UK’s Copyright Hub Launched

Posted on 7/9/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The UK’s Copyright Hub has launched its pilot phase. It is designed to be a gateway to information about copyright in the UK and point those interested in the right direction to get permission to use a copyrighted work.

Unlike the CEPIC Image Registery (CIR) that will only deal with imagery the Copyright Hub is designed to be the go to place to get information about all types of copyrighted works. It has general information about copyright and information about where to go to get permission to use Music, Images, Text, Video and Multimedia materials.

In the “Images” section of the site it has information about

    1 – Where to look for images you can use legally
    2 – Get a license for an image you’ve found?
    3 – Find the owner of an image
    4 – What to do if you can’t find out who holds copyright for an image
Under where to look for image (1) they provide contact information for BAPLA, Getty Images, The British Broadcasting Corporation and the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS).

Under “Find the owner of an image” the searcher is given two choices. If they know the name of the image creator or rights holder they are directed to contact BAPLA, DACS or search the Plus registry. Any photographer from anywhere in the world can join the PLUS registry for free. It is certainly a good idea if you think someone in the UK might find a picture with your credit on it and want to be able to contact you to license rights.
    Update - 2017:
    The Copyright Hub has modified its initial 2013 strategy aimed at developing a database of images that could be searched visually. Now, the Hub is focused on developing an eCopyright symbol that can be placed on images. By clicking this symbol customers can learn more about prices for various uses and make contact with the seller. For more about how this works check out this link.

Image Search

More often than not the potential user is going to find an image that doesn’t have any credit line on it and there is no way to tell who the creator might be. In such a case the Hub offers a “Search by Image” feature powered by the PicScout platform.

The customer goes to this page, clicks on Search by Image and uploads a digital file of the image they are looking for. If the image is in the database the names of the site (or sites) where the image can be licensed will appear immediately. Click on the agency name and the customer is taken to the site where they can license a usage. If there is more than one site the customer can pick and choose the one that offers the best price.

Many photographers from the U.S. and other countries will be happy to know that their images can be found using this feature. Back in 2009 PicScout introduced the ImageIRC. Many agencies had their images fingerprinted at that time and some have continued to add images since them. It is that database that is being searched.

The ImageIRC currently contains 139MM images from more than 200 contributing agencies. You can see all of the agencies who participate at, where individual photographers can also sign up to submit their content. Photographers may want to do a search on the Hub for some of the images they have out with stock agencies to see if they can be found.

Still Can’t Find The Image Owner

If after all this the customer still can’t find where to go to license a usage they click on (4) and get this message:
    “You should always try to find out who has the copyright for an image. If you found the image in a printed publication or online, for example, try asking the publisher or website owner about the source of the image.
    “If you still can’t find the copyright holder, contact the Copyright Hub ( to get advice.”
It is unclear what advice they will give. Is this considered a “diligent search?” We’re still waiting for the UK Parliament to write the new regulations that are provided for in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act.

It certainly seems possible that if a user can demonstrate they went through this process and still couldn’t find where to go to license a usage then their liability – in the event the image creator eventually appears – will be limited. We’ll have to wait and see. It is expected that new regulations will be published before the end of the year.

Creators that want to protect their rights and be able to control the use of their images need to think long and hard about what they need to do to make sure their name and contact information can be found using the Hub and whether someone doing an image search can find their image there.

Copyright © 2013 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 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

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:  


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