Pursuing Copyright Infringement Committed Against Photographers

Copyright infringements committed against photographers’ works often remain unsolved and many have a hard time pursuing the case because of the high fees involved. The photographers, who like many in the creative field, are dependent on the income generated on the usage (licensing) of their photos and are often on a disadvantaged position when this happens. They are literally at the mercy of those infringers (only in the Philippines?).

Ideally, such case can be dealt through a Collecting Society but it might take long before this can be realized. But for the meantime, Atty. Louie Calvario of IPO Philippines advised that the easy way for photographers to claim damages is through an out-of-court settlement. Some photographers told me that, upon discovery of the infringement, they send the billing to the infringing party/company and get paid - but this is not always the case though.

Others tried an alternative route - like photographer Anton Sheker who chose to write a story on how his photographs was infringed, which, eventually was picked-up by ABS-CBN Interactive through Ron Cruz who featured Anton's story in their Special Feature section.

And so I think other photographers who has a similar case can post their stories online (see Anton's post) through IPR-Photo blog. It may not generate instantaneous response or solution but exposing copyright infringements committed by companies/ image-users will put them into bad light. And in a way put pressure on them to take action especially if such stories were picked-up by the press or big media entities, such as Anton’s case. One alternative avenue for photographers was the IPR Photo blog which is looking for stories related to copyright infringements. Submit your stories now!


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