Case of Cybercrime and Criminal Threats by Copytrack
To September 22, 2022
Dr. Barbara Slowik
Chief of Police, Berlin Police, Germany
Copy to: Law-enforcement authorities in other jurisdictions as this case pertains to a cybercrime that is spreading in different parts of the world.
Complaint of Intimidation, Extortion, and Financial Terrorism Against Marcus Schmitt of Copytrack GmbH, Dresdener Str. 31, 10179 Berlin, Germany
Complaint by: Rakesh Raman
I am a journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation in New Delhi, India. I am a victim of intimidation and an attempt to extort money from me by the serial offender Marcus Schmitt who claims to be the Managing Director of Copytrack GmbH registered in Berlin, Germany at the above-mentioned address.
I am filing this complaint in response to an email dated September 12, 2022 and a repeated email dated September 20, 2022 that I received from Marcus Schmitt of Copytrack. In these emails, Copytrack – on behalf of its client WENN Rights International Ltd. – demands hundreds of euros from me with the claim that I used a photograph from the Web / Internet without permission on my news site Raman Media Network almost a decade ago.
In this case, I have to say the following as I urge the law-enforcement authorities in Germany and other jurisdictions to prosecute Marcus Schmitt and his company Copytrack GmbH for intimidating and harassing me with their evil aim to extort money from me. I also claim compensation of US$ 1 million (One Million US Dollars) from Marcus Schmitt / Copytrack GmbH for their criminal acts that target me personally to inflict mental agony, constant disturbance, and personal as well as professional loss to me.
DETAILS OF CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST COPYTRACK
1. When I received the said email from Copytrack on my site email address, I thought I should ignore it because I keep getting such spam emails everyday. But when I received a repeated email, I decided to take action to protect myself from Copytrack’s crime.
2. My journalistic curiosity to know more about Copytrack took me to Google Search where I found that I am not alone who is a victim of financial terrorism being perpetrated by Marcus Schmitt and his company Copytrack GmbH incessantly. Rather, a slew of aggrieved people from different parts of the world have been complaining about Copytrack’s attempts to blackmail them. [ Links are given below. ]
3. The following links explain the modus operandi of Copytrack to trap unsuspecting users and force them to pay money by using the copyright infringement threats. This is a case of organized white-collar financial crime for which Marcus Schmitt / Copytrack GmbH must be prosecuted and punished.
Links of Copytrack Deception
- Multiple pages which depict that Copytrack is running a blackmailing and extortion racket. [ Link ]
- Intimidation by Copytrack [ Link ]
- “Is German Scam “COPYTRACK” Run By Descendants of Nazi War Criminals?” [ Link ]
- “Copytrack — a German photography ICO that’s being sued over where it sent the money” [ Link ]
- Mixed reviews of Copytrack [ Link ]
- Money extortion complaint against Copytrack [ Link ]
- Vexatious claim by Copytrack [ Link ]
Even a parallel arbitration industry is proliferating where companies claim that they can rescue the victims of Copytrack’s threats. [ Link ]
Moreover, the Web is replete with information shared by the aggrieved users who are constantly receiving threatening emails from Copytrack.
INTIMIDATION AND BLACKMAILING BY COPYTRACK
4. As a content creator, I fully respect copyrights and intellectual property rights. But I do not want to get terrorized by the criminals who use copyright laws as threat weapons against innocent individuals to blackmail them.
5. The image mentioned on the link that Copytrack sent to me has not been used. Published in 2013, there are six stories under this link and none of them is using the photograph mentioned by Copytrack while the individual stories under this link do not show any photograph. So, Copytrack is only trying to extort money from me with a false claim and threats of legal action.
6. I have not even earned the kind money that Copytrack is expecting from me during the entire 12 years of my site’s operations. I use this site (Raman Media Network) mainly for philanthropic purposes for helping the disadvantaged and persecuted sections of the society.
7. Copytrack is criminally trying to implicate me as well as many others in false cases to make illicit money from them with a criminal intent.
8. Copytrack has refused to acknowledge the fact that when information – including text, images, or videos – is used by journalists for editorial purposes – as opposed to commercial use – by giving due credit to the information supplier, it cannot be a copyright infringement. And when information is taken from a press release, as in my case, there is no need to take a separate permission for using the information from the organization that issues the press release.
