Questions About Pixabay

Jump to Last Post 1-13 of 13 discussions (29 posts)
  1. EricDockett profile image96
    EricDockettposted 5 years ago

    I notice a lot of people recommending Pixabay lately. Does anyone know anything about their process for vetting images uploaded by contributors?

    In other words: What's to prevent someone from stealing copyrighted images and uploading them as their own?

    I used images from "free" sites when I first started here. I've since moved away from it, because I noticed some concerning practices used by some of the contributors (not on Pixabay).

    Pixabay looks really good, and I know they are the up-and-up. Obviously they have some amazing photographers adding content to the site. But I also know it has to be really hard to police all of these contributors from many different countries with many different agendas.

    1. profile image0
      promisemposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I use Pixabay quite a bit and always credit the the photos I publish with the Pixabay license. That way the responsibility for vetting goes to Pixabay.

      Of course, I will remove any photo that a photographer can claim does not belong on Pixabay and does not have public domain or Creative Commons rights.

    2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image91
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      The real responsibility for placing images on Pixabay belongs to the person who puts them there.  Many do place images they don't have permission to use, but Pixabay tells us all of the images there are public domain, so that's what I go with.  As for people stealing images that you have created and posted there...yes, that's possible, and probably some do.   In my case it doesn't matter because I don't care if people use photos that I've taken,.  I am a terrible photographer so mostly use public domain photos or photos for which I've asked permission, and I always credit them in my hubs.  I also credit Pixabay when I use photos from their site.

      From what I've seen many people are quite sloppy about using photos that are not theirs and for which they have no permission.  I see it all the time here on HP.  However, recently a few of them have gotten sued and have had to pay up, so that should be a lesson to everybody.

      I think it's important to remember that professional photographers earn their living off of the photos they take, and it is simple theft when you decide it's OK to use them because you are stealing money out of their pockets.  People don't like it when someone steals their hubs, so they shouldn't steal other people's photos!

      I really wish the team had the manpower to vet photos here, but they don't.  As a result, people think using illegal photos is OK.  It's not and sooner or later, the lawsuits come.  I feel no mercy for thieves, no matter the site or person they steal from and always hope these people get caught.  Sounds mean, but that's the real bottom line of all of this.

    3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image91
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Here is your answer.  This is the Pixabay FAQ. … what-is-4/

      1. psycheskinner profile image82
        psycheskinnerposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Well, that only covers when the rightsholder for the image itself is the uploader.  When they are not, all bets are off.

        1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image91
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 4 years agoin reply to this

          We have no control over that.  It is assumed that the uploader is the person who holds the rights.  If someone loads illegally, that is on THEM.  However, we do need to be careful as per the FAQ when it comes to logos, etc.  We could pick this topic to death, but common sense should rule here.  I thinks the FAQs speak for themselves.

  2. CYong74 profile image95
    CYong74posted 5 years ago

    There are various ways to embed meta/copyright info within a digital picture. However, I think the real challenge is who would have the time to scour the billions of pictures on the net to prevent copyright infringements.

    I think the most Pixabay or any stock library, can do is to perform a very cursory check. In the case of Pixabay, I seriously doubt people would upload stolen images too. There's little monetary gain, if any at all. It's not that great a traffic pusher too.

  3. Marisa Wright profile image89
    Marisa Wrightposted 5 years ago

    Pixabay has already looked into this problem and it's covered in detail in this help thread: … -use-i-87/

  4. bbanks27 profile image86
    bbanks27posted 5 years ago

    I use Pixabay a lot. For the source, I type: Pixabay. That's all I do. It's a site that people can upload pictures to that are free to use for anyone. You can also give the person "coffee" to acknowledge their picture.

  5. Jean Bakula profile image95
    Jean Bakulaposted 5 years ago

    If you click on the picture and make it larger, some photographers ask for acknowledgement that they took the picture. Most allow them to be used though. And they are clear when we put them on HP.

