Lee Ann Torrans sends me an email

pharaoh ants

An actual email exchange, just now. The first bit is a standard DMCA form notice I send non-commercial copyright infringers:

This letter is a Notice of Infringement as authorized in § 512(c) of the U.S. Copyright Law under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The infringing material appears on the Service for which you are the designated agent.

The disputed images are here: http://leeanntorrans.com/one-fifth-texas-hospitals-infected-with-ants-that-feast-on-wounds-and-potentially-carry-disease/

My original, copyright-protected photographs are here: http://www.alexanderwild.com/Ants/Taxonomic-List-of-Ant-Genera/Monomorium/9272009_Kzb89t#!i=619427766&k=WqGSp

Please remove these files from your servers at your earliest convenience.

I have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by myself, the copyright owner. I hereby state, under penalty of perjury, that the above information in this email is accurate and that I am the copyright owner.

Thanks for your time,

Alexander Wild

Lee Ann Torrans responds:

Hey, buddy.

It’s down.

But if you look at the website you will see I sell nothing.  I only serve the public by drawaing attention to a significant problem in this country.

Just wondering, do you do any thing beneficial to society in a major way?

I get emails all the time, thanking me for providing an important service.  Maybe 7,000 to date.

This is the first complaint.

Good look with your copyright infringement crusade.

I have thousand of images on the web, my own.  People use them all the time and I am glad to permit that.

Lee Ann Torrans

Ah, the glamorous life of the nature photographer.

update: thread is closed.

152 thoughts on “Lee Ann Torrans sends me an email”

    1. If that is true, if Alex has “stolen images” as well then it is justification for your actions?

  1. Oh noes! I must have offended Lee Ann when I didn’t refer to her as “Hospital Acquired Infections”! Everyone take note – we are apparently supposed to use everyone’s website name instead of their person name.

    Twitter AND Reddit, and now the plot thickens with stolen articles, too? Since she can’t accuse me of stealing pictures (or text) like she did, I guess it’s any port in a storm, poor thing.

    1. You go, Grace. A little added SEO on MRSA and Lee Ann Torrans can’t hurt.

      Funny she thinks her “non-profit” justifies copyright infringement. Even a probate lawyer would know better than that.

  2. Someone has now hacked my sites.

    One has been totally brought down.

    The other has had information posted on it and am having trouble getting it back up.

    Wow. I guess I am an idiot.

    Way to go.

    1. Given the deception here by you and your changing story, and the revelations of more and more copyright abuse on your site (Alex and Piotr’s photographs, three others found by Montana and another two I found which may or may not line up with Montana’s) I’m not surprised you took it down.

      Claiming it’s been hacked is a transparent ruse, though. Still, if it helps you find breathing space while you clean up your own house, kudos to you. Whatever works.

      Reminds me of my ex, but. He apologised profusely after I caught him in several lies, but only after every avenue of deception had been tried and then closed to him.

      Like him, your implicit admission isn’t one of being sorry for what you did, it’s being sorry that you were caught out.

      1. And to add to the copyright theft, at least two articles lifted word for word (see previous comments for links)

    1. I took the site down after the HACK.

      Who did that?

      Hacked and POSTED?

      Please review this site. http://myrmecos.net/………….

      Having contacted Service Provider.

      Wow, just don’t know what to say about that one.

      Maybe you can provide the words, Grace.

      1. For someone who has apparently had an expensive education, your posts can be remarkably difficult to understand. What does a bad link to another part of this website have to do with yours going down?

  3. Well, not only have you found a copyright infringer, but you’ve also found a major asshole in the Internet community. I hope she gets everything she deserves.

    You keep protecting your copyrights, Alex. Content CREATORS are what make the Internet a great resource. Content THIEVES steal because they lack the skill to create. They deserve all the grief they get.

  4. No, I took the Depuy down after the HACK:

    Please review this site. http://myrmecos.net/2…………….

    Who did that?

    Obviously, you are hacking my sites.

    This is incredible. Just incredible.

    We will try to figure out how to avoid the HACKING.

    I guess you know who you are.

    I have contacted my Service Provider.

  5. Wow, I guess I used two photos I know about that were not mine on blogs two years old that were actually posted by someone who had the site before me.

    Then I have about 1,000 of my own which I offer freely to the internet community.

    Yours for the taking. I guess that’s not creative enough.

    Now someone here hacks my site.

    All the sites linked back to but TWO on this thread have stolen images and several are heavy into Google Ads, obviously blogging for money.

    Yeah, the sites down because of a HACK.

    I have sent the screen image to Alex.

    Way to go. Retalation complete!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I know nothing about a way back machine.

    What I do know is that my site was hacked and postings made.

    It refers to this site.

    I know my service provider will have an IP address though most likely a Proxy was used.

    I know I have sent a Screen Shot to Alex and he is aware.

    Thanks so much.

      1. Alas, wayback machine takes only periodic snapshots of a webpage (say, every few weeks) so it isn’t very good for proving much (it also only grabs the homepage I believe)

    1. Lee Ann

      I am trying to write this in an objective manner. This is a bad situation and you are facing Alex’s snarkiness in his original post subject, you are facing your own actions in regards to the stolen copyrighted material on a site you are responsible for, and you are facing a worked-up internet.

