Have the proof to prove your rights
To start with, make sure you are always able to prove that the photo stolen online belongs to you. It is important to have the original RAW file in which the date, time and all the relevant information is captured. Registering your pictures in the copyright office is not necessary since your pictures are automatically copyrighted when taken. But in case you were curious how to do it in the US Copyright Office here’s the article with guidelines.
Careful with pictures submission
Very often contests and promoting sites require a license broad in terms of content usage. Such requirements are usually mentioned in lowercase and preceded with a long list of benefits which makes it hard to grasp. You should be extra careful with stock markets. 500px, Getty Images – if you just signed a contract with those agencies, you may want to find out what you signed up for. In case you are still considering starting new cooperation, you’d better check the conditions first. As a photographer, you are the only one who has all the rights to your pictures until you agree to share them with other parties. Most of the photo agencies, such as Getty Images or 500px, would require sublicensing but since they are not very explicit about it, most of the photographers are unaware of that.
Don’t trust post-licensing
A lot of companies who offer similar services to our base their copyright enforcement on post-licensing. Such a practise may seem successful at first glance. But if you dig deeper into the topic, you will realize that it harms photography. When image thieves are being offered the post-licensing option, all they must pay is the equivalent of the license. Such practise does not influence and change the way of thinking of those who use images illegally. Why would they pay if there is a chance to get away with it? PhotoClaim does it differently. We always work with a lawyer from the beginning which implies extra costs for those who use your picture without your consent. Well-established cooperation with a lawyer brings more security and credibility when being confronted with an image thief. It is good to have a lawyer on your side, but it is not easy to hire one individually. Being a part of our community, you have the lawyer’s protection granted.
Don’t take copyright law awareness for granted
Living in the 21st century in which most of the Internet users are digital natives, copyright law awareness is still not a very common thing. ’I found it on Google, so I can use it for free‘ might be a surprising yet frequently encountered excuse for stealing pictures. That means that if you have your portfolio uploaded online, it does not mean people will not use your pictures without your consent. Publishing pictures brings popularity but it may also generate copyright infringements you do not want to miss.
Inform about infringements
If you already are our client, we monitor your portfolio daily and do our best to not let image thieves stay unpunished. If you are not working with us yet, there is a big chance that your photos are being used without your consent. Check out how we work and sign up for free.
Unfortunately, there are still places out of our reach. While exploring the vast ocean of the Internet and searching for cases, we monitor different sources and search for copyright infringements on various platforms. Unfortunately, Instagram is not indexed in Google, hence we can’t find any copyright infringements there.
There’s a couple of rules worth sticking to in order to make sure you do not let copyright infringers steal the money that you deserve. Have the proof to prove your rights, when submitting your pictures always read the contract first, be careful with services which fight against image theft with post-licensing (it harms photography!) and remember that copyright law awareness is not always present among Internet users. The best option you have is to work with us. Stop losing your money, get back what you deserve!