I attended my first PACA meeting in the late 1970’s. I came to NYC on Jane Kinne’s advice to meet with others who actually knew what they were doing in the photo licensing business. I had just put my hat in the ring and Jane had figured out how much I didn’t know about what I was doing. I believe all 8 members of PACA were in attendance at the meeting at a Chinese restaurant in midtown.
I’ve watched the stock photo industry evolve, devolve and stay the same for nearly 40 years. It’s gone from a collection of companies that specialized in only rights managed editorial content, evolving to embrace advertising uses with the advent of Image Bank. Then came a technology in search of a product: royalty free photos on a CD. Oops, just when it seemed that there could be no further changes, microstock appeared on the scene. Today we have a large variety of companies seeking to monetize photographs, illustrations, music and video using innovative technology, a variety of revenue generating positions and innovative technology.
What will the future bring? DMLA (PACA) has always helped me to see the way forward often through people or companies that I met at the annual conference. For example, I was able to learn about microstock and ultimately join Dreamstime in 2006 because I had met Serben Enache, the CEO, at a PACA Conference in Key West.
We have designed the 2015 DMLA Annual Conference to present discussions about the new world as well as providing up-to-date information on a variety of topics that apply to all licensing models and monetization positions. Nothing has changed but everything has. Join us October 25th through the 27th to find out what is staying the same and what isn’t. Meet old colleagues and new. Party at the Condé Nast Gallery in the World Trade Center.
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.
In May PACA held its first webinar focused on sales strategies. It was a tremendous success, despite a few technical glitches. Those who attended were rewarded with some juicy tidbits of advice from some of the industries most respected sales professionals.
The panel consisted of Leslie Hughes from Visual Steam, Candice Murray for Condé Nast and Sonia Wasco from Grant Heilman Photography.
We’ve worked out the the technical problems and will be announcing our next webinar soon.
You can see the notes and view the power point presentation from the webinar here.
PACA’s new Executive Board begins its term of office tomorrow, May 1, 2014. As we turn the gavel to our new President Steve Spelman and his new officers, our sincere thanks goes to the outgoing board, especially to Nancy Carrizales, PACA President.
Board positions require countless volunteer hours by these PACA members. This association would not exist without their time and efforts:
President: Nancy Carrizales, Animals, Animals/Earth Scenes
Secretary: Sarah Fix, Blend Images
Treasurer, Karl Schatz, Aurora Photos
Members at Large:
Geoff Canon, Masterfile
Steve Spelman, Corbis
Lanny Ziering, Superstock
Past President: Robert Henson
President: Steve Spelman, Corbis
Vice President: Sarah Fix, Blend Images
Secretary: Julie Zentmaier, Science Source Images
Treasurer: Chris Carey, Minden Pictures
Members at Large:
Geoff Canon, Masterfile
Elena Flanagan-Eister, Depositphotos
Keren Sachs, Shutterstock
Karl Schatz, Aurora Photos
Past President: Nancy Carrizales, Animals, Animals/Earth Scenes
There are many Committee Chair positions still available and many committees that need members. Please contact Cathy Aron at email@example.com to volunteer!
We are excited to receive these new companies into our membership. Please reach out and help acknowledge our new members. Just one call from an existing member can really help them feel welcome.
PhotoShelter helps people and organizations who are passionate about their photos do more with them. From creating beautiful websites and securely backing up their best images to building an audience and selling photos online, PhotoShelter is trusted by over 80,000 enthusiasts, freelancers, and established pros worldwide. What sets us apart are over 100 professional-grade features and cutting-edge technology that we’ve evolved with photographers in mind since 2005. With PhotoShelter, any photographer can take their online presence to the next level — and get back to doing the shooting they love to do.
GraphicaArtis is one of the mostly highly curated, visually compelling collections of vintage graphics and fine art available for licensing. Its thousands of works are relevant to both the commercial and editorial markets, and are of the highest visual and technical quality. Images are carefully selected by editors with decades of licensing experience, giving GraphicaArtis the licensing potential of a collection many times its size.
Works include a wide range of visual media – pop graphics of the 40s and 50s, antique prints and posters of the 19th and 20th centuries, vintage photography, historical subjects, and fine art from all periods. Decades in the making, the collection features work from dozens of sources, and continues to grow monthly.
A nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the art of photography. Through our many exhibitions, programs and lectures, we strive to encourage a broader understanding and appreciation of the visual, emotional and social impact of photographic art. The museum maintains the archive of our founder Arthur Griffin.
Sandra is primarily a Nature & Architectural photographer who captures images of quiet and serene places that provide a feeling of calm, peace, and solace; or mystery and intrigue.
Based off her life experiences and beliefs, Sandra feels, people need a quiet and peaceful place to go in order to remain balanced and focused. Her images take you to those places without leaving the comfort of your home or even your workplace.
PACA’s mission has always been to support a healthy and sustainable market for licensing the use of photographic images, as well as to encourage and support innovative ways for photography to be legally used in the rapidly changing marketplace. Clearly, models for licensing of photography have had a difficult time keeping pace with changes brought on by the Internet, social media, and the blogosphere.
Recently, Getty Images announced embedding technology that they believe can address a significant source of unauthorized use. Getty Images’ embedding technology allows the free use of millions of images for “non-commercial” use by bloggers and other editorial websites. While it is too early to forecast the impact of this new offering from Getty Images or other similar embedding technologies from Stipple, IMGembed, and others, PACA recognizes the need for new approaches to address the proliferation of infringing uses.
PACA believes from the perspective of the industry and photographer communities that there are intriguing opportunities as well as significant concerns from embedding technologies. These technologies could potentially reduce infringing uses as well as generate new revenue for copyright holders, but there are still many questions to be answered including Getty Images’ definition of “non-commercial use” which appears to allow, not only use in personal blogs and websites, but also in a broader editorial context. Also unclear is how any revenue from advertising or data monetization will be shared with copyright holders. PACA also believes it is important for the industry to understand how Getty Images will enforce its terms of service, and what other benefits photographers would derive from the extension of free use.
As businesses explore new solutions to the rapid and revolutionary changes in the way people consume media, PACA believes its role is more critical than ever to represent our collective interest in protecting the rights of content owners, in refining copyright law, and in educating creators and users in support of an ethical and sustainable marketplace. As a forum and industry body, PACA will continue to support and promote a dialog around image embedding and other new business models.
After many years, the Ninth Circuit finally entered a decision in the Alaska Stock, LLC v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company case. Reversing the district court’s dismissal of Alaska Stock’s copyright infringement claim, the court definitively held that Alaska Stock had “successfully registered the copyright both to its collections and to the individual images contained therein” despite the fact that the name of the photographer and title of each component work was not included in the registration.
In doing so, the Court gave deference to the long-standing Copyright Office registration procedures that had been created in 1995 in conjunction with PACA. Further, the Court specifically rejected the decisions in other courts that refuse to honor registrations because they fail to name all of the photographers and titles of each photograph in a collective work.
It is clear that the Ninth Circuit understood the repercussions of its decision. In conclusion, the Court stated:
We are not performing a mere verbal, abstract task when we construe the Copyright Act. We are affecting the fortunes of people, many of whose fortunes are small. The stock agencies through their trade association worked out what they should do to register images with the Register of Copyrights, the Copyright Office established a clear procedure and the stock agencies followed it. The Copyright Office has maintained its procedure for three decades, spanning multiple administrations. The livelihoods of photographers and stock agencies have long been founded on their compliance with the Register’s reasonable interpretation of the statute. Their reliance upon a reasonable and longstanding administrative interpretation should be honored. Denying the fruits of reliance by citizens on a longstanding administrative practice reasonably construing a statute is unjust.
Michael Masterson and I ( Ellen Herbert) were speaking about the history of our industry. Again and again, one name came up as a leader and advocate for all things stock photography. And as a result, I asked Michael to interview Cathy Aron.
Cathy Aron has been the Executive Director of PACA, the Digital Licensing Media Association, since 2006. Prior to that she was a longtime member as well as the president. Her involvement in the image industry goes back to her childhood – literally. Cathy and I talked recently about her background and where she sees PACA and the industry today.
Michael Masterson: You basically grew up in this industry. Tell me about your father and how he, and later you, got involved.
