After facilitating litigation in several high-profile copyright infringement cases in the coursepack market, the nonprofit Copyright Clearance Center is now facing copyright questions of its own. Last week the CCC prevailed in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts when a judge denied class certification in a lawsuit filed by three freelance photographers against the organization. The suit charges CCC with copyright infringement for granting licenses to photocopy images that appear in publications, even though photographers typically retain those rights.
However, for Jason Adkins of Adkins, Kelston and Zavez, who argued for class certification along with co-counsel from Philips & Angley, "the issue is far from over. The idea that with 20,000 freelance photographers, there aren't at least 50 that own their rights is absurd," he told PW. "The CCC is blindly operating on the assumption that they have all rights. Their entire business model is out of kilter." For now, Adkins is weighing various options.