CEPIC Statement on the Google Books Settlement Agreement 2009

CEPIC’s membership is directly affected by the Settlement as millions of books digitized by Google include photographs. A small part of our members licence illustrations for children’s books – included in the Agreement – other will represent photographers who hold copyright in books. Sooner or later, Google will pursue all photographic rights and work out its conditions, as has been done for writers’ rights in the present Settlement.

CEPIC is not opposed to general or special agreements between Google and libraries or universities.

As Google has the technology and the libraries own the content, working together could be a win-win situation. However, any agreement should be within the general legal working framework and not create a de-facto legal working framework. Both parties should respect the principles of copyright and authors rights and of fair remuneration. Special market conditions for special interests should not be created.

We believe that the present agreement does not meet these minimum requirements: CEPIC will not support any agreement that does not respect copyright and authors rights rules.

As photographs are not included in the present agreement, the Settlement is against the interests of our members. Photographic associations were not invited in the negotiations although the scanned books include millions of photographs without the consent of their rights holders. The integrity of many books depend on their photographic content. We believe that sooner or later Google will address photographic rights, imposing the same “opt/out” solution and thus creating orphan works.

We therefore want the agreement to be banished, to allow new negotiations to unfold and we are in favour of a public registry of orphan works, not a private one. The Commission has already done a lot of work with regard to the issues around mass digitization and orphan works. These efforts should be pursued at an international level. In particular, we wish to work together with publishers in order to solve the issues of photographic rights in books being digitized.

The Membership of CEPIC is made up of the following National Associations : AEAPAF, Spain – APAAI, Portugal – BAPLA, United Kingdom –BLF, Sweden – BVPA e.V. , Germany – FNAPPI, France – NLimage, Netherlands – SAB, Switzerland – SBF, Sweden – SNAPIG, France – In addition CEPIC has 50 affiliates single member agencies in 19 European countries.

CEPIC President is Christina Vaughan
CEPIC’s Secretariat is based in Berlin, Liezenburger-Strasse 91.
Contact is Sylvie Fodor, Executive Director

CEPIC, Centre of the Picture Industry, was founded as Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock Press Heritage in 1993 to have a unified representation in light of new legislation emerging from Brussels. Registered as an EEIG (Economic European Interest Group) in Paris in 1999 and achieving observer status at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) in 1997. As the first organisation within the picture industry to do so, CEPIC now represents over one thousand picture agencies and photo libraries in 19 countries across Europe, an approximation of 150.000 photographers, both within and outside of the European Union. Also a member of IPTC since 2005 and of ICOMP since 2009, CEPIC’s membership includes large and smaller stock photo libraries, sole traders, major photo news agencies, art galleries and museums. CEPIC has among its members all the big global companies like Getty and Corbis.

 The Statement is available in the Login Member Area of the CEPIC website.