Back off, photo thieves: Flickr alerts photographers to image theft with Pixsy

Online image theft is often as easy as a right click or screenshot — but Flickr will now alert photographers if their image was snatched. On Tuesday, April 9, Flickr announced a partnership with Pixsy, a system that alerts photographers to potential online image theft.

While image sharing platform Flickr is well-known in the photography community and out, Pixsy is a relative newcomer to the photography space. Established in 2014, Pixsy is a platform that uses artificial intelligence to scour the web for replicas of an image. When spotted, Pixsy alerts the original photographer of the potential theft.

With the integration, photographers can link their Flickr accounts to a Pixsy account. Flickr Pro subscribers will also be able to track up to 1,000 images without a separate subscription to Pixsy. Pro users will also have access to 10 Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices, with unlimited case submissions, included in the Flickr membership.

“We want our photographers to feel comfortable sharing their work online. We offer clear controls for privacy and copyright, and we stand by our photographers in asserting their rights in the case that theft occurs,” Andrew Stadlen, vice president of product for Flickr, said in a statement. “Partnering with a company like Pixsy makes complete sense for our community and helps us deliver on what we believe is a core value for Flickr.”

Pixsy’s algorithms work to recognize the photos in their database, creating an alert system whenever a suspected theft is detected. The tool also allows photographers to list authorized use to avoid getting alerts for legal use. Pixsy also offers services for photographers that find their photos stolen, including resources for takedown notices and information about U.S. copyright registration. Pixsy also has a list of 26 partner law firms that work with photographers under a “no win, no fee” basis.

While Pixsy has only been around since 2014, the company says the platform has led to 70,000 copyright infringement cases. The platform currently boasts more than 38 million images using the tracking system.

Tracking for up to 1,000 images will be included with a Flickr Pro subscription. Flickr’s free users, or Pro subscribers that wish to track more than 1,000 images, can also link to a Pixsy account. Pixsy offers a free account for tracking up to 500 images, a personal account for 2,000 images at $19 a month, an advanced account with up to 30,000 images for $39 a month, and a pro account with up to 100,000 images monitored for $89 a month.


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