Photographers have it very difficult nowadays. Most people think the internet is a free self service area. Individuals and even companies download whatever they like and use it for their own purpose or business.
What can photographers do about it? Some decided to do nothing or they just ignore it while others decided to keep an eye on copyright infringements or even do something about it and use Copyright Service Providers.
What can you do as a photographer?
There are several copyright service companies on the market which can help you taking care of your rights.
To begin, let me give you one reference, a company which I have worked with for many years: PhotoClaim, founded by a photographer, Nico Trinkhaus. Visit their website and apply. It’s easy and they charge you just 45% only when a case is won. Otherwise, you don’t owe them anything.
There are also other copyright service providers like e.g.
I worked with all of them and advise you to keep your expectations low.
With Pixsy I’ve had 1579 matches which resulted in 148 claims but only 3 got paid out. They have a quite good front-end but their back-office works rather slowly. Pixsy is stronger in USA, uses image post-licensing and has difficulties to process payments outside of USA. When you have the free plan they do not scan your images often enough. My impression is that they care more about their own profits. Pixsy e.g. discontinued a case with the following reason “After attempting numerous contacts with the Image User, we have not been able to settle or resolve this matter. When discontinuing a case we review the full details and discuss any other possibilities with our Legal Partner network.” I had Photoclaim take care of it and shortly after they were successful and I got paid out. I absolutely do not recommend Pixsy.
Copytrack found 1700 matches which produced 300 cases. 280 got closed, 14 are still pending (up to 6 years!!) and 6 got paid out only.
They have a quite good front-end (no matches per pic though) but their back-office works very slowly, especially for cases in USA. They use image post-licensing. Copytrack switched to a subscription based system April 2021. Their free plan includes 500 pics only. I do not recommend Copytrack (and stopped working with them).
As these two examples show you, the matches/pay out ratio was very low, 0.16 – 0.35 %. The cases/payout ratio was between 1.3 and 2 %.
ImageRights (not rated)
ImageRights has a subscription-based system only and therefore is not fully comparable to the others. They are strong in USA and produced 7 payouts for me.
Lapixa (not rated)
The frontend seems to be quite well made and they do some pre filtering of matches but something must be wrong with their system. While the other providers find thousands of matches for a specific picture, Lapixa finds 0 … 😉
Also the case submission is rather complicated because you should use a checklist before submitting a case which is in contradiction to their advertising where e.g. Calvin Hollywood is saying “just upload your images, wait, receive the money and take a vacation.” In reality, most users won’t even be able to get through the checklist and if you’re experienced it means nothing else than you do most of the very time consuming work.
“Truth does not belong to the one who shouts the loudest” or let this be a confirmation that you simply should never trust advertising.
I stopped using Lapixa mostly because of their bad search results.
PhotoClaim has the highest payout ratio because they check and open cases (claims) themselves in contrary to the other services where you submit them yourself. They have a simple front-end which is not so reliable and does not show much information, but their back-office works ok and does much more work. They are stronger in Europe and do not use image post-licensing (which is better for photographers). Lately though they moved their office to Poland and had some staff changes and therefore their workflow got much slower and sometimes even cases got lost. Unfortunately this has not improved (as of July 2022).
Additional information about Copyright Service Providers you can find in my blog post below.
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