Nuns, Guns and Mutual Funds

nuns guns and mutual funds, ruger, ruger vote, Fear and Loading, Guy J. Sagi, Ruger SR556, Raeford, NC, Fayetteville

A “Gun Safety 2018—Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.” proposal spearheaded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary of Marylhurst, OR, passed on May 9 during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. The Wall Street Journal reports the nuns got in the habit of buying the company’s stock two years ago, along with shares of American Outdoor Brands, to “pressure executives for change.” By the time the meeting was held the nuns, guns and mutual funds group had amassed the minimum number of shares to force the measure’s consideration. Ruger’s Board of Directors had recommended against the move.

It requires, among other things, that by Feb. 8 the company produce a document detailing how the firm monitors any misuse of its products. Information on research into safer guns and reputation/financial risk of its products are also mandated in the document [Page 23 of the PDF].

Company Response

The Ruger response was fast. It reads in part, “Please understand that Ruger was obligated by applicable law to include a shareholder’s activist resolution with its proxy materials for a shareholder vote. With its passage, the proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report. That’s it. A report. What the proposal does not do…and cannot do…is force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected. What it does not do…and cannot do …is force us to adopt misguided principles created by groups who do not own guns, know nothing about our business, and frankly would rather see us out of business. As our CEO explained, ‘we are Americans who work together to produce rugged, reliable, innovative and affordable firearms for responsible citizens. We are staunch supporters of the Second Amendment not because we make firearms, but because we cherish the rights conferred by it. We understand the importance of those rights and, as importantly, recognize that allowing our constitutionally protected freedoms to be eroded for the sake of political expediency is the wrong approach for our Company, for our industry, for our customers, and for our country. We are arms makers for responsible citizens and I want to assure our long-term shareholders and loyal customers that we have no intention of changing that.’”

Nuns, Guns and Mutual Funds Team

The Sisters of the Holy Names, founded originally in 1843 Quebec, Canada, consists of several branches, including the financial activists in Oregon that explains on its website, “As vowed religious and associates, we minister with a deep longing for a new creation, a passion for the reign of God’s justice to be among us.”

Mission First Tactical E2ARMD4 Compensator

Mission First Tactical E2ARMD4 Compensator, Mission First Tactical Tapered three port compensator, Guy J. Sagi, gun porn, firearm photography, Fear and Loading

Mission First Tactical has rolled out its first line of muzzle devices. There’s five in all, and I’m in the process of getting good pictures to accompany my reviews. The one you see here is the Mission First Tactical E2ARMD4 Compensator.

I’m OK with the rim lit, on black version I took of the company’s new E2ARMD1. It provides a ton of detail at a glance, but editors and readers like different looks and feels. Add the fact that there’s little/no room for text and it’s not a lead photo candidate.

Finding appropriate elements to include and create a different look, especially for small item is often a challenge, though. In this case I had something different I thought I’d try.

Sandlblasting Media

My driveway here in Raeford, NC, is terrible. Pine trees neglected years before I moved in have turned it into a crumbling roller coaster ride. The differences in elevation show on topo maps.Mission First Tactical E2ARMD4 Compensator, Mission First Tactical Tapered three port compensator, Guy J. Sagi, gun porn, firearm photography, Fear & Loading Water and dirt form in chronic swamps and I cannot afford to have it redone.

Added to the malady is the fact that UPS, USPS and FedEx arrive nearly every day with new gear I need to test for magazines. That’s a good thing in regard to work, but it’s rough on ailing asphalt.

Every spare moment I can muster is spent on my hands and knees trying to patch and level. Yes, I know it’s a short-term solution, but the cosmetic improvement is temporarily therapeutic.

I read somewhere that one contractor always adds fine silica sand in a ratio of one to three pounds per gallon of asphalt sealer for commercial locations. Traction is improved and allegedly longevity increased.

The jury’s still out on the spots where I’ve applied the mixture, but it is shiny. Sparkly when the sun hits it just right, in the spring, once the flowers are in bloom and my knees no longer ache—or so I’m telling myself. Delivery people now know me as the twinkly driveway guy. When an item’s arrival is running late, simply apply asphalt sealer and like magic before it’s dry a truck shows up with the package and I’m asked, “Is that still wet?”

