Stolen: Our photography images

  • 3
  • May 16, 2011

UPDATED AS OF: 17 May 2011, 1:05am

They say that copying is the best form of flattery. But not in this case.

Thanks to one of our Stories’ readers (Cecilia Loh), I discovered today that a fair bit of our work has been copied by another photographer in Indonesia and claimed as his/her own. Our watermarks were removed, replaced with this photographer’s logo, and fake blog posts were written about the shoot experience… The amazing thing is that it’s not just one image, but a whole series of images from multiple clients of ours.

I am a little sad to see things like this happening. It has happened to other photographers I know, but I never thought the day would come when it would happen to me. Enraged? Violated? Of course, but at the end of the day, how am I do react to such a situation? What do I do to bring justice?

It’s interesting to see how many photographers have banded together to help support me and make it known that plagiarism has happened. While I am somewhat thankful, I would also like to hear what Yuda Photography has to say first. Everyone makes mistakes, and the key is to learn from them. I’m sure this serves as a shock to them, knowing they can be found out.

Should they reply to my email and apologise, I am more than willing to forgive, as life is too short to hold grudges. I always recall the words from the bible that say…

You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

Matthew 5:43-47 (The Message)

I have yet to hear a response from Yuda, but rather, I see their blog posts and Facebook pages disappearing quickly, as if it is more important to cover their tracks first, before responding to me. To all our clients who are affected, I am truly sorry this had to happen. I am taking measures to make sure this is rectified.

I feel sorry for the clients that have booked this photographer, with the assumption that these images are theirs. I wonder what kind of images they got in the end. Here are just some of the screenshots I’ve saved based on the plagiarism.

All of these thumbnails below are our images.

I find it funny how the words on the Caution sign were edited from the original. Original image below.

The most amusing are the fake stories behind some of the blog posts, and the changing of names to more local Indonesian ones. Below are the images from the pre-wedding of Amy + Warren, now known as Dita + Roy?

All of our images below…. and more on their website were copied – too many to include here.

Even their Facebook page is based on images of mine.

{UPDATED: 17 May 2011, 1:05am}

Yuda has since emailed me with the following response:

I apologize profusely, I am not a professional photographer, I am still learning and hobby photography. I was very surprised to see information on the website, to be honest it was not me who create and maintanace my website, but there are my friends who do it, even I have never seen or check the website.

and I do not know and thought she was taking a photo your work to be placed on my website, even he also replaced the watermark.

I had confirmation on my friend, and he admitted his error. and I also apologize to Stories.my, for what happened.

now all I have to delete your photo from your website / blog / facebook, even I’ve switched off the facebook. Once again I apologize profusely, and the bear will not happen again.

I also asked for help to Stories.my, to delete the files / information about this problem.

apologize for this incident.

Yuda, thanks for replying. I do not entirely understand the rationale behind your response, but as promised, I will forgive and move on. However, I will not be removing this blog post, as it is part of the history of Stories. I do hope all photographers out there will realise through this experience, how serious plagiarism is and will never do it.

For those who have posted sweeping statements about Indonesians, I beg you not to generalise, as there are many ethical Indonesian photographers, some of whom are my friends. It could have been done by a fellow Malaysian too.

To all my photographer friends and blog followers, thank you for your support. All of you rock. Let’s all go to sleep tonight with no ill feelings, for tomorrow will be a better day. Good night.

59 Comments

  • Anna-Rina says:

    Whoa! Talk about plagiarism 0.o Imagine hiring a photographer based on someone else’s work, hope not many were duped by this misrepresentation.

  • surfnux says:

    Shame to Indonesia’s Photography.

    • Alex Lam says:

      Well… they could have been Malaysians or Americans or Timbuktuians (!!) too… I wouldn’t fault all Indonesians because of one person / company.

  • Debbie Loh says:

    Oh my gosh. The cheek!

  • Max Khoo says:

    For publication on internet, my personal suggestion that watermark in the middle of the pictures in future.

  • Andrew C says:

    That is soooo not cool. But from the looks of it; all the photos are removed from the site and FB site is inaccessible. Did you manage to get an explanation from the photographer about all this?

