A few weeks ago, I found out about Pixsy. It is an awesome website made for photographers and graphic designers. It starts as an image search engine but when you find an unlawful match of your photo or design on a website, you have the possibility to fight back. You can submit your copyright info and file a lawsuit. Best of all: It’s free! The only cost would be 50% of what you earn from the lawsuit. That’s the theory, I have not yet been able to test it. To be honest it is a bit tedious to click through all the possible matches after you have imported your photos (that part was easy and very user-friendly!) and what kind of success rate would starting a lawsuit with someone in Vietnam have? Mhhh….
Anyway, one match I found to be EXTREMELY interesting. Take a look at it:
I was curious to see what this is, since this is my Isla Saona Palm Tree photo on a clutch or pouch. At first, I thought that someone was blogging about a pouch they had sold with my design but little did I know!
You may be wondering why I was so sure this is my palm tree as there are many Caribbean palm trees out there and even more photos of Isla Saona… The horizon is off balance. I never cared to improve it by 1 or 2 degrees and THAT was a good decision. I keep selling items with this photo nevertheless and now it was the proof I needed that this is my photo.
So, where were we? Ah yes, I visited this blog post and read through it. At first, I did not really understand it. The blogger writes about unpacking a subscription box from Nina Garcia (never heard of her but I am not an American) and suddenly, my pouch was uncovered. From Printalloverme…. Hey wait… I never sold a pouch on Printalloverme and have not many sales in general over there. I checked my account and sales and I have never sold this pouch. And it’s getting better: A subscription box is not something unique, they are sold a 100 times or more. You can read about the Nina Garcia Subscription box by Quarterly here if you’d like.
Apparently, in June 2014 my Caribbean pouch from Printalloverme was part of the Nina Garcia Summertime Fun Box #NGQ03:
A search for the hashtag#NGQ03 had unbelievable results… More and more bloggers unpacked the box and commented on my pouch design! One of them even mentioned that it seems to be designed by Christine aka stine1!
In summary, Printalloverme had my design on pouches added to a subscription box – god knows how many af them – and never paid me my royalty!
So I wrote to Printalloverme. Not via email, but via Facebook messenger. I summed up all I knew and included several blog links all writing about my pouch. It took them almost three weeks with a few messages back and forth but I have received some compensation by now via Paypal. It is probably not the full amount I would have gotten for 100+ pouches sold but I guess Quarterly also got a discount.
I would like to thank both Pixsy and Printalloverme in helping me. This image theft happened in 2014 and Printalloverme’s team was indeed helpful and cooperative. My intention with this blog post is not to shame them – although everyone should be careful. I doubt this happened more than once, at least I did not find other Printalloverme products in Quarterly boxes.
What I would like to do is to encourage you to do an image search. Be it with Google’s Image Search, with Pixsy or other similar websites. Just do it and fight back!
7 thoughts on “#Pixsy vs. #Printalloverme – Guess who won? #CopyrightTheft #NGQ03”
Thanks for sharing your experience and recommending Pixsy! Hopefully, the more photographers and designers are aware of their rights and the means to protect them, the more complicated it would be for image thieves to lift someone’s work and just get away with it.
Thanks again and glad we could help!
Thank you so much for stopping by and since I saw you are also from Germany: Danke 🙂
Ich werde Pixsy auf jeden Fall weiter nutzen und jedem empfehlen, dem ich über den Weg laufe. Ohne euch hätte ich das NIE aufgedeckt!
This is very interesting… 1. Nina Garcia is a VERY well known magazine editor (Elle Fashion Magazine) and has been a long time judge on Project Runway. 2. PAOM itself should have known who she is. 3. 25% of 100 pouches should be easy to calculate and I simply cannot believe that the sale did not show up in your account dashboard.
I simply do not have time for PODS at the moment, but am becoming more and more wary of each and every one of them. It is bad enough that you have to spend countless hours designing and developing your products, you also need to do all your own promoting. Sales are hard to come by and then the manufacturing company tries to keep your commission… Argh! ☹👎
Happy to hear you were able to solve the problem to some extent, but how many other sales have not been posted to your account?
Hi, thanks for stopping by. It’s funny that neither Quarterly (the sender of these boxes) nor PAOM know how many boxes and therefore pouches have been shipped.
I am also not investing too much time into creating more products and have shut down some shops that have not been profitable (e.g. Live Heroes).
I am constantly using Pixsy now to find more copyright infringements and stolen work but so far, this is the biggest fish. I can recommend their free service! It does take a few days to weed through but in my case, it was more than worth it!
Wow, this was an eye opener. I’ve been keeping my head in the sand when it comes to my work. Because I’ve been on POD’s for about 7 years now and on the web posting my work for about 10+, I’m really afraid to find out where my images are now. *shivers*
So happy your story was shared. Thank you!
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Hi, thanks for the heads up about Pixsy. I have set up with them since reading your blog. I have trouble with people taking my images and have tried contacting them directly, but they ignore me.
You are welcome. I prefer Copytrack over Pixsy though as you do not have a limit if how many images they track for you.