I had some 40-80 grit, black silica sandblasting media around the house and thought I’d give it a try. Let me know if you think it works. It’s dry, by the way and somewhat appropriate considering the precision in modern machining and polishing.

Focus Stacking

This single image is actually more than a dozen combined, using focus stacking. A small item like the Mission First Tactical E2ARMD4 Compensator with my 100 mm Canon Macro lens would be largely out of focus without the technique. Even stopping down the lens won’t pull it all in at an oblique angle.

You’ll notice the bokeh in back, though. While taking the images I didn’t focus all the way to the background to preserve that effect. Doing so is a balancing act, so if you give it a try, be patient.

Mission First Tactical E2ARMD4 Compensator

I haven’t mounted and tested any of the three versions I was shipped to test yet. Photos come first to avoid having to clean things up later for the camera. It’s a timesaving thing, and there’s this insane driveway project I’m in the middle of.

I can say, however, if the Mission First Tactical E2ARMD4 Compensator performs half as good as the great of the company’s gear, it will be awesome. I cannot recommend the company’s products enough.





Rim Lighting a Mission First Tactical Compensator

Mission First Tactical Compensator, Guy J. Sagi, Fear and Loading, Gun porn, Firearm photography,

Rim lighting is a good way to separate flat-black firearm products from a dark background in photography, like this Mission First Tactical compensator. The lines of white on the sides distinguish the outline/borders from the black. You can set up a pair of flashes behind, angled slightly at the product to generate the effect, but doing so risks flare in the lens and an unwanted “wash” of light everywhere else.

It’s tougher than it looks, but here’s a different approach.

Go Big in Back

The Mission First Tactical compensator (model E2ARMD1) seen here is for an AR-15. It’s around 3 inches long, so I we’re close to macro range—if not there. I used a Canon 100 mm f 2.8 macro lens, if you’re wondering.

The flexible gloss vinyl background is roughly two feet wide and four feet long. It dwarfs the compensator, needless to say, but I needed spare material above. At the back it curls up, held by a light stand (anything tall will work) roughly two or three feet higher than the compensator.


A strobe wearing an Impact Luxbanx Small Octagonal Softbox is behind, literally pushed up against the vinyl. It’s 12 inches wider than the vinyl background, so 6 inches were exposed toward the camera on both sides of the background.

To kill ambient light the shutter speed was set at 200. ISO was 160 to minimize noise should the photo wind up being used with one of my articles in a print magazine. That meant I had to run the lens wide open at f 2.8.

Mission First Tactical compensator, Fear & Loading, Guy J. Sagi, gun porn, gun photography, firearm pix
Here’s the Mission First Tactical compensator image’s first step, rim highlights created by diffused directional light from behind the vinyl sheet.


As you can see to the right, it works. Bear in mind, though, if one side of the soft box is exposed more than the other the rim lighting will be uneven. You can use that to your advantage or shift things until you’re comfortable with the results.

Great, you’re thinking to yourself (or telling a co-worker who’s more interested in today’s cafeteria specials). “I can’t see a darned detail in that Mission First Tactical compensator. Its whole body is black.”

Masking the Mission First Tactical Compensator

Mission First Tactical Compensator, Fear and Loading, Guy J. Sagi, gun porn, gun photography, firearm porn, firearm photography,
The second step is exposing the compensator for detail.

You’re right, but at this point I took a photo (actually series of photos) of the muzzle device, exposing for proper detail (left). I opened it in Photoshop, as well as the backlit version I preferred.

Then I copied one, pasted it on the other, and applied a layer mask. That allowed me to “paint” in the rim lighting, while avoiding detail-draining washout and flare. I rotated the image on top for this blog. The compensator was vertical for the photo session.

Sounds simple enough, but masking takes practice, and I can’t possibly improve upon some of the great tutorials out there. I’m no Photoshop expert, that’s for sure, so I encourage you to read about the technique if you like what you see.

Macro work has its own unique set of challenges that about tripled my time on this single image. It’s an expertise all its own, so I’ll spare you that series of headaches for now.

