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Thread: VGRebirth stealing images from other website(s)!

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    Peach (Level 3) Speedy_NES's Avatar
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    Default VGRebirth stealing images from other website(s)!

    Iím sure that a lot of you have heard about Video Game Rebirth lately. Well, I decided to check it out recently and couldnít help but recognize a lot of the scans on their website. Some of the scans were definitely mine, so I decided to compare them with scans from the RFGeneration database, as that is the only place where I submitted my scans to be used exclusively for their online game database. Out of all of the gamepages that I have checked on vgrebirth, the majority of the scans were ripped from rfgeneration.com. I even crosschecked with other websites, and a bunch of scans seem to match with some of theirs as well, but I havenít had the time to fully look into those yet. I donít even want to know how many, if any, of their scans are actually their own work! Iím pretty mad that the staff at vgrebirth ripped those scans from rfgen as they have absolutely no permission to use them, whatsoever Ė they never even asked nor have they given any credit!

    Their scan ripping deeds are clearly premeditated, but to top it off, I posted on their forums asking whether they accept scans that ďI have saved on my computer from other websites,Ē and received the following response from a staff member there:

    ĒSure do, as long as the image isn't watermarked or otherwise marked as being property of a given site or person.Ē

    It is also stated in their Submissions FAQ for Images: ďIf you provide us images from other sources on the web make sure they do not contain any watermarks or logos in them. We cannot use such images for our database.Ē

    Now, Iím sure that anyone who has ever started up their scanner knows just how time consuming it is to scan any material. The fact that I, as well as quite a few others, spent an insane amount of hours scanning our game collections for the rfgeneration database (and Iím sure other websites, too), only to be stolen and used by vgrebirth, makes me pretty pissed. The fact that they donít seem to care makes it even worse.

    For those that wish to see some proof, here are some very obvious examples:

    Original RFGen Myriad back-box scan

    VGRebirth Myriad page

    Original RFGen Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak box-back scan (notice wear top right corner)

    VGRebirth Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak (same wear top right corner)

    Original RFGen Maxi-15 AVE front-case scan

    VGRebirth Maxi-15 page

    I'll leave it at those three examples for now...If anybody wants more proof, Iíve unfortunately got too much of it :S

    I donít even want to start guessing how many scans they have ripped from rfgeneration.com. The fact that the majority of the games that I checked had scans from RFGen says enough.

    Iím posting this here to pass the word around so that webmasters from other sites with video game images can check up on this and possibly look into finding a solution to keep sites like VGRebirth from stealing scans in the future (i.e. watermarking all images, as sad as that may be). If there is one thing that I'm sure nobody wants, itís websites trying to make it big by stealing other peopleís hard work. The fact that RFGen will likely have to watermark all of their images now thanks to VGRebirth, is unfortunate enough.
    I'm always looking for new boxed NES accessories. If you've got any for sale, shoot me a PM!

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Sylentwulf's Avatar
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    Did you simply NOTIFY them? If yes, and they ignored you, then they are definitely in the wrong, and should be drug out into the road and shot, of course.

    HOWEVER. If someone simply e-mailed them the images, and there is no identifying mark, they have NO WAY of knowing where the images came from, or if they are stolen. Plain and simple.

    This has happened to me a TON of times. Someone says "Hey thanx for the item, heres a better pic than the one you currently have on your site" They give it to me, I use it. A week later, someone is screaming on a message board that I stole their pic. Then I have to explain that a simple e-mail to the site owner would have worked wonders, and remove it from my site immediately upon request.
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    Peach (Level 3) Speedy_NES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylentwulf
    Did you simply NOTIFY them? If yes, and they ignored you, then they are definitely in the wrong, and should be drug out into the road and shot, of course.

    HOWEVER. If someone simply e-mailed them the images, and there is no identifying mark, they have NO WAY of knowing where the images came from, or if they are stolen. Plain and simple.

