Archive for Copyright

Advertiser Pledge Sets Example of Accountability in the Fight Against Piracy

Posted: June 30th, 2016

With the recent establishment of our partnership with George Mason University’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP), ASMP will begin to include cross-postings in Strictly Business about  political, economic, and social trends related to a broad range of infringement issues being addressed by CPIP and its contributors. Cross-posted from the Mister Copyright blog. It should come as no [...]

The Struggle With Modern Day Usage

Posted: April 18th, 2016

[by Jenna Close] The single largest conflict with my client-direct jobs is limited licensing. Prior to the internet, promotional materials required a lengthy process of design and printing. Changes to existing materials happened neither quickly nor often, thus it was easy for clients and photographers both to keep track of image usage. These days change happens [...]

Advancing a Small Claims Solution to Infringements

Posted: February 5th, 2016

[by Tom Kennedy] The arrival of the digital age has brought with it a series of opportunities and challenges that are creating a world of paradox for independent creators, including ASMP members. On the one hand, digital technology aids and abets the expression of creative vision in ways unimaginable even just a generation ago. On [...]

Making the Most Out of Your Attorney Search and Meetings

Posted: February 4th, 2016

[by Bruce Bellingham, Peter McCall & Scott Burroughs] Note: If you missed ASMP’s Business as unUsual webinar, You’ve Been Infringed, Now What? featuring Bruce Bellingham, Peter McCall & Scott Burroughs, you can watch the recording at:, Password: ASMPinfringed. Many people you know are eager to recommend a good lawyer, but forming an attorney-client relation [...]

ImageRights for Copyright Enforcement – the Better Alternative to DIY Infringement Management

Posted: February 3rd, 2016

[by Eric Bowers] After a job layoff in 2013, I found myself more dependent than ever on income from my photography. To build up my freelance business, I began researching search engine optimization (SEO). In that process, I discovered that my photography was already scattered about the web, but on business and commercial websites for [...]

Working with the Copyright Defense League

Posted: February 2nd, 2016

[by Tom Salyer] Back in 2013, the Copyright Defense League invited me to submit images as part of their testing and ramping up process. I don’t have a huge image library but I have some 2000 or so stock images out in the world so I thought “What the heck, why not?” I gave CDL [...]

An Interview with Pixsy Client Harold Davis

Posted: February 1st, 2016

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself, and how you began working with Pixsy. I have been a professional photographer for many years, first in New York City, and now in Berkeley, California. My work is widely collected, licensed, and published. I am an Adobe Influencer, a Moab Master, and a Zeiss Ambassador. I am [...]

A Tale of Two Infringements

Posted: January 29th, 2016

[by Bruce Katz] • •The magazine art director was on the phone, he told me that that my photo he licensed for the cover last month is now in an ad running in the magazine–just a friendly heads up… Yikes! • • My wife looked up from her laptop and casually mentioned that my photograph [...]

To Sue or Not to Sue

Posted: January 28th, 2016

[by Liz Ordonez] “Should I file an infringement law suit?” This is a question most photographers have to wrestle with at various points in their career, especially now that most images end up online. Unauthorized use of our images will rattle even the mellowest creative. So it went when I encountered my first images blatantly ripped [...]

11 Things You Should Do When You’ve Been Infringed

Posted: January 27th, 2016

[by Nancy Wolff] What should you do when you have discovered your photograph has been infringed? Before you immediately run to a lawyer, or start spending your recovery money, here are some tips to make sure that your time, as well as any attorney’s time is spent effectively. 1.     Make sure that the photograph is [...]

Copyright Small Claims & the Future of Copyright

Posted: October 23rd, 2015

The following on-demand recordings come from Separating Fact from Fiction: What Every Visual Artist Should Know About The Copyright Review Process,  a 6-part program featuring June Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School, intellectual property attorney Nancy Wolff of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP [...]

Mass Digitization

Posted: October 22nd, 2015

The following on-demand recording comes from Separating Fact from Fiction: What Every Visual Artist Should Know About The Copyright Review Process,  a 6-part program featuring June Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School, intellectual property attorney Nancy Wolff of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP [...]

Orphan Works

Posted: October 21st, 2015

The following on-demand recording comes from Separating Fact from Fiction: What Every Visual Artist Should Know About The Copyright Review Process,  a 6-part program featuring June Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School, intellectual property attorney Nancy Wolff of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP [...]

