If you haven’t seen Pixelrights – check it out…

When friends of yours start up a new business it is natural to wish it well and then forget all about it until you see those friends again. That’s kind of what happened with me and Pixelrights. Shaun Curry, one of the founders is an old mate and when he rang me out of the blue a while ago to explain his new business venture I was happy for him and offered my support as I would with pretty much any of my friends.

A few months later Shaun got back to me and asked to ‘borrow’ a couple of pictures for their development website. Always happy to help I sent him a couple of JPEGs and signed up for email, Facebook and Twitter feeds to remain abreast of their progress. Once more, nothing much happened and then Pixelrights offered to develop the new website for The BPPA and suddenly there I was having an in depth explanation of their ideas complete with a demonstration of what their idea could offer.

Passive supporter becomes active advocate over the course of one afternoon. I love the idea and I really love the fact that these are people doing what they are doing for money AND for the love of what they might achieve. So what is Pixelrights? Here’s a cut and paste from their own concept page:

Working in photography and the visual arts ourselves, we wanted to create something that we would not only use, but also enjoy using. We saw the need for simple, functional yet sophisticated portfolios which would serve photographer’s interests and needs, in an honest manner with no marketing trickery.

Pixelrights provides a secure, simple, classically-presented choice of website designs, backed up with state-of-the-art technology, all for a single price. There are no hidden charges to remove branding, no divisive price plans and no subscription fee traps.

What it actually provides is a portfolio of the simplest form with good image protection and the option to allow carefully controlled and monitored sharing. There are quite a few design options and there will probably be more by the time the current “Beta” phase is completed. I have three folios on my pages and I have a range of hidden galleries which are invite only so that clients can go and look at images that I have uploaded for them to Dropbox making use of a cool and simple interface. The whole point of a beta phase is to gather opinions of users and make things even better and that’s exactly what is happening.

I’d strongly recommend that you go and check out Pixelrights for yourself and the best way to get there is via my members page. Make sure that you look at the features and the pricing because this is a good idea from good people with an awful lot of backing from working photographers.

The copyright symbol and Windows

I’m a Mac user and I have been for the last sixteen years. They make some great tools and some amazing gadgets but the best thing about Macs is that they seem to be made for people like me. I was having this conversation with a student on one of the excellent photographic courses at the Arts University College at Bournemouth and I realised that my preference for Apple computers can be summed up by the fact that the copyright symbol is just there – alt+g – whereas on a Windows machine you have to hunt for it. I have just Googled “how to find the copyright symbol on a Windows computer” and had to laugh out loud at the first website that came up:

“Hold down the Alt key and type 0169 if you have separate numeric keys on your keyboard. Alternatively you can go to programmes, accessories and select “character map” which allows you to assign a short cut to any symbol that you choose. Unfortunately not every copy of Windows has this loaded and you may need to reload it from your system discs”.

Does this seem long-winded to you? Shouldn’t a symbol as important as the copyright one just be there? I know that the option of using (c) is there and almost everyone recognises it but the correct symbol should be much easier to find than it is on most Windows machines.

The serious point here is that copyright is important. Actually, copyright is vital and we all need to mark our work at every opportunity to make sure that everyone knows that all intellectual property has an owner and stop copyright abuse.