The method’s certainly interesting and budget friendly. I simply moved around a single strobe to create this composite image. If you give it a try I’d sure love to hear your results or what you think of the technique.   



Improving Detailed Gun Photos on the Cheap

improving detailed gun photos on the cheap, Guy J. Sagi, Fear and Loading, M855 EPR
In the above image, the main light source is from the right. A 69-cent silver card to the left bounces so much light on the shady side of the M855 EPR cartridge, however, that is almost looks like a flash was running there. Copyright Guy J. Sagi

Deep, information-robbing shadows in images leave readers scratching their heads when they want a close look at gear. It’s a shame, too. There are ways of improving detailed gun photos on the cheap, and here’s one of my favorites that might set you back $2—probably less.

Give It Bounce

The solution’s straightforward and doesn’t require adding flashes or flashlight-holding assistants. In my studio I often use mirrors or commercial reflectors to bounce sunlight or flash into an object’s dark nooks and crannies. OK, honestly, I do it most of the time because light is shy about shimmying around corners.

Reflectors or mirrors with stands are perfect. Unfortunately, they’re heavy, big, usually pricey and the latter carries a seven-year threat of bad luck when dropped.

Craft Stores are Your Friend

improving gun detail photos on the cheap, Guy J. Sagi, Fear & Loading, M855 EPR
Here’s a look at the setup for the image. To kill that ugly shadow—seen coming from the M855 EPR round here—in the photo above, the card stock was simply moved more to the left. Copyright Guy J. Sagi

One option is so inexpensive and effective that it borders on ridiculous. Silver card stock comes in 12×12-inch sheets are only 69 cents right now at Michaels. So go ahead and splurge. Buy two. Call me a cheapskatee, but there are some serious advantages.

First, and foremost, the silver lining on one side does a great job reflecting light into otherwise dark areas, ensuring readers get a good look at all the details. That fact alone makes it an invaluable asset in your bag of lighting tricks. Yes, Photoshop can handle those “black holes” if you take your images in Raw, but you risk adding noise. And when print magazines require 300 dpi, a little noise goes a long way—not the right way, either.

Second, they store flat and weigh next to nothing. The system is light enough that I always take some to the SHOT Show, and more than a few of the photos I’ve taken on the floor have been used in magazines. NRA members are subjected to them weekly on my Fear and Loading blog at

The third big advantage has to do with luck. No batteries die unexpectedly and seven-year curse risk is minimized. At the price, this method of improving detailed gun photos on the cheap is disposable, anyway.


For smaller items this approach can be ideal. Bear in mind, though, it won’t flood a huge area with light and ganging groups of these is like herding cats—wild ones.


Making it a Stand Up Guy

There’s also no stand or mechanism for aiming the bounced light. I use binder clips—you know, those big spring-loaded paper clip replacements. The odds are good you have a bunch hanging around the house or office, but if not, Office Depot can set you up with a dozen for only $5.59.

Simply attach a pair to the bottom of the card stock you’re using, then place strategically on the shady side of the item you’re photographing. Adjust the wire “legs” until the reflection is aimed properly. The paper has a short-term memory, so you can slightly flex/bend to fine tune direction. It won’t stay in that position for long, but in a pinch it’s effective if you work fast.

The low-cost system works well enough that serial numbers can even show up on photos for insurance purposes. Here’s a look at a setup I used earlier this year for handgun photos.


M855 EPR, Fear and Loading, Guy J. Sagi
The simple technique really shines on white, where a shadow remains, but details within can be seen easily. Copyright Guy J. Sagi

Make sure you get silver card stock that has a plain white side. There are times when reflecting white is a better option, but there is the possibility things will muddy up where up don’t want it.

Cut one sheet into quarters. Big 12×12-inch sheets are nice, but often get in the way. There are times when lower-profile 6x6s are ideal.

You’ll be tempted to toss your reflectors in a drawer, where they’ll be forever forgotten. I punch a hole near the edge of mine and leave them hanging with my photo gear—the paper-binder stands are staged on a hook nearby.

It’s not a perfect solution, but pretty darned close. And, at the price it’s a great way of improving detailed gun photos on the cheap.

