Random Thoughts 40

Posted on 10/10/2001 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



October 10, 2001

Envision Establishes New Catalog Representation Model

Sue Pashko of Envision Agency in New York has announced that she will be representing two
print catalogs from Groupe DIAF-SDP in France.

A unique aspect of this arrangement is that DIAF-SDP will be paying the total costs of the
production of the catalog, the dupe sets, and the postage for mailing the catalogs in the
U.S. DIAF-SDP will also be supplying approximately 6,000 digital files for uploading to
Envision's online site.

Usual industry practices have been that the selling agency would purchase print catalogs,
and dupes from the producing agency and the selling agency would pay all mailing costs in
its country. However, in the last year, or so, it has been increasing difficult for European
agencies to find a U.S. agency who would buy and distribute their catalogs. In those few
cases where the U.S. agencies were still buying, the Europeans have found that the Americans
were unwilling to mail as many catalogs as the Europeans would like. It is believed that
this fact is what lead DIAF-SDP to agree to fund the total cost of distribution.

Envision currently has about 6,000 images on its web site at www.envision-stock.com. The
concentration of the subject matter is in food, travel and nature. The images from DIAF-SDP
will initially add another 6,000 images for a total of 12,000. One of the DIAF-SDP catalogs
is on food, gardening and interiors and the other is a lifestyle catalog.

DIAF-SDP is also investing in Envision to the point of paying the salary of an additional
sales person. In addition DIAF-SDP will be distributing the images of Envision's U.S.
photographers through its network in more than 30 countries including all of Europe,
Australia, Japan and South America.

DIAF-SDP is jointly managed by Gilles Taquet and Christian Delannoy and has a stock file of
approximately 2.5 million images aimed at advertising clients. The Group claims to have had
a turnover of about $4.6 million (U.S.) in 2000, 16% of which came from the non-French
market. The company has a web site with 80,000 images, 40,000 of which are available to
international purchasers.

Envision is hoping to represent catalogs from other European agencies on more or less the
same basis.

Geographic Loses Another Round In Greenberg Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected National Geographic's petition to hear the case of
National Geographic Society vs. Jerry and Idaz Greenberg. The decision by the Eleventh
Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta that NGS had infringed Greenberg's copyrights will
The case now goes back to the trial court in Miami where it began for damages, costs, etc.
to be assessed.

The appeal to the Supreme Court was a last ditch attempt by National Geographic to overturn
the Appeals Court decision relating to Geographic's use of Greenberg's images in the CD-ROM
"108 Years of the Complete National Geographic."

Geographic had lined up a long list of supporting organizations that had filed "amici
curiae" (friend of the court) briefs in support of its petition. These publishers seem to
fear that a settlement in the Greenberg's favor, on top of the Tasini decision, would force
them to start paying for reuse of images.

The organizations supporting Geographic's position included: Magazine Publishers of America,
Inc.; Newspaper Association of America, Inc.; Association of American Publishers, Inc.;
Advance Publications, Inc.; The Copley Press, Inc.; Dow Jones & Company, Inc.; Forbes Inc.;
Gannett Co., Inc.; Georgia Press Association; Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing; Hachette
Filipacchi Magazines, Inc.; The Hearst Corporation; Morris Communications Corporation; The
New York Times Company; New Yorker Magazine, Inc.; Playboy Enterprises; Primedia Inc.; Time
Inc. and The Tribune Company; the American Library Association; Association of Research
Libraries; American Association of Law Libraries and the Medical Library Association.

Greenberg had an "amici curiae" brief from ASMP.

Liaison Pushes To Own All Imagery

Back in March Liaison Agency (part of the Getty Images family) told all contributors that
they would no longer maintain a stock collection, and would be returning all originals and
releasing contributors from further contractual obligations.

At that time they said that the new focus of the agency would be deadline based and all
digital. In addition to being all digital, it appears they intend to own everything they
post online, operating in much the same way as Allsport and the major wire services
(Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, etc.).

During the World Trade Center disaster photographers who had been on contract with Liaison
for many years were told that if they were unwilling to accept a buyout of their photos (for
a one-time low fee) the images would not be accepted. (See the next story for an indication
of the revenue World Trade Center pictures generated.)

