Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

By Jim Pickerell | 409 Words | Posted 5/29/2012 | Comments
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.  The “pre-packaged” comprehensive financial restructuring plan will eliminate $3.1 billion of the company’s debt through a debt to equity transaction with its bank and bond holders.

Court Finds Pearson Must Reveal Print Quantities And Publication Dates

By Jim Pickerell | 505 Words | Posted 3/22/2012 | Comments
In the case of Jon Feingersh Photography, Inc. vs. Pearson Education, Inc. Judge Anita B. Brody in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has denied a request from Pearson that it not be required to release the print quantities and publication dates of the various textbooks in which 50 of Feingersh’s images were used.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Going Out Of Print

By Jim Pickerell | 478 Words | Posted 3/21/2012 | Comments
After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) is going out of print. Sales peaked for Britannica in 1990 with 120,000 copies sold. In 2010 – the last edition – only 8,000 copies of the 32-volume set were printed and 4,000 still sit in a warehouse unsold.

Will iPads Become A Standard Fixture In The Classroom?

By Jim Pickerell | 414 Words | Posted 3/21/2012 | Comments
Recently, the results of a year long study of Algebra 1 students at the Amelia Earhart Middle School in Riverside, California were announced. The math scores of the students who were taught using Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s HMH Fuse: Algebra 1 curriculum on the iPad were 20% higher in the Spring 2011 California Standards Test than other students who were taught using traditional paper textbooks.

A Win-Win In Educational Licensing

By Jim Pickerell | 1212 Words | Posted 3/7/2012 | Comments
Image creator success stories in the current educational publishing environment are few and far between. The strategy one photographer used when licensing educational re-use of an image may be instructive.

Education Market In Transition

By Jim Pickerell | 1094 Words | Posted 2/28/2012 | Comments
In the previous series of articles entitled "Edication: How The Market Has Changed" we looked as some of the factors that have changed the educational market for images. This series of stories looks ahead. Not only have there been dramatic changes in the past, but the business of delivering educational materials to students is still very much in transition. There will certainly be a decline in the use of printed products, a growth in the delivery of educational material online and more use of video. Check out these stories for more about where things seem to be headed.

Foreign Rogue Sites That Infringe Copyright Shut Down By Publisher Alliance

By Jim Pickerell | 912 Words | Posted 2/22/2012 | Comments
An international alliance of publishers including seven member companies of the Association of American Publishers, with support from AAP and other international trade associations, has identified and taken legal action against operators of one of the largest pirate web-based businesses in the world.

New Recommendations For Dealing With Educational Use Requests

By Jim Pickerell | 807 Words | Posted 2/17/2012 | Comments
The Editorial Relations Committee of PACA (Picture Archive Council of America) has released updated suggestions for dealing with educational publishers. Digital technology is rapidly changing the way educational materials are being developed and used. During this transition period image licensors need to be particularly vigilant if they hope to receive reasonable compensation for the long range use of their imagery.

From Printed Textbooks To iPads

By Jim Pickerell | 714 Words | Posted 1/24/2012 | Comments
In an effort to go after a share of the $15 billion educational textbook market Apple Inc. has launched iBooks2 software with an aim to quicken the adoption of the iPad in the educational market. The company has been working with Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to produce digital textbooks that can be delivered on the iPad. Currently, these three companies are responsible for 90% of the textbooks sold in the US.

Adapting To Changing Business Ethics

By Jim Pickerell | 1539 Words | Posted 1/17/2012 | Comments
It seems to me that 30 or so years ago photographers could have verbal agreements (a handshake, if you will) with others in business and both sides would feel an ethical obligation to honor the agreement.
Today, honoring agreements is often secondary to maximizing profit.

Long Term Usage Licenses: A Fairer System

By Jim Pickerell | 592 Words | Posted 12/12/2011 | Comments
It has been pointed out that publishers need to license rights for long terms (25 years and more) because it is so difficult for them to track down image owners in order to license reuses years after the initial license. This is particularly true as a result of agency consolidations and agencies going out of business. I recognize the problem, but there is a simple solution that would be easier for the book publishers to administer and much fairer for image creators.

Occupy Book Publishers

By Jim Pickerell | 1307 Words | Posted 11/11/2011 | Comments
The Occupy Wall Street movement’s “we are the 99 percent” campaign is basically about a fairer distribution of wealth. Photographers and those who handle the distribution of images to end users need to launch an Occupy Book Publishers movement.

Educational Publishing Debate

By Jim Pickerell | 4852 Words | Posted 11/9/2011 | Comments
After I published “Moving Forward In Educational Licensing” a reader suggested on the Yahoo Stockphoto group that I had “some interesting ideas” about how stock photographers might deal with educational publishers. Without reading what I had to say, Carl May, owner of Biological Photo Service & Terraphotographics responded with, “I hope Pickerell isn't really falling for the line that educational publishers don't know how images will be used in the future and therefore need new pricing procedures.” Carl is an experienced photographer/agent who also spent over a decade working on the college publisher side of the business.This article is a colloquy between Carl and myself on the subject. Apologies for the article length.

