This past week had a lot of news worthy events that photographers and other creatives should be paying close attention to particularly in regard to Fair Use and Getty Image’s recent pricing announcement.
First the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a lobby group for technology companies, released a controversial report claiming that Fair Use adds more revenue to the economy than Copyright. The parameters by which this conclusion was made were quite broad. A summary of the findings can be read in Information Week’s article “Fair Use Worth More to Economy Than Copyright, CCIA Says“. On the other end of the spectrum the blog Rough Type, written by author Nicholas Carr, had a great perspective on the wild claims of this report in the entry “A very silly report on “fair use“.
For those unfamiliar with Fair Use I recommend reading up on this. As technology companies develop and user generated content becomes more pervasive a gray area is becoming further defined in regard to our current Copyright laws. Several cases have been brought to trial where copyright holders have battled technology companies for distributing content with out permission. The most notable example of this is Viacom vs. Google. These battles should be followed as they’ll define how copyrighted material can be used under a Fair Use defense in web based media outlets. It may sound like boring stuff, but I guarantee if you are the copyright holder to photographs, video, etc. this will impact you in the coming years.
Read the definitive definition of Fair Use at the U.S. Copyright Office web site.
Getty Images – Undermining Photo Pricing or Adapting To Market Demands?
A gigantic shake up to the photography world happened this week when Getty Images announced they will be introducing a plan to offer most of their images available for most online use for a flat price of $49. This pricing structure would undermine not just their competition, as this price is substantially lower than the going rate, but individual photographers selling their work independently. Considering the impact to individual photographers this pricing shift highlights the monopoly powers held by Getty Images and Corbis in the image licensing industry. For now photographer lobby groups spearheaded by the Stock Artists Alliance and backed by the American Society of Media Photographers, the U.K. Association of Photographers, Advertising Photographers of America, Editorial Photographers, and the Canadian Association of Photographers are requesting that rights-managed images be excluded from this policy. The blanket inclusion of rights-managed licenses poses the most immediate risk to the livelihood of most professional photographers.
Read the latest on this here:
[tags]Getty Images, Fair Use, Stock Artists Alliance, SAA, ASMP, American Society of Media Photographers, Computer and Communications Industry Association, CCIA, copyright, photography, photographer, current events[/tags]