Cathy Aron: Actually, my father, Nat Harrison, was a jeweler, but he was a frustrated photographer and had done photography during the war and after. He even had a dark room built at the back of our house. When he and my mother started traveling around the world, he took photos and would do slide shows at schools. When he needed fill-in and title slide images he used a place called Wolfe Worldwide Films in Santa Monica. They specialized in selling duplicate slides inexpensively to schools and individuals. In 1978, WWF was for sale and my dad decided to buy it for something to do in his retirement (which was a few years off) and he asked if I wanted to run it. I was raising my children at the time, looking at for a part-time something to do. So I traveled to Santa Monica everyday from Mission Viejo (about 60 miles and in California that can be forever!) for a few months learning the photography business before moving it to Mission Viejo. A few months after we took over the business, my dad suddenly passed away at 60 leaving a mortgage on WWF, a jewelry business, and a devastated family. I didn’t want my mom to be burdened with the business loan, so I took over WWF and realized that there was something else that you could do with the originals and I began learning all I could about the stock photo end of the business.
Michael: You had your own agency, Photo Network, for a long time. How did it get started?
Cathy: I found a partner, Gerry McDonald, who knew more than I did about the rights management part of the business and together we formed Photo Network. We built a nice general stock agency. She had a collection of images from a multimedia company called Pix Productions she and her husband had plus I had the travel images from WWF. Then we began representing photographers, selling mainly to ad agencies and developers. My partner died after about fifteen years, but I continued with Photo Network for 27 years.
Michael: You came to PACA at a very turbulent time in its history. How did you become the executive director?
Cathy: I was president of PACA after we fired our executive director in 2002. We realized she had embezzled a lot of money from the association. So, for two years I served as the president without an ED. It was a tough time for the organization but also an amazing time as everyone pitched in to save PACA, both monetarily and with their time and efforts. It did, however, take an incredible amount of time from my business. When it was feasible to hire an executive director again, I had just made the decision to sell Photo Network, so I applied for the job along with many others and was lucky to get it.
Michael: What are some of the things you’re proudest of during your time as ED at PACA?
Cathy: One would certainly be the organization, with Cathy Sachs, then executive director of ASPP, of the associations group. It was originally over the proposed Orphan Works Legislation, but we still continue to meet today. When we brought everyone together back in 2006 (I think that’s right) it was the first time we had gathered all the visual arts associations together in one room to discuss mutual interests. The participation and co-operative outreach of this group has enabled us to gain much more impact that each association would have individually. We have worked together on amicus briefs, statements for the copyright office and lobbying to the congress for legislation favorable to our industry.
I’m also very proud of pacaSearch that is the one benefit of our organization which directly benefits the business of our members. It’s the mega search engine that helps to level the playing field between large and small agencies allowing buyers to find the library that has the best images for theirs needs. It’s free to all PACA members. A recent survey by Visual Steam showed it came in as the fifth most-used site for buyers.
It’s also been wonderful working with Nancy Wolff and getting a much broader understanding of all the copyright issues and knowing that we have the best possible representation with her at the helm. Her expertise and standing in the copyright community gives PACA it’s best chance to make an impact.
Michael: What are some other PACA highlights during your tenure?
Cathy: Our PACA Conferences would be definite highlights. We have had some amazing meetings over the last few years and we’ve provided our members with excellent opportunities to learn and grow their businesses with the information provided at these events. Moving out of a hotel last year and teaming up with Visual Connections has given a new spark to the meeting and we are looking forward to even more exciting innovations this year.
Our efforts in copyright education and outreach to schools and the community have and remain a priority for PACA. Colleges and universities throughout the country as well as many high schools use our Power Point presentation.
Also, our efforts with the publishers to work on contracts that are equitable to both sides was rewarded this year with a contract with Cengage that we feel has great language and terms for agencies.
It’s also been great getting new people involved in the industry. I have always been a firm believer that you get back more than you give.
Michael: What issues is PACA addressing right now and what other major industry issues do you see?
Cathy: We’re still on top of the copyright office’s debate on a Copyright Small Claims. This is a vital discussion for the industry and we’ve responded to the Copyright Office’s three requests for comments on remedies with many of our suggestions included in their report.
We are also a complainant in the ASMP vs. Google Books case. We will be part of an amicus brief for the Authors Guild appeal vs. Google Books. We are working right now on Patent Trolling and engaging the agencies that have been sued by Uniloc. This is a very serious problem for our members and non-members alike and we are actively perusing ways to help them collectively find materials to fight these claims.
I think that piracy and copyright infringement continue to be the biggest issues facing our industry. Upholding copyright is the biggest challenge to all of us.
Michael: The organization has changed like so many other industry trade associations. Talk about the challenges it’s facing and how you and your board are dealing with them.