An Introduction to Copyright Reform

Posted: October 20th, 2015

The following on-demand recordings come from Separating Fact from Fiction: What Every Visual Artist Should Know About The Copyright Review Process,  a 6-part program featuring June Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School, intellectual property attorney Nancy Wolff of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP [...]

Where Copyright Law Fails Photographers

Posted: March 3rd, 2015

[by Richard Kelly] When I speak to photographers about copyright, I often use a variation of William Patry’s metaphor from his book Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars: Picture a copyright battlefield. On the right-side are the traditional Copyright aggregators – publishers, record companies, and the licensing monoliths – including the artists that they represent. [...]

Is Copyright the Real Issue?

Posted: March 8th, 2013

[by Judy Herrmann] Shortly after I joined the ASMP in the mid-1990s, I had a conversation with a savvy and bright intellectual property attorney who just happens to be my sister. As a still life and product photographer in a mid-sized market, I had been struggling to implement restricted use licenses on photographs that had [...]

What if Copyright No Longer Existed?

Posted: March 7th, 2013

[by Richard Kelly] The purpose of copyright is, “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” This is how we as commercial photographers profit from our photographs. However, if we read these words from a broader [...]

The Future of Copyright

Posted: March 6th, 2013

[by Gail Mooney] I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t predict the future.  If I could, I would take all my savings and head to Vegas.  However, I have been around long enough to know that nothing ever stays the same and change is a given. Regardless if I’m able to predict if [...]

What if Copyright no longer existed?

Posted: March 5th, 2013

[by Shawn Henry] Back in 2005 I completely gutted my house, stripping the interior down to the bare studs, expanding the kitchen and master bedroom and adding a new sunroom to overlook the backyard. I spent over a year rebuilding it, doing almost all of the work myself, from shingling the roof to laying the [...]

Creating Value for Your Business

Posted: October 19th, 2012

[by Richard Kelly] I remember in the eleventh grade Miss Selby, my English composition teacher, telling me that I should write what I know. As I planned to practice professional photography, I read everything I could about photography and the business of photography. That was in the early 80’s,  just a few years after the [...]

The Future of Your Creative Rights

Posted: August 20th, 2012

Mark your calendar for this free online event: Wednesday, August 29th at 12 pm pacific/3 pm eastern One week from Wednesday, chasejarvisLIVE in collaboration with ASMP presents: The Future of Your Creative Rights: the Good, Bad and Ugly Trends for Photographers in the New Media and How to Make it All work for You This [...]

Licensing + Options = Happy Client

Posted: March 2nd, 2012

[by Kevin Lock] Would you eat at a place that only served one menu item?  I am not talking about a burger joint that offers more than burgers.  I am talking about a burger joint that offers a quarter pound burger, medium well, white bread, ketchup and mustard.  No pickles, no fries, no drinks, no [...]

Licensing, Copyright and Compensation

Posted: March 1st, 2012

[by Judy Herrmann] Copyright exists to serve the public good by granting a limited monopoly to creators that provides them with the financial incentive and support necessary to keep creating.  It seems to me, though, that the main people benefitting from current copyright laws are corporate rights holders, not independent creators.  What the big guys [...]


Posted: February 29th, 2012

[by Thomas Werner] It is hard to debate the decline in licensing fees over the past decade. We have seen a number contracts asking for the right to use a photographer’s image on multiple platforms for one flat fee, particularly in the editorial world. This combined with the democratization of our industry and a large [...]

Seeking Licensing Solutions

Posted: February 28th, 2012

[by Richard Kelly] For imaging professionals the issues of copyright, licensing and compensation are forever intertwined. For the past three decades this model – licensing a specific use for a specific amount of money – has served us well.   In the print days we could limit use based on audited periodical circulation, a fixed number [...]

Tracking Image Licensing Rights – The Universal Solution

Posted: January 13th, 2012

[by Roger Feldman] Image rights holders and image users face a daunting challenge when it comes to managing licensed rights. Each year, untold thousands of rights managed, royalty free, and wholly owned images are licensed and used under vastly different terms and conditions, making the management and tracking of rights over time extremely difficult. Yet [...]

