February 4, 2011
Eugene H. Mopsik, Executive Director
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)
Phone: 215 451 2767
Philadelphia, PA… Eugene Mopsik, Executive Director of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) delivered an important paper on Photographers & Collective Licensing as a speaker at the Kernochan Center at Columbia Law School Symposium “Collective Management of Copyright: Solution or Sacrifice?” on January 28, 2011. The title of his presentation was The Practical Difficulties of Creating Collective Management Schemes for Photographers.
According to Mopsik, “Recent changes in the industry, economy, and society have created a perfect storm — the transition to digital capture, digital distribution, the explosion of digital media outlets, the rise of the talented amateur, all coupled with a dilution of effective copyright protection have made it virtually impossible for a commercial photographer to sustain a career solely as an image creator.”
Mopsik said, “While it would seem that the commoditization of images along with digital distribution and micro-transactions create a perfect fit for collective licensing, there has been little or no movement to do so. ASMP believes that the time is right to work cooperatively to advance collective licensing in the U.S with the objective of developing a process to manage the rights for the vast numbers of photographs in individual web collections which are currently being used without permission or compensation.” ASMP is exploring options for working collaboratively with other organizations in such an endeavor.
Mopsik, who has been ASMP’s Executive Director since 2003, has overseen the Society’s largest membership growth, as well as the expansion of its industry influence and legislative impact. During this time, ASMP has engaged in discussions with the Nielsen Corp., Getty Images, the New York Times regarding their freelance contracts, and has worked to create new agreements between photographers and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) regarding the rights to images submitted for various AIA competitions. Membership in the Author’s Coalition of America (ACA) has allowed ASMP to provide industry-wide education and advocacy. ASMP has also been active in the creation of strategy for Congressional discussions related to Orphan Works legislation, and in the filing of a class action copyright infringement suit against Google relating to the illegal scanning of millions of books and other publications containing copyrighted images.
ASMP is the premier trade association for imaging professionals, providing members with all the tools, information and support needed to run successful photography businesses. Over 7,000 strong with chapters throughout the country, ASMP members are recognized as a community of forward-thinking professionals.
To view a copy of Mopsik’s presentation, go to http://asmp.org/pdfs/white_papers/Collective_Licensing.pdf.