Random Thoughts 62

Posted on 4/11/2003 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



April 11, 2003

Workbookstock Protects Copyright

Workbookstock has successfully tracked down and identified the use of several
unauthorized, copyrighted images on the web using technology it licensed from
Digimarc Corporation (www.digimarc.com). The application of this technology was
developed jointly with Workbookstock and designed to meet their very specific
electronic imaging challenges.

"The Internet has been a great tool for advancing the use of stock imagery," said
Alexis Scott, publisher, Workbook & Company. "However, it's also made it easier than
ever to 'borrow' images and replicate them for unauthorized use. We owe it to our
contributors to protect their copyrighted work - it's how we do business."

To date Workbook has been able to track the unauthorized use by a company in India
and get them to remove the image from their site. They have collected from a company
in Indiana for an infringing use and are negotiating with several other companies
outside the U.S. who have made unauthorized uses of Workbookstock images.

Doug Dawirs says, "The nice thing about this system is that there is absolutely no
challenge to the proof. When we discover an infringing use we send them an e-mail
with a copy of the page on our site that shows our image and the exact time and date
when they downloaded the image from the Workbookstock site. From then on its simply
a matter of negotiating for the rights and collecting."

Workbookstock's success in locating infringed images is facilitated by use of
Digimarc's ImageBridge ProT technology, which dynamically watermarks images with
transaction specific data. Workbookstock uses this information to identify the
image, the date and time it was downloaded and who did the downloading.

Once the images are marked, Digimarc's MarcSpiderT technology is used to track and
locate the images on the Web. This image-tracking technology works by continually
crawling the Web, searching for digitally watermarked images and reporting results
back to Workbookstock. This enables the company to identify potential copyright
infringements. In the majority of cases so far, users who have infringed on the
copyrights of Workbookstock contributors have received cease and desist letters. The
company intends to litigate those who won't comply with the copyright laws.

Getty's New RF Pricing Structure

Getty has instituted a new pricing structure for PhotoDisc images. They now have a
three tier system: Blue, Green and Red. The pricing is as follows:

























Approx. No. Images   




This seems likely to do a number of things.

  • First, it is likely to significantly improve Getty's total RF revenue and the
    royalties RF photographers receive from sales of their RF images. This will be particularly
    true if the images are "new, contemporary images" that fall into the PhotoDisc Red category.
    As far as we can tell photographers will have no say as to the category in which their
    images are placed. That will be up to the Getty editors.

  • Second, it opens the door to more flexible pricing of single RF images. Getty can pick
    and choose the category in which they put new images and how long an image stays in that
    category. If there is a good selling image in the Green category they can easily move it up
    to Red and jack up the price. Green images that never sell can be moved to Blue to bulk up
    that category and maybe improve sales of those particular images.

  • With three levels of pricing it becomes easier to adjust price in the future based on

  • Finally, the fact that Getty has raised prices makes it easier for all the other RF brands to
    raise their prices. Overall, everyone who licenses RF is likely to see improved revenue in
    the coming year, even if the number of uses stays relatively flat.

When RF started out the pricing was extremely low and that was a major reason for
photographer's strong resistance. As pricing improves there may be less resistance. In
February 2000 PhotoDisc prices were $24.95, $79.95 and $149.95. Now, three years later if we
compare these prices with the Green level pricing there is a 100% rise in the lowest price,
an 88% rise in the price for a 10MB file and a 67% rise in the price for the largest file
size. If we compare the 2000 prices with the "Red" level there is more than 100% increase at
every level. All this indicates that the pricing of RF imagery may finally be reaching a
more realistic level.

Management Changes At Image Source

In the past few months Image Source has made some significant additions to its
management team.

In October of 2002 we reported that Stephen Mayes had joined ImageSource as Creative
Director. Now Francis Hodgson who worked with Mayes at Photonica has joined
ImageSource as Director of Photography.

Founder and CEO, Christina Vaughn, commented, "We have embarked on a journey to
bring Image Source to the forefront of creativity and relevance. In uniting one of
the leading creative pairs in the industry with this appointment, Image Source
demonstrates its commitment to a fresh adventure.

Specific plans have not yet been announced, but contributing photographers and all
industry professionals, mindful of the excitement when last the duo worked together,
will certainly look for considerable developments from Image Source over the coming

Phil Jennings was recently appointed Marketing Manager and Nigel Rodrigues joins
Image Source as Group Sales Director. These appointments followed that of Steven
Ginsberg as Group Finance Director in January 2003.

Jennings has over eight years of international sales and marketing experience at
senior management level having worked for the last eight years at Getty Images and
starting his marketing career with the then Tony Stone Images. When he left Getty in
2002, he was Marketing Business Partner, EMEA Agents & Emerging Markets, responsible
for the central marketing planning and implementation for all agents, distributors
and franchises across all Getty brands in the EMEA region, leveraging global
campaigns and marketing tools.