  • stanley says:

    While it is a very sad incident that not just copying of ideas but an actual robbery case here, it is time to use more technical advance digital protection. It is a very painful experience and I am very sorry about this…

  • Michelle says:

    Shame on them!

  • Eugene Khoo says:

    Their website seems to have been redirected to google now!

    Just unbelievable that someone actually thought doing this will work!

  • Michelle Ho says:

    They’re just SO. INEXCUSABLY. LAZY. The speed at which they took everything off the web (seemingly not knowing the Google Cache doesn’t allow you to erase your tracks entirely) just shows they KNOW full well that they did something wrong.

    But good on you to want to be the bigger person. :) It will be interesting to see how Yuda responds, if at all.

  • They have pretty much removed everything online. The worrying part is we won’t know if they will keep showing the stolen images in offline portfolio.

    Let us know if they ever get back to you with a response.

  • My bad, they didn’t remove the website. They just redirected one of the links. You can still see the gallery.

    Well, guess we can’t let these things get to us too much. Enjoy the rest of the week Grace :)

  • Yee Boon says:

    oh dear…. this is so sad. hope it is resolved soon!

  • Artsowers says:

    Sad to see this…

  • edwin tan says:

    it happen to me last month too.. shame on all these photographers…..

  • Achi says:

    i think u can actually sue them..

  • Jeffro says:

    Hi there, I’ve read about this incident from a friend’s post and decided to share my support on this matter as well. You may file a complain to the Internet authorities i.e. http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx on intellectual rights.

    On another note, do not be too sad. Looking on the bright side of things, I’d say I’m quite proud that this happens. You’d also be able to know that your excellent photography qualities have been acknowledged to the extend people want to copy you (literally). At least you know you’re on a “different level” already (good thing *wink*) Continue to keep up your great stuffs, don’t let incident like this to stop your progress (It’d be a shame then)

    Anyways, hope things turn around in favor to you :)

  • Melvin Foong says:

    The said photographer probably packed his bags and set up another new home somewhere on cyberspace.

    I have stopped myself from making these a big issues; several of my pix were published on print media, with no credits to me but another photographer. My watermark were removed, or covered.

    I told myself, I will let the Almighty deal with the person.

  • Steve says:

    Hi guys,

    I’m from Indonesia myself and I have to say that I am disgusted by Yuda Photography. How could they do that and thinking that they could get away without any conseqwences.

    I tried to visit their website and it’s now redirected to Google. Bloody cowards….I hope that their business goes bankrupt so that they can learn their lesson.

    Truth will always surface itself because God stands with those who are truthful. Well done with your works…you’re an amazing photographer.

    God bless,
    Steve

  • Samuel Senas says:

    I’m an Indonesian Photographer that feel ashamed of all this happening. I will help to report the page. It’s just not fair for the clients and for other talented Indonesian photographers out there.

  • Cecilia says:

    Dear Grace

    Sorry to hear on what happen…. never thought ppl are so daring to post it online claiming it as their work. Hope it’ll be resolved soon.

  • Natasha Khoo says:

    Hi Grace, so sorry to hear about this whole fiasco and I’m glad that it’s all solved now. The reason which Yuda gave is absolutely … RIDICULOUS! If I was starting a new business, would I be allowing my friend to update my own website without my knowledge or permission? What bullshit!!

    Continue to keep churning out the great photos *hugs*

  • felixvoon says:

    It’s more like Yuda Photography: The Art Of Plagiarism.

    It’s interesting to note that Yuda claimed ZERO responsibility for what has happened, and blamed it on an unnamed person. So, he didn’t know it happened huh? Of course he did!

    I don’t buy a single word he says and he had the guts to ask Stories.my to remove his wrongdoings. Yuda, you are disgusting!

  • DwhitecoatBabe says:

    God has a reason for everything that happened. I have a strong gut feeling that something good is gonna happen after this :) Glad that this matter is solved.

  • Wiki Lee says:

    Hello grace,

    I have posted your blog to wikischoolpedia – Indonesia group. Now, they are now well aware how bad it is completely inappropriate of doing this.

