First Small Claims Bill Introduced in Congress

Washington, D.C., July 14, 2016 – In the wake of its release of a white paper setting out the key components of a copyright small claims bill, a coalition of visual artist groups commends the attention that this critical issue is now garnering on Capitol Hill. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’s (D-NY) introduction, along with original cosponsor Tom Marino (R-PA), of a bill, H.R. 5757 of a bill establishing a small claims board and the forthcoming introduction by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) of her own version of small claims legislation establishing a small claims tribunal in the Copyright Office, are a welcomed next step in a process that will hopefully result in much-needed legislative relief for photographers, photojournalists, videographers, illustrators, graphic designers, and other visual artists and their licensing representatives. These artists are currently squeezed out of the legal system by the high cost of bringing suit in federal court and have seen their licensing revenues decimated in recent years by the proliferation of copyright infringement, particularly in the online context.

We look forward to working with Representatives Jeffries, Chu and all members of Congress to correct this inequity in America’s copyright system.

Earlier this year, the coalition, which includes the American Photographic Artists (APA), American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA), set forth recommendations with regard to key components in any forthcoming congressional small claims legislation.

Coalition members believe small claims reform to be their top legislative priority and call upon Congress to enact legislation that provides visual artists and other small creators with a viable, affordable alternative to prosecuting copyright infringement in federal court—a prohibitively expensive and little-used option by visual artists. This approach is largely consistent with the legislative recommendations set forth in the “Copyright Small Claims” report released in late 2013 by the U.S. Copyright Office which deserves much credit for its groundbreaking effort in this area.

Cathy Aron, Executive Director of the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) said, “Our association supports the creation of a copyright small claims forum to encourage licensing of visual content from legitimate sources. A small claims court should help stem the tide of “right-click” image use as it offers content creators and their representatives a way to effectively enforce copyright and seek appropriate payment. The digital economy needs to work for all participants and this is an essential step forward.

A copy of the visual artists coalition’s white paper is available here.

For more information, please go to here or contact Lindsey Forson copyrightdefense@ppa.com

Erickson Stock Offers a New Royalty-Free Stock Image Collection

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Erickson Stock announces half of its assignment-quality image collection will be released to a new royalty free pricing model. Erickson Stock has been a premiere boutique for unique stock photos for over 15 years. Covering visual topics such as healthcare stock photos and video, business stock photos and video, family stock photos and video, and many more.

Produced and directed by renowned photographer and artist Jim Erickson, this high-end collection has long been regarded by graphic designers and artists as some of the finest stock imagery in the world. Erickson’s award-winning photography has been said to “illustrate stories with the eye and heart of a photojournalist.’”

This is the first time Erickson Stock images have been offered in the royalty free format with a price point of just $750 per image.

Erickson Stock is the preferred choice for comps, swipes and creative ideas that are persuasive and visually dazzling. Designers seamlessly create their own cohesive, custom-looking campaign with this curated collection that has, until now, been exclusively Rights Managed.

Stock photos can be searched by visiting ericksonstock.com and checking only the “RF Images” checkbox, or simply look for the RF750 watermark on selected images.

Workbook to sponsor Visual Connections New York Image Expo 2016

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Workbook, the leading marketing resource for commercial photographers and illustrators, will again be the Principal Sponsor of this year’s Visual Connections Image Expo at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York on October 27.

Workbook’s involvement last year took Visual Connections in an exciting new direction, into assignment photography, illustration and footage, perfectly complementing the traditionally strong presence of editorial and creative stock agencies, and making the event even more attractive to creative buyers and producers.

“Visual Connections gave us the opportunity to take our message about the power of assignment photography and illustration to an entirely new audience,” said Bill Daniels, CEO of Workbook. “We felt like it could not have gone better so we look forward to working with the Visual Connections team to build on that success at this year’s event!”

Artist reps, production companies and stock agencies are all part of one ecosystem, supplying publishers, advertisers, designers and TV producers with millions of images and seconds of footage. Visual Connections is the meeting place for all the professionals involved in creating, researching, sourcing and licensing visual content.

97% of the people who attend Visual Connections are actively seeking new providers of visual media; and that’s what they find: agencies and reps they hadn’t heard of and wouldn’t have found out about any other way.

“This relationship with Workbook has been hugely successful in helping us become the meeting place for all visual creatives. Those who routinely use stock benefit from seeing the work of some of the world’s top photographers; those who mainly commission new content benefit from seeing the wide variety of stock available when time or budgets are tight,” says Deborah Free, Co-President of Visual Connections.

Fully-inclusive exhibitor packages start at just $1,040 for a first-time exhibitor booking by July 31, plus there’s a range of advertising and promotion options to suit all budgets.

