A little while back, a good friend of mine experienced a case where several of his architecture and cityscape shots had been placed on a stock photo website. The problem? He wasn’t the one who put them there.
Using Pixsy, he was alerted to the copyright infringement, and issue a DMCA takedown notice to the stock site. In this case, Adobe Stock obliged within hours and found the user who uploaded the images had done the same to other photographers, as well (and thus terminated the user’s account).
But stock sites sometimes make it difficult to find how to take care of this process. Furthermore, if a bunch of your images are on the service, you’ll often either need to file an individual claim for each, or prep a spreadsheet outlining each photo.
So how do you get started? Below are several stock photo websites and an explanation of the process on how to get your photos back.
Adobe outlines its Intellectual Property Removal Policy on its website, and they offer a way to send notice via an online form.
With this, the online form asks for some basic information, but it also asks for specific details of URLs or Adobe Stock content IDs that are infringing upon your copyright. You’ll also be asked to submit URLs or “proof” that these are in fact your images.
The form also allows you to attach relevant files if you need to provide more specifics.
You can also submit infringement details via email, to [email protected]
Depositphotos outlines its takedown policy on its website. This requires you to identify the copyright work you claim is infringed, identification of the works on Depositphotos as well as things like your contact information. You can then email this information to [email protected]
Getty Images and iStock
Getty Images, who also owns iStock, hide anything related to content infringement, so I had to do quite a bit of digging here.
For iStock, they offer “Submitting a content claim” as an option while contacting them through their contact form. But there is not a dedicated form to report copyright infringement.
For Getty Images, it’s even tougher, as there’s no direct link to contact the company. After doing some searching, I found this online form, which, like iStock, offers the ability to select “Submitting a content claim” when you email them. They do have a Copyright page on their website, but it’s meant to educate consumers. And it only partially works.
Pexels does not offer much information about its copyright system, but it does note that it has a copyright check system in place, which includes a reverse content search. If you come across stolen content, reach out to [email protected]
Unsplash covers this exact situation on its Help section of its website. But basically, you need to send an email to [email protected], and include a signature, description of the work, Unsplash URL of the work, contact information and a statement that you’re acting in good faith.
500px doesn’t offer much information in the way of how it handles copyright claims, other that you can send an email to [email protected]