Received a letter?
Have you received a letter from us? This means that, according to the information available to us at the time, you have used photographic material without the permission of the author or copyright holder. He/she outsourced the follow-up of his/her copyrights to us and asked us to contact you.
Although we always do a thorough check before we send out a file, mistakes can always happen. If you do have a valid licence, please let us know. We will update our records and close the file.
If you do not have a licence, you must rectify your infringement through us. This means that you have to compensate the author for the damage caused by your unlawful use of the image(s) and remove them immediately. Thanks to this arrangement, the rights holders in question will still receive fair compensation for their work and for the extra costs that an infringement entails.
We understand that receiving a letter from us can be a bit of a surprise. Therefore, our communication team is ready to answer your questions by phone or e-mail, Monday to Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Would you rather read up on the subject yourself? Here you’ll find our page with frequently asked questions, tips and links about copyright. Your own counsel or specialised lawyer can also provide more clarity.
Why pay for a photo?
Taking a picture takes a lot of time, work and knowledge, and often involves specialised equipment. For many photographers, it is a full-time job, and press and photo agencies often employ multiple professional photographers. It is therefore only fair that, through licensing, they receive remuneration for their work.
If a photo is used without permission and/or without payment, this harms the rights holder in three different ways:
- Missed licensing income: the author lives off his/her photos.
- The photo will take on a life of its own, creating a snowball effect, especially if the name of the author/copyright holder is not mentioned. And there is a chance that any visitors may also use the photo without attributing the copyright holder or paying for the use. And the copyright holder can find competition with his/her own work on Google Images, for example.
- Customers who paid the rights holder feel disadvantaged, since they have paid for something that others are using for free especially if it was an exclusive licence. Moreover, this creates unfair competition, since you offer the same content as their commercial website, but without having incurred the costs.