Random Thoughts 11

Posted on 8/4/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

240

RANDOM THOUGHTS 11


August 4, 1999

Corbis Sales

Some Corbis photographers are much more upbeat about their sales than they

have been in the past. One photographer who has been with them for four

years and shoots in a style that is strongly editorial has just about paid

off his advance ($4.50 per image). However, 2/3rds of that money has come

in the past year indicating that sales for editorial material are improving

dramatically.

This photographer has also been represented by FPG for years, and for a

while FPG was his number one selling stock agency. However, in the past

year the photographer's total income from FPG is less than he has received

from Corbis in spite of the fact that the number of images he has in the FPG

file are more than six times what he has with Corbis.

On the other hand some of the WestLight photographers who specialize in

shooting images that are oriented toward advertising clients are not as

pleased. Some of these photographers have seen a drop of as much as 50% in

their annual stock income since Corbis acquired WestLight a little over a

year ago.

Another photographer reports that his sales through Corbis are about the

same as his sales through Tony Stone Images, but that TSI makes a higher

percentage of the sales for lower dollars. In two-thirds of the sales made

by Corbis the photographer receives less than $100 as his share of the

royalties. With TSI he receives less than $100 on three-quarters of the

sales.

Compare your own results.

VCG Name Rebecca Taylor Content Director

Rebecca Taylor of FPG has been named "Content Director" for all of Visual

Communications Group. She will be responsible for setting the creative

directions for catalog design and editing for all VCG companies. Currently,

all catalogs are being produced by either the FPG design team in New York or

the Telegraph Colour Library design team in London.

Tim Lund, former Creative Director of the TCL has left to join Digital

Vision (a RF company). Mr. Lund had been with TCL since it was acquired by

VCG in the early '90s. Ms. Taylor will begin interviewing to fill his

position in the near future.

One of the goals is to better coordinate production activities among the

various production teams at: FPG, TCL, PIX in Paris, Bararia in Germany and

Planet Earth Pictures in London. This should help eliminate duplication of

effort by photographers working for the different divisions.

Ms. Taylor said, "We are sensitive to photographer's concerns that they are

spending effort and resources to produce images that later lose out in the

selection process to images that were being produced simultaneously by other

photographers working with other

production teams."

With these changes several European photographer have expressed concern that

their images may get less display than images with an "American" look,

produced by U.S. photographers. Ms. Taylor say, "There will be no

significant changes in the look of our catalogs. They will continue to be

market driven sales tools."

While Ms. Taylor's elevation has just recently been made public, it has for

all practical purposes been in effect since Andrew Nugee became CEO of VCG

earlier this year. Mr. Nugee replaced Sheldon Marshall who founded VCG.

Stock Market Uses Datamark

Datamark Ltd, the digital image security and rights management

specialist today announced the integration of its software into

stockmarketphoto.com, a full e-commerce solution for graphics

professionals. This service provides copyright protection to

stockmarketphoto.com images that customers download as trial images

used for composing artwork (comps).

The Datamark software is used to brand images with the TSM logo and to

create a uniquely signed version of the image as the customer

downloads it. This means that valuable, high quality content can now be

made available on the Internet because it can be effectively

visibly watermarked for downloads of comps. Invisible watermarking by

Digimarc will follow in the next phase

For stockmarketphoto.com, Datamark's software had to be integrated

with Live Picture's Flashpix technology. Flashpix's zoom capability allows

customers to closely examine the characteristics of a photo and determine

its quality, helping them to make faster, more informed purchasing

decisions. Customers can then download copyright protected comps, or once

they have ordered an image, select the image format and file size, and

immediately download a hi-res version.

"The Web is the future in the digital image industry, and to move

forward we have to protect our images from piracy," notes Stock Market

executive vice president Andrei Lloyd. "The Datamark technology enables us

to make our images as readily accessible to our customers as possible, while

simultaneously protecting the intellectual property of our photographers.

This is an important step towards delivering a secure ecommerce environment

that works for both vendors and buyers of digitial images."

