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Why Are Our Images Stolen Online? Expert Lawyer Explains

Press release from Copytrack:

Author Jonathan Appleby, Copytrack.com 2018

Copytrack know all too well that managing content online can seem like nothing but a mess. 85% of online images are used without a licence showing serious work needs to be done to combat digital image theft. Internet users are often left confused when talking about copyright online, especially when trying to get their heads around rights of use – “It’s free to use, right?” It’s vital to understand when you can and can’t share images online to prevent digital theft. This leads to interesting excuses created to deny digital image theft.

But why is digital image theft online so common? Why is little done to prevent it? Despite it being easy to obtaining digital content, it is copyrighted and has to be paid for- shock horror. To help us understand what the hell’s going on, new author and long-time lawyer Marie Slowioczek-Mannsfeld has come to the rescue. Together with Robert Golz she has written the book How to use Photos Legally Online (Fotos Rechtssicher Nutzen Im Internet) that finally outlines all the dos and don’ts when it comes to obtaining and using content online. This is what Marie had to say to Copytrack about image theft online.

Do we all have to pay for images that we share online?

Whoever earns money only should be sure that they’re not infringing on other’s rights. This is especially valid for someone who is using the images on products. It’s just not a question about being fair to the photographer, but also infringing copyright can be expensive, annoying, and take time to resolve. This is where the book comes in, it helps ensure image users avoid these issues, when you know the rules.

The biggest misconceptions when it comes to digital content

The biggest misconception is that everything available on the Internet is for free. Many internet users think that everything they find on Google can be copied and used without further ado. A common misunderstanding is also that copyright notice is needed to protect a picture. That is not true. A photo is also protected without copyright notice. Another common misconception is that you can use an image if you give the source. This is true in a few exceptions, but in most cases, it is not correct.

Why is content online stolen so often?

Because it’s so easy. On the Internet you have constant access to everything 24/7. All you have to do is enter a search term in Google and you will get the image you are looking for, which can then be downloaded quickly and in good quality. You don’t have to register, you don’t have to pay anything. And all this takes just a few minutes. And often there is a lack of knowledge that images are also protected by copyright online.

Why do you think digital theft isn’t taken as seriously compared to theft in the real world?

I think that’s because of two things. On the one hand, image theft is very widespread on the Internet – it is considered a trivial offence. On the other hand, this is in the nature of the digital world. If you steal a carpenter’s furniture- it’s gone. He worked for nothing. If you steal a digital image from a photographer’s website, at first glance they don’t have any damage at all. The picture’s still there, he can sell it on. It’s just a copy after all. One can already imagine: Why does the photographer act like this in the first place? The fact that the photographer makes a living selling prints or copies of his photos is often not thought of.

What are your top tips for business looking to utilize images for their businesses?

Do not rely on free image databases on the Internet. If you want to use photos commercially, spend some money and purchase a license from a reputable agency. If there is something wrong with the rights to the image, you can take recourse at the agency if necessary. And if you buy images from an agency, make yourself familiar with the license terms. Agencies are subject to severe penalties for violating the license terms. Often there are also good overviews, which summarize the rights of use in detail.

“The internet/technology is developing faster than the laws that govern it.” In the future, do you think the law will ever be able to govern the internet affectively without restricting its users?

The legal system is a lengthy one, especially if it works internationally, for example at European level. That is why the legislature cannot react so quickly to any change or new invention. I am positive, however, that one day it will be possible to regulate the Internet in a sensible way. If we look at what has happened in recent years, we are probably on the right track. In addition, there is also the further development of the law by the courts. However, as long as there are still questions about the tolerability of framing, so there is still a lot to be done.

“…no one likes it

when they’re proven wrong. 

A lot of digital image theft is

not committed with intention,

but instead a result of a lack

of knowledge.”

Law varies from country to country; however, the internet is a global body. What kind of issues does this create and what can be done to resolve them?

