The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), joined by the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography Association, and several prominent individual photographers, has filed documents in opposition to the proposed settlement of the consolidated copyright infringement actions against Google instituted by the Authors Guild, Inc. and the Association of American Publishers, Inc. ASMP and the other trade associations represent thousands of photographers, graphic artists, and other copyright owners who assert that they were excluded from the process as well as from the proposed $125 million settlement.
Earlier this year, ASMP published a statement expressing concerns about the class action settlement between authors, publishers and Google, and indicated its intention to file objections. Since that time, the four professional associations have joined forces, working together to oppose the settlement which excludes photographers and graphic artists from millions of dollars in payment, as well as from participation in future revenues to be generated by Google under the proposed settlement. ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik said, "ASMP believes that the proposed settlement has far-reaching consequences for the work product and livelihoods of creators of visual images. Through this filing, we hope to stop a settlement that would hurt our members and those of our sister organizations, and to participate in obtaining a fair and equitable solution."
According to the filing, the Proposed Settlement purports to serve both the public interest and the interests of the class members as well as Google, but it would, in fact, serve the financial interests of only a select few while irrevocably damaging the interests of others. ASMP General Counsel Victor Perlman said, "The vast majority of photographers and graphic artists, whose works have been and continue to be digitized by Google without authorization, and who have been members of the plaintiffs' class since June 2006, would neither receive compensation for past infringement nor any benefit going forward.” Perlman added, "The visual arts community has copyright interests at stake that are just as important as the copyright interests of authors and publishers that this Proposed Settlement is designed to protect.” The documents filed by ASMP will be available at www.asmp.org
Founded in 1944, ASMP is the leader in promoting photographers' rights, providing education in better business practices, producing business publications for photographers, and helping to connect purchasers with professional photographers. ASMP has 39 chapters across the country and its 7,000 members include many of the world's foremost photographers. More information is available at www.asmp.org
The Graphic Artist Guild promotes and protects the social, economic and professional interests of its members. More information at www.graphicartistsguild.org