Press Releases 8

Posted on 11/16/2005 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

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PRESS RELEASES 8

November 16, 2005

PLUS Coalition Publishes Universal Picture Licensing Glossary

The PLUS Coalition has published the Universal Picture Licensing Glossary, a free resource providing industry standard definitions for more than 1300 terms used in transactions involving photography and illustration. The new PLUS Glossary is now online and available for use at the PLUS Coalition's newly launched web site, www.usePLUS.org.

Unveiled by the PLUS Coalition at the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) International Conference earlier this month, the PLUS Glossary is the first component of the Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS), a new system of industry standards created and approved by a worldwide coalition of art buyers, photographers, illustrators, publishers, graphic designers, advertisers, artist representatives,

stock picture agents and their trade associations.

"With PLUS Glossary version 1.0, anyone, anywhere can find a universally accepted definition for any image licensing term in seconds, for free, 24/7," said Jeff Sedlik, President & CEO of the non-profit PLUS Coalition. "We are already moving ahead with development of other features, including the PLUS License Format and Media Matrix."

The PLUS License Format will allow standardized license information to travel as metadata within digital images, easily accessible to any viewer. With the PLUS Media Matrix, media selection will be quick and easy, with internationally uniform media categories, organized by type and identified by universal billing codes.

The new PLUS Glossary is receiving high marks from image makers and image users alike. Leading industry professionals and their trade associations view the Glossary as a comprehensive, universal resource for defining image usage terms.

Jigisha Bouverat, Senior Art Buyer at TWBA/Chiat/Day and a member of the PLUS Art Buyers' Committee, says, "As art buyers and art producers in the advertising industry, we do our best to manage rights and use correct usage terms and language, but the problem has been that there isn't a set standard and the terms are left to interpretation." Bouverat continues, "Without an industry standard, the process of due diligence varies from agency to agency, which becomes a liability for the agency, the client and the artist. The PLUS Coalition's standardized usage system will assist all art buyers and art producers with rights management."

George Fulton, President of the Advertising Photographers of America (APA), believes that PLUS is critical to the future of the industry. "The APA is keenly focused on developing the best avenues for our members to supply advertising agencies and publishers with creative images. Standardized licensing practices will allow our members to maximize the value delivered to their clients." Fulton added, "Without a doubt, PLUS is the key to establishing a common language in our global marketplace. The APA is committed to continuing our support and participation in the PLUS Coalition."

Book, magazine and newspaper publishers also recognize the value of the PLUS standards. "At McGraw-Hill, as a significant user of images in our books and other publications, we enter into hundreds of license agreements for images every year," says Bonnie Beacher, McGraw-Hill Education's Senior Director of Contracts, Copyrights and Permissions. "The PLUS Glossary will make the image licensing process more transparent and easier for everyone involved; we'll be confident that we are all agreeing to the same terms. We expect to save hours of negotiating time."

The Picture Archive Council of America (PACA), has been a key participant in PLUS. "A universal standard of licensing terms and a standard meta-data format for licensed images brings clarity to what has been up to now an often confusing and complicated process," said PACA's President Chris Ferrone in a recent interview. "The PLUS organization has tackled this complex problem thoroughly and professionally, bringing the experience of many veterans of the image licensing business to bear. This will certainly benefit our PACA membership as well as photographers, clients, and stock photo account reps, for years to come."

"The health of the rights-managed business is of critical importance to the future well-being of all artists who create and license images for stock use," said Betsy Reid, Executive Director, Stock Artist's Alliance (SAA). "The PLUS Coalition meets an urgent need to address this vulnerability by taking on the difficult challenge of standardizing the process used to license Rights Managed images. PLUS has brought together a broad spectrum of industry experts representing the interests of artists, distributors, and their clients. This is an achievement. The challenges that our industry faces today can only be tackled if everyone involved in the licensing process comes together to create innovative solutions," Reid added.

Eugene Mopsik, Executive Director of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), says "Part of the mission of the ASMP is to improve the business environment for independent publication photographers engaged in rights managed licensing of commissioned and stock images. PLUS enables photographers and clients to speak a common language, leading to more simplified licensing, and ultimately bringing them closer to this goal. We encourage our members and all photographers and their clients to use the PLUS Glossary."

Beth Johnson, Artist Representative at Friend & Johnson observes, "The licensing process has frequently been considered confusing and difficult. By creating a standardized language, embedded licenses and standardized billing codes, PLUS will simplify licensing and make life easier for all involved. This is long overdue."

Adobe is a charter member and primary supporter of the PLUS Coalition. "Adobe is interested in finding a solution to offer rights-managed imagery within Adobe Creative Suite," said James Alexander, director of Adobe Stock Photos at Adobe. "Unlike royalty-free images, rights-managed images offer designers more value through usage histories, model releases and the ability to license images for exclusive purposes. Automating this highly negotiated process, however, is complex. We believe PLUS is an important link for bringing key industry players together to deliver a rights-managed solution to market and we are supportive of their efforts."

Collectively, the PLUS Glossary and other PLUS System components exist as the most comprehensive standards in the world of image licensing, creating a new, universal licensing language that is easy to understand, and easy to use.


Copyright © 2005 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 www.selling-stock.com, 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: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

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