Founded in 1990, the Selling Stock Newsletter, published and mostly written by Jim Pickerell, has been a drive-by documenter of the pathetic demise of the stock photo industry. Often times, Pickerell seemed to revel in the corporate takeover of the small stock photo businesses, becoming not-so-helpful to the photographer. Pickerell is old-guard, but not good at guarding. And now there is nothing left.
Today’s Selling Stock Weekly Digest featured an article titled, Is There A Need For A Publication Like Selling Stock? in which Pickerell comments on his own article from the week before titled, Copyright Protection For Photos Is Dead.
But copyright protection is not dead! Photographers have had some good momentum going on lately in regard to big tech and copyrights. I wonder why Selling Stock is not reporting the good news?
The Selling Stock Weekly Digest of June 6 failed to report the best news photographers have had for a very long time – the McGucken v. Newsweek June 1 decision that there is no apparent license from Instagram to endusers of the embedding tool that confer rights to use copyrighted photos. Instead, the Selling Stock Digest contained two articles that were written by Nancy Wolff, who is Newsweek’s lawyer in the lawsuit!
And then the next week, in the June 13 Selling Stock Weekly Digest, after Instagram came out and announced to the world, in a June 4 article by Ars Technica, that Instagram definitely does NOT hand out sublicenses for copyrighted photos via their embedding tool, Jim Pickerell questioned whether or not that is a correct legal opinion, referring to the “sad case of Stephanie Sinclair,” (so sexist) not even mentioning that Sinclair v. Mashable was under reconsideration for the April 13 “dismissal” decision. Hmm….
And then just this week, Sinclair v. Mashable decision was overturned, as the judge wrote that “in light of the persuasive authority of McGucken, and in order to correct clear error,” the Court overturned the dismissal because there is no evidence of a sublicense. But does Selling Stock report that? NO! It would rather paint the industry dead! Thank goodness for the rejuvenation of justice by a younger generation of artists and lawyers.
And by the way, on May 20, through writing an article on PetaPixel.com, I myself achieved a major victory for photographers. I managed to persuade SquareSpace, a huge website provider, to change their practice of stripping copyright management information metadata from users’ photographs. Therefore, because SquareSpace changed their policy and from now on, will retain CMI metadata contained in uploaded photos, these photos will be able to appear on Google Images with the upcoming Google Licensable Badge. This is a very good thing for photographers.
It’s been a great year for photography with the recent court decisions, the upcoming Google Licensable badge, and the retention of metadata for SquareSpace users. Copyright protection for photos is far from being dead, unlike the Selling Stock newsletter.