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Author Topic: Editorial Credentials with a condition; need advice!  (Read 2403 times)

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« on: July 07, 2014, 05:41 »
0
Hi,
I would need advice regarding a credentials issue. Thanks in advance for everyone who have the strenght go through this:

I asked editorial credentials for a small-ish event, to make the submission easier for SS and Bigstock. Actually that might not have been necessary (not a ticketed event, open area etc...) but I wanted to avoid the song and dance with the stock agencies. Usually getting the credentials hasn't been that hard anyway.

This time the organizer of the event sent me an email, which contained the editorial credentials form. OK  so far, BUT the email said further: "The credentials are ok if we can use your images later. We will give the participants (ie who bring an item to the event) a photo of their X (X being whatever item they bring) at the venue."

Can someone tell me what does this mean, and do I need to mind the added sentence? Their condition is not reasonable, and doens't seem even legal.
I was thinking that, sure they can use my images, if they download them from a stock agency. No problem. But then I thought, wait a minute, they cannot actually "give" my images away. They don't have the rights to pass on my images to a third party.

The email just said "images", not how many, nothing about the price of images (not "for free"). No one, not even a child would let 30-50 of their images used without a charge, and the form of EC, that is really not that valuable!

I later learned that the event organizer is not a professional (wasn't hard to guess eh) so maybe he was just ignorant.

I can't accept the condition of providing images for free. Is that kind of a condition, attached to an editorial credential, even legally binding?

Provided that it is probably legally ok to shoot at the event without the editorial credentials anyway, and licence them as editorial, can I just ignore the editorial credentials form? I would shoot at the event and never submit the form they sent me.

What would be the best way to proceed?

Thank you for your help!


« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 05:46 »
+3
Sounds like they want your images for free. I'm the photo editor at a newspaper. More and more venues want access (or possible approval) to your images as a condition to being allowed to photograph the event -- mostly concerts. I have a policy of not covering these events as we require 100% rights to our images.

« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2014, 10:32 »
0
Hi, and thanks for the reply. Well, I shoot stock. I do not want to give user rights for free. In this occasion it would mean giving out user rights for 30--50 images, that would define insane!

Can anyone tell me what options do I have? I would still like to cover the event, as I find it interesting.

1. Not cover the event at all.
2. Go and shoot it, and if they demand images from me claim that their demands are unreasonable.
Not use the credentials form they sent as according to the law I am allowed to photograph it (outdoors, open area, no tickets).
3. Email them, saying thank you very much, unfortunately I do not provide free images, you can upload the photos from agency X after the event.
4. Other?


« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 11:29 »
+1
I'd go with option 3 either write or call them and explain that you shoot professionally and do not give your images away but that you are happy to negotiate a fee for x# of images. Your other option if you just submit to SS and Bigstock is to contact SS's On the Red Carpet program and have them get you credentials, explaining to them what's happened so far (check with SS if Bigstock submissions are ok-OTRC restricts you to only submitting those photos to SS for 2 years). If these don't work, you should probably consider option 1 (sometimes you just have to walk away). Just my opinion but I don't think you want to leave the issue of free images unresolved, since by showing up and shooting they may think you've agreed to their terms.

Good luck.

What Matt is saying also makes sense, however, not knowing what kind of event this is, it's hard to give you more than a vague opinion. I don't think that journalists should have to give their work away for free, but can see Matt's point. Ultimately, you have to decide what you're comfortable with. Personally, I'd contact the On the Red Carpet folks and see what kind of advice they give you.

I shoot for local media so usually don't have any problem getting credentials, but went with OTRC early on for a small event in NYC and it was very helpful. The event was less interesting than I expected but interestingly the photos (from 2009) still sell today - not for the event but as illustrative editorial, ending up in everything from a book on acting to Fodor's guides to Disney World. Here's a short blog post I wrote about where these photos showed up: http://www.travelstockblog.com/uncategorized/is-this-travel-photography/
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 11:40 by wordplanet »

« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 12:38 »
0


Wow, thank you worldplanet! That was very helpful! :)
I suppose I still will need to make up my mind between the two alternatives, contacting OTRC or contacting the event organizer.

