For many people from the arts, online revenue is a large part of our businesses.
A huge amount of sites are springing up using our details, and images stolen from Google and large sites, and used for phishing and fraud.
(I have removed the http's and the dot coms. They do not need more people linking to them)
and many, many more springing up every month and these will be affecting our economies.
Not only are these sites breaking basic laws of the land but, they are also stealing our livelihoods.
When an image or advert appears on one of these sites, they are adding our name to fraud and they are also stealing money from would be buyers of our work.
These sites are a blot on the landscape and are dragging our names, and that of companies like PayPal, McAfee and Verisign, (whose logos they use), into disrepute.
We know that you are already working hard to stop copyright thefts and we ask that you look into these companies and close them down immediately, along with any other sites like them.
Elizabeth Edwards Founder | CEO 1stAngel Arts Magazine http://1stangel.co.uk
Here is just one artist's views...
"I think the point that needs to be made is that this much more serious than an individual stealing an image. Lets get this straight; this is mass image theft which is being used in industrial scale fraud."
"Google has the power to ban these sites or push them way down the rankings.. as it stands now these sites are showing up on the first page of my Google search listings. Anyone searching for my work on Google will find these sites. They may take time to respond but until Google, Amazon, Paypal, Versign etc take concerted action against these sites they are as good as condoning fraud. Signing and sharing this petition is one way of exerting pressure.
I think Google can be pushed to act against these sites because they simply can't afford to be seen to allow obviously fraudulent sites to gain high rankings... and the best way to achieve this is to keep complaining often, loudly and to all of them. I'm sure there must be many purchasers complaining they have been ripped off by these sites and saying that Google is doing nothing to prevent it
I know someone who was ripped off by one of these sites.. Google is encouraging the perception that many well known products can be brought at a fraction of their normal price... by giving fraudulent sites selling fake (and non existent) goods the same status in their listings as suppliers of genuine goods.
If I was Canon, Sony, Amazon or any major online retailer or legit major manufacturer I would be totally outraged by Googles stance on this. These major firms are paying millions for position on Google... and I for one am grateful that artists outraged by their images being stolen are intent on raising awareness of this. I am surprised that online retailers aren't already jumping up and down about this..
I simply don't buy that Google can't do anything about these sites.. if I get one keyword wrong on my site I'm told my site will plummet down the rankings."