart.com were selling my images online. They do not have and never have had my permission to do this.

Not only do they have my work, almost 1000 pieces, offered for sale but they also have the work of thousands of other artists. Before you go to their website to see if they have your work remember this, they are a Phishing site. They will gather information, from email addresses to credit card details so DO NOT fill in their forms complaining they are using your images without permission. They know this. They don’t care. And get off their site fast, because you don’t know what forms of malware might be lurking.

I know they have images from Erin Keen, Karin Lillamy of Celestine and the Hare, Nancy Suttcliffe, Catherine Hyde, Jean Haines and many, many others.

It would seem that they have harvested these images from facebook, websites etc. All are low resolution. None would print off to give a viable product, but that’s not really what Wallpart seem to be about.

They run google adds on their website. This will give them a source of revenue. They are also, maybe, just taking payment from people, gathering credit card details etc. Who knows. The very least they are doing is attempting to steal from artists by offering their work for sale.

If you are an artist take a look at their site and if they have your images on the website then report them to Action Fraud, either online or by phone. Talk to your network of artists, friends, make them aware of the site. Reach out to your followers, buyers and supporters and tell them under NO circumstances  purchase anything from Wallpart, explaining why. The more people who take action, the more people who talk about this,  the more chance there will be of shutting them down.

They are a company based in Russia in Kostrom. Their current ISP is ENOM, but they have been moved 4 times already. You can write to Enom, I have, but received no joy there. Spread the word as much as you can to make people aware that these people are thieves. With luck it will stop anyone buying from them. Write to the Arts Council, your local MP, Baroness Neville-Rolfe ( Parliamentary Undersecretary of State and Minister for Intellectual Property).

Why should this matter?

1. I work hard to create the work I do, and am lucky to earn a fair living but many artists struggle in these times, and it is not right for these people to profit from our work. It is theft.

2. I have worked hard to build up a following for my work, not ‘fans’ as such, but people who engage with me as an artist. Along with this comes a level of trust, so when people see these images, know me, and my work, they trust the site. I don’t want people to be lured into parting with their credit cards details.

3. I have publishers who I work with including companies like Graffeg who have invested time and money into bringing out a range of cards, and hopefully soon posters of my work. They pay me a royalty and they have in house staff who depend on their sales for their income. Sites like this can put at risk legitimate companies like Graffeg who also sell online by undermining people’s confidence in purchasing online.

4. I hate to see my work alongside images of soft porn, ugly images.

So please spread the word. At the end of the day I don’t think these people are taking money directly from artists with their business practice, but what they do undermines and demeans us all.

If you have any similar experiences please use the comments here to relate them. If you can think of creative ways of fighting back please add those too. Let’s share ideas. We are creative. There must be ways to stop them. And if you are an artist then DO report them.

The one good thing about this horrible scam is that it is bringing artists together, making connections with makers and galleries all around the world, bringing people into conversation. I feel that the best thing we can do is shout as loudly as we can about it so that people who love our work don’t fall into the trap of sending them card details, ask our trade boards, The Arts Council, The Association of Illustrators, other gilds, politicians and police to do something about it, and then get on with what we do best, which is making art.

I discovered this scam when Wallpart tweeted one of my images, The Guardians. It sat on a twitterfeed surrounded by images of children and also images of soft porn. Sickening. This image is available for sale from me, as an original, as a print, but also from the Syracuse Cultural Workers in USA who have a legitimate licence to sell posters of the work.

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About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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64 Responses to Taking action.

  1. Karin says:

    Reported to Action Fraud. Thank you for taking the time to sort all the details out

  2. RUTH WINDING says:

    Oh no! my work is on there too. Going to report them. Thanks for bringing to my attention, Ruth

  3. Sue Taylor says:

    Maybe the only way to stop this is to add a watermark to every image you post online?

    • Jackie says:

      It’s not about the printing. Some of the images are very odd. Watermarking would mean that my work could always carry my name, but I hate seeing words on my images. It’s about something else.So they would just post with watermarks.

    • Steph M says:

      Watermarks are easy to remove. I’ve had photos of my work stolen with and without watermarks. They easily remove them and try to sell those images. Some places don’t even bother removing them, obviously. Just had to say watermarks aren’t the definite solution.

  4. Compostwoman says:

    Dreadful 🙁 Will report, even though I am not being ripped off. We all should stand up to this.

  5. Kim says:

    Your artwork is gorgeous! Sorry this happened to you. I noticed you don’t have watermarks on your art photos. Maybe gigantic watermarks will deter them unless they’re desperate enough to painstakingly copy and remove it.

  6. “Aurgh” (Expletives omitted!!!) Bad – VERY VERY BAD! I will post this on my own Face book page as an alert to artists, and re-blog it to artists on my blog lists.

