Random Thoughts 32

Posted on 5/9/2001 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



May 9, 2001

COPYRIGHT ALERT: Stop the Hatch-Leahy Amendment

Senators Hatch and Leahy are rushing to attach an amendment to the Senate Education Bill
that will make it legal for colleges and universities to use your work - or that of any
other photographer - in distance learning programs without compensation or permission.

This is an immediate threat.

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is asking all interested parties to call,
fax or e-mail your own Senators and immediately to let them know how you feel about this
issue. Time is of the essence.

Let your Senators know that:

    * Associations representing those who could be adversely affected by the amendment
    have not been given the opportunity to review or comment on it.

    * Your livelihood depends on strong copyright protections.

    * Fair Use provisions are already spelled out for education - there is no need for
    additional legislation.

To find your Senators' e-mail addresses and phone numbers:

    1. Go to www.copyrightdefense.com

    2. Click "Contact Congress"

    3. Type Your ZIP Code in the "Elected Officials" box

    4. Select the "Constituent Opposed to the Hatch-Leahy Education Amendment" message or
    create your own.

    5. Fill in your information (so they know you're a constituent)

    6. Click "Send Message" to make your voice heard!

While you're at the site register as a member of the Copyright Defense. It's free and it
gives you the opportunity to show your support for copyright protection. Please pass this
information along to all of the photographers you know.

Getting Images Accepted At Getty

Photographer Xavier Bonghi seems to have found the answer as to how to shoot for Getty
Images and The Image Bank brand. Since the first of the year 462 of his images have been
posted on the TIB site, and the number keeps climbing weekly. This is all the more
remarkable considering that the total quota for the brand in 2001 is 15,000 new images
and Bonghi already has over 3% of that.

Included in these 462 are a lot of very similar images. Many Getty Images photographers
who have only been able to get one or two images per shoot accepted in the past couple of
years are wondering what they are doing wrong.

Anthony Harris, Getty Images'Director of Photographer Relations said, "The editing was
not carried out in accordance with Getty Images guidelines. As a result, far too many
similar images were selected. Our editing policy for all productions is to select the
best image based on relevance, treatment and technical quality. It does not serve
anyone's purpose to select, market and invest in images that are essentially the same.
With this in mind we will be re-editing this shoot. Our on-going editor training program
should ensure that this type of mistake does not occur in the future."

Thus, this seems to be a aberration, not a new policy. The indications are that the
mistake will be corrected and photographers can expect a continuation of the normal tight
editing in the future.

ASMP's Co-Op Business Plan

Dick Weisgrau, Executive Director of ASMP, has released some additional information about
the Co-op business plan that is discussed the ASMP site at www.asmp.org.

Weisgrau said, "The co-op's business plan calls for two licensing services. The first
will be MIRA for licensing stock. MIRA ownership will shift from CCC the co-op. MIRA will
compete with Corbis and Getty. MIRA will offer photographer approved pricing as it does
now, license and collect and distribute royalties. It will also market the images in its
library to the trade. MIRA's initial marketing will be targeted to 38,000 specifically
identified creative companies that collectively purchase about $570,000,000 in stock
photography annually. They are part of the 257,000 creative enterprises that purchase
more than $1.6 billion in stock annually.

"The targeted have been selected on the basis of marketing partnerships that have been
worked out with companies that market regularly to these 38,000. In time, as revenues
grow, the marketing will become a combination of its early narrow casting and traditional
broad casting. Its second focus will be on the 2.1 million non-creative companies that
are purchasing a collective total of $2.1 billion in stock each year, but only buying
once or twice year. About 25,000 of these companies are the initial target that will be
approached with a new way of doing business (the ASCAP or subscription approach)."

    [We at Selling Stock are still saying that worldwide stock photo sales for all types
    of uses, to professional and non-professional users, in 2000 were in the range of $1.35
    billion. About 45% of that, or a little over $600 million occurred in the U.S. The two
    major companies, Getty and Corbis, are backing away from their efforts to sell to
    consumers after dramatic failures. There is very little evidence that there is any type
    of serious market for stock photography other than the traditional professional users.

    CEPIC, the association of pictures agencies in Europe, will be releasing the results of
    European stock agencies later this month. At that time we hope to be able to update our
    estimates of worldwide sales. Indications are that U.S. sales have been down this year
    compared with 2000.]

