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Jonas Voss

My experience with Pixsy's Takedown service

3 min read

One of the perks of paying for a Flickr Pro account is that you get a limited free account with Pixsy, a service that scours the web for photos from your Flickr account, to see if they are being used anywhere.

If you find a that your photos are being used without your permission then Pixsy offers, by just one click, to send a Takedown Notice to one or more sites. Besides requesting that your picture be taken down, the takedown notice also requests the site to amend the article that was using the photo, to include a paragraph saying that the photo has been removed due to copyright infringement.

I gave it a spin, and a few of my photos had been used without my permission. Most prominently these two pictures of MF DOOM from a concert in Dublin in 2010, were being used by wellknown websites:

So I hit the Takedown Notice button in Pixsy, and here's what came out of it.

I've sent out a total of eight takedown notices at the end of October through Pixsy. Seven was to commercially run websites with global reach and recognition, and the last one was to a personal website with no obvious commercial scope.

WebsiteCompliedReplied to emailRemoved pictureAmended article
Website 1 (2) No No Partially No
Website 2 No Yes Yes No
Website 3 (2) No Yes Yes No
Website 4 No No No No
Website 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Website 6 No Yes Yes No

In terms of full compliance to the requests in the takedown note, only 1 of 8 was 100% successful. The 100% successful one was an American university newspaper, that besides using my photo uncredited, also allowed visitors to buy printed copies of my photo, through their website. Nice.

Another prominent website's legal counsel replied that they genuinely didn't know that I was the copyright holder of the photo, and claimed that in those circumstances, using my photo without crediting me was within the fair dealing doctrine of UK copyright law. Guess what, it isn't.

It is true that you can use orphaned material on some ocassions, but photos are specifically omitted from this clause. It's also true that you can use material without crediting it for news reporting, but photographs are specifically omitted from that clause as well.

One of the websites that I sent out two takedown notices to (for two separate photos), removed the image mentioned in one, but didn't remove the one mentioned in the second. I'm looking at you, factmag.

All 'n all, I guess a 87.5% success rate on the initial purpose of the takedown notice, to make these sites stop using my photo without my persmission, is not too bad. The question is: Would I have had the same success rate if I had simply written my own requests for them to take down my photos, without all the legally binding text included in the ones from Pixsy? I might have to test that, as I still have a few photos being used without my permission.

Anyone else out there tried the takedown service from Pixsy and are willing to share their results?

Jonas Voss

@factmag you might recognize it from my Flickr-account:

Jonas Voss

Hi @factmag, does anyone read the emails sent to the addresses on ? I've been emailing you asking you to stop using my pictures on your site, like here:, without crediting me.

Jonas Voss

Maybe the foundation already funded a project that develops lenses that are self cleaning?

Jonas Voss

Just watched the last episode of "Inside Bill's Brain", and I'm left with one question. How many glasses frames does Bill Gates chew through in a year?

Jonas Voss

One of my favourite rappers. His latest album, A Breukelen Story, and Disposable Arts, are also well worth a listen 👍

Jonas Voss

I had installed the Akismet plugin to deal with comment spam, but found, like you, that it also ate some webmentions. My solution was to turn off the option to comment, and turn off Akismet plugin.

It works, with the trade-off of only accepting webmentions, and no regular comments any longer.

Jonas Voss

ITVs Database - 1984

1 min read

I like everything about this episode of ITV's information technology program, hosted by Tony Bastable.

  • Aired in 1984
  • The program features a transmission of data for owners of home computers, specifically owners of home micros, at the end of each episode
  • Features the reply "I haven't been caught yet" by Pete Perkins, to the question on whether it's legal to copy the functionality of the Apple II and IBM. He also refuses to have copied it, btw, rather they are compatible
  • Talks about amateur radio enthusiasts, one of the first generation of hackers
  • Cold war references to Afghanistan resistence buying Z80A Central Processing Unit chip in Tokyo, while you can't even buy Sinclair computers in the duty free section in Heathrow, out of fear that it falls into the wrong hands
  • A request for british high street computer retailers to not only sell the hardware, but also offer classes on how to use it, in their retail buildings, because that's what the Japanese do.

Jonas Voss

It's back!

2 min read

At IWC in Dusseldorf in May, I managed to break my old website. I broke it, while I was trying to fix it, so that I could export all my old posts, and import them into Known that runs this site. Turns out updating a site with code written in 2003-6 from PHP 5.x to 7.2 can result in a number of things. The main thing being that the site doesn't work any longer.

Not long after IWC I went to one of the meetups in HWC where Calum and Neil were kind to lend me some of their coding and troubleshooting expertise, and guided me to find what had broken. The main issue was that some mysql functions had changed names altogether, and Neil also managed to figure out that variables no longer had global scope, so everything had to get an overhaul.

After the overhaul, the site was loading, but wasn't displaying any posts, and I didn't manage to get that sorted, and I wasn't sure where to start, to be honest. Today, I decided to see if I could fix it, and it turned out ereg_replace doesn't exist anymore, and I use it for some god awful function that converts the plain text of my entries stored in the database, into marked up paragraphs. I didn't manage to figure out how to get that function to work again, so instead I removed it altogether.

The downside is that the text of my posts on my old blog has no paragraphs, but that can be fixed later. The considerable upside is, that my old site is available again, and that I can now focus on figuring out how to get all the entries imported into this site, so that all my old entries can get indiewebified.

Jonas Voss

An IndieWeb Webring 🕸💍

Jonas Voss