  7. Thank you for Jackie for the information. I will be reporting the theft of my own artwork also.
    I’m so disgusted and disappointed in this behaviour.

  8. So are mine, weird pictures of prints in frame barely visible , pictures of a quilt I made on a bed, very spooky as if they had access to my pictures , not good will investigate, thank you for flagging this up .

  9. Tim Taylor says:

    Thanks Jackie. They have hundreds of my photos too. Wicked people.

  10. CarolineB says:

    Discovered my work and my son’s work on there. Going to report them, plus emailed them to tell them to stop – much good that will do!

  11. Trudi Doyle says:

    -Thank you Jackie for alerting me -I will report them immediately also-I have just seen my work and photos there too – it is indeed blatant theft – Trudi

  12. Jo mortimer says:

    My work is listed on there as a ‘ Saatchi artist’ so I have emailed Saatchi, and got a reply the same day from them. They have said ” Thank you for reaching out, and sorry to see this! We will be reviewing this website and their use of your images then determining further steps” which I think sounds a little encouraging?

  13. Thank you for the blog post. A great number of people that I know have their work on this site, including my own. It’s a horrid scam where artists and customers are being both duped and ripped off. I did try reporting them to Twitter as they were promoting my work on their site via my Twitter username. I’ve shared and signed the petition as have a great many of my friends and will report to fraud action too.

  14. Emma says:

    Countless times I’ve seen these awful people ripping off friends’ work – I’ll add your links to my sites too

  15. Carla Taylor says:

    Thank you Jackie for writing this blog, I have shared it so others will be aware as well and will report to Fraud Action too.

  16. My work is in there too, I found out a few days ago. Apparently it’s ‘scraper’ software, whatever you type in the search box then gets ‘scraped’ from Google images, if you keep clicking ‘search’ eventually results will be found. The really disturbing thing for me is not the images of my artwork, but there are two photos on my website of me with my children. Those are available to buy as prints from this website. I suppose anyone could just print those pictures off, but the thought of someone wanting to buy them, and someone else profiting from them, doesn’t sit well. Time for a website redesign, with no personal photos!

  17. I put this on some textile art lists. Several of the people found images there.
    Thanks for the warning.
    Sandy in Bracknell

  18. Bruce Heard says:

    Greetings,

    I couldn’t agree more with you. I posted a similar complaint on my blog. One thing I did find, however, is that this company apparently complies with requests to block certain search terms pointing toward images listed on the internet. It’s a band-aid really, but it’s fine for the short term until this web site is removed entirely. I also posted some information about an anti-piracy group that offers pro bono assistance to generate dmca requests. Best of luck with this mess. Cheers,

    Bruce

  19. Kate Powell says:

    Tomorrow I will post about this and will site your blog (and link to this post) and quote you. A friend, Cathy Johnson, found her work on this rip-off site. We will spread the word.

  20. Hello

    Thank you so much for this warning – I’ve just checked and I am indeed on there too! Really dodgy quality! At least I can warn my customers now!

    Hayley

  21. Bev Dunne says:

    Thank you Jackie for such an informative and well researched blog post. I had become aware of Wallpart recently and found many of my images on there. I have shared your article, signed the petition and reported them to Action Fraud. If there is anything else we can do to stop this awful and quite frankly sinister site please let me know. Many thanks – Bev PS love your gorgeous artwork

    • Jackie says:

      Thank you. I think we all need to try and persuade the trade bodies for artists to deal with these people so that we can get on with doing what we love doing, which is making art. Though I do love a little bit of tilting at windmills now and again, which I fear is what trying to fight Russian cyber crime might be.

  22. I appreciate your alerting other artists to this theivery-scam. I found my art on there also.
    thank you, Jackie!

  23. Pingback: Fraud: Be aware | D.Katie Powell Art

  24. Carrie says:

    My sister shared your story on facebook, and below the post, Facebook published a link (paid ad) to Wallpart in my feed. Thought you should know.

  25. Several of my same pictures are on Galleryonline I can’t remember ever giving them permission either, they look very similar to the other website, do check that out as well.
    This has been going on for years, I remember finding my images on strange websites years ago, it’s horrible but if you get one site to close down another one pops up.

  26. An excellent post. I will write to my MP and the Minister for Intellectual Property.

  27. Dora Williams says:

    Thanks Jackie for posting this and I also have been affected by them they have images of my work and I have reported to the police, Hopefully they will do something.

  28. Lynn says:

    I am a digital artist and knitting pattern designer and have discovered this ‘company’ has lifted several of my product images… not happy . There is a petition to sign here https://www.change.org/p/remove-wallpart-com-stealing-people-s-work-without-persmission … Design Matters!!!

