If you run your own company, you may perceive client billing as one of the least favourite things to do. But what if you have someone who keeps an eye and fights for the money you deserve? That’s what we are here for! Today we want to guide you through all the details concerning the payments that you receive from PhotoClaim whenever we win the battle for your copyrights.
Procedures, documents, decisions… Photographers – the creative tribe – never had a strong feeling for all of that. Luckily, since a couple of years, there is a team of not just photography but also finance and law enthusiasts who keep a close eye on copyright infringements and take an active stand in the fight for photographers’ rights.
We start with detecting the infringements, then move to legal procedures, send thousands of emails, cooperate with lawyers, negotiate with opponents and finally receive the reimbursements. And that is what we want to focus on today – the money that you receive for your copyrights and all the calculations behind the final sum.
How do you calculate the payment?
Whenever the copyright of your images is infringed, as an author, you are entitled to DAMAGES. We calculate those in accordance with the MFM tables which serve as a valid and useful orientation for fair, market-based damages. If interested, you can read more about the MFM tables here. Once the damages are calculated, it is time to prepare the documents and this is when the DOCUMENTATION cost is added. Apart from that, there are also some LEGAL FEES involved. If you do the math quickly now, you get the answer to your initial question: the payment that you receive from PhotoClaim constitutes of the transfer from opponent reduced by the documentation cost (if applicable) and legal fees. We charge 35% on the damages for our service only when the case is settled.
Every day we look for areas to improve. Having received some questions concerning the calculations, the final email announcing your payment now also includes detailed information on settlements. All the initial claims, followed by the received payment, recouped damages and the % initially claimed can be found in a table enclosed in additional documents that we send to you via email. Recouped lawyers, document and legal costs are also listed there.
Why did I get so little money?
We treat every case as a new challenge and one step closer to making photography a well-paid profession. We always try to gain the entire amount of strictly calculated reimbursement. Unfortunately, the opponents are not always willing to pay. Some of them would refuse to send any money, some – after a long process of negotiations – would finally agree to send a part of the initially demanded sum. But we never give up! So even if you receive significantly less than expected, do not lose hope. We will keep you updated on the results of further negotiations.
Why does it take so long to receive the money?
The money from the opponents is not sent directly to PhotoClaim but it goes first to our lawyers’ bank accounts. This is due to the fact lawyers’ bank account numbers are kept in the entire legal documentation. Once the payment is received on the lawyer’s account, it can be transferred to PhotoClaim. Then we can send the money directly to you. Depending on your location, the money will be transferred to your bank or PayPal account.
Why do I need to wait until the end of the month to get my reimbursement?
Our billing period is scheduled for a 30/31-day period, from the 16th every single month till the 15th next month. It may happen that your reimbursement is received sometime in the middle of this period, yet we still need to complete all the necessary procedures and wait for the lawyers to transfer the money from their bank accounts. Every week we get a detailed statement of the incomings to keep track of the cash flow.
At the end of the month have a nicely chilled bottle of champagne ready in your fridge
…and check your inbox more often! It is usually the end of the month when you may expect some good news from us. Once you see the message with the magical phrase: ‘payment’, do not think twice – just open it and see how much money we managed to get back for you! If you received the information about the sum that means we will soon transfer it to your bank account. We also always send you the information on how much money was spent on legal expenses and the rest of the calculations (including the VAT refund that you may get if you are self-employed). All the invoices with further details can be found attached.
Success is a result of cooperation
Our Case Managers and lawyers have a great eye for detail and so should you! If you want to help us a tiny bit to make the entire procedure smooth or even speed it up a tiny bit, do not forget to provide us with your bank account number. For your own convenience, let us know if you run your own company. If you are based in Europe, you should share your European VAT ID with us – so that we can provide you with the right billing.
Now that you know exactly when and what to expect, you may put the champagne in the fridge and focus on what you like doing the most…yes, go shooting! Do not forget to check your inbox from time to time to keep in touch with our Case Managers. Haven’t registered yet? Get yourself a little gift for Christmas! Since the best gifts are the ones that do not cost a dime, you may register with PhotoClaim for free.