Give it a try and link to the results. I’d love to see how it works out for you.

Fake Gun News

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The stories are real. Don’t take our word for it, just hit the links. But when news items break like this meet a fertilized imagination, fake gun news grows. Guy J. Sagi and Fear and Loading take no responsibility for skewered election results or BBQ mishaps.

Apple Shortage

In a development that could threaten fall bobbing, demand for Washington State apples abroad has strained stateside supplies. Consumers are being warned to expect hauntingly high prices as Halloween approaches.

The shortage remained unexplained until an industry insider uncovered a recent rash of the treat’s exports to Asia. “Nine out of every ten apples are currently being shipped to China, particularly the oversized hybrids,” her report said. “The good news is they seem to prefer the flatter-bottomed, tarter varieties, so there are plenty of golden and red delicious to go around for America’s Halloween festivities.”

Recently declassified government documents indicate there’s a grim reason for the shipments. “This Chinese military video indicates its special operations teams practice shooting apples off the heads of subordinates who karaoke,” it states. “And because there’s no shortage of these specially trained warriors [the shooters, not the singers], we recommend the fruit be included in the list of strategic minerals and materials to limit and better monitor exports.” The heavy legislative docket would seem to indicate that trick won’t be possible until the 2018 legislative session.

CIA Denies Involvement

Intelligence sources abroad have determined it was Kalashnikov Concern’s live-fire demonstration—which shows militarily dressed operators pretty much breaking every rule of gun safety on this planet and those regions of Mars with intelligent life—that was responsible for the mysterious deaths of an entire battalion of ISIS terrorists last week. “The warning ‘not to try this at home’ wasn’t included when it was originally posted, despite the use of live ammo,” a former OSS agent hiding in Lesotho, who requested anonymity, said. “Terrorists dropped like mall ninjas trying to emulate the dangerous moves and it didn’t stop until they ran short of cartridges.”

And Finally in Fake Gun News: Fully Funded Retirements

Russia and China have released annual reports that indicate their respective military retirements are fully funded and secure. Members of their armed services who live to the age of 90 can expect to receive full benefits.

Signs Someone Has a Hidden Gun

Putin, Russian, Gunfighters Gait, signs someone has a hidden gun, Guy J. Sagi, Fear & Loading

Accomplished photographers have at least one thing in common with smart self-defense enthusiasts—attention to detail. A  study released in 2015 , based on images of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “gunslinger gait,” underscores that fact. The way he walks is one of the many signs someone has a hidden gun.

There are other indications a person has a firearm on them, many detailed in The U.S. Department of Justice’s 2006 “Violent Encounters: A study of felonious assaults on our nation’s law enforcement officers.” Recognizing the clues it provides could be lifesaving.

None (as in zero) of the criminals interviewed in the study used a holster. That lack of retention, “…may have made their actions more exaggerated or noticeable, or it may have affected their behaviors in varied but related ways,” according to the study.

Body language

• Hand check—The urge to touch, tug or adjust that gun is common. “These acts become most observable whenever individuals change body positions, such as standing, sitting or exiting a motor vehicle,” according to the report. Running criminals often hold the gun in place.  Hands in pockets or visiting them too often is another of the signs someone has a hidden gun.

• Jock itch—“Many offenders in the three studies revealed that they purposely transported weapons in their crotch areas…because of the reluctance of officers to thoroughly search this location.”

• Blading—They also often turn their body, blade, to shield the gun from detection. One of the interviewed felons explained the habit. “Because they can’t see what I’m reaching for, I get that extra second.”


• Sagging—“Normally, personal items, such as wallets, keys, pagers, and cell phones, do not weigh enough to cause a pocket to hang substantially lower than the one on the opposite side.” Jackets droop or swing like a pendulum on one side when walking.

• Improper clothing—Heavy coats in the summer can hide guns. Jackets open in the dead of winter provide faster draws. And, “Similarly, if a man is wearing a dress shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes, why would he have his shirttail hanging out?” the study asks. It’s all about speed. The report also warns criminals often carry a gun under a coat or item draped over their arm.

• Hoodies—“One offender in the current study stated that he had several friends who carried firearms in their jacket hoods,” the report warns.  Eye hoods not worn during rain and snow with caution.


