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On exclusivity. Some of the established news agencies require exclusivity initially (week/month) especially for hot news. Are people comfortable with that where the agency is actively pushing the new images out to the market as opposed to simply putting them on a web site?

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nothing should be exclusive anymore at the prices we are selling for.

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nothing should be exclusive anymore at the prices we are selling for.

 

I am still seeing high prices in 2016, both here and at GI.

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I think Richard touches on the elephant in the room. I am not with Corbis, so this doesn't impact me directly. But would I really want to sign up to a contributor contract made subject to Chinese law, or entrust my IP with them? I think not. I have had to deal with Chinese IP registration and disputes as a lawyer on behalf of corporate clients, and there is little joy (but lots of frustration and dubious legal processes) to be had there.

I sell lots of images in Japan and China! fair enough they go for technology and industry, engineering, etc but even so.  I worked out my average price per sale and regardless of RM or RF, my cut: $.147.

Now that isn't so bad considering our US and European based agencies are very often selling for pennies and cents.

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Thanks.  A bit poor just to ditch such a site with no contact with the contributors at all.  Good to see that PAN say "We are onto VCG to see if we can get on an email address for Demotix contributors or an email sent to them re the situation."

 

I only ever contributed one story to them, so no skin off my nose, but very poor business practice, all the same.

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Thanks.  A bit poor just to ditch such a site with no contact with the contributors at all.  Good to see that PAN say "We are onto VCG to see if we can get on an email address for Demotix contributors or an email sent to them re the situation."

 

I only ever contributed one story to them, so no skin off my nose, but very poor business practice, all the same.

 

You have to remember that companies are essentially amoral (not immoral) so this will all too often be the case. Especially when the management of the company concerned is under stress for whatever reason.

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Thanks.  A bit poor just to ditch such a site with no contact with the contributors at all.  Good to see that PAN say "We are onto VCG to see if we can get on an email address for Demotix contributors or an email sent to them re the situation."

 

I only ever contributed one story to them, so no skin off my nose, but very poor business practice, all the same.

 

 

I totally agree. But that's life in the digital world. Here today, gone tomorrow, with the click of a mouse.

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Worth also bearing in mind that Corbis' assets have not been sold directly to VCG, but an affiliate - Unity Glory - owned by VCG' major shareholders (which includes Chinese government shareholders), Many of those corporate shareholders will be a front for who knows who or what. Like many high end Chinese real estate transactions in western cities, I expect it is almost impossible to determine who the real beneficial owner is, though it would be a fair assumption based on what is known of real estate transactions that they will likely be the "princelings" - Chinese government political elites. When the whole Ponzi scheme that is the Chinese banking scheme eventually collapses, and their sharemarket suggests that might already be happening, then what becomes of all the assets (including IP) held by those companies? I know this is the big picture stuff, but I'd be pretty uncomfortable if I was a Corbis contributor.

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Worth also bearing in mind that Corbis' assets have not been sold directly to VCG, but an affiliate - Unity Glory - owned by VCG' major shareholders (which includes Chinese government shareholders), Many of those corporate shareholders will be a front for who knows who or what. Like many high end Chinese real estate transactions in western cities, I expect it is almost impossible to determine who the real beneficial owner is, though it would be a fair assumption based on what is known of real estate transactions that they will likely be the "princelings" - Chinese government political elites. When the whole Ponzi scheme that is the Chinese banking scheme eventually collapses, and their sharemarket suggests that might already be happening, then what becomes of all the assets (including IP) held by those companies? I know this is the big picture stuff, but I'd be pretty uncomfortable if I was a Corbis contributor.

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Worth also bearing in mind that Corbis' assets have not been sold directly to VCG, but an affiliate - Unity Glory - owned by VCG' major shareholders (which includes Chinese government shareholders), Many of those corporate shareholders will be a front for who knows who or what. Like many high end Chinese real estate transactions in western cities, I expect it is almost impossible to determine who the real beneficial owner is, though it would be a fair assumption based on what is known of real estate transactions that they will likely be the "princelings" - Chinese government political elites. When the whole Ponzi scheme that is the Chinese banking scheme eventually collapses, and their sharemarket suggests that might already be happening, then what becomes of all the assets (including IP) held by those companies? I know this is the big picture stuff, but I'd be pretty uncomfortable if I was a Corbis contributor.

