224 RANDOM THOUGHTS 7
May 12, 1999
Editorial Photo Forum
The San Francisco Bay Area photographers who stopped shooting for Business
Week over rights and rates issues have opened a new online forum. Their goal
is to foster communication between other editorial photographers who might
have rights and rates issues with other publications.
To join this forum go to http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/editorialphoto.
The site is password protected and all applicants must be approved by the
list managers. More than 249 photographers have signed on so far and in the
first week or so the discussion has been very lively, informative and right
The group has also placed an advertisement in the June issue of Photo District News and
is discussing the placement of ads in other publications like The New York
Times and The Wall Street Journal.
One of the prime motivators to expanding their efforts beyond Business Week
was the new Time Inc. contract. It has been clearly documented on this site
-- with a number of specific examples -- that Time Inc. publications have a
multi-tier system of day rates and rights. They are clearly willing to
negotiate terms that differ from their basic contract depending on their
perceived need of the individual photographer's work.
Some photographers seem to have been able to get the basic contract changed
in the following ways:
- A guaranteed number of days per year. One of the problems here
is that they may cut back on the number of days after the first year. People
Magazine photographers who were getting guaranteed days two years ago found they were
cut back to no guarantee in 1999. Also, some photographers who were not
offered enough assignments to meet their guarantee in 1998 had trouble
collecting the guarantee.
- Some adjustments in day rate. This seems rare. The standards are
$400 per day for no electronic usage and $500 per day if you grant them all
- One-time rights. They like to get as much re-use as possible, but
with some they will agree to one-time rights.
- Digital use. Even if you agree to digital use you can stipulate
that the images only be used in the context of the original article. All
other uses must be paid separately. They try to get unlimited digital use.
- Reprint rights. One photographer who retained reprint rights with
Fortune indicated the magazine more than doubled the rate they initially
offered him for a partucular usage - within a two hour time period - just
because he rejected the first and second rates they offered.
- Foreign editions. It is possible to negotiate for other than their
normal pay rates for use in some foreign editions.
- Length of embargo How long the material will be embargoed.
- After the fact contracts. Photographers who are presented a
contract for a specific use can cross out any terms they don't agree to.
This happens all the time at the stock agencies.
- Send them your contract. One solution to signing their contract is
to send them your contract, particularly if they call you for a job before
they send you a contract to review. Seth Resnick has prepared a "contract"
document that he uses as a delivery memo whenever he submits work.
Consequently, instead of signing the magazine's contract the magazine is
obligated by the photographer's contract. You can find this document in the
May archives on the PhotoPro section of the "PhotoNews" site at:
Time/Warner Inc. Profits
A couple tidbits to ponder courtesy of Seth Resnick. The current price of
Time/Warner stock is around 71. In October 1998, just 7 months ago the
price was 36 5/8. The current market capitalization is in excess of
$80.932 billion. For the fiscal year ending 12/98, revenues rose 10% to
$14.58 billion. For the three months ending 3/31/99, revenues were $3.266
billion and after tax earnings were $1.38 billion.
Musical Chairs In Seattle
The lastest Corbis employee to move to a competitor is Elizabeth Bellas who
has been hired by EyeWire to develop their overall cataloging strategy for
the portal site they are developing. This site will offer Rights Protected
images as well as Royalty Free.
With Getty moving to Seattle, and a host of former Corbis employees already
working for PhotoDisc, Definitive Stock, Eyewire and Amazon.com, there is a
likelihood that there will be raids on the Corbis talent pool for
experienced photo professionals.
Corbis tried to prevent Bellas from making the move by dragging out a
non-compete clause in her contract, but EyeWire filed suit and Corbis
immediately settled. Bellas starts work this week with EyeWire.
Book sales in the U.S. in the next 5 years will expand only enough to keep up
with inflation, according to Albert Greco of Fordham University. Greco, a
business professor who studies book retailing, will publish a five-year
statistical outlook of the book industry this summer.
In the June issue of "Wired" in a story on Barnesandnoble.com Greco said, "The
growth of online retailers is going to be a cannibalization of brick-and-
Share The Risk
One argument publishers constantly make is that they are not making money on new
ventures such as foreign distribution and on-line. They want photographers
to "share the start up risks" with them in the hopes of more work over the
long haul. Based on past experiences, the problem photographers have with
this argument, unless their is some type of contractual guarantee, is that
when the magazines start making profits they never get around to sharing with
In addition, photographers argue that the publications pay for all their
other services - paper, ink, etc. -- they just don't want to pay for the
Stop On-Line Theft
PixSafe is a new product, expected to be released in June, that lets users
view full-size images, but not capture, save or print them without paying a
The software provides its protection through the use of filters that
essentially act as plug-ins for Netscape and Microsoft web servers.
When a user requests an image, PixSafe Server first sends the page without
the image and offers to download the 250K PixSafe Client software. If the
user agrees, PixSafe sends an encrypted version of the image, which the client
decripts and displays full-size.
If the user tries to save the screen, a pop-up window warns that the image
is protected. Using the print screen key to capture the image is also
blocked. When the user pastes the file into a program what appears, instead
of the image, is cSafe hundreds of times.
CSafe is developing a related product, PixSell, that will integrate the
viewing and payment steps.
Corbis Uses Qpass
Qpass announced on April 20th that Corbis is joining the Qpass Content
Transaction Network making it easy for consumers to purchase digital images
for their personal use. Qpass launched its network in March of 1999. The
first members of the network included The Wall Street Journal, Morningstar,
Industry Standard and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Images Acquires Stock Illustration Source and Graphistock.
Images.com, Inc. announced the acquisition of Stock Illustration Source and
Graphistock on April 20th. Marie-Christine Matter who has been president of
SIS will assume the same title for Images.com. Carre Bevilacqua, founder of
Graphistock, will continue with Images.com as managing director or the