Photolibrary Under More Fire

Posted on 12/14/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)



Photolibrary executives obviously hoped to keep the matter of unpaid Index Stock royalties on the back burner until the ethics committee of the Picture Archive Council of America finished its investigation. However, photographers have made it clear that they are not willing to wait the six or more weeks this can take.

Earlier this week, the Stock Artists Alliance issued a call for Photolibrary to answer the allegations of $2.2 million in unpaid Index Stock contributor commissions. Yesterday, four additional professional photography organizations joined SAA in its request for public disclosure.

The figure of $2.2 was offered by the short-lived Photolibrary controller Carlos Santos in an email to Index contributors. Photolibrary chairman Tim Moore has since disputed this number and suggested than Santos' intentions were less than honorable. Moore said that the paperwork cited in the now-famous email was stolen and manipulated.

The American Society of Media Photographers, Advertising Photographers of America, Editorial Photographers and the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications have each issued member alerts, encouraging Index contributors to contact group leaders. The bodies also plan to file a joint complaint to PACA.



Though the matter is financial, much of the mushrooming protest is in response to Photolibrary's silence. Moore will no longer comment on the situation. ASMP points out that "the photographer/distributor relationship must be built on the cornerstones of transparency, trust and integrity." APA president Martin Trailer thinks that allegations as serious as those made by Santos justify a full review of Photolibrary's accounting practices.

On behalf of its combined members, the groups are asking Photolibrary to provide all Index Stock contributors with a full and accurate accounting of outstanding debt, promptly pay such debt and respond to the allegations of continued faulty financial practices.

The "creative" accounting methods of Index Stock, purchased by Photolibrary last year, have been the subject of industry discussion for years. Even at the time of the agency's sale, it was common knowledge that contributors were owed commissions for an undetermined length of time. Index's reporting was neither regular nor clear.

Photolibrary vowed to make good on Index commitments and has already paid out close to $1 million in past-due photographer commissions. According to an About the Image posting by Chris Ferrone, Moore's contention that Santos was a disgruntled employee seems plausible upon a close reading of the ex-controller's email. Photolibrary also has a solid reputation, but some insiders suspect that the Index accounting problem turned out to be bigger than anyone estimated. For the moment, actual numbers are anybody's guess.



Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. 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

Comments

Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

You must log in to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff