The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), joined by the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography Association, Professional Photographers of America, photographers Leif Skoogfors, Al Satterwhite, Morton Beebe, Ed Kashi and illustrators John Schmelzer and Simms Taback, has filed a class action copyright infringement suit against Google, Inc. in the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York. The suit, which was filed by Mishcon de Reya New York LLP, relates to Google's illegal scanning of millions of books and other publications containing copyrighted images and displaying them to the public without regard to the rights of the visual creators. ASMP and the other trade associations, representing thousands of members, decided to file the class action after the Court denied their request to join the currently pending $125 million class action that had previously been filed primarily on behalf of text authors in connection with the Google Library Project. The new class action goes beyond Google's Library Project, and includes Google's other systematic and pervasive infringements of the rights of photographers, illustrators and other visual artists.

This action by ASMP and its sister organizations was taken in order to protect the interests of owners of copyrights in visual works from the massive and organized copying and public display of their images without regard to their contributions and rights to fair compensation. According to ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik, "Through this suit, we are fulfilling the missions of our organizations and standing up for the rights of photographers and other visual artists who have been excluded from the process up to now. We strongly believe that our members and those of other organizations, whose livelihoods are significantly and negatively impacted, deserve to have representation in this landmark issue." ASMP General Counsel Victor Perlman said, "We are seeking justice and fair compensation for visual artists whose work appears in the twelve million books and other publications Google has illegally scanned to date. In doing so, we are giving voice to thousands of disenfranchised creators of visual artworks whose rights we hope to enforce through this class action."


Canon New Zealand is launching the largest online auction in its history to raise money for the victims of the recent Christchurch earthquake.

The auction, which will go live on Trade Me tomorrow, will see a huge line up of more than 100 Canon products valued at over $50,000 (RRP) going under the virtual hammer. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the Mayoral Earthquake Relief Fund.

Mike Johnston, Country Manager of Canon New Zealand, says they hope to see a frenzy of online bidding that will raise much needed funds for fellow Kiwis affected by the tragedy.

"We would like to encourage anyone who has been considering a new camera or a printer to get online and take a look. It's a chance for people to pick up a Canon product at a great price and every dollar raised will go towards helping those affected by the earthquake in their time of need."

"It is going to take a lot of time and financial assistance to rebuild Christchurch but we are very fortunate to live in a nation where charitable giving is such a strong part of our culture," says Johnston. "Kiwis really step up when needed and we hope they will dig deep with this auction."

The auction will start from mid morning on Wednesday and will close at 5pm on Sunday 19th September. As the seller is Canon New Zealand all products will come with a Canon genuine twelve month warranty.

The range of Canon products include: digital compact cameras, inkjet and laser printers, video cameras, digital SLR cameras and even lenses and scanners. The total retail value is over $50,000 however Canon hopes that this figure will be far surpassed in an online bidding war.

For more information visit and look out for Canon - Earthquake Charity Auction

Photo above: © Richard Linton