A picture that is used illegally on the Internet can be accessed around the clock from anywhere in the world. That begs the question: Where did the infringement actually happen? The answer to this question is important, because it determines not only the law under which the use of images must be examined, but also which court has local jurisdiction. However, the question is often not so easy to answer. This is definitely a problem of the global nature of the Internet. Once the applicable law has been determined, the principles of copyright law are internationally similar, but the laws differ in detail. A clearly infringing act in Germany, for example, can be completely legal in the Netherlands. Finally, of course, the question of the amount of damages is also open. For example, Austrian copyright law stipulates that the author may claim twice or their appropriate remuneration as compensation for damages. German law does not recognize such a doubling. All this requires special knowledge, which can often only be assessed correctly by an expert. This often makes cross-border enforcement of copyright infringements cumbersome and expensive.

It would be great if copyright law were to be standardized internationally. But this should remain a dream. It would already be helpful, if the copyright law would have been as evolved as the trademark law, which has been harmonised throughout Europe. When it comes to copyright law, there are some approaches and guidelines at European level, but we are far from being standardized.

Will the internet ever be a safe place to share work, or is the risk just part of the internet’s nature?

Pictures will always be stolen on the internet. However, I think that the advantages of presenting and offering your own pictures to a photographer on the Internet outweigh the disadvantages of digital image theft. It is not the case that photographers are completely unprotected. There are technical possibilities to prevent image theft in different ways. It’s there at the photographer to figure it out. You don’t leave your front door unlocked.

At copytrack we work to try to make the internet a fairer place, and help ensure photographers get paid for their work. However, we’re often met with a lot retaliation, and called scammers, why do you think people react in this way?

Firstly, no one likes it when they’re proven wrong. A lot of digital image theft is not committed with intention, but instead a result of a lack of knowledge. This means many image users have no guilt about using the images and become a little sceptical when someone tells them that they have broken the law. As well as that there are many scammers online, who are always trying to convince gullible people out of their money.  So actually, it’s completely understandable that people are sceptical when a service like Copytrack approach them asking them for money. Often, however, even after the explanation of the facts of a case, there is a lack of the empathy and understanding. There is still a lot of educational work needs to be done.

Marie Slowioczek-Mannsfeld, is the Head of Legal at Copytrack, and has been working with intellectual copyright for over 4 years.

More information and a sample reading of her book can be found on the publisher’s homepage (German only): Fotos rechtssicher nutzen im Internet 


Jonathan Appleby, Oranienburger Straße  4, 10178 Berlin
jonathan.appleby@copytrack.com, Tel: 00 49 30 809 332 962

About Copytrack:

Copytrack (www.copytrack.com) was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt and currently employs around 25 people from legal, IT, customer service and finance. The service supports photographers, publishers, image agencies and e-commerce providers. It includes a risk-free search of the global Internet for image and graphics data uploaded by users at Copytrack are found with a hit accuracy of 98 per cent. The customers define if images are 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 an out-of-court solution in over 140 countries as well as a legal solution in the areas relevant to copyright law. If the image has been successfully licensed, the rights holder receives up to 70 percent of the agreed sum. The pure search function is free of charge.


Snap-Grip aims at Smartphone and Action Camera photographers


Key Features:

• The Multi-mount clamp has three mounting options allowing for various setups to suit your style of image making
• Modular construction with PICA-POD components for ultimate versatility
• Available soon in a range of materials to suit your lifestyle

With mobile photography and filmmaking on the rise (and rise), mounting and accessory solutions are becoming more crucial for mobile journalists, vloggers and consumers alike.

Ultimate versatility

Supplied exclusively by specialist distributor, InfinityX, the brand-new Snap-Grip from Pica-Gear is built from the very same modular components as the popular Pica-Pod. Demonstrating the same tough qualities and versatility as its big brother, the Snap-Grip comes complete with three camera screw points, which means that it can be extended, giving ultimate flexibility in a wide range of shooting situations.

• Snap Grip is an extendable system supporting both action cameras and smartphones
• Configure digital devices around your action cam to improve image quality or connectivity into social media
• Handle mode: creates steadier blur-free images

Whilst other mounting solutions in the market incorporate a handle, the Snap-Grip’s handle adapts to form a mini tripod. Complete with solid brass screw inserts and aluminium anodised tripod legs, the Snap-Grip is perfect for use in the following scenarios:

Whilst other mounting solutions in the market incorporate a handle, the Snap-Grip’s handle adapts to form a mini tripod. Complete with solid brass screw inserts and aluminium anodised tripod legs, the Snap-Grip is perfect for use in the following scenarios:

• With tripod: Capturing group shots
• Take a break and set your device down for convenient Image playback/browsing with smartphones
• The multi-mount clamp has a wide reach to support even the larger smartphones

Steve Cumbers, Managing Director, InfinityX, said: “The Snap-Grip represents a giant leap in possibilities for photographers and filmmakers shooting with mobile devices and action cameras. The product is exceptional in terms of its versatility and its build quality will reassure users that they will be able to trust the Snap-Grip for many years to come.”

Steve added: “With various extension kits and accessories in the pipeline, users can be assured that the Snap-Grip ecosystem will only continue to grow, ensuring users a reassuring and increasingly capable range of compatible products.”

About Pica-Gear

Designed and produced to military standard, Pica-Gear products offer image-makers the most versatile, reliable and robust products currently in the specialist imaging market.

Pica-Gear products have designed specifically for ‘run & gun’ filmmakers, photojournalists and vloggers, but with the ability to adapt to any situation for both videographers and photographers. They have been meticulously engineered for professional and durable use; offering limitless options for setting up all kinds of cameras, monitors, power and audio solutions; giving the user a distinct advantage in their ability to adapt to any given shooting situation and from hand-grip to mini tripod in seconds.

About InfinityX

InfinityX is a brand-new, dynamic, UK-based distributor, serving the specialist imaging and sports markets. Carving a niche in the growing action and mobile image-making markets, InfinityX stand alone in offering exceptional products, coupled with UK support and warranties.

Fantasea line introduces enhancements for underwater camera housings

Press release issued by Fantasea:

Fantasea LCD magnifier

NEW RELEASES Fantasea introduces a selection of products designed to upgrade underwater housings and enhance the experience of underwater photographers.

Fantasea LCD Magnifier

UMG-02 LCD Magnifier
Cat. No. 5052

When installed on the camera housing, the UMG-02 LCD Magnifier provides the underwater photographer with an enlarged, clear, bright and sharp view of the camera LCD screen.

Using the UMG-02 makes it easier to compose and focus with the camera system, resulting with sharper and more impressive underwater images. UMG-02 was optically designed for underwater use. The rubber sleeve serves as a sunshade and ensures a clear view also in the brightest conditions. Installation is quick and simple. An adjustable diopter allows focusing the lens to a finer degree customized to individual eyes.

The UMG-02 LCD Magnifier was designed to be installed on Fantasea housings. It can also be installed on other housings featuring a similar design of anti-glare hood rails.


  •  Magnification: 2.3X (underwater)
  • Materials: Hard anodized aluminum bezel, rubber LCD hood
  • Lens construction: 2 groups and 3 elements
  • Lens coating: AR multi layer coating
  • Depth rated to 100 meters / 330 feet
  • Dimensions: 79.6 x 76 x 93mm / 3.13 x 3 x 3.66 inch
  • Weight: 192 g / 6.77 oz
  • Included in package: Lens cap, lens cap secure string and rubber hood quick release secure string

Fantasea Moisture Detector
Cat. No. 7501

Fantasea moisture detector

The Fantasea Moisture Detector can be installed inside any housing featuring sufficient space for the alarm unit.

The Fantasea Moisture Detector is very sensitive, so whenever moisture is detected by the sensor, the moisture detector LED light begins flashing and a warning alarm starts beeping, thereby alerting the user of a possible leak.

The Fantasea Moisture Detector includes an alarm unit and a moisture sensor unit, connected by a thin wire. The alarm unit is installed on any of the housing side panels using a double-sided installation sticker, included in the package. Make sure that your housing offers sufficient space for the alarm unit to be installed (34 x 24 x 7 mm) without interfering with a proper watertight seal. The Moisture Sensor unit is installed just under the camera or camera tray inside the housing.

The Fantasea Moisture Detector is operated by a 3V Lithium #CR1220 battery. A replaceable and non-rechargeable battery is included.

Important Notices

  • All components should be handled carefully during installation.
  • The Fantasea Moisture Detector assists with detecting moisture inside the housing. Installation of the Fantasea Moisture Detector inside the housing does not eliminate the user’s responsibility of validating housing watertight seal prior to and during the dive.




