As I put together the articles on the copyright infringement cases that are being fought in court right now I look at the information that some have requested. I am doing a simple process and this is a process.
As you grow as a photographer you will accumulate a large supply of photographs. This is your library and a source of income for the rest of your life. Guard it well as people will try to take it, either by scrapping websites, stealing images on line, taking the files or a combination of all of them. I am going through one low dollar invoice but it still has a price starting a $ 1070.00 for a licensing fee. I am going to post the information with copies on the magazine site as part of the training classes. Here it is not possible to do that with the limited size of the photos you would be unable to read the invoices.
I invoiced a company in Florida for a licensing fee for one photograph. I received an email the day after the holiday as the office was closed when they got the email. It was from the VP of Marketing wanting information. I emailed it back to him the same morning. A series of emails between the companies ensued. I was copied on them. I will quote the last one below. It took less than two days for the invoice to be processed once the right party got it. The apartment complex forwarded it to the ad agency and the ad agency forwarded the information to their parent company , back to the ad agency and then to me with their approval and information for payment. During this I received two more emails from the management company VP.
The reason for this and the copy of the final email? That is the question the uninformed will ask. Informed photographers and advertising personnel already know the answer. Why do you think a VP, The CEO of a large nationwide publishing company jumped on this? It is a registered copyrighted photo that some clerk who thought they knew something stole and published on the web. The companies understand what most individuals do not, they are liable for copyright infringement and it would cost them hundreds of times what they were billed. It would have taken years and a lot of grief just to fight it. Remember I said be fair? That is for companies as well as individuals. They were given a fair price because they had not intent to infringe. As I have stated, that may not have anything to do with infringement but it carries weight with me personally.
Back to the value of your library for your future sales. The two main photos that are involved in the infringements are from 2007/2008 registered in the 2010 group. So as you see, you have to be diligent and keep records. Be organized. If it is not organized it can be an issue.
Let us take me for example. I have shot and digitized well over 250,000 photos. Out of that there are publication/sales of many. Now the important point, people will tell you a photo is worth nothing when they owe you money. The truth is they have no clue. The sunset photo has been infringed over a hundred times. Remember that, one photo can be infringed many times. That one has been infringed by companies and bloggers for almost 50 times alone. Out of a large library general rule is that if you are a competent photographer and submit work you will sell about 10-15 percent of it. Now that is not the amount of each photograph licensed, it is the amount of copies of photographs sold. That may be one or it may be a hundred of one image.
Here is an example. You sell licenses for a few photographs for what I am charging right now which is $ 1070.00 for each one. If you sell a hundred of them (my one photo is going to be more than that) the total value from the one photo is $ 107000.00. That is for ONE photo out of thousands. If you have 10 that do that what is the value. Right now I have over 175 infringements. Even if you settle for $ 500.000 per license fee and you have a hundred sales look at that figure for one photograph out of thousands. You are not going to bill and collect on all of them but even at half of that it is not a bad income from one photo.
Now that should answer the questions on invoicing and why the library is worth more than most people’s houses, cars and personal property put together, but you have to edit and market it. The new licensing era is something to embrace. You can make more in a year if you do it right than everything some people have accumulated in a life time. Just like a realtor or other professions. If you are good you can do very well, if you are not , you can always say I used to be a realtor or photographer.
If you sell 500 images out of the library at my rate of $ 1070 which is being paid very quickly the value to you is $ 535,000. If you sell a thousand images(I have had over 200 taken in the last year to be invoiced) then the value is how much? If you cannot figure it, $ 1,070,000.00. Yes that is correct. Now take the images that you should license out of the library within your life time and multiply it by your licensing fee. The new digital age with licensing fees for worldwide consumption is here. You can check Getty and they charge $ 500.00 an image for a year with no advertising figured except what they allow in their license. The standard licensing fee worldwide without advertising is over $ 900.00. Remember also, Getty does not take photos, they are a photograph broker. You can charge the same. I picked my figure because almost all of mine are in advertising and worldwide and they want them forever. Not happening unless they get the numbers really high.
Invoice for the Honeymoon Island photo used by M S blog
I work for DS, the company that produces blogs for M S. Today we received a message from M S stating that they had received an invoice from you for a fee for using the photo of Honeymoon Island in a blog post that was published in March.
Here is the link you provided:
You’ll see that we’ve removed the photo and please accept my sincere apologies for our error in posting this photo without purchasing the licensing rights in advance.
We will pay the amount you invoiced to M S, as this was our responsibility. However, our accounting department requires that the invoice must be made out to . Also, because you are an individual, we need a completed W9 form along with your invoice. Here is a link to the form for your convenience.
We are eager to make payment before the June 17 deadline you set, so please let me know if you have any questions. I will get the invoice and W9 form to our accounting department as soon as you are able to send them.
Again, my apologies for our error. We have taken steps to prevent this from happening again.
I think that is enough said here. You can get the rest of this and most of the other infringers and invoicing on Studio 1 the magazine.