Editorial & Business
Jean Favreau, the white knight of copyright
© Yan Morvan
After starting in France in 2009, Pixways has launched the service PixTrakk in the United States.
PixTrakk is a solution that allows one to easily find the author of a photograph published both on paper or the Internet. This search is possible thanks to a powerful software that compares the photos saved in a database with those published. Even if the latter ones have been reframed (even heavily), inverted, modified or added to others… In order to accomplish this, PixTraxx has an image recognition engine powered by LTU Technologies, corporation registered in 1999 by MIT, Oxford and INRIA researchers. This engine mixes in fact state-of-the-art technologies with regards to recognition and multimedia visual searches already used by trademarks and patent protections, against the stealing of works of art, internet pedophile investigations, E-Commerce…
Jean Favreau, CEO of Pixways Inc., had the idea of developing this project following the model of a system made by the company Kantar Media in France that follows over 2,500 publications. In the United States, PixTrakk began to follow 500 websites which then quickly reached 9,000 publications and 4,000 websites to compare close to 15 million photographs.
This allows media, the agencies, and the photographers to follow the usage of the photographs in regards to knowing the number of publications, the page number in the issue where they have been published and which format, name of the photo, how has it been –or not- credited, and the eventual modifications… This equally allows, with all of this information, to facilitate easily the modalities of the invoicing.
As Pixpalace’s Associate Director Hervé Mariaud reminds us, PixTrakk would not have seen the light of day if it was not for the development of PixPalace, the first platform created by PixWays in 2004 that gathers more than 100 agencies with a daily flow of 12,000 photographs. PixPalace was launched in the United States in 2008.
It must be added that in the philosophy that has presided the development of PixWays: “To save the time and the money of professionals in the photo industry”, Jean Favreau created in 2009 WorldAssignment.com. This service is also a platform designed to allow contacts between sponsors and multimedia producers. Buyers of photographs then have the possibility to find a photographer any time and anywhere just a click away.