118 TIME-LIFE SYNDICATION
January 6, 1998
Time/Life is making an attempt to formalize the syndication arrangements with
their photographers by asking them to sign a letter of agreement concerning
According to Debra Cohen, manager of Time/Life Syndication, the purpose is to
determine which photographers would like to be represented by Time/Life and
which have other representation arrangements. Agreement to use the Time/Life
Syndication service is not a condition for getting future assignments from any
of the Time/Life publications.
One phrase in the agreement has confused some photographers. It says
photographers will receive a 50% net split of the income from a sale (after
payment of all applicable direct expenses of the sale including commissions.)
Ms. Cohen says the language in the parenthesis is only meant to refer to
situations where foreign agents negotiate the sale. In such cases the foreign
agent would take a normal selling agent percentage (40% of gross) and the
remainder would be split 50/50 between Time/Life and the photographer.
This is similar to the arrangements most stock agents have with their
sub-agents, but photographers might want to negotiate a clarifying sentence
before signing the agreement.
Given the recent tendency of foreign sub-agents to insist on 50% of the gross
sale, rather than the customary 40%, photographers might want to write in a
clause that says, "under no condition will the photographer receive less than
30% of the gross fee paid by the client for the usage."
We discussed this percentage split issue under "Photographer's Contracts" on
page 5 of the September issue of Selling Stock.