Jump to content

Recommended Posts

OK. It's getting to be more than a joke now, so I'm getting on to pursuing infringers with a will again.  If the infringer is in the UK (or until recently, the EU as a whole), I will often pursue the claim myself.  In other countries, it can be more challenging.  For those who have made claims via third parties recently, what is your opinion of the current batch of businesses doing this.  Who is the best (in terms of professionalism, time to final settlement; and of course, payout)?

 

  1. Pixsy
  2. Copytrack
  3. Image Rights
  4. Other?

 

Thank you, guys.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this very useful question.  My experience with both Pixsy and Copytrack has been disappointing.  I’ll be interested in seeing what others say about Image Rights.

I uploaded several thousand images to Pixsy in 2015 and 16. During 2016-18 I submitted maybe 15 cases for their pursuit.  I received one payment of about $160 for this effort.  A lot of cases they decided not to pursue, usually because they did not have legal representation in the infringer’s country.  One of the time-consuming aspects of working with them is that their “hit” results include hits in countries and in languages they will not pursue (most Asian countries, Arab countries, and some Slavic countries, including Russia), but you still have to wade through these hits in search of good prospects.  They also pick up hits from Pinterest and other “Scraper” sites which are not worth pursuing.  In a couple of cases they just reported that they were unable to get a response from the infringer.  In a couple of cases they were not able to pursue I then wrote polite, non-threatening letters to the infringer and received what I considered to be a reasonable payment, without tacking on any extra penalty. 

Around 2018 I gave up on Pixsy, concluding that the one successful case did not repay the time required to submit images, plus the time to check sales history on any potential  case worth pursuing. 

So I turned to Copytrack, and uploaded about 3000 images.  They suffer from some of the same problems as Pixsy in that they will find possible infringements in countries they are not ready to pursue.  I asked both Pixsy and Copytrack why they can’t filter out from their search results “hits” that occur in countries or languages they are unable to pursue, but neither seems able to do that.  (I must add the caveat that I’ve had no new info from Pixsy since 2018, so it’s possible they’ve refined their system in the meantime.)

Copytrack found a probable infringement in a country they could pursue. The form they require before beginning action asks for my banking info.  I was a bit surprised that they wanted this info even before having anything to send me.  I’m sensitive to security concerns and don’t like providing banking info until absolutely necessary. I proposed PayPal as an easy mechanism for transmitting funds but Copytrack would not use them.  They suggested another fund transmittal service, but I found many negative reviews for this service online.   Copytrack said they will only transmit funds in Euros and they will not use any third-party intermediary banks when transmitting wire transfers.  Since two of my banks use major New York banks to process incoming wire transfers from abroad, this eliminated those options.  I’ve given up on Copytrack until they learn to deal with PayPal.  So I don’t know how good they are at reaching agreements with infringers.  Will be interested in reading about others’  experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been using Copytrack from a year or so. I upload all my sold images, news images and zoomed images. So far just one layout fof around £30, with others in the pipeline. The process for them to pursue a claim can take a long time. They won’t pursue anything on social media platforms eg Twitter. 

However their searches have turned up uses by UK newspapers that weren’t invoiced by Alamy so I have been able to alert Alamy to them. More importantly they have turned up some uses In the U.K. that I have been able to successfully pursue myself without any difficulty. Whether the time involved is worth it is debatable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My turn for a dumb question. What is it that you upload to these agencies? Is it the Alamy thumbnail, or the Alamy large view, or a link to  the image on your own website, or something else.

 

Any enlightenment would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks

Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Russell said:

My turn for a dumb question. What is it that you upload to these agencies? Is it the Alamy thumbnail, or the Alamy large view, or a link to  the image on your own website, or something else.

 

Any enlightenment would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks

Russell

A low res image from my own catalogue.There is a copytrack plugin for Lightroom but I haven't managed to get it to work yet.

Edited by Sally

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, Pixsy and Copytrack (although they have managed some small recoveries for me) are very nearly not worth using. I use them to track, but very seldom submit cases through them (only those cases ImageRights will not pursue). They are certainly much more lenient as to which cases they will take, but the tradeoff is spending a lot of time/effort on cases with very little chance of recovery and/or recovering relatively small amount of damages.

 

I have been with ImageRights since they started and am overall very satisfied with the level of service and success of cases. They are very good at picking out cases with a high chance of recovery. They have partner attorneys throughout the US and most of EU. The downside is their higher-tier plans are paid, however I find the value worthwhile for my business, considering it includes a few free copyright registrations and generally the difference in commission structure pays my yearly plan after a singe decent recovery. You'll have to decide if it's worth it based on how many cases you'd plan to submit and if the copyright registrations provide additional value to you.