Update on Recent U.S. Copyright Office Recommendations

Posted: October 20th, 2011

The Visual Arts Division of the United States Copyright Office has ceased sending letters recommending that visual artists submit titles for each work being registered in a “group registration of unpublished images”. We have recently learned through tests of our own and those of the Copyright Office that there are previously unknown problems when uploading [...]

Your Favorite Bookmarks…

Posted: August 18th, 2011

[by Judy Herrmann] This week, we are focusing on our contributors’ favorite bookmarks.  The places we go when we’re looking for information, inspiration, insights, training, time-saving tools and more; the bookmarks we find more valuable than the millions of other potential bookmarks that populate cyberspace.  And there are millions. Now that the vast majority of [...]

Copyright Registration Alert

Posted: July 9th, 2011

ASMP is aware that photographers are receiving letters from the Copyright Office with recommendations on how to modify their registrations using the online registration system. The Copyright Office, in response to concerns over the recent court decision invalidating the bulk Corbis copyright registration, is making some new recommendations for online registration of both published and [...]

Free Program on Google Book Settlement Offered by Copyright Clearance Center

Posted: March 25th, 2011

On Wednesday, March 30th at 12:00 PM EST, the Copyright Clearance Center is offering a complimentary hour long online seminar, “Unraveling the Rejection – The Google Book Settlement” Click here to register. From CCC site: On March 22, Judge Chin issued his long awaited opinion in the Google Book Search settlement proceedings, rejecting the Amended [...]

Just Do It

Posted: December 8th, 2010

[by Jenna Close] Copyright your images BEFORE they get stolen.  Don’t think it will happen?  Think again.  It happened to me last week.  While roaming the aisles of a trade show I came across my image displayed beautifully on a 6 foot wide backdrop….only problem was the image hadn’t been licensed to the business using [...]

What I Learned on my Way to the Commons

Posted: June 24th, 2010

[by Richard Kelly] It is my perspective that the role of copyright is to promote publication. Copyright is the engine that allows professionals to grant permission and collect money for the use of their work, that permission is a license. I see no reason for this to change. The fundamental change is how our images [...]

Creative Commons Licenses are Unnecessary and Dangerous

Posted: June 23rd, 2010

[by Leslie Burns] I hear lots of people say how CC makes “sharing” possible and promotes the “democratization” of creative culture. Really, it is the emperor’s new clothes of IP licensing–false, dangerous, and unneeded. For centuries (there is specific references to licensing in docs dating as far back as 1474!), traditional licensing has permitted creators [...]

Creative Commons, Friend or Foe?

Posted: June 22nd, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Ask most photographers about Creative Commons and they will likely respond that it is just a tool for people to use images without having to pay for them. At first glance this may seem true. Creative Commons allows people to use photographs and other intellectual property created by others in several broad [...]

This License is Non Transferable

Posted: June 21st, 2010

[by Steve Whittaker] Once in a while I will meet a marketing person who demands the right to allow property owners, contractors and other entities unrestricted use of our images without additional fees. Some have expressed their right to resell photographer’s images to recover their firm’s cost from an assignment or worse, make a profit [...]

ASMP Copyright Symposium Videos

Posted: May 16th, 2010

On April 21, 2010, the American Society of Media Photographers presented an important symposium in New York City addressing the sweeping changes in the way images are used and distributed. The symposium, Copyright and the New Economy: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists, was a big hit with the packed TimesCenter audience. According to ASMP [...]

Copyright Is Important, But Not Like It Used To Be

Posted: May 14th, 2010

[by Thomas Werner] Copyright is an important right, it affirms ownership, allows us to protect our rights, helps control usage, and gives us the ability to collect damages when our imagery is misused. Though too few do so, as a content creator copyrighting your images, video, animation, etc., continues to be good business. What has, [...]

Copyright & The New Economy: What I learned

Posted: May 13th, 2010

[by Jay Kinghorn] The Copyright & The New Economy symposium held on April 21st was, for me, an eye-opening event. As the moderator for Copyright and the New Economy, I did a lot of research leading up to the event. A common thread that ran through the research, the morning presenters and the afternoon panel [...]

