Getty Images General Counsel John Lapham speaks at Creative Rights Caucus and Copyright Alliance Briefing on Challenges to Photography in the Digital Age

 In Company News

30 April 2014, Washington, D.C. – Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Howard Coble (R-NC), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus, joined forces with the Copyright Alliance for a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the challenges photographers and visual artists face in the internet age.


“It has never been easier to enjoy photographs and other creative content thanks to the internet,” said Rep. Chu. “But that access means we also have a greater responsibility to make sure creators’ works are protected. Photographers and visual artists face unique challenges in their efforts to seek fair compensation for their works.  We must find solutions that balance the needs of consumers, while not compromising the rights of artists.”


“Digital images and the Internet have helped promote and enhance the creation of photographs in many ways, but at the same time they have also created new challenges for the owners of these works,” continued Rep. Coble, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. “Today’s briefing was a snapshot of some of the issues that are confronting photography in America.”


“Photojournalists invest years of training, tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and technology, and often endure hostile environments to create the images that help us understand the world we live in better,” added Sandra Aistars, CEO of Copyright Alliance. “The photographers whose work we shared today have lived on the bottom of the sea, traveled by Goodyear blimp, dodged linebackers and braved wartime to tell their stories.  By sharing their experiences and providing a look behind the lens, they remind us to ask whether we are providing a legal and policy environment that supports both the creation and the dissemination of works by journalists and the newspapers and magazines that invest in their work.”


“The use of high resolution large-format images in search results remains a critical problem for photographers and rights holders,” said John Lapham, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Getty Images. “Search results have gone from providing direction to, to becoming a complete substitution for licensed content.  Once an image is displayed in high resolution large format, there is really nothing more to share from the content owner.  Technology can work with instead of against image providers to provide not just great search, but great content to search for.”


The Creative Rights Caucus was started by Reps. Chu and Coble to educate Members of Congress and the general public about the importance of preserving and protecting the rights of the creative community in the U.S.  American creators of motion pictures, music, software, and other creative works rely on Congress to protect their rights.


The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest and educational organization representing artists, creators, and innovators across the spectrum of copyright disciplines, including membership organizations, associations, unions, companies and guilds, representing artists and creators and thousands of individuals.



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