Category Archives: International

PicRights Further Develops Global Copyright Enforcement Network with Expansion into Africa

New team in Johannesburg provides deep experience and a gateway to the African continent

 

June 4, 2019 – PicRights, a global leader in copyright enforcement, has added a new partner in Johannesburg, South Africa to monetize copyright infringements for the world’s leading news agencies, stock image agencies and independent photographers. No other copyright compliance service offers its clients as much geographical coverage of key markets around the world.

Stock Options, a well-known full-service production and footage house in Johannesburg with close ties to the stock licensing industry will handle copyright enforcement in South Africa, joining PicRights’ long established network in major markets in Europe, North America, South America and the Middle East.

“Copyright enforcement that works cannot be a purely technological solution; it relies heavily on the human expertise of our teams on the ground. Our chosen partner in South Africa has not only extensive experience in licensing content, but also a deep understanding of copyright and intellectual property. They will be an invaluable asset,” says Alfred Hoefinger, CEO of PicRights Europe.

“PicRights streamlined system allows enforcement teams, legal counsel and content owners to collaborate and exchange information quickly, regardless of location or time zone, which is a big plus for my team,” says Margi Sheard, Managing Director of Stock Options.

Geographically, this provides a foothold for future growth as Africa is home to several emerging markets. “Stock Options has a considerable history in South Africa when it comes to producing and licensing both still images and footage and are perfectly positioned to act as a gateway to Africa for our copyright enforcement activities,” adds Geoff Cannon, VP of Sales for PicRights.

PicRights handles the challenging business of monetizing copyright infringements, allowing copyright owners to focus on their core business. Using state-of-the-art technology to identify infringements and a team of professional QC staff to qualify them as enforceable, PicRights delivers actionable cases to the appropriate enforcement unit for settlement and collection of licensing fees.

PicRights Europe GmbH

CONTACT: Geoff Cannon, VP Sales

PHONE: +1 416 816 5700

EMAIL: geoff.cannon@picrights.com

PicRights Advances Global Copyright Enforcement Network With New Partner in India

Team in Hyderabad joins long established network to monetize infringements for content owners

PicRights Europe GmbH, a global leader in copyright compliance, has once again expanded its enforcement network. To monetize copyright infringements for the world’s leading content owners, PicRights has added an experienced team in Hyderabad, India as the newest enforcement partner. This will augment PicRights’ long established network in major markets in Europe, North America, SouthAmerica and the Middle East, further cementing PicRights’ dedication towide-ranging geographical coverage of key markets around the world for its clients.

The new location is strategic. India remains the fastest growing major economy in the world. By 2024, India will have the largest population in the world and willexperience a 4x growth in consumer spending in the next ten years.

“Many of our current image collections have been available for licensing in this region for decades, but without the benefit of dedicated copyright enforcement. Our chosen partner in India will provide our clients withexcellent opportunities to further monetize their content,” says Alfred Hoefinger, CEO of PicRights Europe.

Conceptual Pictures, an experienced stock image licensor located in Hyderabad will be responsible for cases in both India and Singapore. “With the established expertise of my team and the PicRights state-of-the-art system, we were up and running on Day 1 in India,” says Ramji Ravindran, Founder and CEO of Conceptual Pictures.

Geoff Cannon, VP Sales of PicRights Europe, adds “As content owners know, copyright infringement is a huge challenge nearly everywhere, including in emerging markets like India. The addition of India to our already extensive enforcement network allows us to provide a robust global solution to our customers.”

With their end-to-end service, PicRights handles the difficult business of monetizing copyright infringements, allowing copyright owners to concentrate on their core business. Using state-of-the-art technology to identify infringements and a team of experienced staff to qualify them as enforceable, PicRights delivers actionable cases to the appropriate enforcement unit for settlement and collection of licensing fees.

 About PicRights:

PicRights Europe GmbH is headquartered in Switzerland with enforcement operations and professionalcompliance officers in central and northern Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Benelux andScandinavia), London (for UK and Ireland), the Middle East (Emirates and Saudi Arabia), Toronto (for USAand Canada), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Hyderabad (India) and Johannesburg (South Africa).

