Tag Archives: image licensing

Summary of PACA Sales Webinar

NOTES FROM PACA SALES WEBINAR 5-13-14

PACA’s first webinar in May was focused on sales.  Over 45 people attended the lively discussion and, despite some technical difficulties, a lot of great information was shared with the participants.

PANEL:
Leslie Hughes, Visual Steam
Candace Murray, Condé Nast
Sonia Wasco, Grant Heilman Photography

  1. Leslie’s Presentation   (view here)
  • Projections

Growth expected overall through the next couple years

Ad Spend up through 2016 Globally= 5.6% per year

Growth led by Americas and Asia

Europe starting to improve

Display ads to surpass search for the first time in 2015

Mobile only 13% of internet advertising, will be 26% by 2016

Social media 30% year-over-year growth

Traditional media will only outpace digital until 2016

Traditional publishing in decline

internet publishing to soar in next 5 years

12% growth in USA this year, 11% worldwide

b. Why?

$$ are moving online

Increased use of visual storytelling

Digital ads more palatable to customers, making them more palatable for businesses

  1. Challenges
  • Generating leads and finding new clients
  • Creating awareness-People don’t realize they can license our content (Candace)
  • So much content available, need to build a unique value proposition for your content
  • Driving people to our website/Getting client attention
  • Data mining of our client base
  • Budget issues:  Know who you’re talking to, find out their budgets, push the envelope.  Client budgets are a challenge, but they will pay if you demonstrate the value of your product/service
  • Remove human touch from low-priced sales
  • Rights and clearances, and clients needing full indemnifications

**Opportunities:

Increase in the use of visuals online

Increase in visual storytelling

  1. Challenges to Clients
    • Budgets-tighter than ever
    • Creative Content-finding unique, authentic content
    • Time Pressures-Everything has to be now-makes pressure for seller
    • Social Media, they don’t understand usage, so they expect us to figure it out for them. How to make it work best for them
    • Abundance of options, imagery the same on lots of sites.  Cross-pollination at multiple agencies

**Are clients becoming reluctant to use Google Image search now?  Some are concerned with identifying legally licensable content

**PacaSearch named in the top 5th go-to site for buyers.  PACA participants need to start advertising it on their own sites

  1. Have Microstock Companies affected the lowering of prices for stock?
  • You can still get to higher prices if you know their budget and work with the right people
  • Microstock has opened buying to a larger number of buyers, you can make good use of this if you choose your clients wisely.  Avoid clients that have to have the lowest pricing or see if you can work out a price that is fair.  Sometimes a buyer thinks he needs microstock pricing but can work with RF
  • Customers have been brainwashed that web usage should be lower priced, but since it is now the most frequently used method of advertising, we need to rethink pricing for this medium and re-educate our buyers.  We need to think about the internet as being the delivery method rather than the usage.  Website is the usage.  There is a difference between a site that is turning over images rapidly and one that is using images for branding or for publishing.

**Success story of a RM sale of over $100,000.00 for a drug company needing rights for exclusive pharmaceutical usage for a new product outside the U.S.  Multiple licenses that added up to this amount.  There are companies that still require restrictions and warrant big prices.  No longer the norm.

  1. Sales Goals for Coming Year
  • Data Mining
  • Delivering bodies of new work to specific clients
  • Reach out to different people at the traditional spaces: CMOs rather than art buyers and art directors.  Companies have money, but not always in the art department.  Try other departments
  • Using linkedin, agency access, etc to find new leads
  • Attend trade shows like HOW, Visual Connections, Stock Photo Expo and seize the opportunity to get face-to-face with buyers
  1. Top things needed to grow sales in the coming year?
  • Leveraging tools to their best advantage                                                                                    Social media, linkedin, finding ways to connect
  • Re-establishing relationships with those that have purchased before
  • Finding new customers
  1. One piece of advice:
  • Don’t close any boxes.  A client called Grant Heilman for Royalty Free Images and they don’t have any.  Instead of turning away the client, they talked further with them and realized their budget really could work for RM and they sold them 10 images for their project.  A win-win for both sides!
  • Ask as many questions as humanly possible. “You should know your customers so well, you can cover for them if they’re out sick.”
  • Target the right demographics.  If you do the budget pricing, target budget markets.  RF not always cheaper.
  • Figure out how to stand out
  • Follow through is KEY

 Q & A

How to rationalize a RM price increase?

