The $575 Mistake: When Your Hobby Puts You In the Red
On, July 24th at 5:44 AM I received an email from the Pixsy Case Management Team (Resolution Team. Who is Pixsy you ask? Well you can click right on over to here because if nothing else I learned this week is to not share anything. I know they teach you to share in Kindergarten but don’t let that lady and her chipper teaching assistant get you sued 30 something years later because you didn’t read the fine print to that lesson that says, “You shareth and they taketh away”.
What I can do for those who refuse to click is explain it to you in my own comical layman’s terms. (Do you notice a theme of me always being funny after something really frightening or bad happens to me? Yeah I think it’s a defense mechanism after bawling my eyes out but anywhoooo…)
“They are the protectors, guards, security guards and off-duty police officer for creative’s such as myself. They are the hand tapper when you reach for that snack you aren’t supposed to have. They are the intuition that tells you not to eat the whole gallon of ice cream because Leonard left you. They make sure your stuff doesn’t get used against your will and if it does they go after them for you and get your money or potentially your first born college fund and one of your vital organs should it go beyond an email discussion.”
But that’s just my explanation.
Now I will just insert the email here so you feel the same fear I felt when I read it and the same rush to which I tried to get this photo down for fear of it doubling in cost. You will notice references to my design business name though the photo was posted on this very blog Connected Woman Magazine so don’t get confused. I also omitted the reference # and payment links. Stay with me here..
Unauthorized Use of Mrs. Gaiger’s Photograph – Case Reference: ###-######
Dear Angela Wesley:
We are the authorized agent for Meg Gaiger and have identified that Alegna Media has been using one of Mrs. Gaiger’s images without license or permission.
The unauthorized use was detected at this location on your website:
Your use of Mrs. Gaiger’s image without a license is a violation of her exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, display and prepare derivatives of her copyrighted work. Unlicensed usage takes power away from the creator and significantly devalues their work.
Steps required to resolve this matter immediately:
1. Review the details of case 001-027586 in the attached Unauthorized Use Report
2. Refer to the attached FAQ if you have any questions about why you received this letter
3. Make payment of your license fee for your use of Mrs. Gaiger’s image on or before 8/14/2017.
Payment can be made through our secure licensing page at the following address, and alternate payment options are available to you in the attached PDF:
It is our belief that every photographer has a right to be fairly compensated for use of his or her work, and we will take every effort to ensure that our photographers’ intellectual property is protected.
Note that a failure to resolve this matter of unlicensed use within 21 days will result in escalation to one of our partner attorneys for legal proceedings.
We look forward to resolving this matter with you amicably.
Pixsy Case Management Team
Now early in the morning this is the last thing you want to see or read. I was so out of sorts it took me a minute to look at the attached PDF that came with it which offered more details . The original invoice was for $575.00. Yes. Yes. Yes. But I will go on and say no that a deal was offered to lower it for immediate payment so in the end I paid $400. Yes. Yes. Yes. See I haven’t made $400 from this blog in the 3 years of its existence so to say my expenses are more than the value of the entire blog is not an understatement. Highlighting women cost me and my pockets reflect it. Since this episode I have been brainstorming how to make this hobby a lucrative one but just decided to keep letting it grow on its own and happen organically. Besides this mistake of mine cost me my entire marketing budget for the next decade.
But back to the lesson. After responding, apologizing, removing and asking a few questions (since this was an article which only featured an embedded post that someone shared on Facebook of the photo I questions if ALL of us got invoiced and could I get a payment plan since their website mentioned that was a potential option) I just paid the revised invoice and hung my head low like my bank account.
Here is the link they provided to where the photo was from http://harpyimages.deviantart.com/art/Outside-influences-project-Fashion-edition-2-470126241. I do not want to show the photo directly here though with my invoice I have rights to use now it’s not worth the fear of something else happening so you stroll on over and take a look. You will probably remembering seeing the article once you see the photo. As soon as I saw the photo I knew immediately where I used it as a Girls Too! article. I have decided to minimize that page on the blog and just feature the articles as it did then at the top only as the page consists of a lot of embedded YouTube videos etc. that may cause the same problems so stay tuned for ways I will update that page.
Anyway folks, I say all this to warn you that even when you think you’re on the up and up, you can be breaking the law. I shared a Facebook post on my personal blog and it cost me $400. So while social media is all about sharing and commenting , sometimes sharing will bite you in the behind and take your wallet with it.
I think I need to sign up for their services myself for my actual business….in 2027 of course.
*Disclaimer: Hope this caused at least one giggle …somewhere.
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Don't let that lady and her chirper teaching assistant get you sued 30 something years later because you didn't read the fine print to that lesson that says, "You shareth and they taketh away". - July 27, 2017
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