“Twelve percent of the male offenders in the same study [‘In the Line of Fire’] reported giving their handguns to females to carry for them when approached by law enforcement officers.” Female criminals also preferred storing guns in places officers avoid frisking. Ninety-two percent of the criminals interviewed carried their weapons somewhere in the middle torso—crotch, back, side, chest or belly.

Final signs someone has a hidden gun

Retired Border Patrol Agent and Gunsite Rangemaster Ed Head said your observation should include another focus. “I always looked at their eyes, face and neck,” he said. “People tense up before they launch and you can see this as their eyes narrow or squint, their facial muscles tighten and their carotid arteries in the neck throb as their pulse quickens.”

As for Putin’s walk, the experts claim his KGB training still shows. The gun hand remains close to where the firearm is, or was, holstered during his foreign intelligence service. This other arm and support hand rises, falls and swings in a normal pattern. The asymmetric stride is the gunslinger gait.

Simple Strobist Lighting for Rifle Photography

Leupold VX5 2-10, Beretta ARX100, Guy J. Sagi, Strobist Rifle photography, gun porn

Most modern sporting rifles are black, which makes them a tough subject to pull out of the background in photos. A lot of details can disappear, even with a decent exposure (especially outdoors). Here’s a down and dirty way set up simple strobist lighting for rifle photography.


Two flashes with a power output that can be adjusted manually. Make/model doesn’t matter because they’ll be off the camera. In this case I used my Canon 580EXs.

Three PocketWizards to trigger the strobes remotely from the camera. I use the simpler PlusX versions, the older ones.

Some means of affixing everything in the direction desired. In this case I used a pair of Oben tabletop tripods to adjust and anchor flash direction.

Rifle. For my assignment I needed to photograph a Leupold VX5 on a Beretta ARX100.

Tripod. Not necessary, although nice if you want to drag the shutter long enough for ambient light to provide backlighting.

Camera. The one I used, my outside choice most of the time, is a Canon 5D MkII.


Pick a shady or semi-shady spot and stage the rifle between you and the sun. Sunlight is a “third” light source in this case.

Place the flashes on both sides of the rifle, and aim so they light the gun. Attach a PocketWizard to each and mount the third on your camera.

Now you’re ready to go, but before you turn on the radio transmitters (PocketWizards), take a few pix. The rifle will probably be dark and black. However, now’s the time to adjust until you like the ambient light captured. That’s all you’re doing with these photos, so temporarily ignore the rifle.

strobist rifle photography, gun porn, Guy J. Sagi, gun photography techniques
Here’s a look at the setup used for this image.

Adjusting Your Strobist Lighting for Rifle Photography

Turn everything on, compose the image and hit the shutter. Too dark? You can either open the aperture or turn up power on the strobes. Remember the former will reduce your depth of field.

Too bright on one side? Dial down the flash over there.

Not enough rim lighting provided by the sun? Change the height from which you’re taking the photo, or slow your shutter speed. That’s when the tripod starts to become handy, especially in the shade or on overcast days.

Now bracket, adjust and experiment until you get something you like.

This image was for an assignment, but not good enough to send to the editor at Here’s a link to another story I did for him. Take a close look at what would have been a boring boot photo, also taken strobist style. I’d like to think that shadow, with detail, emphasizes the tracks we all leave outdoors.

And it doesn’t take a ton of gear to capture good gun photos. Take a look at the blog I did using foam and other reflectors with a cheap point-and-shoot camera. They’re not perfect, but pretty good.

If you want to learn more about the strobist technique, here’s a link to the inventor/king/grand night. I lurk as often on his blog when I find a breather in my schedule. I suggest you do the same.

And there’s a lot of confusion in the general public on the laws regarding firearm ownership and precisely how they came about. One of the most detailed, accurate and informative articles I’ve encountered is’s “Federal Gun Control in America: A Historic Guide to Major Gun Control Laws and Acts.” Take a look. Even if you’re a knowledgeable gun owner, how things evolved is interesting reading.

