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About us

Visual Rights Group is your partner in copyright disputes

Fair p(l)ay is important. Photographers are entitled to fair compensation for their work, and we want to help them accomplish that. This has been our mission since 2013. We know well that creative work entails a lot of time, effort and expertise. With our powerful tracking technology, we give professional photographers and agencies a reliable way to find their own images on the Internet. Our team of experts then analyse the results and take action where necessary.

For us, copyright infringements are not an “us versus them” story, but a reason to enter into dialogue. We mediate between the parties involved and are transparent about our work and costs. Moreover, we see it as our responsibility to inform. Prevention is better than cure. That’s why we want to offer clear information on copyright legislation.

Visual Rights Group was founded in 2013 by Ywein van den Brande, a computer scientist and lawyer specialised in ICT and intellectual property law. Since then, the firm has grown into an international business with offices in Antwerp, London, Paris and Los Angeles, together accounting for more than 35 employees globally. In addition, we have an extensive network of lawyers, legal partners and bailiffs who assist us when necessary.

“Unauthorised use of visual material online is becoming increasingly common. So often that photographers and agencies themselves can no longer keep up with it, while they are of course entitled to income from their work.
Visual Rights Group is committed to that right. We know that they would much rather be occupied with their work than looking for copyright infringements and writing letters. By mediating for them, they not only get the compensation they are entitled to, but also more time again to do what they love.”

– Ywein van den Brande, President

Une photo de notre PDG Ywein sur un fond blanc. Il porte un costume.

Visual Rights Group came about with the help of imec and the Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen.

We are a Belgian company with its head office in Antwerp. You can find us in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises under our company number 0541.831.904 or by following this link. We are registered as a managing entity with the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Economy. 

Our team

A photo of our CEO Ywein on a white background. He is wearing a suit.

Ywein Van den Brande

President, Visual Rights Group

Visual Rights Group’s founder Ywein Van den Brande is a lawyer specialised in intellectual property and copyright law. He studied law, computer science and economics in Belgium (KU Leuven and Group T), France (Université de Rouen) and the United States (UCLA Law School).

Photo by Bob Schmolze

Michael Masterson

CEO, Visual Rights Group USA
United States

Michael Masterson has a wide range of experience in marketing, business development and strategic planning in the photography world, including his years at The Workbook and Workbookstock. He was also the national president of the American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP) from 2010 to 2013. Michael coordinates Visual Rights Group’s US operations.

Photo by Javed Mohammed Photography

Christopher Vaughan

Country Director
United Kingdom

With over 10 years’ experience in managing the global distribution of imagery and achieving fair remuneration for authors, Chris Vaughan is an expert in the field of visual media licensing. After a position as head of distribution at ‘Image Source’, he is now commercial director for Visual Rights Group, Ltd. in the UK.

Ted Sikkink

Country Director

Ted Sikkink is a professional with 35+ years experience as a managing director and senior executive at diverse organizations in international environments. Some companies Ted worked for are Warner, EMI, RTL, Agfa, and business consultancy companies like Davaci and Avance. In early September 2023, Ted joined Visual Rights Group as an independent consultant in charge of business development for the French market.

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