Pickerell six times a year. The annual subscription rate is $80.00 to have the printed
version mailed to you. The on-line version is $72.00 per year. Subscriptions may be
MD 20850, phone 301-251-0720, fax 301-309-0941, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. All rights
whatsoever without written permission of the editor. Jim Pickerell is also
co-owner of Stock Connection, a stock agency. In addition, he is co-author
stock photo usages.
offering being circulated in the financial community by Chase Financial Services,
the description can only fit Comstock. (For the details of this offering see
It is also a good bet, which we cannot confirm, that Visual Communications Group
(parent of FPG) is negotiating to acquire Comstock. There were rumors in New
York in mid June that VCG was about to make a major acquisition. Comstock would
market that they have been earnestly seeking. In addition, they would have the
owned by Comstock.
fees, and pay less out to the photographers. Comstock's wholly owned file is a
perfect opportunity to expand this strategy. VCG would keep 100% of any fees
collected from the sales of Comstock images.
the last five years. It is our belief that this is only for the wholly owned
material which sources estimate to represent 80% to 85% of the file. Comstock has
some images on which they pay royalties to the photographers. Those images may
guarantee that those photographers will stay with the new agency.
been losing its "cutting edge" and that Comstock is no longer the industry leader
it once was. Even if that is true, it fails to take into account:
That in spite of the efforts by the major agencies to push "cutting edge"
images, there is still a great demand for classic, clean, cliche images of the
type that Comstock has a wealth of in their files.
Because the images are wholly owned the new company can, either sell them for
less and undercut their competition who has to pay percentages to photographers,
or match the competitors price and take home a lot more profits.
VCG would also have an advantage because they could close most, if not all of
the Comstock offices and transfer the sales to their existing operation. One
indication that this might be the strategy any buyer will pursue is that
management level people have recently been let go in Comstock's Berlin office.
There have been no indications as to who their replacements might be.
A weakness in the Comstock operation, from the VCG point of view, may be their
"royalty free" customer's list. Comstock hasn't been in the RF business all that
long and most industry sources feel their client list for this type of work would
be weak. While there is overlap between the clients for RP and RF, most
suppliers indicate that there are also quite a few differences. On the other
hand, VCG probably has little other option to get a better list so they are
likely to accept what they can get.
Other Possible Buyers
I would also expect Corbis to take a look at this opportunity. I believe they
could use a much stronger offering in the "commercial" area. Even if Comstock
has gone down hill quite a bit in the last few years, it could still offer quite
a bit of improvement to the "commercial" side of Corbis' file. The wholly owned
aspect could be a plus and access to Comstock's client list could be of real
value if Corbis were to take full advantage of what is there. Comstock coupled
with WestLight could put them in a much better position to compete with TSI and
the other commercially oriented agencies.
But, Corbis may be so busy patting themselves on the back for their recent Sygma
acquisition that they won't take time to look at this opportunity.
As always, the losers will probably be the photographers. There is a big
question as to what will happen to the Comstock photographers who own that 15% to
20% of the imagery that is not wholly owned by the agency. Initially, they will
probably be given the option to have their existing work licensed by the new
owners, but will those owners accept new work?
FPG has been cutting back on the number of photographers they represent and it
will probably be tough for Comstock photographers to find a place in the new
The FPG photographers, on the other hand, have different issues of concern.
There will be a great temptation to put a lot of wholly owned Comstock images
into future FPG and Telegraph catalogs meaning fewer slots for existing
In addition, since David Moffly, Chief Operating Officer of FPG, resigned in
mid-June there is a question as to who will be managing the FPG operation in the
Story 228 ANNUAL REPORT SALES IN THE FUTURE
For a view of where sales of images for Annual Reports may be headed take a look at the
MCI WorldCom 1998 printed Annual Report. There are no pictures.