      To say an ant’s nest has been stirred is probably not even an amusing reference at this point, but I usually cross the line like that, so there you go.

      However, the mark of a mature and capable adult is their ability to be confronted with extremely difficult situations, even entirely unfair ones, and keep composure, dignity, and effectiveness. Unfortunately you are acting the spoilt petulant child role and reverting to low sarcasm, spurious claims, and dumping spammy replies about how bad everyone else is.

      This is, effectively, far beyond a copyright interest and is now seventy five percent internet trolls poking you to stir you up. Merely claiming everyone else is doing the same thing is no different than being caught in a brawl and finger-pointing while exclaiming HE STARTED IT!!!.

      That may or may not be so, but the effective person walks away and keeps their dignity. At the moment the only person to lose by continuing your responses like you have is you, because it’s not just the copyright issue, it’s not just Alex’s response, and it’s not just about who posted what; it’s about the entirety of reddit, twitter, slashdot and the like all intent on dragging your name through the mud, and they WILL use every word you say against you, and WILL twist everything in the worst possible light. (I still believe you were wrong to act in the arrogant way you did for your first response, but that’s water under the bridge, no?)

      Take a deep breath, apologize, and move on. Hope it works out for the best.

      1. Of course, you have a point.

        But the facts are the facts, are they not?

        Someone has now hacked my site.

        I do offer my images free on the internet to anyone who cares to use them and I am being attacked by people who do not even try to have their own images. I do.

        Alex and I will work this out one way or another.

        1. Here’s the thing Lee Ann. Right now your credibility is shot through the roof. So even if you do offer all your images to be used for free, who would want them? Not only have you used Alex’s images without permission, there was at least one other image that you used without permission. It makes anyone wonder how much you now about the content on your own site and whether you can give away the images in your Tumblr account.

          That is a fact.

  7. Great. I know nothing about that.

    I know security with my Intenet Service Provider is investigating this.

    So, that is good enough for me.

    I will let the professionals take care of this.

    I think that is best.

    1. Wow, your site hasn’t been hacked, nobody believes you.
      Wow, you’re an asshat.
      Wow. You like the word wow.
      Wow, you don’t seem capable of guilt or remorse about what you were doing, or that you’ve been caught. You could very well be a sociopath.


  8. I mean my hosting provider is investigating this.

    I wonder which one of the spiteful posters this was?

    I hope all the posters with images not their own will remove them.

    This includes Alex Wild.

    I find it interesting that so many posters link to sites with images not their own.

    Again, mine are offered freely to the internet community. Though the one site is down you may still obtain them here:


    I am sufficiently hard working AND creative to provide this service and continue to do so.

    Does anyone else here do that?

    Just curious.

    1. “Again, mine are offered freely to the internet community.”

      Why do you keep repeating that, Lee Ann Torrans? Do you think it makes your thievery of other persons’ and companies’ images legal? It does not.

      I hope, since you offer them freely, that they do not now end up on 100 other websites. That would diminish the value of your original images, just as your copyright infringement diminishes the value of the images you swiped.

      1. What???????

        DO not even get your logic.

        It’s fine if they end up on 100 other websites. That’s what they are there for. I am not looking for value in my original images. They are to enhance internet use and my website clearly stated that.

        They could end up on 1000 websites. I would not care. They are there to use.

        Alex is the one to determine if I have diminished the value of his image. But your agrument makes no sense.


    2. Donating to a Food Bank does not make it okay for you to steal from a Grocery Store.

      Accusing someone else of stealing does not make it okay for you to steal.

      Also, in all honesty, I seriously doubt that your site was hacked.

      If you truly had nothing to do with the site being taken down, perhaps someone alerted the NYT of your reposting their articles under your name with no attribution.

      Go make a hot beverage and chill the eff out, your near-incoherent responses here are only making things worse for yourself. Quit while you’re this far behind, because you won’t get ahead.

      Or don’t, because watching you do this to yourself is pretty amusing.

    1. And I’ve emailed the screen shot to patrickmcmullan.com. It’s a pay site. If you were not the photographer, they may be in contact with you. If you were, good shot.

      1. The image of Feryal Gulman taken at the 2007 Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala on October 10, 2007. The image is found on http://www.patrickmcmullan.com/site/search.aspx?t=person&s=Feryal+Gulman, http://lasocialdiary.com/node/2947/print with the copyright of PatrickMcMullan.com, and on what I assume is her site http://tututoday.com/designer-tutus/tulle-and-net-recent-uses/. Her name and email address are next to the image.

        To quote patrickmcmullan.com, they are “…a full service photography and digital imaging agency established in the 1980’s by Patrick McMullan. The company photographs over 50 events each week, many of which are PMC exclusives, and services images to the leading national and international publications. In addition to current events, PMC has an extensive archive, searchable by date, name and event, starting in 1980. PMC is a visual Who’s Who that is an invaluable resource to the media and the individual.”

