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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 21.04.2018, 03:09

On royalties in Latvia

Aleksandrs Koposovs, , lawyer of the law office INLAT PLUS, 04.04.2012.Print version
Question: My business is computer graphics and I publish my works in photobanks online, where others may buy them. According to standard license agreement the buyer doesn’t have the right to further resell a picture, or perform its duplication and mass production of stickers, signs and other items. I found out that one UK online store offers stickers with my pictures for notebook computers. Though I haven’t yet addressed the photobank, I would like to restrict the illegal use of the products because photobank is obliged to protect the pictures. I live in Latvia, photobank is based in USA, but the online store is located in UK.

I’m not against someone producing stickers with my pictures, but I would like to receive royalties. May I demand the said online store to pay penalty and share income with me? Is it true that if the pictures were given to photobank then it’s nothing I can do other than restrict the illegal use?  Should I make sample purchase of stickers for evidence purposes? 


Answer: In this case you should do the following. Review the agreement between you and the photobank and make sure whether any economic rights of an author are given under the terms and conditions thereof. Pursuant to the agreement you might have given photobank unlimited economic rights of author, and photobank could further give the acquired rights upon selling pictures to the UK store. Therefore UK online store owns economic rights to the picture and it might be difficult to raise claims against it.


If, however, both the photobank and UK store do not own economic rights to the pictures, you are entitled to demand rectification of the breach and payment of royalties or compensation. You may also offer violating party to enter into a license agreement for the use of your product specifying the amount of royalties. In the event parties will fail to enter into license agreement and the copyright infringement won’t be rectified, you may seek rectification through court or police. This type of infringement prescribes criminal liability.


You may also demand your name to be specified on the picture. It is deemed violation of your moral rights if the said demand is not fulfilled. Unfortunately, the possible infringer is UK based store and therefore a claim shall be raised in UK pursuant to relevant legislation.


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