PACA Reports Publisher Misuse of Images

Posted on 10/5/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The Picture Archive Council of America has released a statement claiming that many book publishers use images in ways that exceed the scope of licensing agreements. The organization says that a number of its members have reported instances of print runs exceeding the initial license terms by the millions, largely due to poor record-keeping on behalf of book publishers.

Publishers are dealing with stock agency requests for additional compensation by requesting that image suppliers sign contracts that prevent enforcing past claims of image misuse or permit similar transgressions in the future. PACA feels that the publishing industry has left the organization’s members no choice other than litigation. Though PACA cannot enforce any particular way of doing business among publishing image buyers, it has requested that publishers incorporate a set of best practices into standard terms.

Among such best practices is payment for each use regardless of media, which aims to fairly account for declining print and rising digital image uses. PACA feels it is essential to ensure that images distributed electronically as part of books—via intranet, electronic delivery, hand-held devices and other technological platforms that are not yet known—are not viewed as giveaways but are treated as uses in the currently dominant delivery system and appropriately compensated.

Other best-practice requests deal with poor record keeping. For instance, PACA requests that publishers improve the transparency of negotiations and contract enforcement provide means to verify image usage and provide proper image credit. The latter should be viewed as mandatory, says the organization, in view of the pending orphan-works legislation.

Copyright © 2009 Julia Dudnik Stern. 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 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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