Lightricks Enlight Photofox For Free On iOS

Press release issued by Lightricks:

Lightricks, Winner of Apple’s 2017 Design Award, Launches Enlight Photofox For Free On iOS

Enlight Photofox

Lightricks Launches New Version of Award Winning Photo Editing App for Free, with a Pro Subscription Service Offering a Premium Experience for Today’s Most Powerful Mobile Editing Tools

(July 6th, 2017, Jerusalem, Israel) – Lightricks, the leading developers of premium image processing software for mobile, announced today the launch of Enlight Photofox, the next generation of the lauded iOS photo editing app Enlight. Recently awarded the prestigious Apple Design Award at the 2017 WWDC and Apple’s App of the Year for 2015 in numerous countries, Photofox introduces a new layers system that pushes the boundaries of artistic photo manipulation and redefines expectations from mobile creativity tools. Photofox brings new tools and enhances previously loved features with a layer-centric flow that gives immense power to aspiring creatives on the go.

The latest app from Lightricks – also the developer of Facetune and Facetune 2 – strikes a balance between powerful functionality and streamlined design, creating a seamless user experience within the world’s most advanced mobile creativity software. The new application has been tailored to captivate today’s growing mobile creative community, empowering them with the tools to generate amazing visual art.

Highlighted Features:

  • Layers – Photofox’s Layers allow the user to combine as many photos as they want, blending and merging them seamlessly and easily. With this multi-layer functionality, as powerful as that of desktop software, users now have the ability to edit individual layers on mobile, offering even more precision and control and enabling more creativity than ever before from the palm of their hand.
  • Darkroom –  Gives users granular control over tonal adjustments, enabling users to fine-tune adjustments for tone, contrast, and image details. With such a vast number of tools and controls, this feature is essentially an app within an app.
  • Quantity of Content – Photofox comes jammed packed with a huge variety of content: fonts, graphic elements, presets and more, to infuse new artistic elements into images.

“Enlight was a huge step forward in empowering creativity on mobile, and this new version will push the boundaries even further. Our users are making amazing artwork on mobile and they’re increasingly looking to unleash their creativity with powerful yet simple mobile tools that can carry out even the most complex creative tasks, and Enlight Photofox is built to support just that,” said Zeev Farbman, Co-Founder and CEO of Lightricks. “Despite being a new concept, the user relationship with subscription apps is already rapidly evolving. We’ve seen early success with Facetune 2’s VIP access, with our advanced users finding great value in the advanced capabilities and continuous updates. We’re excited to bring that value to all aspiring artists looking for the most powerful photo editor that they can carry with them in their pocket.”

Enlight Photofox is available for free on the App Store. Users can opt to subscribe monthly or yearly to enjoy added features, content, and services.

About Lightricks

Lightricks was founded in 2013 by five entrepreneurs from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, four of them CS PhD students, to create the leading creativity tools company for the mobile era. The company’s first two paid products, Facetune and Enlight, are two of the world’s most successful premium creativity apps, with over 11 million paid units sold. Enlight is the most powerful suite of image processing tools on mobile. It was Apple’s App of the Year for 2015, the #11 best-selling Paid iOS app in 2016, and was recently announced as the recipient of Apple’s prestigious Apple Design Awards of 2017. Facetune is a fun and powerful portrait retouching application, enabling regular users to achieve results previously reserved for professionals. It was Apple’s #4 best-selling Paid app in 2016. Each of Lightricks’ apps has reached the #1 rank in the overall Paid iOS charts of over 120 countries. Before raising $10 million in its first equity financing round in August 2015, Lightricks was 100% bootstrapped generating $10 million in revenues a year. In addition to leadership in its core imaging technology, the company builds proprietary user acquisition systems through access to controlled APIs, and serves  as Facebook’s case study for user acquisition.

In November 2016 Lightricks began pioneering subscription business models for mobile tools with Facetune 2 – following recent, major iOS platform policy announcements in which the company participated.

