Have you received a demand letter from Pixsy? If so, then you are not alone. We have been forwarded numerous emails and other written correspondence from Pixsy, demanding small to large sums of money in exchange for a release of claims related to allegations of copyright infringement. Many of those people have successfully retained us to reply to that correspondence.
If you have received such a letter, then feel free to contact us about your particular issue. We keep all communications confidential, pride ourselves on quick and active responses, and do not charge for initial consultations.
Pixsy typically begins its letters by identifying the subject matter as, “Unauthorized Use of Image” with its internal case reference number. It will then commonly indicate that it is acting on behalf of a photographer as his/her authorized licensing and copyright agent. Pixsy will claim that it is contacting you to address the unauthorized use of certain content and to offer you the opportunity to purchase what it calls a valid license to cover the period of unlicensed usage.
Pixsy (its corporate name being Pixsy Inc.) will argue that it is acting upon the instruction of its client. What Pixsy is, at its core, is a licensing and copyright agent that acts on behalf of others to try to extract these types of payments. It is not a law firm, which distinguishes it from law firms such as Higbee & Associates and CopyCat Legal. However, it is possible that if you ignore a Pixsy letter, then the licensing and copyright agent will escalate the matter to a plaintiff firm, which will then file a lawsuit against you. That is why it is important to not ignore these letters.
Pixsy will note in its letter that, under the Copyright Act, damages can go up to $150,000. It leaves out that minimum statutory damages are as low as $750 and, in certain situations, can be reduced to lower than that. Thus, it is important to discuss your options with a law firm such as Heitner Legal to talk about the risk, the validity of any copyright registration, as well as affirmative defenses such as fair use or de minimis use.
It rarely makes sense to just pay whatever amount Pixsy demands in its initial correspondence. We have been very successful in negotiating down the fees in exchange for releases from any and all claims attached to the alleged improper use of the content at issue. If you have questions, it is better to ask those questions of a law firm that will potentially defend you as opposed to Pixsy, which is looking to extract as much money as possible from you and will certainly not have your best interests in mind.