Earlier today you may have heard some strange news if you’re a user of the image theft detection service Pixsy. In an email to its users, the company indicated that it has been acquired by none other than Getty Images.
Tips began coming into our email accounts this morning when the Pixsy “press release” first went out, and we even saw the story pop up on a photographer’s blog. Here’s a screenshot of the email, shared by Reddit user cakes_and_pies:
“Getty Images, a premier creator and distributor of imagery and media, today announced the acquisition of Pixsy, one of the leading platforms for independent artists and photographers to identify the use of their work online,” the Pixsy-issued statement reads. “The acquisition will couple Getty Images’ digital content licensing expertise with Pixsy’s technology in developing new solutions for customers.”
“Under the terms of the agreement, Getty Images will acquire Pixsy for $420 million.”
But it turns out there’s actually no blockbuster deal in the industry: we’ve confirmed with Getty that this is, indeed, an April Fools’ joke.
You could be forgiven for believing the email, given how legitimate the “press release” sounds; however, a quick email to Getty cleared things up for us. Did Getty acquire Pixsy? According to Getty themselves, no.
“It sounds like there is a crossed wire here,” a spokesperson told us over email, “to my knowledge the below is not the case.” We also reached out to Pixsy, but have yet to hear back.
The question now is, was this confusing April Fools’ joke a smart move by Pixsy? What happens when you poke a multi-billion dollar bear and confuse your users all in the pursuit of a laugh? Did Pixsy users find this funny? Does Getty? I guess we’ll find out.
UPDATE: Pixsy has replied to our original inquiry about the email. Here’s what founder Daniel Foster told us:
We can confirm that this is indeed an April Fool’s joke. We’re very grateful for the support the photography community provides, and most of our users rightly received this news as a joke.
A number of users were also worried about how this acquisition would affect Pixsy and the industry, which I think speaks a lot about the current state of affairs for working photographers.
UPDATE #2: After the strong response to their April Fools’ joke, Pixsy has released this blog post on the 101 Reasons Why Getty Didn’t Acquire Pixsy.