For photographers, Christmas is now year-round
COPYTRACK helps authors to pay for more widespread images
Berlin, December 19, 2016: The holidays annually demand extra spending, tearing a big hole in the budgets of many. Those who receive a Christmas bonus for their work during the past year can consider themselves lucky. For many photographers however, the opposite is usually the case. Often they don’t even know yet who still owes them for the use of their images, or how much. COPYTRACK would like to change this and also help image rights holders to their rightful wage.
The problem relates to both laymen and professionals. They all invest time, money and know-how in the production of their images. When you upload them for commercial or non-commercial purposes on the Internet, you can hardly track, by whom, where and how often their images are used. “Most of our customers are surprised, we show them how many purchasers there are of their photos,” said Marcus Schmitt, CEO of COPYTRACK.
It is common for images found on the Internet to be used for their own purposes, without asking for the owner’s permission, without paying royalties and designate them as owners. Schmitt estimates that globally 1.7 billion photos are circulated in this way daily on the Internet. “The owners and authors don’t receive a cent for their work” Schmitt states. To change this, COPYTRACK offers a full-line service, which regulates the concerns of its customers in a fair way. The service includes a permanent research with intuitive handling. Using a complex image recognition technology, the entire Internet is screened for duplicates of images uploaded by COPYTRACK customers.
The complete search is free of charge and has a hit accuracy of over 98 percent. If an abuse is discovered, the customer can determine the amount of any subsequent license fee by means of the help of COPYTRACK. The service provider does not push to make any decisions. The copyright owner can also decide completely against the demand for a subsequent fee. The goal is to find a fair agreement with the users of these images. In this way, new and lasting business relationships are often created. Should it come to legal proceeding, with COPYTRACK there is no risk of staying at a cost, as it would be with the classic use of a lawyer. The service provider assumes all responsibility with his international partner attorneys and provides the evidence for the court hearing.
As a rule, however, this step is not necessary. Most tracked image users pay after receiving the first letter by COPYTRACK. “We have a large number of customers to who we could transfer their money within a few days after uploading their pictures. For both photographers and non-professionals, this feels like a fiveer in the lottery – or these days even as a very special Christmas present, “says Schmitt.
Whether it is judicial or out-of-court, COPYTRACK provides a subsequent license payment to the rights owner, which is up to 70 percent of the collected license fees.
COPYTRACK ( www.COPYTRACK.com) was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt and now employs around 25 people from legal, IT, customer service and finance. The service is aimed at, among other, to photographers, publishers, image agencies and e-commerce providers, and includes a risk-free search of their images of the world wide Internet of photos uploaded by the users of COPYTRACK with a hit accuracy of 98 percent. The customers define images used without a license and even determine the amount of subsequent fees supported by an automatic license calculator on the portal. COPYTRACK is fully responsible for out-of-court resolutions in 140 countries as well as a legal resolutions in the relevant areas of copyright law. Only if the license has been successfully licensed, the rights holder receives up to 70 percent of the agreed sum. The pure search function is free of charge.