Lately, David Hoffman has been telling me about PLUS. Nope, not Google+, but PLUS, which aims to be a genuinely and definitely useful online resource for photographers (while Google+, despite it’s highly promising start, is still a resource with limited and unproven benefits).
Ever had one of those discussions about how easily copyrighted works are being used online? About how easy image theft is, and how much it is costing the industry? Or about how Orphan Works are being created by the online platforms we use (Facebook, this mean you, dear) not to mention being used by image-users as a scapegoat for failing to contact photographers?
Answer yes to any of those, and PLUS is something you really need to check out.
Ever been an image-user who comes across a great image in a magazine, and you want to use it, but there’s no byline and you’ve no way of finding its author? If so, PLUS is something you really need to check out.
In short, if PLUS is taken up by photographers worldwide, the image recognition software used by it will make it easy to locate the author of any registered image – you’d just take a photo of it with your phone, and access PLUS to find the author of it. This means images that couldn’t have been used before now can. This means photographers are more likely to get paid. And this means there is less defence for using an image without seeking permission, as for any registered image it would take a matter of seconds to find the contact details for its author. No excuses, just fair play to all in the image-business, meaning fair play from all in the image-industry.
Revolutionary? Google+ may have circles, but EPUK and PLUS may well have just reinvented the wheel…
In the words of EPUK:
“PLUS moves to save photographers, distributors and publishers
…and to make Orphan Works instantly identifiable.
The PLUS Registry sounds as exciting as a phonebook, but promises the largest evolutionary step for the imaging industry since the internet arrived.
Our EPUK article written by moderator Tony Sleep published today lays out a detailed explanation of the system and its potential .
The PLUS Coalition are offering supporting organisations a free listing in the the beta version of the non-profit PLUS Registry. This exciting new resource for the creative community will make it easy to identify and contact the creator and rights holder for any image, worldwide.
The PLUS Registry is provided by the non-profit PLUS Coalition, a global collaboration between all industries engaged in creating, distributing, using and preserving images. By connecting images to creators and rights information, the PLUS Registry lays the foundation for significant improvements in our industry, and will minimize the impact of future orphan works legislation.
Contact Tony Sleep: TonySleep[at]halftone[dot]co[dot]uk for more information.