This week, Twentieth Century Fox discovered one of their characters, Bart Simpson, in the pages of our beloved Skatebook. Skatebook is a quarterly hard cover coffee table skateboarding book made possible by Mike Ballard, featuring some of the world’s best skateboard and culture photography. Unfortunately, it looks like Fox is suing Skatebook for depeicting Bartman “shredding skateboarding’s most famous spots.” Most likely this means the end for Ballard and his books. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these books, they’re about to skyrocket in worth! Check out the site and books while you still can.
TG sent me the following rant this morning. He mentioned that when his basement flooded all those years ago, he was able to get compensated for his lost slides. He said this compensation helped him stay afloat while he was starting Nemo Design. Thank god for that money or else I wouldn’t be here! Now, a precedent has been set that a professional photographer’s original slide is only worth $7. Is this for real? The scathing rant below points out that at that price it would be cheaper to compensate an artist then send back the slides?
If you thought that the money you had given to this or that photo trade organization was useful, think again. ASMP, APA, EP, PPA, WHNPA, SA, and all of the other siblings are guilty of the same crime. Silence. Chris Usher has lost his appeal after a seven year battle against Corbis and each of his 12,640 images lost will be compensated for a lousy $7.00 a piece.
This ruling means that from now on, any agency, any magazine, any publisher will never have to worry about losing your photographs, since it will cost them peanuts to pay you back. It will be cheaper for them to trash them then returning them to you.
Also guilty are PDN, supposedly a trade news magazine, and other photography blogs, that are more interested in getting volumes of traffic to please their advertiser rather than report fairly on this industry.
They should all be put on the wall of shame for ignoring one of the longest and possibly important case in modern photography. Chris Usher was maybe crazy to take on the infinite cash Corbis but he did what he thought was a fair battle and lost. Not just because he couldn’t afford a legal team as powerful as the Bill Gates funded Corbis, but also because everyone ignore his battle, probably thinking it was a personal one.
In times where it is even more challenging to be a photographer than ever before, it is sad to see how helpless this industry has become, especially on the photographer’s side. It is sad to see how apathetic everyone is in face of challenges that will surely, one day, affect them too. Finally, it sad to see that, in the face of adversity, a photographer has no friends.