Proposed Solution To Copyright Protection

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

Copyright registration of still images and illustrations as it is currently conducted in the U.S. is a waste of government time and money. Congress should encourage the development of a privately funded, non-profit facility where those who want to use images they find on the Internet or in print can easily determine if the image needs to be licensed for use. Here's a suggestion as to what it should look like and how it should function.

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Jim Pickerell is founder of, 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:  


  • Catalina Cotelin Posted Feb 19, 2014
    We know that many people who use images without paying for a license do this by doing Google / Bing searches and copy-pasting images found randomly on the internet. Why do you think that these people will replace their current usage behavior with the CSE?

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Feb 19, 2014
    When they find that image on Google or Bing they have no way to determine if it needs to be licensed, or where to go to license it.

    If there was an easy way for them to quickly determine if the image needed to be licensed and where to go to get such a license I think many people would change their behavior.

    In addition, if such a registries existed it would be much easier to set up a small claims process for going after unauthorized uses. Once people begin to learn that they are likely to get caught if they make an unauthorized use of an image they will probably make a greater effort to pay for uses when necessary.

    It is becoming easier and easier to find unauthorized uses on the Internet. However, in most cases it is too costly to go after infringers legally. If we can couple my system for finding copyright owners with a good simple small-claims legal system it could go a long way to encourage people to be more law abiding and respect the property of others.

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