    This has happened to me a TON of times. Someone says "Hey thanx for the item, heres a better pic than the one you currently have on your site" They give it to me, I use it. A week later, someone is screaming on a message board that I stole their pic. Then I have to explain that a simple e-mail to the site owner would have worked wonders, and remove it from my site immediately upon request.
    First of all, they credit contributions, and the person credited on the pages with the ripped scans is a staff member there, not a user! Secondly, when asked in the forums whether it is ok to submit images from other websites (clearly without permission) for their database, a staff member responded without any type of hesitation! If it were a regular user that submitted them, no problem, but the fact that staff is behind it, makes it so much worse! Also, how am I to ever expect them to remove the ripped images from their database? The majority of the scans I encountered in the NES section alone were ripped from RFGen...so am I to expect them to remove ALL of their scans? How are they ever going to know which scans they ripped if they didn't care about ripping scans in the first place (they obviously don't seem to care)? Am I supposed to go through every one of their gamepages and compare the scans to make a list for them? If they had only ripped a couple scans, no biggie, but, like I said before, the majority of what I have seen is ripped!
    I'm always looking for new boxed NES accessories. If you've got any for sale, shoot me a PM!

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    Bell (Level 8) Darren870's Avatar
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    I've talk to the owner of vgrebirth on here and on aim and the guy is a really nice dude. Simply say something to him, im sure he will sort things out.

    Why the big deal though? He isn't using the work to gain anything more then a data base. Not profiting it in any way or passing it off as his own.

    I really don't see the big deal

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    Peach (Level 3) Speedy_NES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren870
    Why the big deal though? He isn't using the work to gain anything more then a data base. Not profiting it in any way or passing it off as his own.

    I really don't see the big deal
    They never asked to use any of RFGen's scans, nor have they given any credit. That alone is a big deal, given the huge amount of time and effort that many people spent on having those scans made.
    I'm always looking for new boxed NES accessories. If you've got any for sale, shoot me a PM!

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    The problem is that a lot of hobbyist sites don't see the big deal taking other people's work, and you'll be hard pressed to find a site that doesn't have SOME uncredited scans or information.

    Give them the benefit of the doubt for now, stay calm about it. They aren't watermarking stuff like EBAUM'S WORLD INCORPORATED which would be a whole other issue.

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    I am a user of VGRebirth... I just emailed one of the head honchos there this very link. I'm pretty sure he's a member here as well. I'm sure he'll address this when he has a moment.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    I would have let Speedy contact them first.

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    Yeah, contacting them would be a good idea, rather than jumping to conclusions. However, having sites stealing content from other sites does piss me off, and I have seen it happen to my own site from some very large websites.
    <Evan_G> i keep my games in an inaccessable crate where i can't play them

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    Interesting subject.

    I know of more than a few of my scans that I have given to www.rfgeneration, that are now on video game rebirth. I honestly wouldnt have an issue with it, if I had been contacted and asked about using my scans. (and properly credited)

    I am also sure that if any information or scan could be asked for and used Its just a matter of asking is all. I know I recently asked Jason "Dangerboy" about using his pictures and information on rfgeneration. I got his permission, and trust me that everything being used will be credited to him or his site.

    Not simply taken without permission and then crediting myself.....


    I am positive that this is not VGrebirths way, and probably is just an individuals fualt ? But I think the person who took and used my images is a staff member there and credited himself for my work (not cool)


    I will be awaiting a reply. Let us know what you hear Speedy.

    "until all are one" - Optimus Prime
    Link to collection:
    http://www.rfgeneration.com/cgi-bin/...der=Collection


    R.I.P. Michael "Nepenthean" Collins
    You will not be forgotten.

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    I am starting to scan my CIB Sega Genesis library for RFGeneration and I will be watermarking all the scans so they don't get ripped off. It takes a lot of time to scans games. I have 705 Genesis games and that a scan for the cart, manual, box front and box back. Thatís 2820 scans that I don't want other people right clicking on saving and then posting on a different site without asking me.

    Am I pissed about VGRebirth yeah, but being pissed has nothing to do with me being one of the webmasters at RFG. To me it is a matter of principle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tynstar
    I am starting to scan my CIB Sega Genesis library for RFGeneration and I will be watermarking all the scans so they don't get ripped off. It takes a lot of time to scans games. I have 705 Genesis games and that a scan for the cart, manual, box front and box back. Thatís 2820 scans that I don't want other people right clicking on saving and then posting on a different site without asking me.

