Unintended Consequences

Posted on 4/12/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

Every photographer detests copyright infringers. When one of their images is used without compensation they want to be paid not only their normal fee for the use but a reasonable amount for chasing down the infringer and enough penalty to insure that the infringer won’t do it again. The goal is to give everyone incentive to be honest. But is going after infringers really accomplishing that goal and is it generating more business for the future?


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Copyright © 2011 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.  

Comments

  • Jack Seto Posted Apr 12, 2011
    Jim - You are normally an advocate for photographers' rights, but here you are arguing against companies that enforce copyright on behalf of their photographers.

    Would you have us ignore these infringements? Or should we reward infringers by charging them a fraction of what our legitimate clients pay for a license?

    Copyright infringement on the Internet is a plague. At Masterfile alone, we handle about new 150 cases per week! And there is no end in sight. We have 15 employees out of a total staff of 100 who deal with nothing but resolving infringements.

    Contrary to your closing remark, the work of Getty, Masterfile and others in resolving these cases generates millions of dollars in royalties for the original artists every year - after all the administrative and legal fees are paid.

    And we don't pursue copyright infringers to try to make customers out of them: we pursue them to get paid for what they used illegally. If they can't afford to use rights-managed images in future, then they surely won't steal them from us again. And, if that turns them into microstock customers, fine. At least they will be paying someone next time they need images for their websites and that will generate royalties for image creators too.

    Steve Pigeon, President
    Masterfile Corporation
    www.masterfile.com

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Jun 24, 2011
    Jim - You are normally an advocate for photographers' rights, but here you are arguing against companies that enforce copyright on behalf of their photographers.

    Would you have us ignore these infringements? Or should we reward infringers by charging them a fraction of what our legitimate clients pay for a license?

    Copyright infringement on the Internet is a plague. At Masterfile alone, we handle about new 150 cases per week! And there is no end in sight. We have 15 employees out of a total staff of 100 who deal with nothing but resolving infringements.

    Contrary to your closing remark, the work of Getty, Masterfile and others in resolving these cases generates millions of dollars in royalties for the original artists every year - after all the administrative and legal fees are paid.

    And we don't pursue copyright infringers to try to make customers out of them: we pursue them to get paid for what they used illegally. If they can't afford to use rights-managed images in future, then they surely won't steal them from us again. And, if that turns them into microstock customers, fine. At least they will be paying someone next time they need images for their websites and that will generate royalties for image creators too.

    Steve Pigeon, President
    Masterfile Corporation
    www.masterfile.com

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