Enlight Photofox

Workflow UX: The new Enlight Photofox is setting out to turn aspiring artists’ dreams into

reality by making advanced photo-editing on iOS simpler and richer than ever before. Building off Apple’s new subscription model, Enlight Photofox perfectly blends today’s photo-editing needs with tomorrow’s most advanced technology. The new multi-layer functionality allows users to pilot their adjustments with exact, unprecedented control. Enlight Photofox comes jammed packed with four times the amount of content, equipping users with a huge selection of fonts, presets, brushes, effects and more to infuse new artistic elements into their images and create beautiful, digital art.

PRO: In addition to the free features, users can subscribe to get all access to the apps’ features, layers, and packs. New features will continuously be released for subscribers.

** Standout Features:

Layers – Enlight Photofox’s Layers allows the user to combine as many photos as they want, blending and merging them seamlessly and easily. With this multi-layer functionality as powerful as that of desktop software, users now have the ability to edit individual layers on mobile, offering even more precision and control and enabling more creativity than ever before from the palm of their hand.

Darkroom – Gives users granular control over tonal adjustments, enabling users to fine-tune adjustments for tone, contrast, and image details. With such a vast number of tools and controls, this feature is essentially an app within an app.

Quantity of Content – Enlight Photofox comes jammed packed with a huge variety of content: fonts, graphic elements, presets and more, to infuse new artistic elements into their images.

Breakdown of Features

Layers – Users can add and manipulate multiple layers with full control. For a seamless and fully customizable editing experience, users can continuously switch back and forth between layers, without locking in edits. Each layer can be edited separately or merged, empowering users with Desktop-like creative control.

  • Eraser: Swipe to remove unwanted objects or backgrounds, with smart edge- avoiding
  • Opacity: Control the opacity of an image for beautiful
  • Transform: Easily transform the size, shape and perspective, giving a 3D feel to the
  • Flip: Instantly flip layers vertically or
  • Blending: Blend images or elements with various blending modes to create double exposures or superimposed
  • Fill: Select a color or pattern to fill in the

*PRO – With subscription, add and edit up to 5 layers within one

Tone – The Tone category offers unique image enhancements empowering users with artistic control, duo-tone filters and an extensive array of adjustment options for tuning contrast, structure, brightness, saturation, hue and more.

  • Adjust: Simple, detailed control over tonality and details for quick color correction.
  • Filters: A wide selection of image filters to enhance visual images, powered by 3D RGB mapping for a truly unique
  • Duo: Enhance photos with duo gradients, unlike any other app on the
  • BW: Convert images into stunning black and white
  • PRO – With a subscription, users will gain full access to all of Tone’s tools:
  • Darkroom: Gives users pointed control over tonal adjustments, enabling users to finely tune the tone, contrast, and image details. With such a vast amount of tools and controls, this feature is essentially an app within an
  • Film: A variety of presets and tools to produce film-inspired effects, including fade, grain, and

Tools – The Tools category gives users an array of tools for both artistic and essential image enhancements.

  • Canvas: Define canvas pixel size and change or crop the size of canvas with fixed ratios or
  • Vignette: Add and adjust vignette and blur for professional lens
  • Light FX: Mimic analog light leaks and colored lens

*PRO – With a subscription, users will gain full access to must-have tools:

  • Reshape: Enlarge, shrink, bloat, or refine objects and subjects with full control and precision by freezing areas not intended for
  • Heal: Remove or replace unwanted objects or defects in

Add – The Add category gives users content elements to add finishing touches:

  • Type: Overlay a wide array of fonts and texts onto images with full artistic control.
  • Elements: Add various shapes and graphic objects to any image or
  • Stickers: Decorate photos with fun, creative
  • Frame: Easily add frames and borders to images and swipe to control color, frame size, and
  • Meme: Easily turn images into

*PRO – With a subscription, users will enjoy an extensive collection of fonts, elements, stickers, frames, and patterns that will be updated

Artistic – Powered by AI, the Artistic category enables users to create art with their images with just a tap or swipe.

  • Urban: Instantly transforms images into popular street art
  • Doodle: Draw on images freehand, with a variety of brushes and color
  • Effects: Use a unique array of effect brushes to any image for added flair and design.

*PRO – With a subscription, users will enjoy tons of added asset packs to spark creativity.