The cover has a small text block that directs readers to their on-line annual
report and lists the following:
| Printing & Paper
$ - 794,000
| Photography & Illustration
| Creative Services
WE JUST SAVED
Visit Us Soon! Thanks for Browsing! www.wcom.com
Due to increased shareholders MCI/WorldCom mailed more than twice the
number of printed 1998 annual reports than they sent out a year ago when
the 1997 report was mailed. Nevertheless, they calculated they saved
at least $866,706 over what
it would have cost them to produce the same style of report in 1998 as
they did in 1997, and previous years.
The 1997 report had a glossy 16 page editorial section before the financials. In
1998 that editorial section was dropped and they simply wrapped a plain cover
around the minimum financials required by the SEC. Additional explanations about
the company, for those who are interested, can be found on the web site.
There are pictures on the web site. It is unclear whether the photographers who
produced those pictures received the same degree of compensation as would
normally come from an annual report shoot.
Story 234 BUSINESS WEEK RAISES RATES
Business Week has announced a new rate policy effective July 1, 1999 with
substantial increases in usage rates. This is an interim policy while
negotiations continue between Business Week and a group of editorial
photographers. There are two full proposals on the table and it is expected to
be several weeks before a final policy is approved. The rates below apply to all
photographers and all work done for BW, not just for the photographers involved
in the negotiations.The rates are as follows:
| 1/4 page or less
| (this is up from $175.00 still the official rate at Time Magazine and an increase
of 29 percent. Further there will be no more spot rate bringing the minimum rate
from $100 to $225.00)
| 1/3 page
| (new category which will help photographers because prior they only paid an
increase at 1/2 page size.)
| 1/2 page
| (up from $250.00 for an increase of 30 percent)
| 2/3 page
| (again a new category)
| 3/4 page
| (up from $400.00 for an increase of 25 percent and $100.00 more than Forbes, Time
| Full page
| (up from 500 for an increase of 20 percent and again more than all of the
Business Week will also still pay for research fees when they are applicable. In
addition the day rate was recently increased to $400.00 from $350.00 or roughly
14 percent and the cover rate was increased to $1500 from $1000.00 or 50%.
Stories 224 and 225 EDITORIAL PHOTO FORUM
Editorial photographers have started talking to one another through an online
forum that is less than three months old. The goal of this forum is to foster
communication among editorial photographers with a particular focus on rates and
To join the forum go to
http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/editorialphoto . The
site is password protected and all applicants must be approved by the list
managers. More than 550 photographers have signed on so far.
The forum was established by a group of San Francisco Bay Area photographers who
stopped shooting for Business Week in the Spring over rights and rates issues.
These individuals, and others who have joined the Editorial Photographer
community, have continued to negotiate with Business Week and the early results
of those negotiations are evident in the Business Week announcement outlined
above. Negotiations on other issues are continuing.
The Business Week issue is only one of many issues discussed on the site. The
new Time Inc. contract has also generated much discussion. It has been clearly
documented -- with a number of specific examples -- that Time Inc. publications
have a multi-tier system of day rates and rights. They are clearly willing to
negotiate terms that differ from their basic contract depending on their
perceived need of the individual photographer's work.
The following are some of the adjustments to the standard contract that various
photographers seem to have been able to negotiate:
Be careful to retain foreign rights and follow up on use. One photographer
pointed out that many computer publications have hundreds of foreign editions.
Getting The Best Fees
Those who get the best fees tend to not have a standard "day rate" and negotiate
the "creative fee" very carefully on each job. The publication may have a "day
rate", but the challenge for the photographer is to work with the picture editor
to find ways to adjust the publication's standard practices so the photographers
receives appropriate value on his or her work. Many photo editors are willing to
work with photographers if the photographers only ask and offer creative
suggestions for meeting their needs. One photographer said he gets higher fees
50% of the time when he asks.
Suggestions various editors have agreed to include:
- Photographer agrees up front to a fixed fee for the job, regardless of the
actual shooting time. (When using this technique it is important to have
calculated the maximum it could possibly take to shoot the job.)
