338 RANDOM THOUGHTS 22
September 7, 2000
Replacing Editors At Getty
Many Stone photographers are deeply concerned and saddened by the recent abrupt firing
of editor Stacey Green. Everyone I have talked to thought he was a great editor.
One photographer said, "He provided a face and a voice that gave us the feeling that
our relationship with Getty was a personal one. Now it really seems like we are just
dealing with a large corporate organization. This can't be good for their (Getty's)
business in the long run."
In June, I had a disussion with Jonathan Klein about the concern of many Stone
photographers that their editors seemed to have no power in the final selection process
of images for the core file. He acknowledged this is a problem and said they would be
working to "imporve communication and give editors more authority." This move, coupled
with what is happening in London, looks like Getty Images is headed
in the opposite direction.
In London, Planet Earth Pictures (PEP), a nature and wildlife division of VCG, Getty's
latest purchase, is being closed down. The people in charge of this division,
Christopher Angelogou and Jennifer Jeffrey, have been let go. The rest of the staff is
expected to be gone before the end of the year. Some of the images from this file,
particularly those images selected for Green 3, a new catalog that will now be
cancelled, will probably be placed on gettyone.com.
The rest are likely to be returned to the photographers, since Anthony Harris, Director
of Photographer Relations, gettyone, is only interested in handling images that Getty
represents on a world wide exclusive basis and which are immediately available to
customers in an on-line environment.
Stone To Begin Collecting Back Catalog Fees
Stone photographers have received a letter saying Stone will begin applying deductions
for catalog fees when they make their August payments. Selling Stock previously reported
that photographers had not had catalog fees deducted for more than a year. The
Stone letter cited "technical problems" as the reason for falling behind in these
decutions and said that by the end of the year Stone expects to be caught up with
Stone photographers with a significant number of images in the last few catalogs will
likely see a drop in the size of their checks in the next four months.
Stone says they will start with Twist and Wild, then Vol. 11 and the more recent
catalogs such as Life, Work, Road Trip, Quest and Play. They only listed charges for
Wild and Twist, so photographers still don't know what the fees will be for subsequent
Images that appeared in the Wild/North American Edition cost the photographer $247.03
each and the Wild/Rest of World Edition cost $469.37 per image. It the image appeared
in both editions the fee is $716.40.
The costs per image for the Twist/World Wide is $826.67.
Corbis was featured on CBS News on September 4th under the story title, "Is Bill Gates
Monopolizing Another Field?"
CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson mentioned that "two conglomerates," may have a
stranglehold on the market and said, "CBS News has learned Justice Department officials
are asking serious questions about how it's (the recent acquisitions) affecting
The Bill Gates connection was too much to resist and Attkisson spent the rest of the
piece talking about Corbis, totally ignoring the other, and much larger, conglomerate
Attorney Ed Greenbery who represents photographer Michael Grecco in a long standing
dispute over Sygma selling Grecco's pictures without permission was quoted as saying,
"Anybody who believes that a photographer has a fair right to negotiate with Corbis or
a Gates-owned company is insane. Nobody with any I.Q. really believes that." Sygma is
alleged to have continued selling Grecco's images after Corbis purchased the company.
Corbis insists there's nothing to fear from Bill Gates. "He in no way runs the
day-to-day operations," says Corbis president Steve Davis. "In fact most photographers
we work with around the world are very excaited about the opportunities we're giving
them, and the digital world is giving them."
Magnum Rejects Offers From Corbis and Getty
According to Photo District News, both Corbis and Getty have been trying to convince
Magnum to handle their on-line distribution for them, but for the time being Magnum has
decided to try to develop an e-commerce capability of its own.
Burt Glinn told PDN that in a London meeting over whether to pursue negotiations with
Corbis or Getty, Cartier-Bresson "kept shaking his head, Nobody threatened to leave
the agency over this, but that hung over our heads. We knew Henri wouldn't sit still
For more information see:
Picture Perfect Again
Photographers still haven't received any payment for the images they have in the
Picture Perfect 12 catalog that was released in late 1997.
Robert Tod continues to license rights to images in this and other catalogs he
represents, and even reports some of the sales to the more than 20 agencies with images
in the catalog. So far, as best we determine, no agency or photographer has been paid
ANY royalties for the rights that were licensed in over two years.
Nawrocki Stock Photos, Inc, (NSP) says Tod owes them more than $300,000 in licensing
fees. NSP has spent about $50,000 in legal fees and other costs trying to persuade Tod
to honor his contractual committments.
Attorney David MacTavish, former photographer and former President of ASMP, is now
trying to help photographers get their originals back so they can attempt to license
them in other ways.
See earlier stories
Speedpix Eliminates Up-Front Charges
Speedpix has instituted a policy of no up-front charges for contributing photographers.
All insertion costs will be deducted from sales at the rate of $50.00 per image.
For more information on this opportunity see:
Mike Morrison, Creative Director
Pictor and PhotoAlto RF
In mid September Pictor will begin marketing PhotoAlto royalty-free images throughout
the US, United Kingdom and Germany. PhotoAlto was founded in 1995 and is based in
The PhotoAlto royalty-free collection presently comprises 90 CD's, covering business
and industry, people and lifestyles, healthcare and medicine, food and gastronomy,
concepts and much more. By September 2001 the collection will number 180 CD's. In
addition to CD sales, Pictor will also be marketing single PhotoAlto royalty-free
images through their www.pictor.com site.
The launch of the PhotoAlto product is part of the Pictor's on-going commitment to
deliver an increasing breadth and depth of material in digital format, both on and
offline. Visitors to the pictor.com site will be able to search for both royalty-free
and rights protected images, request or carry out searches, view their selected images
on digital lightboxs, download either low or high-resolution files, or buy the image
The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has created a copyright licensing
program that is designed to allow retail outlets like Wal-Mart, K-mart, etc. to
purchase licenses that will authorize them to make an unlimited number of copies of
professional images made by photographers who participate in the licensing program.
The revenue from the license (in excess of what PPA retains for "administrative fees")
will be distributed amoung the photographers who have signed up (and paid a fee) to
participate. It will then be completely legal for these retailers to copy these
This program operates in a manner similar to the music industry's ASCAP and BMA, and is
designed primarily to enable portait and wedding photographers to earn revenue from the
copying of the images they produce.
Photographer Joel Moore and others have a number of objections and are launching a
drive to convince PPA to cancel the program. The objections include:
1. We believe that by selling a license to retailers giving them permission to
copy images, PPA is promoting the copying of professional images. Retailers will begin
to advertise that they can copy professional images!
2. We believe that this program will result in these retail outlets copying ALL
professional images, regardless of whether they are from a participating photographer
3. We believe that this will create an atmosphere where consumers will be educated
that copying professional images is legal and acceptable.
4. We believe that consumers will come to expect all photographers to participate in
this program so that they can have their reprints made at the local copy-center.
According to Moore, in the long run, this program will un-do our years of effort
invested in educating the public that copying professional photographs is wrong and
illegal. It will encourage consumers to buy their prints from sources other than their
PPA claims that this program will only affect customers who are now trying to (and
getting away with) making illegal copies. They claim that these customers would not
come back and pay the photographer for reprints and that it is better to make something
off of them through the licensing program than to make nothing. While they may be
right about these customers, Moore and others believe they have failed to consider all
of the other customers who will see this program as a way to save money on their total
cost of professional photography.
For more information see: