Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ehow Stealing Again??????

Wow. I have pretty much been staying away from eHow of late and focusing on other revenue streams, but today I pop into the forums and what do I find?

A thread where writers are discovering that eHow is taking their article images and using them on other content elsewhere. Also, the hyperlinks associated with writers' images are being redirected to Demand Studios content NOT the original contributor and owner of the image.

Here's  a link to the eHow forum thread on this issue.  I have a terrible head cold so I haven't been able to fully process the effect of this deceit, but here are some quotes from the conversation on it that I think are edifying... (Note: The wonky formatting is not my doing, it's just how it pasted into the Blogger template.)

"Here is another example of unfair eHow global photo banks.....Here you will find my image of Bailey and her Hot you would think that My image would link to my article...nope it goes to another eHow members article.  My image is shared with all, not one person asked me if they could use it.   I get no traffic from my how is this fair?????"

"Personally I think we should convey a message to eHow that using our images on other  writers articles is unacceptable.  My kitten image took me 7 hours to shoot, I laid in a bush and waited for those kittens to strike a pose...It is not a stock image and it is not up for grabs ....It is protected with a creative commons Lic...and it is indicated on my intro not copy, all rights reserved but eHow took it without my permission, and I am not happy.  "

"I had this same problem.  LiveStrong...a Demand Media site, was using one of my images with MY TITLE and linking it to a Contributing DS writer of a different article.  I was VERY PISSED!  I wrote to DM and boisterously complained.  It took a few weeks, but they finally have the image linking to MY article.  I'm okay with that.  That's a good backlink.  I'll take traffic from LiveStrong any day.

Susan, you need to do the same thing.  Write to DM and demand that they either provide a proper backlink to your article, if they are going to use that photo, or else take it down. Request that your demand go to the Content Editor. 

I had to complain twice, before it got changed, btw."

"Wow. Wow. Wow. Is this ever WRONG! I just did some checking and so far, ALL THE IMAGES I checked--pictures I took of projects I did myself ALL LEAD TO DS contributing writers' articles instead of mine. That is, the first of the two choices one is given in a Google search. The first choice always being the larger of the two images. For example, my biggest traffic draw EVER is the Wild THing Muppet, and the article it links to is not mine! THat is ME IN THE PHOTO and you don't have my permission to use me for your own purposes!
Excuse me, but up until now I thought some of the complainers were going over the top in wanting to shut eHow down, and I still would rather just see eHow start practicing GOOD FAITH and LEGALITY, but if this continues, you bet I will be pushing for a shut down of this scam site. I want my pictures pointing to MY articles and only MY articles."

Don't know why the below is in bold (I hate it when Blogger goes wonky), but here are some final thoughts...

What do you think? Is this okay for them to do this? Unfortunately, one legal issue I can think of is that licenses from sites such as istockphoto probably do not permit this kind of wholesale use of their artists' work.   In my cold medicine haze, I can't lay my eyes on the WCP terms of use but I think use of photos is probably covered in their TOU (although as I've always said, just because it's in the TOU doesn't make it right nor mean it can't be changed). However, eHow needs to disclose exactly how they will use those photos so people don't end up in trouble with third party photo licenses.  

It's not helping that they do all this crap in secret.

On top of that, there still may be the legal issue of unfair competition. It's unfair and unethical for eHow to take people's work and use it against them to undermine their earnings.  

Here is some great information on unfair competition.


  1. Yes, it appears eHow/Demand Studios is up to new tricks- I've written about it a lot on the forum threads, and on my blog
    My latest entry yesterday is specifically about the photo issue and gives detailed information about what is happening with the photos.
    Thanks you for your article and for stating that it is unfair and unethical for eHow to do what they are doing. Many people agree.

  2. I don't think it's clear at all that this is deliberate. If you follow the flow of the thread on the forum it now appears that it may have something to do with eHow resizing pictures some months back. Some members are discovering that they are on the receiving links TO their articles as well as losing links from them.

  3. Well, it doesn't matter because ehow is "no more" effective April 13th. 2 1/2 years down the drain for me! Although I did not have any problems with images I did have it with deleted articles and many articles being locked away from me by DS.