|Just because you're small shouldn't|
mean you get kicked around
"A friend of mine who has a sideline licensing use of her photographs recently came to me with a plea for help. An organisation has used one of her pictures and has refused to agree to, or even acknowledge, her request for her usual fee of around £50. Having sought advice from Own-It she was told that her course of action was to bring a claim for copyright infringement. However, she can only do this in the Patents County Court, and absent a Small Claims procedure for IP disputes (as proposed in the Jackson Report) this will be an expensive option. On her behalf I contacted a specialist IP litigator; they expressed interest and sympathy but noted that their normal costs regime meant that even writing a Cease-and-Desist letter would probably be disproportionately expensive given the low value of the dispute.All comments are welcome. This blogger wonders whether naming and shaming the organisation concerned via a concerted bit of social media campaigning might be more effective than anything else -- and a lot more fun.
Is there any credible route to redress for my friend? It seems manifestly unjust that flagrant copyright infringement should go without remedy, but the current system for IP litigation does (and this is, I know, not news) seem to ignore the small-scale creators who are supposed to be the bedrock of innovation and our creative economy. Are we likely to see reform to address this, and in the mean time is there anything my friend can do that won't involve outlay an order of magnitude larger than the sum she wants to claim?"
Meanwhile, in "Sony Asks Court to Remove PlayStation 3 Jailbreak From Net", Wired reports on the tale of some nifty "jailbreaking" which, it seems, falls foul of the current regime for dealing with software hacking in the United States. This may be one to watch ...
Finally, Barry Sookman's "Copyright law 2010 –the year in review in Canada and around the world" can be accessed here, replete with slides and text. Thanks, Barry!