BAPLA Rights Group Survey

Posted on 3/27/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In preparation for the BAPLA Focus on Copyright event in London on May 14, 2015, BAPLA is surveying its membership on the standards and pricing members employ for Web, Social Media and App use.

In an effort to get a sense of North American practices they have set up a special version of the survey here. They are asking U.S. and Canadian based agencies to also complete the survey. In the UK many members of BAPLA have very small, specialized collections that contain the work of one or a very small group of photographers. Therefore, North American photographers who frequently license web use rights directly to customers should also participate in this survey.

All answers will be treated in complete confidence. Survey responses will be used to compile a report on the latest trends in website, social media and app licensing.

Faial Flaw

Unfortunately, the survey asks no questions that would give an indication of the gross annual revenue from such uses generated by each respondent, or the number of such uses licensed. As a result there will be no way of weighing whether a respondent is Getty Images that licenses tens of thousands of such uses annually, or a small stock agency that adheres to very rigid rules and standards for licensing, but seldom, if ever, is able to find a customer willing to license an image for web use.

The average developed by the survey is likely to represent the hopes of a lot of small players rather than the reality of what the few who license the majority of web uses are actually doing. It is one thing to insist on rigid rules. It is quite another to find customers who will agree to such terms.

The survey is also very focused on Rights Managed licensing as opposed to Royalty Free. An yet it seems clear that virtually all customers contemplating web use look for images that is being licensed as RF rather than turning to an RM collection in their search for images.

Some inexperienced customers do make mistakes. In the beginning they plan to only use the image in a small print use. They go to an RM site, find an image they like, license it for the first planned use. Later they discover they want to post the same project online and they forget about the limits or restrictions of the original license. Fewer and fewer customers are making such mistakes. They just search for RF images in the first place.

It is important to understand what is possible in the current market environment. I’m afraid the results of this survey may do more to reinforce outdated stereotypes than aid in licensing future image uses.

Nevertheless, Selling-Stock looks forward to publishing a summary of the results of this survey.

Copyright © 2015 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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