205 RANDOM THOUGHTS 4
February 24, 1999
Stock Photographer Randy Taylor Becomes VP At Liaison
Randy Taylor has joined Liaison Agency as Vice President of the Press Division.
Liaison represents photojournalists worldwide and distributes their coverage of
news and feature stories to magazines and newspapers around the world. Liaison is
part of Getty Images.
In addition to overseeing the overall production of the agency, Taylor's duties
will include the development of a digital platform to facilitate submission and
distribution of Liaison's production worldwide.
"Randy Taylor's experience as a photogjournalist, his management expertise and
vision for the future of digital technology make him an ideal candidate for this
very key position," says Michel Bernard, CEO of Liaison.
Taylor has been an editorial and stock photographer for 25 years. Between 1974
and 1986 he workded as a contract photographer for Associated Press, Sygma and
Black Star. Traveling to over 50 countries, he photographed thousands of major
events and celebrities, learning French, Spanish and Portugese along the way.
Prior to joining Liaison he managed and co-founded two photo agencies -
International Color Stock, Inc. and International News Service, Inc.
Trend Watch Survey
A global survey by Trend Watch has identified 488,000+ seats in the global
Asia and Pacific
Central and Latin
This group includes: ad agencies, designers and illustrators, commercial
photographers, corporate designers, catalog publishers, magazine publishers and
"The country background and market dynamics data was developed to help
internationally-focused marketers build market entry or expansion strategies for
new world markets," notes Jim Whittington, TrendWatch partner.
Coast Clear For Unofficial Diana Memorabilia
An official free-for-all has been declared for tacky Diana products. This story is
good news for any photographer who licenses photographs in the UK of any celebrity.
by: Charles Swan
The UK Patent Office has rejected an application by the Memorial Fund to trademark
the face of Princess Diana.
The application, filed in October 1997, consisted of 26 photographs of the
princess by photographer Tim Graham. The application covered a wide range of
goods, from porcelain to playing cards to chronometric instruments.
The Patent Office rejected the trade mark because it is not distinctive. The face
of the princess as reproduced on goods such as tea cups is decoration, not a
"badge of origin" distinguishing those products from other manufacturers' goods.
Many manufacturers have been holding back from producing Diana
merchandise pending the trade mark application. The fund has taken an aggressive
approach towards unauthorised merchandisers and few have so far been prepared to
One company which did was the Illinois-based souvenir company Bradford Exchange,
which produced a musical plate which played the original melody of Candle in the
Wind alongside the slogan "Keep her light alive". Bradford Exchange sued the fund
last year in Delaware seeking to establish its legal right to produce Diana
memorabilia without a licence.
Public response to the fund's trade mark activities has been mixed.
Princess Diana was "the people's princess" and the people have been
distinctly uneasy about the fund's attempts to control the use of her image. In
contrast with most other European countries, and the United States, UK law gives
little protection to celebrities over the use of their image, beyond libel laws
and passing off (where unofficial merchandise is portrayed as official). A trade
mark consisting of the word "Elvis" has been held not to be distinctive and the
Spice Girls failed to stop unauthorized merchandise last year which did not carry
an "unofficial" tag. Unauthorized use of celebrity images in press and poster
advertising is commonplace.
Celebrity photographers and photo libraries with celebrity collections enjoy a
healthily unregulated market in the UK. The Princess Diana trade mark decision
will be welcome confirmation of the inalienable right of the public to make free
with the images of those celebrities who, at the end of the day, owe their star
status (and wealth) to that public.
Copyright And All That BULL
Many would consider the London Times one of the world's premier newspapers, and
probably one of the more ethical publication in the UK. When it comes to
copyright infringement, think again.
Tim Bryce does a lot of cattle "portrait" photography for breed societies. He
sells prints to the societies and individual farmers who promote the breed and
their individual animals. Some of these farmers also have web sites.
Tim sell prints on the basis that any further use is only allowed after contacting
him. A comprehensive all-rights-reserved notice is stuck to the back of each
print. In addition there is a notice printed (photographically) onto the front of
each print, usually in the bottom right corner (this is common practice).
