What is PixTrakk ?
PixTrakk is a Cloud service dedicated to photographers, illustrators and their agencies. You drop your photos on PixTrakk, in a personal client space.
PixTrakk detects the usage of your photograph by tracking it in millions of websites and, for agencies, in the French printed press. PixTrakk verifies where, when, how and by whom it is being used.
PixTrakk provides you with the information in an interface that enables you to quickly see all information regarding the usage of your images : copy of the printed page or website concerned, URL address, page number, dates, screen captures, …
You receive an email alert and you can control the legality of the use of your images.
You also have the option of adding one or several fraudulent usage of you pictures that you have identified in order to notify PixTrakk of such cases.
PixTrakk exclusivity : in the case of a fraudulent use of your photos, you can launch directly from the PixTrakk interface, in one click and with no advanced fee, a collection procedure of your rights through a network of international specialized lawyers.
The PixTrakk interface enables you to exchange with a lawyer and to follow the progress of your case.
What is Pixtrakk’s collection procedure ?
PixTrakk legal service works in close collaboration with a network of specialized lawyers who ensure the following-up of your case.
You indicate in the interface the amount claimed in the pre-litigation phase as well as the coefficient of the assessment of the prejudice suffered (default value suggested by the interface). After having checked that the usage is fraudulent, you start the process of opening a case with a lawyer.
The lawyer exchanges with you in direct via the PixTrakk interface and can advice you on how to proceed. He then decides on pre-litigation procedures.
Any money collected is recovered by PixTrakk, which will then pay you the amount owed (see further down the question “How much from the collected sums, will get back to me ? “ ).
In the case of irrecoverability, with the agreement of the lawyer, you can enter the contentious phase and initiate a legal proceeding. The lawyer will advise you on the relevance and the cost of the procedure.
Why use the services of a lawyer instead of writing myself for the recovery?
The lawyer helps you identify contentious cases which may be prosecuted.
A letter of formal notice from a lawyer has greater weight than a letter sent by yourself. Because it shows your determination to act and it guarantees that your request is well-founded.
What are my rights with respect to my photographs or images?
You hold, on your clichés (or illustrations), property and moral rights.
Property rights include the right of representation, reproduction and the right of adaptation. These rights may be assigned (even free of charge) and last 70 years after the death of the author. They allow to act against any copying or distribution of original photographs made without prior agreement, failing which a reparation order for infringement will have to be paid (once an original photograph is used without authorization, this constitute an act of counterfeit, which shall give rise to entitlement to compensation, regardless of whether the counterfeiter acted in good or bad faith ; the owner of the web site is responsible for any content published).
Moral rights are, in turn, non-transferrable and imprescriptible. As such, the photographer has the right to claim ownership of his work, meaning that any reproduction or representation of his photographs shall always have his name mentioned; and the right to preserve the integrity of his work, meaning his work cannot be amended without the author’s prior permission.
Should I deposit my photos or images with an institution?
No, since copyrights exists from the creation of a work, and does not require formal registration.
Proof of ownership may be available by all means.
It is preferable to have disclosed the work under the author’s name, in order for the author to benefit from a presumption of ownership, but it is not mandatory to do so.
What about copyright?
The logo © (which symbolizes the term copyright in common law’s countries) does not have legal value in most countries.
However, in the United-States, even if it is not compulsory (you also own rights in the United-States by default) it is possible to register through the U.S Copyright Office in order to seek higher compensatory damages and more easily, in case of a lawsuit for infringement. (Go to: copyright.gov FAQ – To register your images, go to https://www.copyright.gov/registration/).
PixTrakk’s specificity in the United-States: In case of a lawsuit for infringement, the American lawyer may register your image through the U.S Copyright Office for you; he is the sole decision maker on bringing a lawsuit for infringement and for registering your image through the U.S Copyright Office (depending on the nature of the case).
What about photographs published on Instagram, Facebook and other social media?
These social media make it easy for anyone to publish photographs.
As soon as the images are disclosed with the photographer’s consent, or even at times by the photographer himself, should one consider that they can be used freely and by anyone?
The question is raised since the general conditions of use of such web sites, tend to say that by publishing content on these sites one automatically assigns all of his rights.
But this goes against many countries Public Policy whereby a sale cannot be presumed and may only be valid under certain strictly defined conditions, and any overall sale of undetermined work of art shall be of no effect.
Consequently, a publication on Facebook or other, does not grant a global authorization by the author for a third party to use the cliché. It can only, on certain web sites, authorize a sharing on the specified web site.
Can a royalty-free photograph be used freely?
By no means. This expression is deceptive.
It does not mean that the artwork can be used without constraint and free of charge. It only means that, once the license is purchased, it can be used for an unlimited duration, on all type of media except those specifically excluded.
On the contrary of Rights Managed Images that can only be used for a limited duration and on restricted and defined media.
Is the infringer entitled to raise exceptions to copyright?
The law establishes a few exceptions to copyright.
The exception for « information » is very rarely applicable since it has to be « hot » news, the photograph has to be directly related to current events and the photo should serve the discussion. In any case, the name of the author must be mentioned. In addition, in accordance with part of the jurisprudence, this exception does not apply to photographic works ( which cannot be considered as being part of the “Graphic Works of Art” as referred to in the law).
