Founder: Daniel Foster
Pixsy is one of the leading reverse image search platforms that helps photographers get compensation for their stolen work. Daniel had reached out to me after I tweeted to a company that used one of my images without my permission; I had hashed tagged the tweet: #copyrightinfringement #photographyrights #copyright. His tweet was a welcome surprise.
Tell us how this project evolved for you.
A friend found one of her best photos used on a website selling holistic healing services. She’s been photographing professionally for twenty years and didn’t know what to do.
I thought it was very unfair that a business was profiting from her work while she was debating whether or not to cancel her health insurance to pay the rent, and realized that photographers need tools to address this problem.
What images were getting stolen from you?
I had a self-portrait used in an online advertisement without permission several years ago, and then observed a few of my architecture photos used without authorization later on.
How do you source the stolen images?
We use reverse image search to find copies, including manipulations, of a photo. From there it is up to the photographer to determine if a displayed use is authorized and if not, what action he or she wishes to take.
How does company sustain itself? Is the income from shared proceeds on the legal cases?
We receive a success-based commission for all payments we collect on behalf of photographers. The vast majority of our platform is free, and we also receive some subscription revenue from premium services such as our DMCA takedown feature.
Are you seeing a trend in stolen information or any particular area?
Image theft occurs in every industry. We’ve noticed that music and concert photographers see their work stolen at a higher rate. Unlicensed use also appears to be a significant problem in the real estate industry.
What is the approx range for cases you’ve settled, lowest and highest?
Various factors influence the amount of compensation we request, including your previous sales history, local law, and the nature of the use. When we pursue a legal settlement, this has ranged from the thousands up to six-figure settlements.
How do I sign up and how much is it?
You can import and track up to 5,000 photos for free. Plans that give you up to 10,000 photos and our DMCA takedown feature start at $9.99 a month. Our service is invitation-only. You can request an invitation on our homepage.
Are there any free resources or is there a subscription plan?
There is a free plan to search up to 5,000 photos.
Can I batch export my photo library and have you scour the internet for usage?
We support one-click import from Flickr, 500px, Tumblr, Photoshelter, Instagram, SmugMug and Dropbox. You can also upload photos or import from a website. We’re adding new import sources on a regular basis.
Walk us through the process of how this works.
Once you sign up and import photos, we begin the search process. Matches typically begin appearing immediately. From there you can browse through your matches. If you find a use of a photo you did not authorize and it is commercial in nature, you can use our “Submit case” feature to send it to our team to review. Depending on the situation and your wishes, we can take steps to secure a license fee for you or refer the matter to one of our law firms around the world.
We’re currently resolving cases in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Denmark.