Popular Polish Company 'Borrows' Bloggers' Images - Readers Revolt

Updates are live. Continue checking for more.

UPDATE 8:44AM 7/26: Mary and Jeanette have both taken their posts down until the issue is resolved. This is likely a result of the Facebook post made by Revlon.

In the wake of Lynderella and Julep, Sinful Colors comes riding in with a whole new nail controversy to shake up the polished world.

Sinful Colors stole images from bloggers The Swatchaholic and Swatch and Learn without express permission for use in their promotional pamphlets.

I strolled into Walgreens after my workout yesterday to pick up a Gatorade. (I swear that was my only intent.) The draw of the polish aisle was too strong, so I meandered over. I'd read about the 99 cent sale Sinful Colors was having, so I looked at the colors. What caught my eye was a small flyer that read "Nail It" on the front. I couldn't not pick it up, it being so close to this blog's moniker.


The alarm bells started ringing immediately after seeing the first image in the centerfold.


I said to myself "I know those nails!" The shine on the nails, the shape of the nails, and the curve of the fingers are signature The Swatchaholic. But where's her watermark? Where's that curved text that I myself emulate in my own pictures? It's certainly not on the picture, and there's no mention of her in the pamphlet.

I raced home, took some phone pictures and promptly emailed her inquiring about this possible copyright infringement. I calmed down a bit, did my own manicure, and headed to bed.

Waking up the morning revealed that there was indeed a blatant case of copyright infringement. She'd written back and informed me that they had indeed stolen the pictures.

Twitter further fueled the fire lit under all the bloggers butts when Mary at Swatch and Learn alerted us that her image was also lifted without permission. Here's hers:


Now read that text accompanying Mary's picture.

Using a toothpick, gently swirl the colors together to create a fun and unique design.

Or...ya know...buy a stamp to get it perfect, like Mary did. 

So not only has Sinful Colors pilfered images without permission and removed watermarks, they've flat out lied to their readers, claiming that the technique used in Mary's stolen picture can be accomplished with a toothpick. That's clearly a stamp, which they'd known if they'd read Mary's post.

Let's go back to Jeanette's picture. What's up with that bottle Sinful Colors? Did you change your branding since publishing this picture? Oh that's right, it's a COLOR CLUB bottle. In fact, both of the images use no Sinful Colors polishes. Wow. 

The kickback from readers has already been uproarious and angry. Check out Sinful Colors's Facebook page and their community page for just a bit of it. 

So what can you do? Share this info with your friends and reconsider your purchases of Sinful Colors. This is outright theft and copyright infringement.

If you have additional updates you'd like to share, leave a comment and I'll edit this post accordingly. If you know who the owner of the following image is, please let me know so we can contact her in case her work was also stolen:

 
Also for your reference are some helpful links:


Updates
  • Reddit (I'm the author of this post)
The Swatchaholic Links
Swatch and Learn Links

 Sinful Colors Links
Revlon Links (purchased Sinful Colors)
Walgreens Links
change.org Links

34 comments :

  1. This makes me so angry, I cant believe they can get away with this. I've recently started using a much more blatent watermark. It's not great to look at and I'm sure a lot of people wish I didnt use it but it's a lot harder to edit out and avoid situations like this. However if they crop it down there really is no avoiding it. And to lie about the way the process is done is unfair to those starting out. I'm pretty sure there's also some legal issues (along with the rest) of claiming that their polishes are used when they're not. Makes me sick and I'm glad I've never bought any of their products, nor will I ever do now. Rant over :p

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  2. I'm seriously in shock and so disappointed that a company this large would steal images, INTENTIONALLY remove credit, and use them without permission. The worst part is that the pamphlets have been printed and distributed - it's not a post on the Internet that can be taken down or edited to add credit. I'd imagine that pretty soon there will be hundreds if not thousands of people who won't support this brand or buy their products after seeing them do something so dishonest and unnecessary.

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  3. Ew. Pretty embarrassed I did my first (and last) SC post right before this happened.

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  4. I believe Swatchoholic is from Germany? If so, in which country is located the server, that she uses to post? If in Europe, she is protected by european intellectual property law.
    Check it out here:
    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32004L0048R%2801%29:EN:NOT
    http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eyouguide/fiches/glossary_ipr/index_en.htm

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  5. Where have I been? Really need to keep myself up to day with news in the nail community if I want to carry on as a nail blogger. That's a digusting act from a company like them not to mention really stupid as well. Thank gosh I don't own any SC polish. They retail for £3 here, I'm not spending money on them.

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  6. I am trying to find a better picture of the 3rd photo from the unidentified blogger. If someone has one or a link to one, either send me it frankenstyna at gmail dot com or go to Tineye.com and do a reverse image search. And to any bloggers out there, Tinyeye is a great tool to see if your pictures are being stolen (but only online).

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    Replies
    1. I've tried TinyEye as well as dropping the image into Google Images. Nothing I could find yet.

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    2. I also just learned that it's TinEye...not TinyEye. TIL.

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    3. Haha oh yeah... I wrote it right the first time!

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  7. Wow. I am so disgusted! Thank you for sharing this. Ugh sucks that I had recently purchased my first SC polishes for my giveaway... :/ first and last time..

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  8. They will probably said it was a mistake from their PR company or something. It sucks, I know.

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  9. I do hope that the right owners of the pics will take SC to court!!! This is terrible... we all know how much work goes into our blogging and the pics often take the longest... to get it all perfect....

