216 RANDOM THOUGHTS 6
April 21, 1999
Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied
Brief arguments on the appeal of Jonathan Tasini et.al. vs. the New York
Times et.al. are scheduled to be heard on April 26th. When the case was
first heard in New York District court in late 1996 it took judge Sonia
Sotomayer almost eight months to release a decision. Photographers should
not be surprised if there is no decision on the appeal before the new
On the basis of this August 13, 1997 decision many publishers have been
re-purposing large quantities of work, without additional compensation to the
creators, arguing that "Tasini" allows them to do this. That will certainly
continue, and accelerate, if the lower court decision is not reversed by the
For more background on this case see stories
This case has greatly diminished the value of copyright protection in the
United States. To protect their rights photographers must be much more
vigilant than they have been in the past in drafting contracts for assignment
and individual stock sales.
In a separate story lawyer Robert Cavallo has listed 12 negotiating points
that photographers need to present to the client when accepting assignments
or licensing work. See Story 215. .
All That Bull 2
In Random Thoughts 4 ( Story 205 )
on February 24th we reported that the London Times had
published in a derogatory manner, and without permission, one of cattle
photographer Tim Bryce's bull pictures which they downloaded directly from
Now the solicitor for the Times, Alasdair J. Brett, claims that
the Times has a right to "snatch" pictures from any web site, and if the
owner of the picture should object, the Times has the right to determine what is a
"reasonable and sensible fee" for the violation and damage of the individual's
Tim had written a couple of strongly worded letters in which he asked for the
modest sum of £750 in settlement. Brett responded in part,
"I am not prepared to set a bad example by offering £500 now - which is
way over the odds anyway - when we are more than likely to publish comment
photos in future which are snatched from websites and are used to indicate
what is going on on the internet. I am absolutely sure that £250 is a
perfectly reasonable and sensible fee and I enclose a cheque in that amount.
This is of course tendered in full and final settlement."
It should be noted that the Times' article was a feature story, not a news
story, and that the Times did not report what the web site said about the
bull, but made comments about this animal which were inaccurate and totally
unrelated to what was happening on the web site.
People On The Move
Charles Mauzy has been hired as vice president of business development at
EyeWire. He will head EyeWire's new product and business development office
in Seattle. Among other things Mauzy will be responsible for developing a
strategy to make Rights Protected images available through eyewire.com.
Mauzy previously served as director of media development at Corbis
and has experience in cultivating and maintaining relationships with creative
professionals and intellectual property owners.
Drina Lazar, formerly EyeWire's director of product development, has been
promoted to vice president of content development and will work with Mauzy to
further expand and deepen the company's product offering within each of its
key content areas - photography, illustrations, clip art, stock video and
Sue Clemons, formerly of SuperStock has been hired by Arriba Vista to manage
their Media Commerce division. This section of their on-line search engine
will be aimed primarily at professional users.
Deborah Free, former CEO of Natural Selection Stock has set up an image
consulting business to advise photographers on how best to set up and
organize their stock photo operations. She can be reached at 9965
Leroy-Pavilion Road, Pavilion, NY 14525, phone: 716-768-7880.
Getting An Image Chosen For A Stock Agency Ad Can Be A Bummer
There is some indication that getting one's image used in a stock agency ad
campaign that appears in industry magazines and direct mail promotions does
not help generate more sales for that image for the photographer. I have
heard some stories that certain images that have been chosen for ad campaigns
have never made a single sale after the ads appeared.
The theory is that the image got so much over exposure in being part of the
stock agencies ads that no client wanted to use it for their own projects.
This is a very important consideration for photographers because normally
stock agencies pay nothing to use photographers pictures in their ads.
It should be noted that these usages are totally separate from images that
appear in agency print catalogs. Print catalog placement definitely
generates more sales from photographers.
I would like to hear from photographers whose images have been use in
agency print ads to determine if the few examples I have heard of so
far are the exception, or the rule.
Getting Images Seen At TSI
Many photographers are concerned by the period of time it takes from the time
their image is selected for consideration for the Master Dupe Collection
until it is actually duped and gets into the market. Some photographers
report that it can be as much as 18 months from the time their editor says
the image is being considered until it is made available to potential buyers.