PicRights Europe GmbH

CONTACT: Geoff Cannon, VP Sales

PHONE: +1 416 816 5700

EMAIL: geoff.cannon@picrights.com

StockFood takes over travel photo agency Look

On April 1, 2019, StockFood GmbH will take over the German travel photo agency Look. All employees, including their long-standing customer advisors and photo editors, will join the StockFood team.

For decades, Look (lookphotos.com) has been known as the leading German travel photo agency. From the very beginning, the name “Look” has been synonymous with the group’s mission. The agency was founded in 1989 in Munich by a small group of professional travel and sports photographers. Look photographers aimed to see the world through different eyes. No journey would be too great to keep them from taking the best photos from around the world and bringing them to you. Over the course of 30 years, Look has developed into one of the most sought-after specialist providers of high-quality travel and outdoor photography. The collection is focused on professional travel photos from around the world and is comprised of about 700,000 exclusive images.

Starting in April 2019, Look will be integrated with the professional agencies that operate under the umbrella of StockFood. StockFood will be taking all employees on board and continue to run Look as an independent brand within its broad portfolio. Following a complete relaunch in April 2019, the website www.lookphotos.com will gradually be enriched with many new functions. Look’s popular place within the Picturemaxx portal will continue and be expanded.

Within the stock photo industry, StockFood is the only global market leader from Germany. The agency is represented in 18 countries by its own representatives and is originally known to be the world leader in food photography. StockFood was founded in Munich in 1979. Today, the company operates a number of other specialized premium agencies. Each of these agencies is among the leading providers in their respective sectors (home, beauty, garden, health, etc.). The concept of marketing highly specialized niche content, each with its own team of specialists and on a branded technological platform has made StockFood one of the most successful European photo agencies.

Martin Skultety, Managing Director of StockFood GmbH, says: “We are delighted to add Look as another outstanding special collection to our portfolio of niche agencies. Look represents passionate travel photography. A multitude of incredibly talented photographers continue to discover our planet from new perspectives. Look photographers are taking us along on their journeys and invite us to marvel and dream. Our goal will be to inspire many more premium image users to literally take a look and to further expand the digital marketing channels for Look photographers.”

Thomas Wild, Managing Director of Look GmbH, emphasizes: “We are handing over Look to a very renowned photo agency and trust StockFood completely on their future path. No other agency has a similar track record of successfully marketing niche photo collections. All our founders and the many long-standing photographers are looking forward to exciting developments in the coming years”.

UNESCO Welterbe Speicherstadt, Wasserschloss bei Regen, Hansestadt Hamburg, Deutschland

Seebrücke im Gegenlicht, Ahlbeck, Usedom, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Deutschland

CEPIC Statement on Works of Visual Arts in the Public Domain

CEPIC expresses its extreme disappointment at the EU copyright Directive as we see that last minute compromises were reached that will directly hurt CEPIC members specialised in fine art, history and vintage photography. Some of these libraries are attached to cultural institutions and contribute to their financing – this not only by “selling postcards” as the agreed compromise text implies.

Indeed, the provisions related to works of visual arts in the public domain were agreed behind closed doors, following no impact assessment and no consultation with the various sectors that will be affected.

With no evidence as to the advantage to the larger public, the  compromise provisions will directly hurt the legitimate interests of small private businesses who support cultural heritage and in some European countries the cultural sector institutions who have invested millions in the digitization of  photography and contribute, avoiding tax-payer cost, to the preservation and distribution of cultural heritage and its promotion to the wider public. This provision is discriminatory to photographers working for cultural institutions, and in some cases it discriminates against the interests of those cultural institutions themselves who rely on income generation derived from licensing works of visual arts in their collections. In the long run the larger public will suffer from a lack of investment in digitization, indexation and proper documentation of cultural heritage material.

