Random Thoughts 61

Posted on 3/3/2003 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



March 3, 2003

Having Payment Problems? Here May Be Relief.

The law firm of Greenberg & Reicher has successfully represented many
photojournalists, stock and assignment photographers. Recently they have received
numerous inquiries regarding royalty statements and accounting issues pertaining to
payments received from stock photography agencies.

It has become apparent that there may be instances where it may be appropriate to
audit certain agencies, or pursue some type of legal action. Given the costs of such
actions it is advisable for a number of suppliers to join together in such a venture.
Greenberg and Reicher, in conjunction with the accounting firm Biscotti, Toback &
Company, will be holding exploratory meetings in New York on March 10th and in Los
Angeles later in March for the purposes of investigating these matters with individual
photographers and their representatives.

If you are interested in attending such a meeting e-mail ecglaw@aol.com for details
about the location. The principals of the firms are Edward C. Greenberg, Esq. and
Louis Biscotti, CPA.

Zefa Opens Production Office in New York

Zefa visual media has opened a production office in the East Village area of New York
and hired Lisa Curesky to head the office as zefa's Creative Director North America.
Curesky was formerly with The Stock Market and Corbis where she held the positions of
Creative Director and Photography Department Manager.

Curesky said, "My job now is to interest top advertising photographers across North
America to contribute to the unmistakable zefa 'look"'. "We look forward to
providing our signature personal service to both promising
newcomers as well as established professional photographers. Working closely with our
photographers we offer very detailed briefings and competent feedback supporting
targeted and profitable shooting combined with fair terms. In this way we are
confident that the distinctive zefa style will be able to establish itself in the
North American market," Curesky continued.

The address and contact information are: zefa USA, 41 East 11th Street, 11th Floor,
New York, NY 10003, tel: 212-331-1246, fax: 212-331-1106.

Ad Sales May Drop During War

Based on experiences during the 1991 war against Saddam Hussein, ad sales might fall
off if there is a new Gulf war. In 1991 networks and publications reported hundreds of
millions in lost revenue as advertisers withdrew from sponsoring news of the conflict.

According to the New York Times, "In 1991, companies in the travel and tourism
industries stopped advertising completely, as did energy companies. Almost every other
major advertiser, from Procter & Gamble to Campbell Soup, pulled back sharply, partly
because consumers lost interest in shopping and partly because no company wants its
proud sponsorship or catchy jingle interspersed with scenes of battle."

Magazines can be slow to recover because they often sell advertising weeks or months
before publication, and there may be a reduction even on the threat of war. Early in
February USA Today has told investors that national advertisers are being very
cautious about ads into the end of February and through March.

U.S. News & World Report is retooling its design to provide advertisers with war-free
pages in hopes they won't leave. If war breaks out, U.S. News will publish what it
calls a "2nd Front" inside the magazine, effectively splitting the magazine in two
with war coverage in the front and everything else in the back.

The war will likely raise costs for newspapers and news magazines because they will be
forced to spend a lot to cover it. With reduced ad sales they will have less revenue
to offset those costs. It is unclear how the war may affect advertising in those
special interest publications that wouldn't normally report war news. They may not see
a falloff unless advertisers assume customers will not be shopping for anything.

Losing Our History

The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington said, "The digital history of this
nation is imperiled by the very technology that is used to create it." Of all the web
content made in 1998, nearly half had disappeared by 1999.

The Library of Congress is trying to find ways to preserve the important elements of
that history. In 2000 the U.S. Congress authorized a $100 million initiative for the
National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. Its goal is to
try to do for digital matter what the LOC already does for printed matter. The task is
daunting. Google claims access to over 3 billion web pages and the average web page
has a life span of just a couple months.

Starting with the 107th Congress the LOC started saving congressional web pages and
has an online collection of over 8 million U.S. historic artifacts. Congress has
released $20 million for the evaluating and storing of digital information. The
Library receives more than 20,000 printed pieces each day, but keeps less than half.
It now has to figure out how to make the same kind of decisions relative to the
digital information.

Bridgeman Launches New Site

The Bridgeman Art Library, the world's leading source of fine art images, has launched
a new website ( www.bridgeman.co.uk )
that doubles the size of its web catalog and combines sophisticated
technology with an easy-to-use information design.

New images are updated nightly onto the site, giving the very best choice from the
collection. The search engine has been refined with new features to take users
straight to the best images for their project. These include a negative search tool
and options for sorting search results: alphabetically, by artist's name, by the
century of the work, if registered, or displaying newer images first.

"Lightbox" facilities present the most flexible system for ordering image selections
and can be shared or emailed between registered users, making project decisions
quicker and easier.

"My Bridgeman" is a new personal section where registered clients
can see the history of their image orders, monitor current licenses and review their
account details. Alert messages pop up to indicate overdue transparencies or expired
licenses providing an instant account overview. In addition, the site provides an
up-to-date list of Bridgeman's member collections and artists, an extensive help
section and the latest company news.

"Our new site revolutionizes the speed and ease with which creative professionals can
access fine art images." Director Harriet Bridgeman said today; "Now you don't have to
be an expert to find exactly what you want from our inspiring collection, which
represents art in all its forms from 15,000 BC to the present."

Registration is free for commercial images users who can access larger image files and
a higher level of site functionality with a password login. Full offline support is
available though the
Company's three offices in London, Paris and New York.

Small Business Trends

Alf Nucifora has reported on a study commissioned by the Network of Small Business

For the purpose of the study small business is defined as companies with 1 to 100
employees and the principal(s) not self-employed. There are over 7,000,000 such
businesses in the U.S. with an average employee count of 6.5. and 40% of the
businesses are in the service sector. The average net worth of the owners is $600,000.
The full report can be found at
www.nucifora.com/art_204.html .

Copyright © 2003 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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