ADATA Releases XPG GAMMIX Line with S10 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 1.2 SSD and D10 DDR4

Press release issued by ADATA:

Storage and memory designed for gamers, delivering optimized performance and sleek designs 

Taipei, Taiwan – July 11, 2017 – ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched its XPG GAMMIX product series, first shown at Computex 2017. The debut consists of the GAMMIX S10 PCIe3x4 NVMe 1.2 M.2 2280 SSD, capable of 1800MB/s read and 850MB/s write thanks to premium 3D NAND in up to 1TB capacity. The S10 features a stylish heatsink for expedited heat dissipation. It is joined by GAMMIX D10 DDR4 memory modules, which likewise boast a custom heatshield to ensure lower temperatures and more stable performance. They are offed in black and red colors, and in up to 3000MHz factory speeds with a starting speed of 2666MHz on new Intel X299 motherboards. The GAMMIX line provides gamers, PC DIY enthusiasts, and overclockers with additional options that combine performance and design, stemming from the core XPG mission statement of ensuring better experiences.

GAMMIX S10: PCIe3x4 NVMe 1.2 M.2 with a cool twist

With speeds up to 1800MB/s read and 850MB/s write, the S10 leverages the efficiency of the M.2 2280 form factor and the NVMe 1.2 protocol to better serve performance seekers, from gamers to graphics professionals. It cuts down data transfer waits, loading times, and seek latency, and packs up to 1TB 3D TLC NAND driven by an SMI controller. The custom-designed XPG heatsink ensures temperatures are at least 10 degrees Celsius lower than non-shielded M.2 SSDs, promoting stability and longevity. DRAM and SLC caching help maintain peak performance, with read/write IOPS ratings of 130K/140K. The S10 further supports LDPC error correction, and has a 2 million hour mean time before failure rating. It arrives backed by a 5-year warranty. In addition to 1TB, customers can choose from 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB models. 

GAMMIX D10: aggressively-styled DDR4 appeals to dedicated PC DIY fans

Red and black D10 DDR4 memory modules feature a black ADATA-made PCB and a custom XPG open top heatshield with serrated “teeth”, angled to evoke a sense of power and performance. At the same time, D10 modules are relatively low profile, allowing easier installs even in smaller or more cramped cases. Available in 2400MHz to 3000MHz, D10 modules use premium, carefully-sorted components for guaranteed quality and compatibility. On Intel X299 motherboards, fine-tuned SPD (serial presence detect) sets a 2666MHz base speed, compared to 2400MHz for the modules on other platforms. D10 module PCBs have 10-layers to eliminate interference and improve signal fidelity, plus the open top heatshield vastly improves dissipation for better stability when gaming and overclocking. Internally, a 2oz copper layer further enhances cooling. Coupled with Intel XMP 2.0 compatibility, cool and stable D10 modules offer considerable overclocking headroom. They ship with a lifetime warranty, like all ADATA and XPG memory modules.

UK Pricing is as follows:

GAMMIX S10 PCIe SSD 512GB – £209.00

GAMMIX D10 DDR4 2400 8GB – £69.00 

About XPG
Xtreme Performance Gear (XPG) is an ADATA Technology brand offering high performance PC hardware. XPG products distinguish themselves by surpassing stringent ADATA A+ Testing Methodology to ensure the highest standards for superior product stability and performance. XPG provides gamers, enthusiasts, and overclockers an extraordinary journey best experienced at full tilt. The XPG line sports advanced technical attributes and its strength shines through with sleek and powerful designs that have earned prestigious accolades worldwide. These include Good Design Awards from Japan and Taiwan Excellence Gold Awards. ADATA XPG products are recognized by overclockers and world-renowned professional gaming teams who use them as essential hardware for achieving victory. For more information, please visit www.xpg.com

US image copyright advice from Copytrack

Press release issued by Copytrack:


US Copyright Office: If copyright is free, then why should we pay for photographic protection? COPYTRACK breaks it down

Copytrack knows dealing with image piracy on a global scale is tricky as copyright law is still territorial. The closest we get to a global copyright law is the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, established in 1886, which helps with photographic protection. The agreement now includes over 190 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Australia.

The US initially had reservations of signing due to the changes it would have on their own copyright law. They finally joined the Berne Convention in 1989, but amended some of their laws so registration was required to tackle infringements in court.