    Am I pissed about VGRebirth yeah, but being pissed has nothing to do with me being one of the webmasters at RFG. To me it is a matter of principle.
    While you be doing the scans of the Genesis games, I will be updating a lot of Genesis games with information and such.

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    ServBot (Level 11) roushimsx's Avatar
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    Wait, did you make sure you got the permission to scan the Max 15 before you scanned it and uploaded it to the internet? How about The Flintstones box?

    I think you're blowing things too far out of proportion.

    Do you scan stuff for your e-penis or do you do it to actually help preserve information/data/art/whatever?

    Maybe it's just me, but when I scan / record / photo / cap / dump / rip and then see it being spread elsewhere, it puts a smile on my face that someone liked what I did enough to spread it around. If the site I submit it to gives me credit, then that's great and dandy. If they don't, that's ok too. It just irks me when stuff I take the time to scan gets watermarked (which is why I quit scanning stuff for Mobygames).

    Everyone is too eager to get credit for whatever that the whole spirit of it all gets lost in the shuffle. Scanners want credit for scanning, websites want to tag/mark every fucking thing so people will visit, pirates are busy tacking intros and trainers to games, etc.

    *shrug* that's just my two cents. I'm sure no one cares.

    On a sidenote, what resolution do you scan in? Those images looked a bit small, so I'm just curious if you submit smaller photos or if you do 300dpi scans and websites resize them for bandwidth concerns.

    Sometimes I like to fuck around with higher resolutions, but god damn if it ain't overkill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fighter17
    Quote Originally Posted by tynstar
    I am starting to scan my CIB Sega Genesis library for RFGeneration and I will be watermarking all the scans so they don't get ripped off. It takes a lot of time to scans games. I have 705 Genesis games and that a scan for the cart, manual, box front and box back. Thatís 2820 scans that I don't want other people right clicking on saving and then posting on a different site without asking me.

    Am I pissed about VGRebirth yeah, but being pissed has nothing to do with me being one of the webmasters at RFG. To me it is a matter of principle.
    While you be doing the scans of the Genesis games, I will be updating a lot of Genesis games with information and such.
    Awesome thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx
    Wait, did you make sure you got the permission to scan the Max 15 before you scanned it and uploaded it to the internet? How about The Flintstones box?

    I think you're blowing things too far out of proportion.

    Do you scan stuff for your e-penis or do you do it to actually help preserve information/data/art/whatever?

    Maybe it's just me, but when I scan / record / photo / cap / dump / rip and then see it being spread elsewhere, it puts a smile on my face that someone liked what I did enough to spread it around. If the site I submit it to gives me credit, then that's great and dandy. If they don't, that's ok too. It just irks me when stuff I take the time to scan gets watermarked (which is why I quit scanning stuff for Mobygames).

    Everyone is too eager to get credit for whatever that the whole spirit of it all gets lost in the shuffle. Scanners want credit for scanning, websites want to tag/mark every fucking thing so people will visit, pirates are busy tacking intros and trainers to games, etc.

    *shrug* that's just my two cents. I'm sure no one cares.

    On a sidenote, what resolution do you scan in? Those images looked a bit small, so I'm just curious if you submit smaller photos or if you do 300dpi scans and websites resize them for bandwidth concerns.

    Sometimes I like to fuck around with higher resolutions, but god damn if it ain't overkill.
    I think you are missing the point. We just want credit for our hard work. IF they would of asked.

    As far as resolution goes I scan between 150-300dpi. On our old server space was an issue but it isnt anymore. Teh guide line we use is the smallest side of the image be 550 pixels.

    Here si a thread about submitting images.

    http://www.rfgeneration.com/cgi-bin/...num=1129172794

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    You might think it is great to see your work used around the web.
    But i only like seeing my stuff on the web if my name is attatched.

    If people are just stealing my shit and taking credit for it i get pissed off.
    I enjoy doing the work i do for the RFGen database as well as things i have done to help other various websites, including this one. Although it took alot longer to get done since i wasn't able to do it myself and was alot less than i have done on other sites.

    But really what is the purpose of doing so much work if you just go unnoticed and some random person steals it and claims it for their own?

