by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, losses, stock photo

Stock Photo Site Owner Claims Infringement Costs The Industry 5X The Entire Industry's Size

from the uh,-yeah dept

We've seen all sorts of ridiculous claims about the supposed "costs" of copyright infringement. In almost every case, these claims break down under even the slightest scrutiny. Yet, throwing around big numbers tends to get press coverage, and apparently the photography industry has finally jumped onto the trend. Rose M. Welch points out that the CEO of a stock photo site is claiming that infringement costs the industry $10 billion per year. Now, that's quite impressive, considering the entire current stock photo industry is only $2 billion. And, while the reporter expresses some skepticism towards the number, the overall article is still deferential to the idea that $10 billion might not be that far off, and thus, obviously, there's a huge problem. Wouldn't it be nice if reporters actually explored where such numbers come from and why they're totally ridiculous? Does anyone actually think that most of the people who use such photos without authorization would pay for them otherwise? Does anyone actually think the vast majority of those uses are "losses?" Then why report them as such? Why not focus on the real issue: that the market has changed and photographers (and stock photo sites) need to learn to adapt.

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  1. icon
    iNtrigued (profile), 24 Sep 2009 @ 10:15am

    "Beyond stock image libraries, photographers like Leif Skoogfors have something the say. A photojournalist whose four-decade career has put him into war zones in Central America and the Balkans has risked his life for the perfect shot. He now fights a desperate battle to stop web designers and bloggers from lifting his images without paying for them. On two photos alone, he has lost $180,000 in income, he says."

    OK, first of all, I guarantee that number is incredibly inflated. This article acts as though their is absolutely no benefit to the pictures being shared. If you really have a picture worth $90,000 dollars then why are you selling digital versions of it. Why not restrict usage to print only? But really, who would be willing to pay $90k for a single picture anyways if they weren't going to own the picture and all its rights? So unless he foolishly posted the pictures online then I don't see how he could say he lost that income.

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