(Picture: pixabay / CC 0)
If the custom suddenly appear on third-party sites that enforcement of image rights can sometimes be difficult. What to do in such cases, says Marcus Schmitt, founder of the Berlin portal CopyTrack.
Images theft determine is no longer so difficult thanks to ever better images search functions in the relevant search engines. But knowing that one's images were copied without permission, is one thing, to enforce its rights, however, a much more difficult task - especially at international level. This is where the Berlin company CopyTrack. In an interview with c't Photography explains founder and managing director Marcus Schmitt how his company tracks down unauthorized used photos and makes claims at world level. The single photographer comes here sometimes to its limits, because with the naked finding the images is not enough. He must be able to prove that they are copies of the recordings.
Marcus Schmitt, founder and CEO of CopyTrack(Picture: Copy Track)
c't Photography: Mr. Smith, why is the image recognition so important to enforce their own rights to photos?
Marcus Schmitt: With a mere image search is not obtained, although many hits, but the majority is either not relevant or accurate. For all of us finds running through image matching, which checks the image found on the basis of the original - set as a percentage of the match. Thus, the customers do not have to work through mountains of false hits. This saves time. In addition, we are also able to recognize image details and color changes in images with almost one hundred percent.
From initial contact through to trial
c't Photography: If the image is identified as illegal copy, as are the rights of your client enforced?
Schmitt: As far only provider to offer a four-step process in 140 countries. In the first step, one attempts to contact the illegal user. He is offered a subsequent licensing, provided he can prove no valid license. After that, a default action follows. Images of thief shows unimpressed, followed by a pre-trial lawyer enforcement. If this is not successful, after all the legal enforcement comes into play.
c't Photography: And that works around the world?
Schmitt: Well, not always so easy and elegant as in Europe. But we know now from the respective valid copyright, the local tax laws and also with their particular cultural contexts. We are there now pretty "multi-cultural", This helps us in our daily business.
c't Photography: And you do everything from Berlin?
Schmitt: We have now next to the office in Berlin, another in New York and one in Tokyo. Additionally, we have partnerships with lawyers and collection agencies in the respective countries. Our Opponentenkommunikation currently dominated twelve languages and work in our headquarters staff from seven nations.
Different countries, different rules
c't Photography: Now you can hear straight from Asia that the notions of copyright but differ materially from what is common in Europe. How do you manage to prevail for example in Asia?
Schmitt: Asia is far from being the monolithic block, as he seems to many Europeans. There, too, the individual countries differ culturally, copyright and tax lot and you have to proceed in each case very different. Japan is with us now to the European countries and the United States the most successful market. In the case of China, even the different provinces are rather specific. Although most of which use the same font, but not the same language. In addition, it comes in China very strongly to the particular social position of the two parties and the current circumstances. This is all clearly uncertain for Europeans, accustomed than at home.
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- How can you even prove the authorship of your images in court, read in the latest issue 5/2017 of c't Photography.
No claims without registration
c't Photography: How to successfully demand licenses for image rights, without there having an office in China?
Schmitt: It's not so far that it is now time to enforce quickly from Europe image rights in China. where we work with partners who are represented in each of the 22 provinces. As mentioned before, China can not simply be regarded as a homogeneous country, when it comes to image rights. Both the respective laws as well as the processes on site, make a respective specific procedure required that differs from province to province. In addition, personal contacts play a crucial role even in the legal field.
c't Photography: What special features in Chinese law falls the failure easily?
Schmitt: In China there are, for example, a registry for images. There has to secure his copyright. However, one must note that this must be done separately for each province. Without registration you can kindly request for a relicensing save the same. It has already lost in this case.
Companies set budget for copyright infringement back
c't Photography: And if we then understood the countries and their special features, you can then implement a program like in Europe?
Schmitt: As simple as it does not go then again. In many Asian countries the dominant culture there for example, provides no judicial confrontation in copyright cases. Even if the possibility is purely legal, it would be in Japan rather an amicable settlement of than to go to court. By contrast, in Taiwan companies for copyright infringement usually have even provided a certain budget. You would never get the idea to pay voluntarily, but only when are subject to trial.
c't Photography: Which enforcement quota to reach?
Schmitt: In the US we are already more than 70 percent. Unlike in Europe, however, it is in the US usually only for out of court settlements if the local partner lawyers were active. We have been very successful now in Japan. China is a major challenge today. We are most successful in the European home market. Here the enforcement rate is nearly 95 percent. (Christoph Jehle) /(Msi)