    And what possibly purpose could VGR have for thumbnailing veryimage they have on that site other than in hopes of people not recognizing stolen scans?

    Its not even like the staff member tried to hide the fact he was stealing images.
    His username is optigrab.

    As for contacting them about the images that we know for sure were stolen i don't see how that can help any.

    Sure those might get removed but what about the possibly thousands of others that were stolen?

    I don't see how runing a website and using stolen content from other websites as well as condoning the stealing of said content can even make sense to someone.

    Anagrama is on the staff there i would like to here his response on this.
    I "singled" him out because i know I know he still posts here because Pieter said he mentioned VGR being "head and shoulders above everything else"
    (I did double check that quote up so i didn't get insulted for misrepresentation)
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    ServBot (Level 11) roushimsx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by izret101
    You might think it is great to see your work used around the web.
    But i only like seeing my stuff on the web if my name is attatched.
    So really you're no different from the warez groups that attach intros to roms. Your work is comprised of copying other peoples' work and attaching your name to it, and you're mad someone stripped your name off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx
    Quote Originally Posted by izret101
    You might think it is great to see your work used around the web.
    But i only like seeing my stuff on the web if my name is attatched.
    So really you're no different from the warez groups that attach intros to roms. Your work is comprised of copying other peoples' work and attaching your name to it, and you're mad someone stripped your name off.
    I fail to see the comparison.

    How is me scanning a game i purchased and putting the image into a database similair to someone hacking a program illegaly and distributing it illegally across the web?

    The only real link is the name being attatched.

    I have used roms. I have never seen somone remove the original authors credit from the program and claim the copied ROM as their own work.

    No they just stick there name their to take credit for the time/effort they spent dumping it and sharing it.

    Besides that when a user submits a image to RFGen there is a little line of text that goes like this:
    "I agree that the content being submitted is original work, and not copied in whole or part from any source that is not my own. I also agree that I have a backup of the work, so that if the webmaster (Michael Collins) should decide to remove the content without warning, I am not at any personal loss. By sending this submission, I do not grant RF Generation ownership of it. However, I do grant RF Generation permanent non-exclusive rights to use it how they choose to. This means I still own the content I submit, can use it wherever and however I choose, but that RF Generation can also use it. RF Generation wishes to credit everyone who helps with the database, even in the smallest way. If an error occurs and I am not credited, I will contact the webmaster immediately. Nobody here should be forgotten."
    That is slightly outdated as Mike is no longer with us.
    But never the less it is unfair/wrong/unethical(depending on your views/beliefs/whatever) not only to us as a website that the images are stolen but also to our users who take time to contribute images and information to our website.
    Which they are always credited for.

    I just don't see how someone can defend the stealing of the images.
    I have denied the use of several thousand images myself because i knew they were stolen from around the web.
    R.I.P. Michael "Nepenthean" Collins
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    http://www.rfgeneration.com

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    ServBot (Level 11) roushimsx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by izret101
    [
    I fail to see the comparison.

    How is me scanning a game i purchased and putting the image into a database similair to someone hacking a program illegaly and distributing it illegally across the web?
    How is me dumping a game I purchased and putting the ROM on the internet any different from you scanning artwork / magazine pages / books you didn't make/write/draw and distributing them illegally across the web?

    I just don't see how someone can defend the stealing of the images.
    You're missing the point: You're getting mad that someone copied something that YOU stole, and you're getting bent out of shape because you didn't get internet props for it, just like the warez scene kiddies.

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    I was a friend of the site owner for a long time (though I haven't spoken to him in a very long time), and I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't do this intentionally.

    VGRebirth, like other game scan/information sites such as MobyGames, gets a large majority of its items from its userbase. Anyone can send them images, and not say where they're from. Maybe the scans which you claim were stolen by the staff were given to them by a person who got them from the RFGen site to begin with.

    They have NO WAY of knowing where the users get the images. They accept them in good faith, believing that their users wouldn't steal them or anythiing. And I know Klarth enough to know that he's got no time to check up on the origins of all images he gets for the site.

    Just. Chill. Instead of blowing this up here, you should've just talked it over with him.