 

If the case is regarding a US-based company it's highly recommended to get the opinion of a IP attorney before passing it on to a recovery service. If the case has merit, an attorney will likely take it on contingency (ie., they only get paid if they recover), and you save the recovery service commission which is generally around 30-50% of NET recoveries (after the lawyer already took their cut). So you stand to pocket a much higher percentage of the overall recovery when dealing direct with an attorney.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/03/2020 at 11:34, Sally said:

A low res image from my own catalogue.There is a copytrack plugin for Lightroom but I haven't managed to get it to work yet.

Thanks Sally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.  I've decided to go for a multi-faceted approach this time round (I tend to do things in batches!)  I'm giving Copytrack a bash at one; Pixsy another; and taking on three UK infringements myself: all of the cases are already in progress.  I'll review a few more over the following week or so and let you know the results of my efforts.  Judging by past efforts, the results can be variable to say the least - and can also take some considerable time (so don't hold your breath!).  To date, my personal results have been the most lucrative financially when I've done the job myself :)- but also the most stressful. :(

 

Fingers crossed. 🤞

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a very disappointing experience with Copytrack and with Pixsy I have never actually made a claim as its a subscription model and I really can't see me coming out of it ahead financially at the end of the day if I am paying subscription fees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Panthera tigris said:

I had a very disappointing experience with Copytrack and with Pixsy I have never actually made a claim as its a subscription model and I really can't see me coming out of it ahead financially at the end of the day if I am paying subscription fees.

 

I pay no fees to either!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RESULT #1

 

Good?/Not good?  You decide:

 

Right. Of the five initial images I chose to chase, two were slightly outside of the remit in that that they were abuses of PU/Presentation licenses issued by Alamy (I opted out of PU as soon as I was able).  One, which was originally licensed as a PU has now been re-licensed by Alamy with a correct licence as a direct result of contact between me and the infringer.  Took about 11 hours total - of which only about 2 were 'office' hours!  The original licence was in 2017 and Alamy failed to contact the infringer despite 'multiple attempts'.  Unfortunately for me, Alamy, in their wisdom, are happy to ignore the infringement and accept that the new licence issued today covers the use of the image all the way back to 2017.  Fees are lower now  than they were even then + I am now on a 40% cut, rather than 50%.  Upshot is I (will eventually) get ~£11.25 net in addition to the original £4.50 I got two and a half years ago for all the chasing and hassle; Google-image searching; screen-shotting; record-keeping; multiple emails; etc. etc. etc.  An efficient and determined effort by Alamy to contact the infringer and ensure the correct licence was issued a long way back would have saved us both a lot of time and grief. A refusal by them to accept that the new licence covered the preceding years would also have resulted in a far bigger net gain to me.

 

Compare and contrast this with the ~£125 I successfully gained for a 4-month use of one of my images on Twitter not so long ago.

 

I think you might be able to guess how I feel about this one!  Apologies for the rant; just had to get this one out of my system.  I know that many will be thinking that I'm fighting the wrong battles.  I'll move on from it pretty soon, but this is all so unnecessary. <sigh>

 

Next...!

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, losdemas said:

RESULT #1

 

Good?/Not good?  You decide:

 

Right. Of the five initial images I chose to chase, two were slightly outside of the remit in that that they were abuses of PU/Presentation licenses issued by Alamy (I opted out of PU as soon as I was able).  One, which was originally licensed as a PU has now been re-licensed by Alamy with a correct licence as a direct result of contact between me and the infringer.  Took about 11 hours total - of which only about 2 were 'office' hours!  The original licence was in 2017 and Alamy failed to contact the infringer despite 'multiple attempts'.  Unfortunately for me, Alamy, in their wisdom, are happy to ignore the infringement and accept that the new licence issued today covers the use of the image all the way back to 2017.  Fees are lower now  than they were even then + I am now on a 40% cut, rather than 50%.  Upshot is I (will eventually) get ~£11.25 net in addition to the original £4.50 I got two and a half years ago for all the chasing and hassle; Google-image searching; screen-shotting; record-keeping; multiple emails; etc. etc. etc.  An efficient and determined effort by Alamy to contact the infringer and ensure the correct licence was issued a long way back would have saved us both a lot of time and grief. A refusal by them to accept that the new licence covered the preceding years would also have resulted in a far bigger net gain to me.

 

Compare and contrast this with the ~£125 I successfully gained for a 4-month use of one of my images on Twitter not so long ago.

 

I think you might be able to guess how I feel about this one!  Apologies for the rant; just had to get this one out of my system.  I know that many will be thinking that I'm fighting the wrong battles.  I'll move on from it pretty soon, but this is all so unnecessary. <sigh>

 

Next...!

