September 21, 2009
Eugene Mopsik, Executive Director, ASMP
Victor Perlman, Esq., General Counsel, ASMP
American Society of Media Photographers
Phone: 215 451 2767
Philadelphia, PA… The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), joined by the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, and the North American Nature Photography Association, has filed a statement for the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing on “Competition and Commerce in Digital Books.” The statement, which has been added to the hearing record, represents the interests of thousands in the visual artist community.
This action follows the group’s recent objections filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The court filing was in opposition to the proposed settlement of the consolidated copyright infringement actions initiated against Google by the Authors Guild, Inc. and the Association of American Publishers, Inc. The group’s objections assert that the rights of photographers and other visual creators are virtually excluded from the proposed $125 million settlement. ASMP and the previously mentioned trade associations represent thousands of photographers, graphic artists, and other copyright owners who have joined forces to oppose the settlement.
According to ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik, “We decided to take the additional step of filing our statement after studying the proceedings of the hearing as part of our continuing interest and involvement in the proposed settlement. We felt strongly that the interests of our members and the visual arts community as a whole were being disregarded.” ASMP believes that the proposed Google settlement has far-reaching consequences for the work product and livelihoods of creators of visual images.
ASMP General Counsel Victor Perlman said, “We thought it was vital to inform Congress of the important issues at stake for the vast majority of photographers and graphic artists whose works have been and continue to be digitized without authorization. And, based on the Statement of Interest filed by the Department of Justice on September 18th, we are hopeful that many of the questions we have raised will be addressed by the courts and by Congress.”
The following documents were filed by ASMP:
Statement to the House Judiciary Committee
Exhibit A, Plaintiff statements of objection
Exhibit B, identifying the Plaintiff organizations
Exhibit C, original class action complaint
Exhibit D, first amended class action complaint
Exhibit E, second amended class action complaint
Founded in 1944, ASMP is the leader in promoting photographers’ rights, providing education in better business practices, producing business publications for photographers, and helping to connect purchasers with professional photographers. ASMP has 39 chapters across the country and its 7,000 members include many of the world’s foremost photographers. More information is available at www.asmp.org.
The Graphic Artists Guild promotes and protects the social, economic and professional interests of its members. More information at www.graphicartistsguild.org.
Founded in 1951, PACA, the Picture Archive Council of America, represents the vital interests of image archives of every size, from individual photographers to large corporations, who license images for commercial reproduction. PACA leads advocacy, education, and communication efforts on copyright and standard business practices that affect the image licensing industry. More information at www.pacaoffice.org.
NANPA, the North American Nature Photography Association, is the first and premiere association in North America committed solely to serving the field of nature photography. More information at www.nanpa.org.