STOP IMAGE THEFT
Can you imagine a successful website, a marketing campaign or even a Facebook page without suitable, high-quality photos? Because we can’t. To attract customers, companies need visually appealing graphics.
Though it’s so important to have convincing visual content for business reasons, photographers are rarely paid for their work used online. Why? Because it takes just a few clicks to get a photo “for free” or find it “on Google” and the chances of being caught on theft appear to be low. And remember – the knowledge about copyright isn’t widely spread even in many highly-developed countries – both legally and economically.
“it takes just a few clicks to get a photo for free or find it on Google”
When the founder of Photoclaim, Nico Trinkhaus, discovered back in the day that his photos are used without permission and payment, there was no company which would offer full service of detecting and chasing image theft across the borders of Europe, or elsewhere. He figured that contacting thieves on his own brings almost no results, and legal assistance was necessary in many cases.
However, as Nico discovered soon, finding a lawyer in every European country, managing negotiations of financial conditions with law firms, and then actively managing cases in courts was highly time-consuming and demanded a good knowledge of the law in specific countries, as well as some EU directives.
If a photographer had to chase the image thieves everywhere his photos are stolen, even with legal help, it would be a full-time job.
There was a need for someone who would stand in between photographers and lawyers and manage all possible cases across the borders while saving the photographer as much time and effort as possible.
In the last three years at Photoclaim we tested many international attorneys and law systems. We brought alternative European procedures (like European Small Claim Procedure) which shortened time and costs of lawsuits. We won cases, but we also learned a lot about legal possibilities for photographers in many EU and non-EU countries. With this knowledge and constant improvement of case evaluation, we’re trying to keep photographers as safe as possible, while offering as much legal help as current international copyright legal system allows.
We believe that the legal way is the most efficient and protective for photography itself. Clients of photographers who buy photos legally shouldn’t be treated the same way as those who steal them. In our opinion post-licensing as an alternative to “ the legal way” not only harms photography a profession, but also as art. If image thieves only have to pay the license fee, as if they would have done if they purchased the photograph in the first place, they will not hesitate to steal again. However, seeing this, a loyal client might consider taking photo “for free” next time. And soon enough we could live in a world where there are no clients, but only image thieves.
Photoclaim aims to educate those who stole a photo once to buy it legally next time. And to convince those who steal photos on purpose that it is a crime and it will not be tolerated. Ultimately, we want to wake up in a world where are more people who buy rather than steal, and where photographers can feel safe because their rights are protected. By stopping image theft, we will be able to create an environment where not only our clients but all photographers will be paid fair for their work.
It’s what we’ve achieved so far:
“Ultimately, we want to wake up in a world where are more people who buy rather than steal, and where photographers can feel safe because their rights are protected.”
€ reimbursed from infringements