Protecting Your Copyright

Posted on 3/16/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

It is getting harder and harder for photographers to protect their copyright. With PicScout, TinEye, Google Image Search and other reverse image search solutions it is easy enough to locate uses of specific images online. But, it can be very laborious to search one-by-one for particular images in a large collection, and it can be costly to have someone like PicScout do it for you.

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Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • Uri Lavi Posted Mar 22, 2016
    Dear Jim,

    Thanks for the article but I wished you had consulted with PicScout before publishing it.

    PicScout is far from being a cost to our customers – on the contrary, it is actually a revenue generator (and even a lead-generator in some cases), which brings in tens of millions of dollars every year for the benefit of agencies and photographers.

    In your article, you only cover the tip of the iceberg, which is the license check part. Many of our customers carry out license checks in a quick and efficient manner with little resources. To customers for whom this procedure is more complex, PicScout offers an automated license check process in order to ensure this step will be as seamless as possible.

    But there is much more beyond the license check – the work PicScout does for our customers together with our License Compliance Services team (LCS), entails handling all of their copyright claims on their behalf. With us, agencies can now focus on sales and not on copyright claims – and they get a check at the end of each month! LCS communicates with infringers and contributes to educating them about copyright, receives the remuneration fees, and sometimes even converts infringers into customers of our clients.
    With regards to angering existing customers where a demand letter is sent in error, rarely does this happen, and when it does, our solutions offer both automated processes, as well as trained professionals, that allow us to rapidly treat the matter and close it.

    All in all, it is in the best interest of agencies and photographers to enforce their copyright. By choosing to do so, not only do photographers get remunerated for their work, but they also contribute to defending copyright. Choosing not to pursue infringers actually encourages infringement: the licensing model is significantly devalued if people can just take images without being educated and pursued. PicScout offers a solution that encompasses streamlining the license check, handling the infringement claims and even assisting with the registration of images with the copyright office. And these solutions generate benefits that are in the best interests of photographers and agencies.


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