- When portraits of two people at the same location are required, the
publication pays for two days even though both people could be shot on the same
- When the half day rate is greater than half of the full day rate (i.e. $275
for half day and $400 for full day) get an agreement that you can bill for two
half days instead of a full day.
- Get paid for travel days.
- Get paid a cover rate.
- The creative fee is a guarantee against space. (Many photographers seem to
have given up worrying about space rate, but those who pay attention to this
issue and get the publication to commit up-front to space fees, tend to earn more
- Get paid extra for assignments that go longer than eight hours. Time has
paid an extra half day for any part of the first four hours over an 8 hour day
and a full extra day if the assignment goes more than 12 hours.
- Get advances for out of town trips.
By using these techniques some photographers are averaging between $550 and $650
for an assignment fee for each actual day worked for editorial shooting.
The important thing to remember is that even when publications have a day rate
there are still points that can be negotiated and such negotiations can result in
overall fee for the shoot.
Story 230 CORBIS ACQUIRES SYGMA
June 16, 1999 - Corbis has announced its acquisition of Sygma, the world's
largest news photography agency. This acquisition marks the cornerstone of
Corbisoe aggressive plans to create a new digital platform for offering real-time
news and celebrity imagery to publishers and consumers over the Internet. The
acquisition extends the size of Corbis' image collection to more than 65 million
images, with more than 2.1 million images online.
Under the terms of the agreement, Corbis will own and have access to the entire
Sygma collection of more than 40 million images for an undisclosed amount. Sygma
will operate as a division of Corbis under the name Corbis Sygma, and will
maintain its offices in Paris, New York City, and London. Jean-Marc Smadja,
Eliane Laffont, and Helen Finney will continue to oversee Corbis Sygma operations
as general managers of the Paris, New York, and London offices, respectively.
Steve Davis, president of Corbis said, "With our acquisition of Sygma, Corbis
has amassed a collection of true breadth and depth, adding real-time news imagery
to our celebrity, contemporary, historical, and fine art imagery. We are excited
to be on the cutting edge of the industry, using the Internet to bring our many
different customers the most current and newsworthy photography with ease and
In the coming months, Corbis will extend this foray into photojournalism by
announcing a series of partnerships with leading news media and technology
companies, designed to create the best platform for producing and distributing
digital photojournalism in the future.
"The Internet is a perfect platform for selling and distributing current news
content to the commercial publishing market," said Jean-Marc Smadja, general
manager, Corbis Sygma Paris. "By combining Sygma's extraordinary collection with
Corbis' leadership in digital technologies, we will become the leading force in
the contemporary news marketplace."
Founded in 1973, Sygma is the largest news photography agency, with more than 40
million images taken by 200 of the world's leading photojournalists. The agency
is best known for its in-depth news coverage and high-profile celebrity event
photography. Its collection is also one of the best archives of news photography
dating from the 1970s to present, and contains historical photography from the
early 1800s. Sygma has more than 200 employees in New York, Paris, and London.
Corbis also has a license agreement with Sipa to handle sales of the Corbis
archive in France. This agreement runs to the end of 1999. At that point Sygma
will take over sales of Corbis Images in France. It is unclear at this time
whether there will be any continuing relationship with Sipa.
Story 231 GEOGRAPHIC FOUND GUILTY OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
June 16, 1999 - Judge Joan A. Lenard has found that National Geographic Society
infringed the copyright of underwater publishers Jerry and Idaz Greenberg when
they used Jerry's copyrighted images as reference materials for two projects
without permission or compensation. The case was heard in Federal Court in the
Southern District of Florida in Miami.
The case has been referred to Magistrate Judge William C. Turnoff for the
purposes of holding a settlement conference to determine the amount National
Geographic will be required to pay to the Greenbergs.
This is the first time National Geographic has been found guilty of copyright
infringement of a photographer's work. The case may open the door for legal
action by other photographers against the Society.
