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is the Director of Photography at Buck the Cubicle, based in Southern California. She is also the Past-Chair of the National Board of the American Society of Media Photographers.
I have heard it said that a right without a remedy isn’t really a right. This saying completely and accurately sums up my experience with copyright infringement in the modern age. I am not an attorney, let alone a copyright lawyer. I am a small business owner whose livelihood is constantly affected by the lack of reasonable avenues for pursuing infringement of my work. For more than a decade, I have been making my living as a commercial photographer and filmmaker. During that time I have witnessed my works infringed online—an exceedingly easy thing to do in the digital age—but also in print. A most memorable example of this was finding my photo enlarged as the backdrop to a competitor’s trade show booth while my paying client was rightfully using the same artwork across the room at their own booth. An act like this is both unlawful and egregious. But the extraordinary costs of pursuing a copyright infringement suit in federal court prohibit me from seeking recourse this way without taking on the additional risk of bankruptcy.