DMLA & ACSIL join forces

DMLA and ACSIL logos
DMLA /ACSIL press release – 6 January, 2020.

The Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) and the Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) are coming together to lead advocacy, education and community building for licensors, their partners and the creators they represent. 

The leading trade association for moving-image licensors, 17-year-old ACSIL (Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors) joined forces with the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) as of January 1, 2020.

The DMLA, which began 70 years ago as a picture agency association, now represents all media licensors, and by adding ACSIL, a long-standing and respected moving-image association, will significantly increase membership and reach.  

The DMLA membership ranks, which currently includes industry leaders Shutterstock, Getty Image, Alamy, Pond5, Stocksy, Adobe Stock as well as many small and midsize companies, will now account for more than 90% of North American image, video and media licensing.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with DMLA from 2020 onward. ACSIL represents some of the largest and most respected names in moving imagery and with so many archives and agencies now offering stills and footage, it is the perfect time to come together to create one complete organization to promote and safeguard the interests of all content creators.” said Ed Whitley, President of ACSIL & Bridgeman Images North America.

Alison Smith, Head of Stock Licensing at WGBH, the PBS flagship station, will be joining the DMLA Executive Board starting in January. Additional ACSIL members include ABC News, Bridgeman Images, CNN,, Huntley Film Archives, INA, Historic Films, Reelin in the Years, ScreenOcean and WNET. 

Founded in 2003, the Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL), was a trade organization created to support, promote and expand the commercial stock footage business. ACSIL also served as an educational and professional network for its members. As the trade organization for the stock footage industry, ACSIL published four Global Sizing reports about the industry, developed the influential ACSIL Grid on licensing and distribution, maintained a Code of Practice committee and hosted a number of Footage Expos in NY and LA.

Charter members of ACSIL included: BBC Motion Gallery, CNN ImageSource, NBC News Archive, ABC VideoSource, National Geographic, Global ImageWorks, Discovery Networks, WGBH Boston and several other libraries. Since its launch in 2003, ACSIL grew to include twenty-five leading stock and archival footage companies.

Jill Hawkins, who pioneered and headed BBC Motion Gallery, served as ACSIL’s Executive Director until 2013. Matthew White, formerly of National Geographic and WPA Film Library and most recently, Archive Producer of the Beatles documentary ‘Eight Days a Week’, succeeded Hawkins as the Executive Director of ACSIL in 2014.

The DMLA is entering a new decade and a new era, fresh from their 24th Annual Conference in LA that has become the key event for licensors, their partners and content creators. Industry leaders tackled critical issues facing the industry – from free content, to the EU Directive, the CASE Act to the growing need for authenticity, diversity and trusted content, along with deep dives into the latest tech in AI from IBM, Google Vision and copyright enforcement insights from market leaders PicRights and ImageRights.  

The new year will feature an updated website, membership area and a new webinar series. Advocacy efforts will focus on a full range of marketplace & licensing issues from Congress’s Copyright Modernization to AI, data, privacy, synthetic content, Section 230, and Google Images new ‘licensable’ badge, announced at the 24th DMLA conference.

Plans have already begun for the 25th Annual Conference with site announcements planned in January. DMLA President Geoff Cannon added, “ACSIL member energy and moving-image expertise will be integral to our ambitious plans for 2020 – as we now jointly drive education, advocacy and community building for the licensing industry.”