474 RANDOM THOUGHTS 47
April 25, 2002
Zefa Belgium Bankruptcy Settled
The court in Brussels, Belgium have passed final judgment on the bankruptcy of Zefa
Belgium. The company, formerly owned by Ton Mascini, first went into bankruptcy and closed
down operations about a year ago. All agencies and other creditors were able to pick up the
images that belonged to them in 2001.
Mascini had owned a stock agency called Diagenic bvba and a few years ago had licensed the
right to use the Zefa name. He then renamed his company Zefa Belgium. Other than the naming
rights, this was a typical agreement between two independent agencies representing each
Mascini's company had nothing whatsoever to do with the Zefa Visual Media Belgium which is
wholly owned by Zefa vmi. Zefa vmi acquired
Benelux Press and Fotostock a little over a year ago and those operations are still on
going and active in Belgium.
According to Mascini all photographers who were contracted directly to his company, and the
staff, were paid what they were owed before the bankruptcy. The principal creditors in the
bankruptcy were mostly stock agencies who had supplied images to Zefa Belgium on an
agency-to-agency relationship. The principal creditor was the Zefa Visual Media
headquarters in Dusseldorf.
Based on the assets that remained the court decided that creditors would receive 30% of
what they are owed and it is believed that all the agency creditors have received full
payment at this time.
Obviously, the photographers whose images were licensed as a result of the agreements
various agencies had with Zefa Belgium will probably only receive 30% of what is owed to
them and it may take some time before those monies are reported and paid to them.
According to Tomas Speight, some years back Zefa decided to discontinue the licensing of
its name to independent companies due to the risk of owners or managers of these
independent companies using the name in an "adverse manner." All new companies using the
Zefa name are owned by the vmi group. The only outstanding contracts that are with
non-wholly-owned companies are in Portugal, Austria and Turkey.
The visual media international (vmi) group has 13 European subsidiaries plus the royalty
free company imageshop.com. They also have 30 network partners who market the vmi catalogs
and CD-ROM's worldwide.
In a related matter Lejo Duivenvoorde has just been named Managing Director of Zefa
BeneluxPress and Fotostock. These wholly owned companies of Zefa vmi have offices in both
The Netherlands and Belgium and Duivenvoorde will manage the companies from the Dutch
headquarters in Voorburg.
Nature Picture Library
The BBC Natural History Unit Picture Library has changed their name to Nature Picture
Library and the website is www.naturepl.com . All
of BBC NHU library photographers will be
represented by the Nature Picture Library.
The current site has more than 13,500 images online and many more will be added over the
next few months. There are more than 120,000 images in the entire collection poviding a
depth of coverage of all aspects of nature.
Art Resource Exclusive North American Agent of MoMA
Art Resource, in collaboration with the Scala Group in Florence, Italy, has been named the
exclusive agent for North American photo rights of The Musemu of Modern Art (MoMA)
Inquiries for images and rights to reproduce the works housed in the museum will be
fulfilled in North America by Art Resource. Scala will oversee, and fulfill, all other
High-resoultion digital images will soon be available for searching, licensing and
downloading from www.artres.com .
Art Resource was founded in 1968 to provide a central and comprehensive source of images of
painting, sculpture, and the fine arts for both educational and commercial applications,
and has since grown to be the largest single source of historical imagery in the world. It
functions as the exclusive and official North American photo rights and permissions
representative for more than 60 major museums.
Michael Maegraith of MoMA said, "We are pleased to be working with Art Resource because of
their integrity and outstanding reputation as the successful representative of many museums
and art archives."
AFLO Foto Agency Enters U.S. Market
AFLO Foto Agency from Japan is entering the U.S. market with the simultaneous distribution
of two new catalogs: "Sport" and "Soccer." They have also introduced their web site
www.aflofoto.com that is designed specifically
for the U.S. and Canadian markets.
AFLO represents the creative output of over 300 sport photographers around the globe. Until
now their imagery has only been available to picture buyers in Asia.
The "Sport" has 174 pages with almost 1,400 pictures covering all major sports. The 90 page
"Soccer" catalog has 440 images capturing every aspect of game.
The web site offers on-line picture purchase with straight forward pricing charts covering
the most popular stock uses. Buyers receive discounts when they purchase using a credit
card. For additional information the office is located in Colorado and the toll free number
ImageState Launches New RF Collection
ImageState has released a new 264 page catalogs that shows more than 2,900 images from 36
CD's. The catalog is called IS.
To produce the catalog they brought together photographers from the fields of fashion,
advertising and portraiture. "We invested a great deal of time and money in IS to find the
right locations, photographers and models to deliver leading royalty free imagery for the
professional user" says, Erwin De Boer, the London based Creative Director.
The shoot locations included Venice, Paris, London, Florida and California.
"Utilising talent pools within North America and Europe enabled us to establish the
distinct imagery that IS represents," said Richard Robinson, Group Content Director. "Our
next challenge was to devise a catalogue and format which would present the photographs in
the most ideal way possible, yet capture the imagination and imspiration of the designer."