When it comes to international copyright laws, most of the focus tends to be on music and movies. Every so often a software company may also make the news. But, what about photographers? According to ABC, photographers are losing income to news agencies, travel agencies and other businesses who use their images with neither credit nor payment.
As with other types of media, the internet is the vehicle through which the thievery takes place. Many photographers who share their works online through social media or their website often find those images downloaded and reuploaded elsewhere. Photographers who continually pursue legal action have since been called “copyright trolls.” Many businesses complain that even when the infringement was accidental, rather than receive an initial request to remove the photograph, negotiations began with legal threats and a demand for licensing fees.
According to CNN, the European Union has allegedly come to the rescue with new copyright law provisions that should tame the internet at least in their markets. Rather than hold individual content creators or small businesses and blogs accountable, it is tech companies who will face repercussions. This places the responsible on content-focused companies, such as Facebook, YouTube and WordPress, to police their platforms and ensure users do not upload copyrighted material.
Many companies have aired their dissatisfaction with the new copyright law. Others have questioned the clarity of the law as well as their practicality. In fact, the EU is still sorting through details of how the law will be applied. It has only two more years to go before the law takes full effect.