223 PACA - ASMP TALKS
May 12, 1999
In an effort to try to improve working relations between PACA and ASMP after the
cancellation of the Dallas stock photography seminar reported in February in
Story 203 the PACA
leadership requested a meeting with ASMP officals.
The meeting was held in New York on May 3, at the Law Offices of Nancy E. Wolff,
PACA Counsel, in New York. Attending the meeting were Allen Russell, PACA
President, Wolff, Lonnie Schroeder, PACA Administrator, Les Reiss, ASMP
President, Victor Perlman, ASMP Counsel and Dick Weisgrau, ASMP Director.
The outcome of this meeting was unsatisfactory from PACA's point of view and the
PACA Executive Committee released the following statement.
At the May 3rd meeting, PACA representatives were told that we had no common
ground with ASMP. We were presented with a document criticizing our recommended
agreement with contributing artists. These criticisms were based on a seven-year
old incomplete Joint Statement which ASMP refused to re-visit or re-evaluate in
any way. PACA always considered this document to be unfinished in that it only
outlined agency responsibilities to photographers and not photographer
responsibilities to agencies, which statement ASMP was to have provided.
Frankly, PACA representatives at the meeting were very surprised that it was
raised as a crucial document when ASMP admitted to only publishing it twice in
seven years and no action had been taken by either party on its completion since
1994. For PACA-member agencies, the Code of Ethics published annually in our
Membership Directory and available in summary form on the PACA website clearly
outlines the responsibilities and respect we believe due all agency contributors
as well as other agencies and vendors.
We find the current lack of communication unfortunate in that our industry has
been and will continue to be in the throes of rapid change and we believe
photographers are experiencing a crisis as they struggle to develop their
individual business plans. PACA members are willing to speak with any group of
content providers about any aspects of the stock industry. To the best of our
abilities, we will provide complete and accurate information to assist
professional photographers in their decision-making. We believe there are
critical issues which affect the entire photographic community and it is the best
interest of every agency and every contributor to stand together in support of
concerns like copyright protection. We are sorry that ASMP will not stand with
us on these issues.
ASMP's refusal to engage in meaningful conversation about shared concerns, the
censorship of information provided to stock photographers through local chapter
meetings, general exaggerated misinformation about agencies in general, and their
public promotion and recruitment of photographers for a PACA agency competitor
and ASMP-founded agency, Mira(MPCA), has caused us to view ASMP's role with
PACA refuses to accept being publicly critiqued and criticized by a competitor.
We regret that ASMP no longer represents the undivided interest of the working
professional stock photographer. Their members should ask themselves what
photographers need most; another stock agency or a trade organization
uninfluenced by business ventures and devoted only to photographers' needs.
PACA also wishes to make it known that any group interested in having a PACA
speaker for their meeting should contact the PACA Office at 507-645-6988; fax to
507-645-7066; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It should also be noted as we have reported previously,
( Story 209 ), that ASMP's
efforts to run a stock agency have not been very successful up to this point.
After more than six years of organizational and development work MPCA (the ASMP
stock agency) generates about $60,000 in gross sales
annually, according to Dick Weisgrau.
MPCA is proud of the fact that they offer photographers 70% of gross sales rather
than the 50% of lower that most PACA stock agencies offer. MPCA represents about
350 ASMP photographers. That would mean that the average MPCA photographer is
earning about $120.00 (one hundred twenty dollars) per year from this agency.