Cheerleading: The PicRights’ Method

May 30, 2022

I read what appears to be a news release designed to promote an outfit with an interesting business model. Navigate to “PicRights Sponsors Upcoming CEPIC Congress in Spain.” the write up explains:

For the fifth consecutive year, PicRights will also sponsor the annual Digital Media Licensing Organization (DMLA) Conference, to be held later this year. Last year’s conference offered sessions with Adobe, Google, Microsoft and Getty, and discussed NFTs, AI, synthetic content, remote production, and other issues shaping today’s creator economy. PicRights was a sponsor of the conference from 2018 through 2021, and was previously a speaker at the 2020 conference.

The news release points out:

Last month, PicRights was a supporter of the 32nd annual MINDS Conference held in Helsinki. The theme of the conference was “Stronger Together – Collaboration and Sharing for Success” and discussed successful partnerships within MINDS and beyond, collaboration with major platforms, newsroom evolution, and the power of diversity and inclusion.

Several questions arose as I thought about this somewhat rah rah-type news story:

  1. What is the false positive rate for the software used by this organization to identify copyright missteps? When was it developed? By whom?
  2. What financial deals are in place for largely reactive and technologically sluggish publishing companies’ whose intellectual property is the subject of legal interactions?
  3. Why are image protected by assorted copyright regulations appearing in a free Web search system like Google-type image search?

I don’t have answers to these questions. It seems to me that some odd synchronized vibration is buzzing among the image indexing outfits, the PicRights-type operations, and the copyright holders.

Is the solution to use “smart software” to delete inclusion of any image which requires a fee for use or the insertion of a message that clearly identifies an image as one which requires a fee to be paid should someone like a veteran’s group, a college newspaper, or a one-person Medium blogger?

I find this harmonic vibration among the rights enforcement folks, the Google-type search systems, and the entity “owning” the rights to a particular image fascinating.

The business model is clever but it appears that additional publicity is needed to make the excellence of the approach more visible.  Rah rah rah.

Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2022


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