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Thread: Using my large format image for book cover.

  1. #1

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    Using my large format image for book cover.

    I have a question. I offered up a portrait shot I shot on black and white film with large format, of someone who was having an autobiography done of his life, and it was used on the back cover of the book. It was a kickstarted project, they got funding, book was published and now has been sold to Random House for a hard cover version with more about the guy. Now they want to use the image for the front cover. I originally gave them permission, verbally to use it on the back cover only for the kickstarted project and no contract or money passed hands. OK by me. Question is, how best to handle the issue of using it on the front cover now that it's being republished and will most likely wind up in major book stores. The guy feels that he's doing me a great favor by using my image and is sure fame and fortune will follow me for it. Not. I really don't mind them using it and I have no expectations of anything coming from it, but there is a community of photographers out there and I don't feel like I'm working in a vacuum here. Just want to be mindful and respectful of others, and would like to know what the general thinking is out there. What could I reasonably expect from the publishing house, if anything? Would I hold onto intellectual property rights for my image? If I need to relinquish them, should I not be compensated? Just want to keep my expectations reasonable.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    Are you talking directly with the publisher about the cover image? If so, ask them what's their budget for the cover & see what they say.

    You will want to put a contract together to state the terms of the usage. The photo is yours & allowing them to use it does not change that fact.

    To my knowledge most books don't sell in the volume needed to make much money & if it's being published by a publishing company, the author will only make a very small amount of those sales. Usually, the author will do much better to buy directly from the publisher at a discount & sell books "out of their trunk" so to speak.

  3. #3
    bdkphoto
    Guest

    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    Random House has a budget for cover art - use fotoquote or Getty to see what the price range should be > you will need to know how large they plan on running the image and the print run for the edition and whether it will be distributed worldwide or just NA. Submit your contract in writing with the terms and price.

  4. #4
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    Quote Originally Posted by RPippin View Post
    The guy feels that he's doing me a great favor ...
    I'm starting to consider it a matter of professional ethics push back hard against this kind of thing. I try to keep a cool head, but to use it as a teachable moment. It's not just for the sake of photographers. Writers, composers, musicians, illustrators ... everyone in "content creation" gets fed this line, and the people doing the feeding actually seem to believe it.

    Just today a publisher wanted to use an image and sent me this:

    1. You, the Licensor, are granting to the Publisher, Oxford University Press USA and its assignees, a non-exclusive worldwide license to reproduce the Images in black and white, or in color in any and all editions of the Work and to publicly distribute copies of editions of the Work containing some or all of the Images.
    2. The Images may also be used by the Publisher and companies and individuals authorized by the Publisher:
    (A) in any other form of the Work or part thereof in any format (including but not limited to print and electronic formats) or medium, including, but not limited to, adaptations of the Work, revised and condensed versions of the Work and excerpts from the Work ("Other Versions"); and
    (B) in advertising, promotion and publicity for the Work and Other Versions.
    3. You represent that you are the owner of the copyright in the Images and have the full right, power and authority to grant the license granted by this Permission.
    4. This Permission is being granted without charge.
    5. The Publisher will provide the credit line specified below for each of the Images for inclusion in the Book when and if the Image is used in the Work.
    6. This Permission is irrevocable and will remain in effect as long as the Work is protected by copyright anywhere in the world.
    7. This Permission contains all of the terms and conditions relating to the license granted by this Permission.

    Among a few other things, I told them that I considered it unethical for a publisher just to request such encompassing rights. Naive people will get duped into this, and everyone suffers.

  5. #5

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    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post

    Just today a publisher wanted to use an image and sent me this:

    1. You, the Licensor, are granting to the Publisher, Oxford University Press USA and its assignees, a non-exclusive worldwide license to reproduce the Images in black and white, or in color in any and all editions of the Work and to publicly distribute copies of editions of the Work containing some or all of the Images.
    2. The Images may also be used by the Publisher and companies and individuals authorized by the Publisher:
    (A) in any other form of the Work or part thereof in any format (including but not limited to print and electronic formats) or medium, including, but not limited to, adaptations of the Work, revised and condensed versions of the Work and excerpts from the Work ("Other Versions"); and
    (B) in advertising, promotion and publicity for the Work and Other Versions.
    3. You represent that you are the owner of the copyright in the Images and have the full right, power and authority to grant the license granted by this Permission.
    4. This Permission is being granted without charge.
    5. The Publisher will provide the credit line specified below for each of the Images for inclusion in the Book when and if the Image is used in the Work.
    6. This Permission is irrevocable and will remain in effect as long as the Work is protected by copyright anywhere in the world.
    7. This Permission contains all of the terms and conditions relating to the license granted by this Permission.

