How ApTask Stole From Hundreds And Lied To You
As a professional photographer my images get licensed all over the world for a variety of different publications ranging from bloggers to USA Today to Variety. There are stock photograph services that license these images to people who wish to use them for a fee. As someone who is proud to see where my work ends up, I do reverse image searches on my images from time to time. What that leads to occasionally is someone or a group that has used my image improperly, without a license, and certainly without my permission. That is illegal. Copyright law and copyright infringement is protected by the federal government. That leads me to Aptask.
While searching for my images, I came across a website called bigdguru.com. It was clear that they had illegally used my image and tried to cover up their theft by making a screenshot of the image, erasing all of the metadata, along with representing my image in a very unflattering way. What shocked me most was that they had not only stolen my image but had "copied and pasted" the original writer's article, did not credit her, and assigned one of their own staff to the article. Who would do this and why?
Upon further investigation, I found that the website was owned by Taj Haslani, co-founder of ApTask, a staffing firm in the tech sector. Once I reached out to Mr. Taslani, the website was completely removed from the web and I was then contacted by an attorney, Robert Basil, letting me know that he was representing ApTask in this matter. Fortunately I had made screenshots of all important images and came to realize that bigdguru.com had stolen hundreds of images and articles from all over the internet crediting their "staff", not the actual people that wrote the articles.
An attempt on my part to negotiate a reasonable settlement was made. When that was rebuffed, my Intellectual Property Attorney (copyright attorney) made the same attempt to settle. That, once again, was apparently not an option. Instead of paying me for stealing my image, they filed a federal lawsuit against me! Yes, you read that right, they sued the victim. Aptask, Taj Haslani, and their attorney filed suit against me to force a nothing settlement knowing I could not and would not be able to afford an attorney in Atlanta and New Jersey. While they might have beat me "legally", where is the decency in that? Could they not have made things right with me with all of the money they spent working against me?
Below are the screenshots and the original image so you can see what they have done. In addition, I am posting a web archive link so you can see just how many plagiarized articles they had. As a prospective employer, I certainly would not trust ApTask. What they did to me makes it perfectly clear that ApTask and Taj Haslani feel that they can lie and steal with impunity. And possibly punish you if you call them out on it. I suspect that Haslani did this to make Aptask look bigger, better, and brighter than they actually are.
Here is the web archive to show just how many articles and photos they stole:
The original photo:
The original article:
The ApTask bigdguru.com plagiarized article:
The owner of bigdguru.com: