Was over shooting at Marie’s the other day – and so while she was busy and very focused on doing her thing here…
.. to create a series of lovely banner images like this…
.. to show the new head board she is selling, as well as cushions and lamps, etc – which I must say all looked very well…
.. as she mixed & matched them…
… to show how simple changes could completely change the look.
I on the other hand, was busy thinking about a solution, to the new terms agreement which IPC Media have recently introduced.
This being the problem:-
IPC Media has updated its rights agreements to reflect our needs as a multi platform business. Our previous agreements were written when all content was produced for print, but now our customers expect to be able to access content on whichever platform they chose to experience it – in print, on tablet, on smartphones, online or through events and other experiences.
The rights we are buying are All Rights, in return for IPC’s agreement to pay the fees agreed for each commission.
All Rights means the assignment to IPC of all of your right, title and interest in, and to, the copyright and all other rights of every kind or description in the material(s) commissioned from you, throughout the World whether those rights are now known or are created in the future and in each case for the full period of existence of those rights.
This assignment to IPC is made with full title guarantee, which means that you guarantee to IPC that you have the right to pass to us the entire ownership of the rights in the material(s) i.e. you have not copied anyone else’s work, and only you have been involved in the preparation of the material(s).
And it is a problem on different levels too – as agreeing to this would not only mean the end of additional usage sale – which I personally do count on to cover the extra cost of hiring people like Marie here, to help me produce the type of images that these people would want to use – but it would also remover any & all incentives to do anything more than the bare minimum anymore.
Because producing ‘better images’ is clearly now not going to make us any more money – and so the last thing one would want to do, is give them some images that they would want to use that much – as the more they would use those images, the less they would need to use us.
So it’s all very counter productive in away, as it’s like ‘just about good enough’ will now become the norm – as the incentive to do more than that, has just been removed.
Because a quick snap-shot, which may be of little use to them or anyone – is now worth exactly the same to the photographer, as an amazing image which may be worth thousands to them or possibly other people – as they are now talking about a fixed fee for ‘All Rights’.
Which basically means it doesn’t really matter what the images look like anymore – as it’s not going to make any difference to what they are worth.
At least not as far as we (the photographers) will be concerned.
But it doesn’t just stop there – as agreeing to this would also mean we are no longer just talking about ‘Editorial use’ – and so we would now need to let the homeowners know that – as these images which we are about to take in their home, could now be use in almost any media for almost anything, including advertising.
And we would have no say in that – as IPC Media would own the Rights – to do as they please with the images.
And incase you’re thinking “No, surely not” – I can assure you it can and most likely will, as I’ve been down this road before and that’s exactly what started to happened.
So take this image that we produce in Marie’s house the other day…
.. if we agreed to IPC Media’s terms here – then they would own All Rights to it – which means neither Marie (the homeowner in this case as well as being the stylist) or I would have any say in either how IPC Media used it or even who else they sold it to, for them to use.
So she could easily see pictures like this of her home, being used by not only other magazines in different parts of the world over the next few years, but also being used for advertising by others too – on Billboards, Posters, Ambient; Brochures, Direct Mail, Magazine ads, Newspaper ads, Point of sale, Television as well as on the Worldwide web – as we are no longer talking about just a one time only editorial feature anymore, in one magazine, in one country.
Because “All Rights means the assignment to IPC of all of your right, title and interest in, and to, the copyright and all other rights of every kind or description in the material(s) commissioned from you, throughout the World whether those rights are now known or are created in the future and in each case for the full period of existence of those rights.”
So that’s the problem – now what’s the solutions ??
Henry Ford once said:
If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.
So would love to hear from others, especially those who may also be directly effected by this new agreement – not to dwell on the problem, but to hear what you feel would be a good solution here – as that is what we need find, before this all ends in tears.
As that is exactly what is going to happen here, if we don’t – as this could very well be the end of ‘editorial work’ as we know it – for everyone… including them.