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Articles from April 2011
Getty Images has announced that it has acquired PicScout, a leader in
identifying image use, metadata and licensing information on the web.
Founded in 2002 by Offir Gutelzon and Eyal Gura the company is based in
Herzliya, Israel and has 60 employees. The PicScout brand will remain,
and the R&D team is expected to remain in Israel.
Some textbook publishers have begun to ask photographers to invoice them for the right to use images for the “life of the edition” of a book. The following is the language from one such request. "Please bill us for publication rights for the life of the edition. … we would like by this permission request to sell additional units through the life of the edition....
The world’s leading specialist image and footage agency, Science Photo
Library, has been in the business of providing world-class imagery for
the last 30 years. To celebrate, they have launched “30:30” which means
clients will receive a series of special anniversary offers throughout
the rest of 2011.
Universal Images Group (UIG), and Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) have
entered into a 10-year License Agreement that makes UIG the exclusive
provider of still pictures, video and footage for EB’s online
educational image service, Image Quest. UIG, the distribution
business of the Virtual Picture Desk (VPD), has provided 2 million
educational still images for Britannica Image Quest and will
subsequently provide motion content including video and footage clips.
The Image Quest online subscription service went live in September 2010
with content from more than 50 world-class image providers.
In early March Selling-Stock reported
that many of iStockphoto’s most experienced videographers were very upset with the proposed royalty share for iStock new Vetta collection. At least 25 of the most productive contributors with a combined total of about 45,000 clips decided not to participate in Vetta. Most concluded they were likely to earn more if their clips were licensed at the lower Exclusive prices because they would continue to receive a higher royalty rate. It is also expected that clips available at the lower Exclusive prices will sell more frequently than those at the higher Vetta prices. Illustrators who produce Vector art were faced with the same problem.
On Wednesday, 11 May 55 major and specialist picture libraries will be exhibiting at fotofringe London
. The event is designed to connect photo suppliers with their customers and will be held at Kings Place, London’s new music and arts cultural center.
When customers first requested rights to use images in both print and
online it seemed reasonable to charge a supplemental fee for the online
use that was much less than the print price. Today, electronic use is at
least equal to print and tomorrow it will be the predominate use of all
imagery. If we continue to price electronic as a lesser usage we will
be offering a huge discount on the price for the majority of our future
licenses. Therefore we must come up with an entirely new strategy for licensing electronic uses.
and Agency Access
have just released a free ebook entitled “What Buyers Want From Photographers
.” The information resulted from a 35 question survey sent to Agency Access’ global database of 55,000 photography buyers. 500 responded to the survey.
In December the United States Postal Service released 3 billion copies
of a first-class postage stamp that showed a low angle close up of the
head and crown of the Statue of Liberty, symbol of American freedom. About
a month ago the service was shocked to discover that the image supplied
by Getty Images was not of the 305 foot tall statue designed by
sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and located on Liberty Island off
the tip of Manhattan, but of a half-sized replica outside the New
York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
In the microstock world, when establishing prices for online image use
distributors should consider developing ways to distinguish between
personal or social media uses and those for commercial purposes.
Customers who use images for commercial purposes, and earn revenue as a
result, should be charged more than those whose image use is for
personal, non-revenue generating purposes. On the print side of the
business microstock sellers have already solved this problem to a
degree. They charge more for larger file sizes that are commonly needed
for print uses, and even more when print uses are expected to exceed
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has reported that e-Book
sales in February 2011 were $90.3 million, up 202.3% compared to
February 2010. Higher Education sales for January and February
2011 were $406.9 million, down by 5.6% vs the same period in 2010. K-12
sales for the same two-month period were $173 million, a decline of
8.9% compared to 2010.
One way to satisfy customer demands for lower prices without reducing
overall operating costs is to cut the amount paid for the product you’re
selling. Over the past decade some stock photo distributors have used
this strategy very effectively. This article examines the effect that discount prices are having on the ability of stock photographers to earn a living.
Anyone who earns significant revenue from producing or licensing stock
images for educational purposes should be looking, as soon as possible,
for another line of business. Why? It is rapidly becoming
impossible to earn enough from licensing images for educational use to
cover the costs of producing them. For decades photographers have been
willing to license rights for limited usage of their images with the
understanding that if a greater use is made the photographer will
receive additional compensation. This system was originally developed to
help publishers limit their risk in the event that some of the book
they produced did not sell well or generate as much revenue as hoped.
Every photographer detests copyright infringers. When one of their
images is used without compensation they want to be paid not only their
normal fee for the use but a reasonable amount for chasing down the
infringer and enough penalty to insure that the infringer won’t do it
again. The goal is to give everyone incentive to be honest. But is going after infringers really accomplishing that goal and is it generating more business for the future?
The annual CEPIC Congress, to be held this year in Istanbul, is
scheduled for May 18 through 21, 2011, just a little more than a month
away. Image distributors from all over the world will be in attendance.
The CEPIC Congress will be the best opportunity in 2011 for image
distributors to meet some of the leading people in the visual
communications world – thought leaders, early adopters, owner managers,
entrepreneurs - and establish distributor relationships for your work.
I was recently asked by a RM photographer, “Can you provide some
insights into the kinds of volumes that are generated when images are
licensed at microstock prices?” This story provides some information and links as to how to learn more about microstock volumes.
Many photographers licensing images at RM and traditional RF prices
believe that it is impossible to have as profitable business licensing
images at Microstock prices. They argue that despite the fact that some
microstock photographers earn significant revenue due to sales volume
their expenses must be so high that there is very little profit for
their time invested. This story explores the validity of that theory.
In an IBISWorld market research report author Toon Van Beeck has identified the 10 Fasted Dying Industries
in the United States. While every industry has a lifecycle – growth, maturity and decline – the fastest dying “standouts” include: Photofinishing
, #4 on the list, Newspaper Publishing
,#7 and Video Postproduction
, #10. IBIS has a database of 700 industries and studied 200 that were in decline to determine which were in the worst shape.
Prior to 1976 a commissioning client owned the copyright to images
created by photographers. At that time the vast majority of images that appeared in
publications and advertising were created on assignment. The 1976 copyright law changed all that and gave photographers control of their work and the ability to license narrow and specific rights. Now, the business world is pushing photographers back into a model that
looks very much like pre-1976. The promise of a continual income stream
from our creations often seems distant and unobtainable.
The Image Works
stock photography agency (http://www.theimageworks.com)
has announced the addition of the Press Association collection to its
archive. Press Association has one of the most extensive collections of
UK news, sports and entertainment images in the world, dating back to
A rights-managed photographer recently told me that travel photographers must continue to
market their work as rights-managed because there is not enough
customer demand on microstock sites for travel images to enable
photographers to cover their costs and make a profit. He acknowledged that people who shoot model released business and
lifestyle photographs might be able to earn enough to profit from
licensing their images as microstock, but argued that it won't work for
the travel photographer. I decided to search iStockphoto for some popular locations and see how
many times the top ten images from each of these locations had been
The new Getty Images Contributor Agreement
is now available. It raises a number of issues for Getty photographers. Photographers must sign the new contract before the end or April in order to continue to submit new images. If they choose not to sign Getty will continue to license their images until their current contract expires. At that point their images will be removed from the database.