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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90/E92/E93 Marketplace (For Sale / Trade / Wanted) > Vendor Comments/Review/Feedback Forum > Watch out for Iforged stealing your photos without permission



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      04-25-2008, 07:12 PM   #1
dejjisch
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Thumbs down Watch out for Iforged stealing your photos without permission

Hey guys, my name is Dejan Sokolovski, and I'm a freelance photographer located in Sweden.

My online portfolio can be watched at - www.dejansokolovski.com

Some of you might recognize me or my photos from photo sessions posted in forums like this of friends BMW vehicles I've photographed.

As I know many in these forums use Iforged wheels on their cars, and probably have a bunch of photos of your great looking cars aswell should be aware of Iforged USA and Iforged UK to be stealing photos from you and using them on their website, published in magazines or similiar and not even pay for the usage of the photos YOU have the rights on!

Iforged USA for example had taken my photographs, about 2-3 of them and used them in their website in different locations, not only the showroom-part.

Iforged UK used one of mine photo of the same car (a friends BMW 335) in a press-release add in both UK magazines as BMW CAR and Performance BMW, they're out right now for sale at stores.

The press-releases can be seen here:
http://www.dejansokolovski.com/iforged/1.jpg
http://www.dejansokolovski.com/iforged/2.jpg

All this without my permission of using those photos in any kind of commercial-like type of style.

What Vincent Wong claims is that - they didnt knew they were copyrighted -

Copyright of photographs, atleast in Sweden comes automaticly from the day you press the shutter, and a company like them should be aware of this and not get away with claims as "We didnt knew they were copyrighted,therefore we use them as we want".

So basically If I drive 200mph on a public road and get stopped, I could just say that I didnt knew I couldnt do that, the law would be totally cool with it since I didnt knew...



To me and to every serious photographer out there this is a serious theft and to not even being informed or asked in advance if they could use pisses me off, I would probably even given them permission to use them for free if they only were kind enought to ask me, but they didnt, so I dont see any idea of being mr. nice when they're totally rejecting everything.

I have now had an pretty long conversation over e-mail with Vincent Wong at Iforged without any luck, same same same answers in pretty much all of his posts, I think that is a pretty rotten way of handling this situation from a man that runs a well-known wheel-company like that!

Dont get me wrong I love Iforged wheels but the way he handles the situation is probably the worst I've as far experienced.

So, photographers out there, be aware of Iforged and sue them if they use your photos without your permission, I would sue their ass off too but it gets a bit difficult since it gets international, but sure I could, only thing is it would probably cost me more than I would gain...

To moderators: Please replace the thread if it is placed in wrong place, just thought it would fit in under photography section at best, I hope...
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      04-25-2008, 07:16 PM   #2
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it is like someone committed a crime saying i didn't know it is a crime
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      04-25-2008, 07:17 PM   #3
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Yep, they stole a pic of mine back in 2002 that i had posted on e46fanatics.

Then again most of my pictures are uploaded on public servers.

I wasnt even a happy customer either!! I would never support that company!
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      04-25-2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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As a photographer this PISSES ME OFF so much!! Keep up the fight, get your images removed from their site. Not asking permission is completely unacceptable.
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      04-25-2008, 07:19 PM   #5
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I'd be pretty mad too. If they want to use your pictures, they need your consent.
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      04-25-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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      04-25-2008, 07:23 PM   #7
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I would be pissed. Let them catch hell.
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      04-25-2008, 07:27 PM   #8
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Thanks guys for your input, I will try to keep up the fight but it sure seems worthless when Vincent to me seems like an complete ass I'm afraid... :/

I'm sure some Iforged represantive is lurking or even registered on the forums here aswell? Thought it might be fun to see what they have to say, and please not Vincent again.... :P
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      04-25-2008, 07:31 PM   #9
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wow, tell them to send you a free set of wheels, its the least they can do, but doubt they will.

a company that charges crazy amounts of money for wheels, can at least hire a photographer and capture original photo's, not just steal random photo's from the web. What kind of B.S. is this.

try contacting the editor of the magazine, explain the situation, you never know, they might even write an article about it.
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      04-25-2008, 07:40 PM   #10
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Dleo: haha I agree with you, I'd be more than happy if they actually sent me a pair of nice wheels for my Mustang, but that is perhaps out of space for them...

As you say, a company like Iforged shouldnt have any problems paying me for the usage of the photos, and not just sit there and say They didnt knew they couldnt use them, how would they know if they havnt even asked me?!

If I'm counting in all the terms they broke the payment I should require for and most legally is around 2-3000 usd for that, I know that sounds insanely much myself therefor I just told them to give me around 1000usd or so and I'd be cool with it, but no, 100usd is what they can afford...

