Random Thoughts 6

Posted on 4/21/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



April 21, 1999

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

Brief arguments on the appeal of Jonathan Tasini et.al. vs. the New York

Times et.al. are scheduled to be heard on April 26th. When the case was

first heard in New York District court in late 1996 it took judge Sonia

Sotomayer almost eight months to release a decision. Photographers should

not be surprised if there is no decision on the appeal before the new


On the basis of this August 13, 1997 decision many publishers have been

re-purposing large quantities of work, without additional compensation to the

creators, arguing that "Tasini" allows them to do this. That will certainly

continue, and accelerate, if the lower court decision is not reversed by the

appeals court.

For more background on this case see stories

86 ,

88 and

107 .

This case has greatly diminished the value of copyright protection in the

United States. To protect their rights photographers must be much more

vigilant than they have been in the past in drafting contracts for assignment

and individual stock sales.

In a separate story lawyer Robert Cavallo has listed 12 negotiating points

that photographers need to present to the client when accepting assignments

or licensing work. See Story 215. .

All That Bull 2

In Random Thoughts 4 ( Story 205 )

on February 24th we reported that the London Times had

published in a derogatory manner, and without permission, one of cattle

photographer Tim Bryce's bull pictures which they downloaded directly from

the internet.

Now the solicitor for the Times, Alasdair J. Brett, claims that

the Times has a right to "snatch" pictures from any web site, and if the

owner of the picture should object, the Times has the right to determine what is a

"reasonable and sensible fee" for the violation and damage of the individual's


Tim had written a couple of strongly worded letters in which he asked for the

modest sum of £750 in settlement. Brett responded in part,

    "I am not prepared to set a bad example by offering £500 now - which is

    way over the odds anyway - when we are more than likely to publish comment

    photos in future which are snatched from websites and are used to indicate

    what is going on on the internet. I am absolutely sure that £250 is a

    perfectly reasonable and sensible fee and I enclose a cheque in that amount.

    This is of course tendered in full and final settlement."

It should be noted that the Times' article was a feature story, not a news

story, and that the Times did not report what the web site said about the

bull, but made comments about this animal which were inaccurate and totally

unrelated to what was happening on the web site.

People On The Move

Charles Mauzy has been hired as vice president of business development at

EyeWire. He will head EyeWire's new product and business development office

in Seattle. Among other things Mauzy will be responsible for developing a

strategy to make Rights Protected images available through eyewire.com.

Mauzy previously served as director of media development at Corbis

and has experience in cultivating and maintaining relationships with creative

professionals and intellectual property owners.

Drina Lazar, formerly EyeWire's director of product development, has been

promoted to vice president of content development and will work with Mauzy to

further expand and deepen the company's product offering within each of its

key content areas - photography, illustrations, clip art, stock video and


Sue Clemons, formerly of SuperStock has been hired by Arriba Vista to manage

their Media Commerce division. This section of their on-line search engine

will be aimed primarily at professional users.

Deborah Free, former CEO of Natural Selection Stock has set up an image

consulting business to advise photographers on how best to set up and

organize their stock photo operations. She can be reached at 9965

Leroy-Pavilion Road, Pavilion, NY 14525, phone: 716-768-7880.

Getting An Image Chosen For A Stock Agency Ad Can Be A Bummer

There is some indication that getting one's image used in a stock agency ad

campaign that appears in industry magazines and direct mail promotions does

not help generate more sales for that image for the photographer. I have

heard some stories that certain images that have been chosen for ad campaigns

have never made a single sale after the ads appeared.

The theory is that the image got so much over exposure in being part of the

stock agencies ads that no client wanted to use it for their own projects.

This is a very important consideration for photographers because normally

stock agencies pay nothing to use photographers pictures in their ads.

It should be noted that these usages are totally separate from images that

appear in agency print catalogs. Print catalog placement definitely

generates more sales from photographers.

I would like to hear from photographers whose images have been use in

agency print ads to determine if the few examples I have heard of so

far are the exception, or the rule.

Getting Images Seen At TSI

Many photographers are concerned by the period of time it takes from the time

their image is selected for consideration for the Master Dupe Collection

until it is actually duped and gets into the market. Some photographers

report that it can be as much as 18 months from the time their editor says

the image is being considered until it is made available to potential buyers.

