by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 24th 2009 10:01am
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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