Carl Christian Müller, LL.M.
Fachanwalt für Urheber- und Medienrecht

Did you receive a warning letter (Abmahnung) from Robert Fechner?

Have you received a warning letter (ger. Abmahnung) from Robert Fechner?

We can help you!

We will stand up for your rights and your wallet!

Our main goal: You pay less or nothing. Attorney Carl Christian Müller is certified lawyer for copyright and media law and has more than 15 years experience in dealing with warning letters.

  • available 24h
  • nationwide
  • free of charge initial assessment

I have 15 years experience defending and advising my clients in matters concerning copyright, media, competition and trademark law. You can benefit from my experience.
Carl Christian Müller, LL.M
Certified Attorney for Copyright and Media Law

Have you received a warning letter from Robert Fechner?

Most of our clients receive warning letters from the law firm Robert Fechner via Email. The letter stipulates that by unathorizedly using copyrighted material, our clients violated existing copyrights and moral rights of the owner's copyrighted material. Moreover, they are requested to pay damages worth hundreds or thousand of euros.This comes as a shock for many recipients. However, this is only understandable as the claim is very high.

We have extensive experience defending our clients against warning letters concerning copyrights infringements from the law firm Robert Fechner. Our expertise can be essential in your case.

The first consultation is free of charge .

Our recommendation:

Keep calm!

Nothing is as bad as it looks. We have extensive experience in dealing with Robert Fechner's warning letters. We are here to help!

Do not sign anything! Do not call Robert Fechner!

Do not sign the cease and desist declaration from Robert Fechner, unless you have been advised to do so by a certified lawyer beforehand. This is a life-long binding contract that will burden you even more. Also do not make any contact with the law firm Robert Fechner.

Royalties? Do not pay the requested amount!

Even if Robert Fechner or another law firm has issued a justified warning letter, the claimes are in most cases excessive. A wrong response to the warning letter could potentially lead to higher costs. Our goal is that you pay nothing or significantly less.

Initial free of charge assessment

You can reach us nationwide: 030 213 003 290

We answer all your questions concerning warning letters from Robert Fechner in just one phone call – you will feel much more confident after this!

Initial consultation without obligation and guaranteed free for charge.

  • Call us 24/7 hours
  • Free initial assessment
  • international clients welcome

Take action! Defend yourself!

You can benefit from our extensive experience.

Defend yourself against the claims asserted by Robert Fechner! The amounts demanded by Robert Fechner are in many cases excessive. The costs for both the license and the lawyer's fee can be reduced. We have already defended many clients against copyright infringements and we know what room for negotiation there is. Take advantage of our extensive experience concerning copyright infringements.

Is the warning letter from Robert Fechner a rip-off or a fake?

Abmahnung von Robert Fechner
Abmahnung von Robert Fechner

The answer is No! Many of our clients suspect that this could be either a fake warning or it could simply be a mistake. This is usually because Robert Fechner's warning is sent via e-mail, but in all cases known to us, this is not a fake. A warning notice sent by e-mail is much more effective. A copyright warning is not subject to any formal requirements. It can even be issued verbally. The reason for sending the warning by e-mail is probably because Robert Fechner deals with international cases and sending the warning notice by e-mail is considerably easier than by post - moreover, on many international websites the postal address is not given at all. This is to remove any doubts regarding the legitimacy of the emails and warnings. In order to dispel any doubts as to the authenticity of the warning, the email entails a power of attorney in German and English between the attorney Robert Fechner and the copyright holder. If there is no power of attorney attached to the e-mail and if the warning letter deviates from the familiar appearance of a "typical" Robert Fechner warning, doubts should arise as to the authenticity of the warning letter. However, we strongly recommend you to take this notification seriously.

Who is Robert Fechner?

Attorney Robert Fechner is an independent lawyer based in Berlin. Robert Fechner cooperates with PhotoClaim, the photo rights supervisor, and issues warning letters for the photographers Jean Claude Castor, Nico Trinkhaus, Anna Neetzel and Claus Rasmussen, to name just a few. The warning letters are regularly issued for the use of photographs without a license and for failing to name the authors.

What to do if you received a warning letter from Robert Fechner?

Do not simply ignore the warning letter as an annoying spam email, but take action! Robert Fechner sets a short deadline of about one week, in which those who have been notified should sign a cease-and-desist declaration and pay the amounts called. If you decide to ignore the email, you risk to further legal action against you in a court of law.

Initial consultation without obligation and guaranteed free for charge.

  • Call us 24/7 hours
  • Free initial assessment
  • international clients welcome

What claims does Robert Fechner make?

Cease and desist declaration

If a photograph has been used without the permission of its legal owner, the copyright holder has a right to injunctive relief against the infringer. The same applies if the owner of a digital material was not mentioned in connection with the publication made. In this case, the photographer is entitled to injunctive relief due to missing copyright identification. The claim for injunctive relief can only be fulfilled by submitting a cease-and-desist declaration, which is subject to penalty. Since Robert Fechner sets very short deadlines for the submission of a cease-and-desist declaration with a penalty clause, you have to act quickly and strategically. If you sign the standard cease and desist declaration made available to you without prior verification, you are bound to its content for life.

We advise our clients not to sign the standard cease and desist declaration sent by Robert Fechner without prior verification by a lawyer! A cease-and-desist declaration is in fact a contract and the claim is not always justified. If you sign the standard cease-and-desist declaration without prior verification, you are bound to the content of the contract for the rest of your life.