Full details about the event are available here

Heartbreaking News: the Death of Colleague Alan Bailey

 

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It is with deep personal sadness that I announce the passing of Alan Bailey, CEO of Superstock and co-owner of ACME, content creator portal for Rubberball. Alan has been an active member of DMLA for many, many years and served as Secretary on the Executive Board from 2010-2012.

Often referred to as “one of the nicest guys in the industry” his death comes as a shock to all who knew him. We heard he had been battling complications from treatment of lymphoma, but Alan was so healthy otherwise, thought he would pull through.

I am trying to find out if there is a place to send donations, if you are so inclined, and will post it as soon as possible.  Rest in Peace Alan, you will be truly missed by your friends at DMLA.

Here is the posted Obituary:

Alan Kent Bailey, 53, passed away on July 5, 2016 in Provo, Utah. Alan was born on May 24, 1963 in Salt Lake City to Donald and Mildred Bailey. When he was eight, his family moved to Mexico for two years, after which they moved to Rigby, Idaho, where he spent the rest of his childhood exploring and getting into trouble with his similarly wild siblings.
Alan met and married the love of his life, Laura, in college. Together, they became better, purer versions of themselves and made the world around them better and purer too. They have five children, all of whom they adore and love wholeheartedly.
Alan lived big. He embraced life, especially experiences and people. He loved surfing, ice cream, new socks, museums, watered-down soap, puzzles, and making others laugh. He was both a successful businessman and an absolute goof who grinned as others teased him for his endearing quirks.
There was no discrimination in his love. He loved everyone and helped people realize they deserved that love. He actively practiced empathy by listening to and believing the emotional truths people shared with him. He never assumed he knew what someone was going through and listened with an open heart as people shared. His love was healing.
He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Bailey, and sister Kathleen Bailey Liggett. His mother, Mildred Bailey; his siblings, Carol Bailey Pepiot, Kevin Bailey, Kirk Bailey, and Chris Bailey; his wife, Laura Bailey; and his children, Regan Bailey Gull, Holden Bailey, Q Bailey, Paul Bailey, and Gabriela Bailey live on and miss him fiercely.
We cannot fill the hole he leaves, but we can honor him by living authentic lives full of love and acceptance.
We can live big for Alan.

Heartbreaking News: the Death of Colleague Alan Bailey

577fe88fc4628

It is with deep personal sadness that I announce the passing of Alan Bailey, CEO of Superstock and co-owner of ACME, content creator portal for Rubberball. Alan has been an active member of DMLA for many, many years and served as Secretary on the Executive Board from 2010-2012.

Often referred to as “one of the nicest guys in the industry” his death comes as a shock to all who knew him. We heard he had been battling complications from treatment of lymphoma, but Alan was so healthy otherwise, thought he would pull through.

I am trying to find out if there is a place to send donations, if you are so inclined, and will post it as soon as possible.  Rest in Peace Alan, you will be truly missed by your friends at DMLA.

Here is the posted Obituary:

Alan Kent Bailey, 53, passed away on July 5, 2016 in Provo, Utah. Alan was born on May 24, 1963 in Salt Lake City to Donald and Mildred Bailey. When he was eight, his family moved to Mexico for two years, after which they moved to Rigby, Idaho, where he spent the rest of his childhood exploring and getting into trouble with his similarly wild siblings.
Alan met and married the love of his life, Laura, in college. Together, they became better, purer versions of themselves and made the world around them better and purer too. They have five children, all of whom they adore and love wholeheartedly.
Alan lived big. He embraced life, especially experiences and people. He loved surfing, ice cream, new socks, museums, watered-down soap, puzzles, and making others laugh. He was both a successful businessman and an absolute goof who grinned as others teased him for his endearing quirks.
There was no discrimination in his love. He loved everyone and helped people realize they deserved that love. He actively practiced empathy by listening to and believing the emotional truths people shared with him. He never assumed he knew what someone was going through and listened with an open heart as people shared. His love was healing.
He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Bailey, and sister Kathleen Bailey Liggett. His mother, Mildred Bailey; his siblings, Carol Bailey Pepiot, Kevin Bailey, Kirk Bailey, and Chris Bailey; his wife, Laura Bailey; and his children, Regan Bailey Gull, Holden Bailey, Q Bailey, Paul Bailey, and Gabriela Bailey live on and miss him fiercely.
We cannot fill the hole he leaves, but we can honor him by living authentic lives full of love and acceptance.
We can live big for Alan.

MARY EVAN LIBRARY’S PHOTO ON COMMEMORATIVE STAMP

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Mary Evans Picture Library is delighted that an image of the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme area of France by their photographer Mike St. Maur Sheil has been chosen by the Royal Mail to be included in the latest of their commemorative series of stamps entitled “The Great War 1916”. Mike’s image of the Memorial was taken from the site of Brock’s Benefit Trench east of Mesnil . The Memorial to the Missing was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) and is the largest war memorial to the British who died in the Great War, standing  almost 50m high.

