Tag Archives: asmp

DMLA JOINS IN AMICUS BRIEF VHT v ZILLOW

DMLA joins in amicus brief in VHT v Zillow, supporting VHT’s award of statutory damages based on number of infringed images under a database group registration of photographs

On Monday December 18, 2017, DMLA joined NPPA, ASMP and GAG in submitting an amicus brief before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of VHT, a real estate photography company against Zillow, an online real estate platform on the narrow issue of the proper calculation of statutory damages based on multiple infringed images registered using a database registration consisting predominantly of photographs. The appeal by Zillow argues, among other issues, that the district court erred in awarding statutory damages to VHT based on each image infringed having independent economic value, despite being registered under a single database registration of photographs, which Zillow argues should only entitle VHT to one award of statutory damages regardless of the massive number of images infringed. The relevant question in the Zillow case hinges on what a court considers a “work” under Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act, each separate image filed within the application, or the database as a whole, which would be one work.

The amicus brief supports the view that the independent value test applied by the lower court, and previously adopted by the Ninth Circuit is the correct one. The amicus brief describes the historical background of the various group registration procedures designed by the U.S. Copyright Office, to ease the administrative burden of registration of photographs which has unique challenges given the amount of images a photographer can create in a day.  In particular, the database registration of photographs was developed with input from DMLA and its members (formerly PACA) to protect images distributed through online platforms, which formerly were distributed via published print catalogs. The amici argue that the form of registration should have no impact on whether the independent works covered by the registration should be considered a single work, entitled to a single statutory damage or multiple works entitled to damages for each work infringed. The outcome of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling could have a major impact on the ability of image libraries and their contributing photographers to recover appropriate damages from infringers who use more than one of their photographs without permission, based on group registration, particularly those in the Ninth’s Circuit’s jurisdiction which includes California, Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii.

The brief, which you can find here, was filed by NPPA’s Deputy General Counsel, Alicia Calzada, with support from DMLA’s attorneys Nancy Wolff and Marissa Lewis of Cowan, DeBaets , Abrahams and Sheppard LLP. An amicus brief on another important issue in the case—secondary liability—was filed in support of VHT by the Copyright Alliance (link: http://copyrightalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Copyright-Alliance-VHT-v-Zillow-Amicus-Brief.pdf ), where DMLA is a member.

DMLA Participates in Various Meetings with the House Judiciary Committee

On November 3, Nancy Wolff, DMLA Counsel, attended the Rights Caucus for the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC.  The event was held in a Judiciary Committee hearing room in the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Creative Rights Caucus is a bi-partisan legislative “listening” committee co-Chaired by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Representative Doug Collins (R-GA). It is dedicated to protecting the rights of content creators. More importantly, the Caucus aims to help the public understand that we cannot judge the entertainment industry by how well famous Hollywood or music stars are doing.

The event was organized by David Trust, Executive Director of the PPA (Professional Photographers of America), who also moderated the panel discussion. Panelists included photographer Denis Reggie, illustrator John Schmelzer, photographer Mary Fisk Taylor, graphic artist Lisa Shaftel, and photographer Michael Grecco.

There was an extraordinary turn-out of approximately 150 people and standing room only in the hearing room.

Afterwards Nancy joined the PPA and other association representatives in meeting some congressional staffers as well as Congressman Hakeen Jeffries of New York about the issues of the image licensing industry and about legislation to support a copyright small claims court and the modernization of the Copyright Office.

 

On November 10, 2015, Sarah Fix, DMLA President participated in a private meeting in Los Angeles bringing Members of the United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and their staff together with photographers and photo/visual editors representing ASMP, APA, DMLA and NPPA to discuss the marketplace realities facing professional photographers as small business owners and representatives of the creative class.

Organized and moderated by ASMP Executive Director, Tom Kennedy, it was a lively discussion covering a wide range of topics of concern to photographers including:

  • Modernization of the Copyright Office and the need to simplify copyright registration.
  • The creation of a Copyright Small Claims Court as a remedy for infringements that cannot realistically be pursued within the Federal court system.
  • The proliferation of infringement fostered by digital distribution systems and the commercial harm caused by such rampant infringements.
  • The challenges presented by “click-bait” sites whose entire business models are built around intentional infringement.

The House Committee seemed to respond well to the first-hand accounts from the presenters and generally agreeable to the ideas shared at the meeting including the Copyright Small Claims Court. It seemed clear that their legislative solutions would include individual creators.