Explained Edward Hall, Sales & Customer Service Director at Datamark, "The

Stock Market is constantly looking to innovate it's on-line service

offering, while Datamark is constantly enhancing the ways in which digital

content can be sold, syndicated and protected. This fusion of Datamark's

and Flashpix's technologies, and Stockmarketphoto.com's images represents

the cutting edge of content commerce on the web. Together we are delivering

a fast and reliable service to both creators and buyers of digital images."

Tahabi Books

Dexter Lane of Peter Arnold reports that Tahabi Books puts a permanent

non-removable sticker with a barcode (UPC code) on the back of every

transparency they receive -- unless there is a specific notification on the

delivery memo that they should not do so.

The label has the name of the company where who owns the images, as well as

the UPC code. If it not removed before sending the slide the next client it

is likely that the client will pick the wrong number to identify the image.

When the delivery memo has a prohibition against using such labels, they

still put a UPC code label on the image, but in this case they uses labels

with a non-permanent glue that are easy to peal off.

When Tahabi was asked why they didn't use easy peal off labels on all images

they received they said, "It's our policy and we can't change it." However,

they also rebel against paying a re-mounting fee to the agency.

Archive Photos Adds Photo File, Inc.

Archive Photos has announced that they will be representing Photo File, Inc.

on a worldwide basis. Photo File has agreements with Major League Baseball,

the NBA, NHL, NFL, and their player associations, as well as thousands aof

individual athletes in many other sports.

"Photo File has the most comprehensive collection of individual baseball

players in existence and by far the most current images of the hottest

players in professional sports today. Many of the images in Photo File's

collection have not been previously available for use to our editorial and

advertising clients, and will fulfill a lot of our customers's needs,"

declares Archive's V.P. of Content, Eric Rachlis.

Chuck Singer, President of Photo File, states that "Archive and Photo File

have worked together for quite some time; we feel confident that expanding

our relationship to include this deal will work to everyone's benefit."

Indesign Will Challenge Quark

According to a recent TrendWatch survey the soon to be released InDesign

software from Adobe may be a real challenger to Quark.

Quark has commanded an impressive amount of DTP/page layout software real

estate on creative desktops for some time. But, according to TrendWatch,

52% of all the creative professionals who have heard of InDesign say they

will test it and seem quite willing to give InDesign a serious chance. This

has the potential to award Adobe the triple crown of the graphics desktop

(photo manipulation, illustration and page layout).

Those who stated that QuarkXPress was their primary page layout tool were

asked, "If InDesign meets your needs, will you switch?"

  Definitely Yes   

8%   

  Probably   

12%   

  Possibly/Maybe   

70%   

  Definitely Not   

10%   

Whether or not creative professionals all run out and buy it remains to be

seen, but these numbers show a soft spot in Quark's armor.

Who Owns Copyright in Digital Images?

by: Charles Swan

An American computer technician, Patrick Sagouspe, is suing equine

photographer Robert Vavra for copyright infringement over a composite image

the two of them worked on together.

Sagouspe helped Vavra to combine three of Vavra's horse images from

Vavra's book "Equus: The Creation of a Horse" to create a fourth image

entitled "The Whisperer's Horse" (which can be viewed by going to

http://www.robertvavra.com). Sagouspe claims that he contributed sufficient

originality to the combined image to qualify for copyright protection and

even filed a copyright registration. He is suing Vavra for 50% of his sales

of prints of the image as co-owner of copyright.

Vavra says Sagouspe was just a technician putting Vavra's vision into

effect. He claims Sagouspe provided no artistic input at all.

What happens in the USA ends up happening here before long. Digital

manipulators don't normally claim ownership of their work in the UK, but

there is often no reason why they shouldn't. The Sagouspe case may spark

off similar claims over here. Photographers should carefully check the

terms under which they commission digital work: these should include a clear

statement that all copyright in the work will belong to the client

photographer.

© The Simkins Partnership,

July 1999

    Charles Swan can be reached at The Simkins Partnership, a media law firm in

    London Tel: 0171 631 1050, Fax: 0171 436 2744, Email:charles.swan@simkins.com.

    For more information vist their web site at http://www.simkins.com.


Copyright © 1999 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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