On VKontakte (VK.com)
For those who don’t know what VK.com is, it’s essentially “Russian Facebook”. VK.com is a giant cesspit of stolen content. Even a quick Google search will lead to you a bunch of news articles about their issues with piracy. But I’m not going to be talking about pirated videos and music. I’m talking about stolen artwork. There are tons of it and VK.com does not make it easy to report it. I actually had to Google their DMCA form because you can’t find it going through their website. I tried to search “copyright”, “intellectual property”, “DMCA” in their help section and no results turned up.
Since they supposedly review these DMCA cases, they suggest that you contact the infringing party first to try to work it out. Sure, that’s fine. Except I don’t speak Russian. Also, it seems VK doesn’t really care about the poor artist who’s getting their art stolen. During my search, I’ve run into a few posts of people trying to get their art removed by going through the DMCA takedown process, only for VK to decline their request.
So they’re clearly not following through even though their terms of service don’t allow reposting without permission (posted both Russian and English):
7.1.2. Кроме случаев, установленных настоящими Правилами, а также действующим законодательством Российской Федерации, никакой Контент не может быть скопирован (воспроизведен), переработан, распространен, отображен во фрейме, опубликован, скачан, передан, продан или иным способом использован целиком или по частям без предварительного разрешения правообладателя, кроме случаев, когда правообладатель явным образом выразил свое согласие на свободное использование Контента любым лицом. Воспроизведение, копирование, сбор, систематизация, хранение, передача Контента с целью создания базы данных в коммерческих и/или некоммерческих целях и/или использование Контента полностью или в любой его части, независимо от способа использования, без согласия Администрации не допускается.
7.1.2. Except as provided by these Terms as well as by effective Russian legislation, no Content may be copied (reproduced), processed, distributed, displayed in the frame, published, downloaded, transferred, sold or otherwise used in full or in part without the prior permission of the right owner, unless the right owner has expressly agreed to free use of the Content by any person. Reproducing, copying, collecting, systemizing, storing and transferring the Content in order to create a database whether for commercial and/or non-commercial purpose and/or using the Content in whole or its part regardless of the way of use is not allowed without the Administration’s consent.
I haven’t tried to report anything yet since I just found the DMCA page but it is asking for my passport number, which I’m not quite sure I want to hand over to a company that’s pulling this shady shit; even worse if I give them my information and they don’t even comply with my requests.
So I’m just stuck in this spot, cussing out these VK users, but not being able to do anything about it, which sucks. I’m probably going to ask a friend to help me with translating to have these groups remove my art. We’ll see where that takes me.
Oh, I have a favor to ask my Russian-speaking followers who use VK: If you find anyone reposting my art, please kindly let them know that it’s not allowed and to remove it. You can also send me the link too! Thanks ♥️♥️♥️♥️