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  10. [IMG]http://i968.photobucket.com/albums/ae165/jackytheripper/00601956.jpg[/IMG]

    I think this is a pic of a mani that I posted to makeupalley a while back, here's a pic of my right hand to compare fingers...My fingers are shaped really weird, I can't imagine it's anyone else's! I need to look for this post now!

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    Replies
    1. Jackytheripper, do you remember about when you would have posted it? MUA's board search sucks monkeyballs, but it is possible to get back to older posts than will turn up in search if you have an idea when they were. For instance, this link goes to April 24, 2011:

      http://www.makeupalley.com/board/j.asp?bid=10&tid=402450

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    2. I was reading that on the nb last night...I'm gonna try to look, but I'm not as worried about it as I am the other two bloggers. They intentionally removed watermarks and are using them promotionally...I posted on a public website where the image was probably searchable through Google. I don't see that as wrong as I see these ladies who work day and night, as their professional job, to make their swatches available to us- just as you do.

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    3. Jacky, regardless of where you posted the photo, it's still your work which you have rights to, and I think you should benefit from it, at least by being acknowledged by Sinful. If you're not fussed about, though, I'm good with that.

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  11. Thanks for getting all these links together!

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  12. NEW UPDATE!!!! Not only have they used the images in the pamphlets but they have photo shopped the Swatchaholics nails and digitally placed them on a models nails!!!! She's posted an update on her blog about it along with photos. http://the-swatchaholic.com/?p=6081

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    Replies
    1. OMG I actually cannot believe this!!

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  13. I saw this the other day via twitter, this is just wrong on so many levels. I then further heard that the took the nails in the first picture and placed them onto a sinful colors models hands. Also note that Revlon just bought Sinful Colors so if you really want to show this company "who's boss" you may also want to stop buying Revlon products, or complain to Revlon directly as well. This company makes far too much money to perform amateur and illegal tactics like this. I won't be buying another bottle.

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  14. This is INSANE! Why wouldn't they just approach bloggers and ask them to use THEIR products. Wrong wrong wrong!

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  15. i hope you do not mind i linked your page to mine as i wanted to post it for ozzies to read. here is my blog
    http://osirisandlokipainttheirnails.blogspot.com.au/

    it is joke. and i am shocked on the effort they went to do this!!

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  16. OMG!!!! They should ask permission to use the photos.

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  17. Thanks for sharing this! I can't believe a company this large would go as far as stealing work and changing it!

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  18. Yes thank you for sharing. These bloggers put so much time, effort and money into each and every post and picture and for them to flat out steal and alter is awful!

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  19. Coming late to this party but had to comment on Revlon's FB note. So many people were saying that this wasn't a big deal. I've had images stolen from me, of dogs, not of my creations, and I was INCENSED. If I had put in the kind of time you bloggers did and then found that some huge company like Revlon had stolen my images, I'd be apoplectic. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that someone else commented on your behalf (under Kelly Gibson, if you care to read it).

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  20. This makes me so made!! They could have very easily contacted these ladies saying they'd love to use their images & in return they could have left their name & blog link on the page. I hope they make this up to these bloggers or I would sue!!

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  21. (Repost from a FB commenter)
    Originalslushey MAC has done it too. Unless you copyright your photos and videos they are fair game. Temptalia's pictures are used all the time and in her case the product that she was wearing was not even the product they used the photo to advertise. They aren't joking when they say once you put something out on the web it is fair game for anyone to use and replicate. It really is. Had they owned an ACTUAL copyright on the photos Revlon wouldn't have touched them, but let's be clear that adding a watermark or your Youtube name to the corner of something does not make it copyrighted. There is an actual process and cost to copyright something. Anyway... I'm not saying it is right. I'm just saying that what you put on the net is fair game for anyone to do with or use however they want, so if you don't want that to happen you have to go through the actual legal steps to protect it and the actual copyright information should be provided in the post as well. I'm just saying this because people really have to smarten up and actually LEARN business law. Otherwise they should probably stay off the net until they do because most laws have not been amended to even include the internet yet, so their really isn't any protection to speak of anyhow. SO... in conclusion... go get the paperwork filled out to actually start the copyright process if you want your blog photos and posts to be protected ladies and gentleman. :)

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    Replies
    1. Alisha21210, you need to smarten up a bit yourself. The creator of an image DOES own the copyright even without registration. It is true that registering it with the Copyright Office strengthens the creator's case if it comes to a lawsuit. It is definitely NOT TRUE that "once you put something out on the web it is fair game for anyone to use and replicate".

      Please see:

      http://webnet77.com/webstuff/copyright.html

      http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/reference/article.php/3472671/Copyright-Questions-and-Answers.htm

      http://www.templetons.com/brad/copyright.html

      Delete
  22. The last photo must be stolen. And it looks familiar too... Ugh why can't I think of where I've seen it!

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  23. Oh man, if those were my nails I would be fuming right now but at the same time feeling absolutely helpless. What a crock of shit, Sinful Colors.

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  24. As of 9/20/2012, there are still Walgreen's in the Omaha, NE area with not only the original, un 'fixed' displays up, but the PAMPHLETS up as well. I have pictures and can provide address if this is useful.

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  25. As of very recently (I think October 11?) Sinful Colors' website is now up (after like 2 years), and that half moon design image from the pamphlet is featured under the Nail Art section. Maybe they got that image legitimately?

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