Distribution Figures No Longer Protected As Trade Secrets

By Jim Pickerell | 809 Words | Posted 10/25/2011 | Comments
In the case of DRK Photo vs John Wiley & Sons Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona Judge Frederick J. Martone denied the defendant’s motion to seal circulation information for 40 titles that were part of the complaint.

Moving Forward In Educational Licensing

By Jim Pickerell | 1238 Words | Posted 10/24/2011 | Comments
In discussions with stock agents, and listening to publishing clients explain their needs, at the 16th PACA International Conference in New York this past weekend a few things became clear. Read this story for information about how the business is changing and what those licensing images need to do.

Enough Is Enough

By Jim Pickerell | 1930 Words | Posted 10/20/2011 | Comments
Why can’t the three major distributors – Getty, Corbis, Alamy – set reasonable prices for textbook use?  As licensors of the images they should be able to set the price. Instead, they allow the major publishers to dictate to them what they will pay. This happens because the agencies are so worried about losing market share that they constantly try to undercut each other and play right into the hands of the publishers.

Why Don’t Big Distributors Get Better Prices For Your Work?

By Jim Pickerell | 1506 Words | Posted 10/11/2011 | Comments
Many photographers believe they will make more sales for the best prices if their images are represented by the biggest distributors. They may make more sales, but definitely not for the best prices. For years the biggest distributors have been seriously undercutting price – at least in the education field. There is a big question whether increased volume at low, dramatically discounted prices results in increased revenue overall for creators. Here’s how and why.

Pricing Extended Educational Uses In Today’s Market

By Jim Pickerell | 1172 Words | Posted 8/17/2011 | Comments
Recently a photographer asked how to price extended educational use of an image that was first licensed by the publisher for textbook use two years earlier.  Initially the image was printed full page, inside. Now the publisher wants virtually all rights for 20 years. This story explains how I would approach the problem.

Fees Paid By Volume Photography Users Will Continue To Decline!

By Jim Pickerell | 2040 Words | Posted 7/11/2011 | Comments
Photographers complain that stock photo fees are way below what it costs them to produce images. And they are right. But, the prices volume user pay for images will continue to decline. Here’s why.

Do Creatives Need Educational Publishers?

By Jim Pickerell | 1772 Words | Posted 6/20/2011 | Comments
Creatives need to start exploring ways to deliver their products – writing, photographs, illustration, video – to students, instructors and educational institutions without the aid of educational publishers.This article goes into some of the reasons why and how it could be accomplished.

From Books To iPads

By Jim Pickerell | 761 Words | Posted 6/17/2011 | Comments
What happens when the iPad becomes the primary vehicle for delivering educational information? Check out this story for some of the things we think will happen in the education business. Also see how what will happen to in the education business to content providers -- writers as well as photographers -- in the next ten years compares to how microstock has changed the stock photography business in the last decade.

Court Allows Pearson Education To Negotiate With Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 313 Words | Posted 6/10/2011 | Comments
On Tuesday June 7, 2011 U.S. District Judge James C. Francis IV denied Norbert Wu’s request for a preliminary injunction and sanctions and refused to stop Pearson Education Inc. from communicating with members of a proposed class of photographers. Pearson had been temporarily restrained from negotiating with other photographers and stock agencies with regard to unauthorized use claims until the judge determined whether or not a class action could be certified. Now Pearson is free to move ahead and settle photographer's claims.

Educational Products For Students

By Jim Pickerell | 1693 Words | Posted 6/7/2011 | Comments
The educational market has always been a big segment of the stock photo business. Some agencies and individual photographers earn the majority of there revenue from sales for educational use. Until recently, most of the photographs used for educational purposes were published in textbooks. All that is changing with Britannica Image Quest that gives students and teachers unlimited access to a 2.3 million image file.

Negotiating "Life of Edition" Rights

By Jim Pickerell | 793 Words | Posted 4/27/2011 | Comments
Some textbook publishers have begun to ask photographers to invoice them for the right to use images for the “life of the edition” of a book. The following is the language from one such request. "Please bill us for publication rights for the life of the edition. … we would like by this permission request to sell additional units through the life of the edition...."

Images For Students: UIG and EB Do 10-Year Exclusive Deal

By Jim Pickerell | 1151 Words | Posted 4/26/2011 | Comments
Universal Images Group (UIG), and Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) have entered into a 10-year License Agreement that makes UIG the exclusive provider of still pictures, video and footage for EB’s online educational image service, Image Quest. UIG, the distribution business of the Virtual Picture Desk (VPD), has provided 2 million educational still images for Britannica Image Quest and will subsequently provide motion content including video and footage clips. The Image Quest online subscription service went live in September 2010 with content from more than 50 world-class image providers.