This is very timely as Mike St. Maur Sheil’s exhibition “Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace – Somme 100” is currently on display outside the Guildhall in London and he has just released a stunning new book of the same title, showcasing the images from the exhibition and many more, and which is available here.

robertharding Unveils New Contributor’s Portal

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robertharding has unveiled an innovative new portal for photography contributors to upload work to their site.

The system features a full online editing module, which is integrated to allow multiple editors to edit submissions via a web browser from anywhere in the world, as well as easier application of model and property releases and enhanced edited submission feedback.

The portal is designed to streamline uploads for robertharding’s team of renowned international photographers, many of whom joined the agency as part of a recent initiative to recruit high-end contemporary travel and nature creators.

Robert Harding says: “Our new contributor’s portal is quick and simple with many new features. We will be adding more new functionality and features over the coming weeks and months. Our new photographer recruitment campaign is in full swing and we are delighted with the results.”

Photographer and videographer Frank Fell commented: “…the new contributors portal is quick and easy to use with new feedback settings to help photographers improve their hit rate of accepted images.”

robertharding is an independent media licensing platform specializing in innovative travel and nature photography and video used by the worlds largest publishers and marketers to bring their projects to life.

For further information, please email at info@robertharding.com.

Supreme Court Instructs Courts On How and When to Award Attorney Fees under the Copyright Act (Kirtsaeng v. Wiley)

by Nancy Wolff, DMLA Counsel and Brittany Kaplan, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP

Attorney’s fees under the Us Copyright Act are discretionary with the court, and not awarded as a matter of course. The last time the Supreme Court examined attorney’s fees under the Copyright Act was in 1994 in Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., 510 U. S. 517 (1994) where it provided factors for the lower courts to consider and confirmed that defendants, as well as plaintiffs could seek fees as a prevailing party.

In the recent case that reached the Supreme Court, the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. brought a copyright infringement action against Supap Kirtsaeng, a citizen of Thailand who studied math at Cornell University. Kirtsaeng saw an opportunity to make money when he realized that Wiley sold identical English-language textbooks in both countries, but for a much lower price in Thailand. Kirtsaeng could do the math and asked relatives to purchase the textbook in Thailand and send them to him in the United States for resale to American students, at a tidy profit.

Both the District Court and Second Circuit found in favor of Wiley. Kirtsaeng appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reversed the lower courts’ decisions, determining that Kirtsaeng was protected by the Copyright Act’s “first-sale” doctrine despite the fact that the textbooks at issue had been manufactured abroad. This was a previously unsettled area of law under the Copyright Act. As a prevailing party, Kirtsaeng sought an award of more than $2 million in attorney’s fees under the Copyright Act’s fee-shifting provision, 17 U.S.C. § 505. The District Court denied Kirtsaeng’s application, holding that Wiley, although the losing party, had taken reasonable legal positions. The Second Circuit affirmed and Kirstaeng appealed to the Supreme Court.

Copyright Act Section 505:

Under Section 505 a court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to a prevailing party. While the Act provides no precise rule or formula, the Supreme Court in Fogerty identified several factors for courts to consider including frivolousness, motivation, objective unreasonableness, and the need in particular circumstances “to advance considerations of compensation and deterrence.” The Supreme Court also stated that a lower court may not award attorney’s fees as a matter of course, and may not treat prevailing plaintiffs and prevailing defendants differently.

The Supreme Court’s Decision:

Acknowledging that further guidance regarding attorney’s fees would be useful, the Supreme Court sought the proper approach in considering the propriety of fee awards under Section 505 that would best advance of the objectives of the Copyright Act—namely, enriching the general public through access to creative works by striking a balance between rewarding and protecting creators while also enabling others to make use of existing content. Wiley proposed placing substantial weight on the objective reasonableness of a losing party’s position; in contrast, Kirtsaeng proposed giving special consideration to whether a lawsuit meaningfully clarified copyright law by resolving important legal issues.

The Court agreed that Wiley’s test encourages parties with strong positions to assert their rights. Under this approach, a copyright holder whose rights have been infringed would have good reason to bring and maintain a lawsuit, even if available damages are small. Similarly, a party defending against a meritless infringement claim would be incentivized to maintain a strong defense. Conversely, applying Kirtsaeng’s test would not produce any similarly sure benefits. While perhaps advancing the public interest, Kirtsaeng’s test would not necessarily encourage parties to litigate close cases because “the hallmark of hard cases is that no party can be confident if he will win or lose,” and the potential for fee shifting raises high stakes even higher. Even where a court, after ruling on the merits is able to assess whether the losing party advanced an unreasonable claim or defense, it cannot necessarily know whether its decision will have broad legal significance. In that sense, the Court found Wiley’s approach to be “more administrable.”