Worse yet, after this waiting period the London office may come back and say,
"Sorry, this image was not accepted," and return it. At that point the
photographer has lost 18 months and now has to try to find somewhere else to
place the image.
In the past TSI has held images for catalog consideration until the catalog
selecton was made, rather than placing them into the files. Then they dupe
those selected. After all catalog images are duped, they consider whether
to dupe non-catalog images or
return them. TSI is now considering the possibility of putting images into
the on-line catalog immediately after selection and making print catalog
selections from those images that are on-line.
Image Rejection At TSI
On top of this, TSI travel and nature photographers are reporting that they have
been told by their editors that TSI is no longer accepting new material on
these subjects. Many top shooters have had no new images selected from
their submissions for months.
Despite the experiences of photographers, Patrick Donehue says, "I can assure you that it
is NOT the policy of TSI to exclude travel or nature photography from our
collection. As with all imagery, these subjects must be photographed in a new
and innovative way that would differentiate such work from the photography that
already exists both within TSI and in the overall market. We expect our
photographers to produce imagery with this in mind. If they do, their photos
will get selected. If they don't, their photos won't make it into the
collection. It all really comes down to photographic vision, innovation and the
ability to take a creative risk or two."
Getty's New Seattle Office
Getty Images has leased 72,000 square feet of office space in the Quadrant
Lake Union Center, located in the Freemont district of Seattle. The space
offers high-quality data cable capable of handling networking speeds of 100Mb
and higher to each desktop. Each workstation is wired with advanced
telephone, ISDN, and fiber optic cable, as well as the capability of graphic
images and video to the desktop.
Getty currently has approximately 240 employees in Seattle and expects to
occupy the new office space by late fall. The space was formerly occupied by
Adobe Systems, Inc., the Center's major tenant.
Creatives In The U.S. - TrendWatch
According to TrendWatch the total number of professional creative organizations
in the U.S. marketplace is 62,000 -- 26% graphic designers, 20% commercial
photographers, 18% corporate designers, 16% magazine and book publishers,
13% ad agencies, 4% graphic illustrators and 3% catalog publishers.
The total number of individuals working in this market are 219,000--35% corporate
designers, 20% graphic designers, 19% ad agencies, 17% magazine and book
publishers, 5% commercial photographers, 3% catalog publishers and 1% graphic
Nearly 15,000 firms will purchase stock photo images this year led by graphic
designers, corporate design departments and ad agencies.
Want to know more about on-line search engines, how they work and their
criteria for listing sights. A very comprehensive site to check out is
As more and more people turn to online to get their information, rather than
some paper product, the need for video images will increase.
Many still photographers are already experimenting with video production of
stock. Selling Stock is exploring the possibility of expanding some of our
coverage into the production and marketing of video stock.
If you have any interest in video, if you own or have used a video camera
even if you haven't yet been able to sell the work, we would like to know who
you are and start building our database of videographers. Send an e-mail to:
Rules for supplying feedback
Story: Getting An Image Chosen For a Stock Agency Ad
FoodPix is somewhat different than most agencies since we specialize in
commercial images of food, but we have experienced a high sales response with
images used in ads and promotions.
On one direct mail piece using fourteen images, 9 of them have sold since the
piece went out, and a couple of those have sold more than once. On another piece
using one image, a sale occured less than a week after the piece was mailed, and
that image has generated sales of other images in the same series.
On a two-page print ad that uses 26 images, eight have sold, and others have
generated searches and subsequent sales of similar images (usually from the same
series). Sales are pending on at least three more of the images on that ad.
We generally hear that buyers are "starved" for good food images, so that may be
why our ads seem to turn directly into sales.
I had a picture used in a small stock agency ad last year. It ran not
large but quite extensively in design and ad trade magazines. I was initially
pleased but was concerned that it was uncredited. After inquiring, I was told it
was not company policy to credit. My position was that I was happy to have them
use the picture to extend their brand, but, in lieu of the obvious value of the
picture in support of ad copy, that I would apprecite credit to further extend
mine as well. As yet the picture has not sold (it is only a few months since it
was used.) In that it was used extensively, I had exactly the concern you
expressed- that its value is diluted by the overexposure. Especially in light of
the fact that I am thousands of dollars in the whole to them due to catalog fees,
the practice seems quite unfair.