 

BING’S NEW WIDGET

Many of our members are as concerned as we are about the recent Bing Image Widget that launched August 22, 2014. This tool is marketed to internet users and encourages website publishers to enhance their websites and embed a panel of images on their website that are selected from using the Bing Image Search.  There is no indication from Bing that these images may need to be licensed for use.

As a preliminary step, PACA , together with ASMP and CEPIC reached out to our contact at Microsoft to express our fear that the Bing Image Widget will have an serious impact on the image licensing industry and lead potential image users to believe that the use of images are available for free. We requested a meeting during the PACA conference October 19-21.

As Associations, without ownership of copyrights, we can advocate on behalf of the industry but based on recent court decisions, would have jurisdictional challenges in bringing a copyright claim.

We learned today that Getty Images, US Inc. brought a copyright infringement action against Microsoft in the Southern District of New York seeking to enjoin Microsoft from the use of its Bing Image Widget Service and for statutory damages based on its alleged massive copyright infringement of Getty Images many registered works. A copy of the Complaint is here.

There have been several articles written about the Bing Image Widget, you can see one here.

We will keep you apprised of any new developments  and will continue to support all efforts to encourage the licensing of images and the education of users as to copyright.

Young Photographers Alliance Hosts Opening Reception Celebrating the 2013 Mentoring Program

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NEW YORK, NY —Young Photographer’s Alliance (YPA) hosted their Opening reception for the 2013 Escape Mentoring Program. It was held at Calumet Gallery in New York City. There was a fantastic turnout of over 150 attendees, 25 of whom were mentees attending from all around North America.

Thanks to the ASMP Foundation, YPA’s Founding Sponsor. Others included Brooklyn Brewery, who supplied the beer, cheese platters by Indiana Market & Catering, prints from Parsons New School, matting from NY Fine Art Gallery and Glasshouse Images supplied the bar and morning session.

Winners of various “Best Of” categories were also announced during the reception. The following winners are from the UK:

  • Commended project – Tania Gibson (London)
  • Highly Commended project – Yang Zhou (London)
  • Best image – Anna Pitrowska (Bristol)
  • Best project – Claire Maxwell (Glasgow)

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There was also a category for Best Overall:

  • Best team – Nashville
  • Best single image – Chase Guttman (New York)
  • Best overall mentee – Mei Ratz (Portland)

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These talented photographers received free retouching by KeyIndia Graphics (www.keyindiagraphics.com) and an ASMP Merit membership (www.asmp.org). Guttman and Ratz also received $250 and $500 gift certificates for Calumet Photographic  (www.calumetphoto.com), a photographic retail and photofinishing specialty store.

The New York teams presented their ESCAPE Anthology after receiving $1500 in sponsorships to produce it. All eleven members were responsible for every step, from shooting to printing and distribution. The combination of the generous sponsorship and solid financial planning allowed the teams to print 500 hard copies. An electronic version is also available online (bit.ly/1d0iasB), as well as a Facebook page to continue the promotion of the anthology.

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The evening was a great success, bursting with energy and excitement. ASMP helped to extend the artistic experience by hosting a Photo Walk the following day for visiting mentees. It was overall a great opportunity for mentees to meet one another and other attendees had the opportunity to experience the fresh and budding talent of all the photographers.

Photo Credits: Anna Pitrowska (Bristol), Chase Guttman (New York), Mei Ratz (Portland)

About YPA

Young Photographers Alliance (YPA), a 501(c)3 educational foundation dedicated to developing the talent of young photographers,is a global community where young photographers connect with the inspiration, resources and contacts they need to build successful and sustainable careers as the artists and communicators of the future. The foundation brings together a wealth of industry experience through its board and membership and offers real-world knowledge, insight, experience and contacts to help students and other emerging photographers develop their artistic skills and business acumen as photography professionals. Likewise, through its programs, YPA helps established photography professionals connect with the next generation of innovative image-makers. To make initiatives such as the Mentoring Program, the YPA is always looking for supporting partners and sponsors, please contact us for further information by visiting YPA online at www.YoungPhotographersAlliance.org.

To make initiatives such as the Mentoring Program the YPA is always looking for supporting partners and sponsors, please contact us for further information …..

For more information please contact:

Deborah Free                                                                                                   Young Photographers Alliance (YPA)
585-768-7880-p
585-768-2941-f
deborah@youngphotographersalliance.org
www.youngphotographersalliance.org
Inspire. Educate. Empower.