When 911 Goes Dark

Hurricane Matthew, Raeford North Carolina, Hoke County, Fear and Loading, Fear & Loading, Guy J. Sagi

The death of a 6-month-old baby last month in Dallas, TX, is another tragic reminder that there are times when 911 goes dark. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of that infant, an innocent victim caught in modern-day, cell-phone perfect storm.

When the babysitter got through to 911, the call was on hold for 31 minutes. Undoubtedly, the experts will debate if the extra time it took the mother to return from a funeral and drive the infant to the emergency room made the fatal difference. Finger-pointing won’t bring the child back, though.

Snafu Affected 1.2 Million

I’ll spare you the technical details and simply point you to the article on the incident. There’s no mention of other calls stalled during that time. I’m confident in a city of more than 1.2 million there were grandparents who suffered a stroke, car accidents, robberies, assaults, broken bones, muggings and home invasions. Hopefully the victims of a criminal act had a means of escape or owned a gun and had some training.

The 911 system started taking shape sometime in 1967. Since then it has saved thousands of lives and, unfortunately, lulled two—working on three—generations into a false sense of security. Don’t get me wrong. I could write a book about the number of times the awesome system saved my mother after her stroke.

When 911 Goes Dark

No emergency dispatch system is perfect, though. That’s why we should all be prepared to take the necessary steps to ensure our safety and that of our loved ones until help arrives. Own a first-aid kit and learn how to use it. It probably wouldn’t have helped in Dallas, but it couldn’t have hurt, either.  Even knowing what not to do, in many cases, can be powerful medicine.

Stall forced criminal entry (because law enforcement response can’t always be fast) by installing a solid door on your safe room. Have a plan, and make sure everyone in the family has it memorized. If you have a carry permit, CARRY. The unthinkable never arrives when it’s convenient.

Get training. Refresh often and remind loved ones to do the same. What happened in Dallas is a tragic accident. Unfortunately, some criminals and terrorists eye technological flaws as something to exploit. Add a natural disaster or two and it’s obvious the next catastrophe is coming. Unless you’re prepared, when 911 goes dark, a bad situation can only become worse. 

Disasters happen, and the experts have some sound advice on how to prepare and staying informed is critical. This Midland radio is sure to help.

Copyright Violation Resolution

Copyright infringed photo, gunsite, Guy J. Sagi, stolen image, Remington R1 Enhanced

Here are the steps I took to get my work off websites clearly violating copyright law, without attorney expense. That doesn’t mean it will work in your case, unfortunately. This post is a “cookie cutter” approach I hope will help others come to their own copyright violation resolution.

There are plenty of articles that explain everything on the Internet is not public domain, so I don’t need to repeat the sermon. Simply grabbing something and putting it on  your website is against the law. The oft cited “Fair Use” is not what most people think, and unless you qualify under its narrow definition, grabbing a photo/article is theft, pure and simple.

Finding Pirate Websites

In my most blatant case this year (so far), a friend notified me that a website lifted my article, word for word, took out my byline and posted it as its own work. I probably would have never discovered it without networking.

I found the stolen photo myself. You can also do a reverse image search on Google. Instead of typing a term in the search field, hit the camera button, find the photo on your computer and drop it in. It’ll tell you the websites that have it live (well, some of them, anyway) and similar images on the web.

You’ve Found The Thieves, Now What?

You need to contact the owner, but the Internet allows criminals to hide behind multiple layers of clutter, deliberately, while they suck their thumbs between bedwetting bouts in their parents’ basement. Look for an “about” or “contact” tab on the website. I sent a short, businesslike note on the photo and never heard back for a week. There is no contact info on the article-stealing website. Stories there don’t allow comments.

My next step in both cases was a visit to to find the registered  “owner” contact and abuse-notification e-mail address. My notes to each were official looking and included all pertinent legal info to put them on notice. In one case I linked to where the original story appeared. In the other I attached my original image, in slightly larger size than what they were able to steal.

The rough text, massaged for the website host, is below. Modify it for the website owner and give it a try.

Didn’t Work in Either Case

So I put the company hosting each website on notice. They can also be held financially responsible—once they’ve been notified—if you parallel the language below.