Now, just like Europe in the US copyright is free and instant. You don´t need to do anything to create it. Photography protection is done this way to encourage people to keep being creative. If everything we ever made could be easily stolen we wouldn’t be so keen on making and sharing it, right?

So where does the Copyright Office come into it?

However, if that´s the case, then what´s all the fuss with registering copyright with US Copyright Office for photography protection? Costing around $35 a picture it´s really something you have to think about. But what are the actual benefits of it? Here are some listed on the office´s website:

  • Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U.S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies.
  • If registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.
  • Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
  • If made before or within five years of publication, registration will establish evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.

So, these are some pretty beneficial points to registering, and it´s clear it helps with photographic protection. The fact you can only go to federal court with a registered piece of work is pretty defining. It means you really should consider registering your work, and early on too. One of the main benefits of registering is statutory damages, but what are they?

Statutory Damages

Predetermined payments established by law to compensate for certain injuries. Statutory damages are sometimes made available because it is too difficult to calculate actual damages. This is a really nice perk of the registration and the statutory damages can range from anywhere between $750 to $150,000!

Should anyone outside of Europe considering registering?

Copytrack warns photographers that just because you’re not based in the US doesn’t mean your work won´t be published there. With the internet as it is, you can never be sure where your work might end up once you shared it online.

If your work is created outside of the US it´s not mandatory to have work registered to file a lawsuit. However, when you register early statutory damages are still available.

It´s key to note, when you share an image online it could end up anywhere. It could be found in the US meaning to tackle the copyright abuse you would need to take finical risk going to court in the US.

understands the importance of global protection and is ready to battle image theft worldwide for its users. We ensure users are kept risk free, and never bear legal costs when tackling image theft.

Our tip: Definitely consider registering your work, especially when you are working in the US. It might not be free, but you are well protected.

For additional information about registration, go to the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection website at


COPYTRACK was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt. The company now consists of a team of around 25 colleagues from legal, IT, to customer service, and finance. The service is offered to photographers, publishers, picture agencies and e-commerce providers, and includes a risk-free search of the Internet worldwide. Photos uploaded by the users are located by COPYTRACK with a hit accuracy of 98 per cent. The customers can then define if images are with or without a license, and even determine the number of subsequent fees, supported by an automatic license calculator on our portal. COPYTRACK is fully responsible for out-of-court resolutions in over 140 countries, as well as legal resolutions in the relevant areas of copyright law. If the post-licensing process has been successful, the rights holder receives up to 70 percent of the agreed sum. The search function is free of charge.

Nikon reveals new AF-P NIKKOR 70–300mm ED VR zoom

 Press release issued by Nikon UK:

Faster. Sharper. Better. The new AF-P NIKKOR 70–300mm ED VR telephoto zoom.

RRP: £749.99 / € 899.00

Sales start date: TBC

London, UK, 11th July 2017: Nikon gives sports, wildlife, and travel photographers the power to achieve better handheld telephoto shots with the new AF-P NIKKOR 70–300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR. Faster AF plus SPORT VR mode hone in on the action without compromising sharpness. The lighter, weather-resistant build goes anywhere.

From the winner’s expression to birds in flight, the latest incarnation of this full-frame telephoto zoom captures exceptional stills and movies. As an AF-P NIKKOR lens it boasts Nikon’s Stepping Motor, which brings subjects into focus extra quickly and extra quietly. Vibration Reduction (VR) is now faster, quieter, and more effective. And this lens also benefits from SPORT VR mode, inherited from Nikon’s pro lenses. A firm favourite with photographers who shoot action, SPORT VR mode enables photographers to reliably track fast-moving subjects—even when they’re moving erratically. Additional features from Nikon’s pro lenses include an electromagnetic diaphragm, which ensures precise exposures at high frame rates. And A/M and M/A focus-mode switches that make it possible to control manual-focus override simply by turning the focus ring. The preferred option of sports photographers, M/A mode allows switching with virtually no time lag. The A/M focus mode is less sensitive to prevent unintentional switching to manual mode.

