Getty knows the Web's worth

HAVE YOU ever been told that you should sign away your web rights because they aren't worth anything? That certainly isn't the view of the Hulton Getty Archive, inheritor of the BBC's archive of still images.

I was asking to borrow a 1954 shot of a suburban house being moved on a lorry, to illustrate a report I'd written about building more houses without creating more traffic on the roads. The report is published on the web.

Ian Turp of the archive explained it would cost £550 plus VAT. I said, couldn't he do it for a bit less, as we'd be doing well if a few hundred people downloaded the report?

No, says Ian, who genuinely wanted to help. This is worldwide publication, for a year. Me: But surely if we were using the photo in a magazine with a circulation of tens of thousands it would be a fraction of the price? Yes, he replies. Well under £100.

So why aren't we charging five or six times as much again for work used on the web?

Last modified: 24 August 2001 - © 2001 contributors
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