I've been shooting events like this one and always got the credentials without too much hassle, sometimes got free tickets (even for family) and always got a welcome, so this was a bit surprising.
This is not a band (like Matt up there assumed) and it is actually a small event, so much so that I would think they'd appreciate all the exposure they could get. More Google searches, more people next year.

I think every event organizer in their right mind wants media there, and will not blackmail them. What use it is to organize an event, and have no one shooting and reporting it, unless it is a secret club?

What I regret is that I actually _asked_ for credentials, as it would have been fine and legal to shoot without the credentials and licence the photos editorially. No tickets, free for everyone event. Just wanted to avoid the hassle with the stock agencies, and got instead a hassle with the event organizer. Just wish I could turn back time and un-send the credentials request!  :(

« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 12:47 »
+1

This is not a band (like Matt up there assumed) and it is actually a small event, so much so that I would think they'd appreciate all the exposure they could get. More Google searches, more people next year.


I was clear on the scenario, just using the bands as a relevant example of where this is common practice.  Generally where a promoter or publicist will benefit is if you are posting an article about their event.  If it's not an event you are passionate about I would walk away.  You are right, you probably would have been better off not contacting them at all in this particular instance since it is free and there are no photography restrictions in place.  Now that you have opened the can of worms however it would be unethical in my opinion to show up and shoot without further dialogue with the promoter.

Good luck,

Mat

« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 13:34 »
0
Glad I was helpful. I also agree with Mat that at this point you can't just show up without either contacting them on your own or having OTRC contact them on your behalf. Showing up could be seen as agreeing to their terms. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2014, 14:27 »
+1
If you are an Exclusive with the agency then you would have to shoot the event as work-for-hire or "contract" arrangement, with written agreement as to who owns the copyright and who has rights of image use. You ask them what shots they want in return for event access, you keep the copyright, and license them the use of the image set for use only within their organization. The license can allow the organization to use the images for self promotion, advertising, and other organization uses for, say 20 years (a very loose but Rights Managed license). Forbid image sales (competing with you or your stock agencies). Work with them to draw a wide box around their uses and leave the opening for your stock sales (you hold copyright). If they give images to some "third party" members, the non-stock-compete clause should be transmitted but I wouldn't worry about it. Even if one or two third parties would try to sell an image it is minimal competition to your larger collection.

If you are not Exclusive then the forbidding of image sales is not a requirement but most of the above still is good policy.

If you play the cards right, you might even swing a low shooting fee to shoot the event, knowing that some of the images could generate additional stock sales. If you want to provide prints, you might take on the task of providing the third-party participants items. You should be able to do better than the people with their cell phones. Of course work out a printing and delivery fee as the organization won't have to mess with this task. In other words, become the official event photographer and pursue stock sales in addition.

Ed

« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2014, 20:59 »
+2
Sounds like they want your images for free. I'm the photo editor at a newspaper. More and more venues want access (or possible approval) to your images as a condition to being allowed to photograph the event -- mostly concerts. I have a policy of not covering these events as we require 100% rights to our images.

I agree with this 100%.  The last time I had this happen, I pointed the event organizer to the NPPA Website with a link to the code of ethics for Press Photographers

https://nppa.org/code_of_ethics

Note #7 "Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation."

I will not cover an event where this is criteria for admission...and I will let them know why.

« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2014, 06:14 »
0
Thank you, everyone! You have all been so helpful!
Mat, wordplanet, you are absolutely right in that I can't show up without contacting them.
StanRohrer, thank you for the advice and I like that scenario, but my hunch is that they are only after free images. Thank you for adding the link Ed, that was a final eye-opener. :)

So, I emailed them and asked what they meant by their terms. I basically said that I shoot professionally and that I can't give images for free. I explained what the law states about shooting at a public venue with free access for all, and asked if they can kindly give me the credentials without conditions. Figured that I have nothing to lose at this point...

I'll keep you posted on what happens. Thank you again, and have a great day!

