Corbis Update

Posted on 8/6/1996 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)


Corbis Update

Corbis Gets Adams Work

August 6, 1996 -

Corbis Corp. has signed a long-term agreement with The Ansel Adams Publishing
Rights Trust for the electronic rights to works by the legendary American
photographer Ansel Adams.

Under the agreement, Corbis has the exclusive right to license Adams'
photography in digital form to a variety of publishing and communications
professionals and to make the images available to consumers online and through
CD-ROMs. Corbis and the trust will also create the definitive CD-ROM on the
life and art of Ansel Adams for publication in fall 1997. (See * below.)

According to Corbis the partnership is particularly

meaningful in view of Adams' lifelong interest in advanced technology and the
ways technology could benefit and preserve his work. "We must require and use
the benefits of new technologies, and must explore new corridors of thought and
feeling," Adams once said.

Corbis and the trust will work together closely to select Adams' most important
images and to digitize, manage and license those materials on an ongoing basis.
The agreement will protect the artistic reputation of Adams' work, ensuring that
the highest standards of production, presentation and design quality are met.

"We are delighted to be working with Corbis to enable Ansel's vision to
continue into the 21st century," said Bill Turnage, managing trustee of the
Ansel Adams Trust. "One of Ansel's dreams was that his work would flourish
after his lifetime, particularly in new electronic media."

"The trust sought this partnership with Corbis because of Corbis' extraordinary
standards of quality and its commitment to excellence in all things," Turnage
said. "This was evident in the obvious care and creativity that went into the
development of Corbis' CD-ROM 'A Passion for Art.' We are looking forward to
working together to create an intellectually and visually exciting CD-ROM about
Ansel's life and art."

Turnage also told Photo District News that if for any reason the trust doesn't
like the deals Corbis is making, they can reject them and effectively pull the
plug on the agreement. Evidentally museums supplying content to Corbis have
generally been able to reserve this right, but this is the first photo supplier
to reserve the right. This is a tremendous difference from the 20-year, no
backing out, contract offered to photographers.

* Corbis produces and publishes innovative, high-quality CD-ROM and interactive
online products for consumers, including such award-winning documentaries as "A
Passion for Art: Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse & Dr. Barnes," "Volcanoes: Life on the
Edge," "Critical Mass: America's Race to Build the Atomic Bomb," and "Paul
Cezanne: Portrait of My World."

Streano Signs with Corbis

August 6, 1996 -

Vince Streano has signed a standard photographer agreement to supply images to

His principle reason for signing was, "I have many editorial images in my files
that the corporate stock agencies I'm currently dealing with are not interested
in handling. Corbis seems to want them, and is willing to make an up front
payment to include them in their database."

While no definite commitment has been made as to the number of images they will
take, from discussion prior to signing the contract Vince expects they may
choose as many as 10,000 to digitize. Corbis will make an initial payment
against future sales of $4.50 per image, once the completed caption forms have
been provided.

In previous contracts Corbis had been claiming a derivative copyright to all
scans they create. That language is not in Streano's contract and according to
Charles Maczy of Corbis, it has been removed from all other contracts.

I reported in January 1996 (page 7) that the standard Corbis contract had a
sliding scale for Corbis produced products which provided:

7% of cash revenues for the first 10,000 units

2% of cash revenues for units 10,001 through 50,000,

1% of cash revenues for all units in excess of 50,000

It turns out there are two other options, and the photographer can choose
whichever he or she likes. The second option is a straight 3.5% of cash
revenues across the board.

The third and the one Vince choose is:

2% of cash revenues for the first 25,000 units

3.5% of cash revenues for units 25,001 through 75,000,

5% of cash revenues for all units in excess of 75,000

These percentages are based on "the cash revenues received by Corbis from the
distribution (directly or indirectly) to end users of units ______ of the
respective Corbis Product; less refunds, returns, sales commissions to third
parties (if any), sales or value added taxes, shipping and handling charges."

The percentages are figured on the total still photo content of these products.
No other part of the "content" such as video, sound, text, design, etc. are
covered under these percentages.

Copyright © 1996 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

You must log in to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive our FREE weekly email listing new stories posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More
Where Is The Stock Photo Industry Headed?
For new readers, or those who may have missed some of what I have written over the last few months, the following are a list of stories worth looking at to get a sense of where the industry is headed.
Read More
Photography As A Career
It’s that time of year when high school seniors are waiting for college acceptance letters and thinking about future careers. If you know someone who is thinking about photography as a career you mig...
Read More
2014 Stories You May Have Missed
For many the end of the year is a time to review past experiences and consider whether it makes sense to chart a new course in the year ahead. Stock photography has changed dramatically for professio...
Read More
More Stories In 2014 You May Have Missed
Every so often I put together a list of the most important stories we’ve published in the recent past. If you are engaged in the business of stock photography the links below are to stories that we’v...
Read More
Getty: A Three Month Review
In all the excitement about 35 million FREE images it is worth looking back at some of things that have been happening at Getty Images in the last three months. After watching revenue decline for the...
Read More
State Of Stock Photo Industry: 2013
If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all t...
Read More
Education Market Shifts To Digital
If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the p...
Read More

More from Free Stuff