The Times first infringement occurred on August 30, 1997 when the Sunday Times
used one of Tim's photos on the front page of its "Weekend" section. This photo
appeared half page with an article called "Freaks of the Farmyard." This use was
not only unauthorized, but was defamatory against the farming industry which is a
major source of Tim's livelihood. The breeder of the bull was very upset that her
Belgian Blue bull, a fine example of the particular breed, was called a "freak".
If Tim had known how the image was to have been used he would have
refused publication. Of course, the Sunday Times did not bother to ask
The print was supplied to a Times bureau by a local breed society. It was scanned
by a bureau and wired to the Times. The Times digitally removed the copyright
notice from the front of the image before publication. Despite a copyright notice
on the front and back of the print, at no time did any party ask Tim for
The Times argued that the breed society said there was no problem with copyright.
There may have been a "misunderstanding" by the breed society, but eventually the
Times admitted liability. Tim left the matter in the hands of a solicitor who
negotiated a fee of 750 (sterling) out of court.
The next abuse occurred in the News section of the 7 February 1999 Sunday Times.
The article was entitled, "Farmers Hunt For Brides On The Internet." The farmer
interviewed for the article has a website .
Several of Tim's images are on that site. The farmer has permission for this web
use and the images are marked with Tim's copyright.
This image (again of a Bull) was downloaded off the web and published - this time
with the copyright notice intact on the image. The file sizes of images on this
site range from 17K to 34K - not very large, but the Times got satisfactory
reproduction for their purposes. Tim was not consulted at any time.
If the maximum penalty for using an image without permission is to pay the normal
usage fee, there is no incentive for a paper to negotiate rights up front. It is
not surprising that it is common practice at British newspapers to steal first and
pay, only if you get caught.
Lawyer Charles Swan says, "It has always been my impression that they (UK
newspapers) regard themselves as being above the law with respect to copyright.
It's as though the newspapers were burglars, but instead of going to jail if
they're caught all they have to do is give the goods back."
It is my understanding that UK photographers regularly buy all the local
newspapers to hunt for their images. Finding their image after it has been
published is the only way they have any hopes of getting paid for their work. Of
course, such a system is of little help to foreign photographers who can't daily
peruse the British press. And since small internet files seem to be perfectly
adequate for publication in UK newspapers, anyone with images on the internet can
expect to have their work stolen by the British press.
Newspapers make a big deal about not having time to "check" on rights because
they have to get the information into print while it is still news. Their
may be some slight justification in that position for real hard news stories,
but the stories in question are features. They would have been as valid a
week later as they were on the day they were published. There was no
compelling public interest to publish these stories without first clearing
the rights to the material.
Nevertheless, there is little photographers can do legally. Additional damages
are available if
you can prove that an infringement was "flagrant". But, the costs of
bringing such an action are so great, that it is seldom worth the effort.
Suppose a photographer bits the bullet; hires a lawyer; and gets a major
settlement. Does that set a useful precedent? Probably not, because
the legal teams at the newspapers know they can make it so costly for anyone
to pursue a similar action that most photographers will settle.
Charles Swan says it is his impression that the newspaper industry in the UK
is "exceptionally naughty" when it comes to observing copyright. "Most other
industries here pay more respect to copyright. I do a lot of work for
advertising agencies, for example. It may not appear so sometimes, but most
advertising agencies are pretty careful to avoid infringing copyright. If
they get caught the penalties can be severe, because not only are the damages
potentially much greater, but legal claims on advertising campaigns can be
very bad news for agencies' relationships with their client advertisers.
There is every incentive not to infringe. I would not want your US
subscribers to gain the impression that the UK is a copyright free zone in
areas outside the newspaper publishing industry."
Credit At Corbis
Traditionally, when a credit line is listed under an image the photographer's name
has come first and the agency second like: Jim Pickerell/Stock Connection. Now,
Corbis has reversed that order on their Corbis Images site. The credit reads:
Corbis/photographers name. A little thing, but it has some Corbis photographers