    I guess, that’s what I tried to say in my seminar in KL with red ninja last year (wow, i seriously didn’t think it was last year), that with this digital era stops people to be a copy cat, just a shortcut to try to make a business. It’s a shame.

    I guess you responded well. Nothing will stop people doing it, but we know we can stop how we feel. We move on, always try to be the best we can be without fear of having this incident happening again :D

    I miss you guys.. hopefully I’ll see you guys this June OK!

  • rommel says:

    this is really very bad. What a shame to the whole photographer community. This is plagiarism at it worst.

    Hope you guys are okay over there. This just a minuscule obstacle. You will get over it soon enough.

    By the way, love all your wedding shots. I just forayed into the world of wedding photography not too long ago.

    Keep up the excellent & wonderful work. What a inspiration you have been :)

  • Rui Di says:

    It is really ashamed…..Yuda…even the name sounds so terrible. They thought internet world is limited to Indonesia so ppl outside won’t know isit? so naive….

  • Mike Yip says:

    When Nigel first share the links to me, all I could think is WTF.

    I think the email reply was just created to cover the tracks.

    If as per claimed to be taking photos as a hobby, why not post up those photos and ask readers to comment on them so as to improve one’s skill rather than use other people’s images and try to market one’s service?

    Should just lodge a complain with Google at http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/request.py?contact_type=impersonation&&blog_ID=&blog_URL= and get that site shut down.

  • Gilbert Wong says:

    This is very bad. I’m glad you guys found out bout this soon enough before it goes really bad. Stories will still be the original in the industry~!

  • raja kamarul azzahar says:

    I agree with Alex Lam. While this is a despicable act, it was an act by a person/s. Nationality/race has nothing to do with it. And I salute Stories for being ‘big-hearted’ about the whole thing. Seeing your work, I am now more entrenched in my belief; wonderful people brings out wonderful work.

  • Sharon Tan says:

    Well said, Grace. It’s interesting that the internet can be used so easily to plagiarize but at the same time, can be used to spread the ‘news’ so quickly to rally up support.

  • Slvina Valerie says:

    I am sadden to hear that this has happened to the stories team. Your photography is amazing and no one should ever take credit for that except you guys. I tried going to their website but its closed down. But managed to get through to their twitter account please make sure they remove that too.. I’m not sure if they are using your photos there!

  • I’m an Indonesian photographer as well, and truly ashamed for this incident. I really hope someone will teach him a lesson and so, can be set as an example for any other future thieves.

    “I apologize profusely, I am not a professional photographer, I am still learning and hobby photography.” — this excuse is ridiculous and has been used TOO many times.

  • yuda says:

    personal statement

    With this, I’am Yuda photography, acknowledges has taken photographs of works
    from stories.my and put it on the internet (websites, blogs, FB, etc.)
    without permission first, and remove their watermark.
    Photographs of works from stories.my only I’am publish on the internet only,
    and not once I publish in the media offline (hard copy).
    And now the website, blogs, and FB had me off, I also have removed photos
    of their works (stories.my),
    over this incident which I apologize profusely to
    stories.my and all parties. And I promise not
    to happen again at another time.
    Once again I apologize profusely.

    .yuda.

    (I apologize if my words are wrong, because my english is not so good)

  • tareh says:

    wow. ada bear. beruang. rawr

  • gusindra says:

    FYI WHOIS information for yudaphotography.com :
    [Querying whois.verisign-grs.com]
    [Redirected to whois.PublicDomainRegistry.com]
    [Querying whois.PublicDomainRegistry.com]
    [whois.PublicDomainRegistry.com]
    Registration Service Provided By: CV. BALI ORANGE COMMUNICATIONS
    Contact: +62.3617448807

    you can track this plagiator by phone cv bali orange communications

    FCUK plagiator!!

  • Indra Prasta says:

    Hmm… shame… :(

  • Veli says:

    again? newbie want to get famous in one night by stealing portfolio online. They don’t even knows how to click the shutter I think …

    Sometimes this kind of things bring you guys more recognition in online community, hopefully it will bring more client too :) … keep the good work guys …salute!

  • Agoes Moeliadi says:

    Sangat memalukan Yuda !!!