Candace – Use the info gleaned from asking them discovery questions.

Leslie – Depends on client needs. Is the issue simply price? Or ease and reuse?  Also, how the image is being used.  Sometimes RF is more expensive.  Also, sometimes the client has little choice.  Believe in bending a little for client depending on usage and relationship.  Also, consider how easy it is to replace the image or get it somewhere else for less.

What marketing technique should you use?

Leslie – Different methods reach different people, use ’em all. Personalized emails, phone calls. We’re visual people in a visual industry – use pics!  And it depends on the communication?  Are you looking for new clients and getting them to register?  Or perhaps you have new content available.  Have a purpose for every communication.

How do you get a foothold where preferred licensing is already in place (particularly Getty)?

Candace – You can bend over backwards or not. Know how much they need and what you can deliver to them. It might not be worth it to you. Whatever you decide, reevaluate after one year.

Sonia – Figure out your added value to keep you in the running. Found out their terms and if you’re willing to meet them. Gaining a foothold is easier with when you have a specialty collection; you feature a particular area or photographer or something.

Leslie – Understand what’s important to that client more than your competitor. Check back with them periodically. Spend a little more time preparing something targeted rather than generalizing (which will get you blacklisted).

How do we establish subscription pricing?

Leslie – We configure custom subscriptions, so it’s not something we do automatically online.  We talk with the client to understand what number of images per month they think they will need and we try to price competitively based on alternatives.

 

 

PACA is Pleased to Welcome our Newest Members

We are excited to receive these new companies into our membership. Please reach out and help acknowledge our new members.  Just one call from an existing member can really help them feel welcome.

Corporate:

PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter helps people and organizations who are passionate about their photos do more with them. From creating beautiful websites and securely backing up their best images to building an audience and selling photos online, PhotoShelter is trusted by over 80,000 enthusiasts, freelancers, and established pros worldwide. What sets us apart are over 100 professional-grade features and cutting-edge technology that we’ve evolved with photographers in mind since 2005. With PhotoShelter, any photographer can take their online presence to the next level — and get back to doing the shooting they love to do.

Phone: 212/206-0808
Email: amy@photoshelter.com
Website: www.photoshelter.com

General Members:

GraphicaArtis

GraphicaArtis is one of the mostly highly curated, visually compelling collections of vintage graphics and fine art available for licensing. Its thousands of works are relevant to both the commercial and editorial markets, and are of the highest visual and technical quality. Images are carefully selected by editors with decades of licensing experience, giving GraphicaArtis the licensing potential of a collection many times its size.

Works include a wide range of visual media – pop graphics of the 40s and 50s, antique prints and posters of the 19th and 20th centuries, vintage photography, historical subjects, and fine art from all periods. Decades in the making, the collection features work from dozens of sources, and continues to grow monthly.

Phone: 206/999-3204
Email: graphicaartis@gmail.com
Website: www.graphicaartis.com                                                                                                         B2B Contact: Sue Hartke, graphicaartis@gmail.com

Griffin Museum of Photography

A nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the art of photography. Through our many exhibitions, programs and lectures, we strive to encourage a broader understanding and appreciation of the visual, emotional and social impact of photographic art. The museum maintains the archive of our founder Arthur Griffin.

Phone: 781-729-1158
Email: paula@griffinmuseum.org
Website: www.griffinmuseum.org

Sandra G Arts & Photography

Sandra is primarily a Nature & Architectural photographer who captures images of quiet and serene places that provide a feeling of calm, peace, and solace; or mystery and intrigue.