Claim for damages

In addition to the injunctive relief, Robert Fechner asserts a claim for damages. This means that you should compensate the damage caused for the use of the material. The amount of compensation can only be decided on a case-by-case basis and is usually calculated according to the so-called "license analogy". Robert Fechner uses the fee recommendations of the Mittelstandsgemeinschaft Foto-Marketing (MFM recommendations) to determine the amount of damages. In addition, Robert Fechner demands a surcharge of 100% if the author is not named.

A further 50% surcharge is added if the digital material was used for an online shop. A so-called photograph with "global reach" will be charged a further 120% surcharge.

Attorney's fees

In addition, the copryright holder will make claim for the attorney's fee - in this case the commission fee charged by the attorney Robert Fechner. The lawyer's fee consists of the object's value and the business fee. The disputed amounts can range from 6,000.00 EUR to 42,000.00 EUR. The attorney costs could reach up to 1,965.88 EUR, if the value of the disputed object amount 42.000 EUR.

Documentation costs

Finally, Robert Fechner claims so-called documentation costs. According to Robert Fechner, documentation costs are costs produced by gathering the documentation needed in a court of law to demonstrate the copyright infringement. According to our knowledge, the documentation costs are regularly amounted to 95.00 EUR net.

Initial consultation without obligation and guaranteed free for charge.

  • Call us 24/7 hours
  • Free initial assessment
  • international clients welcome

Should you sign the standard cease-and-desist declaration?

Unterlassungserklärung von Robert Fechner
Unterlassungserklärung von Robert Fechner

You should never sign the standard pre-formulated cease-and-desist letter made available to you by Robert Fechner, without any previous legal advice on this matter. If the accusation in the warning notice is indeed correct, i.e. if you used  the material without being able to prove that you are entitled to do so, it is recommended in most cases - but not in all cases - to submit a modified cease-and-desist declaration with a flexible contractual penalty provision. However, this should never be done without previously  deleting all references on the internet pointing to the digital material for which a warning letter has been issued on your name. For example, a photo must also be deleted from the caches of the relevant search engines. This requires a certain procedure for which we will provide you with intructions on how you should do it. If the photo is not properly deleted, there is a risk that Robert Fechner will claim a contractual penalty for his client. This will amount to 5,001 Euro if you sign the pre-formulated cease-and-desist declaration by Robert Fechner.

Do I have to pay the entire compensation amount?

No. In most cases, the compensation stated in the warning letters is too high. The amount forthe damages depends largely on how long the material has been used and the type of use. If - as practiced by Robert Fechner - the compensation is calculated according to the license analogy, the user of the photograph should not enjoy a more favorable position than a contractual licensee who has paid for the license. Attorney Robert Fechner uses the tariffs issued by the Mittelstandsgemeinschaft Foto-Marketing (in short: MFM tables) when calculating the damages.

What are MFM tariffs?

The tariffs of the Mittelstandsgemeinschaft Foto-Marketing are intended to reflect the current fees for photo usage in Germany. For this purpose, the MFM publishes an annual brochure entitled "Bildhonorare". The problem here, is that the MFM table is based on opinion polls of professional market participants and is clearly in favour of the photographers. The application of the MFM tariffs favores in many cases the copyright holders

Applicability of MFM tariffs is disputed

The use of the MFM tariffs has often been disputed in court due to their unilateral nature. The MFM tariffs are used in cases involving photographs only if the picture has been used in a non-private context and it is the legal property of a professional photographer (OLG Hamm, Decision from 13.02.2014, Az. 22 U 98/13) or it is very close in quality to a professional photograph (OLG Munich, Decision from 05.12.2013, ref. 6 U 1448/13; LG Düsseldorf, Decision from 24.10.2012, ref. 23 S 386/11; LG Köln, Decision from 27.05.2014, ref. 14 S 38/13).

After our law firm contested the use of MFM tariffs, the district court in Berlin (LG Berlin) stated that even if the picture was indeed taken by a professional phtographer, the legal owner’s licesing practice must be proven (Decision from 29.01.2016 - Ref.: 16 0 522/14). Photographers/copyright owners must specifically prove that a photograph was licensed according to the tariffs stipulated in the MFM table by the time it was unauthorizedly used. It is precisely this proof of licensing practice that causes many cautioners to fail.

Take action and choose the right strategy! This will guarantee your success.

Ignoring the letter is not the solution. Even more, by ignoring it you risk further complications and difficulties in the future. You must take action and prepare your defensive. Out of experience we know that ignoring the letter could lead to a possible lawsuit. Also a dunning letter could be issued on your name. We have been defending clients against photo warnings since 2007 and have dealt with more than several thousand  warning letters. Benefit from our expertise and take advantage of the guaranteed initial free of cost consultation. We will be happy to help you and discuss the possible strategies and outcomes with you during our initial consultation. Our main aim when dealing with a warning letter from attorney Robert Fechner is that you pay nothing or that the damage claims are considerably reduced.

Take advantage of our initial free of charge consultation. Our specialized lawyers will answer every question you may have about a photo warning.

Carl Christian Müller, LL.M

Specialized Lawyer for copyright and media law

Warning letter from Robert Fechner - how can we help you:

Make use of our free of charge initial assesment. With us you get to talk to a specialized lawyer - no call center.

This is how it works:

1. Send us the warning letter by using the contact form

2. One of our specialized lawyers will assess the warning letter, check the facts and legal situation and will call you back as soon as possible. Guaranteed free of charge!

3. After the telephone consultation you will receive an e-mail with all the relevant information. You can then take your time and consider whether you want us to represent you in this matter.

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