Basically, yes, their missions are similar, and yes, it is their location that differentiates them. All three work closely with the others, and the P in each acronym stands for Picture: They are all trade organizations, working to encourage the best possible standards in the stock photography industry, to protect the core principals of the industry, to become the one authorative voice in their territory.
PACA, the Picture Archive Council of America is a Digital Media Licensing Association in North America that represents the vital interests of stock archives of every size, from individual photographers to large corporations, who license images for commercial reproduction. Founded in 1951, its membership includes over 100 companies in North America and over 50 international members.
PACA strives to foster and protect the interests of the picture archive community by monitoring new laws and court rulings that affect the stock photo industry and provides vital information on legal issues that are important to the business. They work to develop useful business standards and promote ethical business practices; actively advocate copyright protection; collect and disseminate timely information; and take an active role in the picture community by building relationships with organizations from related industries.
PACA holds an Annual International Conference. This is one of the main industry events of the year, providing opportunities to meet others in the business, discuss important issues, participate in seminars ranging from salesmanship to new technologies, and make connections with potential trade partners and vendors from around the country and the world.
BAPLA Represents picture libraries and agencies of all sizes and types. Its members include the major news, stock and production agencies as well as sole traders and cultural heritage institutions. Bapla deems to:
• Encourage best practice within the industry.
• Lobby at UK and international level to ensure the core principles of our industry are protected.
• Develop and deliver solutions on 21st Century copyright.
• Channel the knowledge and expertise of the wider picture community.
BAPLA is steered by an elected voluntary Executive Committee of 12 officers, supported by two permanent office staff, a freelance senior lobbying consultant and a number of subcommittees. Their work is funded by membership fees to whom they provide day-to-day business support.
CEPIC federates nearly a thousand of picture agencies and photo libraries in 20 countries across Europe, both within and outside the European Union. It has affiliates in North America and Asia. CEPIC’s membership includes large and smaller stock photo libraries, major photo news agencies, art galleries and museums, video companies. The aim of CEPIC is to be a united voice for the press, stock & heritage organisations of Europe in all matters pertaining to the photographic industry. This includes consolidating copyright protection for photography and ensuring that it not be weakened by the process of the harmonisation of copyright laws, fighting for comparable trade regulations and ethical standards which will guarantee the protection of rights for all photographers, copyright holders and agencies, and devleoping guidelines for a fair business competition.
With an annual congress since 1995, CEPIC has become a central meeting point for agencies from all around the world centered on Europe. The website has a wealth of information on copyright issues, legal battles, changes in law and how they affect the picture industry, changes in technology, and upcoming events.