 

As a resident of Vancouver, where high-end Chinese real estate investment is rampant (fault of slack Canadian laws). I tend to agree. I've had direct experience with Chinese investments being fronts for other questionable endeavours, but I won't go into detail. Hopefully, Alamy will steer clear of all this financial finagling.

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Worth also bearing in mind that Corbis' assets have not been sold directly to VCG, but an affiliate - Unity Glory - owned by VCG' major shareholders (which includes Chinese government shareholders), Many of those corporate shareholders will be a front for who knows who or what. Like many high end Chinese real estate transactions in western cities, I expect it is almost impossible to determine who the real beneficial owner is, though it would be a fair assumption based on what is known of real estate transactions that they will likely be the "princelings" - Chinese government political elites. When the whole Ponzi scheme that is the Chinese banking scheme eventually collapses, and their sharemarket suggests that might already be happening, then what becomes of all the assets (including IP) held by those companies? I know this is the big picture stuff, but I'd be pretty uncomfortable if I was a Corbis contributor.

 

 
Not fair to the Chinese.
 
You could replace the word “Chinese” in your post with any nation in the world.
 
Every country in the world is engaged in the same type of behavior. Corruption is everywhere. It’s a rat race out there.
 

 

Even the Swiss were Hitler’s bankers.
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Worth also bearing in mind that Corbis' assets have not been sold directly to VCG, but an affiliate - Unity Glory - owned by VCG' major shareholders (which includes Chinese government shareholders), Many of those corporate shareholders will be a front for who knows who or what. Like many high end Chinese real estate transactions in western cities, I expect it is almost impossible to determine who the real beneficial owner is, though it would be a fair assumption based on what is known of real estate transactions that they will likely be the "princelings" - Chinese government political elites. When the whole Ponzi scheme that is the Chinese banking scheme eventually collapses, and their sharemarket suggests that might already be happening, then what becomes of all the assets (including IP) held by those companies? I know this is the big picture stuff, but I'd be pretty uncomfortable if I was a Corbis contributor.

 

 
Not fair to the Chinese.
 
You could replace the word “Chinese” in your post with any nation in the world.
 
Every country in the world is engaged in the same type of behavior. Corruption is everywhere. It’s a rat race out there.
 

 

Even the Swiss were Hitler’s bankers.

 

 

Yes, that's true, but more investment money -- much of it from dubious origins -- is coming out of China than from anywhere else at the moment.

 

Don't get me started on rapacious Canadian international mining companies...

Edited by John Mitchell

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nothing should be exclusive anymore at the prices we are selling for.

 

I am still seeing high prices in 2016, both here and at GI.

 

 

Ditto.

 

Indeed, if one was going to do a simplistic "analysis" of my earnings by way of an "exclusive versus non-exclusive" comparison (and I'm not going to because it would be as meaningless as advocating NO exclusivity), one would see a case for MORE exclusivity.

 

IMO it's a danger to extrapolate one's own results to the whole world of stock photography, just as it's a danger to single out the Chinese for obfuscated financial deals.

 

dd

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Worth also bearing in mind that Corbis' assets have not been sold directly to VCG, but an affiliate - Unity Glory - owned by VCG' major shareholders (which includes Chinese government shareholders), Many of those corporate shareholders will be a front for who knows who or what. Like many high end Chinese real estate transactions in western cities, I expect it is almost impossible to determine who the real beneficial owner is, though it would be a fair assumption based on what is known of real estate transactions that they will likely be the "princelings" - Chinese government political elites. When the whole Ponzi scheme that is the Chinese banking scheme eventually collapses, and their sharemarket suggests that might already be happening, then what becomes of all the assets (including IP) held by those companies? I know this is the big picture stuff, but I'd be pretty uncomfortable if I was a Corbis contributor.

 

 
Not fair to the Chinese.
 
You could replace the word “Chinese” in your post with any nation in the world.
 
Every country in the world is engaged in the same type of behavior. Corruption is everywhere. It’s a rat race out there.
 

 

Even the Swiss were Hitler’s bankers.

 

 

Yes, that's true, but more investment money -- much of it from dubious origins -- is coming out of China than from anywhere else at the moment.

 

Don't get me started on rapacious Canadian international mining companies...