I did contact the magazines, and I cant blaim them for the publications, they have to trust the person (Iforged UK) for the usage of photos they send in for them to publish...

What they gave me was an conversation log which shows the whole process on how Iforged UK let them use my photo and such, something Iforged UK said they HAVENT done, they told me to contact Iforged USA, and Iforged USA tells me to contact the magazine lol.. I'm comming nowhere... :S
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      04-25-2008, 07:57 PM   #11
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hahaha are you kidding? Are they stealing wheel designs TOO!?

I think we should give them a lesson on what copyright is, they seem to have a hard time understanding that!!!

Didnt knew they were stealing wheel designs aswell, funny thing!!
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      04-25-2008, 08:09 PM   #12
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      04-25-2008, 08:14 PM   #13
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Pictures are automatically copyrighted in the U.S too; so they should be aware that stealing a picture is at the very least a civil issue (which of course means they can be sued), nevermind that in Canada and the U.S it is also a criminal issue.

As for your mention of payment, I am not sure how photo selling works in Sweden, but unlimited *rights* to a professional photo in North American are usually *at least* $1000, in most cases much, much more (for print the normal minimum in band photography at least is over $10,000). Limited use depends on where it is being published and how often. Considering your photos have been used in at least two print magazines I don't think it's unreasonable to expect at $500 per use at a minimum, with no further use. Were you to sue them I'd expect you could easily max out a small claims court claim. Of course they know that won't happen, which is why they are jerks.
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      04-25-2008, 08:15 PM   #14
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Unfortunately this isn't the first time I have heard a complaint about this company.

BTW, I'm moving this to the vendor feedback forum if you don't mind.
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      04-25-2008, 08:43 PM   #15
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Even though I have IForged wheels, I agree with you and where you stand on this issue.

I also commend your effort (taking your word for it) that you have contacted them and unfortunately they probably just "brushed it off" their shoulders which is why you brought this up to our community. I agree with you 100%.
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      04-25-2008, 08:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SES_D View Post
Even though I have IForged wheels, I agree with you and where you stand on this issue.

I also commend your effort (taking your word for it) that you have contacted them and unfortunately they probably just "brushed it off" their shoulders which is why you brought this up to our community. I agree with you 100%.
Sorry, i dont care what product they have to offer. If they steal people's property (a photograph is HIS property) and then brush it off like nothing happened, its not a company i would do business with.

The problem i feel is OPPOSITE, way to many "fan boys" of not just this company, but many others, that see these guys as they can never do no wrong.

I for one never owned a pair of iforged rims or never will. Sit here and talk about quality of product and blah blah blah, if the customer relations isn't there, i take my business else where.

In the end, we are the consumer's and community who keep them in business.
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      04-25-2008, 08:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SES_D View Post
Even though I have IForged wheels, I agree with you and where you stand on this issue.

I also commend your effort (taking your word for it) that you have contacted them and unfortunately they probably just "brushed it off" their shoulders which is why you brought this up to our community. I agree with you 100%.
haha, i posted after your edit, NEVERMIND
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      04-25-2008, 09:37 PM   #18
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I agree with most that companies that don't spend a little bit extra to market and promote their products via a professional photographer/studio is being fairly petty.

In the automotive industry, I would think that it would be common courtesy to "ask" someone if a picture could be used of their vehicle displaying the company’s product.
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      04-25-2008, 11:47 PM   #19
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haha yeah, customer service is definitely key!

I like their new center caps though, gotta get me a set asap!
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      04-26-2008, 12:22 AM   #20
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Wow, that's shady... If there were a shifty smiley here, I'd definitely use it right about now..
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      04-26-2008, 01:16 AM   #21
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As a measly photographer who isn't even all that great, I had somebody take some of my aquarium pictures in the past and use them on their site. Luckily for me, I had them removed, and since then, I've used an ugly watermark on my photos... even though you can still crop it out on a lot of shots.

Regardless, that is just WRONG and their excuse about not knowing it's copyrighted is like the rest of their shitty excuses on delivering quality wheels on time.

I really hope this gets resolved properly. I don't know if Vince Wong is willing to pay you out for rights on your photos, his business practices from the past probably tell you enough. Hopefully you can at least get it removed.
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      04-26-2008, 01:44 AM   #22
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Dejan I am very disturbed by this. I'm in the design industry and to see a company, especially one which profits from unique wheel designs, seemingly disregard your objections to copyright abuse is pathetic. If you're up for it, PM me an email where I can contact the iForged rep you have been speaking too - perhaps some professional insight from an outside source might help them realize what they are doing is very wrong...
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