The legal obligations when downloading author’s photos, the modest court practice on copyright in the Macedonian context, and the need for a collective engagement to protect the rights of photographers were part of the topics of the working meeting that was held in AJM and on the initiative of the section of photographers at AJM. A group of professional photographers, as well as stakeholders from the media industry, as well as national copyright expert Valentin Pepeljugoski, were present.
The executive director of AJM Dragan Sekulovski, shared what AJM has been working on this topic in the past period, but also about the latest trends in the context of the unauthorized downloading of photos by the media in Macedonia, addressed the colleagues present.
At the meeting in front of the attendees, photojournalist Tomislav Georgiev shared, “Nowadays we have the opportunity to code our photos so that we can somehow intercept potential future thefts of our author’s work.” In the context of this, we must think about forming some platform through AJM to create a software where we could place our photos with some kind of “watermark”, where we would have control over the potential theft of photos,” said Georgiev.
The coordinator of the section of photojournalists at ZNM, Petr Stojanovski, pointed out that in the context of the protection of our copyrights, there is a trend of improving the situation, that is, that fewer copyrighted photos are taken, as well as the practice of foreign agencies in the area of copyright protection. as well as the challenges in the domestic context. Several portals persistently commit such violations, but this is the right time to reach a common consensus to solve this problem through a court of law.
Lawyer Valentin Pepeljugoski emphasized that there are two ways of protecting photographers, the first mechanism is extrajudicial, and the second is through lawsuits before the competent courts.
“In the beginning, you have to get rid of your emotions, and you have to endure, piracy will never be eradicated. Despite warnings there will always be unauthorized content downloads. A collective organization is a real option that the law allows, where all of you as members will draw up your price list, thus facilitating the work of the prosecution and the court in a potential procedure. You have to think about how to draw up your price list to avoid expensive expertise, emphasizing that if there is such a price list, you can always refer to it”, said Pepeljugoski.
The present photographers had the opportunity to debate the topic and to state several conclusions that will result in practical steps and activities in the direction of greater protection of the author’s work, not only for photographers but also for all media workers in the country.