Canadian Anti-Piracy Site Caught Using Photos Without Permission


Canipre — short for Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement — is a Canadian anti-piracy company that has joined hand-in-hand with film studios and record companies to track down those who steal and share stolen content over the internet. On the surface there’s nothing wrong with this, what is wrong is when an intellectual property advocate is found using photos without permission, which is exactly what happened to Canipre a couple of days ago.

According to Vice Canada, who broke the news, three photographers found their photos were being used by the site a few days ago, and none of them had given the anti-piracy company permission. The three photogs are Steve Houk, Sascha Pohflepp and Brian Moore, the last two of which licensed their images CC, which means Canipre had only to credit them to avoid any embarrassment. Unfortunately, they had not done so.


For their part, the company responded promptly (if, in some opinions, inadequately) when Houk contacted them via e-mail to get his photo taken down. Canipre managing director Berry Logan contacted him immediately apologizing and explaining that it was a third party web developer who had licensed the photo through an image bank. Houk claims he has never licensed his photo out to anyone:

I pointed out to Logan that if that was true, he had basically paid his vendor to rip off other people’s creative work. Logan told me that he would contact his web provider and have the image removed. He also told me that he would provide me with the name of the website developer and the name of the image bank where they obtained my photo.

I did notice that they took down my photo, but I have not heard back from Logan regarding the name of the developer and where they sourced my image.

All of the photos have actually been taken down, and we assume that Canipre will get in touch with all of the photographers to, at the very least, apologize profusely. The damage to the company’s reputation, however, is done. As Houk explained in an email conversation with Vice, “it was disheartening to see a company that champions intellectual property rights pirating someone else’s creative work.”

(via TorrentFreak)

  • Fuzztographer

    Hollywood and their ilk are hypocrites, big shocker.

  • harumph

    Hollywood, Canada.

  • Jeremy Madore

    Oh the irony of it all!

  • Duke Shin

    “they all know
    it’s wrong
    and they’re still
    doing it”

    This could be interpreted in many ways.

  • madmax

    ‘third party web developer” The incredible advantages of cutting government spending and go outsourcing instead!

  • Jan N

    excellent double standards… gotta love these people. About waiting for a response from them, I wish you good luck

  • analogworm

    It would be appropriate to claim a massively overpriced compensation.. Instead of the normal 300% rate, add a couple of zero’s.. Just to get back at them :P

  • Theranthrope

    Toronto? Vancouver?

  • Theranthrope

    “Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement*”

    *for Big Media only (independents should sit quietly and take it).

  • Delowa

    my web designer did it…

  • Gord

    Yeah, this is all too often becoming their excuse. If intellectual property is your beef, then it’s your responsibility to make sure. Playing fast and loose with other people’s property gives people no qualms about playing loose with yours.

  • Ralph Hightower


  • robbie

    please stop calling photographers ‘photogs’
    it sounds like crap
    thank you

  • Anning Bretton

    my rооmаt℮’s ℮x-wif℮ mаĸ℮s $83/հоսr оո tհ℮ iոt℮rո℮t. Sհ℮ հаs b℮℮ո оսt оf wоrĸ fоr t℮ո mоոtհs bսt lаst mоոtհ հ℮r pаyсհ℮сĸ wаs $19301 jսst wоrĸiոg оո tհ℮ iոt℮rո℮t fоr а f℮w հоսrs. հ℮r℮’s tհ℮ sit℮ tо r℮аd mоr℮,…. Fℴx85.ℂℴm

  • Gord

    Who cares? Call them “barfnoids” for all it matters. Lighten up.

  • Rob S

    Yet another example of Photographers being held in low esteem by the “art” community. I hope the people involved get more than an apology. Their own slogan is why they need to pay and pay big. Until the cost-bennifit equation is changed, companies will continue to rip off photographers without thinking twice.

  • Alexander Petricca

    The irony.

  • Mansgame

    So they get away with just an apology, but a kid using his grandmother’s wifi to download a few songs gets sued for $500,000? Seems fair.

  • Rob Elliott

    well in Canada that has never happened at the limits are set at around $5,000. But ya point is valid

  • Rob Elliott

    private company not a gov’t agency

  • bob cooley

    or worse, ‘togs’ – i throw up in my mouth a little every time someone tries to ‘cutify’ the profession.