Intro from: Michael Grecco
Two years ago, as Chairman of the APA Advocacy Committee, I had the idea to create a Statutory Amendment to the Copyright Law which would require users of images on the internet, reprints, and elsewhere to pay the creator for the use. In tandem with that initiative, APA has been working on a distribution society, like ASCAP, to distribute those funds and others currently collected worldwide for photography to the rights holders—photographers. It became clear that this was not going to work without an industry-wide effort. Other APA officers and I helped form a coalition of trade organizations specifically for this effort. We have now met with Maria Pallante and her staff at the Copyright Office twice in an effort to change the plight of our members. Maria was particularly surprised at the inequities for photographers in the industry.
The first step of our efforts has been realized with a Notice of Inquiry from the Copyright Office. This publicly opens the debate as to what needs to be done on our members’ behalf. We would love to hear from you. Please feel free to email me personally at Advocacy@APANational.org. We will be working with the other organizations in our industry to submit comments on your behalf.
United States Copyright Office
NewsNet Issue 578
April 24, 2015
Copyright Office Issues a Notice of Inquiry on Photographs, Graphic Artworks, and Illustrations
The U.S. Copyright Office has published a Federal Register notice requesting written comments on how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are monetized, enforced, and registered under the Copyright Act. The Office is specifically interested in the current marketplace for these visual works, as well as observations regarding the real or potential obstacles that these authors and, as applicable, their licensees or other representatives face when navigating the digital landscape.
Photographers, graphic artists, and illustrators have expressed a growing list of concerns in recent years when speaking to both the Copyright Office and Members of Congress. This Notice of Inquiry thus builds upon our longstanding policy interest in these types of visual works, including the Copyright Office’s studies in a number of areas such as small claims, the making available right, resale royalties, registration, recordation, and the interoperability of records. As always, the Office is interested in the perspectives of copyright owners as well as users of these creative works. This is a general inquiry that will likely lead to additional specific inquiries.
The Notice of Inquiry is available at http://copyright.gov/policy/visualworks/. Written comments are due on or before July 23, 2015, and reply comments are due on or before August 24, 2015.