Random Thoughts 22

Posted on 9/7/2000 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



September 7, 2000

Replacing Editors At Getty

Many Stone photographers are deeply concerned and saddened by the recent abrupt firing

of editor Stacey Green. Everyone I have talked to thought he was a great editor.

One photographer said, "He provided a face and a voice that gave us the feeling that

our relationship with Getty was a personal one. Now it really seems like we are just

dealing with a large corporate organization. This can't be good for their (Getty's)

business in the long run."

In June, I had a disussion with Jonathan Klein about the concern of many Stone

photographers that their editors seemed to have no power in the final selection process

of images for the core file. He acknowledged this is a problem and said they would be

working to "imporve communication and give editors more authority." This move, coupled

with what is happening in London, looks like Getty Images is headed

in the opposite direction.

In London, Planet Earth Pictures (PEP), a nature and wildlife division of VCG, Getty's

latest purchase, is being closed down. The people in charge of this division,

Christopher Angelogou and Jennifer Jeffrey, have been let go. The rest of the staff is

expected to be gone before the end of the year. Some of the images from this file,

particularly those images selected for Green 3, a new catalog that will now be

cancelled, will probably be placed on gettyone.com.

The rest are likely to be returned to the photographers, since Anthony Harris, Director

of Photographer Relations, gettyone, is only interested in handling images that Getty

represents on a world wide exclusive basis and which are immediately available to

customers in an on-line environment.

Stone To Begin Collecting Back Catalog Fees

Stone photographers have received a letter saying Stone will begin applying deductions

for catalog fees when they make their August payments. Selling Stock previously reported

that photographers had not had catalog fees deducted for more than a year. The

Stone letter cited "technical problems" as the reason for falling behind in these

decutions and said that by the end of the year Stone expects to be caught up with

their billings.

Stone photographers with a significant number of images in the last few catalogs will

likely see a drop in the size of their checks in the next four months.

Stone says they will start with Twist and Wild, then Vol. 11 and the more recent

catalogs such as Life, Work, Road Trip, Quest and Play. They only listed charges for

Wild and Twist, so photographers still don't know what the fees will be for subsequent


Images that appeared in the Wild/North American Edition cost the photographer $247.03

each and the Wild/Rest of World Edition cost $469.37 per image. It the image appeared

in both editions the fee is $716.40.

The costs per image for the Twist/World Wide is $826.67.


Corbis was featured on CBS News on September 4th under the story title, "Is Bill Gates

Monopolizing Another Field?"

CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson mentioned that "two conglomerates," may have a

stranglehold on the market and said, "CBS News has learned Justice Department officials

are asking serious questions about how it's (the recent acquisitions) affecting


The Bill Gates connection was too much to resist and Attkisson spent the rest of the

piece talking about Corbis, totally ignoring the other, and much larger, conglomerate

Getty Images.

Attorney Ed Greenbery who represents photographer Michael Grecco in a long standing

dispute over Sygma selling Grecco's pictures without permission was quoted as saying,

"Anybody who believes that a photographer has a fair right to negotiate with Corbis or

a Gates-owned company is insane. Nobody with any I.Q. really believes that." Sygma is

alleged to have continued selling Grecco's images after Corbis purchased the company.

Corbis insists there's nothing to fear from Bill Gates. "He in no way runs the

day-to-day operations," says Corbis president Steve Davis. "In fact most photographers

we work with around the world are very excaited about the opportunities we're giving

them, and the digital world is giving them."

Magnum Rejects Offers From Corbis and Getty

According to Photo District News, both Corbis and Getty have been trying to convince

Magnum to handle their on-line distribution for them, but for the time being Magnum has

decided to try to develop an e-commerce capability of its own.

Burt Glinn told PDN that in a London meeting over whether to pursue negotiations with

Corbis or Getty, Cartier-Bresson "kept shaking his head, Nobody threatened to leave

the agency over this, but that hung over our heads. We knew Henri wouldn't sit still

for it."

For more information see:


Picture Perfect Again

Photographers still haven't received any payment for the images they have in the

Picture Perfect 12 catalog that was released in late 1997.

Robert Tod continues to license rights to images in this and other catalogs he

represents, and even reports some of the sales to the more than 20 agencies with images

in the catalog. So far, as best we determine, no agency or photographer has been paid

ANY royalties for the rights that were licensed in over two years.

Nawrocki Stock Photos, Inc, (NSP) says Tod owes them more than $300,000 in licensing

fees. NSP has spent about $50,000 in legal fees and other costs trying to persuade Tod

to honor his contractual committments.

Attorney David MacTavish, former photographer and former President of ASMP, is now

trying to help photographers get their originals back so they can attempt to license

them in other ways.

See earlier stories

192 and

264 .

Speedpix Eliminates Up-Front Charges

Speedpix has instituted a policy of no up-front charges for contributing photographers.

All insertion costs will be deducted from sales at the rate of $50.00 per image.

For more information on this opportunity see:


Mike Morrison, Creative Director

Pictor and PhotoAlto RF

In mid September Pictor will begin marketing PhotoAlto royalty-free images throughout

the US, United Kingdom and Germany. PhotoAlto was founded in 1995 and is based in

Paris, France.

The PhotoAlto royalty-free collection presently comprises 90 CD's, covering business

and industry, people and lifestyles, healthcare and medicine, food and gastronomy,

concepts and much more. By September 2001 the collection will number 180 CD's. In

addition to CD sales, Pictor will also be marketing single PhotoAlto royalty-free

images through their www.pictor.com site.

The launch of the PhotoAlto product is part of the Pictor's on-going commitment to

deliver an increasing breadth and depth of material in digital format, both on and

offline. Visitors to the pictor.com site will be able to search for both royalty-free

and rights protected images, request or carry out searches, view their selected images

on digital lightboxs, download either low or high-resolution files, or buy the image


PPA Licensing

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has created a copyright licensing

program that is designed to allow retail outlets like Wal-Mart, K-mart, etc. to

purchase licenses that will authorize them to make an unlimited number of copies of

professional images made by photographers who participate in the licensing program.

The revenue from the license (in excess of what PPA retains for "administrative fees")

will be distributed amoung the photographers who have signed up (and paid a fee) to

participate. It will then be completely legal for these retailers to copy these


This program operates in a manner similar to the music industry's ASCAP and BMA, and is

designed primarily to enable portait and wedding photographers to earn revenue from the

copying of the images they produce.

Photographer Joel Moore and others have a number of objections and are launching a

drive to convince PPA to cancel the program. The objections include:

    1. We believe that by selling a license to retailers giving them permission to

    copy images, PPA is promoting the copying of professional images. Retailers will begin

    to advertise that they can copy professional images!

    2. We believe that this program will result in these retail outlets copying ALL

    professional images, regardless of whether they are from a participating photographer

    or not.

    3. We believe that this will create an atmosphere where consumers will be educated

    that copying professional images is legal and acceptable.

    4. We believe that consumers will come to expect all photographers to participate in

    this program so that they can have their reprints made at the local copy-center.

According to Moore, in the long run, this program will un-do our years of effort

invested in educating the public that copying professional photographs is wrong and

illegal. It will encourage consumers to buy their prints from sources other than their


PPA claims that this program will only affect customers who are now trying to (and

getting away with) making illegal copies. They claim that these customers would not

come back and pay the photographer for reprints and that it is better to make something

off of them through the licensing program than to make nothing. While they may be

right about these customers, Moore and others believe they have failed to consider all

of the other customers who will see this program as a way to save money on their total

cost of professional photography.

For more information see:





Copyright © 2000 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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