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Author Topic: Pixsy Letter Questions  (Read 5448 times)

Andreon

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Pixsy Letter Questions
« on: October 12, 2018, 01:15:27 PM »
Hello,

I received a letter from Pixsy requesting $1,000 for the use of a few images from a photographer. The images were published on one of my blog posts in 2011 with a prominent link to the photographer's site. They were used in good faith, as I believed they were free for use.

I deleted the images immediately, and emailed the photographer simply to confirm that the email I received from Pixsy was genuine.

So my questions are...

1) What are my options to either reduce the fee, or eliminate it entirely?
2) How can I protect myself going forward? I've written 7,500 blog posts, and though I'm diligent with only using creative commons images, sometimes something will inevitable slip through.

Pixsy listed a US mailing address for me, which is simply a forwarding address. I'm located in Canada, and the photographer is based out of Italy.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Andreon

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 01:51:08 PM »
Looks like the images were taken on private property without permission. Inside buildings, not visible from a public space. The photographer publicly wrote that they had to sneak past alarms and climb a wall.

UnfairlyTargeted

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 02:56:52 AM »
I'd report the photographer to the landowner along with the information that he's illegally selling photos he has no permission to take, encouraging the landowner to press criminal trespassing charges.  I'd also respond to Pixsy with the same, telling them pressing this matter further will land the photographer in criminal trouble.

You should not pay anything when you haven't broken the law, but the photographer clearly has committed crimes.

The double standard and hipocrasy of these stupid wannabe hacks that hire Pixsy never fail to amaze me.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 02:58:35 AM by UnfairlyTargeted »

Matthew Chan

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 08:13:27 PM »
There are many situations where people can legally be on a property they do not own.  Renters, friends/guest of renters, people on legitimate business, etc. are all examples of reasons why someone would come on or near any real estate property they do not own.  Making such claims without firm evidence is reckless, irresponsible, and most importantly damages the credibility to the person making the claims. Sure, if he wants to do make such a claim, he can. Then going forward, that person lacks credibility and then no one will pay attention. Further, it would be completely ineffective.

Perhaps you feel that you are anonymous and have received a great deal of freedom to post your messages, you don't feel responsibility that someone MIGHT actually follow your advice?  Or is it your contention that if someone is "dumb enough" to follow questionable "advice", they deserve what is coming to them? I have been reading your posts and I am not sure what your intentions are. Are you trying to legitimately help people?  Are you trying to vent?  Or are you trying to troll people?

I am going to tell you straight up that if you don't feel any responsibility for what you post, beyond your own personal gratification,  or you are trying to troll people with reckless suggestions, you may want to consider voluntarily disabling your ELI account.

If you want to contact me directly and privately at matt30060 / gmail, please feel free to do so. The last thing I want is a misunderstanding. But I am getting the vibe that you might be trying to troll ELI community. If I am wrong, please do let us know.

I'd report the photographer to the landowner along with the information that he's illegally selling photos he has no permission to take, encouraging the landowner to press criminal trespassing charges.  I'd also respond to Pixsy with the same, telling them pressing this matter further will land the photographer in criminal trouble.

You should not pay anything when you haven't broken the law, but the photographer clearly has committed crimes.

The double standard and hipocrasy of these stupid wannabe hacks that hire Pixsy never fail to amaze me.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

UnfairlyTargeted

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 09:58:22 PM »
The OP said the photographer climbed fences and snuck past alarms.  I don't think there's any way the dickhead photographer was there legally.  So he should be called out. And punished for his holier than you stance with his stupid photo.

My strategy is to be such a thorny dick that nobody will want to mess with sending another stupid letter.  There's the legal way to do things and the way it's done on the street.

Ethan Seven

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 11:08:31 PM »
The fact that the photographer climbed a fence or may have trespassed alone is about as relevant as a defense based on the fact that he was speeding in his car when driving to the scene.    These claims can become federal claims,  fought in federal court.  They have real consequences.    Unfairly Targeted lives in angry fantasy land where all copyright claims are meritless and probably originate from a guy named Tom.

As usual, Unfairly Targeted’s advice is horrible and should only be viewed as comic relief.   I do agree with Mr. Chan.  He is a liability to the casual reader who is looking for useful information.   If this forum’s goal is to be a reliable place for thoughtful discussion, there is a strong case to be made that he undermines that goal.   If it is a place for venting and banter, well...

Anyway.

For what it is worth, Pixsy is a German company with no real US presence.  They are not a law firm.  My guess is that they are toothless in the US.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 01:35:14 AM by Ethan Seven »
Even if I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer.  Copyright matters can have serious consequences.  If you have assets worth protecting, consult a lawyer who is familiar with copyright law and who can review the facts of your case. If you cannot afford one, call your state or county bar association.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2018, 11:28:10 AM »
"My strategy is to be such a thorny dick that nobody will want to mess with sending another stupid letter.  "

Just a suggestion here...maybe you need to vet your images, confirm they are all legit, this way you really don't have to worry about getting another letter..
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

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Andreon

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2018, 08:05:47 PM »
To add a few important details here...

I found the photos on Flickr in 2010/2011, and am almost positive they were creative commons. When I was contacted by Pixsy, I investigated and saw that the entire gallery had been deleted on Flickr and moved to a new website, that of the photographer. On his new website, right below these photos, he wrote that he had to climb over a wall on the property and get past alarm systems.

