The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act on Thursday, September 27th at 2:00pmET (Room 2141 in the Rayburn House Office Building).
Expected witnesses are as follows:
- Ms. Jenna Close, P2 Photography
- Mr. Keith Kupferschmid, Copyright Alliance
- Mr. Matthew Schruers, Computer and Communications Industry Association
- Mr. David Trust, Professional Photographers of America
- TBD, Internet Association
DMLA encourages members to show their support of the CASE Act by joining with other visual creator organizations on Capitol Hill in show of unity for the proposed small claims tribunal before the House Judiciary Committee. The Copyright Alliance will be passing out T-shirts to all in support of our cause.
We will be posting more information as it becomes available, but if you are in the area, please plan to show your support!
“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.
SmartFrame provides its users with unprecedented protection of their digital assets, persistent attribution, world class pixel-perfect presentation, audience engagement through custom overlays and calls to action, controlled sharing tools and full tracking and analytics data, whilst also providing the ability to update their SmartFrame’s dynamically and retrospectively, leaving them in full control at all times. SmartFrame have also developed in-image advertising options allowing it’s users to either set campaigns for their own in-house marketing and advertising purposes wherever they are displayed on the Internet, or opt in for SmartFrame to monetize their content for them via their programmatic advertising functionality.
SmartFrame is an embeddable format and as simple as embedding a YouTube video, Imagine your image content going viral and getting paid every time your image is viewed!
SmartFrame is proud to announce the closing of a further £1.5m funding round, and a
number of exciting new appointments and developments.
SmartFrame is delighted to announce they are completing a further £1.5m round of funding, bringing a total of £4.3m of investment into the business to date. The funding has been secured from some of the UK’s most prominent business leaders and angel investors.
In addition to the funding raised, existing shareholder James Rutherford, Head of European Equities at Hermes SourceCap has been appointed as Chairman of the Board.
The SmartFrame executive team in London has also expanded to include; Rob Staunton as Global Director of Programmatic Advertising, Phil Nott as Sales Director and Cayle McNair as Marketing Manager. In addition SmartFrame’s Berlin office have welcomed Product Manager, Alexander Gloeckner to the team. The company is currently counting 23 full-time staff across London, Berlin and Krakow with additional recruitment underway.
September will see the company launch their new self-service platform with a Freemium subscription plan, along with a number of easy integration tools and plugins to follow, supporting mass adoption of the format to the wider internet, and underpinning SmartFrame’s mission: “ to redefine the digital image standard ”.
Finally, SmartFrame will be present at several International events this year. Up next, the team will be exhibiting at the Digital Marketing World Forum (DMWF) in Amsterdam. They will also be at the London eCommerce Expo exhibiting in the Innovation section. They are a proud sponsor and will be presenting at this year’s BAPLA Focus in London. In October, SmartFrame will also be the joint Platinum sponsors, in partnership with Image Rights International at the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) in Los Angeles.
In reaction to the substantial growth and success of SmartFrame, CEO Rob Sewell, has commented:
“It’s remarkable to see how far SmartFrame has come, having expanded from 3 to 23 FTE’s,with offices set up in London, Berlin and Krakow, and over £4m of funding secured to date.
The company has attracted top talent and Investment across the board and is now entering a stage of rapid expansion and evolution with an anticipated headcount of 60 FTE’s this time next year.
Watch this space as we announce some major global partnership launches in the coming months.”
For further press info, interviews and images please contact:
Cayle McNair, Marketing Manager, SmartFrame Technologies
T: +44 (0) 7850 195 087
WebPurify is proud to be a new sponsor of the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA). We are a full-service digital content moderation and review company with over 12 years of experience. Our mission is to maintain the quality and integrity of your media library. Our in-house live teams and artificial intelligence solutions work 24/7, 365 days a year and have processed hundreds of millions of images and videos. We encourage UGC media providers to take a proactive approach to effectively curate their content libraries to enhance customer experience by putting in place a content review program before anything should go awry—and where there is user-generated content, something inevitably does!
WebPurify provides content moderation for stock photography platforms through three key services— image moderation, video moderation and metadata review. Through custom-tailored solutions and a combination of live moderators and AI, we do what it takes to sift through vast libraries of user-generated content. Because all website and apps should be able to easily and quickly moderate their content, we also serve as a consultant to make sure all bases are covered. Find out more below how we can help moderate your stock photography library.