The Court warned that while objective reasonableness may be an important factor in assessing fee awards, it should not be “controlling.” In other words, courts should consider all factors relevant to granting fees—for instance, a party’s litigation misconduct, or the necessity of deterring repeated instances of copyright infringement or repeated instances of overly aggressive copyright infringement claims. The Court further explained that a fee award may be appropriate even when the losing party advanced a reasonable claim or defense if, considering “all the circumstances,” a fee award would further “the Copyright Act’s essential goals.” The Supreme Court did not suggest the lower court was wrong in declining Kirtsaeng’s fee award but sent the case back for reconsideration based on its clarification that all factors should be considered.

Takeaway:

The Court’s decision offers some further guidance to lower courts assessing fee applications under the Copyright Act, which may lead to greater uniformity of lower court decisions. Specifically the Supreme Court observed that courts within the Second Circuit have come dangerously close to establishing a presumption against granting fees when a claim or defense is found to be reasonable, but warned that such an approach “goes too far.” Parties litigating in the future should expect a more nuanced and possibly complex fee award analysis, and should not presume that fees necessarily will (or will not) be awarded based solely on the reasonableness of the losing party’s position.

Food image agency StockFood is now part of Hubert Burda Media

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Munich, June 16th, 2016. Munich-based StockFood GmbH is now part of Hubert Burda Media´s network. StockFood is one of Germany’s most respected photo agencies. As market leader, it carries works by more than 1,000 food photographers from around the world. StockFood will retain its current workforce and its independence as a company. Hubert Burda Media is one of Germany´s largest media companies and market leader in food media.

Hubert Burda Media is acquiring StockFood, the global market leader in food photography. The agency offers the world’s most comprehensive collection of food images to professional partners in the media, marketing and advertising industries. In addition to the best work of more than 1,000 prize-winning food photographers, the agency’s range of products also extends to videos, features (images and text) and recipes in many different languages. StockFood will become part of the BurdaHome division where Burda has pooled all its journalistic offerings relating to food and living.

StockFood will remain an independent company based in Munich, and nothing will change to its existing relations to customers in more than 120 countries worldwide. Managing Director Martin Skultety is staying on at the helm. Pete Eising, the company’s founder and hitherto largest shareholder, is leaving the agency after more than three decades. He plans to concentrate on his successful Eising Studio which will continue to photograph first-class image productions for StockFood on an exclusive basis.

StockFood will remain an independent provider in the image market while gaining a sustainable boost from its new partnership. In return, Burda’s own food brands will profit from StockFood’s investments and innovations to the same extent as all the agency’s other clients.

Frank-Jörg Ohlhorst, Managing Director of BurdaHome: Our strong food brands have made us the market leader in Germany. StockFood enables us to extend our vertical food portfolio and market our exclusive content on a global scale. We hold the achievements of the StockFood team in very high regard and it will be a pleasure to support the growth of this innovative and thoroughly healthy company.”

Martin Skultety, Managing Director of StockFood: “Our clear focus and excellent network have enabled us to post continuous growth in a stagnating market environment. Burda, the congenial ‘entrepreneurs’ enterprise’, is therefore a perfect fit for our strategy. We are looking forward to joining forces and generating shared synergies as we embrace the future together. At the same time, we will be endeavouring at all times to expand our product range and provide the best possible service to our highly diversified customer base.”

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About StockFood:

StockFood is the leading food specialist among image agencies, offering creative professionals in media, marketing, advertising and publishing the largest food image database on the internet at www.stockfood.com. This includes an unmatched range of Rights-managed and Royalty-free images, videos and features from over 1,000 internationally renowned photographers and film producers. Expert recipe text, created by an in-house team, is available for all images, videos and features.

StockFood was established in Germany in 1979 and is now represented in more than 75 countries, on all continents, by a worldwide network of partner agencies. The company employs 60 people in its offices in Kennebunk, Maine (USA), Munich (Germany) and London (UK).

We will be happy to supply images free of charge, to be used in connection with stories about StockFood.

About Hubert Burda Media:

Responsible for over 400 print and digital consumer brands, Hubert Burda Media is one of Germany’s largest media groups. A strong focus on its digital portfolio and the international media market has been powering growth for several years. Innovation is the driving force behind the organization, which builds on its original roots and values as a family-owned company. It publishes more than 320 magazines around the globe. Burda’s digital business contains successful, expanding companies that include e-commerce and marketing platforms along with rating and agency portals and holdings in social media sites. Burda has 165 million users, approximately 40 million paying consumers and 43,000 advertisers. Its commercial success is driven by some 10,000 employees around the world: Burda is active in 20 markets, above all in Germany, Europe, the United States and Asia.