As it is currently estimated, the cost to pursue a legal redress for a copyright infringement runs in the area of $30,000. Whereas the rewards average around $3,000—if there is a reward. Ten times as much to press the issue as you are likely to recoup even if successful. Good for the ego. Very bad for the bank account.
The proposed change is to set up a ‘small claims court’ to handle copyright claims specifically. There are limitations on available judgments, apparently in the area of $15,000. But without the cost of lawyers the savings to the photographer would be enormous. From what I read on the Internet, I can see a lot of amateur photographers palpitating over this possibility.
I see two problems. First if the standard is retained that the photographer has to actually show proof of an injury, something beyond their ego—most amateur and frankly Scarlet, most semi-pro or low end pro photographers would be hard pressed to prove any such injury resulting in at best little reward and most likely no reward for the time invested. The second problem would be that if every amateur photographer that I hear crying about copyright infringement were to press a suit the courts would be so backed up that most would pass on to the great beyond before it ever came to trial.
Copyright is good, where it is needed. But it’s a non-issue in 99.9% of cases that agitate photographers.
What I get out of photography is of considerable value—to me. But what I get has been achieved when I finish the processing or when I show it to another person. I think that occasionally I do a photograph that is pretty good but I can’t imagine that anyone else would wish to claim it. If they to it just proves to me that there are other people out there that have exceptionally good taste—or as a Woodardism, damn good taste. I feel much less lonely when they confirm that I am every bit as good as I think I am. And, lastly, their vote of approval has added greatly to the value that I have gained from being an amateur photographer—that’s not an injury as best as I can tell.