Random Thoughts 7

Posted on 5/12/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



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

on topic.

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

    electronic usage.

  • 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 Retailing

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-

mortar stores."

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

the photographer.

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

license fee.

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

Graphistock collection.

Copyright © 1999 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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