Alfonso Gutiérrez, President of CEPIC, has provided some updated information on the CEPIC Image Registery (CIR) that Selling Stock reported on earlier here
He said, “While your description is accurate and correct, I would like to clarify and/or add a few hints that may resolve certain doubts the project may generate for your readers.” The following is his report.
You say the "CIR will only deal with databases containing the work of creators that want to control and/or license the use of their images." Yes, this is correct because there is no intention to navigate the indexing of every image that may be found in the web and report that it is copyrighted, as this is among other things a work well done by the ImageIRC application owned by Getty Images.
Funding the CIR is a controversial issue, as it is with all similar projects that are now emerging. While our industry, the stock photography industry, recognizes that something like this is necessary to easily indentify authors and copyright holders, it is not simple to find a way to finance them in the long term without Government or European Union support. I hope to think that one day we as an industry will act in a corporative manner and decide that certain projects have to be done by all of us together; we are an industry and we can either defend our mutual interest or we can continue working solely for our companies, all in our individual ivory towers, while external forces erodes our business.
The CIR is a project developed by CEPIC, which is a non-profit organization made up of a European National Associations of companies devoted to licensing images to clients. The CIR will be controlled by a representative Committee formed by the owners of CEPIC. This Committee will need to be elected in a General Meeting as we, or me, have been elected. This committee will take the reins and guide the project into the future. However it is clear that if CEPIC considers that this project has to be in the hands of a separated organization it will work that way.
Finding new possibilities for the CIR, and identifying authors is certainly possible. Everybody knows microstock is always the best option regarding price, if they have the images. However when a researcher has to find dozens of images for given works, checking prices in multiple sources is not efficient. Furthermore the idea that something like the CIR can reduce the distribution channel because clients will buy from distant sources is in fact incorrect as found in my daily experience in the business. Here is an example:
"I have been ordering images for my magazine for a few years now and I have never understood why from my country I have been dealing with a company in Europe. I have always gotten pleasant helpful service from the people in the company but the time difference is problematic."
In my opinion the biggest problem for the CIR will be convincing our industry that such project exists and works efficiently, that we need it and we therefore need to support and make it possible, because the technology model is very good, open and relatively easy to become part of. From that point on it is just a matter of short time that potential image users will know it exists and as you say "It may be fairly easy to make the big publishing organizations aware of the CIR." I agree that it will be initially difficult to reach the vast majority of small users but I also believe that the eventual success of the project will make the small users aware of it fast.
I would like to finalize my comments by dedicating a few words to say that promotion is essential for any project and even more so for a complex one like this one presented by CEPIC where different idiosyncrasies converge. We are in Europe and this part of the world is not federal land yet, however we are discussing internally to make the CIR available within the CEPIC website with sufficient information available on copyright, orphan works, benefits and reasons. This would be only for registered users initially, and would be followed by the usual promotion using traditional means.