Re: [messengers] I fell down yesterday

Date: 25 Apr 2010 08:49:19 +0200
From: chenwengseng@xxxxxxxxx

As a photographer (and ex-messenger but not a lawyer), my understanding is
that any person in an image used for commercial purposes must sign a
release. For art and editorial use (as crass as TMZ may be, it probably
falls under this classification, regardless of whether someone is a
celebrity or not), model releases are generally not signed, but that does
not mean they are not required and many photographers (myself included) will
ask a subject sign if only in case the image has commercial value. Cover of
a magazine is a gray area I'm not entirely sure about, though, again, as a
photographer, I get a release to cover my ass.

It is a not a question of whether the image was taken as part of a
constructed photo shoot v. a grab shot in public space or whether one party
was working harder than another. Most working models only sign over rights
for a specific purpose, ie even if I spend thousands of dollars to close off
a street, hire a crew, rent cops, etc., so I could take photos of someone
riding a bike which look like they were just shot during a regular day on a
regular street, if the model signs a release saying the image can only be
used for a specific ad for whatever company, they are in the right to claim
damages I sell any image from the shoot, directly or through a stock agency,
for use in another ad at any time from here to eternity.  That is for USA, I
don't know about other countries.

Huge stock photography agencies like Getty require releases for any image
with talent, I can't imagine they would put up with the extra administrative
hassle or lost revenue from unsold images if they didn't need to for legal
reasons. The thing with most stock agencies (with a few exceptions, or which
Shutterstock is not) is that once they accept an image, they sell it to
whoever they want, the photographer really has no say.

Sorry for the big rant, but even though it makes my life harder as a
photographer, I feel like not paying a model, even an inadvertent one,
especially when everyone else in the process is getting seeing way larger
financial return (the photographer, the ad agency, the company whose running
the ad), is shady and it's illegality shouldn't be supported. If the
photographer is really a good dude, he would take care of his subjects- if
not, he's basically like messenger company owners who 1099 you when you're
W-2, ie running illegal business practices on the assumption that you don't
know any better or are too beat down to raise a fuss.


On Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 12:51 PM, Andy <az@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> as a courier and a photographer, i see both sides of this. however i feel
> that if someone is out in public, they are fair game to be photographed.
> besides the fact that that's the law, i think it is a weird notion that
> people somehow feel they "own" their image, and that their image is somehow
> worth money when used commercially. even if jerome sold that picture
> (directly or indirectly through shuterstock) to the mcaa mag, i don't see
> how ben, the anonymous courier in the photo could feel he deserved any $.
> jerome (or whoever took the photo) did all the work - he had all the
> equipment, went out, took the photo, processed it, shopped it around and got
> it sold. ben just rode by same as he would've had the photographer not been
> there.
> ben should have just asked nice for a copy of the mag in the first place,
> and maybe he would've gotten a reply.
> jerome is an awesome dude (he is sponsoring his services as the official
> cmwc photographer) so i'm sure if in fact he took the photo in question, and
> ben contacted him nicely ( ), he would
> totally do whatever he could to get him a copy of the photo or magazine or
> both.
> what's the saying? you get more honey using bees? you know what i mean.
> and oh yeah: register for the cmwc. do it!
> --
> az
> >----- ------- Original Message ------- -----
> >From: saravia.julio@xxxxxxxxx
> >To: kenolaben@xxxxxxxxx
> >Sent: Fri, 23 Apr 2010 09:49:24
> >
> >ben...the guy you're talking about is Jerome. he's
> >a cool cat...I
> >doubt he let that magazine use that pick. you
> >should let Jerome know
> >about it so he could get on them about it. google
> >chapter 9
> >photography for his contact info.
> >
> >as far as who IS shutterstock? it's not a question
> >of who but what.
> >it's a site that sells royalty free stock photos.
> >basically, If you're
> >out in the public then there's not much you can do.
> >we all know about
> >tmz...right? they have a sh*t ton of people taking
> >pics of famous
> >heads and sell the photos. it's all legal. did you
> >know you could
> >probaly get six figures for a pic of all the
> >Baldwin brothers? don't
> >ask me how I know that.
> >
> >Anywhoo...while I agree that it sucks...I'm pretty
> >sure they are well
> >within their rights. sh*t...they probably have more
> >pics of non-
> >messengers than messengers.
> >
> >on another's nice out...peace.
> >
> >-julio
> >
> >On Apr 23, 2010, at 9:29, Ben Fietz
> ><kenolaben@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> >> I'll bet that's the guy who took that really cool
> >shot of Ben P
> >> under the El tracks on Wells street. I remember
> >that guy coming
> >> through town. He had just come from Toronto and
> >was going someplace
> >> else after Chicago to continue photographing bike
> >messengers.
> >> It sucked because I happened to be looking on the
> >Messenger Courier
> >> World Magazine (which is a magazine for courier
> >company owners)
> >> website, and saw that picture was used for the
> >cover of the current
> >> issue of the magazine and told Ben about it. He
> >was pissed because
> >> he never signed any kind of release form. He
> >contacted the magazine
> >> about it, and they never replied. After a few
> >weeks, he cooled off a
> >> bit and contacted the magazine again to see if he
> >could just get a
> >> copy to give to his mom, and they still ignored
> >him.
> >> If you are going after the guy Cory, and it's the
> >same person, I
> >> could let Ben know. I'm sure he is still pissed
> >about the whole
> >> thing. And it was good to see you at the MMI, by
> >the way.
> >>
> >> Ben F
> >> On Apr 23, 2010, at 8:38 AM, Augustine Montes
> ><augiem21@xxxxxxxxx>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> that's pretty interesting. and fucked. who's
> >shutterstock, by the
> >>> way? i'm gonna look them up.
> >>>
> >>> --- On Fri, 4/23/10, Corey Hilliard
> ><coreythecourier@xxxxxxxxx>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> From: Corey Hilliard <coreythecourier@xxxxxxxxx>
> >
> >>> Subject: [messengers] I fell down yesterday
> >>> To: "Messenger list" <messengers@xxxxxxxxx>
> >>> Date: Friday, April 23, 2010, 8:01 AM
> >>>
> >>> Anyway, do you know that Shutterstock is selling
> >photos of bicycle
> >>> messengers that may be used in magazines of less
> >than 250,000
> >>> circulation
> >>> for advertising purposes? Funny fucking thing
> >because while they
> >>> make money
> >>> from selling the photo, the rider in the photo
> >doesn't get paid.
> >>> I'm no
> >>> lawyer but third party commercial usage seems
> >pretty fucking shady
> >>> to me.
> >>>
> >>> The back story on this is still cooking. I'll
> >let you know when the
> >>> details
> >>> are done. Then, I will fully vent and share.
> >>>
> >>> Corey the Courier
> >>>
> >>> "I am not an Extreme rider, I am an underpaid
> >blue collar worker"
> >>> _______________________________________________
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> >>> Messengers@xxxxxxxxx
> >>>
> >
> >s
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
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