Image and Video Moderation
Millions of images, illustrations and videos are uploaded to stock photography websites every day. The quantity of content is often too much for in-house teams to moderate. That’s where we step in. Trusted by many of the world’s most respected organizations, WebPurify can review your existing libraries and new submissions to ensure that they meet your requirements. The custom criteria that we develop with you can cover everything from offensive content, such as images that are considered violent or hateful, to simply bad imagery like a blurry, low-quality photo to potentially copyrighted content that wouldn’t be appropriate for sale on your platform. Additionally we can label and sort content according to your custom needs.
Even though stock photography sites are largely image and video driven, there is still a need for reviewing meta data and other associated documents to ensure accuracy, or compliance with specific site rules. We review the tags, keywords, and summaries photographers attach to their images and video submissions. This service focuses on both optimizing the process of categorization and annotation of image and video content as well as removing offensive language from any user-generated copy. WebPurify’s combination of live content moderators and AI technology can be a huge asset to stock photography websites to help curate, manage and moderate the copy associated with images and videos.
Content Moderation Consultants
Any platform that allows user-generated-content has exposure to risk. There are certain additional vulnerabilities that are inherently involved with moderating stock photography libraries. Part of WebPurify’s consultation process is to explore the various risks and areas where we can assist, such as community standards and terms of service enforcement as well aslicensing compliance. We’ll help you ensure copyright compliance and that all images and videos have the appropriate releases from photographers and subjects alike. Our goal is always to help you minimize your exposure in every way possible. We are excited to join with the DMLA community to help
We would love to set up a 15-minute call to learn about how you moderate your media and see if we can help reduce your costs with our automated and live content review solutions! Please contact us here. Learn more about WebPurify by visiting WebPurify.com.
Industry experts have been scratching their heads after a U.S. judge ruled an image, taken from the website of a professional photographer and used by a film festival online, was fair use. The case, is Brammer v. Violent Hues Productions LLC, and it began when Russell Brammer found one of his pictures, a long exposure shot of Adams Morgan, Washington D.C., had been used on a website promoting the Northern Virginia Film Festival.
Read a complete analysis of the case here
by Nancy Wolff, DMLA Counsel
Fair use is often described as one of the most difficult to understand doctrines of copyright law by the courts. This could not be more obvious than in a recent Northern District of Virginia decision, which found in favor of fair use where an image was used to illustrate a website. Many in the industry thought the use at issue in the case was an obvious infringement as it was one that is typically licensed. In Brammer v. Violent Hues Productions, LLC, the photographer Russell Brammer sued Violent Hues for infringing his copyright of a time-lapse depiction of the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., at night. Violent Hues used a cropped version of Brammer’s photograph on its website, which was intended to be used as a reference guide providing about an annual film festival in Northern Virginia. The court granted Violent Hues’ motion for summary judgment on its defense of fair use, finding all four of the statutory factors favored a finding of fair use.
As to the first factor – the purpose and character of the use – the court looked to “whether the new work is transformative” and “the extent to which the use serves a commercial purpose.” The court found that Violent Hues’ use of the photograph was transformative in function and purpose. While Brammer’s purpose in capturing and publishing the photograph was promotional and expressive, the court noted that Violent Hues’ purpose in using it was informational because it used the photograph to provide information regarding the local area. Its use was also found to be non-commercial as the photo was not used to advertise a product or to generate revenue. Additionally, the court found that Violent Hues’ use was in good faith because Violent Hues’ owner attested that he believed the photo was publicly available because he found the photo online and saw no indication that it was copyrighted. In further support of good faith was the fact that Violent Hues removed the photo as soon as it learned the photo might be copyrighted.
The second factor – the nature of the copyrighted work – was also held to favor fair use. While the court noted that the photograph contained creative elements, it was a factual depiction of a real-world location and Violent Hues used the photograph purely for its factual content: to depict the neighborhood. The photograph had also previously been published on several websites and “at least one of these publications did not include any indication that it was copyrighted.”
On the third factor – the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted whole – the court noted that Violent Hues cropped half of the original photo. The court found this to be no more than necessary to convey the photo’s factual content. Thus, the third factor weighed in favor of fair use as well.
