Home » Copyright/Intellectual Property » Internet “Entrepreneur” Shocked That Copyright Owner Sued Him for Stealing Their Work

Internet “Entrepreneur” Shocked That Copyright Owner Sued Him for Stealing Their Work

30 October 2017

From DIY Photography:

Most people, especially content creators, such as those with YouTube followings of 60K+ people know that much of the Internet is copyrighted. That just because an image appears in a Google Images search result does not mean that it’s free to use. It’s just plain common sense. At least, one would think so.

But YouTuber and Internet “entrepreneur” (that word is so overused these days), Dan Dasilva had to learn this the hard way. After stealing a photographer’s work, the photographer, the legal copyright owner, sued him and won. Dan, though, seems to believe he’s the victim in all this. The victim of a “malicious” photographer.

. . . .

Most people, when they do something like this, get called out on it, and prosecuted, they may post a similar video. Warning people about the dangers of infringing copyright and why it’s not a great idea. Dan, on the other hand, chose to warn his viewers about the “malicious” photographers.

Yes, that’s right, you know the types. They exist all around us. The ones who’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on gear. Who’ve spent years learning and developing their craft. Those who try to profit from their work and enforce the rights they have to their own intellectual property.

. . . .

Dan definitely doesn’t see it that way, though. He thinks that all we do is create images, copyright them, upload them to the Internet, and then wait to sue people.

. . . .

To put it into context, the reason I was sued was because I used a picture that I found on Google Images. Now, I should have known better, yes, in my position I should know better. But, again, I never really thought that there are malicious people out there that […] maliciously put pictures on the Internet.

[People] that copyright pictures that they take and what they do is they’ll get like a copyright on it, and they’ll put it out on the Internet, and it’s freely available on the Internet […] and they literally, some people specifically do this as a job.

. . . .

I still love that he thinks we shoot images to upload to the Internet just so we can sue people for stealing them. That we have teams of people just waiting to pounce. That he actually calls it a “business model”.

. . . .

Dasilva reached a settlement with the photographer for $27,000 in June. He says he also paid around $10,000 in legal fees. That’s $37,000 in total. An expensive lesson to learn. If not for the fact that he doesn’t really seem to have learned a thing.

He certainly didn’t listen to his lawyer, because he was also told that he shouldn’t post this video online.

Link to the rest at DIY Photography

The video described in the OP follows. To be clear, PG doesn’t endorse anything in the video as a statement of current laws or cases relating to intellectual property.

PG does recommend that no one use the creative works of others that are protected by copyright without obtaining prior permission from the creator or owner of the copyright, especially if the creative work is used for commercial purposes.


Copyright/Intellectual Property

18 Comments to “Internet “Entrepreneur” Shocked That Copyright Owner Sued Him for Stealing Their Work”

  1. This guy’s an idiot. No, you can’t steal copyrighted information even if you can easily download it. It’s against the law.

    Are there any further steps the photographer can take because of this video? Sue him for defamation or something?

  2. Couldn’t agree more. How, though, does Getty Images get away with it (pun intended)?

    • Money. Lots and lots of Money.

      Although weren’t they (recently) sued by the original copyright owner of a photograph because they wanted to charge her for the use of photos she had put into the public domain?

  3. People come to this guy for advice? Wow. He has now posted a follow up video that borders on the surreal.


    I’d try framing a response, but I’m honestly not even sure what he is on about.

    • The wall of “you’re awesome,” and “you didn’t do anything wrong,” in his comments makes me weep.

  4. How would he like it if I took his Shopify course, copied it, and used it myself to teach people how to do Shopify? I bet he wouldn’t consider himself a malicious Shopify expert.

    Sheesh, this guy is a piece of work. I noticed his comments are disabled on his video. I guess he was getting too much heat.

    • That needs to happen to him. He sounds like one of those people who cannot grok that a thing is wrong until he’s on the receiving end of it.

  5. A pity he didn’t steal Mickey Mouse – or did he think just the big companies could afford copyrights?

  6. He does not seem to understand that creative work is protected by copyright when it is created. You don’t “go get it copyrighted,” as he says. Sure, you can register it with the appropriate governmental agency (depending on where you hold citizenship), which gives you statutory damages (if you register with the US Copyright Office). But the work is protected whether it is registered or not. This fellow seems very ignorant and ill-informed, almost deliberately so.

    • JM Ney-Grimm of the great name still, I think he understands copyright fine. But he’s a wannabe who likely wants to belong to the screw you club that harvests others’ works and portrays it as his own, or oughter be.

      If going in the hole 37 grand isnt enough to moderate his bragging, chances are, I think, he will keep stealing and get trapped again and again. There’s that old saying ‘criminals get caught because they act stupidly.’

      THere are banks of lawyers who stand up for photographers, images makers, painters, writers and who make demands for around 6-10k for violations, plus more if go to trial, which they most often settle before trial or win at trial.

      It’s nothing to mess with.

      There are two things I dont understand about this article, how does youtoob allow a guy found guilty of theft allow a ‘vid’ of a guy who broke someone else’s copyright.

      The other thing I wonder, is how does facebook have some kind of deal with whomever to protect the jillions of moms and dads who I think unwittingly put up pics on their page of pretty pictures they found elsewhere on the internet?

      It would seem that facebook alone could keep makers and lawyers in business for decades for using others’ works without permission

      • I wondered about the FB thing too. Especially memes. Back around 2008 or so, I was a reader of the blog, Hyperbole and a Half. It’s now a book, which I bought at Barnes&Noble. Anyway, I see her drawings as memes all over the place.


      • …I think he understands copyright fine.

        He did seem very disingenuous as he explained the fact that an image might have nothing but some tiny type indicating that it was copyrighted, which he (poor baby, /sarcasm) could barely see, let alone read. Was he simply lying in a blustering attempt to prove his supposed innocence? Maybe so. The vast majority of images online are under copyright and do not have any type on them at all.

        It just seemed odd that his recommended solution was to simply use a creative commons search. He didn’t seem to know that even if you search that way, you still have to double check that the image you find actually is available under a creative commons license. (Or in the common domain.) It might not be. You must not assume that the search is infallible.

        (Glad you still like my name, USAF! 😉 )

        • thanks J.M. Ney Grimm, your name is just perfect for being an author.

          And you are correct about public domain and creative commons, usually the maker tells one specifically how it can be used. See wikimedia, for instance.

          • …usually the maker tells one specifically how it can be used.

            Exactly. Unless the maker specifically says that you can use the image (and in what circumstances: commercial or non-commercial only, adapted or straight-up only, with attribution only, etc.), then you do not have the right to use it. Period.

  7. Fair use covers most of everything in Facebook and memes. The second you make money off of it though… Expect the hounds to come calling for their dinner.

    • Plenty of people are driving traffic to their own money making things on Facebook, and use memes. Its a definite grey area, because the for-profit use is tertiary. I’m not saying the law isn’t black and white on the matter, it probably is illegal to do that. But the (lack of) enforcement places it in a morally grey area for many people. Like driving 8 miles over the speed limit.

  8. I don’t know which is more impressive, his ignorance or his arrogance. He’s a hell of a package.

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