Copyright & Legal

Masterfile Not Paying Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 401 Words | Posted 11/25/2018 | Comments
According to photographers Masterfile has been unable to make any royalty payments to photographers since January 2018. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Payments to the bankruptcy lawyer are prioritized ahead of payments to photographers. It appears the company has not been generating enough revenue to cover fixed expenses and still pay royalties.

Google Images Displays Copyright Info

By Jim Pickerell | 805 Words | Posted 11/9/2018 | Comments
In late September 2018, Google announced that it had been working with two photo industry consortiums, CEPIC and IPTC, to integrate some image ownership-related metadata into search results. Now Google images desktop view has a new “Image credits” link below the image. This information is collected from IPTC Creator, Credit and/or Copyright information if it exists.

Australian Online Piracy Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 561 Words | Posted 11/2/2018 | Comments
For the last four years the Australian Government has published an annual "Consumer Survey on online copyright infringement". The 103 page report focuses on the unlicensed use of Music, Video Games, Movies, TV, e-Books and PC software. Unfortunately, it does not deal the unlicensed use of photographs.

Sports Photographers’ Win Appeal Against NFL

By Jim Pickerell | 253 Words | Posted 10/29/2018 | Comments
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinstated copyright infringement claims by sports photographers against commercial users of their photographs, finding that the licenses that the photographers had granted to one of those users did not permit it to grant a sublicense to the other to use those photographs for free. Spinelli, et al. v. National Football League, et al.Case No. 17-cv-0673 (2d Cir. Sept. 11, 2018) (Lynch, J).

Image Creator Locator Update

By Jim Pickerell | 2563 Words | Posted 10/26/2018 | Comments
The following is an update of information I have supplied previously about the Image Creator Locator concept. The previous stories can be found here, here, here and here.

Dilemma: Chasing Unauthorized Uses

By Jim Pickerell | 1194 Words | Posted 10/19/2018 | Comments
Photographers trying to earn a portion of their living from the images they produce get very upset when they discover that someone has used one of their images without permission or compensation. But, pursuing and collecting from such users can be a very complex process and raise some difficult issues.

Are You A “Copyright Troll?”

By Jim Pickerell | 1258 Words | Posted 10/12/2018 | Comments
Creators take note. Are you a “Copyright Troll?” For people in the tech industry and many Internet users this as a term of derision implying that the troll has no right to expect compensation for small uses of their copyrighted material. On the other hand, for those trying to earn a portion of their living creating the images that people need to promote their businesses and the services they offer, maybe this should be a badge of honor. Maybe you should be proud to be referred to as a “Copyright Troll.

Protect Against Copyright In China

By Jim Pickerell | 368 Words | Posted 10/9/2018 | Comments
Zhang Wei, CEO of Imaginechina is appealing to other stock agencies, particularly editorial producers, to help stop massive photo copyright infringements by Baidu (Nasdaq BIDU). Imaginechina has recently won 38 lawsuits against Baidu over photo copyright infringements.

PicRights Extends Copyright Enforcement Network To Brazil

By Jim Pickerell | 329 Words | Posted 10/2/2018 | Comments
PicRights Europe GmbH, a global leader in copyright compliance, has added a new enforcement partner in Brazil to monetize copyright infringements for the world’s leading news agencies, stock image agencies and independent photographers. PicRights Brazil will augment PicRights’ long established network in major markets in Europe, North America and the Middle East.

WENN Media Group To Use Copytrack Infringement Tracking Service

By Jim Pickerell | 239 Words | Posted 9/26/2018 | Comments
Copytrack and WENN Media Group (WMG) have announced their future exclusive collaboration. WMG specialized in providing up-to-the-minute entertainment news content with production based in Los Angeles, New York, London and Berlin. Copytrack will provide WMG with the tracking and worldwide legal enforcement of copyright infringement.

Mega Agency Launches Service To Fight Copyright Infringement

By Jim Pickerell | 395 Words | Posted 9/24/2018 | Comments
The Mega Agency has launched an innovative new service to fight widespread copyright infringement – Mega Image Police (MIP). The company, a leading provider of news, sports and entertainment content, has beta launched an initiative to quickly identify stolen content and actively pursue damages on behalf of its growing global contributor base.

Article 13: Copyright Protection

By Jim Pickerell | 721 Words | Posted 9/20/2018 | Comments
All photographers around the world who are trying to control and earn money from their work should watch, very carefully, what the European Parliament does with Article 13 of its Copyright Directive. The final EU decision could greatly benefit all photographers whether they live in the EU or not. Tech industry leaders, like Google and YouTube, strongly oppose this legislation, because it could force them to use automated content filtering systems to insure that copyrighted material is not being distributed without permission on their platforms. The law states that digital companies should put "effective content recognition systems" in place.

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.