I understand your pain. I’d probably have done the same, for the principle if nothing else. I think that, in general, the more that creative artists pursue such claims, the better to counteract the “if it’s on the internet it’s free” myth.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I've got lots of time (staying at home, drag!), is it worth the time and effort trying to use a 3rd party agency like Copytrack for infringements? Has anyone got any positive experiences? It doesn't sound like it's worth it from the descriptions above...

 

Anyway, I'm using this time to take and upload more pictures - which is maybe more worthwhile than chasing infringements! Hope everyone else is staying safe.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a good settlement via Pixsy, but I find their website user interface really hard work when reviewing the matches they've found. Copytrack's website is  much easier to use, but they aren't keen on chasing infringements of images on Alamy (licence fees are too low).

 

Mark

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

I had a good settlement via Pixsy, but I find their website user interface really hard work when reviewing the matches they've found. Copytrack's website is  much easier to use, but they aren't keen on chasing infringements of images on Alamy (licence fees are too low).

 

Mark

 

Thanks Mark,

I had signed up with Copytrack, but never got round to uploading any photos. Think I will give them a miss then seeing as I'm Alamy exclusive.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 22/03/2020 at 12:33, Steve F said:

Now I've got lots of time (staying at home, drag!), is it worth the time and effort trying to use a 3rd party agency like Copytrack for infringements? Has anyone got any positive experiences? It doesn't sound like it's worth it from the descriptions above...

 

Anyway, I'm using this time to take and upload more pictures - which is maybe more worthwhile than chasing infringements! Hope everyone else is staying safe.

Steve

 

There's an interesting take on using 3rd Party agencies here: Are You Getting Played? In general, it suggest that using such agencies is not in the best interests of the photographer. Her views make a lot of sense, but - especially if the infringement is in a country other than your own (UK citizens may Take a case to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. EU citizens may use the European e-Justice Portal) - and/or you're not in a position to hire attorneys, then it's a difficult call.

Edited by losdemas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 25/03/2020 at 23:03, losdemas said:

 

There's an interesting take on using 3rd Party agencies here: Are You Getting Played? In general, it suggest that using such agencies is not in the best interests of the photographer. Her views make a lot of sense, but - especially if the infringement is in a country other than your own (UK citizens may Take a case to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. EU citizens may use the European e-Justice Portal) - and/or you're not in a position to hire attorneys, then it's a difficult call.

Thanks Losdemas,

Well... good blog, although it wasn't too complimentary about the stock market either. Yes, it's true, we all want to focus on the creative side and not the business side... I'm just not sure it's worth chasing infringers because the fees we get are so low these days (unless someone's pinched a photo for a major advertising campaign). At least I've got lots of time to think about it at the moment!

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Steve F said:

Thanks Losdemas,

Well... good blog, although it wasn't too complimentary about the stock market either. Yes, it's true, we all want to focus on the creative side and not the business side... I'm just not sure it's worth chasing infringers because the fees we get are so low these days (unless someone's pinched a photo for a major advertising campaign). At least I've got lots of time to think about it at the moment!

Steve

 

Swings and roundabouts. You won't get any settlements unless you try. :)

 

As I've said before, the best results are the ones you chase yourself, but the settlements that you get are dependent upon a large number of factors: who used the image; where; for how long; what for; your approach; how much they have to lose by not settling; how confident you are (or appear to be!); your determination to pursue the matter; previous licenses and settlements you have got for previous similar infringements; where the infringer is located.  The list goes on and on: which is why the third party settlement agencies do such good business: it's less hassle for us to leave it in their hands!

 

As for resultant fees, trust me, they can be very good. It all depends upon what you choose to write in the e-mail and - most importantly - the accompanying invoice!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, losdemas said:

 

Swings and roundabouts. You won't get any settlements unless you try. :)

 

As I've said before, the best results are the ones you chase yourself, but the settlements that you get are dependent upon a large number of factors: who used the image; where; for how long; what for; your approach; how much they have to lose by not settling; how confident you are (or appear to be!); your determination to pursue the matter; previous licenses and settlements you have got for previous similar infringements; where the infringer is located.  The list goes on and on: which is why the third party settlement agencies do such good business: it's less hassle for us to leave it in their hands!

 

As for resultant fees, trust me, they can be very good. It all depends upon what you choose to write in the e-mail and - most importantly - the accompanying invoice!

Do you go through Alamy first?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all my images are here, but for those that are, yes, absolutely. I wouldn't want to run into any tricky situations.  I would always check with Alamy CR to see if the image has been licensed through Alamy first. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.