The Worst Case of Image Stealing I’ve Ever Seen
I didn’t want to have to write this blog post about the image-stealer Seattle-Tacoma Photographer Benjamin Ramalho. But it is the worst example of image-stealing and bad behavior by a “photographer” that I’ve ever seen.
Me and many others aware of this case have given Tacoma Seattle photography thief Benjamin Ramalho numerous opportunities to acknowledge his thieving and lying, to demonstrate remorse, to give some reason to believe that he will never again steal other photographer’s images and call them his own.
Yet, as of this morning, the thief, Benjamin Ramalho, demonstrates complete lack of remorse, and denies his personal culpability in this extremely well-documented expose detailing the scores of photographs he stole from at least 37 photographers. In each case he added his watermark to their work, and in many cases he painstakingly removed existing watermarks before adding his own.
Additionally, this very morning, August 26, 2012, in a direct text message to me Benjamin Ramalho said “[I] wasn’t aware the images belonged to others.” O.0
INCREDIBLY, just a few days ago he actually threatened to sue the blogger who outed him over at PHOTO STEALERS.
Because of his criminal behavior and utter lack of remorse, I feel compelled to write this blog post – and I encourage everyone else affected by image stealing to write their own – because I fear that this image thief will go right back to image stealing as soon as the pressure and spotlight is off.
The spotlight was put on him 6 days ago through the excellent sleuthing and detective work of the PHOTO STEALERS blog. The blog author outs “photographers” whose websites are filled with other photographer’s work. In most cases, the fauxtographer quickly shamefully remorsefully apologizes, shuts down, and goes away.
For example, a very recent and famous (among photographers) case of a photo-stealer who was outed and then quickly apologized and publicly demonstrated remorse & culpability is detailed over at People of the Second Chance by photography stealer Meagan Kunert. I wish Meagan all the best as she tries to rebuild her life and career. And I have no reason to believe that she will again attempt to steal others’ images and call them her own.
Benjamin Ramalho, on the other hand, is another matter. While I’m not saying that Benjamin Ramalho is a sociopathic liar and thief – because that could be construed as libel if it were not true – I will say that Benjamin Ramalho, Tacoma Seattle Photographer, owner of 247protography, has publicly and repeatedly demonstrated all of the following traits that are associated with the clinical definition of sociopaths:
- Glibness and Superficial Charm
- Manipulative and Conning
- Pathological Lying
- Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
Do I have any evidence that Benjamin Ramalho has shown glibness, conning, pathological lying, and a lack of remorse? Why YES, I DO. Lots and lots of evidence. He publicly and repeatedly demonstrates all of these things in his well-documented behavior and comments over at PHOTO STEALERS. The web of lies and story-shifting he has told so far is as follows, in order:
- The people accusing me are just jealous haters.
- Those are my partner sites, we work directly together.
- Those people stole images from me.
- I’ll talk to my staff and see what happened, will have a staff meeting regarding this.
- The people who are accusing me of stealing have had their Facebook accounts hacked.
- If you dislike the images or find them offensive, then report them to Facebook.
- They were already on my site when I bought it.
- I only put a couple of images on my site as placeholders.
- I Googled “wedding photography” and chose images that I admired, then used them because I didn’t know they weren’t free to use.
- Lightroom put the watermark on the photos, not me (note that in several cases, he removed the original watermarks).
- I never used anything stolen on my site. He literally said this, despite admitting 10 minutes earlier that he had taken images off Google: “Nothing you have ever admired or commented on was anyone else’s work but my own.”
- I did steal the photos, and I am ashamed. I welcome any negative comments you have to say about me. (even though at this point he continued to delete anything negative said about him and leave only the positive messages)
- My apology is only to two photographers. I didn’t take from anyone else.
- Okay fine, I stole from 3 photographers, but that’s it.
- If you tell people I stole photos, I’m going to sue you for defamation.
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