Sunday, August 7, 2016

Proposed Changes in Copyright Law Enforcement

Alcy needed to stop in Barnes and Noble so while she looked I browsed the magazines. Read a short but interesting piece in PDN regarding proposed changes to the copyright law. Always fun to read about copyright because in this society that wants to litigate everything it gets so many photographers up in arms.

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.


  1. Confirmed. You are every bit as good as you think you are. Even better. :)

  2. Jan, thank you. I have to play the humble card because if I said what I really think no one would speak to me ever again. LOL The most interesting thing I find about life I that we are all contradictions, enemas so to speak. I actually think that I stink as a photographer but at the same time I think I am one heck of a good photographer--go figure. Seeing lots of photos posted from Japan that are looking mighty good so I will ask how the new camera is working out. I am shooting the Panasonic a lot and have discovered that my software does not handle the RAW files very well but I am very pleased with the JPGs.

  3. Jan, ENIGMA, ENIGMA--not ENEMAS! Don't you just love spell check? Although I will have to admit that when I reread the post I almost died laughing. Karma will get you every time.

  4. LOL!!! Don't you just love spell check! That was hilarious! I regretted not taking the Sony with me but I lost my battery charger and kept thinking I would find it. Anyway, as a desperate measure I bought the P&S at the last minute and I can't say I took that many photos I was proud of - mostly just documented the trip. I really haven't learned to use it very well, but I did like having a small P&S that fit in my purse. Also I was able to turn the sound off on the shutter so that I wasn't quite as obnoxious as I usually am. :) I tried shooting some fireworks off the end of the ship but I was too far away and hand holding, so I had to trash the whole bunch. I'm still envious of your most recent fireworks photos.