Copyright Registration – Protecting Your Investment

Posted: May 12th, 2010

[by Richard Kelly] With The Copyright Act of 1976 and later revisions including the Berne Convention, artists were no longer required to register for copyright nor to provide copyright notice. In my opinion, these two facts have led to two decades of visual artists thinking that they were protecting their visual investments. For a commercial [...]

Monetization Matters

Posted: May 11th, 2010

[by Judy Herrmann] My Mother’s day gift this year included a leisurely morning that allowed me to make a small dent on my rapidly growing stockpile of New Yorker magazines (I love the New Yorker but I mean, seriously, does ANYone have time to read an entire magazine every single week!?!). The issue I grabbed [...]

Copyright and Video

Posted: May 10th, 2010

[by Gail Mooney] As still photographers move and expand into video because of the convergence of their tools, they often ask me about copyright, licensing and usage and how to apply that to video. Essentially they are trying to apply a licensing business model from their still photography and sometimes that doesn’t work in video [...]

Post Symposium Thoughts

Posted: April 23rd, 2010

[by Richard Kelly] If content is king, distribution is its queen. What does distribution and publication really mean today and in the foreseeable future? How can independent artists exercise their rights and gain fair compensation for the use of their work? I believe visual artists must adapt. We need to do business more efficiently by [...]

Copyright or Compensation?

Posted: April 22nd, 2010

[by Judy Herrmann] ASMP’s Copyright Symposium yesterday focused on the role of Copyright in the New Economy.  I walked away from the Symposium inspired and excited by the business ideas and opportunities discussed.  But, more importantly, the Symposium renewed and reinvigorated my commitment to continue searching for ways to protect the interests of independent creators.  [...]

ASMP Copyright Symposium Today in NYC

Posted: April 21st, 2010

Copyright and the New Economy TimesCenter, 242 West 41st St
New York, NY Wednesday, April 21 Register Here. Morning Session 9:30 am – Welcome — Eugene Mopsik, ASMP Executive Director 9:45 am – 10:30 am – Overview of Copyright Law — Victor Perlman, ASMP General Counsel 10:45 am – 11:30 am – Story Telling in the [...]

Copyright and The New Economy

Posted: April 20th, 2010

[by Jay Kinghorn] For many years, the profession of photography has been based on licensing a photo for a specific use, often with precise definitions on how, where and what size a given image can be reproduced.  Today, myriad forces, including client requests, microstock and Internet publishing are prompting photographers to rethink the traditional rights-managed [...]

Do You Register Your Images with the Copyright Office?

Posted: April 19th, 2010

[by Susan Carr] Only a small percentage of photographers register their work with the copyright office. ASMP wants that to change. We have new resources to help: Read ASMP’s recommended Best Practices for registering your work. Attend one of our “Registration Workshops” traveling the country. Watch our new podcast on the steps to register unpublished [...]

Photographers File Class Action Against Google

Posted: April 7th, 2010

Philadelphia, PA…The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), joined by the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography Association, Professional Photographers of America, photographers Leif Skoogfors, Al Satterwhite, Morton Beebe, Ed Kashi and illustrators John Schmelzer and Simms Taback, has filed a class action copyright infringement suit against [...]

Making Copyright Part of Your Workflow

Posted: March 15th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] Photographers often cite one of the barriers to regular copyright registration is assembling the submission of images. In the old film days, it was a significant challenge to get physical copies of all your work in an acceptable form for registration. In today’s digital world it is much easier to assemble a [...]

I’m Gonna Sue!

Posted: February 26th, 2010

[by Jim Cavanaugh] When I was a Chapter President, I would often get calls from angry members who found that one of their photographs had been infringed. They wanted the name of a copyright attorney so they could sue the infringer. I was always stunned when I asked about what the person said after they [...]

Registration ©ounts!

Posted: October 21st, 2009

[by Susan Carr] The copyright office tells us that only 5% of photographers register their images. ASMP wants to change that and this week at Photo Plus Expo ASMP will launch a new initiative called Registration ©ounts to create awareness of copyright issues, to encourage all photographers to register their work, and to provide the [...]

Registering Your Copyright – Just Do It

Posted: July 1st, 2009

While registering the copyright of your photos affords photographers a variety of benefits and protections, very few of us actually do it.  What most don’t seem to realize is that once you get into the regular habit of registering, its just not that big of a deal.  Registration should be like any other part of [...]