In a review of the facts of the case it was shown that Walter Cutler, the
work-for-hire illustrator hired by the Society to produce illustrations for an
educational GeoPack project, improperly used books produced by the Greenbergs as
reference for his illustrations.
On his working drawings Cutler noted the page references referring to the
photographs he had copied so the Society editors could verify that the
illustrations were accurate. This clearly laid the responsibility on the Society
editors because they were fully aware of what had been done and were responsible
to obtain proper permissions and deal with compensation issues.
Cutler's illustrations also met the test of "substantial similarity" according
to Judge Lenard. The Greenbergs had produced overlays from their books that
clearly showed the illustrations were almost exact matches of the Greenberg's
In challenging the Greenbergs' motion for Summary Judgement on Liability,
lawyers for National Geographic Society argued that the newly created
illustration did not violate the Greenbergs' copyright, and "that even if these
images reflect copyrighted material, this use constitutes "fair use".
Judge Lenard found that the illustrations "improperly infringed the photographs
at issue, and that the doctrine of fair use is not applicable to these facts."
The court took into consideration the four nonexclusive factors to be considered
when determining whether the fair use doctrine applies and concluded, "that
neither the GeoPack product nor the Jason Project poster qualify as fair use."
The four factors are:
The courts detailed presentation of the facts related to each of these points
should be useful to others faced with a "fair use" claim by any organization, and
particularly National Geographic.
Counts three and four in the Greenberg's case are not a part of this decision
and dealt with the use of the Greenbergs copyrighted images in the "108 Years of
National Geographic on CD-ROM". Earlier in the proceedings lawyers for National
Geographic argued that the "Tasini" decision in the Southern District of New York
confirmed their right to make uses in the "108 Years" project without
compensating photographers in any way. The Greenberg's argued that "Tasini"
should have no bearing on their case because that decision was being appealed.
On this point the judge agreed with National Geographic and issued a partial
summary judgement on the two counts. Thus, the arguments relating to the use of
the Greenberg's images in the "108 Years" project were never heard. The
Greenbergs have the option to appeal that decision of the judge.
Oral arguments for the appeal of the "Tasini" decision have been heard in the
New York Appeals court and all parties are presently waiting for the judge's
ruling in that case. The results of that case could affect the Greenbergs
Story 218 TSI PRICING STRUCTURES
May 6, 1999 - Want to know why prices are so low?
Our stock agency, Stock Connection, and I presume a lot of other stock agencies,
recently received a copy of a TSI price schedule for future uses of their images
by Norwegian Cruise Lines. These uses will be in brochures, postcard mailers and
external newsletters sent to customers.
Norwegian is telling agencies to either match or beat these prices if they want
their images considered for future uses. They say they won't consider images from
any agency that doesn't supply a price schedule in advance. A smart strategy by
The list below is the schedule of rates TSI provided. For comparison purposes I
have included the rates listed in Negotiating Stock Photo Prices which are the
base rates used by Stock Connection. NSPP recommends that the 1/4 page or less
should be charged at the 1/4 page rate so it is the same as the 1/8 page rate.
All these uses are for a one-time mailing in the USA only.
| Brochures based on 100,000 print run
| Inside 1/8 page
| Inside 1/4 page
| Inside 1/2 page
| Inside full
| Inside double page
| Cover 1/8 page
| Cover 1/4 page
| Cover 1/2 page
| Cover full
| Cover wrap
| Postcard Mailer Rated based on 20,000 print run
| 1/8 front
| 1/4 front
| 1/2 front
| 3/4 front
| full front
Rates based on 400,000 print run
(This newsletter will be sent to customers.) The NSPP rates are based on
an external newsletter.
| External Newsletter
| Inside 1/8 page
| Inside 1/4 page
| Inside 1/2 page
| Inside full
| Inside double page
| Cover 1/8 page
| Cover 1/4 page
| Cover 1/2 page
| Cover full
| Cover wrap
These rates were first agreed to by TSI on August 18, 1997. We contacted TSI in
an effort to try to confirm that this is still their policy, but they never
It is interesting to note that TSI reports to their photographers the type of
use for every license, but not size of use. Thus, when photographers see a small
fee they have a tendency to believe that the use was for 1/8 or 1/4 page, when in
fact it may have been used much larger.
