Brian McCarty is best known for his War Toys Project, a photo essay exploring war from the perspective of the children who face it every day. Brian shot the photo on the top-left in Gaza in 2012 just before Operation Pillar of Defense. Last week, Brian emailed us to let us know that Pixsy had found his photo manipulated and posted by ISIS on Twitter, bearing the caption “Crusaders under bombardment.” This clearly isn’t how Brian intended his work to be used. Dealing with the typical case of photo theft is one thing, but what do you do when the world’s largest terrorist group rips off your work?
Our licensing team has seen a number of bad photography contracts over the years. From our experience, it’s always best to read the terms of any photography contract carefully and when possible, supply your own contract. Here are a few examples of some of the worst contract terms we’ve encountered and what to do if you encounter them (and not get screwed over the in the process):
If you’ve seen a memorable photo lately, chances are high it required more than a snap of the shutter to create. Capturing that moment may involve a six hour trek through the woods, hours hunched in front of a computer, and in many cases, years of practice.
Is it any wonder, then, that photographers are upset when they see their work used without permission?At Pixsy, we contact unauthorized photo users on behalf of artists to obtain fair payment for the use of a work. We’ve seen many excuses since the launch of our private beta last fall. Our team is always willing to work with unauthorized image users to reach an equitable outcome, but the following excuses probably won’t get you very far.
Our first year at PIXSY was a busy one full of triumphs, treasures, spreadsheets, and coding. Our goal is to make 2015 even more productive than 2014. As artists and entrepreneurs, we find that many of the same tools we use at Pixsy are very handy for professional photographers, too. Take a look at our picks for supercharging your productivity in 2015.
The last few months here at Pixsy have been very exciting. After many days of hard work, we’re pleased to announce our second beta release. It’s the fastest, most reliable Pixsy ever. We’ve made a number of improvements to the user interface as well as some serious changes under the hood to make your experience even better.
Protecting your work from theft is hard. On one side, you want to gain as much publicity as possible from your internet presence. On the other, you don’t want to make your work too accessible and miss out on paying customers as a result. Watermarks often destroy the aesthetic value of a picture, and metadata inside photos is easily removed. Disabling right-click is so 1999. We’ve identified five new ways to protect your images against theft without placing undue restrictions on your work.
While browsing through my image search results on PIXSY (our new service that finds and invoices image theft for you), I was surprised to see my picture for sale on Etsy (above). My immediate reaction:
- What an ugly mousepad. I’d never print my photo like this.
- The seller seems to be stealing thousands of photos. How could Etsy let this happen?
- Who had the nerve to think they could do this?
So my picture was the party and I wasn’t invited. I decided to see what I could do to notify the seller and contact Etsy about the problem.
What did I find out? Etsy is selling thousands of stolen photos and doesn’t seem to care. Their system lets sellers hide their contact information, and Etsy will not disclose the identities of sellers stealing work even after being presented with clear evidence.
Etsy is in essence the new Silk Road for copyright infringement
Do you register your work with the US Copyright Office? Though the idea of copyright registration sounds quite antiquated in the Internet age, there are some very good reasons why you should register. There’s also a lot of misinformation running around about how registration works, who can register, and if you need to even register at all. Here’s why every artist– including non-US photographers– absolutely, positively should register their work.
Photography is a fun sport yet it can get expensive very quickly. Just as bulls are judged by the size of their horns, it seems as though some judge photographers are judged by the size of their glass. Many newcomers unaware of the great bargains out there are put off by the high cost of lenses.
We decided to take sticker shock to the next level and composed this list of the most expensive lenses ever sold. Don’t worry about leaving your American Express card at home– it won’t help you afford these bad boys. And of course, this is a great page to send to clients when they ask why you won’t shoot a wedding for $200.
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