Received a letter?
If you’ve received a letter from us, this means our latest records show that you’ve used one or more images without the copyright holder’s consent. They have outsourced the tracking of their copyright to us, and asked us to contact you.
Mistakes can happen. If you hold a valid licence, please let us know – we’ll then place the licence on our records and close the file.
If you don’t hold a licence, you can pay compensation or purchase a retroactive licence through us, depending on the copyright holder. With a retroactive licence, you’ll be covered for past use of the images and, in some cases, future use too. A compensation claim involves you compensating the photographer for any damage caused by your use of the images in question, and removing them from your website. This kind of settlement means the copyright owners receive fair compensation for their work.
Creating a photo takes a lot of time, effort and knowledge. For many photographers it’s a full-time job, and media and photography agencies often have plenty of professional photographers on their books. It’s only fair, then, that they are remunerated for their work through licences.
If a photo is used without permission and without payment, the copyright owner suffers damages on three fronts:
- Missing licence income: the copyright owner earns a living from their photos.
- The photo takes on a life of its own and creates a snowball effect, particularly if you fail to include the copyright owner’s name: there’s a risk that your visitors will also use the photo without mentioning or remunerating the copyright owner, and the copyright owner sees competition from their own work on Google Images.
- The copyright owner’s paying customers feel put out as they’ve paid for something that others are using for free: this is particularly the case where exclusive licences are involved. What’s more, this creates unfair competition, as you offer the same content as their commercial website, but without incurring any costs yourself.
Frequently asked questions
Below are some frequently asked questions, tips and links on the subject of copyright. If you still have questions about the letter you’ve received, please feel free to get in touch. Your own adviser or specialist lawyer can also shed more light on the matter.