Random Thoughts 64

Posted on 6/7/2003 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



June 7, 2003

Zefa Moves To London

Zefa visual media group has moved their headquarters from Dusseldorf to London and
their new address is 90 Long Acre, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9RZ. Sources indicate
that part of the reason for this move was to be closer to the 3i venture capital
group that is their principle source of financing.

Zefa recently opened a production office in New York (Story
541 ) and many expect
their next major move will be the establishment of a full scale marketing operation
in the U.S. Zefa CEO, Tomas Speight, would not comment on when that might happen,
except to point out that given the current weak dollar, European capital can buy a
lot more for fewer euros than was possible just a year ago.

Gentieu Appeals Court Decision in Case Against Getty

Penny Gentieu reports that she has filed an appeal of the recent decision dismissing
her complaint against Tony Stone Images/Chicago (now Getty Images) for copyright
infringement and various breach of contract claims. (See original Story
555 .)

Gentieu points out that a portion of her suit claimed that Getty failed to report
licenses it had granted for her pictures and failed to pay her royalty fees collected
on licensed it did report. Through discovery after an abortive audit of Getty's books
and records it was determined that Getty:

  • Failed to report over 120 licenses, from 18 offices;
  • Failed to pay Gentieu on more than 1,000 reported licenses;
  • Cancelled licenses after the reproduction rights were uses;
  • Extended
    licenses without additional charge to the licensee; and
  • When Getty did make payment to Gentieu, most of the fees were remitted months,
    and sometimes years after Getty received payment from the licensee.

While not admitting liability for the above conduct, Getty paid Gentieu in excess of
$100,000 in this litigation on the unpaid and late paid reported licenses.

Notwithstanding this conduct, the District Court held that Getty did not breach the
admitted fiduciary duties or "candor, rectitude, care, loyalty and good faith" it
owed Gentieu as her agent.

Getty's Assignment Program

In their efforts to try to reach the assignment photography market Getty is opening
an online portfolio program and will allow photographers to post an assignment
portfolio on their site in the Pro-Directory at a cost of $2200 per year.

Getty is operating a two-pronged operation in the assignment arena. One is their
assignment services division which will represent roughly 350 photographers for
commissioned shoots. The other is the online portfolio program. Both will be
available from the main Getty portal.

Some photographers believe that Getty will be competing with the non-represented
photographers who are paying for positions on the portfolio pages. They believe
clients will call Getty for recommendations as to which photographer to use and Getty
has a vested interest in exposing clients to their own assignment photographers.

These photographers argue that either subtly or not, Getty can channel those who come
to its site to view portfolios to look first at the Getty assignment shooters. A lot
will depend on how search parameters of portfolio pages are set up. The paid
portfolio pages have the potential to become bait to draw clients to the Getty
assignment operation.

If one is to view these two prongs of the assignment operation as part of a cohesive
strategy rather than unrelated business units; a larger issue emerges. One
photographer pointed out, "over the past several years, many individuals have
expressed their frustration that Getty and Corbis have consolidated the stock
industry to the detriment of photographers. They lament at the uneven playing field
and photographer's lack of negotiating clout -- and yet, here they are, on the verge
of Getty beginning to do the same thing to the assignment end of the business -- and
photographers wonder if they should help Getty do it."

Rex Features and Olycom Partner

Rex Feature, the UK's largest independent photographic news and features agency, has
announced an exclusive reciprocal representation agreement with Italy's Olycom.

The family-run Rex Features marks its 50th anniversary this year and produces high
volumes of celebrity, news, human interest and stock images from around the world.

Mike Selby, Rex's Editorial Director says, "In Olycom we have found the ideal fit, a
forward-thinking company with a dynamic sales force, covering the same diversity of
content as ourselves, and still retaining its independent status."

Fabrizio Chiarini, CEO of Olycom said, "I am proud and thrilled about this new
strategic partnership. Our companies share the same philosophy - a passion for
pictures and a desire to provide the best service to our clients."

Olycom will launch its website, www.olycom.it, in early September with more than
500,000 images to which will be added a substantial number of Rex's digitized images
drawn from the existing Rex database. Rex has seen its revenue grow dramatically
since the 2002 launch of its website www.rexfeatures.com.

Model Releases

Some advertising agencies are requesting the age of the model when licensing model
released images. It appears that with certain products they are requesting that the
model be at least 25.

Since the standard release states that the model is over 18 years old, it may be
useful to add a line under the signature for the date of birth of the model. PACA is
also recommending that photographers get a photo copy of the model's drivers license.

Leslie Hughes Joins Elisar

Leslie Hughes has accepted the position of CEO for Elisar Software Corporation.
Elisar makes digital content control and security software that allows a company to
post protected media, even at high resolution, without fear of misuse or theft.

The software allows the content owner to define rights by individual or group, to
allow a clear view of the image with full rights, protected viewing without allowing
"right click", save, copy, print or forwarding. The software allows for secure
distribution of the content. There is also a time-lock feature that allows the seller
to choose when access will expire.

In addition to protecting visual media that companies make available for licensing
over the web, this technology can be applied to protect any digital media with terms
for access customized by the content owner.

Elisar is headquarted in Albuquerque, NM and was named one of Fortune magazine's 50
Coolest Companies in 2002. Leslie can be contacted at: Leslie.Hughes@elisar.com

Keywording Again

Last month we published a long story by Randy Taylor on things photographers and
stock agents need to consider when preparing to keyword images (Story
557 ). If you're
overwhelmed by the thought of keywording Kristi O'Sullivan has established a company
in Ireland specializing in providing keywording services. Her rates for keywording
vary with the project - the type of subject matter and the volume of images -- but is
around $3.00 per image.

She also provides training, consulting and software development services for those
who want to do keywording themselves. For more information go to
www.keywording.com .

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 301-251-0720, 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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