Copyright & Legal

Landslide Vote on Copyright Directive in EU

By Jim Pickerell | 462 Words | Posted 9/14/2018 | Comments
On September 12th the European Parliament voted in favor of a Copyright Directive by more than 200 votes. The Directive will provide tools to ensure fair remuneration for creators. The landslide vote is clear evidence that the EU intends to apply some controls on the tech giants.

Imaginechina Wins Infringement Case Against Baidu Inc.

By Jim Pickerell | 430 Words | Posted 8/29/2018 | Comments
Imaginechina, has recently won 38 copyright infringement lawsuits against Nasdaq-listed Baidu Inc., the largest search engine and one of the biggest Internet companies in China. The Haidian People’s Court in Beijing adjudicates in the first-instance verdicts that Baidu and its affiliates have pirated a total of 150 images from 20 contracted photographers and that Baidu ought to compensate the plaintiffs RMB 415,000 yuan ($60,940) for the violations and the related costs.

ImageRights Tackles Copyright Infringement in Germany

By Jim Pickerell | 353 Words | Posted 8/29/2018 | Comments
ImageRights International Inc. has intensified its image search and copyright enforcement operations in Germany to drive value for its global photographer and photo agency client base.  ImageRights-developed artificial intelligence (AI), combined with its proprietary web search and image analysis algorithms, has enabled the company to analyze millions of German web domains to determine if an image use could be pursued for copyright enforcement purposes.

SmartFrame Technologies Completes Funding Round

By Jim Pickerell | 547 Words | Posted 8/21/2018 | Comments
SmartFrame has developed a revolutionary, patent-pending new image format for the internet that seeks to redefine and become the ubiquitous digital image standard. Having spent 5 years developing the technology and building the infrastructure to support exponential growth, SmartFrame is now seeing the technology being adopted by photographers, picture agencies, publishers and brands globally and is on target to having over 1 billion SmartFrames on the Internet in the next 4 years.

A.I. Gigapixel: Copyright Destroyer

By Jim Pickerell | 342 Words | Posted 8/20/2018 | Comments
Photographers who think they can protect the images they post online by only uploading small files need to think again. Now with Topaz Labs $99 A.I. Gigapixel program anyone can re-size any images they find online, make it up to 600% larger than its original size and also improve sharpness. For more about how it works check out this YouTube video.

More On ICL And Avoiding Infringements

By Jim Pickerell | 1767 Words | Posted 8/9/2018 | Comments
Laura Annick asked some questions concerning my article about the concept of an ICL. Here are her comments and my response. You're assuming that 100% of all creators will have uploaded their images and thus if a searcher cannot find an image, then it must be free to use. As you know there are TONS of independent filmmakers out there. It could take quite a long time to get EVERYONE to upload their images. I would rather see a notice saying "Image Not Found, Further Research Needed" or Use at Own Risk.

Will An ICL Work?

By Jim Pickerell | 2681 Words | Posted 7/27/2018 | Comments
Sheron Resnick of 20/20 Software has sent a brief note with very cogent arguments as to why my ideas for an Image Creator Locator are impractical and probably won’t work. In this story I would like to examine some of her concerns and criticisms and offer some thoughts on each of the issues mentioned.

Avoiding Infringements Rather Than Chasing Unauthorized Users

By Jim Pickerell | 1899 Words | Posted 7/25/2018 | Comments
The biggest problem for the stock photography industry today is that in order to make customers aware that photos exist they must be online. Once online, anyone can easily grab and use them.? If the image is on the photographer’s, or a stock agency site, most users would infer that they should contact the photographers or agency and ask permission. But, more often than not, the picture is seen on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or some other site. No one, just looking at the image is sure whether it can be legally used or not. And if it should be licensed where to go to do that.

Fair Use or Infringement?

By Jim Pickerell | 325 Words | Posted 7/24/2018 | Comments
The legal definition of “Fair Use” is open to a lot of interpretation by courts. in Brammer v. Violent Hues Productions, LLC, a Northern District of Virginia court recently found in favor of Fair Use. If this decision becomes legal precedent then photographers should assume that if one of their images can be found on the Internet, or anywhere else, anyone can use it for free.

Copyright Law Rejected In EU Vote

By Jim Pickerell | 150 Words | Posted 7/9/2018 | Comments
A controversial bill in the EU seeking a rewrite of Europe’s copyright laws giving creators more power to restrict how their content is distributed has been rejected by lawmakers.  The vote was 318 against the legislation, known as The Copyright Directive, while 278 voted in favor, and 31 abstained, taking the reforms back to the drawing board.

Photononstop Not Paying For Keywording

By Jim Pickerell | 217 Words | Posted 6/26/2018 | Comments
Lohian Networks a keywording agency in India reports that Paris based Photononstop has not been paying its bills and may be in financial difficulty. Rashi Jain, Project Coordinator for Lohian Networks reports that in 2016 his company keyworded 3788 images for Photononstop at a rate of $1.25 per image for a total cost of $4,735.00. Invoices were sent in June and July 2016 via Photosindia in the U.S. Almost two years later these invoices have not been paid after repeated followup requests.

