Click Official ELI Links
Get Help With Your Extortion Letter | ELI Phone Support | ELI Legal Representation Program
Show your support of the ELI website & ELI Forums through a PayPal Contribution. Thank you for supporting the ongoing fight and reporting of Extortion Settlement Demand Letters.

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - aot

Pages: [1]
Legal Controversies Forum / Richard Prince Instagram Case
« on: September 30, 2018, 08:06:53 PM »
Has anyone looked into it?

Artist Richard Prince Sells Instagram Photos That Aren’t His For $90K

So, does adding a comment makes the screenshot of a photo an original work?

I am sure, since this is from 2015, this topic might have been discussed previously. If you are aware of the threads, please link to them. I would love to discuss this case and its implications.

Starting this thread to discuss any copyright issues over posting Creative Commons licensed photos on social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook Groups or pages.

We received a copyright violation letter from Pixsy asking for $750 for an image of a town square by a non-US photographer which was shared on his Flickr under CC BY SA 2.0. The image (a low resolution version) was posted to our Twitter without linking to the CC BY SA 2.0 and mentioning the photographer's name.

Photo URL:

The photo was searched, downloaded, and queued by our Filipino offshore staff who had limited knowledge about such limitation related to CC images being shared in an informational tweet.

Clearly, a mistake was made and we were happy to resolve it within an hour of receiving the email from Pixsy.

That said, one has to acknowledge the fact that a tweet is limited to 280 characters. Our offshore staff provides all licensing and author information and necessary links when using a CC photo in a blog post.

Moreover, we use an automation tool (Buffer) to queue hundreds of tweets in advance. The tool picks up images automatically from a recently published blog post but doesn't pull in captions or any links/text mentioning CC licence link and/or author name.

When Pixsy first emailed us, we immediately deleted the tweet within 1 hour of their email and notified them regarding the same. We take copyright seriously and have a large blog that thrives on linking to one another's work to make this "Internet thing" great for everyone.

As creatives and photographers ourselves, I feel asking someone to pay money (any amount of money) for an image released under the Creative Commons, is a violation of the "spirit of creative commons" itself.

If you genuinely understand Creative Commons, one should know that the whole purpose of this non-profit is to promote creativity and shareability AND protections from Sharks (aka aggressive Extortionist) and Leeches (aka Copyright Trolls).

Let me explain the purpose of this thread.

I am starting this thread to:
1. Document how we are handling this dispute with Pixsy
2. Seek community guidance
3. Have others share any other similar incidence.

We have seen many instances where a blog or website is targeted for using a copyrighted photo or materials without having a licence.

But, I have not seen a case where someone has received a similar threat for mistakenly posting a creative commons image in a tweet and then getting harassed by these rent seeking (blood sucking), copyright trolls (aka non-producing members of society).

In this first post, I am going to share Pixsy's first opportunistic/harassing email to us and our response.

Pixsy Case Management Team <>
Tue, Aug 28, 12:33 PM

The Art Of Travel

By email: [email]

Unauthorized Use of [Mr. Photographer's Image - Case Reference: 000-0000000]

August 28, 2018
Attn: [AOT]
Pixsy acts on behalf of Mr. [Photohrapher]  as their authorised licensing and copyright agent. We have been notified by  Mr. [Photographer]  that  The Art Of Travel  has been using their imagery without license or permission. Details of the unauthorized use are set out in the attached pdf documents ' Unauthorized Use Report' and 'Evidence Report'.
The unauthorized use was detected at this location on your website:
Your use of Mr. [Photographer's] image without a license is a violation of his exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, display and prepare derivatives of his copyrighted work. Unlicensed usage takes power away from the creator and significantly devalues their work.
Steps required to resolve this matter immediately:
1. Review the details of case 000-000000 in the attached Unauthorized Use Report and Evidence Report
2. Refer to the attached FAQ if you have any questions about why you received this letter
3. Make payment of your license fee for your use of Mr. [Photographer's] image on or before 18/09/2018.
Payment can be made through our secure online portal at the following URL, and alternate payment options are available to you in the attached PDF:
It is our belief that every artist has a right to be fairly compensated for use of his or her work, and we will take every effort to ensure that our clients' intellectual property is protected.
Note that a failure to resolve this matter of unlicensed use within 21 days will result in escalation to one of our partner attorneys for legal proceedings.
We look forward to resolving this matter with you.
Kind Regards,
[Name], Case Manager
Pixsy Case Management Team
Phone:  +1 (323) 284-9404
Post: Pixsy Inc., 340 S Lemon Ave, Walnut CA 91789 