Cathy: Buy-outs and consolidations have been the biggest challenges to PACA in the last 5-10 years. Our association has definitely felt the impact of the closure of many of the smaller agencies. Newer tech companies don’t always feel the value of an association, but the board is trying to reach out to the newer players and give them benefits that will appeal to them. The issues that face our industry will impact all the people in the industry, no matter what their structure is, so it is important that we work together to protect copyright or there will be no business.
Michael: One last question. As someone who obviously loves photography, if you could choose one photograph to hang in your living room, what would it be?
Cathy: This is an impossible question. As Ron [Cathy’s husband] will tell you, I have a very eclectic taste in art. I love the photographs of Ansel Adams and Arnold Newman, Annie Leibowitz, Art Wolff, etc., etc. But I’m also drawn to the work of new artists. I love beautiful scenics and graphic black and whites. I could never choose just one!
Michael Masterson has a broad range of experience in marketing, business development, strategic planning, contact negotiations and recruiting in the photography, graphic design and publishing industries. In addition to his long experience at the Workbook and Workbookstock, Masterson owned and was creative director of his own graphic design firm for several years. Masterson has been a speaker or panelist at industry events such as Seybold, PhotoPlus Expo, Visual Connections and the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) national conference. He is past national president of the American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP). He currently heads Masterson Consulting, working on projects ranging from business development for creative companies and sourcing talent for them to promoting and marketing industry events as well as providing resume and professional profile services for job-seekers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently, PACA sent a letter to Microsoft addressing the issues brought to our attention by Past President Rob Henson in regards to Microsoft’s Office web page “Images”. We asked APA, ASMP, ASPP, GAG, NPPA and PPA to join our efforts.
On this webpage Microsoft prompted readers to use Bing to download images for whatever intended use they might have. Microsoft did not attempt to educate the user on copyright, use rights or even how unauthorized use of images pulled from the web might expose the user to risks. See the entire blog here.
This week we received the following response from Microsoft:
Dear Ms. Aron:
My colleague Kate O’Sullivan asked me to contact you after receiving your letter regarding Microsoft’s Office user help page.
As you note, Microsoft has a deep respect for intellectual property rights, and a long history of working with many stock photo providers. Microsoft frequently educates our users in plain language about copyright; see by example: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/Copyright/Default.aspx. This summer, we also implemented a feature within Bing image search that enables users to easily search and locate websites offering tens of millions of images freely available via the Creative Commons license model, and we educate users how they can legally use these Creative Commons images.
Accordingly, Microsoft believes the Office Help Webpage simply explains how our products work. Nonetheless, as the Office Help Webpage referenced in your letter is now offline, these concerns appear moot . We trust this resolves the issue.
Assistant General Counsel
Copyrights & Trade Secrets Practice Group
Tel (425) 538-7325 | Cell (425) 260-9994 | Fax (425) 936-7329
Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs
We believe our concerns had something to do with the removal of this page!!
If you have been thinking about nominating someone or volunteering yourself, this is your final opportunity. The eight positions open for the 2014 – 2016 Board slate are – President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and four (4) Officers-at-Large.
The call for Nominations and Elections closes at 11:59 p.m. EST, Friday, January 31, 2014.
Participating on the Board of Directors enables you to lend your leadership and vision to the PACA community and to contribute to defining its path forward. The PACA Board’s obligation to its members is to govern the organization and to forward its mission: To promote and protect the interests of the media licensing community through advocacy, education and communications.
Eligibility: Any member of PACA in good standing may nominate themselves or fellow members to serve on the PACA Board of Directors providing they meet the requirements as established in the PACA Bylaws.
Only complete nominations will go before the Nominations and Elections Committee for consideration. If you would like to nominate another individual to serve, email the Nominations and Elections Committee the name of the nominee along with their contact information and reason for nomination. The Nominations and Elections committee shall verify the eligibility of all nominees. Individuals so nominated shall have given prior consent to said nomination and election as an officer.
To gain a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of being a member of the PACA Board of Directors as well as the specific positions that are open on the 2014 PACA Board, please visit the PACA website at www.pacaoffice.org/bylaws.shtml for roles and descriptions. The following positions are open for nominations:
PACA Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer
PACA Officer-at-large (4) positions available
Should you have any questions, please contact Sonia Wasco – PACA Nominations and Elections Committee Chair at 717-626-0296 or nominations@PACAoffice.org