    Among a few other things, I told them that I considered it unethical for a publisher just to request such encompassing rights. Naive people will get duped into this, and everyone suffers.

    That's outrageous. Copyright is pretty much worthless at that point.

  6. #6
    Richard Johnson
    Guest

    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    You are the copyright holder unless you sign your rights away, which you shouldn't. I am sure that even when J. K. Rowling was an unknown on welfare and her first works were being published, the publisher paid the photographer at least a small amount.

    If you want to do the guy a favor or the buyer cries poverty, don't charge thousands but limit the usage rights of your copyrighted photo to this first edition of 5,000 copies in North America for a period of so many years, non-exclusive. Then if there is a secondary usage you can get a little more income, and if he becomes super-famous then you have the option to charge a lot more, sell to other outlets, etc.

    For every item they want - exclusivity, geographic reach, larger press run, second edition, etc. you get a little more money. Of course there is a some horse trading, you have to stay within the realm of them still making a profit or not hiring some low-baller to do a replacement alternative shot. So the better and more unique your photo is, the more it is worth.

    As despicable as Getty Images is, signing in and pretending to buy an image so you can see their prices and terms is very enlightening!

    That's the way professional photography works until someone foolishly gives their photos away, glad you aren't going to do that!!!

  7. #7
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Johnson View Post
    You are the copyright holder unless you sign your rights away, which you shouldn't. I am sure that even when J. K. Rowling was an unknown on welfare and her first works were being published, the publisher paid the photographer at least a small amount.

    If you want to do the guy a favor or the buyer cries poverty, don't charge thousands but limit the usage rights of your copyrighted photo to this first edition of 5,000 copies in North America for a period of so many years, non-exclusive. Then if there is a secondary usage you can get a little more income, and if he becomes super-famous then you have the option to charge a lot more, sell to other outlets, etc.

    For every item they want - exclusivity, geographic reach, larger press run, second edition, etc. you get a little more money. Of course there is a some horse trading, you have to stay within the realm of them still making a profit or not hiring some low-baller to do a replacement alternative shot. So the better and more unique your photo is, the more it is worth.

    As despicable as Getty Images is, signing in and pretending to buy an image so you can see their prices and terms is very enlightening!

    That's the way professional photography works until someone foolishly gives their photos away, glad you aren't going to do that!!!
    I've been thinking of signing up to Getty as a photographer, but I don't even know enough to know if I'll be duping myself into giving stuff away haha

  8. #8
    Richard Johnson
    Guest

    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    Part of the official Getty Photographer Welcome Package....

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Free-shipping-3-5-10cm-WILD-fox-tail-anal-plug-butt-plug-anal-sex-toy-for.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	93.7 KB 
ID:	119795

  9. #9
    I live in Connecticut now.
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
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    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Johnson View Post
    Part of the official Getty Photographer Welcome Package....

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Free-shipping-3-5-10cm-WILD-fox-tail-anal-plug-butt-plug-anal-sex-toy-for.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	93.7 KB 
ID:	119795
    That's not dissuading me...

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Re: Using my large format image for book cover.

    One thing I've learned is that whenever anyone starts talking about all the great exposure I'm going to get is that they don't have any intentions of paying anything or it's going to cost me something. I've been published in Focus, (that cost me and only gave me dubious bragging rights), credit for work done for a client of Scout magazine that looked more like a run in the carpet, (I actually had to use a magnifying glass to see it). So I'll write up something in the form of a contract where I keep rights to the image or they will have to give me a choice in size and color for the welcome page gift.

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