Emma Fergie, Product Manager, Lenses & Accessories, Nikon UK says: “The new AF-P 70-300mm lens is an excellent addition to our NIKKOR lens line-up. Nikon is renowned for its ability to integrate proven pro technology into more affordable lenses, and this new telephoto zoom is testament to that. Exceptional features like the SPORT VR and advance vibration reduction (VR) mean that this is the ideal lens for photographers who often have to shoot in gruelling situations.”

A significant upgrade—New features of the AF-P NIKKOR 70–300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR

More flexibility: this 70–300mm telephoto zoom (105–450mm when used with a Nikon DX-format SLR) now boasts a minimum focus distance of 1.2 m throughout the zoom range and a 0.25x maximum reproduction ratio.
AF-P Stepping Motor: for ultra-fast, ultra-quiet autofocus. Enables video footage to be recorded with practically no drive noise.
Advanced Vibration Reduction (VR): enables shooting at shutter speeds up to 4.5 stops slower than otherwise possible.¹
SPORT VR mode: delivers a more stable viewfinder image, which is helpful when shooting exceptionally fast action, or when panning.
Weather-resistant build: every movable part of the lens barrel is sealed to protect from dust and water droplets.
Electromagnetic nine-blade diaphragm: delivers consistent automatic exposure control even during high-speed bursts. The rounded diaphragm blades enable natural-looking bokeh.
Superior control: A/M and M/A focus-mode switches. Focus ring and the zoom ring boast a knurled covering that enables a firm grip.


1 Based on CIPA standards.



Venus Optics announces the Laowa Magic Shift Converter

Press release issued by Venus Optics:

Venus Optics announces the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) for Sony FE mount cameras

Convert your ultra-wide angle lens into a SHIFT lens with no vignetting



Anhui China, Jul 10, 2017 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, unveil the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) for Sony Full Frame E-mount cameras. It can convert your ultra-wide angle lens into a Shift lens and with no vignetting observed.

Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) is a lens adapter built with a patented optics system, which expands the image circle of the ultra-wide angle lenses. The shift mechanism on the adapter takes advantage of the enlarged image circle and shift the camera sensor along the axis. The MSC is specially designed for the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens and it will convert the lens into a 17mm f/4 Zero-D lens with +/- 10mm shift capability. There is no vignetting observed even at the maximum shift and we have successfully controlled the image performance impact to the minimal. The close-to-zero distortion feature of this lens can also be retained. Additionally, the MSC comes with a 360° rotation structure which allows photographers to shoot in both horizontal and portrait orientation.

Shift lens is extremely beneficial for architecture photographers to capture the skyscrapers and real estate photos because the converged lines arisen from perspective distortion can be easily eliminated. When using a standard lens angled upwards to shoot a building, the bottom of the building will appear wider and bigger than the top. Shift can be used to keep the image plane parallel to the subject so that the sides of the tall building can stay parallel.

The Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) Canon variant is currently available to pre-order in the official website of Venus Optics (http://www.venuslens.net/) and their authorized
resellers. Shipping is expected to start in late July/early Aug. For Nikon variant, please reserve around 2 months more for shipment.

Lens structure 5 elements in 4 groups
Dimensions 69.6 x 44.1mm
Weight About 360g
Mounts Canon EF – Sony FE Nikon AI – Sony FE


Magic Converters Line-up

The MSC is the first member of the Laowa Magic Converters line-up. Venus Optics has previously announced the Laowa Magic Format Converter (MFC) which adopts the same patented optics system and it can fit a full frame lens into a GFX medium format body without vignetting. The MFC is due to ship later this year.

About Us

Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited (Venus Optics) is a new Chinese camera lens manufacturer based in Hefei, Anhui. We currently manufacture and distribute camera lenses under the brand name of ‘Laowa’.

For more information about Anhui ChangGeng Optical Technology Company Limited and our products information, visit http://www.venuslens.net/

For review request or other enquiries, please kindly contact us at marketing@venuslens.net

Supplementary Information

Official page of the Laowa Magic Shift Converter (MSC) http://www.venuslens.net/product/laowa-magic-shift-converter/

Features and Demonstration of the Laowa Magic Shift Converter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE8KngnZXCk

Sample Image Gallery of MSC https://www.flickr.com/photos/137268551@N02/sets/72157685536263386


Above is a sample image provided showing the MSC in use.

Download a the full-size (16 megabytes) image