This left photographers, who had taken extreme risks to get their pictures and thought they
were represented by an agency, with little opportunity to make any income from photos that
would obviously be in high demand.

Editorial Sales Of September 11th In France

The competitive editorial market in Europe resulted in some very high fees for the photos of
the September 11th tragedy.

Le Monde in Paris reports that the highest price paid in Paris for a photo of September 11th
was 200,000 francs (about $28,000) for a shot of people in the windows of the World Trade
Center tower about to jump.

A photo salesman said that in the three hours that followed the crash of the first aircraft
into the tower Paris Match dispensed more than $182,000 for rights to photos. While Paris
Match is not saying how much it spent, its competitors estimate that they spent between
$30,000 and $100,000 just for the rights to have "first choice" of the images the agencies
would eventually offer. The average prices for photos were 20% to 30% higher than normal and
huge numbers of images were used.

The Gamma bureau in New York transmitted 2,500 images in four days. Normally, they would
transmit about 400 in that time period. Alain Genestar of Paris Match said that 3,000
photos arrived in the hours following the tragedy and they were able to remake the magazine
before midnight (Paris time) on the 11th.

Some might think that agencies and photographers should not be profiting from such a
tragedy, but much of the reason for these profits is that now there is a huge demand for
information. Paris Match sold 1.5 million copies of their issue on "The War." For a normal
edition they sell about 760,000 copies. It should also be kept in mind that agencies like
Gamma, Corbis-Sygma and Sipa have been losing millions of francs in the normal editorial
climate and their future without war and tragedy has been in some doubt.

Lloyd Promoted At Corbis

Andrei Lloyd has been named vice-president, worldwide sales and market strategy of the
Creative Professional Group (CPG) of Corbis.
This group is responsible for sales in both the editorial and commercial markets which
includes news, celebrity, contemporary lifestyle, business, sports, historical and fine art,
and the brands Corbis Stock Market (CSM), Corbis Saba and Corbis Sygma.

In these trying times Lloyd will be responsible for expanding worldwide creative sales for
both the commercial and editorial sides of the business. He will also be responsible for the
integration of Corbis Stock Market (CSM), Corbis Saba and Corbis Sygma. While commercial
sales remain strong sources indicate that editorial sales for Corbis Sygma were down more
than 30%, year over year, for the first half of 2001.

Lloyd will continue in his current role as COO of CSM through the full integration of CSM in
early 2002. CSM has also recently been given the responsibility for overseeing the
production of Royalty Free Images, previously handled by Corbis Digital Stock.

Economic Slowdown Hits Design Community

According to Trend Watch's Summer 2001 Design & Production Survey only 20% of the creative
businesses reported excellent conditions. Thirty percent reported poor conditions and 18%
expect poor conditions to continue next year. This survey was completed before September

Trend Watch says, "Whenever companies are in financial distress, it's advertising and
marketing that get the axe first. We saw this first with publishers, then printers, and now
the ones who actually create ads and marketing materials."


E-books are a use that can be expected to appear more frequently. The user purchases
one-time access to a web site where the book is stored in encrypted form. The user buys a
password that allows them to download the book to their computer or e-book reader. However,
once the file is downloaded it is locked so it can't be transferred to other computers.

In one case the publisher was printing 15,000 regular books and wanted the right to sell
1,500 additional e-books. This publisher paid the regular fee for the 15,000 print book and
a 25% premium for the e-books. The agent who licensed these rights believes the publisher
thought this was a good deal.

New RF Portal

PR Direct has announced a new RF portal that can be accessed by going to
www.AllRoyaltyFree.com. More than 60 publishers are represented on this portal with a choice
of more than 300,000 images and 2,500+ CD-ROM discs. Images from the major suppliers
including: PhotoDisc, Corbis, Digital Vision, Eyewire, ImageState, Image Source, Photo Alto,
Stockbyte, etc. are available on this site.

European Photo Group For Sale

A European Group of Photo Press Agencies with an online picture database as well as offices
in several European cities is for sale due to an estate inheritance.

They are seeking 4.8 million Euros. In the last three years the net income as a percentage
of sales amounted to approximately 16.74%.

Offers should be sent to Angermann M&A International GmbH, ABC-Strabe 35, 20354 Hamburg,

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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