Gun Article Copyright Violation/Theft

I jumped at the chance to write an article that looks at the odds of the Hearing Protection Act passing—and what the legislation is doing to prices right now—when the pros at the NRA asked. The article, “When Will the Hearing Protection Act Pass,” appeared on on Feb. 13. In what appears to be a clear gun article copyright violation/theft, it materialized on Weapons Tricks & Tips on Feb. 20—the complete article, word for word, no Guy Sagi byline, no mention of the company that paid me to write it, and it even includes a photo that belongs to Shooting Illustrated.

The contract is pretty specific. The NRA gets to publish first, then rights for the words revert back to me to hawk to other publishers. Good luck on that now. A copyright violator has compromised my bottom line on the article, which required painstaking double checks of legislative facts/strategy. And the landscape changes more often than underwear in Congress and the Senate.

News to the Magazine

It was news to the editor in chief at Shooting Illustrated and he turned the issue over to the legal department. There’s no contact information on the pirate website. Comments are disabled. As a result, I can’t complain directly, even if the culprit is a 16-year-old pimply pizza delivery kid who doesn’t know better.

My good friend Richard Mann, who writes for dozens of magazines and runs Empty-Cases, spotted another of his stories there. It was news to him, too, as well as the publishers of Guns and Ammo. Actually, another writer made the initial discovery. Honestly, if you’re not keeping up with Richard’s work, you’re missing out on some great stuff. His many fans keep him appraised of this kind of theft, thankfully. I’d try to woo a few of them over to my dark side, but it’d never work.

I did a WhoIs search to find he owner, but a privacy company prevents direct contact. My complaint is supposed to be forwarded, but I haven’t heard back. If I do, in all fairness, I’ll update this blog. I also got a hold of the company that hosts the website. Once again, no answer in that country changing hopscotch harder to master than whack-a-mole.

Gun Article Copyright Violation/Theft

Unfortunately, stuff like this happens every minute (maybe second) of the day. Some people, perhaps in this case, too, don’t know any better. Others are outright cyber thieves.

The best writers and photographers pour over the details and try to make them easy to swallow. Easy to read, understandable and enjoyable isn’t an accident. Getting the light and gear right isn’t by chance. Add Photoshop time and attractive photos are a manpower black hole.

And it’s enthusiasts of every flavor who ultimately pay the price. Guy J. Sagi watermarks on photos are annoying and diminishing the value of decent writing only paints a bleak, press-release-only future as the pros lose work. Manufacturers don’t care who uses their photos, within reason, so enjoy everything on white when it happens.

I’ll keep you up to date on what I hear, but don’t hold your breath. In the meantime, if you have any ideas on my next move leave a comment, or two. Make sure you put anyone else’s writing in quotes, limit your citations to two sentences, provide proper attribution and watermark photos.

Triggertrap Closing Its Doors

I seriously doubt the British staff, owners and designers at Triggertrap had firearm photography in mind when they rolled out the Triggertrap App and Mobile Kit. Regardless, the news of triggertrap closing is a serious blow to amateur and pro rangeside photographers alike.

The smartphone App is free and still is. The “dongle,” or wiring to hook it up to the headphone jack on your electronic leash, was somewhere around $40. The software, available in both iOS and Android, was updated regularly. It was a deal and a wonder more firearm enthusiasts didn’t buy.

Safety First

No range safety officer will let you go beyond the firing line to take picture when the range is hot. In fact, it’s not uncommon that they forbid you from pushing close to that barrier when someone is shooting.

It’s a safety thing, and rightfully so. The only way to get it done is to place, pre-focus and operate the camera from behind the firing line.

That’s where Triggertrap Mobile shined. Sure there are cameras that have the internal mechanisms to operate remotely, but do you really want your shiny new and expensive primary to become a victim of splatter or an errant bullet? Heck no.

Tripod mount your backup when the range is cold, set the controls, connect via wifi using Triggertrap and head behind the firing line to hit the remote shutter release between coffees.

Other Features

Both sides of the system need to be logged onto a wifi network, which is rare at ranges. So you could use the sound trigger, vibration or mode sensor, time lapse mode or other features to get the job done.

Triggertrap closing also means they won’t be helping me capture bullets in flight anytime soon, something an improved version of its flash system may have been able to accomplish in the future.

Ironically, it was the pursuit of quality, yet inexpensive, high-speed photography that proved the company’s undoing. Here’s the CEO/Founder’s note that explains exactly what happened. The Ada system would have been a game changer for those of us who don’t have a caviar-friendly budget.

What’s Available After Triggertrap Closing?

The CEO’s note mentions half-off pricing until the doors close, but good luck finding a “dongle” to fit your camera. I tried for my Canon 5D Mk II and Mk I backup. If you find one you can use at that price, buy it.

The software is still available, and if you’re like me, content to run it on a retired smartphone. That’s a viable—albeit temporary—workaround to prevent the latest operating system update from frying the App, because support was suspended as of this  morning. I’m happier with an old phone downrange, anyway.

The staff maintained its sense of humor throughout the ordeal. In fact, I found their British humor refreshing since the day I discovered and purchased my Triggertrap Mobile.

The company never gained celebrity status among shutterbugs, but the news of Triggertrap closing is sad to me and a lot of other people who religiously uploaded to their Flickr page.