Why purchase a license?
Taking photographs requires patience, skill and creativity. Press and photo agencies often employ several professional photographers, and it’s only right that they should receive a fair compensation for their work.
What is Permission Machine?
Permission Machine bvba distributes images for many photographers. We help them to have online infringements on their copyright redressed, by offering a valid license to persons, organizations and companies that use those images without such a required license. The retroactive license offered by Permission Machine legitimizes the past use.
Find out more about us in the official Belgian Crossroads Bank for Enterprises. Our enterprise number is 0541.831.904 (or just follow this link).
What if I just remove the image(s) from my website?
You’ve used the image(s) on your website without the author’s permission. That constitutes an infringement on his copyright. Even if you decide to no longer use the image(s) in the future, a compensation is still owed. The license offered to you is a license for online use for a limited duration (the past use plus an additional year in the future). Even if you stop using the image(s), this will not change the amount of the claimed compensation.
What if someone else has made my website?
Under copyright law, you yourself are liable for the use of images on your website, even if those were put there by an employee or a supplier. You are, of course, free to contact the person who actually placed the image(s) on your website.
What if I use third party materials?
If you place third party materials (such as blog posts, product leaflets, presentations, …) on your website, you’re required to verify with that third party whether he has permission to use those materials. Indeed, you’re liable for all the materials you place on your website, even when those were supplied by someone else.
What should I do, if I think that I have received this message erroneously?
Contact us as soon as possible by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), if possible, or else by phone (+32 (0) 14 75 23 38). If it turns out to be correct and you already have a valid license, then we’ll obviously immediately close the dossier, and we’ll correct the information in our database.
Am I obliged to pay this license note?
Our letter is a request to purchase a correct license. It is entirely up to you whether you accept our offer, or not. Should you decide not to accept, then the photographer and we do of course reserve the right to initiate a legal procedure for a copyright infringement. In accordance with article 14 of the Enforcement Directive, you may be liable for the costs of that procedure.
Compensation and additional costs
More information on the fees and costs can be found here, where you can find details per photographer/agency.
After payment of the license fee, you automatically have a license for the image(s) as specified. The license is subject to the license conditions you can find in the attachment.
I found the image via Google Images
Images found via Google Images are often copyright protected. Google Images also mentions this explicitly: “Images may be subject to copyright”. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the required license, before you use the images.
No copyright was mentioned on the image
The fact that no author is mentioned on or near a photograph, does not mean that the photographer has relinquished his or her rights to that photograph. Indeed, there is no obligation to put © or ‘copyright’ on a work. Copyright arises automatically for the author and must be respected, even when his or her name is not mentioned.
Originality of the photograph
The image testifies to the intellectual efforts of the photographer. This becomes clear from, among others, the original choices regarding lighting and exposure time, camera and lens, distance between the photographer and the object (relative size of the object), position of the body and the angle. These choices result in a specific composition with certain characteristics, and, as such, they contribute to the individual character of the work. The originality of the works is not in question.
What Is Copyright?
Copyright protects the author of an original work against the unauthorized use of his work, including unauthorized copies or adaptations of the work.
Copyright typically protects the work of artists such as writers, painters and photographers, but it would be wrong to think that copyright only protects works of art. Indeed, it also protects, for instance, a photograph used as an illustration in a scientific article. Copyright protection even extends to utensils, technical and scientific works, etc., as long as the requirements regarding expression and originality are met.
Photographs are also protected in this way. Photographic works are explicitly mentioned in article 2 of the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works (Paris, 24th July 1971) as typical examples of works protected by copyright.
Some useful links
Belgium Federal Public Service Economy – Copyright on the Internet
https://economie.fgov.be/nl/themas/intellectuele-eigendom/auteursrecht/auteursrechten-op-het-internet (Dutch or French)
Belgium Federal Public Service Economy – Duration of copyright
https://economie.fgov.be/nl/themas/intellectuele-eigendom/auteursrecht/bescherming-van-de-werken/duur-van-het-auteursrecht (Dutch or French)
Catholic University of Leuven – ‘FAQ Auteursrecht’
Your question has remained unanswered?
Then please contact us, and we will try to answer it for you.