Based off her life experiences and beliefs, Sandra feels, people need a quiet and peaceful place to go in order to remain balanced and focused. Her images take you to those places without leaving the comfort of your home or even your workplace.

Phone: 904-673-6154
Email: sandrag8506@aol.com
Website: http://sandrag.smugmug.com

On Using Orphan Images

by Doug Brooks  With Permission of Visual Connections Blog                                                              Initially Published on Visual Connections Blog

Question: When is it okay for me to publish (or otherwise use) an orphan image

Answer:    Never* (notice the asterisk)

We all know that copyright is there to protect creative works from being used without the permission of the rights holder.  That’s good, that’s solid, we can all appreciate the message. Licensing an image for use, therefore, is fairly straightforward as you need only find the image, contact the rights holder and obtain the permission you seek.

When it comes to using images whose owner is unknown (in the vernacular, an orphan image), publishers and other image users are fearful to use the image, as the rightful owner may come forward and, well, sue their pants off.

There have always been issues with images becoming disassociated from their owner, and thus “orphaned”.  In the early days, film images would be paper mounted, sealed in a plastic envelope or some other protection that carried the owner’s name, contact information and © legend.  The Internet has caused an explosion of images to become effectively orphaned as files become stripped of metadata (if they ever had metadata), file names are changed by users to accommodate their work flow, or any of a number of other reasons. While removing that “copyright management information” (in whatever form) from images is prohibited under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it remains the case that images that have been carefully identified by the image owner are routinely stripped of their identity to become orphans in a sea of images. Equally as horrible, image users locate images they really want to use, but can’t find the path to licensing the images.  The image owner can’t license their image, the image user can’t license the use of the image AND the general public can’t benefit from exposure to the image.  Everyone loses.

The Orphan Works Act of 2008 (HR 5889) has the intent of leveling the playing field by allowing image users to use orphaned images without the threat of huge punitive damages.  Unfortunately, to date, the bill has not offered the image rights holder a reasonable path to reassert their copyright in the orphaned image. In fact, as of the last incarnation of the bill, the image owner would have to jump through costly legal hoops to take the image infringement to court, prevail over the infringer’s objection that a “good faith” search for the author was made, and then go through a process to reclaim their orphaned image as their own. Not so good. Adding insult to injury, once an orphan publishes, every other image user is able to extend less effort finding the owner.  Instead, they can point to the first orphan use as an indication that due diligence had been done by other(s) and the owner could not be found.

The Orphan Bill as we know it is in the House Judiciary Committee and it is hard to know when it might emerge or in what form.

The idea of creating a fair and reasonable Orphan Bill is, in many respects, a wonderful idea as it would allow millions of images that are disassociated from their owners to be used.  But what is fair and reasonable?

I would suggest that fair and reasonable would allow a ‘user’ to publish a work after doing due diligence to find the rightful owner.  I can’t define ‘due diligence’ in this short piece so please allow me to move forward simply saying ‘due diligence’.  The user should be able to move forward without fear of unreasonable punitive damages should the rightful owner come forward.  That’s a sticking point.  What if the rightful owner would not have allowed the use of the image due to a social or personal belief?  What if the image owner were opposed to a political use or having their image promoting a social issue such as abortion, birth control, drugs, alcohol or sexual orientation?  Image rights holders control the copyright to their image and that means they control how it is used. Unless of course, the image is ‘declared’ orphaned. Maybe you see a solution to the ‘opposed’ issue, I don’t.  Having documented this issue for your consideration, allow me to leave that conundrum on the table and move on.