 

 

Picking up the Chinese real estate thread again, and picking Canada's neighbour as an example, the USA now does indeed have more real estate investment money coming out of China than anywere else at the moment . . .  Up until 2015 though, it was . . . Canada :-)

 

It's all a matter of where you stand, where you look, when you look--a principle that should be familiar to we photographers ;)

 

dd

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.. that's life in the digital world. Here today, gone tomorrow, with the click of a mouse.

 

Never a truer word.

 

Richard.

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Yes, but the issue here is a Chinese company has bought Corbis, not a company incorporated anywhere else, so the corruption or otherwise of other nations is irrelevant to this discussion. That said, I don't think anyone could any all seriousness suggest that the rule of law exists in China (or any other authoritarian regime) is in anyway comparable to western democracies. It is an indisputable fact that their legal system and processes are riddled with corruption. Anyone who has dealt with their legal system has first hand experience of this. I have seen foreign companies lose all their IP to unscrupulous Chinese partners / manufacturers who register in their own name, and foreign companies get nowhere through the legal system, particularly when local companies pay "success fees" to the relevant officials. On the real estate issue, same issue in Australia, UK, etc. There have been a number of quality investigative journalism reports tracing the money trail, here and elsewhere. I think it was the New Yorker that had an article this week on Manhattan. I am not being rascist, would happily throw every other country that turn up at the bottom of the heap in corruption indexes, but it happens to be the Chinese who have bought Corbis.

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Yes, but the issue here is a Chinese company has bought Corbis, not a company incorporated anywhere else, so the corruption or otherwise of other nations is irrelevant to this discussion. That said, I don't think anyone could any all seriousness suggest that the rule of law exists in China (or any other authoritarian regime) is in anyway comparable to western democracies. It is an indisputable fact that their legal system and processes are riddled with corruption. Anyone who has dealt with their legal system has first hand experience of this. I have seen foreign companies lose all their IP to unscrupulous Chinese partners / manufacturers who register in their own name, and foreign companies get nowhere through the legal system, particularly when local companies pay "success fees" to the relevant officials. On the real estate issue, same issue in Australia, UK, etc. There have been a number of quality investigative journalism reports tracing the money trail, here and elsewhere. I think it was the New Yorker that had an article this week on Manhattan. I am not being rascist, would happily throw every other country that turn up at the bottom of the heap in corruption indexes, but it happens to be the Chinese who have bought Corbis.

 

Ummmmm . . . your point is . . . ?

 

dd

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My point is.... There was a suggestion I was singling out the Chinese, when other regimes are equally corrupt. That is no doubt true, but it is a Chinese company that has bought Corbis, so didn't see the relevance of discussing corruption generally, Personally, if I had to decide, I would be very hesitant about a Chinese company managing licensing of my IP, for all the reasons already mentioned. Simple as that. Others have also diverted into slightly off topic issues about real estate investment, and hedge funds, so not quite sure I understand your specific issue with me commenting as well? Anyhow, since I thankfully don't have to make that choice, the whole transaction is of little personal importance to me. I just hope Alamy doesn't follow suit.

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My point is.... There was a suggestion I was singling out the Chinese, when other regimes are equally corrupt. That is no doubt true, but it is a Chinese company that has bought Corbis, so didn't see the relevance of discussing corruption generally, Personally, if I had to decide, I would be very hesitant about a Chinese company managing licensing of my IP, for all the reasons already mentioned. Simple as that. Others have also diverted into slightly off topic issues about real estate investment, and hedge funds, so not quite sure I understand your specific issue with me commenting as well? Anyhow, since I thankfully don't have to make that choice, the whole transaction is of little personal importance to me. I just hope Alamy doesn't follow suit.

 

Any new contracts will be Getty ones. I already let Chinese distributors, that sounds like I have any choice which I don't, sell licenses for me and very glad of it too....becoming a quite lucrative market. My only China related issue is the other China...ie. Taiwan and it's 20% withholding tax.... brought into focus for me with a nice sale this month with a bite taken out of it.....

 

Sure there are things wrong in China but many things right and it's very difficult to throw stones these days without hitting your own windows....

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I think the China concern is a sign of the times, however that concern is also behind the times. 

