So I looked around, was impressed with the quality of some of their stocks and signed up. Once you download a few images you will be met with a message that says ads will be removed once you contributed 10 photos to the database. I had just turned a majority of my stock here to Unrestricted so I uploaded a few of the files in my gallery here, there. It was pretty successful, good acceptance ratio, even received an accolade in the form of an Editor's Choice front page showcase on one of my 3D rendered backgrounds. There's a 'Buy Coffee' donation button for every contributor profile which could be linked to a Paypal account, but I had no intention to monetize my unrestricted stock there, just like I am not here either.
A few days later I went back to upload some of my textures, around 15 at once, and had all rejected within a matter of minutes, with a mail asking if the stock was mine. I replied politely that it was, explained that I had this account, provided a link and told them this was the sole place I shared the same stock, if they found it somewhere else, it wasn't me, nor done of my accord. I've had my stock distributed without my permission before so it didn't seem all that far-fetched that they could've found it somewhere else on the internet. It was only 2 days ago I saw my Tears Brushes stolen and distributed on a Photoshop resources website, file and preview picture with my actual name on it included. Went back, reuploaded my textures and was told they don't meet their quality standards and was also notified my account had been blocked from submitting any more files as a result.
That didn't sit well with me. I am sharing free stock on a free website, some of my well-received stock here, including a DD texture, and my stock is not good enough for them, so yesterday I wanted to simply close the gallery and continue sharing my stock within the Deviantart community. I went into my control panel and had no option to erase ANY of the 25 files I had submitted and got approved. I asked on the forums what the proceedings were for someone to remove their gallery and was told there's the option to deactivate the account. Here's where it gets shady. I went to erase my profile information, subsequently deactivating my account, and I'm met with a message that says doing so I lose any photo I submitted to Public Domain, because they remain in the database whether I like it or not! Nowhere during the upload process does it say you lose any and all rights to your photos by submitting them, nor that you can't choose to erase them at any given time if you so chose!
And it doesn't end there. This is the remnant of the account I had pixabay.com/en/users/3209107-3… if you look in the top right corner you'll see the 'Coffee' button. If anyone were to click on it and make a donation because they like my stock currently on that page, it goes straight to them instead, it even says 'Pixabay' on the checkout to Paypal. They are currently monetizing off my stock and that's just wrong.
I've been a stock artist for about as long as I've been an artist. My 10th dA anniversary at FrozenStarRo is rounding up next month, I've had this stock account for over 7 years, and the 3 years before that I ran the collective stock account ro-stock with 2 of my photographer friends. I've always strived to provide the best stock I could, as others have in turn done before me with the stocks I used in my art. But never in these 10 years have I felt this hurt, humiliated and helpless all at the same time.
This was posted as a cautionary tale, whether you're an artist using Pixabay stock or a prospective contributor. I can't stop artists from using the stock there but perhaps this can raise some awareness regarding the origin of some of the stock you may be using. For all you know the original author could be someone like me, who was denied the option to erase it. For anyone contributing, your stock is worth more and you shouldn't have to cease all rights to that stock when you upload it.
It's late now. Sorry for the wall of text on this subject but I consider it an important matter that could affect a lot more people than just me and shouldn't be kept quiet. I'm sitting here at 3:49am because the situation is bad enough I can't sleep. It'll pass with time, and my stock remains here for you guys to use. I will add some new stock soon but I need to get a fresh perpective and let go of this first.
With my account now deactivated for several days, they have gone back and published 3 more of my previously rejected files, making that 28 files they are currently holding and monetizing. This is freaking unbelievable!
2020 - Year in Review
Year in review 2019
New stocks at long last!
Thanks for sharing your story. I have only recently discovered Pixabay... but after reading this, I'll think I'll avoid them altogether.
I'm really sorry to hear of your terrible experiences there.
I too have had bizarre experiences with Pixabay. I found it is far easier to get a photo submitted to ShutterStock than Pixabay. 70% of my photos are rejected on Pixabay. Yet ShutterStock accepts about the same amount. I keep getting messages from Pixabay that I didn't meet their quality standards. Yet I use a Canon 80D with an expensive prime lens. One photo just got rejected today, a spectacular photo of a purple amethyst crystal. This was accepted by Shutterstock. Yet I looked at similar photos of amethyst crystals on Pixabay and many were pure garbage! So dark the color was almost black. Had the identical experiences with most of my photos. Mine rejected. Yet similar photos on Pixabay were garbage. These people must be on drugs. Totally irrational. Sometimes I submit a photo and it gets rejected for a DIFFERENT reason each time! It all depends on the person reviewing it.
