6 Steps to Get the Money You Deserve!
Did you notice that some company had stolen your photo? Or do you just want to make sure that this does not happen?
No problem, we can help you! And here is how it works:
1. Sign up
Sign up now and send us your portfolio. There are several ways to do that. You can either send us your .jpg files or simply give us the name of the website on which you publish your works. We can also monitor from Flickr, 500px, Photoshelter, Facebook, your blog etc.
Whatever you prefer, we will find a solution!
2. We monitor your portfolio
As soon as we have your photos, we start to monitor your portfolio. We focus mainly on publications on the Internet but were also able to detect images in newspapers, video commercials and souvenirs.
The example below is based on a small portfolio with little over 100 photos. Those photos were found on 15.000 websites on the Internet!
Don’t worry, you don’t have to scroll through thousands of findings yourself! Our experienced research team will go through them and discover the commercial uses of the photographs.
3. You decide if we should take action
We regularly send you a list of the commercial uses of your photos that we detected. You confirm with your sales reports whether those cases are legit or if your photo was used without your permission. In the latter case, we can demand a licensing fee.
It’s up to you if you want to take down the image or simply achieve a subsequent licensing.
4. Order to Cease and Desist
You decide you want to obtain a licensing fee for the illegal use of your photo. In this case, we assign you one of our partner attorneys and the image thief will be ordered to cease and desist. This means, they have to remove your photograph and pay you the licensing fee as well as the legal costs. Of course it is also possible to license the photograph for further use. This is completely up to you!
The due licensing fee is usually calculated using the industry average. That’s fair and offers transparency to the opposing side. If your normal licensing fees are much higher than the average, we can demand your usual fees. The law also protects you in these cases.
|Example of Use||Fee|
|4 months on a homepage, size smaller than 1200px||270 €|
|2 weeks on Social Media||188 €|
|6 1/2 months on Social Media||582 €|
|4 months in a national travel offer (Homepage)||405 €|
|4 months in a international / English travel offer (Homepage)||735 €|
All fees are doubled if the photographer is not mentioned as the author.
The assigned attorney can often come to an agreement with the infringing company. That makes sense for both sides. The image thief would have to cover much higher costs if they lost after court proceedings. And of course we’re happy if we can solve the dispute quickly rather than having a long process pending.
When we’re able to settle the dispute outside the court, you will receive 65% of the damages and the rest will cover our costs. You pay us only when we’re successful and the opposing side also has to pay the legal costs.
Why do we involve lawyers right away? As you can see in the graph below, we haven’t been as successful with our early cases of 2014 as with the later ones. The big increase in recouped damages results directly from involving an attorney with a formal order to cease and desist.
5. Legal Proceedings
Unfortunately, not everyone understands that you cannot just steal photos. In those cases, we have to evaluate together with the lawyers if a lawsuit makes sense. Several factors such as the size and the age of the company play a role. The location is rather insignificant since we have a broad international network of lawyers.
Should we decide that a lawsuit indeed makes sense, we cover all legal costs until the lawsuit is over. No photographer should resign from his rights just because of high legal costs. If we do that we split the received damages 50/50. If you come up with the up-front costs yourself instead, you’ll receive 65% of the damages just as in an out-of-court settlement.
Here you have the reason why since summer 2014 we always let an attorney negotiate on your behalf right away. With an attorney we’re able to settle around 40% of cases outside the court while a photographer on his own usually ends up frustrated 95% of the time.
6. Payment of Licensing Fee
After the legal proceedings or an out-of-court-settlement you’ll get a good news message about the received payment. That’s of course the most pleasant part of our work and we will be glad to send you this happy notification!
Depending on your location the money will be paid with Paypal or bank transfer.