Finally, regarding the fourth factor – the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work – the court found no evidence that Violent Hues’ use had any effect on the potential market for Brammer’s photo. The court noted that Brammer still made sales of the photograph (at least two) after Violent Hues’ alleged infringement began, and Brammer testified that he made no effort to market the photo. Additionally, the court found the cropping of the photo and its non-commercial use to undercut a finding of adverse effect on the photo’s market.
In all, the court found that each of the four factors favored Violent Hues and thus held that Violent Hues’ use was a fair use and that there was no copyright infringement.
This decision has been roundly criticized by the industry and it has been noted that it is not often that a court gets every fair use factor wrong. The plaintiff is appealing the decision and many associations in the visual arts industry, including DMLA, are planning to file either separate or joint amicus briefs. Specifically of concern is the distinction between using an image for informational purpose and using and image for aesthetic purpose. By its nature, every image conveys some information, and to be successful, should be aesthetically appealing. Further, one of the touchstones of stock imagery licensing is that one image or clip can be reproduced for many different purposes. In addition, the fact that an image is displayed without a copyright notice should not mean that the work is free to use without consent, absent a legitimate exception, as copyright notice has not been a requirement under US copyright law since 1989. Lastly, when looking at harm to the market the court should look at the potential harm to the market if the type of unauthorized use is widespread. As the licensing of images to websites to enhance the look of the site or to provide visual information regarding a geographic area is common, widespread unauthorized use of this nature could have a significant impact on the licensing of visual content.
It is still time to reach a balanced solution for a fair value sharing in a digital environment
On O5 July 2018 the European Parliament voted against the negotiation proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee, adopted on 20 June 2018, for the EU Copyright Directive proposal. CEPIC regrets this rejection following four years of tireless work with EU institutions but will continue to work towards a balanced solution for a fair online marketplace for the creative sector and against online piracy.
Giving a free pass to platforms to override copyright kills creativity. Copyright is not against freedom of expression and innovation but, to the contrary creativity is the best nexus of cultural diversity and freedom of expression.
CEPIC represents hundreds of picture agencies and hundreds of thousands of photographers. CEPIC’s members have been digitizing visual content from the advent of the Internet. They license the resulting digital asset for all kinds of commercial uses, to newspapers, magazines, advertising, broadcasters, off and on-line, etc.
Images are widely shared online via search engines, social media and other aggregators and have highly contributed to make the Internet the vibrant and engaging place we enjoy today.
However, we have seen, over the last decade how heavy weight social media platforms (online content sharing service providers), which have built their success upon the posting and sharing of unlicensed images hide behind safe harbour provisions to avoid fairly compensating rights holders for the use of their content and shift the liability onto the individual user. These platforms have contributed to fuel the internet with unlicensed content and deprive copyright holders of a stream of revenue.
What is referred as the “value gap” for most copyright material such as music and videos is more accurately called a “value block” for images as there is currently no opportunity for image providers to participate in any type of revenue scheme online. The situation of image providers is exacerbated by the practice of intermediaries distributing user up-loaded content by facilitating “framing”, or embedding.
According to CEPIC members 85% of images shared online by visual search systems are unlawful copies. Once uploaded or framed legitimately on a website, an image will be shared thousands of times leading, according to CEPIC members, to an economic harm of a couple of thousands euros per image. This free “availability” of images has been one major factor leading to decreasing value of images and to the demise of an entire sector.
CEPIC therefore welcomed the provisions in the proposed Copyright Directive which promotes effective licensing agreements between platforms and right holders with the possible, but non-mandatory implementation of effective technologies. It should be stressed that the draft Directive has gone through a long-detailed review of two years and has led to a positive vote of the Legal Affairs Committee on 20 June 2018, taking into account the conclusions of four other Committees.
We therefore regret the fact that MEPs have been targeted by a coordinated campaign of misinformation against the text of article 13 proposed by the JURI Committee, in a scale rarely seen before and in a clear attempt to obstruct the progress of the legislation that is vital for the protection of copyright online. Valid decisions cannot be based on scaremongering and mass intimidation. Clearly this situation calls for clarification.
If the Directive is approved, it will provide a better functioning online marketplace which will aim to:
– Reinforce the position of right holders to negotiate licensing agreements and be remunerated for the online exploitation of their content on sharing platforms;
– Fix the value gap by sharing the revenues to creators from the use of their content in online platforms;
– Create a level playing field in Europe’s Digital Single Market which will stimulate creation of high-quality content;
– Improve transparency online and give more control to creators by allowing them to determine whether, and under which conditions, their work is used online.
