Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Photographers tell People magazine "When you put our photos on an iPad, you have to pay"

In a tussle that may have implications for Canadian magazine publishers and their freelance contributors, Time Inc.'s People magazine has apparently had to postpone the launch of its iPad app because photographers want additional payments for use of their images.
According to a front page story in the Hollywood Reporter, more than a dozen agencies representing photographers are balking at the reuse of celebrity shots.
While the standoff centers on one publication for now, just about any other brand that makes photos of the rich and famous their stock in trade is watching nervously from the sidelines. Whatever deal they strike could set the terms of trade for the industry going forward.
Negotiations are scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) in New York.
"I do think it's an important moment as far as the photo-agency business model," said Jill Stempel, New York bureau chief for World Entertainment News Network, which on Tuesday was considering joining the agency alliance. "We need to take a stand."

A People spokeswoman refused to comment beyond offering the following statement: "The People iPad application launch date has absolutely nothing to do with photo agencies."
Photo agencies see the tablet market as a game-changer, the story said.
"They realized that in most cases was not making ad revenue or subscription money off extended use of their photos," said Brandy Navarre, vp at X17, a photo agency that plans to negotiate separately from its unified front of competitors. "But when you're talking about paid apps supplemented by advertisements, that's something different altogether."
People wants free use of photos, saying the app (which costs consumers $4.99) essentially replicates the print magazine. It is also arguing that photo use is covered by a clause in overall licensing agreements that allows for promotional repurposing.

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Anonymous Mary V. said...

Photographers (and their agents) have always stood firm in requesting extra payment for additional usage of their photos.

Publishers would not be able to reprint a photo online or in a different format without first compensating the photographer.

Words, however, are a different story, apparently - publishers seem to think it's okay to reuse a story without any additional compensation to the writer.

Double standard?

10:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Double standard for sure, though I expect that's going to change fairly soon for the same reasons photographers are taking a stand in this case when it comes to new mobile applications that people are paying for.

2:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freelancers need a way to work together on this. If the photogs can do it, so can the writers. Why don't the agencies clue into the money making opportunity? There are hundreds and hundreds of unrepresented writers in Canada who are just being screwed by the magazines. It's pathetic.

1:06 am  

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