My photo stolen for a cover of a Dutch language book!?

Started May 23, 2017 | Discussions thread
OP Tom Lusk Senior Member • Posts: 1,589
Re: Update

Mackiesback wrote:

joostdh wrote:

Glad to hear it worked out.

I am still baffled how the image could have been used in the first place. The designer has a website and there is quite a portifolio of book covers on it.

So clearly he is not some bumbling, inexperienced amateur. There is no way he didn't know what he was doing. Images don't accidentally fall from the internet into InDesign.

Regardless: you did the right thing in contacting the publisher. I am sure they will contact the designer and hopefully double check his sources (and morals) for his future submissions.

It is a little surprising. Anyone with any real experience in this arena knows to seek sources and permission for all images. In illustrated publishing (not just cover design) most publishers will have a pre-printed forms to send to the image providers that were drawn up by their lawyers. This is very standard practice.

I did get a little bit of a chuckle about some of the market values in this thread. Cover image value isnt about the sales rate of the book at all, thats not how it works. This book was a "best seller" in 1972, rest assured it isn't now. No re-issues sell as well as the originals. Also, publishers pay a flat fee for images, internally and for covers. They never pay a royalty based on sales for a cover image to anybody but the author. So sale rate of the book has nothing to do with price, as the price is negotiated well before the book is even printed.

I have never paid more than $500 for a cover image, although sources like Getty work pretty hard to get that number to around $1000. They do ask about print run, so that may be a factor in their pricing. They have no way to verify print runs without laywers, nor the time or manpower to pursue it. For internal images I never pay more than $35 unless the image is really rare and hard to replace with similar. Thus is mostly for vintage or historic images. Modern images are the responsibility of the author. My rates are pretty normal for the industry for normal images not involving celebrity, etc

There are some small publishers that roll the dice with images, especially vintage ones, putting some lame disclaimer on the verso page suggesting they made all the best efforts to contact the source, which I know is BS because I know the publishers and where the images came from.

We play it by the book, even though any sort of legal cease and desist, our worst financial risk, rarely occurs. A judge will just grant market rates. In most cases, this puts us at a severe disadvantage in the publishing world, as private agencies have bought up or laywered up in protecting copyright of their vintage images. They are simply pricing themselves out of the market, and the images sit unpublished and unused. Magazines seem to get more of a legal free pass on copyright infringment, for some reason, and the internet is the wild west. There are guys with Facebook pages that are nothing but copyright protected works, and nodody does anything about it. If only I was granted the same freedom, my life would be a lot easier, and books that cant be published now due to rights costs might finally see the light of day.

One of my editors found a guy on eBay that was selling prints of copyrighted images from the Ford archives. My editor told Ford, and their response was "small fish, big pond".

Anyway, probably more than anybody wanted to know, but a view from thepublishing side....

Anyone who is interested in selling images can benefit from your post.

You are right on with all your points. I had not expected a major windfall, but actually did slightly better than the norm, it seems. I attribute that to the publisher's embarrassment at having had this situation happen in the first place.

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