Fitzroyalty

Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

Tripadvisor responds to an accusation of copyright theft by engaging in more copyright theft

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A little over a year ago I wrote about how I discovered that some photos I had taken and published in my reviews had been stolen and republished without permission by Tripadvisor. After spending considerable time and effort finding the deliberately obscured means to contact them to complain, complain I did and I insisted that the images be removed. I received no response but the images were removed.

I sent Tripadvisor a second complaint and removal demand in May 2013 after I discovered more of my photos being used without permission on their site. Some of those photos still have not been removed. It is my hypothesis that Tripadvisor only removes an image it has stolen if it has another to replace it. In one example, this stolen image of lunch at the Benalla Art Gallery cafe remains on their site as of today.

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A screenshot of the Benalla Gallery Cafe page on Tripadvisor on 1 April 2014

In another disgusting example, Tripadvisor removed one photo they had previously stolen from me and replaced it with another one they had just stolen from me. They first stole the photo from my second Siyia review, and after I complained in May 2013 they replaced it with a photo stolen from my third Siyia review.

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A screenshot of the Siyia page on Tripadvisor at 1 April 2014

Tripadvisor is typical of the lowest of the low of parasitical internet entrepreneurship in that it steals and exploits amateur content, created by one consumer and freely given to others, to make profit for its amoral founders. It encourages mass spamming and fake content by allowing small business owners to endlessly defame their competitors, but accepts no accountability for initiating this, whilst simultaneously lying to consumers about how authentic its content is. Tripadvisor should never be trusted and does not deserve to exist.

6 comments

  1. The images seem to have been removed now. Incidentally, the site allows uploading of any pic by any user. Unsure of whether there is any moderation.

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    • It is my understanding that Tripadvisor has a bot that scrapes the net for images and adds them to relevant pages. It is likely that Tripadvisor itself is the thief, not cafe owners trying to make their listings look better.

      With the Benalla image, it has taken 3 complaints over 11 months to get it removed. It is also clear that while the images are not displayed in the pages on the site, they remain in their CMS and are still publicly available via their own URLs. This is not acceptable. They must be deleted.

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  2. You shouldn’t have to but just for fun perhaps you could add a “trip advisor stole this photo” watermark to photos for new reviews and see if they get scraped.

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  3. It’s just not good enough on Trip Advisor’s behalf. They need to be doing a better job in ensuring that this doesn’t happen.

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