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

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 similar, 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 image taken from Flickr and used on a US travel website. Pixsy takes 50% commission and sends 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 doesn'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.

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.

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Staying legal with photos posted on your own internet posts.

You've written a fantastic post about your visit to France and just need a couple of pictures to help pad it out and be more interesting, after all, 'a picture is worth a thousand words', so do you just grab one from a Google search?


Yes you can... but be prepared for the owner to come after you for infringing their copyright after they find it being used without permission on your internet platforms.

The best way to obtain pictures to use within your own web content, be that on Facebook, Blogs or any other internet platform (within reason), is to buy a licence which will cover you for the use.

I allow my own images to be downloaded for such uses in two sizes on my website here... mickflynnimages.

They are all provided instantly, do not contain a watermark and are ideal to illustrate your stories and articles.


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