Catalog Selling On Web Profitable

A study by the Boston Consulting Group has found that 72% of catalog companies are
profitable compared with 43% of store-based retailers and 27% of those who only sell

Online shopping is still growing with revenue in North American in 2000 reachin $44.5
billion. This does not include online financial services which are considered a separate
category. The catalog retailers's advantage is that they already had the right type of
fulfillment and customer-service operations in place.

The study definded catalogue based retailers as companies for which printed catalogs and
call-center operations are either the largest retail channel or exceed $100 million in

Objections To Getty's Photographer Contract Grows

The StockArtistsAlliance (SAA), now has more than 500 Getty Images photographers as members
and includes some of the biggest names in the stock photography business. This group
represents an estimated annual gross income to Getty Images of over $80 million dollars and
they are the owners of 70,000 of the images on Getty's web site. This is approximately 37% of
the Stone, FPG/VCG and The Image Bank inventory currently on the site.

In a letter sent to Jonathan Klein, CEO of Getty Images, the StockArtistsAlliance has
responded to the contract offer presented by Getty Images to its contributors. While
acknowledging that Getty has addressed some concerns about the contract, SAA members found
many of the terms to be unacceptable. In both tone and substance, the contract presents them
with obstacles and disincentives to continue producing stock images for license by Getty.

According to one photographer, the current offering is a good starting point, but no more
than that. "Aside from the percentage issues, there are major concerns about liability,
submission turn-around time, catalog charges, slow to non-existent web uploading, internal
competition from Getty financed shoots, abrogation of moral rights and extinction of the
artist/agent relationship. In addition, unresolved issues from current contracts continue to
cast a cloud over new commitments made by Getty."

Many SAA members feel that the contract ignores the realities and costs of producing quality
stock images and seeks to shift liability for usage from the end user, where it belongs, to
the creators. In the opinion of an SAA steering committee member, "the contract reflects a
one-sided view of our relationship presented as a convoluted, 'take it or leave it' document.
For many of us, it creates an environment in which it would be difficult to profit from
producing and licensing work through Getty Images".

Despite differences, SAA members believe that Getty Images will join them in approaching
contract negotiations with an open mind and a willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue.
They've expressed the hope that working together, they can craft a contract that will ensure
the viability of Getty as THE premiere licensing agency of rights protected images while
providing equitable benefits to both parties.

The StockArtistsAlliance (SAA) is an international group of Getty Images artists
(photographers and illustrators) created to disseminate vital legal analysis of contract
issues and to coordinate individual legal representation as part of an overall legal group.
Additional information is available at:

CEPIC To Release Industry Statistics

The Coordination of European Picture Agencies Press and Stock (CEPIC) will announce the
results of their European Stock and Press Picture Industry Survey at their annual
Congress held this year in Amsterdam from 24th to 27th May.

In the 1990s the market has been profoundly affected by the increasing use of new
technologies and has become a very competitive and attractive market. A market study
assessing size and potentiality became vital and CEPIC undertook the work.

Building on the work initiated in 1999 by BAPLA, the British Association of Picture
Libraries and Agencies, the survey was carried out among the membership of CEPIC, nearly
a thousand agencies from 11 European countries, during the period December 2000 to March
2001 by the professional German media consulting company. The survey investigates all
areas pertinent to the picture business: market size, staffing and photographers,
copyright infringement as well as technologies in use and preferred softwares.

Alan Smith, President of CEPIC, says, "This is a long overdue survey which provides
essential European Union data to sustain and develop the remarkable advances in
transborder picture trading which digitisation has powered."

On Friday May 25th Mr. Peter Remmerssen, Managing Director of Picture Press Bild und
Textagentur GmbH, and member of the board of CEPIC and of BVPA, the German Association of
Press & Stock Picture Agencies, will introduce the main results of the survey.

In March 2001, in partnership with CEPIC, PACA, the Picture Agency Council of America
conducted its own survey, which results will also be announced in Amsterdam. For the
first time, data of the world's two major picture markets will be available.

CEPIC was founded in Berlin in 1993 and in registered in Paris in 1999 as a European
Economic Interest Group by a group of national associations. These associations represent
the interests of nearly a thousand picture sources and 30,000 photographers across Europe
covering all aspects of photography from news to stock as well as arts collections,
medical libraries, museum collections etc.

Copyright © 2001 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 301-461-7627, 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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