My reply to Pixsy was that before we have a conversation, I would like them to verify that he was given permission to take and license these photos.

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 04:17:56 AM »
On his new website, right below these photos, he wrote that he had to climb over a wall on the property and get past alarm systems.

Do bear in mind this could be an embellishment of the truth, not to mention that - without knowing what entity owns the property - even if a trespass did occur (and it's possible that one did), you're looking at a question of either state or national law as to whether the matter would be criminal or civil in nature and also if there is a statute of limitations for bringing claims.

My reply to Pixsy was that before we have a conversation, I would like them to verify that he was given permission to take and license these photos.

(IANAL disclaimer) This is where things get murky: copyright in a work is automatic, so the photographer still has rights in their creation almost regardless of the circumstances in which it was created; if you used their work without consent, they have grounds to claim against you. It would be up to the property owner alone to explore any rights they might have to prevent the photographer from displaying or licensing the image in question, and again this will fall to a question of national or state law. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photography_and_the_law for an overview of this complex matter)

« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 12:43:56 PM by DavidVGoliath »

Matthew Chan

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 04:59:04 AM »
I did miss that second post where the OP asserted what he believed was a trespass. Assuming it is true, it is still a bit hard to prove and doesn't take away from the fact the photog owns the image. It could possibly inflame the situation also. Pros and cons to everything.

I get your meaning about "the way it's done on the street". I also get that being a "difficult" target also has its merits. I, on occasion, myself have engaged in unorthodox and unconventional (but entirely legal) strategies to create favorable outcomes for myself but I try to use precise language and qualify what I say so that people don't misinterpret my statements as something THEY should blindly follow and do.

If one wants to discuss such unconventional tactics responsibly, I recommend using more thought and careful language vs. overly blunt, simplistic, "blurty" language on a consistent basis.  I am certainly not a prude by far (having used my share of street language as well) but at the same time (as community host) I am not trying to cultivate an entire community of "brutish, thuggish" street posts either.

I am a big believer in allowing maximum latitude for people to post freely but if recklessness is going to be the norm, I am not (nor others on ELI are) going to want to keep "cleaning up" after such comments.

You been here on ELI long enough.  You know what goes on here.  You know the program. I think you are a smart person. I think you know what is appropriate and responsible and what is not. It is time to switch channels starting now. Okay? I hope you get my meaning.

If it is unclear, then I can just resolve the entire issue myself unilaterally. Let's all get on the same page, shall we?

The OP said the photographer climbed fences and snuck past alarms.  I don't think there's any way the dickhead photographer was there legally.  So he should be called out. And punished for his holier than you stance with his stupid photo.

My strategy is to be such a thorny dick that nobody will want to mess with sending another stupid letter.  There's the legal way to do things and the way it's done on the street.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 05:12:49 AM »
ELI used to be a much more rough-and-tumble place. I would be the first person to admit that because I initiated a lot of the "rough and tumble" in the early years of ELI. However, ELI (as well as I) have evolved over time. I'd like to think I am a bit wiser now. I try to let community members do their thing here on ELI and give great latitude but honestly, I prefer ELI to not be such a rough-and-tumble place as it once was. Maybe UT's approach may have been more fitting years ago.  But ELI has passed 10 years now. We aren't the quite the "young rebellious community" we once were. I prefer to escalate the signal-to-noise ratio.

I really don't want to be a baby-sitter, nor does anyone else want to be one. I have respectfully and politely asked UT to change his channel. I hope he will agree because I do think he has some interesting perspectives. Otherwise, it will be time to part ways.

As usual, Unfairly Targeted’s advice is horrible and should only be viewed as comic relief.   I do agree with Mr. Chan.  He is a liability to the casual reader who is looking for useful information.   If this forum’s goal is to be a reliable place for thoughtful discussion, there is a strong case to be made that he undermines that goal.   If it is a place for venting and banter, well...
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 05:16:26 AM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Andreon

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2018, 09:59:22 AM »
This is, unfortunately, dragging on.

I have reason to believe that the photos were originally published under Creative Commons on Flickr. The album was deleted, and I see that the original author shared it all over the place as well on various forums, etc.

I've asked for proof of the original license, and they've offered me a reduced rate.

I'm being polite and completely civil, and they're not answering any of my perfectly reasonable questions. I said that wanting proof is more than reasonable. Anyone can upload photos to Flickr under Creative Commons, delete the photos, and then go after people that used them.

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2018, 02:44:06 PM »
Anyone can upload photos to Flickr under Creative Commons

... including people that didn't create the photographs in the first place. I've come across instances of this happening and, although quite rare, it can be a shit-show for anyone that uses the fraudulent CC image file.

As other folks on the forum will tell you: the only way to be 100% certain you have the rights to make use of any photograph is if you create it yourself, or hire a photographer to shoot materials just for you, ensuring you have a written contract between you.

Andreon

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Re: Pixsy Letter Questions
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2018, 05:01:28 PM »
You're right, and unfortunately that's not really feasible in this day and age, which is why copyright law needs to be modernized. That's beyond the scope of this conversation, though.

These photos were definitely uploaded to Flickr by the original photographer at least, so there's less ambiguity in that aspect.

Hopefully I can resolve this amicably.

 

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