Olycom Files Bankruptcy: Acquired By LaPresse

By Jim Pickerell | 228 Words | Posted 6/26/2018 | Comments
Olycom, a major Italian photographic agency headquartered in Milan and founded in 1958 by Walfrido Chiarini as Olimpia Fotocronache has filed for bankruptcy. Everything regarding debts is in the hands of a judge. LaPresse, the Italian multimedia news agency led by Marco Durante, has acquired the analog and digital libraries of Olycom including the Publifoto brand, the historical archives Olimpia and Olycom and related brands covering the whole of the twentieth century, with a collection of over 15 million images.

Will EU’s Article 13 Help Photographers?

By Jim Pickerell | 855 Words | Posted 6/25/2018 | Comments
Last week, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs approved amendments to the EU’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. EU’s Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. Among the amendments approved was Article 13.

Scope Feature Folds In UK

By Jim Pickerell | 185 Words | Posted 6/21/2018 | Comments
Scope Features in the UK has gone into voluntary liquidation with nearly £400,000 in unpaid debts and nearly £13,000 in royalties still owed photographers. According to its statement of affairs filed at Companies House on 17 May, individual photographers are owed sums ranging from £30 to more than £2,000.

Copyright Office Proposes 41% increase

By Jim Pickerell | 620 Words | Posted 6/13/2018 | Comments
The U.S. Copyright Office is proposing changes to fees for copyright registration. The Office has issued a statement outlining the proposed changes in detail, but on average, fees will increase by as much as 41%. According to the statement, the Office analyzed potential changes to fees and wants to ensure that they are “fair and equitable and give due consideration to the objectives of the copyright system,” as required by the statute.

Collecting For Foreign Infringements

By Jim Pickerell | 423 Words | Posted 6/7/2018 | Comments
Back in 2016 Tony and Chelsea Northrup discovered that their image, originally published on the cover of their Adobe Lightroom 6/CC for Photographers book, had been used by an Australian company on the packaging of a smartphone case, and the product sold in Australia and New Zealand without their permission.

Do News Organizations Respect Copyright?

By Jim Pickerell | 293 Words | Posted 5/29/2018 | Comments
In 2016 a massive flash flood raced down the main street of Ellicott City, Maryland. It was called a “thousand-year flood” given the unique characteristics that set it in motion. On May 27, 2018 the flow that supposed to only occur once every 1,000 years struck again. Photographer Max Robinson gets classic footage and Fox News uses it without permission.

More on GDPR

By Jim Pickerell | 283 Words | Posted 5/23/2018 | Comments
The General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, that goes into effect on Friday, May 25, 2018 will require companies that do business in the EU to provide a form to the companies that they are dealing with. It is not clear if it is necessary to supply such a form to each and every individual that a company deals with. A survey by CompliancePoint shows that 76% of U.S. businesses are not prepared for the enforcement deadline. (Check out previous story.)

GDPR Explained

By Jim Pickerell | 296 Words | Posted 5/18/2018 | Comments
North American photographers and stock agencies may have heard about the new European Union GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law that goes into effect on May 25, 2018, but figured “that’s something happening in the EU that I don’t have to worry about.” Well, maybe not!

Are Photogs Being Credited And Paid Properly?

By Jim Pickerell | 879 Words | Posted 5/16/2018 | Comments
In 1968 Andy Sacks, a 20-year-old University of Michigan photographer covered Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign stop in Detroit for the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. This is a story about how the photos he captured that day ended up getting used hundreds of times 40 to 50 year later and he received no credit or a reasonable share of compensation for their use.

Hiring A Copyright Attorney

By Jim Pickerell | 1014 Words | Posted 5/4/2018 | Comments
When hiring an attorney to handle a copyright enforcement case the Copyright Alliance has suggested five questions photographers should consider.

Images On Getty They Can’t License

By Jim Pickerell | 366 Words | Posted 4/24/2018 | Comments
Does anyone know. who owns the copyright to image 607387712 of Marilyn Monroe on Gettyimages.com. Evidently Getty doesn’t. It seems that Getty has the rights to license the image for “Standard Editorial Rights,” but that does not include commercial use rights or print cover rights. Evidently it also doesn’t include the right to license a use for wall décor because Getty will not license the image for that purpose.

Masterfile Still Has Trouble Paying Current Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 964 Words | Posted 4/12/2018 | Comments
Some Masterfile contributors report that the BIA restructuring of the company last year hasn’t solved Masterfile’s financial problems. Once again the company is falling behind on paying current royalties on new sales. I asked Steve Pigeon, CEO of Masterfile, for clarification and an explanation of the problems. The following are his answers.

Imatag: A Better Way To Protect Your Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 706 Words | Posted 4/6/2018 | Comments
A visible watermark on your photos distracts from the impact a non-watermarked photo might have and may discourage people from using it. However, the real problem arises when the photo is actually licensed to a customer. Customers are only interested in using un-watermarked photos on their websites. When someone else sees the photo, and decides they would like to use it, they can easily copy and paste it to their own site. Imatag offers photographers a better way to protect their images.

Pursuing Infringements

By Jim Pickerell | 722 Words | Posted 3/29/2018 | Comments
When it comes to pursuing copyright infringements the biggest problem for photographers is not finding unauthorized uses, but finding too many. Photographers can do their own searches using Google Images or Tineye. Once a use is found, the photographer must search his/her records to determine if the image has ever been licensed, and if so, the terms of the license.