File a Lawsuit, Break the Law in the Process

So… The Office of Hawaiian Affairs filed a lawsuit against the University of Hawaii challenging the lease for the summit of Mauna Kea. This is news across the state, press conferences were held, a big media deal.

OHA Infringement
Screenshot of the OHA website with a stolen image from Darker View
In the process OHA stole two images of mine for their website to illustrate their press releases. Yes, OHA, a state agency, is currently in violation of federal copyright law.

You can see the images here. There are two shots, one of a wrecked Toyota from earlier this year, one of an ancient Hawaiian ahu or shrine high on the mauna.

As one Facebook friend already noted “At least they credited you!” That does not make the infringement go away, it is still infringement. They even left my watermarks and copyright symbol on the image, there is simply no excuse.

Interestingly it appears that OHA, a state agency, does not host their website on a state server. Rather they use Google Cloud Services to host the website. Thus it makes filing a DMCA take-down notice much easier.

I have done just that.

This is not my first DMCA takedown action, or even my third, done this a few times, it works fairly well. The notice goes to the hosting service, if they do not take action, they become legally liable. As a result service providers take DMCA notices fairly seriously.

A legal notice has been served and should be addressed in the next few days. We shall see what the OHA webmasters do with that. Either they remove the material, or the entire website goes poof.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

4 thoughts on “File a Lawsuit, Break the Law in the Process”

  1. I had a dive company over on Oahu, Patrick’s Diving, steal some of my images and use them for advertising.

    They claimed the shots were taken on Oahu and they claimed the shots were taken on night dives with their company on their website.

    So, theft, lying and lying.

  2. So let me get this straight….You work and live on Mauna a Wakea, document questionable activity that occurred on that sacred mauna, and are UPSET that your images are being used to prove that the University of Hawaii and the Office of Mauna Kea Management has been abusing and misusing that aina? Get a grip. You and the many others that work atop Mauna a Wakea are insensitive to the native people, their cultural beliefs, practices and traditions. It is time to expose you.

    1. A few responses…

      Theft is theft. OHA has admitted their mistake and removed the images from the website.

      My two photos do not document abuse of the mauna. One image was an ancient ahu (a real one, not one built by the protesters in the middle of the road.) The second was a pickup truck, driven by a local island resident, that had rolled on the access road, a state highway. The UofH is not responsible for teaching every island resident how to drive.

      Abusing the mauna? Mismanagement? These accusations are either fabrications or gross exaggerations. They rely in most part on a three decade old auditor’s report and ignore more recent reports. As you note, I work on the mountain and see for myself how it is managed, I deal with OMKM regularly and have to obey the management plan. It is enforced and in force. We live by it.

      Insensitive? The majority of folks who work on the mauna are local, from these islands, including a fair share of native Hawaiians. It would be hard to find a group of folks who appreciate local culture as much. Local practitioners are welcome to come to the mauna like everyone else, to make their observances. They key here is that the mauna belongs to everyone, not a small group of practitioners who seem to believe that the mauna is theirs alone. Everyone is free to come up and visit the mauna, from hunters, photographers, tourists, and local families that just want to play in the snow.

      And that is the crux of the OHA complaint! That somehow allowing all residents of the islands to come to the mauna is somehow mismanagment. Look at the photos used in the press conference! These are photos of everyday people coming to the mauna, the people of Hawaii. The mauna was crown land under the old kingdom, it belonged to the kingdom. Under the State of Hawaii it is state land, our land, it belongs to everyone, everyone should be allowed to come here.

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