If you're looking for a different avenue, Morguefile got a makeover and is looking better than ever, I've been using stock from there for the better part of the last 10 years, it's been around a really long time, I just don't think it gets the word of mouth advertising it deserves. Pixabay I would not recommend to anyone given my experience, unless they have no attachment to their stock images and willing to give them up entirely.
From this line it appears you failed to familiarize yourself with the ins and out of CC0 content. Pixabay makes no secret of the fact that it is a repository for specifically the content license CC0. That is a waiver, introduced by Creative Commons in 2009, which basically means you lose your copyright since the image from then on is destined as "Public Domain by Dedication".
Go here: pixabay.com/ and you will read this if you scroll down a little:
"Free images and videos you can use anywhere
"Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes. Learn more... "
It can't get much clearer. And then of course there is Pixabay's FAQ: pixabay.com/en/service/faq/
All the necessary information is there on the pages you are expected to read before joining a site.
Pixabay reserves the right to keep your images up and running after you have chosen to delete your account seeing the people who have already downloaded your pictures need a fixed point of reference in case of legal issues at their end. They can then refer people to the photo page on Pixabay which serves as proof of the CC0 waiver attached to the image. You also need to realize that you cannot "undo" the license to the CC0 licensed images which are already circulating on the Internet. That waiver is irrevocable. As are all the other licenses issues by Creative Commons.
About the coffee button: it is true that Pixabay will take over the coffee buttons of deactivated accounts. Pixabay sees that as a welcome supplement to the costs for maintaining the site (those coffees that come in, do not expect it gushes in by the buckets, far from it) - personally I find that reasonable with a view to the fact that regular contributors do not bump into *any ads* on their Pixabay experience, which in itself is cool.
You write: "You shouldn't have to cease all rights to that stock when you upload it"
YOU should have taken the time to acquaint yourself with the site, its goal, its aim, the FAQ and from there acquaint yourself with CC0 content. Then it is also not strange to read the Terms of Service before diving into a site. Here is the TOS page of Pixabay, containing a rather extensive explanation plus a link to Creative Commons: pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#…
However, I have some good news for you: meanwhile Pixabay has implemented the possibility of "hiding" content upon request of the contributor, meaning it will remain on the Pixabay server, but no longer visible on your Pixabay profile. So I could advise you to create a temporary Pixabay account and put this request in the forum, or else send a message to the webmasters using the email address Pixabay provides for contact (alternatively send an internal message, you can find them in the Forum: Simon and Hans, with "Admin" below their avatar).
PS Just for the record, I am not a member of the Pixabay team, and I have no particular interests there which others could assume would explain my apology; I am just a contributor. I posted to set a couple of things straight, also for the benefit of others who may come across your post and from it glean misinformation. Thus my post serves to counter that.
Not only am I angry at the thought of my donation not going to the artist, I'm seriously angry at the way you and other artists are being treated. I won't be re-visitng their site any time soon and will definitely be letting others know your story.
I'm sincerely sorry that your work and generosity is being treated so disgracefully!!
What does it Happen with PIXABAY?I was contacted by Envato to do some tutorials and accepted their proposal which may give me an interesting income supplement… If I succeed to master their layout software (20 years ago, it would have been fine, but I’m 66 now, and everything is more difficult). So I decided to use only stocks coming from Pixabay, which are all allowed for a commercial use.
I decided to thank them, uploading some of my best stock photos (a small sampling of what you can find here: https://hermitcrabstock.deviantart.com/gallery/
Of course, I will not earn anything by uploading them to Pixabay, where they are offered for free, including commercial use. It is a gift to all users. And, I repeat, I sent some of my best photos.
What was not my surprise to see ¾ of my submissions rejected for bad quality!
For the "cafe", their terms are confusing: the donation don't go to the owner of the picture, but to pixabay.
I had the same problem: I removed all the pictures they accepted, except one which was impossible to remove (but I changed the tags for meaningless letters, typed at random on the keyboard, so nobody can find it anymore). And I can see on the forum where I wrote a protestation AFTER REMOVING ALL MY PICTURES (except one ), that they still had all of them!
It is not very important to me, because all my pictures are unrestricted, including commercial use, and do not need a credit (decision I took in the past, due to the large amount of thefts: the thieves will find harder to sell your pictures if you can find them for free everywhere). But I really don't like this way they do.