Let’s tackle the use of an orphan image where the image owner would have been happy to license the image for the use that was made. The image owner is first straddled with the responsibility of discovering the ‘use’ and then seeking a fair settlement.  I don’t see a way around that.  I do see the opportunity for something like the Orphan Bill to set a process by where a fair price is set for the use and the image owner has a clear and easy path to reestablishing their copyright in the image.  A fair price for the use would vary by several factors.  The use itself, one might look at a selection of stock agencies and what they would charge for the use itself as well as the industry status of the image creator, I find it easy to understand how an image created by a top dollar industry pro would be valued higher then an image created by someone just starting out.  I can also see a penalty charged to the user if the rights owner can document clearly that the use violates a personal or philosophical belief.  This would encourage those who have a ‘controversial’ use to look further for an image that they are able to clear the necessary rights. Let’s leave the comparison there. There needs to be an opportunity for the unique circumstances of the specific use, and the status of the creator, to be considered in the fair assessment of a retroactive licensing fee and that likely will need to be arbitrated by qualified people.  If arbitration were made the legal solution it’s possible all parties would find themselves a bit ‘unhappy’ but dealing with a reasonable outcome.  For the moment, I’d vote for arbitration.

In my opinion, the image user really needs to consider the backend liability and measure that against the value of the image they wish to use.  This step, in of itself, will cause many users to find substitute images for some orphans while moving forward using others.  As it stands now, image users are liable for damages when they use an image that has not been properly licensed.  That’s the reason why the Orphan Bill was first introduced, to protect users from huge punitive damage settlements.  The holdup in passing the Bill, so far, and only as the result of massive objections from the copyright holder’s side, is that it does not offer a level playing field for users and copyright owners to come to settlement, fairly.

As we move forward image creators and/or copyright holders will need to do more to protect their creative property.  There are solutions currently in our midst and others under development. Here are a few worth looking into:

Digital watermarking is a process by which a unique identifier is embedded within an image, not the metadata, and can’t be removed. Services, like Digimarc (digimarc.com), are available that allow images, that have been digitally watermarked, to be found by bots that tirelessly search the Internet.  Reports come to the image owner and any image found may be checked against licenses that have been made. Obversely, an image may be checked to see if it contains an imbedded identifier that will lead it ‘home’. This may one day soon become a part of a users routine due diligence.

Image recognition has come a long way.  Tin Eye (tineye.com) is one company that provides image recognition software that one uploads an image to.  The image is then searched for across the Internet.  If the image is found the URL locations of any use are reported may provide a link back to the rights holder.  This is another way users may do a portion of their due diligence in trying to locate a rights holder.

Image registries will be hugely valuable resources as rights holders are able to register their images as they are created and also retroactively. Case in point, PLUS Registry (useplus.org), years in development will soon be a global online resource connecting registries worldwide, images, rights holders and rights information.  PLUS is something to know about and I believe it’s in our near future.  It is well worth your time, as a user or a rights holder, to stop by useplus.org and check it out.

*So, the original question was, When is it okay to publish (or otherwise use) an orphan image?

Knowing now some of the issues surrounding the use of an orphan image I’m revising my answer to be, never… or when your company counsel says it’s okay.

© 2014 Doug Brooks, All Rights Reserved

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Doug Brooks has extensive experience in the field of picture research and licensing, including his leadership of an intrepid group of acquisitions editors at one of the largest general interest book publishers in the United States.  Today, he is a co-founder and co-director at the Image Research Team providing image and video services to publishers and museum exhibition developers. As a photographer, he continues to shoot for the stock market and he serves as an officer on the National Board of Directors of the American Society of Picture Professionals (aspp.com). He may be found at The Image Research Team and LinkedIn.

http://imageresearchteam.com

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=4950451&locale=en_US&trk=tyah&trkInfo=tas%3ADoug%20%2Cidx%3A2-°©‐1-°©‐2

http://aspp.com

Mary Evans Picture Library Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

logo_top     Mary Evans Picture Library, the UK’s leading source for historical images, is delighted to announce that 2014 marks its 50th anniversary. It seems appropriate that a picture library so synonymous with history has reached its own landmark half century, and we look forward to spending this year taking pride in the fifty, fabulous years spent supplying the best and widest range of historical images possible to our clients.

