Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of infringements do you find?
- PhotoClaim most commonly finds infringements that take place on the Internet but we have also successfully found and handled cases involving travel brochures, TV commercials, phone applications and even souvenirs that were sold all over Berlin.
Is PhotoClaim free?
- You don’t pay us anything for monitoring your portfolio. Only when we are able to get you the money you deserve, we will take a fair share of the recouped damages. If we are able to get an out-of-court settlement, you will receive 65% of the paid damages.
How expensive is the legal process in court?
- The costs of taking a copyright infringement to court depend largely on the jurisdiction in which the proceedings take place. The court fees can vary from 5% of the damages up to several thousand Euros.
- But no worries, we always try to avoid legal proceedings. They are expensive for the losing party (fortunately, that rarely means us) and time-consuming for both sides. The offending party will receive a Cease & Desist Order to avoid legal proceedings. Only if they choose to ignore it we have to think about further consequences.
- Whenever legal proceedings at court seem appropriate, we will communicate the potential costs to you. You can rest assured you will always be informed of all possible outcomes.
I sell licenses via GettyImages. Can I register with PhotoClaim?
- Yes, you can. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with the photos you sell via GettyImages but with the rest of your portfolio.
I sell licenses via Fotolia / Shutterstock / Microstock. Can I register with PhotoClaim?
- Yes, you can, but please be aware that we try to handle copyright infringements “the European way”. This means we demand that a photo thief pays you the usual licensing fee and not some punitive damages. When the photos are sold via Microstock that’s usually a very low fee. We therefore monitor only photos that are not (or not anymore) sold via microstock agencies.
Can I give PhotoClaim my Flickr/500pix/Wordpress-ID and you take care of the rest?
- Yes, that works – you connect your portfolio to our infringements-tracking program with one click. In the future we will also implement ways to directly take your photos from Photoshelter. If you have other websites on which you present your photos, let us know and we’ll find a way to make it work.
We’ve deleted the photo. Why should we still pay?
- By using the photo you gained an economical benefit. Beautiful photos can improve your article or product and generate more clicks, more sales, and more visitors to your website. It’s therefore only fair if you pay the photographer their licensing fee.
- Apart from the fact that it’s the fair thing to do, the law requires you to do so.
What happens if we don’t pay?
- If you decide not to pay, we’ll have an attorney file a lawsuit against you. Be aware that the lawsuit does not necessarily have to take place in the country in which your company is registered: it can often be held at a place of our convenience.
- Once you receive a warning stating the potential costs of a lawsuit, it means we have come to the conclusion that a lawsuit is necessary. If you want to avoid those costs, this is your last chance to come to an agreement outside of court.
Why do you immediately involve a lawyer? Couldn’t the photographer reach out to us himself?
- No. It’s not that easy to formulate an order to cease and desist and to secure the necessary evidence. That’s why the law protects the copyright owner insofar as obtaining an attorney’s help and that the opposing party has to reimburse the incurred costs.
We’re not in Europe. You can’t reach us anyways. Or can you?
- Yes, you’re right…if you’re in North Korea. Apart from that, there is a high chance that we have a partner attorney also in your place of residence. Furthermore, lawsuits regarding copyright infringements on the Internet can often take place in a country of our convenience.
We can buy a photo on Fotolia for 30€. Why are the licensing fees with PhotoClaim so high?
- Whilst some photographers run a business selling thousands of photos for a low price, others sell a few unique photos at a much higher price point. To find a fair solution, PhotoClaim usually demands the industry average as compensation for the photographer.
In the court order it’s written about a fee up to 250,000€. What is that about?
- If you don’t acknowledge and act on the order to cease and desist, and an attorney files for injunction, then this is what you get. The court orders you to cease and desist, and should you still make the photo publicly available, you will be liable to pay a penalty up to 250,000€ (or up to 6 months jail time).
- This can be easily prevented by submitting your declaration to cease and desist.