EU And US Seeking Comments On Copyright Rules

Posted on 2/13/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

If you’re not happy about the copyright protection you are afforded, now may be the time for photographers and stock agencies to speak up.

The European Commission charged with modernizing EU copyright rules has extended its request for comment to March 5, 2014.

They have invited all stakeholders to contribute their ideas and suggestions to this consultation. “Contributions are particularly sought from consumers, users, authors, performers, publishers, producers, broadcasters, intermediaries, distributors and other service providers, Collective Management Organizations, public authorities and Member States.”

Interested parties can go here to find an extensive list of 80 questions that can be answered online. It is not necessary to supply answers to all of these questions.  If you prefer to make you comments in a Word document it can be sent to znexg-pbclevtug-pbafhygngvba@rp.rhebcn.rh.

For more information about the EU request check out this link http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2013/copyright-rules/index_en.htm.

U.S. Copyright Office


In the U.S. the Copyright Office has announced that it will host two days of public roundtable discussions on potential legislative solutions for orphan works and mass digitization under U.S. copyright law.

The roundtables will take place on March 10-11, 2014, in the Copyright Office Hearing Room, LM-408 of the Madison Building, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20559. The roundtable discussions will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on both days.  For more details about the topics to be discussed see here.

The Office is also seeking further public comments on orphan works issues. A comment form will be posted on the Copyright Office website at http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/ no later than March 12, 2014. Comments are due by April 14, 2014, and will be posted on the Copyright Office website.

Copyright Hub In UK


In the UK the Copyright Hub is moving forward, but the secondary regulations that really explain how it will work won’t be out until later this year.

The Copyright Hub is also struggling to figure out how it will be funded on an ongoing basis. Parliament funded the initial development, but isn’t prepared to fund it on an ongoing basis.

Will Speaking Up Really Make A Difference?


It seems clear that all governments have recognized that there is a problem and a need for change. But, everything seems to move at glacial speed. There is lots of talk and very little action. One of the problems is the governments are trying to come up with something very comprehensive that solves everyone’s problems while what we need is a simple solution that just deals with still images and illustrations.

Image creators will never get the protection they need without speaking up, but expecting legislatures to solve the problem for us may not be the fastest way to move forward.

With that in mind maybe it’s time to look more to private enterprise for the solution. I’ve made a proposal that should provide better copyright protection with little or no legislative action. Lots of the work required has already been done. If you like any of the ideas feel free to use them in any of the comments you might want to make to the EU or the Copyright Office.


Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

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