Worse yet, after this waiting period the London office may come back and say,

"Sorry, this image was not accepted," and return it. At that point the

photographer has lost 18 months and now has to try to find somewhere else to

place the image.

In the past TSI has held images for catalog consideration until the catalog

selecton was made, rather than placing them into the files. Then they dupe

those selected. After all catalog images are duped, they consider whether

to dupe non-catalog images or

return them. TSI is now considering the possibility of putting images into

the on-line catalog immediately after selection and making print catalog

selections from those images that are on-line.

Image Rejection At TSI

On top of this, TSI travel and nature photographers are reporting that they have

been told by their editors that TSI is no longer accepting new material on

these subjects. Many top shooters have had no new images selected from

their submissions for months.

Despite the experiences of photographers, Patrick Donehue says, "I can assure you that it

is NOT the policy of TSI to exclude travel or nature photography from our

collection. As with all imagery, these subjects must be photographed in a new

and innovative way that would differentiate such work from the photography that

already exists both within TSI and in the overall market. We expect our

photographers to produce imagery with this in mind. If they do, their photos

will get selected. If they don't, their photos won't make it into the

collection. It all really comes down to photographic vision, innovation and the

ability to take a creative risk or two."

Getty's New Seattle Office

Getty Images has leased 72,000 square feet of office space in the Quadrant

Lake Union Center, located in the Freemont district of Seattle. The space

offers high-quality data cable capable of handling networking speeds of 100Mb

and higher to each desktop. Each workstation is wired with advanced

telephone, ISDN, and fiber optic cable, as well as the capability of graphic

images and video to the desktop.

Getty currently has approximately 240 employees in Seattle and expects to

occupy the new office space by late fall. The space was formerly occupied by

Adobe Systems, Inc., the Center's major tenant.

Creatives In The U.S. - TrendWatch

According to TrendWatch the total number of professional creative organizations

in the U.S. marketplace is 62,000 -- 26% graphic designers, 20% commercial

photographers, 18% corporate designers, 16% magazine and book publishers,

13% ad agencies, 4% graphic illustrators and 3% catalog publishers.

The total number of individuals working in this market are 219,000--35% corporate

designers, 20% graphic designers, 19% ad agencies, 17% magazine and book

publishers, 5% commercial photographers, 3% catalog publishers and 1% graphic


Nearly 15,000 firms will purchase stock photo images this year led by graphic

designers, corporate design departments and ad agencies.

Search Engines

Want to know more about on-line search engines, how they work and their

criteria for listing sights. A very comprehensive site to check out is


Video Shooters

As more and more people turn to online to get their information, rather than

some paper product, the need for video images will increase.

Many still photographers are already experimenting with video production of

stock. Selling Stock is exploring the possibility of expanding some of our

coverage into the production and marketing of video stock.

If you have any interest in video, if you own or have used a video camera

even if you haven't yet been able to sell the work, we would like to know who

you are and start building our database of videographers. Send an e-mail to:


Rules for supplying feedback


Story: Getting An Image Chosen For a Stock Agency Ad

Tim Conaway

FoodPix is somewhat different than most agencies since we specialize in

commercial images of food, but we have experienced a high sales response with

images used in ads and promotions.

On one direct mail piece using fourteen images, 9 of them have sold since the

piece went out, and a couple of those have sold more than once. On another piece

using one image, a sale occured less than a week after the piece was mailed, and

that image has generated sales of other images in the same series.

On a two-page print ad that uses 26 images, eight have sold, and others have

generated searches and subsequent sales of similar images (usually from the same

series). Sales are pending on at least three more of the images on that ad.

We generally hear that buyers are "starved" for good food images, so that may be

why our ads seem to turn directly into sales.

Ted Rice

I had a picture used in a small stock agency ad last year. It ran not

large but quite extensively in design and ad trade magazines. I was initially

pleased but was concerned that it was uncredited. After inquiring, I was told it

was not company policy to credit. My position was that I was happy to have them

use the picture to extend their brand, but, in lieu of the obvious value of the

picture in support of ad copy, that I would apprecite credit to further extend

mine as well. As yet the picture has not sold (it is only a few months since it

was used.) In that it was used extensively, I had exactly the concern you

expressed- that its value is diluted by the overexposure. Especially in light of

the fact that I am thousands of dollars in the whole to them due to catalog fees,

the practice seems quite unfair.

Copyright © 1999 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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