9. If the corrupt company Copytrack really cares about copyrights, it should add price tags to its images so that the user could know that they are not available free of charge. In my case, for example, Copytrack claims that I used an image in 2013. Then why didn’t Copytrack or its client stop me in 2013 when (and if) I used their image?
10. If Copytrack or its clients want to protect their images, they should not allow people to use those images until they pay for them as is the practice for other products which are sold online. In order to stop the misuse of their images by other users, Copytrack and its clients must put a watermark on the images that are released openly on the Web.
11. There are plenty of other ways to protect the images and the copyrights. You can disable mouse right click and warn the user at the time of downloading an image. A copyright notice link at a remote place or at the bottom of a website does not help in preventing the use of an image by others while such links are actually put to deceive and trap the image users.
12. When the price of the image is not mentioned and other methods are not used to warn the user and stop them from using the image without payment, Copytrack and its clients are part of a colossal worldwide cyber racket to first allow the users to use their image and then blackmail and threaten them with legal actions to extort money from them. Once trapped with concealment of sales information, Copytrack starts intimidating the innocuous users with threatening emails and notices to demand money illegally.
13. As an analogy, suppose you allow a person to take an item of no value free of charge today from a shop. And after several years, you call that person a thief and threaten them to pay hundreds of dollars or euros for that no-value item or else face legal action. This amounts to criminal intimidation and willful deception by Copytrack to falsely implicate an innocent person.
14. If you really want to protect your item, you need to stop that person at the time of taking that item. If you are not doing so, you are deliberately laying a criminal trap to extort money from the innocent users of those items – images in the case of Copytrack. This is a case of criminal conspiracy and fraud to extort money worth hundreds of euros for pictures that won’t sell even for pennies.
15. With the principle of natural justice, Copytrack should first send a notice of photo removal to the user instead of sending extortion emails to demand money. If the user does not remove the image or does not give due credit to the creator, the original creator can take steps to get the image removed. But the Copytrack or the creator cannot suddenly demand money after many days or years from the users who were never told that the images that they are using are priced – particularly in the case of editorial use.
16. If you follow the Copytrack’s distorted definition of copyright, every name of the person or organization that you use without permission in an editorial article is a copyright infringement. It will make the entire information collection and dissemination work on the Internet very complex and almost impossible.
17. Most journalists – particularly who run small news sites single-handedly like I do – take utmost care while using information from external sources and give due credit to original creators mostly with hyperlinks to the external sources. Thus, they do not violate any copyright rules. But they do not have resources to take permission for every bit of information that they use from the public domain or press releases. If they are explicitly warned, these journalists – like me – will never take information which is prohibited. So, it is not copyright infringement when they follow this procedure in good faith.
18. But Copytrack has devised a fraudulent business model to earn money unscrupulously from honest users like me. Therefore, Marcus Schmitt and his company Copytrack must be prosecuted and punished for unfair trade practices and for running a criminal enterprise that extends its tentacles in different parts of the world.
REQUEST FOR ACTION BY LAW-ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES
1. Initiate criminal proceedings against Marcus Schmitt and his company Copytrack for terrorizing me and other people to extort money by using a fraudulent cyber scheme.
2. Prosecute Marcus Schmitt and his company Copytrack by using available avenues of extraterritorial and universal jurisdiction, as they are blatantly committing a financial cybercrime that covers different parts of the world. The prosecution would lead to their conviction.
3. Direct Marcus Schmitt and his company Copytrack to compensate me with US$ 1 million (One Million US Dollars) for their criminal acts that have inflicted mental agony, constant disturbance, and personal as well as professional loss to me.
4. Direct Marcus Schmitt and Copytrack that they should immediately stop their nefarious activities that are disturbing me.
5. Provide any other relief that is justified in this case.
Note: Since this is a digital document, please click the blue hyperlinks to study and understand various aspects of the case.
Availability: If required, I will be available for online / virtual meetings with law-enforcement authorities to further explain this case.
I will keep updating this page as the Copytrack case progresses.
Editor, RMN News Service [ Website ]
Founder, RMN Foundation [ Website ]
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