240 RANDOM THOUGHTS 11
August 4, 1999
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
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
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
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
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."
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
| Definitely Not
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
© The Simkins Partnership,
Charles Swan can be reached at The Simkins Partnership, a media law firm in
London Tel: 0171 631 1050, Fax: 0171 436 2744, Email:email@example.com.
For more information vist their web site at http://www.simkins.com.