Thursday, June 11, 2009

World Copyright Summit - Robin Gibb interview

At right is a crop of the brochure for the World Copyright Summit, held June 9th and 10th 2009 in Washington DC. What is remarkable is that, while a photographer is an iconic visual representation of copyright on their brochures and website, not a single photographer, illustrator, or, as Robin Gibb pointed out, painter, is on the program for the Summit. Further, not a single photographer's trade organization was in attendance as a delegate (we asked the registration team there), so we put the question to the organizers of the event, CISAC, and asked Robin Gibb, their President, to help us understand how this happened.

It was suggested that organizations like the Copyright Alliance, which was in attendance, collectively represents those creators, as they have photographer associations as members. However, to not have a single photographer, illustrator, or painter on stage, while the vast majority of other creators were, seems rather odd.

See if you can discern the answer Gibb gave us, as we asked, and re-asked the question.

(Continued after the Jump)

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


SV said...

Very nicely done, John, some good, persistent questioning. As I'm sure you were, I'm left a little confused about Mr. Gibb's ability to answer such a simple, reasonable question.

Anonymous said...

I can't hear shit, can you ? all I see is the dude from the Bee Gees...does he sing at the end ?

Anonymous said...

Didn't he and his brothers do a song called Jive Talking?

I think his response to you was the sequel.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to make your point when it is near impossible to HEAR the audio in the video.

John Harrington said...

Not sure why a few of you aren't getting audio. It's a flash video file, and sounds fine on my internet connection.

-- John

Ron said...

It is very strange. I can't hear the audio either. Adjusting the volume of the clip and on my computer was of little use either.


virginia executive photographer said...

I couldn't hear Heller and having a heck of a time loading this clip - stop-starts. never had this before. Just a tip not a critique.

Patrick said...


I'm with others in that the connection was glitchy and the sound unintelligible. Any way to post a text summary of the exchange?

MarcWPhoto said...

The Copyright Office, and the Orphan Works movement in general, are not welcoming to photographers because photography, more than any other creative type, gets the shaft from the whole concept of Orphan Works and we are not shy about saying so.

"Orphan" photographs are more common than any other kind of creative orphan, are the hardest to track down, and the easiest to assimilate into new matter. When they say there are all these old works that society could put to new creative uses, what they mean is old photographs. However, because they will not institute any kind of mandatory licensing regime for after-discovered creators that is even within hailing distance of a fair licensing fee for photographs, the rules they want to institute don't distinguish between an old Kodachrome somebody found in a box in an attic, and one of my pictures some jerk took from my website yesterday and reposted without attribution.

The folks at TinEye et al are struggling mightily, but we are still a long way from any sort of technological solution. If Orphan Works goes through in anything like its present form, we're screwed, they're screwing us, they know it, and a mixture of hostility and (perhaps) embarassment keeps them from wanting to discuss it with us.

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