What we have here is yet another example of an aggregator reinventing copyright custom and practice to suit their business agenda at a cost to photographers. Compare and contrast Adobe’s cavalier attitude toward photographers’intellectual property with their own formidable license, that you have to accept when installing the PSX software
This is the way that the internet works. Put your photos online and if you are any good, someone, somewhere, somehow will technically violate your copyright. It *will* happen. And you have two choices with what you can do about it. You can get worked up and get upset and let it eat at you, or you can let it go and move on content that you are making the world a more beautiful place.
Liz Ordonez-Dawes, the multi-million dollar verdict winner, “hope[s] photographers are empowered by [her] news and take action.” Liz was kind enough to share some important lessons she learned from her lawsuit:
The A.P. doesn’t get to make it’s own rules around how its content is used, if those rules are stricter than the law allows. So even thought they say they are making these new guidelines in the spirit of cooperation, it’s clear that, like the RIAA and MPAA, they are trying to claw their way to a set of property rights that don’t exist today and that they are not legally entitled to. And like the RIAA and MPAA, this is done to protect a dying business model – paid content.
So here’s our new policy on A.P. stories: they don’t exist. We don’t see them, we don’t quote them, we don’t link to them. They’re banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.
CONGRESS is considering a major reform of copyright law intended to solve the problem of “orphan works” — those works whose owner cannot be found. This “reform” would be an amazingly onerous and inefficient change, which would unfairly and unnecessarily burden copyright holders with little return to the public.
Most assuredly, the AP has a new contract. We first reported about it here (A New AP Contract Emerging? – 5/14/08), and more than one copy came our way from several readers. Of note in their paperwork, was the disparity between pay from bureau to bureau.
You have until June 1, or about 2 weeks, to indicate your intent to object to this or sign it. If you don’t sign by June 1, you won’t be getting any more AP assignments.
The subject of copyright is always high in photographers’ minds, especially in light of Orphan Works legislation & rampant image “borrowing” online. Consequently there’s an ongoing burning desire for secure metadata that can’t be stripped away from images.
These days, authors, artists, and photographers are likely to find one or more of their creative works used without permission. One defense to the purported infringement is often that it is a “fair use.” The challenge then is determining whether the unauthorized use is an infringement or fair use. While only a court of law can make that decision, understanding what makes a use “fair” will help you protect your work.
As the orphan works copyright legislation advances through Congress, it has exposed a split among photo associations. With their ranks divided, professional photographers have lost whatever lobbying power they might have had as a unified force.
Two weekends ago I was out running errands and I stopped at the light at Franklin and Cahuenga which is pretty much the most northern end of Hollywood. I stop in the left hand turn lane, and dead ahead of me I see a billboard that shocks the crap out of me. It’s a Coca-Cola Zero ad with Evan Hecox-esque artwork. I studied it for as long as I could, and as I turned left I said to myself, “There’s no way Evan did that.”
EPUK, the mailing list and website for professional editorial photographers, has launched Copyright Action, a website community and educational resource that wants to become the intellectual property equivalent of Crimestoppers.
“It’s the archive that’s at stake,” Angelo Grima, senior vice president and deputy general counsel for the National Geographic Society, said during a panel on digital rights at the Magazine Publishers of America’s Magazines 24/7 conference at the Hearst Tower Thursday. “We’ll go to the Supreme Court if we have to, because our archive is that important to us.”
The litigation, now entering its 11th year, has seen more twists than a John Grisham novel. The 11th Circuit first ruled in 2001 in favor of Jerry Greenberg, a freelance photographer whose work had appeared in National Geographic (in 1962, 1968 and 1971) and then on CD. Subsequent cases in the 2nd Circuit ruled in favor of National Geographic. In 2004, a Florida judge awarded Greenburg $400,000 in damages; National Geographic appealed. Last year, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit overruled the 2001 decision in favor of National Geographic, but Greenburg asked for—and was granted—a full court review.