PACA Releases Copyright Video, Stresses Education

Posted on 10/13/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Weeks before its annual convention, the Picture Archive Council of America is calling on the creative community to protect the rights of image creators through copyright education. Though copyright remains subject of much legislative attention, PACA feels that “it has been a somewhat overlooked point of emphasis in the training of employees throughout the industry.” PACA hopes to help address this problem with its copyright education program, posthumously named after stock-industry veteran Jane Kinne.

Among the tools offered by the program is a free one-hour video presentation by the PACA legal counsel, New York-based copyright attorney Nancy Wolff, available for streaming at the organization’s Web site and on DVD. Wolff provides a thorough, lay-language overview of U.S. copyright law and how it applies to the use of imagery in advertising, the news media and fine art. The video provides real-world examples of legal cases and discusses frequently used—or misused—terms and concepts, including the fair-use exception to the copyright law and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Spurred in part by the recent passing of an orphan-works bill by the Senate, PACA stresses the importance of copyright education: “[The status quo] cannot continue to persist in light of new technologies and laws that challenge the long-standing interpretations [of copyright ownership].”

Other creative-industry groups are also advocating change from within. Similar to PACA, organizations including the American Society of Media Photographers and the Graphic Artists Guild had been pragmatic about the legislation; both acknowledged that widespread support made the eventual passing of an orphan-works law inevitable and lobbied for changes to the language of the proposed bills as to make them less damaging to the rights of creators. The Guild also acknowledged that protecting rights is the creators’ own responsibility: “I hope it has awakened us all to the importance of tending to business issues. If we as a community invested a fraction of the energy we’ve expended on an apocalyptic vision of Orphan Works into protecting our own creations, … we’d be in a far better market position than we are today,” said Guild president John Schmelzer.

PACA offers stock companies a range of copyright-related and other legal tools. In addition to the new video, the Jane Kinne Copyright Education Program defines the “copyright commandments” and provides guidance on registration and enforcement.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. 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


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