    Edit:
    Doh. I thought Klarth was the owner. Guess I was wrong. :P Still, I'm sure he wouldn't do something like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx
    Wait, did you make sure you got the permission to scan the Max 15 before you scanned it and uploaded it to the internet? How about The Flintstones box?

    I think you're blowing things too far out of proportion.

    Do you scan stuff for your e-penis or do you do it to actually help preserve information/data/art/whatever?

    Maybe it's just me, but when I scan / record / photo / cap / dump / rip and then see it being spread elsewhere, it puts a smile on my face that someone liked what I did enough to spread it around. If the site I submit it to gives me credit, then that's great and dandy. If they don't, that's ok too. It just irks me when stuff I take the time to scan gets watermarked (which is why I quit scanning stuff for Mobygames).

    Everyone is too eager to get credit for whatever that the whole spirit of it all gets lost in the shuffle. Scanners want credit for scanning, websites want to tag/mark every fucking thing so people will visit, pirates are busy tacking intros and trainers to games, etc.
    You are completely missing the point. When I scan something and put it on my site, it is because I want people to come to my site and enjoy my efforts. When someone just takes things from other sites without permission, then any person who sees that image is one less person that will come to my site. It means that they don't have to do any work to get visitors. So yeah, if someone rips off my scans without giving credit, I am not happy. Especially when it is IGN.
    <Evan_G> i keep my games in an inaccessable crate where i can't play them

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    Quote Originally Posted by roushimsx
    Quote Originally Posted by izret101
    [
    I fail to see the comparison.

    How is me scanning a game i purchased and putting the image into a database similair to someone hacking a program illegaly and distributing it illegally across the web?
    How is me dumping a game I purchased and putting the ROM on the internet any different from you scanning artwork / magazine pages / books you didn't make/write/draw and distributing them illegally across the web?
    Me putting a picture of the game or its cover art online is not going to effect that games sales.
    You dumping this games ROM or ripping its ISO and therefore putting the actual game itself online will.
    That is how it is different.

    If it was illegal to put a picture/scan of a game online then IGN, MobyGames, GameCrazy, DP, RFGen, etc etc either wouldn't exist or would exist in a very different compacity.
    R.I.P. Michael "Nepenthean" Collins
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    I have to agree with Roshi on this one. The image belongs to the game developer and simply purchasing a copy of the game doesn't give a person the right to copy and distribute that image onto the internet. It really doesn't matter if you're just hosting the images on a website for others to enjoy or not. It also doesn't matter if it harms the sale of the game that it came from. They're copyrighted images and stealing is stealing. You can't cry foul about someone doing it to you if you yourself are doing it to others. Let me know when you've secured Nintendo's or Sega's permission to host the scans and then tell me how someone stole your work.

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    You know, I would have appreciated an email or a PM or something before you decide to drag me or my site's name through the mud.

    As previously mentioned, a majority of our data is submitted by users. We also only use 200 pixel on the longest side for thumbnails which have legally met the definition of fair use under current copyright law (last time I checked at least).

    Most of my NES images were sent to me via a site user who hosted the images on his personal webspace. I had and have no way of telling where they originally came from, but I can tell you definitively that VGR has not harvested images directly from RFGeneration. In instances where this occurance has happened in the past I have sought permission from the site where images have been taken and credit has been given on the site. (This happened with SMSPower a year or so back). I also have gained permission of sites such as the Mega CD Database and PCenginefx.com to use their images. I do not go around intentionally swiping pics willy-nilly.

    Now, all this being said, I will gladly give RFgeneration props for any image that can be identified as theirs (or to the scan contributor directly) This is done via the site or contributor signing up for the site and me linking the user profile to the game profile.

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    While I understand the whole giving credit where credit is due thing, there's something to be said for fair use of copyrighted images.

    Case in point: Throughout the life span of the now-defunct G.I. Joe website, Zartan's Domain, the webmaster (a guy named Rod Hannah) took literally hundreds of screen grabs from the series' 95 episodes and feature film (plus a smattering of stuff from other Joe series and even grabs from The Transformers, Jem, the Visionaries, and My Little Pony and Friends), including dozens of pans (which are a bitch to assemble, believe me). And never has he ever made a fuss about other sites using the images (and, in fact, he's given the entire collection away a number of times over the years).
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