I wanted to write an update of everything going on the last couple days since this whole Luuux copyright situation blew up earlier this week. Some of you might already know what’s going on but a lot of you who aren’t on Twitter might still be wondering the end result so here’s the scoop.
The person I wrote about the other day who’s name isn’t even worth mentioning anymore has been deleted from Luuux and received no payment. All her “points” were revoked though she tried to cash them out before they closed it with no success. So huge score on that one.
Since then myself and a few other beauty bloggers who I have been in contact with over email/Twitter have diligently been scouring the site looking for our and other people’s pictures. Scouring really isn’t the right word, more like just opening the Health & Beauty section and BAM, it’s literally covered with other people’s work. In the last 2 days I reported 18 individual users who were rampant thieves. At this point Luuux has realized the problem is so massive that just reporting individual photos isn’t enough. Those who are big offenders are having their accounts removed.
The interesting thing I have noticed is that of the people I have reported, most of them were between the ages of 14-16. According to the Terms of Service on Luux’s website they aren’t allowed to have accounts, so why is this happening?
“You acknowledge and agree that you are more than 18 years of age and are fully able to enter into the terms, conditions, obligations, acknowledgments, representations, and warranties set forth in these Terms of Service. You agree that you will adhere to and comply with terms set forth herein. As LUUUX is not intended for users under 18, you may not use LUUUX if you are under 18 years of age.
Maybe they just updated these terms this week and didn’t have a policy in place about age before this? I don’t know.
I also noticed that they added a statement on their main page that leads to their Site Guidelines which is a small step in the right direction. In the guidelines they say that they will now verify the accounts before people are allowed to cash out to ensure that everything was within their guidelines. Progress. It might be nice also if they sent out a blanket email to every single user specifically telling them about these guidelines to help ensure people don’t overlook it.
Luuux is now removing the offenders or stolen posts from their database, and it’s taking about 48 hours or so to take effect after they are reported. One of the two people I have been working with is in Europe, so there is a slight delay. Plus they have been bombarded with reports this week since this all started, which I think is a good thing. Hopefully they are realizing the magnitude of this problem and really will do something to prevent it from happening over and over. They have told me they are looking into software that will help detect when things are copied & pasted, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
What makes me leery about their claims to help now is that I have been hearing quite a few stories from people in Europe who had problems with copyright infringement and Luuux. They would report it, but the company took an eternity to respond and when they did they gave major attitude about it. This was just a few months ago, and I’ve heard this from a few different people. Maybe Luuux hadn’t realized how small the beauty blogging community really is and that eventually we all talk about the same things. But maybe now it’s a lesson learned. We shall see.
What I would hope also from Luuux is that they re-word their Terms of Service in a big way. There are some particular sentences in their policy that I seriously question and here is one of them:
“We do not monitor or control User-Generated Content posted and we take no responsibility for such content.” – Hmm I feel like this is completely wrong. In the end the company IS responsible for the content on their own website, and they must be held accountable. They can’t just say oh we’re too busy to monitor it so we don’t take responsibility, that doesn’t work.
My pledge in all of this is to spend at least an hour a day during the week looking for stolen photos and words and reporting them, mine or other people’s. Copyright infringement is a HUGE problem in general on the Internet, but especially on this site it seems. I am so angry and disgusted by the general lack of care and awareness of copyright infringement, and I just can’t let it go.
I read a couple things in comments or emails this week that just about sums up how clueless people can be about this subject “The photo wasn’t labeled so it’s not copywritten” and “You don’t even have a copyright statement on your site, so it’s not copywritten anyway”. Well I would say “The TV in your house doesn’t have a note on it saying it belongs to you, therefore its ok to walk into your house and take it”.
If any of you are on Luuux (or anywhere else) and see my photos or posts, I am encouraging you to let me know by emailing me. I would also encourage you to report any people on there you see as listed under the age of 18, since that’s against their policy.
Thanks again for all the support of everyone who has either spoken up about this or reported stolen items to Luuux or me. I think together we can make an impact and make things a little better on the Internet.