Copyright Registry fixes

After hearing the hue and cry of the photographer community, the Copyright Registry has made significant changes to their copy and contract terms. I think we, as a community should applaud these changes and the spirit in which they were made.

Are things perfect? No, of course not. But I don’t expect or demand perfection and, frankly, neither should you. I see too many photographers (and other creatives) dig their heels in unreasonably about some issues that, well, aren’t really issues. This is cutting off your nose to spite your face, as the old saw goes. What has been fixed is important and, though I still think the URL choice was poor on their part (for example), that just isn’t important in the big picture. What they fixed was important.

What is most important is that they listened to the community and tried to make things better for everyone involved. They had their position, but they were willing to listen to others and reframe that position. That is a good way to handle challenges and, frankly, mistakes.

Unfortunately, the community doesn’t seem willing to act in the same way. That is, there are some people who are still calling for this company to stop its business or something. They aren’t giving the Registry folks any space to be human and to have simply screwed up. Maybe they took steps to get input from the photo community before they launched but still ended up not presenting in the best way they could have–would that make a difference in your mind? It should.

Wishing them to fail is acting just like those people who are hoping for Obama to fail. Even if you don’t like everything about something, that doesn’t mean you can’t take the good and wish them the best, because maybe their success is really a good thing for you in the long run.

Maybe this is some of my Buddhist readings and maybe some of it is my law school training, but I just do not see where constantly attacking and being negative will get us anywhere. We talked, they listened, they made significant changes–why not just celebrate that and move on? In the long run, services like the Copyright Registry have the potential to be extremely helpful for creatives. Let’s try to keep on the path to make that goal a reality and not get sidetracked by some obsessive need to be 100% right and, worse, to win just for the sake of winning.

3 Responses to “Copyright Registry fixes”

  1. Dabitch Says:

    Since they updated their terms, I’ve made an updated post;

  2. Joseph Pobereskin Says:

    I’m still wondering about the rationale for this service.

    If I’ve registered my work with the copyright office, why do I need to register with To be found? By whom? How do I know that a “user” will search Won’t there be another entrepreneur down the road with a similar service? Worse: will there be more than one? Will I have to register with ALL OF THEM as there’s no predicting where a “user” will turn to search for an orphaned work? Where does this end?

    I’d like all creative groups (ASMP, APA, NPPA, EP, PPA, RIAA, ASCAP, SAG, UAW, Patent Holders Anonymous, etc, et al) to get together to oppose the passage of any orphaned works legislation that is proposed. THAT’S THE SOLUTION!

    US copyright law has sufficient remedies to deal with infringers. Let’s educate the users, then hold them accountable for their actions under current law rather than create a way to let them off the hook.

    Remember, it’s illegal to speed through a school zone. Maybe I’ll open a school zone registry and get them all to sign-up so a driver can search where he’s prohibited from exceeding the 15 MPH limit before s/he drives.

  3. Dabitch Says:

    Just like Joseph I suspect there will be more than one of these services, and searching only one will suffice in the eyes of the new law which I hope never comes to pass, because OMG STUPID. Sorry, ran out of big words.