  29. My work was there too…

    In the meantime, if any of you have not signed this Change.org petition to get their site shut down, please do. Here’s the link…

    https://www.change.org/p/remove-wallpart-com-stealing-people-s-work-without-persmission?recruiter=325791050

  30. Thanks for flagging this and providing comprehensive links, the feckers have my work on there and a whole bunch of my friends too… Hating be bait for the broader scam… Have forwarded your article to many. Hopefully mass action can shut this down,

    Huge thanks

    Richard

  31. You should also do a Whois check on the Domain name from this you can identify the web site Owner and the Hosting Provider .. you can then raise a complaint to both Parties with the file name of the work and link to your own original web image it could be facebook or your own site or any social media site where you have posted your work .. the outcome will be your work is removed or if there are enough other complaints the hosting provider will close the whole site down..

    Step two
    As the site is in question is still up and running
    It’s best to try and avoid putting the site address in text as this will only make it list higher in a google search..

    e.g even negative post or tweets will increase the traffic to the offending site..

    So a picture of the site web address would be much better,
    From my very brief look it has very poor navigation and search ability

    Here is the link you really need to take a look at as well.

    http://www.dmca.com/FAQ/UK-based-DMCA-Takedown-or-Cease-and-Desist-process

    DMCA Protection & Takedown Services
    DMCA.com is the #1 provider of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown Services & Website Content Protection tools.
    DMCA.COM

    • Jackie says:

      Done all the checking for web hosting Dave, but the more people aware of it, the more reports to cyber crime unit the better. It’s not about stealing art but about luring people in with art to hand over payment details etc. And maybe more. But thanks for all of this.
      Yes, they have terrible navigation. Their spelling isn’t very good either.
      But they have been around for at least 15 years.

  32. Jenny Bowker says:

    Jackie this site has your images because when you connect it loads a trojan on your computer and starts picking them up! It was posted on the SAQA list and now many many people – perhaps 70 – are fighting serious computer problems.

    Please – take down the link before others have problems.

    My computer software is on automatic update – I found nothing of mind there – but most who ran searches and ‘found’ work commented that it was often odd photos.

    It is a phishing site.

    • Jackie says:

      My security software is industrial quality. Sometimes throw up results, other times not, but my images were there BEFORE I ever went to the site as I was made aware of it from other people. The first I saw was a tweet from Wallpart. So, I am afraid that’s not the answer. I took away the link so that it didn’t increase their ranking.

    • It uses google image search. Put in a search term on both Wallpart and google images. You’ll get the same images, in teh same order (possibly with some of the smaller images omitted)

      • Jackie says:

        Can you tell me why then sometimes nothing comes up. I searched for big name artists to see if we could get someone really well known to get behind making them more public so that people wouldn’t be fooled into giving them payment details. Many names didn’t come up.

    • Jackie says:

      Just to let you know, Wallpart seems to have been taken down and has a fraud warning on the details now. So, maybe it was worth having a go after all. Hope that our collective effort, reporting to fraud squad enmass etc is what helped to have it removed. Doesn’t mean I don’t expect it to come back with a different name. But great that it has gone.

  33. It may also be worth looking at two other areas for future protection of posted work images…

    Maybe as a group of Artist takr a look at Digital finger printing services that alow tracking of any image that contains a finger print.. as these services are usualy a charge for service it is a good Idea to look as a group or ask an organization like :-

    http://www.saa.co.uk/ to look into this as part of their membership scheem.

    Another great area to take a look at would be the Creative commons licence.

    Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives

    I think this is the only one that will alow your post of your artwork to be shared in the form you post it as .. Ie a Jpg file but no derivative is allowed ie it can not be printed out
    The Noncomercial clause also prevents the selling of the work in any form.

    As I design things like 3D printers but would like anyone to make their own personal copy.. I use a different Creative commons licence.

    Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike

    http://creativecommons.org/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license

    I hope this is usefull ..

  34. Pingback: Against Art Theft | Art by Michelle Ripari

  35. Steph M says:

    I signed it. I found looking on their site too cumbersome and creepy to stay too long. In addition to like you said, who knows what kind of malware could be lurking. Keep up the fight! Theft is inexcusable!