The Mary Evans ‘Golden Jubilee’ is also an opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of Mary and Hilary Evans, who founded the library in 1964. Without their dedication and commitment to amassing their outstanding collection, the library would not exist today and it is testament to their vision that it remains one of the few remaining independents in the industry, drawing daily on that remarkable archive to fulfill requests from customers around the world.

So, to that end, the picture library is planning some very special events this year, including a series of open house parties actually at the library where guests can celebrate with staff while discovering the inner workings of the library and its fascinating collection. An anniversary book has also been produced which looks back over the past fifty years and includes personal anecdotes and little-known facts revealing a unique business like no other. Produced in a limited number, 50 Years of Mary Evans Picture Library will be exclusively given away at selected times and events through the year – it could even become a collectors’ item of the future!

If you are interested in going to one of the open days, and would like to be kept up to date with the Mary Evans anniversary year timetable, please email paul.brown@maryevans.com with ‘Open Day’ in the subject line. In the meantime, Mary Evans Picture Library would like to thank everyone who has been a part of their own fifty years of history and is already looking ahead to the next half century!

 

 

Sell to Designers spending $15,000 a year on Stock Photography!

We’re selling out of tables for HOW’s Stock Photo Expo. Sign up now to make sure you get your spot at the 2014 HOW Design Live Conference.

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The Stock Photo Expo at the HOW Design Live Conference is the single best way for you to sell DIRECTLY to 3,200+ design professionals—and it’s the most effective use of your 2014 marketing budget.

EACH ATTENDEE SPENDS AN AVERAGE OF $15,000 ANNUALLY ON STOCK PHOTOS!

STOCK PHOTO EXPO                                                                                                                               Tuesday, May 13 • 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM

Join us for the Stock Photo Expo, presented in conjunction with PACA! HOW Design Live Conference attendees (including attendees from The Dieline Packaging Design Conference, the In-House Managers Conference, The Creative Freelancer Conference and The Leadership Conference) will visit your table throughout the day providing ample opportunity for them to interact with you.

EXPO EXHIBITORS RECEIVE:

• a table and two chairs on which to display materials from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm in the HOW Design Live Conference registration foyer.
• Electricity and Internet service are available for an additional fee.

***SPECIAL OFFER for PACA Members: As a member of PACA, you can participate in the Stock Photo Expo for just $1,500! Saving $350!

No other event brings together this many experienced, influential buyers of stock photography. In fact, 73% of our 2014 attendees have never been to a HOW Design Conference before. And for 72% of attendees, this is the only event they will attend this year!

There’s no time to wait—space is starting to sell out!

For more information on exhibiting at the 2014 HOW Conference Stock Photo Expo in Boston, contact Elayne Brink Recupero at 267-247-5874 or elaynerecupero@gmail.com.

Image Embedding

PACA’s mission has always been to support a healthy and sustainable market for licensing the use of photographic images, as well as to encourage and support innovative ways for photography to be legally used in the rapidly changing marketplace.  Clearly, models for licensing of photography have had a difficult time keeping pace with changes brought on by the Internet, social media, and the blogosphere.

Recently, Getty Images announced embedding technology that they believe can address a significant source of unauthorized use.  Getty Images’ embedding technology allows the free use of millions of images for “non-commercial” use by bloggers and other editorial websites.  While it is too early to forecast the impact of this new offering from Getty Images or other similar embedding technologies from Stipple, IMGembed, and others, PACA recognizes the need for new approaches to address the proliferation of infringing uses.

PACA believes from the perspective of the industry and photographer communities that there are intriguing opportunities as well as significant concerns from embedding technologies.  These technologies could potentially reduce infringing uses as well as generate new revenue for copyright holders, but there are still many questions to be answered including Getty Images’ definition of “non-commercial use” which appears to allow, not only use in personal blogs and websites, but also in a broader editorial context.  Also unclear is how any revenue from advertising or data monetization will be shared with copyright holders.  PACA also believes it is important for the industry to understand how Getty Images will enforce its terms of service, and what other benefits photographers would derive from the extension of free use.