ShadySue

« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2014, 06:43 »
0
There was once a big event (not music) on a huge public area in Edinburgh. As their site said commercial photographers had to contact them beforehand, I sent a courtesy email saying I was shooting editorial for stock. They emailled back saying I had no access to the media tent (which I hadn't asked for) as I had no named publication. I emailled back and said that was fine, I was just confirming that it was OK to photograph the event as it was in a public place and they emailled back and confirmed it was OK.

Interestingly, there's a big event with many different facets coming to a very public place nearer me soon. This location hosts lots of big events, and it's always fine to shoot there. On the website for this particular event it says very obviously on the home page, "No commercial photography". I'm trying to work out whether any possible future secondary editorial sale would be worth the hassle of challenging this. Maybe the council has passed a temporary local bye-law (not referenced on the site) for that one-day event that somehow trumps the Law of the Land? (Doesn't seem very likely.) I did sell more than enough from the Edinburgh event to make the journey & couple of emails worthwhile, but nowadays ... ?

More often, when I contact people to ask permission where it's probably required, I don't get a reply, whether emailled or snail with an SAE. In fact, apart from that Edinburgh event and one which refused 'under any circumstances' (tell that to Getty and Alamy!), no other replies.

Good luck, ravens.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2014, 14:38 »
0
Yes it is legal, you asked that. They could hold the copyright to the event activities itself if licensed or sanctioned. And to their name and the event name. That would be for profit sales by you.

BUT since it's free and open to the public, they can't prevent Editorial coverage.

"The credentials are ok if we can use your images later. We will give the participants (ie who bring an item to the event) a photo of their X (X being whatever item they bring) at the venue."

Sounds like they want to present participants with a memento of the event, of them with their whatever. They aren't reselling your images, if I understand it right.

Can you be more specific what they would be bringing? What event is this. Not like we're all going to go rush in and scoop the photos from you. LOL Important part isn't if you give them some shots for promotions, if they ask and you accept. That's your choice.

What's important is that you own the rights and retain all of them, for your work. What you would ask for, in return for the gifted images to be given to participants, no other use. (write it down) is this. Get an event release signed by them.

Now you have a proof for SS and IS and anyone else who might ask, that you were authorized to shoot the event. Even Editorial needs proof for some agencies, even if it legally does not.

Short version, you get a signed release from the event promoter, and they get a single photo of each participant with their item. (whatever that means?) You might also have them forward your name and you can offer to sell prints to the participants, who want other photos?



Thank you, everyone! You have all been so helpful!
Mat, wordplanet, you are absolutely right in that I can't show up without contacting them.
StanRohrer, thank you for the advice and I like that scenario, but my hunch is that they are only after free images. Thank you for adding the link Ed, that was a final eye-opener. :)

So, I emailed them and asked what they meant by their terms. I basically said that I shoot professionally and that I can't give images for free. I explained what the law states about shooting at a public venue with free access for all, and asked if they can kindly give me the credentials without conditions. Figured that I have nothing to lose at this point...

I'll keep you posted on what happens. Thank you again, and have a great day!

« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2014, 04:01 »
+1
Good news!  :) They replied to my email pretty quickly re-sending the credentials, with no conditions.
What a relief!
Thank you again for your help and good luck wishes!

Uncle Pete, thanks for your insight.
This would be applicable for some future events, so it's a good point to remember:
>Short version, you get a signed release from the event promoter, and they get a single photo of each participant with their item. (whatever that means?) You might also have them forward your name and you can offer to sell prints to the participants, who want other photos?

ShadySue, I wish you good luck too. I don't use snail mail (expenses, it is slow, there is too much junk snail too). Have you tried On the Red carpet program? If you are a SS contributor, they can make it easier for you.



ShadySue

« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2014, 10:25 »
0
I'm not on SS, but I doubt if that would generate a reply any more than a direct email. I tend to email twice, then when I don't hear anything, I snail them. Apparently I can get a letter from Alamy News, which I will try some time, but I have no real faith that I'd get any more replies.
The concern I've heard is that they want control of where the images go, which of course is impossible with stock.

Congratulations on your positive reply.

« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2014, 14:29 »
+2
Glad it worked out. Post a link to your event pix so we can see them. I hope you sell lots of prints as well as stock.



 

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