Story 224 TIME WARNER PROFITS
A couple tidbits to ponder courtesy of Seth Resnick. The current price of
Time/Warner stock is around 71. In October 1998, just 7 months ago the price was
36 5/8. The current market capitalization is in excess of $80.932 billion. For
the fiscal year ending 12/98, revenues rose 10% to $14.58 billion. For the three
months ending 3/31/99, revenues were $3.266 billion and after tax earnings were
Story 222 ART.COM
Getty In Consumer Market
May 12, 1999 - Getty Images, Inc. has announced the acquisition of Art.com, a
leading provider of framed and unframed art and art-related products on the
The Chicago-based company operates in the approximately $9 billion global
consumer art market. This should be compared in size with the roughly $1.25
billion worldwide business-to-business stock photography market.
This acquisition marks the expansion of Getty Images' current online business
into the much larger consumer art market. Gettys hopes this move will
significantly increase their customer base and market opportunity. It will also
leverage Getty Images' extensive collection, consisting of more than 30 million
images, by making it available to the consumer marketplace through Art.com.
Art.com has more than 100,000 images online, including works by artists such as
Monet, van Gogh and Picasso, and photographers such as Herb Ritts and Robert
Mapplethorpe and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Getty Images.
Art.com will form the foundation of the consumer division of Getty Images.
The company's successful www.art.com web site generated more than 400,000
average user sessions per month in the first quarter of 1999. Sales orders have
increased by more than 40 percent per month since January 1999. Art.com has
major merchant partnerships with almost 7,000 affiliate web sites, as well as
with Yahoo! and America Online.
Under the terms of the agreement, Art.com shareholders will receive 4.51 million
newly-issued shares of Getty Images common stock. Under certain predetermined
conditions, the shareholders may receive in the future up to an additional $84
million of consideration, consisting of shares and cash, depending upon the value
of Getty Images stock at the time of the payment. (Bloomberg News estimated the
package could total $202 million.)
The www.art.com web site features proprietary technology that allows customers
to visualize more than one billion custom matting and framing combinations for
their selected print on-screen before purchasing.
Story 229 "ARTISTS CHOICE" AT EYEWIRE
June 16, 1999 - EyeWire, probably the third largest seller of "Royalty Free"
photos in North America, has begun offering "Rights Protected" contracts to
photographers in a move to develop a separate division of their online business.
EyeWire hopes to eventually work with 150 to 200 of the world's leading
With this move they expect to be able to supply a full range of photo services
to on-line customers. Photographers who participate in the RP division will be
given the option to supply images for RF, but that will not be a requirement.
Images will not be licensed as RF without specific permission from the
In March, EyeWire hired Charles Mauzy, formerly of Corbis, to establish a new
product and business development office in Seattle. They moved quickly to
develop a rights protected division and are following in the footsteps of other
major photo suppliers who offer both "Royalty Free" and "Rights Protected" images
to their customers.
They expect a soft launch of the RP section of their site in late fall. Drina
Lazar, VP of Content Development at EyeWire said, "Our assumption is that we can
go on-line with a tiny, tiny little file. There is no barrier to us putting
images on-line since we are already putting all our RF material on-line. All we
need is some type of pricing mechanism (for Rights Protected)."