As businesses explore new solutions to the rapid and revolutionary changes in the way people consume media,  PACA believes its role is more critical than ever to represent our collective interest in protecting the rights of content owners, in refining copyright law, and in educating creators and users in support of an ethical and sustainable marketplace.  As a forum and industry body, PACA will continue to support and promote a dialog around image embedding and other new business models.

United States Court Of Appeals Decision For Copyright Registration

After many years, the Ninth Circuit finally entered a decision in the Alaska Stock, LLC v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company case.  Reversing the district court’s dismissal of Alaska Stock’s copyright infringement claim, the court definitively held that Alaska Stock had “successfully registered the copyright both to its collections and to the individual images contained therein” despite the fact that the name of the photographer and title of each component work was not included in the registration.

In doing so, the Court gave deference to the long-standing Copyright Office registration procedures that had been created in 1995 in conjunction with PACA.  Further, the Court specifically rejected the decisions in other courts that refuse to honor registrations because they fail to name all of the photographers and titles of each photograph in a collective work.

It is clear that the Ninth Circuit understood the repercussions of its decision.  In conclusion, the Court stated:

We are not performing a mere verbal, abstract task when we construe the Copyright Act. We are affecting the fortunes of people, many of whose fortunes are small. The stock agencies through their trade association worked out what they should do to register images with the Register of Copyrights, the Copyright Office established a clear procedure and the stock agencies followed it. The Copyright Office has maintained its procedure for three decades, spanning multiple administrations. The livelihoods of photographers and stock agencies have long been founded on their compliance with the Register’s reasonable interpretation of the statute. Their reliance upon a reasonable and longstanding administrative interpretation should be honored. Denying the fruits of reliance by citizens on a longstanding administrative practice reasonably construing a statute is unjust.

Styles in food photography: StockFood presents “Perfectly Imperfect”

StockFood is number one in the worldwide licensing market for professional food photography. For more than 30 years the Munich-based media service has offered an extensive portfolio of food images. Recognizing new trends in food photography is the heart of this highly specialized business. Now StockFood’s culinary trend scouts have once again identified a new style of food photography that will influence the market.  StockFood has named this new imagery, whose spontaneity describes the spirit of our times, “Perfectly Imperfect.” 

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“Perfectly Imperfect” characterizes food images that strike the viewer as spontaneous and unstaged. Instead of luxury kitchen accessories, the props arouse associations with student life and consist of everyday objects found in every kitchen. Sophisticated food is not presented on expensive china, but simply placed on parchment paper. Seemingly random half-eaten pieces of cake, used cutlery or an empty plate containing mere crumbs are captured in the image. Crumbs and food stains bridge the gap between creative culinary art and real life.

“Perfectly Imperfect” has its origins in the food blogger scene. Thousands of hobby cooks photograph their creative dishes hot off the stove and present them to fans on the web. The blogger scene focuses on the unbridled desire to experiment, taste, try and enjoy. Unlike the professional results produced by trained chefs, these images are spontaneous and reflect real life where accidents can happen. But they always demonstrate the pride and joy of cooking, baking and producing great food.

Authentic, natural and immediate – that’s the way the new style presents itself. Once the compulsion for perfection is overcome, what really counts comes into focus – the fun of experimentation, originality and pure passion. “Perfectly Imperfect” delivers the message: whatever I can do — you can too!

StockFood trend scouts identify and communicate new imagery styles long before they become main stream. In recent years StockFood has identified “Mystic Light” (2012) and “Passion Fruits” (2011) as new trends in food photography. But while they required elaborate food styling, “Perfectly Imperfect” radically departs from highly orchestrated images. It is uninhibited, playful and spontaneous. Professional food photographers have now discovered the possibilities of this new style, even though their casual-appearing images are very carefully planned.

StockFood president and CEO Pete A. Eising is a fan of “Perfectly Imperfect:” and states, “this new unconventional style is opposite of the high-gloss lifestyle that we know from advertising and the media. It is based on the element of surprise, which attracts the attention of oversaturated consumers.”

