Can you afford to let people post images on your site?

May 17, 2016  •  2 Comments

I have a collection of images on Flickr which are almost the same as my website images here. Some of the images have a little copyright notice on them, but all of them have a copyright notice on the bottom of the page, thus... © All rights reserved
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mickfly/25957869843/in/dateposted-public/

This means that it's not ok to simply take an image and post it wherever you like, 'because it was found on the internet'.

Over the years a few of mine have ended up on different websites without permission, and although it is annoying to see blatant infringements, it has been difficult and time consuming to stop it.


That is until PIXSY.COM was brought to my attention.

It's easy to use pixsy.com, you simply show them the address where your images are, and they look for those images around the web using reverse image searching software. You are then presented with pages of matches, some of which are just similars, but many of which are your own pictures on unauthorised websites.

My first success with them was settled within a few weeks, it was a small images taken from Flickr and used on a US travel website. Pixsy take 50% commission and send the rest to your bank account, in this case I received a tidy sum with no effort on my part.

Another image which they found was a copy of one of my Flickr pictures which had been painted by a British artist and sold as their own. Pixsy don't pursue this kind of infringement, but thanks to them finding it I was able to chase them myself for a licence and settled for £250 after a short interchange with the artist.

Today was a nice day as I received a payment for $373.09, which is my 50% of the sum settled by Pixsy.com on my behalf.
Image1Image1
This particular settlement came about because someone took one of my pictures from Flickr and posted it on a commercial forum and claimed it was their own image, so, unfortunately it has cost the forum owners a few hundred dollars for not knowing it was posted without permission from me.
My main photography income is from stock licence sales via my prefered agency, Alamy.com, but even those images get stolen from genuine licence buyers, so Pixsy will become invaluable for me in the future in tracking and pursuing people who think any picture they 'find' on the web is free to use!

Some of the matches can be wrong, and some cases can take a while to settle, but so far they are doing very well by me, and with some more outstanding cases in the pipeline from big companies I am looking forward to some more windfalls.

All my images are copyright, so unless I issue a licence or give permission to post them on Social Media (I willingly share some pictures on Twitter and Facebook, so there is no problem if you share the link), you might expect a legal challenge from Pixsy in the future.
Licences are not always an expensive option, especially as an alternative to paying for an infringement.

Granum Show and ShineGranum Show and ShineClassic Cars, Custom Cars and Hot Rods at the Granum Show and Shine in Alberta, Canada 2011

 

 


Comments

Mick Flynn Images
Hi Clare, if it's on a stock site it's up to the end user (the buyer) to check if any model release is required, but AFAIK there is still is no expectation of privacy in a public place in the UK, in fact, I recently appeared on the front cover of a magazine without my knowledge, but it doesn't bother me in the least.If the image was being used to sell a product rather than for editorial use then it would be a different matter.

Is your partner upset for any particular reason?
Clare(non-registered)
great points! I'm amazed what people will try to get away with.
Do you have any opinion / advice of the rights of a subject in a photo Mick?
My partner was busking, with a sign clearly identifying him. Photographer took a pic (many do, some tip, most don't) and gave no payment (or thanks). Photo has now shown up on a stock photo site when you search buskers. The research I've done shows it's fine if the photo is not being sold (it is), or if the person isn't identifiable by face or brand (they are). Any advice?
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