On Thursday 14 and Friday November 15th 2013, we had an IPR workshop for EuropeanaPhotography in Paris, organized by Nathalie Doury of Parisienne de Photographie, in Hôtel Villa Beaumarchais, rue des Arquebusiers, near Parisienne de Photo premises.
In the morning we had a presentation by Angelina Petrovic, paralegal consultant & an experienced specialist of IPR related to photography, and Stefan Biberfeld, both with long previous experience with Corbis, on the basic principles of Intellectual Property Rights applied to photography, and with a focus on photographers & third party rights (artists copyright, personality rights, etc…)
This was followed by a most interesting Q&A session in the afternoon. We also discussed case studies based on examples provided by EuropeanaPhotography participants. Participants were invited to send questions in advance, as well as specific images or series of images they would like expert advice on. Besides the copyrights also moral rights and neighboring rights were lively discussed. It became clear that the whole discussion on Orphan Works has a serious impact on the project. True to our motto we discussed the case by looking at photo images, since we never have a meeting without doing exactly that!
Before dinner we had the opportunity to visit the photographic collection of Musée Carnavalet. This museum is dedicated to the history of Paris. Its photographic collection includes many masterpieces, including an impressive collection of works by Atget & Marville For more info on the collections : http://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/en/collections/photography.
At the musée Carnavalet, we had a close look at the following magnificent panoramic Daguerreotype :
On Friday, Dimitrios Tsolis joined us, as well as Julia Fallon from the Europeana Foundation, who was so kind to discuss with us on outstanding issues concerning rights labelling in EuropeanaPhotography.
There is an attractiveness for private photo agencies and museums to put their images onto Europeana, because of the increased exposure. But of course, there is some hesitation to put high-resolution, printable images without watermarks online, since this is often the product being sold or charged for. Just like the photo-agencies who earn their money out of licensing their images, many museums are also encouraged by subsidizing governments to ask a fee for higher quality downloads or prints.
Julie Fallon gave a much appreciated overview of what is in the pipeline at Europeana. It was clear that what is planned not always matches the expectations of the EP partners, and a better representation in the developmment of these plans is certainly advisable.
Dimitrios Tsolis showed the results of the survey held amongst EP partners on IPR. From this it emerges that about 21% of what will be contributed through EuropeanaPhotography to Europeana are Orphan Works.
The main issue is still the public domain mark: we understand that when a work is legally in the public domain, copyrights have expired and it is understandable that Europeana wants to inform the public about this, since this could foster reuse. But if this means that we should also provide a high-res image for free (as the newly discussed recommendations imply), than we are simply out of business: how can photo-agencies, archives and museums be remunerated for the care-taking of this heritage and the services they deliver? The balance between free access to works deemed in the public domain and the necessity to have a sustainable economic model for the image caretakers and service providers, whether they are private or publicly funded, requires some more debate.
There was also much confusion about the Orphan Works directive , how OHIM would support this and what it would mean for EuropeanaPhotography partners. Since the procedure to get the Orphan Works copyright exemption seems cumbersome and unrealistic, many partners around the table felt little appetite to do the effort, and are assessing their risks. We discussed tentatively what role Europeana itself could take up in this matter.
Anyway we felt that in EuropeanaPhotography we should look for existing best practices in “diligent search”, and if needed develop our own set of guidelines of what we deem a best professional effort to determine the author rights of a presumed orphan work.
But nothing could spoil the joy of having the first EuropeanaPhotography images online at Europeana!
In the afternoon I took the train home; not the one below, but as a train enthusiast I prefer these now classic electrolocs over the slick Thalys!