Go to and plug in the violating website address. It will provide the firm renting a chunk of cyberspace to the pirates. Now, visit their url, report the violation to their abuse or customer service e-mail addresses and wait.

In both cases, the violations disappeared within 48 hours of that move.

Copyright Violation Resolution

The image and story are down, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the episode. They ignored my businesslike note, ignored my official-looking e-mail and only listened when their web host got threatening.

I still won’t provide website names at this point, because we all receive a lot of e-mail. I’ll gladly do so if it happens again or they don’t take down my good friend Richard Mann’s story.

I hope this helps if you, too, fall victim to piracy on the World Wide Web. If it does help you come to a copyright violation resolution, I’d sure like to hear your story.

My Text (sans names)

To: [website here] Administrative Contact
 I am the copyright owner of the photo being infringed at: [post the URL here].
 I’ve attached photo being infringed to assist you in the removal from the infringing website.
This letter is an official notification under the provisions of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to effect removal of the infringement reported above. This is a request t that you immediately remove the specified posting and prevent the infringer, identified by its web address, from posting the infringing story and image to your servers in the future. Please be advised the law requires you, as the website service provider, to “expeditiously remove or disable access to” the infringing photograph upon receiving this notice. Failure to comply may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA.
I have a good faith belief that the material used in the manner complained of here is not authorized by me, the copyright holder, or the law. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and I swear under penalty of perjury that I am the copyright holder.
 Please send me at the address noted below a prompt response that indicates any actions you’ve taken to resolve this serious matter.
[Your name]
Email: [Your e-mail]






More Copyright Woes

Copyright infringed photo, gunsite, Guy J. Sagi, stolen image, Remington R1 Enhanced

I'm not naming names, or providing links. Accidents happen. It's easy to forgive the mistake of junior staff members who aren't fully briefed on the rules if the problem is remedied. And if it's a flagrant copyright violation, the website doesn't deserve any more traffic. I try to be decent to companies and people because the former is usually the case. That makes sending a short and businesslike note, sometimes misconstrued as angry, tough. There's no reason to burn bridges. Unfortunately, my landlord doesn't accept "good will" for rent payment.

The image in question isn't anything spectacular. I recognized it immediately, though, mainly because I'm one of the few gun writers around who keeps his flash running, inside, outside, even in my camera bag—usually not on purpose there, though. The habit doesn't make me popular, but it improves image quality. A little fill flash goes a long way in the bright sun of Prescott, AZ. Let me know what you think. Is that fill flash a little much?

Copyright Fingerprints

My suspicions were confirmed when I found the camera Raw file on my hard drive. The photo is mine and that metadata in the file even carries my camera's serial number. Fingerprint much? It's not the primary purpose of shooting Raw files, but's a nice benefit.

The moment at Gunsite wasn't staged, apparently why editors like it. Catching something like this also means you can't spend all day on the firing line—another reason I don't win popularity contests. NRA used the photo before and can republish, but all other rights are mine. My dealings with this webmeister in the past have been few, far between and businesslike decent. There was never any correspondence about this image or its use, though. Other writers/photogs have reported copyright problems, but for me to report them here is the kind of hearsay that starts secondhand rumors. If I don't like what I hear, or don't hear, I'll change my tune.

Legal Links

There are things you can do to protect your writing and images on the Internet. Rather than rehash them, here's an awesome interview with an attorney who specializes in copyright law. The photography blogger does a great job with all the right questions. If you're a blogger, writer or photographer, bookmark the link so you have permanent access to "official" complaint forms.

Only a few weeks ago another website grabbed one of my articles, stripped my byline from the text and published it in its entirety. I'm not holding my breath on clearing that one up without an attorney. The web host has not responded. I've heard nothing back from a contact provided by a WhoIs search and there's no way to complain to the owner/writers directly.

This case is different. The owner isn't hiding behind an alleged "spam" cloak and this is my first situation with him, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The image was taken with 50 mm lens, at shutter speed of 800, ISO 200 and f 7.1, in case you're wondering. The event took place back when Remington was rolling out it R1 Enhanced. Of course, I only know that because I have the Canon Raw file, and was there, behind the camera, unlike the infringing website staff.

Stay tuned. I may provide links with the next update.