It will NOT:
– End popular memes, parody or pastiche
Caricatures, parody or pastiche are protected by an optional exception – under Article 5(3)(k) of the 2001 InfoSoc Directive, allowing reproduction and communication of such content to the public and guaranteeing the authors’ freedom of expression.
Therefore, Article 13 of the proposed Copyright Directive will not affect the application of this exception. It only creates an obligation at the level of online platforms and not on their users who will be able to access and post their content.
The proposed Copyright Directive only adds the possibility for authors of memes or parodic content to tackle over-removal by online platforms through the mandatory redress mechanism included in the proposal which means that in case parodic content is removed, the creators of this content will be able to contest the removal and ask the content to be published based on the parody exception in place.
– Filter the Internet. The proposal does not impose mandatory up-load filters and censorship in the internet.
In fact, the European Data Protection Supervisor has concluded, in its formal comments on the text of Article 13 proposed by JURI report 29.06.2018, that the balance of fundamental rights is preserved by Article 13, considering that the text requires Member States to ensure:
o that any measure to be put in place must be “proportionate”;
o the balance between fundamental rights of users and rightholders is preserved and;
o that no general monitoring obligation of information transmitted or stored is imposed.
The proposal is not targeting users and their capacity to upload content in the internet. It targets large platforms, which have become major sources of access to copyright-protected content to collaborate with rightsholders. These platforms are required to put in place “effective and proportionate measures…in collaboration with the right-holders” to allow the functioning of agreements reached on the use of copyright-protected content, or to prevent the availability of unauthorised content if right-holders prefer not to have their content available on such platforms.
In fact, platforms, such as YouTube already use content ID technology to identify copyright protected content which allows authors to be paid when their content is used online. Other platforms, large and small, resort to third party technology to implement a “Take Down and Stay Down” service. We simply ask that this is standard across all online content sharing service providers.
– Add an additional burden and barrier of entry on start-ups and other small businesses:
o Firstly, the directive only targets platforms “with large amounts of user up-loaded content”
o Secondly, the measures implemented are requested to be “proportionate”
We are facing a crucial time for the future of the creative industry as the Copyright Reform is being voted on. Copyright laws need to be modernised in order to protect the livelihoods of creators.
We will stay mobilized to start negotiating in order to lift all uncertainties left by the overwhelming misinformation campaign orchestrated by those opposed to the Copyright Directive and provide all information for a fair and informed vote on September 12th, 2018.
CEPIC is a European not-for-profit trade association in the field of image rights. CEPIC was founded in 1993 to present a unified voice to advise and lobby on new legislation emerging from Brussels. It was registered as an EEIG (Economic European Interest Group) in Paris in 1999. As the Centre of the Picture Industry, CEPIC brings together nearly 600 picture agencies and photo libraries in 20 countries across Europe, both within and outside the European Union. It has affiliates in North America and Asia. It has among its membership the larger global players such as Getty or Reuters. Through its membership, CEPIC represents more than 250.000 authors in direct licensing.
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.
The reforms to the law had two elements deemed particularly controversial by critics, Article 11 and Article 13.
Article 11, also called “link tax,” would force internet giants such as YouTube, Google, and Facebook to pay for using news snippets from publishers on their platforms.
Perhaps most contested is Article 13, which would require companies to monitor all content uploaded online to their platform to check it for copyright infringement. Critics said this could lead to the removal of internet memes, which often use copyrighted images.
The New York Times has a comprehensive article about the bill here.
The General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, that goes into effect on May 25, 2018 will require companies that do business in the EU to provide a form to the companies that they are dealing with. This regulation strengthens the privacy rights of individuals living in the European Union (not only E.U. citizens) and applies to anyone who does business with those persons, even if that simply means collecting data for marketing purposes.
Here is a form that you can use to facilitate this process.
There is some confusion over the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, that goes into effect on May 25, 2018. This regulation strengthens the privacy rights of individuals living in the European Union (not only E.U. citizens) and applies to anyone who does business with those persons, even if that simply means collecting data for marketing purposes.
Nancy Wolff, DMLA Counsel, has written a comprehensive explanation of the regulation that you can read here.