Probably the most unique feature of this contract is the "Artist Choice"
concept. A photographer can designate, at the time of submission, up to ten
images per year as "Artist Choice" and will receive royalties of 70% on the
licensing of these images. The photographer receives 50% on the licensing of all
Mauzy pointed out that initially, in addition to making the images available
on-line, they will probably promote many of the "Artist Choice" images in their
print catalog (64 page brochure) that is mailed monthly to approximately 750,000
At first glance the chance to get 70% would seem to be an irresistible draw and
cause many to want to pull images out of other major agencies. However, based on
my thirty five years of selling stock images I have found that where the image is
has a lot more to do with the volume of sales it generates than whether it is a
"great image." I have always had dupes of most of my images with many agencies.
My experience has shown that best sellers at one agency do not necessarily sell
well at a different agency.
Buyers tend to develop preferred resources for locating pictures and this varies
from buyer to buyer. They usually choose the best image they can "easily" find,
not necessarily the best image that can be found anywhere. An image that does
well at Corbis, for example, will not necessarily do well at EyeWire. The buyer
who uses Corbis may pick something else from the Corbis file rather than going to
EyeWire. On the other hand if a photographer could have the same image, of
different variations from the same take at more than one on-line site he or she
might do better.
The problem with putting newly created, untested images into "Artist Choice" is
that it is usually a crap shoot trying to pick the images that will turn out to
be best sellers. Photographers tend to think their most recent production will be
a winner. Some may feel strongly about images produced in January and put them in
"Artists Choice" only to discover that they produce even more marketable images
before the end of the year. In all likelihood many of the images picked from
future productions for "Artist Choice" will turn out to be poor sellers. On the
other hand the print catalog promotion of these images might drive the volume of
sales and turn catalog images into best sellers.
One thing that does not seem to be an option with "Artists Choice" is to convert
an image from "EyeWire Selects" to "Artist Choice" a year or so after an image
has been working in the EyeWire file. At that point the photographer would have
some idea as to whether the image was likely to be a best seller at EyeWire.
Ms. Lazar indicated that they hope to get feedback from the photographers and
depending on photographer reactions modifications might be made in certain
provisions. One suggestion I would make is that photographers might want to try
to negotiate a higher number of "Artist Choice" images than ten. Ten is a very
Percentage Of What?
An important issue to be understood is exactly how royalties will be calculated.
When EyeWire sells directly to End Users it is clear what the royalty percentage
will be, but when sales are made by "distributors, agents, or sub-agents," it is
unclear what percentage of the gross fee collected will eventually be paid to the
photographer. EyeWire has not explained how they will operate their "network" and
the percentage of the total sales that are likely to be made by other sellers
rather than licensed directly.
If some other "agent" makes the sale what percentage will that agent take off
the top -- 30%, 40%, 50% -- before the remaining monies are passed on to EyeWire?
One of the difficulties with an organization that is starting a new line of
business is that things like this have yet to be defined.
EyeWire uses SuperStock as a resource for many of their RF images and they would
seem a likely resource for handling negotiated sales. Ms. Lazar said they have
not had discussions with SuperStock or any other sales agent in the U.S. about
handling negotiated sales for images on the EyeWire web site. "Our intention is
to focus on the web which is a direct channel and E-commerce." (This might imply
a lot of fixed price selling and very little negotiation.)
She acknowledged that the terms in the "Royalty and Payment Schedule" of the
contract leave open the option to sell through such agents, but, she said, "we
haven't gone down the initial road of trying to sign people up, or looking at
It is understandable that EyeWire may not know, at this point, what kind of
deals they will cut with distributors and sub-agents in the future. For this
reason one photographer suggests that it is necessary to add a clause that
establishes a floor, or minimum percentage of the "gross sale" price, that the
photographer will receive on every sale.This photographer believes that floor
should be in the range of 30% to 35%.
One thing not mentioned in the contract, but very important to understand, is
their pricing strategy. Ms. Lazar said, "Given the web model it would have to be
a lot of fixed pricing, but we are feeling our way through this with input from
It is important for photographers to understand what these pricing schedules
might be particularly in light of the fact that the company is coming from a
"Royalty Free" philosophy. EyeWire's sales staff works from fixed price
schedules. Photographers should want to know who will be training the sales staff
in negotiating techniques and what experience that person brings to the table.
