Right of reply

How the giants really work

Andrew Wiard, the photographer quoted in your April front page lead "A World to Win", really should know better than to address London Freelance Branch without a tape recorder. Difficult to know where his speech ends and misquotation begins. Let me just correct one particularly misleading par:

This was damaging in two main areas, said Wiard.

Firstly, the twin giants and their satellites try to arm-wrestle every photographer they deal with into signing all-rights-grabbing contracts, or commission them on a work-for-hire basis which means that, under American law at least, they never own copyright in their work anyway.

Corbis and Getty most certainly do not seek to impose all-rights contracts on every photographer. They seek to impose agency deals on most which in most cases are less favourable to the photographer than those they replace. Getty is now trying to get all rights to an increasing share of the photographs they distribute by commissioning some photographers on work-for-hire contracts. Whether these photographers work in America or the UK, the effect is the same - they lose all rights.

Can't believe everything you read in the papers. But we at least should try to get it right.

Last modified: 18 April 2003 - © 2003 contributors
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