  • widarto adi says:

    im indonesian, and photographer, Yuda’s act is beyond any grace!

    this is also happen to my fellow indonesian photographer, his porto was stolen by his friend, its just SHAME, some people doing this kinda foolish act!

    im agree with you, this blog about crappy plagiarism should remain exist at all cost.

  • kiki says:

    This is stupid, if stolen something on the internet and republish again in internet?
    How come if they think as a bad guy and cheating way such easy like this :)

    Anyway I think, this was happen occasionally Everywhere, in every countries there will be somebody that do this bad copy cat habit :)

    And if possible please close the comment here, the case is obvious and just replicate for negative energy to be spread out the internet..

  • G-Love says:

    Oh my. Well that’s not very nice.

  • jazzmint says:

    OMG, this is really bad…Are you using wordpress for your blog? If you are, try installing some plugin that can deter right click (to save your photo). I did the same because someone stole my photos to use it on a G@y website gathering O.o

  • steven lee says:

    hello grace, why don’t you make several series of your pictures and offer them for sale only to plagiarisers and new web sites. just kidding. nice work.

  • inet police says:

    some people really thing that they can just do anything they want on the internet and getaway with that. some of them might… but not this one :)

    i dug a little bit on the internet when he was deleting everything related to yuda photography and got his realname, ph numbers and even: Home address .. hahahaha

    here you go, for your curiosity

    Yuda Arya
    phone: 081805513879 / 0361 – 3321682
    Home: Jl. Pulau Bacan No. 24, Denpasar, Bali

    there’s a lot more, but i guess that should be enough information.

    to yuda arya,
    If your friend REALLY make a website, stole those photos beyond your awereness, share with us the name … so we know who is the realy culprit behind all these. and he / she definitely own an apology too.

  • Cecilia Loh says:

    Hi Grace,
    Glad it’s been sorted out. Hope others now will think twice (or thrice!) before claiming others’ work as theirs. :)

  • mbah uyo says:

    im from indonesian … i do photograph for my work ….

    for Yuda :
    (i write in bahasa because u wrote your english not good )…… ELO PAYAH !!!! (LOSER)

  • Michele says:

    Grace I’m so proud of you for handling this so gracefully :-)

  • Diane Lee says:

    It’s a blessing in disguise!

  • Nichole Fan says:

    Shame on them!

  • Johan Sopiee says:

    awesome!

  • […] unduly suspicious but accounts of new photographers building their portfolios by filling them with pictures swiped from other photographers aren’t entirely unknown. A client who is paying $30,000 for a […]

  • Adi J says:

    Wow, what a story…

    Thanks for sharing, this is a great information for professional photographer

    now i need to be more careful… and think a way so nobody can copy my work in the future without my permission…

  • Grace Tan says:

    Hi Adi, Yeah it’s a learning point for all of us. Anyhow, it’s always difficult to make sure nobody copies our work. I think at some point in our lives, we have been inspired by other photographers and want to shoot like them too.. (in a sense, ‘copy’ their style). So nothing is really original anymore. But something as blatant as this is not acceptable.

  • thank you for sharing the story….

    i have never been cautious about posting my photos on the internet, nor i have ever thought of putting watermarks in them… but now i am thinking about it…. After reading your blog here, now i know it’s important to protect our works. Even though watermarks can be erased, but i am sure that it’s a step of guarding our rights.

    thank you.

  • max says:

    hi grace, thank you for sharing …
    but i think you should bring an yuda to the law. coz
    from there, it can prove who did it, yuda or his friend did it
    because of the words of apology yuda that many are very unreasonable.
    so it would be wise if you bring him to justice

    • Grace Tan says:

      Thanks for your suggestion, but it’s always difficult to have a court case especially internationally. I have weighed the costs and decided to just let it be.

  • Sari Musdar says:

    wow…I also just learn photography but I put only my pics on my website from my own camera.

    Funny if you let someone design your website with other photograper’s picture while you call your self a photographer

    at least gallery in my website is from my hands

  • Laila says:

    I’m an Indonesian and not a photographer but I feel so ashamed and so angry of what Yuda did and his email response was unbelievably ridiculous and unreasonable.

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