We regret that these provisions were introduced without proper assessment and that the private heritage sector was used as a “pawn” in a larger negotiation. As a result we see that the EU copyright directive will penalise rather than promote large parts of the visual sector.

We ask for Chapter 3 Art. 10 b) and Recital 30 a) to be removed.


Executive Director (Tel. Mobile + 49 177 2332 514) CEPIC Center of the Picture Industry, Tel. Berlin + 49 30 889 101 60, www.cepic.org/contact

The European Commission Has Reached an Agreement Over New Copyright Rules

The European Commission has reached an agreement over new copyright rules, including the controversial Article 13 that will require platforms like YouTube to tackle copyright infringements at the point of upload.

One of the objectives of the of directive is to “reinforce the position of creators and right holders,” helping them to be remunerated for the online use of their content by user-uploaded-content platforms. Read the article on Digital TV Europe.com  here .

CEPIC also reviews the agreement on their site here 

Our DMLA Counsel and Legal Committee is reviewing the agreement and will have further information on its impact on the industry.  Stay tuned.

IMAGERIGHTS BOOSTS OPERATIONS TO TACKLE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IN GERMANY

 

ImageRights International Inc., the world’s leading copyright enforcement service, 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.

“Our clients have been asking us to strengthen our coverage in Germany due to the inability of existing technologies to locate the many unauthorized uses of their content that they see happening.  In response, we made the major investment necessary to ramp up our German operations in terms of both image search infrastructure and copyright enforcement capabilities,” explained Joe Naylor, President and CEO of ImageRights.

ImageRights’ most recent pool of web search servers was deployed in a biometrically secured German data center with redundant 10 Gbit/s fiber connections. As a result of the latest improvements, ImageRights is now finding and analyzing on average more than 77,000 new German sightings every day.  When clients access their ImageRights dashboard, they will see that the ImageRights AI has already filtered, sorted and ranked the sightings in terms of potential claim value, generating massive time savings for them.

“ImageRights is a reputable company that is known for a high level of integrity” said Marc Hügel, Partner at Munich-based law firm Waldorf Frommer Rechtsanwälte GbR. “As our firm is highly specialized in enforcing copyright claims for clients from all creative industries, we are looking forward to representing ImageRights and its clients and are ready to tackle the surge in copyright infringement claims.”

 

Copyright Law Rejected in EU Vote

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.

 

Tech Giants Win a Battle Over Copyright Rules in Europe

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/07/05/business/eu-parliament-copyright.html

European Parliament lawmakers rejected a bill backed by news outlets and music publishers to restrict the use of their content on platforms like YouTube and Facebook.Frederick Florin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

 

It’s a fight nearly as old as the internet.

On one side are news organizations, broadcasters and music companies that want to control how their content spreads across the web, and to be paid more for it. On the other are tech companies such as Facebook and Google, which argue that they funnel viewers and advertising revenue to media outlets, and free-speech advocates, who say that regulating the internet would set a dangerous precedent and limit access to information.

That battle flared up in Europe on Thursday. Two powerful industries faced off — technology against media, platforms against publishers — in an unusually aggressive lobbying campaign in the European Parliament over a bill that would impose some of the world’s strictest copyright laws, which would have required tech companies to filter out unlicensed content and pay for its use.

On this occasion, tech prevailed; the proposal was voted down.

The decision came amid broader efforts in Brussels to rein in tech giants. European regulators have already brought in tough new privacy rules, and are considering enhancing them. They have hit Silicon Valley companies with hefty antitrust fines, and are investigating them over their tax practices and handling of data. And like elsewhere in the world, they are increasingly skeptical of the argument made by internet companies that they are simply impartial platforms that cannot be held responsible for what is posted on their pages.

“Making content available on the internet does not come without responsibility,” said Eleonora Rosati, an associate professor on intellectual property law at the University of Southampton’s law school in England, who has been tracking the bill. “Rights holders want to control how their content is made available, shared and indexed.”

