’ Stop mailing with image copyright infringers ‘ is the best advice we can offer every photographer who encountered their photo rights violation. Today we would like to share with you our experience, show examples and present solutions on how to best protect your work.
IF IT WAS NOT FOR A THUNDERSTORM
Do you know how our image copyright infringement battle started and what was its turning point? Let us quickly dive into the past. When asked about his first photo copyright infringement discoveries, PhotoClaim’s owner, Nico Trinkhaus, usually says that it all started with a thunderstorm… but he would never regain the money from his stolen photos without effective cooperation with a lawyer.
What a thunderstorm has to with all of it? Let us explain. Nico’s first photograph that quickly went viral was a picture of lightning striking the Berlin TV tower. Soon after its publication, a press agency contacted him asking for a short interview about this picture. It was the first time he got paid for his photography work. The photo was printed in one of the biggest German weekly newspapers.
Nico tried staying in touch with the agency to keep the track of where and by whom his images were being used. Since the agency was not communicating explicitly, he decided to use Google image search and made a list of websites on which he found his pictures to double-check their licensing rights. The agency did not confirm most of the reported findings. It was the moment when Nico realized that the image copyright of his pictures is being violated and his pictures are being stolen. During just two days he found 140 URLs with the pictures from his blog being stolen online by big hotel chains, travel agencies and airlines. He quickly calculated that if all the infringers would have paid the licensing fee, he might have been making a living just out of photography. He also soon figured that he might not have been the only one whose pictures are being used without consent.
IF IT WAS NOT FOR A LAWYER
The process of regaining money from the infringed pictures was not a piece of cake. Nico started on his own. He sent over a hundred emails, spent hours on the telephone and what he mostly received was not money or apologies but nasty replies. He realized quickly that individual attempts were doomed to failure. A cooperation with a lawyer was needed. He looked for someone who could be trusted and decided to treat this image theft fight as a life mission. It has been six years since then. In the meantime, he established a strong network of lawyers, copyright specialists and photographers. Over the years, they managed to regain over 6 500 000 EUR from image copyright infringements. Despite earning money, PhotoClaim aims to educate. Image theft is still a pressing issue. Copyright awareness is slowly growing, yet still, a lot of photo infringers have no clue they are violating photographers’ rights.
PERSONAL APPROACH, YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
A lot of photographers who experienced their photos being stolen and tried a couple of different services usually complain about virtual machines they need to work with. If photo copyright infringers receive such automated messages, how can they treat them seriously? At PhotoClaim, the personal approach is what we value the most. As soon, as we start a cooperation, you receive your Success Agent – a person who takes cares of your cases. Apart from a Success Agent, there is also a lawyer who communicates with the infringer. That way it looks professional, and you can be sure that your rights are in good hands. Years of experience confronted us with different cases and taught us how to handle complicated situations.
TESTIMONIALS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES
It is not that Nico was the only one who struggled with claiming his rights. If you go online, you will find a lot of photographers sharing their experience with a hard battle to protect their photos and rights. ’They used my pictures.’, ’My rights got violated and nobody paid me back.’, ’If only I knew there are services that help you with image copyright protection.’ – this is just the tip of the iceberg of photographers’ complaints and concerns.
In case you are still not fully convinced if you should stop mailing with image copyright infringers and still not sure if PhotoClaim can be trusted, look at what our photographers say about our cooperation.
I’ve had my work stolen or used without my permission for as long as I’ve used the internet to showcase my work. In many cases, I was able to track the offending entities on my own but getting paid for the damages and winning my rights as an author was always extremely difficult, time-consuming and in most cases, it yielded no results. I’m much better at taking pictures than being a copyrights lawyer. Thankfully, I was introduced to PhotoClaim and what a revelation it has been to learn of the services!
PhotoClaim has been a fantastic help to me! I didn’t even know so many people had been stealing my images, and even if I did, I wouldn’t have known where to start in fighting for my rights.
My own personal case manager Magdalena has been so helpful and walked me through every step of the process and I genuinely look forward to receiving her emails!
It takes a great amount of time and effort to deal with all of these cases and I am very happy to have PhotoClaim do this for me.
They not only solve all the cases for me, but they also send me reports with all unauthorised use of my images that they found themselves. They make me feel ‘safe’ when posting images online even without a watermark. They are always very responsive and already solved numerous cases for me.
From the very first moment I started working with PhotoClaim, it felt like a warm bath. PhotoClaim has a very professional and, most importantly, personal approach, that I appreciate a lot. These are actual people working with you and fighting against image theft.
PhotoClaim presents me, on a regular basis, multiple possible cases of where my work is published. Most of these cases contain photos of mine that have been published online illegally. I wouldn’t have been able to track down these infringements without the partnership with PhotoClaim. Luckily enough, PhotoClaim has the right experience and set up collaborations with a lawyer to solve these cases and provide me with reasonable compensation.
Stop mailing with image copyright infringers for good
Now, ask yourself one more question: would you like to have your work protected and be able to fully focus on photography while receiving money from stolen photos? Or would you rather keep on dividing your time between creative work and dealing with not necessarily pleasant infringers? In case you choose the first option, here is how to start. Stop mailing with copyright infringers, get professional help.