Dunlap Codding Shareholder Emily E. Campbell Quoted in an Article on Copyright Office Inquiry into Licensing of Photos, Illustrations

Emily Campbell was quoted extensively in an April 28, 2015, Bloomberg BNA article published by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., written by Anandashankar Mazumdar.  The article summary stated, “The Copyright Office is reviewing how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are monetized, enforced, and registered under the Copyright Act.”

The Federal Register, on April 24, had published the Office’s call for public comments on obstacles facing creators of visual works in monetizing their creations.  Emily was quoted as saying that the process seemed “like medicine, where we are trying to take preventative steps to maintaining our health.  It seems like the Copyright Office is trying to take preventative measures to protect rights with regard to digital images.”  Typically, those holding copyright interest in visual works have had only reactive measures to turn to, such as relying on “copyright enforcement groups out there enforcing rights of third parties.”  Emily commented that the initiative was a good start in prompting thinking about how to protect rights from the beginning.

The article noted that, according to the notice, “Even when creators of visual works successfully license use of their works, the resulting uses can result in their credit information and other embedded copyright management data being stripped away.”

Emily explained that copyright holders, their lawyers and potential users or licensees of visual works do not currently have access to a comprehensive, centralized database of visual works. 

“Currently there's a database that's in place, but copyright law has always had a challenge of chasing technology,” Campbell said. “So we face these issues of trying to conduct a search on the Library of Congress site and we face a limitation in that we can't view the works.”

Emily suggested that something akin to the Creative Commons database would be helpful in overcoming some of the obstacles faced.