  6. poppyr profile image95
    poppyrposted 5 years ago

    A lot of pixabay images say "free for commercial use. No citation needed" or something along those lines meaning you dont have to credit the person who uploaded it.

    1. ziyena profile image92
      ziyenaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Yes - free for commercial use because the contributor waives all legal rights and thereby the image belongs to the public domain.  However, if you are a writer and publishing material for commercial use it's a decent gesture to cite the photographer.  Anyone who didn't cite would be considered a jerk in the Pixaby world  ... and those downloaders are out there.  I know ... we have a way to see who and how downloaders are using our work with search tools they give us for statistics.  I have one photo out there that has been downloaded by thousands, mostly independent bloggers and very few cite my work.  It's sad ... they think those photos just magically come from the Pixaby tree when in reality hard working photographers who aren't asking for money but instead, just want a little recognition in return.  Anyway, I digress ... Cheers

      1. theraggededge profile image96
        theraggededgeposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Then maybe you should have a word with the Pixabay team? It clearly states that no citation is required, so why wouldn't people take that at face value? Don't blame the writers, blame the management of Pixabay.

        I always cite photos from Unsplash because they make it easy to do so. I hardly ever cite Pixabay because of that clear message.

        1. ziyena profile image92
          ziyenaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Pixaby Team does not enforce citation however as a contributing photographer in the community it is frowned upon when not given recognition, ESPECIALLY for commercial use (like photos used for a novel or book cover).  There's no argument here ...  just giving an overwhelming sentiment from an inside perspective about common decency.  The photographers just wish and some even have high expectations for courtesy.  And that's the keyword ... courtesy.  At times it's a forgotten gesture, not always.

          I'll have to check out Unsplash, got me curious.  Thanks

          1. theraggededge profile image96
            theraggededgeposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            'Common decency' doesn't have anything to do with it. If people want their work attributed, then users need to be aware of it. I'm not arguing with you about the ethics, I'm just pointing out that the end user is not to blame:





            1. ziyena profile image92
              ziyenaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              I see what you're saying now ... Unsplash has got it going on!  I see the sentiment is the same with Unsplash as with Pixaby however they communicate the courtesy much better  ... "Crediting isn't required, but is appreciated and allows photographers to gain exposure ..." ... very nice.  Thanks for showing and pointing out the differences ... I will definitely pass this along to the team and forward as a suggestion because this issue continues to come up at Pixaby quite often, and it's such a grey area every time.  Peace Out

        2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image91
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Exactly.  I feel the same way.  Pixabay should make citing easy for people to do, but they don', as stated, they go with the info the site provides.

  7. ziyena profile image92
    ziyenaposted 4 years ago

    Pixaby uses this legal code disclaimer for all content: … .0/deed.en 

    As a courtesy to the photographer, it is always a nice gesture to acknowledge and cite their work along with Pixaby [CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication] 

    I happen to know because I'm one of THEM  smile

    No matter what, if you're an HP writer, it's a MUST to cite.

  8. ziyena profile image92
    ziyenaposted 4 years ago

    So far the suggestion has not been taken well!  Oh why bother ... that's the way it goes.  Maybe I should switch as a contributer to Unsplash lol

    1. theraggededge profile image96
      theraggededgeposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Well the Pixabay contributors will just have to accept that we people who download their images are out and out ungrateful jerks big_smile

      And yes, show your disapproval by taking action against the site; move your photos to Unsplash.

      By the way, I have donated a few dollars to a couple of Pixabay photographers in the past.