Experienced trend specialist Petra Thierry of StockFood‘s Photographers & Art Department is convinced “Perfectly Imperfect” will soon separate itself from the blogger scene. “Just think of all the new cook books and lifestyle media that use this kind of imagery to rouse the emotions of their readers. Perfectly styled food images will continue to dominate advertising, but in the editorial sector spontaneity and individuality are on the rise.”

StockFood presents its own new collection of “Perfectly Imperfect” images on its website

(http://usa.stockfood.com/perfectly-imperfect). In choosing these images, some of which stem from renowned food bloggers like Beatrice Peltre and Samantha Linsell, StockFood has applied its usual criterion, assuring that all images, regardless of the theme, meet the highest quality standards.

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Visual Connections Interview with Cathy Aron, PACA Executive Director

Courtesy of Visual Connections.  Originally published on Visual Connection’s Blog: http://www.visualconnections.com/blog

Michael Masterson and I ( Ellen Herbert) were speaking about the history of our industry. Again and again, one name came up as a leader and advocate for all things stock photography. And as a result, I asked Michael to interview Cathy Aron.

Cathy Aron has been the Executive Director of PACA, the Digital Licensing Media Association, since 2006. Prior to that she was a longtime member as well as the president. Her involvement in the image industry goes back to her childhood – literally. Cathy and I talked recently about her background and where she sees PACA and the industry today.

Michael Masterson: You basically grew up in this industry. Tell me about your father and how he, and later you, got involved.

Cathy Aron: Actually, my father, Nat Harrison, was a jeweler, but he was a frustrated photographer and had done photography during the war and after. He even had a dark room built at the back of our house. When he and my mother started traveling around the world, he took photos and would do slide shows at schools. When he needed fill-in and title slide images he used a place called Wolfe Worldwide Films in Santa Monica. They specialized in selling duplicate slides inexpensively to schools and individuals.  In 1978, WWF was for sale and my dad decided to buy it for something to do in his retirement (which was a few years off) and he asked if I wanted to run it. I was raising my children at the time, looking at for a part-time something to do. So I traveled to Santa Monica everyday from Mission Viejo (about 60 miles and in California that can be forever!) for a few months learning the photography business before moving it to Mission Viejo. A few months after we took over the business, my dad suddenly passed away at 60 leaving a mortgage on WWF, a jewelry business, and a devastated family. I didn’t want my mom to be burdened with the business loan, so I took over WWF and realized that there was something else that you could do with the originals and I began learning all I could about the stock photo end of the business.

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Michael: You had your own agency, Photo Network, for a long time. How did it get started?

Cathy: I found a partner, Gerry McDonald, who knew more than I did about the rights management part of the business and together we formed Photo Network. We built a nice general stock agency. She had a collection of images from a multimedia company called Pix Productions she and her husband had plus I had the travel images from WWF. Then we began representing photographers, selling mainly to ad agencies and developers. My partner died after about fifteen years, but I continued with Photo Network for 27 years.

Michael: You came to PACA at a very turbulent time in its history. How did you become the executive director?

Cathy: I was president of PACA after we fired our executive director in 2002. We realized she had embezzled a lot of money from the association. So, for two years I served as the president without an ED. It was a tough time for the organization but also an amazing time as everyone pitched in to save PACA, both monetarily and with their time and efforts.  It did, however, take an incredible amount of time from my business. When it was feasible to hire an executive director again, I had just made the decision to sell Photo Network, so I applied for the job along with many others and was lucky to get it.

Michael: What are some of the things you’re proudest of during your time as ED at PACA?

Cathy: One would certainly be the organization, with Cathy Sachs, then executive director of ASPP, of the associations group. It was originally over the proposed Orphan Works Legislation, but we still continue to meet today. When we brought everyone together back in 2006 (I think that’s right) it was the first time we had gathered all the visual arts associations together in one room to discuss mutual interests. The participation and co-operative outreach of this group has enabled us to gain much more impact that each association would have individually. We have worked together on amicus briefs, statements for the copyright office and lobbying to the congress for legislation favorable to our industry.