The exception for « analyses and short quotes » does not apply to photographs, since the photograph has to be reproduced in its entirety.
What about the rights of the person photographed?
As a rule, whenever a person is recognizable, this person can counteract the exploitation of the photograph.
Therefore, an authorization from the person photographed is necessary prior to the publication of your photographs. However, there are tempering to this, linked to the right to information, if the picture was taken in a public space (In the absence of a tight shot on one person in particular) and is of a public person (for whom there is, in the context of their professional activity, a presumption of tacit authorization for the representation of their image), or a news event (if the image represents a relevant information in relation to the public-interest discussion and illustrate current affairs).
In France, the damages and interests are relatively low, except when creating a genuine prejudice.
How many pictures or images can I put on Pixtrakk ?
The PixTrakk standard yearly subscription allows you to upload 3000 photographs.
But it is possible to upload more. If such is your need, contact us
At what format should my pictures or images be ?
The image files must be compressed and comply with the following specifications :
- saved as JPEG
- in low resolution with a minimum of 400 x 600 pixels.
However, so you don’t have to retouch your images, you can load medium or high-res images onto PixTrakk, they will automatically be adjusted to the appropriate format.
What is the first thing to ask when PixTrakk finds one of my images on a website?
Verify that you are the owner of the copyright of the image (that the rights were not transferred) and verify that the usage is unauthorised.
This verification should be done thoroughly. Indeed, once the case is passed on to the lawyer, if you request to close the file, the lawyer will have the right to ask for a lump sum which shall be deducted from your next payment of recovered rights (see question “Is it possible to close a collection procedure once it is in the hand of a lawyer?” below).
Is it possible to simply ask the infringer to add the photographer’s copyright or to remove a picture?
Yes, if you do not wish to start a collection procedure but to simply warn the infringer of your rights, you can specify this in the « comment » box and when filling in the reproduction right box, just put in a symbolic 1€ fee.
What would be a reasonable amount to ask the infringer?
At least, the amount the infringer should have paid if he had sought to get a licence, increased because of an unauthorised usage.
This depends on many factors, in particular the media it is printed on, the size of the image, its position, the number of clicks / the importance of the publication and the duration of use.
The damages are increased in case of infringement of moral rights, in particular in the case of infringement of authorship right (the right to have his or her name associated with the image – the expression “DR” being worth nothing), and in the case of the right to the integrity of the work (the right to oppose any modification of the image with prior authorisation).
In the United-States, in some cases, the amounts also depend on whether or not the images have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office (see above question “What about copyright?“).
Finally, an infringement entitles to claim reimbursement of the lawyer’s fee which shall be added by the lawyer to the required compensation.
How much from the collected sums, will get back to me ?
If the counterfeiter site is French, PixTrakk will refund you 60% of the indemnities recovered for the illegal use of your photos (The balance will cover initial lawyer fees to monitor the cases, technical and service fees). Counsel adds to the amount claimed a sum for legal fees.
If the counterfeiter site is based oversee, PixTrakk will refund you 55% of the indemnities recovered for the illegal use of your photos.
Is it possible to close a collection procedure once it is in the hand of a lawyer?
A PixTrakk collection procedure case can be, in consultation with the lawyer and if mutually agreed, closed. Or at the lawyer’s initiative given the file submitted (who shall inform you via the platform; you can at any time discuss this with him).
However, if you decide unilaterally to close the case after the declaration has been submitted to the lawyer, a lump-sum of 150€ (VAT excluded) shall be withheld and deducted from your next recovered royalty statement.
Are all fraudulent uses of my pictures or images covered ?
The law firm who is in charge of your case, works hard to recover the amount owed in case of fraudulent use of your photos or images (original work). Nevertheless, the complexity and extent of the possible usage and countries of origins of the fraud or the impossibility to contact the counterfeiter, does not always make it possible to recover all claims.
However, even when recoveries are partial, the protection of the photographer’s rights by PixTrakk, and this without having to pre-pay any lawyer fee, is a service greatly appreciated by our users.
Can a former client objects to the settlement of a compensation?
The photographer holds copyright on his images regardless of the paper-based medium. It is not because you are selling an image that you are selling the rights of your art work. In the absence of a written transfer of intellectual property rights, your clients have, a priori, no rights to represent, reproduce or adapt the work of art. This also applies to commission contracts.
To be valid, the sale must respect certain formalities since each of the assigned rights should be mentioned separately, also the field of exploitation of the assigned rights should be defined with respect to coverage, destination, location and duration.
We shall remind you that your moral rights are not transferable. Meaning that, any terms through which you may have renounced to the authorship of a work, are void, and you may – at any time – ask a person who is using your work to add your copyright.
Accordingly, a former client can only object to the settlement of a compensation, if the usage is consistent with the transfer of copyright agreed upon.
As soon as the photograph is used beyond the initially agreed date, or on media which has not been approved such as another web site than the one referred to in the right assignment agreement, it is clearly a counterfeit.
Where can I find the general conditions of subscription ?
The general conditions of subscription to the PixTrakk service for the web can be found at the bottom of this site or by clicking on the following link : CGV PixTrakk Web