 
Some people in the west used to fear the Americans because they were top dog with all their money etc. Today the American empire is being eclipsed by the Chinese empire, so now some people fear the Chinese with all their money etc.
 
I hear lots of complaints on this forum about western companies stealing IP. How about Google images? or scraper sites? The Chinese do not have a monopoly on stealing IP. The only way to completely protect your IP is to is to not show it to anyone, ever.
 
There is a point where you have to take a calculated risk and work with partners. You will be ripped of by some, but to do nothing will only hurt you more.
 
Canada has a very small market. In Canada we cannot survive without trading abroad. We are forced to trade with those bigger hard nosed running foreign dog devils in the USA, Europe, UK, Russia, China, Japan, etc
 
As the Chinese empire moves away from manufacturing, towards their own Chinese IP it will pay the Chinese empire to respect everyone’s IP. Big western companies have been working in China for years, because China is too large and too wealthy to ignore.
 
Making money is about taking a calculated risk in order to get in early. If we wait until everyone else is making money from China with IP, it will be too late for us.
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Of course, protecting IP also becomes a convenient means for acheiving broader censorship goals as well: http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/25/technology/bill-gates-corbis/

 

I think it will be very interesting to watch this space and see what happens to Corbis' news archive images (and future news images of course) which traverse issues the Chinese government would rather suppress. Again, this may actually be a good thing for Alamy if the new owners do restrict what news images they will or won't licence.

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Of course, protecting IP also becomes a convenient means for acheiving broader censorship goals as well: http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/25/technology/bill-gates-corbis/

 

I think it will be very interesting to watch this space and see what happens to Corbis' news archive images (and future news images of course) which traverse issues the Chinese government would rather suppress. Again, this may actually be a good thing for Alamy if the new owners do restrict what news images they will or won't licence.

 

 

Good point.

 
Here is something about early Corbis history from Wikipedia:
 
“Corbis focused on digitizing content and acquiring rights to images. Corbis signed agreements with the National Gallery of London, the Library of Congress, the Sakamoto Archive, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.[9]
 
In October 1995, the company purchased the Bettmann Archive collection, which included the pre-1983 photo library of United Press International and its predecessor photo agencies, Acme and INP, the photo arm of the International News Service. Prior to acquiring the Bettmann Archive, Corbis represented roughly 500,000 images, a total that increased exponentially when the Bettmann drawings, artworks, news photographs, and other illustrations were added to the company's portfolio. In all the Bettmann Archive contained 16 million images.[10] The archive was stored 220 feet underground in a refrigerated cave in the Iron Mountain storage facility,[11]
 
In 1995 the company won a contract with its first major photographer, Roger Ressmeyer, followed by several more, including Galen Rowell; this signalled growing interest in the world of professional photography, which up to that point had not taken the company seriously.[9] In 1996 the company acquired the exclusive rights to approximately 40,000 images photographed by wilderness photographer Ansel Adams.[12]”
 
Here is a story about the Corbis storage facilities in Iron Mountain.
 
 
History of the USA there. Who owns the historic images? To my mind, it is not about marketing the digital rights, it is about who owns the historic artifact itself. I wonder if Corbis has made provision to leave the USA historic artifacts in the USA? Maybe donate any originals, that Corbis owns, to the US Library of Congress?
 
In 1984 photographers in Canada enlisted Canadian government help, on cultural grounds, to stop a foreign takeover of a Canadian stock photo agency. They stopped the takeover then, but it probably could not be done today.

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This from Variety:

 

"In a separate, but related, deal Visual China signed a deal with Getty Images, that will enable Getty customers to access the Corbis Images library. Previously, Visual China has partnered with Getty Images for over a decade to market and distribute Getty Images’ content exclusively in China.

After a transition period, Getty Images will exclusively offer Corbis creative stills, Corbis Motion content and Corbis archival and documentary content to its global customer base outside of China."

So, it seems the deal is structured in a way so that archive/historical images will remain accessible through Getty, but Visual China retains control over what is and isn't accessible in China in keeping with State censorship rules.  It is a really interesting point whether just the digital rights, as opposed to the physical historic archive (presently stored in the USA), have been transferred as part of the assets of the sale.  So far, the only carve out I have seen mentioned in Corbis Entertainment, which represents a number of sports stars and celebs.  Watch this space, I guess.

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