Mauzy clearly understands that there are many uses that need to be negotiated,
but the key to success will lie in the person charged with providing the day to
day sales training in Calgary.
The percentage of fixed price sales relative to negotiated sales is also
important. For purposes of comparison, in the Picture Network International model
the low end, fixed price sales make up about 70% of the volume, but probably
represent less than 30% of the gross revenue.
EyeWire wants world-wide exclusive rights to selected images plus similars. The
similars issue is a major problem for many photographers because it impossible to
maximize sales for much of their production, particularly when dealing with a
company without a major track record. EyeWire's definition of Similars, "means
any Contributor image (including a duplicate or composite) of any image whose
principal elements are depicted in a way that, when compared side by side to the
Contributor's images, would cause an End User to believe they are substantially
the same." For many photographers this is too rigid.
The contract goes on to say, "Exclusive means that, commencing on the Effective
Date ... Contributor agrees not to provide any Content, including composite
works, derivative works or Similars, to any third party on any basis whatsoever,
except for the Contributor's personal promotional purposes where no rights are
granted." At the very least photographers can't sell similars themselves, and
with the words "any content" and "any third party" it may prohibit them from
making any direct sales of any or their work.
This is probably not what was intended and it will probably be changed for those
who request a change, but it points out the dangers of signing a lengthy contract
like this without very careful examination.
The exclusive aspect of this contract will be a major stumbling block for many
photographers. Some feel it would be foolish to risk their best images on this
type of deal until there is some demonstrated track record. If EyeWire had a
large "rights protected" file and demonstrated sales of those images, like TSI,
The Stock Market, TIB or FPG then a world-wide exclusive might make sense.
Mauzy indicated that they might be willing to negotiate on the "exclusive" issue
in a few special cases, but both he and Ms. Lazar emphasized, that they needed
exclusives in order to be able to offer rights controlled sales.
My suggestion to those interested in working with EyeWire's would be to push for
a non-exclusive agreement for the first couple years until the volume of "rights
protected" sales from this operation can be demonstrated. The fact that EyeWire
is successful at selling RF is no guarantee they will be able to build a
successful RP model.
Photographers should also be cautioned that a simple changing of the words
"Exclusive Rights" to "Non-Exclusive Rights" in the Grant of Rights section is
not enough. The word "exclusive" is sprinkled throughout this contract and
photographers need to deal with every instance very carefully to make sure they
are not giving away more than intended.
Some photographers believe it is reasonable to give an agency world-wide
exclusives on those images that are actually placed in a print catalog. I am not
convinced that makes sense, particularly with a start up operation. Considering
the oversupply of print catalogs in the marketplace, such catalogs may tend to do
more to promote the general file of the agency than sell specific catalog images.
This may be particularly true for the "throw away" catalog that is EyeWire's
prime marketing vehicle. Buyers do not store these on the shelf like they do a
thick print catalog. This method of pushing individual images may work, but as
yet it is untested. Keep some options open.
If EyeWire has a client who wants to license exclusive rights to a particular
image make them come back to you and get clearance. These situations happen so
infrequently that this is no great burden and when they do happen the buyer
almost never needs an instantaneous decision.
EyeWire also wants the exclusive right to: "alter or modify the Content in any
way EyeWire sees fit, including, but not limited to, create derivative works,
composite works ... at EyeWire's sole or exclusive discretion." This is a deal
breaker for many photographers unless they are given more say over the degree of
alteration and compensation for composites is clearly defined.
In our online article we pointed out a number of other points in the
contract that photographers should examine closely and carefully consider before
agreeing to place images on the EyeWire site. Newsletter subscribers can find
this information at
www.pickphoto.com/sso/stories/st229.htm . If you are not
online and would like to see this information contact us and we will mail you
copy. Non-subscribers to Selling Stock can get a copy of this story and a sample
issue of the newsletter for $10.00.