copytrack process in japanese cartoon style

Copyright Enforcement from an Illustrator’s Point of View | Interview with Tomoko Osuki

Tomoko Osuki is a Japanese illustrator who specializes in taking complex situations and illustrating them in an easy to understand way. After some success tracking down copyright infringers with Copytrack, she decided to illustrate her experiences with our services.

You are a sought-after illustrator in Japan and know how to present complex ideas in a simple and understandable manner. Can you explain a bit more about your work to us?

In addition to the creation of normal illustrations, I also illustrate entire reports on hyper specific topics. In order to make difficult topics simpler and more visual, I also illustrate interviews with experts of a specific field in manga style. This gives readers a better understanding of their specialist field. I see my illustrations as a kind of connection between specialists and ordinary people. I also like photography and actually have a photo diary on my Instagram account. Additionally, I also like to make and sell my own works of art and photo albums.

Once you registered with Copytrack, illegally used pictures of yours were found. Were you surprised about that?  

Yes, before Copytrack I negotiated directly with the infringing party myself along with the support of friends from the professional groups I'm involved in and my editor. In the past, we were able to agree on reasonably satisfactory prices, however negotiations always seemed to drag on forever. The whole process was actually quite strenuous because of the infringing party's attitude towards me. Instead of seeing the mistake and apologizing, I was treated like I was a terrible person. For me, negotiations with the other side were extremely exhausting and emotionally stressful. Around the same time, I was reading "Asahi Camera" and came across an article about Copytrack. I was already tired of tracking down and negotiating with infringers myself, so I decided to register with Copytrack to try their services.

Now that you have submitted several cases to Copytrack, what do you think about the service?

After joining Copytrack I was able to solve copyright infringement issues very quickly. Better yet, I was surprised to find that there was already money coming into my account relatively quickly! It was great really, seeing as how I had been struggling so much negotiating on my own before - the entire process became so easy. I was also surprised by what Copytrack was able to find with their software. I don't think I would have been able to find the picture theft myself if I hadn't used Copytrack's service. Besides that, I'm no good at negotiating anyway. Even if I was able to contact my opponent, I think they would most likely have gotten away by simply deleting the picture and refusing to compensate me accordingly.

What do your plans for the future look like?

I have been working with a group of experts in the food and medical industry for several years. We're trying to present their areas of expertise as simply and comprehensibly as possible through illustrated interviews targeted at amateurs. These "interactive" illustrations and manga works have been very well received by readers, so I will continue to focus on them in the future. I am also a great admirer of the German illustrator Olivier Kugler. He currently lives in London and works for major publications like the Guardian, among others. His illustrations make content understandable through the image and the atmosphere he creates, even for people like me who don't understand English. I would be very happy if I was also able to work with some international media such as the Guardian in the future. It is said that the word "illustrate" has roots to the Latin words "shine" and "illuminate". I like this idea and I personally want to be an illustrator who sheds light on things and thus illustrates them. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!

About Tomoko Osuki

Tomoko Osuki is a Japanese illustrator born in 1979 from Kumamoto Prefecture. During her studies at the Musashino Art University, she photographed and filmed the Komaba dormitory for her final project in 2001. After her studies, she took up some part-time jobs and finally started working as an illustrator. While creating an illustrative report on nutrition, she realized that she had a talent for presenting difficult issues in a simple way.  Her works include “Fitte” (Gakken Publishing) and the series “Where to Really Find Dangerous Food”, “Gardening Work” (NHK Publishing), “Professional Vegetable Growing”, and so on.

© COPYTRACK | Jonathan Appleby



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COPYTRACK was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt. Our service is aimed at photographers, publishers, picture agencies and e-commerce providers. We enable free detection of stolen images on the Internet, as well as, international legal enforcement.


We are fighting for fair payment for photographers, picture agencies and publishers. Use Copytrack to find illegally used images free of charge on the Internet, and to take legal action against copyright infringements.