What If I got a letter from a lawyer and PhotoClaim?

Learn why it is important to take care of it and what are the next steps you should take.
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What If I got a letter from PhotoClaim?

Find out why it’s crucial to not dismiss or ignore the letter you have received. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the process when businesses receive a letter from us regarding a claim.

1

Why did I receive an email with a Copyright Infringement Notice from a lawyer?

The copyrighted work of a photographer who cooperates with us was used on your website without a valid licence/permission and our client confirms that this usage isi unauthorised. Our client takes legal action to protect his copyrights through an authorised lawyer. The matter can be resolved out-of-court, so we advise you to settle it as soon as possible, following the steps mentioned in received correspondence.

2

Why did I receive a letter by post from a lawyer and PhotoClaim?

You can contact the lawyer through email (stated in the paper letter) or check your email inbox if the letters were previously received but you did not notice or answer them.

3

Is this letter a formal and legal claim?

Yes, the work of the photographer who cooperates with us was used on your website. You received a letter with a Copyright Infringement Notice from a registered attorney at law, which you can verify with the chamber of attorneys in Berlin:

Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin / Littenstr. 9 / 10179 Berlin / Telefon: (030) 30 69 31 0 / https://www.bea-brak.de/bravsearch/search.brak

4

What is the main mission of PhotoClaim?

“Stop Image Theft. Get Paid” – We want to help photographers to protect their copyrights and to be fairly paid for discovered copyright infringements.

Photographers should focus on their photography and remain creative, that’s why we want to take dealing with infringements infringement off theirs shoulders and help them focus on their work.

5

Does this mean that if I do not reply to the letter, my case will be taken to court?

Yes, all cases that are not settled out-of-court will be taken to court. Please keep in mind it will result in much higher costs for you (covering court and legal fees) so we recommend contacting our lawyers to proceed with a less-stressful out-of-court agreement.

6

What are the next steps to follow?

Please carefully read the correspondence sent by the lawyers. You can receive a few emails: Copyright Infringement Notice, Cost Breakdown and some reminders before the court evaluation begins. We prefer to resolve each case as soon as possible with lower costs to cover for you. The best is to get in touch and follow lawyer advice.

7

How much time do I have to reply to this matter?

The sooner the better – please follow the deadlines mentioned in our lawyer’s letters. Please be aware that you should have paid the licensing fee, legal fees, documentation costs and sign the Declaration to Cease & Desist in which you confirm that you will not use the photographer's work again. Once you are in delay when it comes to answering lawyer’s emails, interest could apply so the final amount could be higher at the end.

8

What is the best way to communicate with the lawyer?

The best way is to reply to received emails in the same thread, so lawyers can easily follow up on your case. Please note that due to environmental concerns, the letters are sent via email, not on paper. It’s also much better for all sides to have a conversation via email instead of phone calls, so all the presented arguments can be easily recognized.

9

What If I try to contact the photographer/designer directly?

It’s much better to contact the lawyers since, as per the Power of Attorney attached to his first email, you can find out that lawyers are authorised to act on our client’s behalf. In such a case, you are also legally obligated not to contact the client directly. Moreover, our clients are busy as professional photographers and they need to remain creative. That’s why they chose us to take care of their rights and keep their minds free.

10

I am not in Europe, does this claim have a real legal effect for my business?

Yes. Copyright protection is based not only on EU law, including international acts (Rome II Regulation), but also on the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works – signed by 179 countries all over the world. The creator is granted copyright protection on the photograph from the moment it is taken.

11

What If I do not reply to this letter or ignore this legal notice?

Unfortunately, you can expect further legal steps to be taken, including the court proceedings which could be started in your country. It is better (and less expensive for you!) to have the matter resolved out-of-court.

12

If I remove all illegally-used images from any media in my company today, will I still have to comply with this notice?

Yes. Before every case is started, the evidence is secured since it’s needed for court proceedings as proof. We use authorised service for this, so even if you delete the photograph in question, the evidence is saved and this is enough for further legal proceedings. Taking this into consideration, even if the photograph is deleted immediately, you still need to pay for the illegal usage, legal fees, documentation costs and sign the Declaration, by which you confirm that you will not use the photographer's work in the future.

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