        For more information about their site, see here. http://www.patrickmcmullan.com/site/help.aspx?t=16#pmc

        Since the actual image does not have the photographer’s name on it, I cannot say that Lee Ann did not take it, but if she did not, it shows that she used an image from a site that charges for the use of its images.

  9. Alex, do you want to post the hacked image?

    I sent it to you and can send a better one if you like.

    I have about three more.

    I will most likely have an IP address in the next 24 hours, though I anticipate it will be a proxy.

    1. Seriously, please please please do yourself a favor. I know you’ll read this and dismiss it. I’m asking you not to.

      You may have a friend or a relative who is very honest with you. Someone you KNOW knows you really, really well.

      Please ask them to read all of this. Ask them to honestly give you an assessment. Because if you’re not intentionally and I mean..VERY INTENTIONALLY pretending at all this…you have a problem. I don’t mean it in a nasty way, or cruel. All of us have quirks, some more serious than others. But your behavior and actions here have the appearance of something much more seriously wrong. I’m not going to armchair it, and I’m not trying to be mean.

      But if there is something wrong, you might be a whole lot happier in life if you got it checked out. It’s hard and scary, but I strongly urge you to do it.

      Or have a good night’s sleep and come back rational. You got caught walking out of the store with an item not yours, and you didn’t pay for it. You want to argue everyone takes a grape here and there, and HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THEIR FECKING PROBLEM?! But you’re not at the store where that’s okay. It’s not okay here. And when you were told that, instead of apologizing, you want to throw a tantrum on why you’re not a thief. Here’s the reality; ALMOST everyone is sympathetic to the ‘oh shit…I didn’t know’. Even the guy who’s work you stole. He makes his living this way, you realize that? Okay. Even the guy you ripped off is sympathetic. If you had simply credited him…or offered to…well…

      But you didn’t. You’re wrong and being wronger isn’t going to make you right. Throwing a tantrum isn’t going to make ‘management’ capitulate. Threats don’t work either. After the lawsuit threat I half expect shady references to you ‘knowing people’.

      Again, seek help for your own happiness. People like you are often miserable, and while your own misery is really sad and depressing to the rest of us…that’s your choice. But the other problem is, your melodrama causes problems for others.

      Knock it off.

      Love, Humanity

      PS: Seriously. Just stop.

      1. Martian Collective

        I know we’re getting all of this 8.1347 minutes late, but I would like to concur with Humanity on behalf of the Martian Collective.

        And you humans wonder why we keep shooting down your Mars probes.

      2. “He makes his living this way, you realize that? Okay. Even the guy you ripped off is sympathetic. If you had simply credited him…or offered to…well…”

        This is kinda along the lines I’ve been chewing on… That what we really have here is a Lost Opportunity.

        Had Lee Ann apologized and then asked how she could legitimately used Alex’s photos, what could be realized is even greater: A symbiotic relationship that could ultimately benefit both parties, something greater than the sum of both maybe.

        I’ve seen it happen, and it can be glorious.

        But no, this just turns into another antagonistic event, and I wonder if its symptomatic of the Law profession at large, You know, the “Hire This Law Firm, We are the MOST AGGRESSIVE attorneys in the World” crap that permeates their advertising.

        Really, it’s a shame.

  10. How much easier this would have been if the images had just been removed. The request to remove them was appropriate, and the immediate removal was too. Too bad this didn’t stop there.

  11. Marc "Teleutotje" Van der Stappen

    I think that when you use ones photographs, even when there is no copyright on it, it is only POLITE to ask if you may use them. When there is copyright, you just d*** ask it or don’t use them. Of course, for this you need working brains and the type of reactions you give, someone might wonder if you have… common sense.

      1. What should be an information difference (number of bytes) to stop considering a file to be a “derivative work”?

  12. I wonder if web search engines like google or web archives provide images and other files that are of public domain or fair use? Copyright law seems to be inconsistent with modern information reality. Is a copy in browser cache legal? lol

  13. I can give images away if they are MINE.

    Those are my photographs UNLESS reblogged. That’s the only source now.

    Alex’s has the hacked image. Host Provider is investigating.

    Wow, I took the image down immediately.

    I checked analytics, no one hit that site. That’s not why they were there.

    They wanted the free images, honestly and now that’s gone.

    I got more hits to obtain free internet images than anything else.

    So for now, tumblr is my only source to offer them.

    I guess I gave away about 8,000 free downloads last year of free images.

    I took alex’s image down, he knows that. He just was mad and so was I.

    But that is nothing compared to the unbelievable comments here.

    Wow, cannot believe it.

      1. Lee Ann,
        You should be careful with what you say and what you claim. Montana is scary good when it comes to finding stolen content and she will call you out on it.

    1. You cannot believe it because there is a very large disparity between reality and your opinions. You keep repeating that you give away your photographs. So do I. That’s an irrelevant fact. You might as well state you drive a blue car in your responses.

      That gives neither of us the right to steal others’ work, then claim you’re all clean, while more and more people find more and more of your ‘work’ online has been stolen from others.

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