If you’re a content creator; blogger, photographer, website owner, or anything in between chances are you’ve probably heard of PicRights. (www.PicRights.com). In recent months, the shoddy website has geared up its automation process that literally sends out e-mail after e-mail with no real tangible information at all.
We sent off 2 e-mails inquiring about what alleged image they were referencing, we got no formal response. Instead Picrights continues to spam our Contact Us page.
Let us begin. As a newswire service, we pen hundreds of article a week (usually sans actually hosting the image we helped built a WP plugin that mirrors images using a link in our gallery from the original host. With permission of course). Beginning last week, we began receiving what would become the first of many e-mails stating the exact same thing from Picrights (and 9 e-mails later nothing has changed).
The e-mail claimed that AFP ‘s images were on our website, but the problem is that we don’t actually host images. Picrights knows this and continues to spam our Contact Us page. The further problem is that they’re misrepresenting themselves with barristers in the United Kingdom. Also our newspaper is not based in the U.K, and certainly PicRights knows this because it is public information, which means that their barristers are out of their jurisdiction regardless.
It doesn’t appear that paying PicRights is a requirement. Best advice would be to contact the agency in which an alleged photograph represents, and pay them directly. Picrights is very questionable and very suspicious. I’ve seen many internet posts from people showing that Picrights falsely claims to represent others. We’ve received e-mails from at least three different people claiming to be barristers from different firms over the same one issue but two of those firms confirmed they don’t know who we are.
We believe we have found the image in question and requested that the team behind the plugin ask the original host (because we have the link) to remove the link to our site that causes the image to appear. We have no intention of paying PicRights because we did not actually use/host the image — we mirrored it.