A small business owner fighting copyright infringement

Fighting copyright infringement.

Over the past six years that KENZA International Beauty has been in business, my content, as well as photographs, have been violated by various companies in Europe, Africa and now the United States.

In legal term it is called copyright infringement: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement

Usually, it is from new start-ups or very small businesses that either were not aware of this rule or simply tried and hoped not to be caught. As easy as it is to download a picture or copy content online it is pretty simple to find your work online on other sites. After being kindly notified they apologize and remove the picture or content from their website. But sometimes you have to apply other ways and let’s just say that I was responsible for several websites to be shut down.

The common rule is that when you find a picture on a public domain such as Google and you decide to use it, you have the obligation to first check to whom it belongs, ask for authorization to use it from the owner, or use it and give credit.

You also have tons of photographs ready to be purchased from Shutterstock, Getty images, Adobe Stock, and many others for a couple of dollars that can be used legally.

This time one of my Argan tree pictures was simply stolen by Nick Chavez Beverly Hills. Without any authorization or credit for my copyrighted work, or shame Nick Chavez Beverly Hills just photoshopped his Thirst Quencher Hydrating Hairspray with Argan oil product on my picture to use it for marketing, commercial and promotion purposes for several months until I confronted them.

This instagram post was posted on May 31st, 2018 then removed.

Advertising on Instagram his product with my picture.
This post was later removed.

After a public pressure via social media (nowadays that’s the best way to get attention and that’s when Facebook become an efficient way to communicate with corporations), they removed it from all their social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest) where they were shamelessly advertising their product: Thirst Quencher Hydrating Hairspray with Argan oil. They also placed it in a newsletter campaign that was sent via an internet service company called Milled.

This was on Milled.com until it will be removed by Google as I requested it by law (DMCA takedown) .

Proudly showing his products via a newsletter using Milled.
.

DMCA Takedown Milled Nick Chavez Beverly Hills 92618

Instead of apologizing for their illegal action they arrogantly challenged me to prove that I was the owner of this particular picture. Well, that picture was taken almost two years ago on a rainy day in the garden of Atlas Kasbah hotel in Agadir, Morocco. For this particular photo shoot, I took a long flight from New York to Casablanca (8 hours), a bus trip to Agadir with my Assistant (7 hours), a car rental and a hotel stay to be able to take this unique photo.

And by the way this unique Argan tree with wet Argan nuts is registered as my copyright work now:
Argan Tree Agadir – ©2016 KENZA International Beauty.

Argan Tree Agadir ©2016 KENZA International Beauty

They naively stated that when they found my picture on Google (which by the way, was posted on my Blog: What is Argan Oil? where it is clearly mentioned at the bottom: All content is copyright @KENZA International Beauty – Khadija Fajry)

“they were not familiar with my company and website”

so they just decided to take it without permission. Well of course, how easy! I bet they wouldn’t have touched it if they saw L’Oréal instead or Getty Images.
{ps: it would be great if Google added a protection for all the non-licensed pictures not to be downloaded easily.}.

As many of you know by now just by following my blog, being a client or just a fan on social media, part of my work is to travel on location (Morocco, France) to share with you my discoveries, new ingredients, and share as much information as I can that relate to the production of the botanical ingredients used in my KENZA be generously beautiful™ line.

Khadija Fajry admiring the beautiful Argan Tree at Atlas Kasbah hotel in Agadir, Morocco where the famous picture was taken the day before when it rained. – Photo taken by my Assistant Mouna.

This is where my Argan Tree picture was taken when it rained.

I spend a big part of my budget on these work travels (time, transportation, accommodations, food, guides, etc) and getting the highest ingredients available too because it is important for me not only to show you the source of everything I use in my KENZA beauty line but also let you discover with me.

Every picture you will see on my blog, website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest and YouTube, are my own.
All of these photographs are copyrighted as soon as you are the one taking them but if you want to add a layer of protection it is better to register them at https://www.copyright.gov

I am happy to collaborate, share and give information when you simply ask but I will not tolerate that you have the shameless audacity to steal my work.

This statement is for my clients and followers to know what happens behind the scenes. I thank you all for your support during this case and for the past six years. This is also for other small business owners that have to deal with this copyright infringement situation. You are not alone. We have laws that protect us and our work. Don’t let it go unsolved.

It is also for Nick Chavez Beverly Hills clients worldwide (on his website, QVC, Dermastore, Amazon, and all the other marketplaces that he sells on) to see how unethical, arrogant and shameless this company is to take advantage of a small business like mine instead of just spending a couple of dollars to purchase a picture or license it legally because they can clearly afford it.

What does that tell you about the way Nick Chavez Beverly Hills conducts his business?

I am a minority woman small business owner and I will do all I can to protect and defend my work.

Feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you think of this. Share your experience on how you fighting copyright infringement for your company.

Published by

Khadija Fajry

I AM a Mom, CEO, a Moroccan in New York City on a mission to make BEAUTY a GENEROUS act.