But after a well-coordinated effort by companies including Facebook, Google, Reddit and Wikipedia, as well as a grass-roots campaign by backers of an open internet, the European Parliament on Thursday rejected the proposed copyright law. Though lawmakers can still revise the bill and call another vote, the result is a blow to media companies that had believed that, if ever there was a good time to impose tougher rules on tech giants, this was it.

Media businesses like Axel Springer of Germany have become frustrated because even as their content has spread online, it is platforms like YouTube, owned by Google, and Facebook that have grown into advertising powerhouses on the back of the material.

Those media companies have been seeking a rewrite of Europe’s copyright laws that would give them more power to restrict how their content is distributed. They also cited concerns that Silicon Valley was not playing a strong enough gatekeeper role when it came to curtailing hate speech, violent extremism and fake news.

Supporters of the bill argued that stricter copyright laws would give content creators more leverage against internet behemoths such as Google. Publishers have long complained that such companies profit from the work of others.

“The real issue is Google’s market power,” said Lionel Bently, a law professor at the University of Cambridge who focuses on copyright. “The content industry feels it can’t negotiate on a level playing field.”

Influential policymakers in Brussels such as the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, have seemed receptive to such arguments. A proposal was put forward to require websites to use filtering technology to block unlicensed content from being posted and to obligate them to pay fees for news articles and other material posted online.

The proposed rules would have added up to a sweeping change to copyright law.

Operators of websites have long been protected from liability when unlicensed content is posted by a user. Instead, they are required only to remove infringing material once it is brought to their attention. In effect, if someone posts a movie clip on YouTube, or shares the text of an article on Reddit, those websites are not held legally liable.

The new European proposals would put more responsibility on website owners, creating a potentially costly problem for sites that depend on user-generated material.

The most contentious provision of the plans would require websites to use filtering software to screen such content before it was posted. YouTube already has a system to weed out unlicensed material, but the European rules would have gone further by requiring others to use similar tools. Another requirement, favored by book and news publishers, would prevent websites from using pieces of their content without authorization.

Critics of the bill argued that it would lead to many unforeseen consequences, warning that it could even affect satirical content or the use of images in internet memes. They said it would restrict what was available online, and some described a provision requiring permission before websites used publishers’ content as a “link tax.”

“There’s no way that those algorithmic filters are going to be able to decide that something is fair use, parody, a meme or a mash-up,” said Danny O’Brien, international director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights nonprofit group that opposed the bill.

In defeating the proposal, the technology industry showed that it still held considerable influence, even as it has faced widespread criticism over privacy violations, the spread of misinformation, accusations of anticompetitive business practices and concerns about smartphone overuse.

The coalition against the proposal that came together over the past month was similar to defenders of net neutrality in the United States, a mix of corporate giants and open internet activists. They said the copyright bill would limit the access to information and would overburden operators of websites, especially those without the resources of an American tech giant, with the costly task of screening user-generated content before posting it.

Wikipedia blocked access to articles on its site in many European countries and encouraged its users to call on their representatives in the European Parliament to vote against the proposal. Scientists credited with creating the internet sent a letter urging that it be rejected. Even David Kaye, the United Nations rapporteur on the protection of freedom of expression, raised concerns.

Wikipedia said on its website that the measure “threatens online freedom and creates obstacles to accessing the web, imposing new barriers, filters and restrictions.”

Lobbying ahead of the vote was “extraordinary, something we don’t experience on a normal basis here in the Parliament,” said Umberto Gambini, a senior aide to Ramon Tremosa, a Spanish member of the European Parliament.

Mr. Gambini said he had received hundreds of messages from individuals and organizations attempting to win Mr. Tremosa’s support. There was one from a Polish business group, he said, another from an artists’ organization, and others still from news publishers and associations representing tech companies.

He added that one message had come from the musician Paul McCartney, who wrote to members of the European Parliament in support of the tighter copyright rules.

But Mr. McCartney’s efforts were in vain: Mr. Tremosa ultimately opposed the bill.

General Data Protection Regulation Form

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.