Email:   (please always reply to the email thread and include the case reference number)


** Please note: Contact information obtained by Pixsy for this case is from your website(s) and/or publicly available sources. All data storage, processing and communications are subject to our Pixsy Privacy Policy available at:

Email ref:_00Dxxxxx._5001p2akH1o:ref

PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL. This e-mail, its contents and attachments are private and confidential and is intended for the recipient only. Any disclosure, copying or unauthorized use of such information is prohibited. If you receive this message in error, please notify us immediately and delete the original and any copies and attachments. The information provided by Pixsy Inc. is general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice.
Our Privacy Policy is available at

Our response:

Dear [name],

Hope this email finds you well.

Please accept our sincere apologies from behalf of our entire team for mistakenly using Mr. [Photographer's] image under CC BY 2.0 image.

We have removed the Frankfurt, Germany tweet containing that photo. (8/28/2018) The non-commercial and informational tweet was made on April 5, 2018 and had received 4 Retweets and 5 Likes.

Upon further investigation on our end, we found out the photo was downloaded from Google images > Free to use results.

The photo referenced in this emails is shared on Flickr website by Mr. [Photographer] under Creative Commons license.

We take copyright materials very seriously and believe in fair use. We do our best to credit the original creators and/or image license by linking, however, due to the character limitation of Twitter platform, a link to Creative Commons license and [Photo and Photographer's] name could have been missed by our offshore staff.

I hope we can settle this case in good faith and with no further action necessary.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance in this matter. I have contacted Mr. [Photographer] on Flickr as well.

Best regards,

Our first email to Mr. [Photographer] on Flickr:

Subject: Pixsy and Copyright trolling

Dear [Photographer],

Greetings from Boston, MA. Hope you are having a wonderful day!

I am emailing you on behalf of thousands of independent bloggers and creative artists who rely on the spirit of Creative Commons and fair use.

Recently, we have received a copyright infringement notice from Pixsy which states they represent you. They are demanding $750 USD + up to $35,000 USD for court case compensation for a photo that was published under CC BY 2.0 by you.

The photograph in question is: Main square of Frankfurt / Hauptplatz von Frankfurt

This photo was tweeted by us to encourage people to visit Germany. Since tweets are limited to 280 characters, it did not mention and link to the CC licence and/or tagged you on Twitter. This was clearly a mistake on our part.

Since we use an automation tool for advance queuing our tweets, the photos from our blog (where CC links and author credits are always mentioned) are lost. The photos are picked by the tool and all texts and links are added manually by our offshore staff.

The moment we learned about it (through email from Pixsy), we deleted the tweet within 1 hour.

Also, after realizing this gap and limitation with Twitter automated queuing, we have stopped this process completely. We are currently manually adding tweets.

I have two requests to make:
1. As an independent artist myself, I understand that copyright protection serves an important role. That said, I also believe that if someone is infringing your work, you should ask the person to either stop using it and/or provide proper credit (whether monetary or via a backlink and mentioning the original creator).

The Creative Commons movement was created to protect and enlighten this spirit of shared repository where creatives don't have to fear copyright trolling from large media companies or rent-seekers.

2. Everyone wants to make money to pay their bills and artists don't have to starve. But by joining rent seeking trolls such as Pixsy, you are contradicting the very spirit of Creative Commons.

Under copyright protection laws and Creative Commons community guidelines, the first step towards protection of any intelectual property is to send a "ceise and desist". Not, threats and unreasble money demand. This is a pure form of harassment.

As you know, 99% of independent bloggers, photographers, YouTubers, amateur creatives make $0 USD of income.

Now, if you demand them to pay a fine of thousand dollars which is perhaps more than even their net worth, it's not just harassment or copyright trolling but evil.

As a fellow human, fellow artist, I request you to not partner with Pixsy or any middle layer rent seekers. By partnering with them, you are encouraging them and even helping other companies to form in this area of copyright trolling.

I hope that you would give this matter your sincere thoughts.

Best regards,
The Art of Travel

Alright folks, I am happy to update everyone on how this issue gets peacefully resolved in due time.

Pages: [1]
Official ELI Help Options
Get Help With Your Extortion Letter | ELI Phone Support Call | ELI Defense Letter Program
Show your support of the ELI website & ELI Forums through a PayPal Contribution. Thank you for supporting the ongoing fight and reporting of Extortion Settlement Demand Letters.