      1. ziyena profile image92
        ziyenaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        That's awesome of you and honorable!  You are appreciated because as you know, it's not required.  Tops

        When speaking of the jerks - I should have been more clear -  it's in reference to those who use the images for big-time commercial uses such as cover work - not so much content writers. Seems to be that someone is listening over there now ... or at least accepting another point of view.  I really like Unsplash's option to copy & paste a citation.  Hopefully, the big guys will take notice and implement a little change.  Who knows.  It would definitely be helpful

  9. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

    In terms of legal responsibility if you post a copyright image the fact the uploader and Pixabay dropped the ball is not going to be a defense.  The rights-holder will still be able to invoice you their usual rate not matter how high that might be--which for professional photographers can be many thousands.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image91
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      As I see it, it is the responsibility of the uploader and the site to show people clearly how to easily credit the photos.  They are not doing this, and since the average content writer is not made aware of how to do the crediting, I respectfully disagree.  You can't have it both ways.  If you are an unhappy uploader, move your work to Unsplash or Morguefile or write to Pixabay and ask them to post a notice like the one Unsplash posts.  Problem resolved.

  10. Kenna McHugh profile image90
    Kenna McHughposted 4 years ago

    I follow what Pixaby or any image "free" site asks me to do when I use their images. In the long run, if I receive a request to take it down, I will. I haven't yet.

    It should be noted when any of us, luck be the draw, draws a tremendous amount of attention (millions of views or going viral), the photographer or model in the image might come knocking on the proverbial door. It is the nature of flourishing and prospering.  It is a good problem, and I have heard of this happening. Some keep a spreadsheet to document using "free" images just in case their app makes millions.  I don't bother keeping track because I feel it is up to the provider of the "free" image to keep track since I link them to the image. 

    Until they come knocking on my door, I humbly appreciate having "free" image sites available.

    1. psycheskinner profile image82
      psycheskinnerposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      That works fine unless you are the unlucky one the rightsholder decides to invoice fior their going rate -- maybe a few thousand -- because they win (this has happened to bloggers and other small time internet users).  Most rightsholders settle for a take down but they don't have to.  If the picture was released improperly and without their consent you are 100% responsible for using it.

  11. Kenna McHugh profile image90
    Kenna McHughposted 4 years ago

    That is the chance we have to take. We can't monitor every single image.

  12. Will Apse profile image88
    Will Apseposted 4 years ago

    I assume someone has suggested an image search to check the source. Right click the image and select "search google for image".  See if you can find a copyrighted version.

    I reckon that constitutes due diligence.

    1. ziyena profile image92
      ziyenaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      The editing staff at Pixabay already has a way to show original works  ... they monitor contributors and this issue very closely.  When a photographer's image is uploaded the EXIF DATA shows the make and model of camera used as well as timestamp and other detailed info about that image. If an uploaded image does not have this origin then it can become questionable and I avoid these images.  Every image on Pixabay has this section and most images show this data on the right-hand side toward the bottom of the download page.  This helps legitimize the contributor, especially since Pixabay shows which cameras the photographer uses in the About Me section of each contributor.  So does Flickr ... don't know about other sites

      Example of EXIF data on Pixabay

      So my advice is look for the EXIF data ... this is the first thing I do when examining an image.  If the image doesnt have any then I would question the origin.  If it does, then the photographer has released his original work to the Public Domain and the Downloader should feel secure because to recap ... there is a trail of EXIF info uploaded from camera to Pixabay showing origin of the work by photographer.

  13. ziyena profile image92
    ziyenaposted 4 years ago

    This just in from Pixabay as of this morning:  Straight from the Head Hauncho regarding upcoming changes to licensing and the option to attributute a photographers work with popup copy & paste.  And, I quote ...

    "Such a reminder of voluntary credits will soon be implemented. Also, we'll very, very soon switch to a custom license which will be close to CC0, except that i.e. selling images unchanged or redistributing them (not by the image author) on similar sites will no longer be allowed. The license change will hopefully happen within a week. The popup will take a bit longer, but no more than three months - in which we'll modernize the whole interface."

    Thanks again to TheRaggedEdge for helping in this matter ... in a round about way smile  They do listen!  Pixabay will now be more transparent about licensing and attribution.  Awesome


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)