What does Pixsy do, you ask? First, some context: As a photographer, you’re no stranger to the threat (or actual act of) unauthorized image usage. Theft of your creative work? Dealing with opyright infringement is a huge and unfortunately common headache for photographers.
Now, a few years ago, getting properly compensated after making a copyright claim was often too stressful to even pursue. Yes, DIY claims and collections for copyright violations is doable, but for many creatives, it’s no only uncomfortable, it is prohibitively expensive, especially if you need to get lawyers involved.
What is Pixsy?
Pixsy is a third party copyright protection service that scans the web for unauthorized use of your work and facilitates a claim process to get you paid.
Officially, here’s what they are and how they do it:
Pixsy is an award-winning legal-tech service for online image protection. Pixsy is actively protecting the visual property of more than 75,000 photographers, agencies, artists, and illustrators. Their pioneering AI-powered software is currently monitoring more than 100 million images. Working with 25 partner law firms to uphold rights, Pixsy has handled 100,000 copyright infringement cases and has recovered millions in lost licensing revenue, helping to safeguard the future of our creative industries.Source: pixsy.com/press
How do they get photographers paid?
Pixsy’s “engine” scours the internet for images that match your photos. You’ll see these matches on your dashboard.
You then review the matches to confirm if what the app found is in fact unauthorized use of your work. You can then ignore the item, flag it as authorized, or you can go ahead and submit your claim to Pixsy’s case managers. The case managers will review the details you’ve provided, and from there, you can essentially sit back and wait for updates.
Important to note: submitting a case through Pixsy is absolutely free.
Pixsy doesn’t charge you to submit a case, and you won’t pay a cent until they win a case on your behalf. Their cut? A cool 50% of the licensing fee collected. While this figure seems high at first glance, remember, you’re super hands-off throughout this entire process. No stress, no mess— just collect your royalty when the Pixsy team is successful.
While it’s free to sign up for a Pixsy account, however, ongoing monitoring of more than 500 images does require a paid subscription to their Monitor service. Through their partnership with Pixsy, Flickr Pro users get 1000 monitored images each month.
Is this service Legit?
Yes, Pixsy is a completely legitimate and well-respected service used by photographers from all over, of all different skill levels! You don’t need to be a high-volume commercial photographer to take advantage of this service. The service is for all skill levels: beginners, dabblers, booked-solid pros, and shutterbugs of any level in between.
My Experience with Pixsy
Since signing up for a free Pixsy account about a year and a half ago, they’ve recovered licensing fees for two of my photos. These recoveries resulted in nearly $500 of royalties paid out to me— that’s almost $500 that my bank account wouldn’t have ever seen otherwise! Before connecting my accounts to Pixsy, I was completely unaware that those organizations used my photos.
My experience with them was smooth, and, though not particularly surprising, the process from submitting a case to revenue recovery can be a long one. One of my photos took about 7 months from submission to royalty payment.
Pixsy’s monitoring tool is robust and user-friendly. Uploading images or importing from supported services is quick, and the UI is easy to navigate.
After getting set up, it’s easy to view image matches and organize them, including the ability to mark matches as authorized and the option to ignore specific domains or URL paths.
The case submission process is straightforward, making it truly foolproof for any photographer to use. The entire Pixsy process is as hands-off and easy as can possibly be for photographers to be able to recover revenue from the unauthorized commercial use of their work, and I have no complaints about Pixsy whatsoever.The entire Pixsy process is as hands-off and easy as can possibly be for photographers to be able to recover revenue from the unauthorized commercial use of their work 📷 Click To Tweet
While not a con per se, one thing that I’d love to see continued improvement in is Pixsy’s list of supported countries. One image the tool found was used by a commercial party outside Pixsy’s jurisdiction, and so I was not able to pursue claims for that photo— at least not through Pixsy. Let’s be real— if I can’t pursue the issue through Pixsy, I’m unlikely to pursue it at all.
A free Pixsy account is well worth the 15 minutes you’ll spend getting set up and reviewing initial matches, and yes, they absolutely deliver on their promise to get photographers paid. I fully recommend Pixsy to photographers of all levels!
Help! I’ve been contacted by Pixsy with a claim about a photo I used on my blog, website, or marketing assets!
What you should do next depends on which category you fall into below👇
Option A: I’m using the image legally and have proof of purchase and/or permission
Perfect! Respond with your proof of permission to use the image(s)— and take it from there. False positives can happen, so it’s a good idea to keep a paper trail of any creative digital assets you use.
Option B: I’m not sure where I got this image from, or I don’t have proof of purchase and/or permission
Get ready to pay up! #SorryNotSorry— don’t use photo or video content without permission from the original content creator, folks! (But hey, you can find some awesome options for free photos that you can legally use here.)
Need photos for your blog posts, marketing materials, or social media posts, but not sure where or how to find some? I gotchu fam!