I’m also very proud of pacaSearch that is the one benefit of our organization which directly benefits the business of our members. It’s the mega search engine that helps to level the playing field between large and small agencies allowing buyers to find the library that has the best images for theirs needs. It’s free to all PACA members. A recent survey by Visual Steam showed it came in as the fifth most-used site for buyers.

pacasearch

It’s also been wonderful working with Nancy Wolff and getting a much broader understanding of all the copyright issues and knowing that we have the best possible representation with her at the helm. Her expertise and standing in the copyright community gives PACA it’s best chance to make an impact.

 Michael: What are some other PACA highlights during your tenure?

Cathy: Our PACA Conferences would be definite highlights. We have had some amazing meetings over the last few years and we’ve provided our members with excellent opportunities to learn and grow their businesses with the information provided at these events. Moving out of a hotel last year and teaming up with Visual Connections has given a new spark to the meeting and we are looking forward to even more exciting innovations this year.

Our efforts in copyright education and outreach to schools and the community have and remain a priority for PACA.  Colleges and universities throughout the country as well as many high schools use our Power Point presentation.

Also, our efforts with the publishers to work on contracts that are equitable to both sides was rewarded this year with a contract with Cengage that we feel has great language and terms for agencies.

It’s also been great getting new people involved in the industry. I have always been a firm believer that you get back more than you give.

Michael: What issues is PACA addressing right now and what other major industry issues do you see?

Cathy: We’re still on top of the copyright office’s debate on a Copyright Small Claims.  This is a vital discussion for the industry and we’ve responded to the Copyright Office’s three requests for comments on remedies with many of our suggestions included in their report.

We are also a complainant in the ASMP vs. Google Books case.  We will be part of an amicus brief for the Authors Guild appeal vs. Google Books. We are working right now on Patent Trolling and engaging the agencies that have been sued by Uniloc.  This is a very serious problem for our members and non-members alike and we are actively perusing ways to help them collectively find materials to fight these claims.

I think that piracy and copyright infringement continue to be the biggest issues facing our industry. Upholding copyright is the biggest challenge to all of us.

Michael: The organization has changed like so many other industry trade associations. Talk about the challenges it’s facing and how you and your board are dealing with them.

Cathy: Buy-outs and consolidations have been the biggest challenges to PACA in the last 5-10 years. Our association has definitely felt the impact of the closure of many of the smaller agencies. Newer tech companies don’t always feel the value of an association, but the board is trying to reach out to the newer players and give them benefits that will appeal to them. The issues that face our industry will impact all the people in the industry, no matter what their structure is, so it is important that we work together to protect copyright or there will be no business.

Michael: One last question. As someone who obviously loves photography, if you could choose one photograph to hang in your living room, what would it be?

Cathy: This is an impossible question. As Ron [Cathy’s husband] will tell you, I have a very eclectic taste in art. I love the photographs of Ansel Adams and Arnold Newman, Annie Leibowitz, Art Wolff, etc., etc.  But I’m also drawn to the work of new artists.  I love beautiful scenics and graphic black and whites. I could never choose just one!

(c) Christina Gandolfo

© Christina Gandolfo

More about PACA here: pacaoffice.org

Cathy can be reached here: execdirector@pacaoffice.org

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Michael Masterson has a broad range of experience in marketing, business development, strategic planning, contact negotiations and recruiting in the photography, graphic design and publishing industries. In addition to his long experience at the Workbook and Workbookstock, Masterson owned and was creative director of his own graphic design firm for several years. Masterson has been a speaker or panelist at industry events such as Seybold, PhotoPlus Expo, Visual Connections and the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) national conference. He is past national president of the American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP). He currently heads Masterson Consulting, working on projects ranging from business development for creative companies and sourcing talent for them to promoting and marketing industry events as well as providing resume and professional profile services for job-seekers. He can be reached at michaeldmasterson@gmail.com.

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