  36. Alma Soto says:

    Thank you for this. I found my work on there too and took a screenshot. Their set up soon enough figured it out and now it shows nothing and that it is “out of stock” (I have a photo anyway). That said, I did the same backend and found their IP, DNS provider leading eventually to their Russian site server. I know there’s the petition out there, and there are all these agencies we can contact and report them to which is fantastic and I plan to do. That said, I also feel we need to report them to their DNS provider and host if possible so they remove them. They have abuse emails for that purpose. You mentioned you saw your image on Twitter that they Tweeted. Did you file a formal Twitter report of violation for copyright? They can pull them off Twitter for these violations if you have proof with Tweets etc… They are an active Twitter account so that’d be another great way to get them removed. https://support.twitter.com/articles/15795#

    https://support.twitter.com/forms/dmca

  37. Shonna White says:

    Contact their web host directly.
    I’m currently inundating them with information (and links to my images) to force them to take action. They have already requested all the links I provided be removed. The more voices, the more likely they will get pulled down. Petitions take time, direct communication will force the company into action.
    Here is the email you need to do that: abuse@internet.bs – you can quote ticket #30163223 if you like.

    • Alma Soto says:

      Yes I got the same email Shonna. Everyone needs to bombard the ICANN abuse email with their complaints and proof so they get shut down asap. So glad they’re paying attention.

  38. Alma Soto says:

    UPDATE: I had a couple of my pieces on there (that I noticed they were pulling from Behance). I contacted Behance to make them aware. I also did some backend research and found their site to be registered under TLD Registrar Solutions LTD with the server Cloudflare dot com. I contacted Cloudflare but they told me they are not the orig host and their website didn’t resolve to them.
    So I did a bit more investigating and found they are using Ripe dot net and a Russian host. I contacted the abuse emails for all yesterday and explained something was up with this site as they seem to be phishing and pulling stuff from people all over the internet be it Behance, Reddit, DeviantArt, or artists sites etc… and they just need to be made aware. I also let them know how after going thru stuff on their site for a while I noticed my work then shows it is “Out of Stock” and then later not there at all (take screen shots of those too). I received an email today from the ICANN Registrar (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) who are investigating their copyright violations and misuse of this site. Since I couldn’t get anywhere with the hosts I figured it would help to complain to those that oversee registered names since they are using this site in some sort of illicit way (be it copyright infringement and or sale or phishing and profiting from it). They emailed Wallpart and were very strict in their instructions to contact me and cc them, as they are investigating this because they are interested in how they respond. Wallpart did, and asked me for proof of the violations plain and simple. I of course replied in kind with all my proof, original links they had, the screenshots I took and what I’ve noticed their site doing. I even was able to provide new ones on there of my work (again I do believe they’re conducting some sort of phishing site). Everyone needs to contact the abuse email below with the ICANN. The email Wallpart received was from Alena Keirstead the ICANN Registrar for the support team of http://www.INTERNET.bs Corp. You can send her your info to the email below, links of violation, proof links of the work and screenshots to show them what these guys are doing so they can stop them. The more they get hit with this information the better and faster we may see some action. I told the ICANN in the email I would be advising all artists, designers, photographers etc..that have experienced this violation to send the same asap.
    The email:
    abuse@internet.bs

  39. taken from this source :- https://fstoppers.com/news/website-will-steal-your-photos-and-then-hack-your-computer-77511
    ” it appears the sole purpose of this website isn’t to sell prints at all (there does not appear to be any proof that actual sales are happening) but rather to target photographers who are featured on WallPart’s website. Photographers are known to freak out when they find their images being used without their permission; it is a behavioral condition that has been reinforced in to our sole existence. If and when a photographer does find their work on the website, they are without a doubt going to issue a cease and desist through WallPart’s DMCA/Copyright link at the bottom of the page. Strangely enough, this link at the bottom of the page is one of the only clickable links on the entire page which is not consistent with most legit ecommerce sites. This contact form is the whole purpose of the Poster Shop’s website. The contact form is a phishing platform that is used to spam the user and potentially infect their computer with malware and who knows what other nasty adware and spyware.

    Throughout the website’s existence, much of the functionality, search results, and contact forms have changed. One day you can search for your name and find stolen images only to search 24 hours later and find the results page completely empty. It’s clear the site was never meant to run as a business and the functionality of it as a whole is pretty broken. The site is currently hosted in Russia and has been known to change hosting domains in the past after being outed by tech savvy visitors.

    It is pretty sad to know that their are websites and companies out there like WallPart preying on photographers who are simply trying to protect and maintain the copyright on their own creations. In today’s world we can never be too sure where an email or contact form is actually sending or what personal data is being sent to a company in general. In the case of The Poster Shop and other sites that are sure to follow, DO NOT VISIT THE SITE and give it traffic and by all means DO NOT FILL OUT ANY COPYRIGHT VIOLATION OR DMCA FORMS. The website Change.org has started a petition to remove WallPart with over 50,000 supporters but there is no telling if the site will actually ever be banned forever.

  40. Santos says:

    Do you have any video of that? I’d love to fiind out more details.

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