"Moving to Image Source at this time is all the more exciting for me because I see
all the challenges and opportunities in front of us. Initially, I had not considered
moving to what is essentially seen as a "Royalty Free" company. That changed when I
saw the quality and creativity of content being developed at Image Source and was
converted to their inspirational business model, which I believe is set to make
waves across the visual content industry."

Rodrigues brings senior level management experience to Image Source having held
senior director positions at some of the UK's leading media publishing houses. His
most recent experience was as CEO of Insight Media, a pan-American communications
company. Rodrigues' recent experience involves work in Germany, France, Japan and
the USA.

The management team includes Christina Vaughan, Founder and CEO; Duncan Grossart,
Managing Director; Stephen Mayes, Creative Director; Nigel Rodrigues, Sales
Director; Simon Tucker, Director of Web and IT; Steven Ginsberg, Finance Director;
Phillip Jennings, Marketing Manager; Francis Hodgson, Director of Photography and
Oliver Marquardt, General Manager, Image Source AG, K-ln.

Fix Joins Brand X

Sarah Fix has joined Brand-X as Director of Photography. Sarah was formerly Corbis'
Manager of Creative Development and one of Corbis' most senior commercial editors.

AGE Distributed Website Architecture

The Spanish stock agency age fotostock with offices in Barcelona, Madrid and New
York, and distribution in over 55 countries has just signed a contract with British
Telecom Spain (BT), whereby BT will install two 34 megabit digital lines to enable
age fotostock to develop its web infrastructure along a distributed architecture,
thus helping agents and clients in different parts of the world to access age
fotostock images with the same speed as if they were available locally.

In conjunction with the above, the age fotostock programming department has also
developed the necessary technology to start operating using a Distributed Website
Architecture (DWA). "Think of this as driving a car along a super safe highway with
no speed limit, versus driving the narrow and congested streets of most cities
today", said Hugo Amasuno, IT Manager at age fotostock. He also added, "our DWA will
offer materially better web performance than most standard stock photography
websites; the distinction in performance will be technology-driven, and made
possible thanks to the separation of content generation, which will always remain in
Barcelona, from the content assembly and delivery part of the technology that will
reside on optimally located and balanced servers sitting at the edge of the Internet

In the centralized model of content publishing on the Internet, most companies
set-up a website in a single physical location. Performance is thus limited by the
speed of that single connection in what is called The First Mile Problem. While
thanks to the higher bandwidth that British Telecom is supplying to age fotostock,
The First Mile Problem is solved, the Last Mile Problem, the low speed at which
final users get access to remotely located websites, is now going to be resolved for
www.agefotostock.com, thanks to newly developed software and the careful election of
those servers strategically located around the world that will soon be assembling
and delivering the content residing on age fotostock servers.

Alfonso GutiTrrez, General Manager of age fotostock said, "when our system will be
operative, our agents and clients in over 55 countries will be receiving more than
half a million images that we have available for them, faster than can be delivered
by their local Internet connections. This will allow them to compete on the Internet
market as good and as nice as they were doing when we were supplying to them only
paper catalogs and film dupes and with a very nice feature: they will offer their
clients more images than any other website on earth"

ASMP Trying to Identify Photographers Represented by Image State

ASMP is trying to locate and identify members with an affiliation to the Image State
stock agency. Weststock and Photolink are now under the umbrella of Image State and
ASMP has received concerns surrounding reports and accounting practices. We would
like to investigate in order to determine a course of action. Please forward your
name and contact information to mopsik@asmp.org with the subject header "Image

TrendWatch Notes

Notes from TrendWatch. There are an estimated 56,161 design and production
establishments in the U.S. - more than a third are graphic design shops.

The number of small commercial and quick printing establishments in the U.S. hit a
high of 37,352 in 1990 and the number has been declining ever since.

For information about what's happening in the graphic arts field visit
www.vue-point.com/index.htm. Vue/point, bills itself as, "The Vendor/User Exchange
for Business & Technology in the Graphic Arts." Many consider it the #1 conference
for graphic arts professionals. Vue/Point rises above other industry events by
presenting its topics via panel discussions exclusively composed of "users" who are
willing to share their own first-hand experiences. Or as they like to say, "truth
from the trenches, not pitches from the podium." If you have questions about
Vue/Point 2003, feel free to contact Footprint Communications at 800-966-5650.

Rolling Billboards

We've all seen trucks and semi-trailers with photos plastered on their sides
promoting the products of the company whose products they are hauling. In Europe CD
Media takes this concept further and will promote anybodies products on the side of

The company has several thousand large and small trucks which run all over Europe
and can be used for advertising. Each truck is a giant billboard driving around the
streets and covering festival conference centers of your choice. The advertiser
plans the route that suits their needs. See www.ctmedia.co.uk

Copyright © 2003 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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