Corbis Cancels Press Conference at Perpignan

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



September 7, 2000

    The following story first appeared on the UK site for editorial photographers as This site is open to all photographers and at the moment is

    particularly focused on Corbis and its new contract.

Hours before the opening of this year's Visa Pour L'Image in

Perpignan, Corbis have cancelled their planned September 8th

festival press conference.

The cancellation of the press conference, the centrepiece of

Corbis' proposed Perpignan presentation, and listed at the top of

Corbis' agenda of "key opportunities" in their now-notorious Plan

For Perpignan, is yet another blow to the company's credibility as

they stumble from one crisis to the next.

The leaking of the Plan For Perpignan to EPUK and Photo District

News Online has provoked a storm of protest from photographers

outraged at the contents. "They've shot themselves in both feet",

commented one Corbis contributor. "Insane", groaned another. One

observer described it as "a suicide note".

Corbis gave no reason for the cancellation, but industry insiders

had widely predicted that the press conference would turn into yet

another embarassing debacle for the company, with the threat of a

mass walk-out of their contributors during the event.

In another dramatic turn of events, Jean-Pierre Laffont,

co-founder of Sygma, and ousted by Corbis last week, has announced

that he is

joining rival Gamma to set up their proposed New York office. The

move is replete with irony: Sygma was originally established by

dissatisfied Gamma photographers.

Potentially the most serious development for Corbis, however, is

the news that Sygma photographers in Paris and the US have

demanded a complete listing of their archives, picture by picture.

The move is a clear first step by the photographers to reclaiming


archives, dating back some thirty years, from Corbis-Sygma.

The photographers have threatened that if they do not receive the

listing they will take legal action to prevent their images being

moved from the current premises to the new Corbis-Sygma Paris

offices scheduled to open at the end of this month. Whether

Corbis-Sygma is willing, or even able, to comply with the demand

remains to be seen.

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, 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:  


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