Elena Cooper and Sheona Burrow
This article provides an in-depth case study of the enforcement of copyright in photographs by certain rights-owners today: freelance professional photographers who derive income from the exploitation of photographic copyright. Referring to the theoretical framework of Guido Calabresi and A Douglas Melamed, the article reflects on the implications of the case study for the nature and function of copyright in a specific context today. Bringing the experience today into conversation with the enforcement of copyright by professional photographers in past times (the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries), the article notes the influence of the bureaucratisation of copyright exploitation (i.e. exploitation through picture libraries) on legal decision making in a particular forum today: the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Small Claims Track. The article concludes with more general reflections on the case study’s implications for the courts and copyright policy-makers.