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Imatag, 2017 Creative Lab Startup, Answers 3 Questions

During the weeks leading up to the third edition of the French-American Creative Lab, we invite you to learn more about the 8 French startups selected to participate in the program. This week, let us introduce you to the creators of Imatag, a unique watermark technology that ensures that images published on the web will forever be linked to their author.

Imatag provides photographers, videographers, photo agencies and individuals, with an invisible and unbreakable watermark technology which prevents the erasure of pictures’ metadata. Thanks to this permanent “tattoo,” photos cannot be modified by any other than the author or the rights holder.

Imatag's CEO and CSO Mathieu Desoubeaux & Thierry Secrétan agreed to answer a few questions:

What problem are you solving with Imatag’s technology?

Mathieu Desoubeaux (CEO): IMATAG solves the most recurrent problem faced by photographers, videographers and digital publishers, namely the fact that over 90% of the photographs shared on the web see their credit or metadata erased: no author, no description, and no source accompany the content. To counter this IMATAG has invented two things: an indestructible and invisible watermark embedded inside the pixels of images or videos by IMATAG, as well as a unique reverse search engine connecting any visual content on the web to its original source and metadata.
Thierry Secretan (CSO): By coupling both technologies IMATAG allows copyright holders, from photographers and videographers to publishers, to become immediately identifiable by anyone. This is a dream and a technological breakthrough that has been long awaited by all photographers and videographers. Additionally, as IMATAG scans millions of web pages daily to identify its users’ content, authors and copyright holders are automatically notified by IMATAG when their content is found.

What motivates you in your work?

TS: As a professional photographer and president of PAJ  — an association regrouping 130 of the most influential French photographers — it was a relief to discover the existence of this revolutionary technology. The team who invented and patented it happened to be a rare breed: young researchers from the National Institute of Computer Science—all of whom were  addicted to photography. After months of using IMATAG’s services myself and introducing the company to photographers, photo agencies, and publishers alike, I didn’t think twice when they offered me the position as IMATAG’ CSO and a shareholder. I also believe that IMATAG technology is a sound investment.
MD: My motivation is renewed daily when I witness the satisfaction of both photographers and agencies who are using IMATAG and struggling to adapt to a difficult and constantly changing market. In France, we have already tagged over 4 million images from photographers and agencies such as MAXPPP, Hans Lucas, Roger Viollet, and several others. This enables photographers and publishers alike to monitor their production and protect their exclusivity. Constantly improving our tool and expanding our market shares is also a great motivation.

For you, the French-American Creative Lab will be a success if…

MD: Developing our product in the US market is vital for IMATAG, not only because it is the most important photography market in the world, but also for its unique understanding and use of photography as the number one medium for conveying information. So we are already grateful that the French-American Creative Lab will help us crack open this crucial market. -.
 TS: Absolutely. France might be the country where photography was invented, but, true to its Old Continent roots, it often forgets that images (photo and video) are the number one medium for transmitting information. This is not so in the US. Your invitation bears, for us, the  sweet smell of success.


Imatag's CEO and CSO Mathieu Desoubeaux & Thierry Secrétan will be in New York from November 6 - 10 and in Los Angeles from November 12 – 15, 2017. If you would like to meet with them, contact us at creative-lab@frenchculture.org.

Click here to find more information about the French-American Creative Lab.

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