A while back I was contacted by someone who wanted to use a picture I’d taken and posted online. I’ll call her RJ. Here’s the picture that caught her eye:
It’s an oyster po boy from Domilise’s. It seems that RJ was working for an advertising firm doing a campaign for Mastercard. They’re building a website at priceless.com that has a “favorite things” theme, and their celebrity guest — one Peyton Manning — had identified Domilise’s as a favorite. So they wanted to use my picture.
I said, no problem. In fact, I pointed out, they don’t even have to ask for permission, as most of my photos are under a Creative Commons attribution license. Just provide a link to my personal site at b.rox.com — that’s all I ask.
RJ replied that they couldn’t provide a link, and could I please sign a bunch of release forms?
Sorry, I said, no linkee no love. Links are the currency of respect on the net, and if they can’t throw me that bone I simply have no motivation.
I thought that would be the end of it, but RJ got back to me. How about if they paid me $150?
Suddenly my motivation picked up a little. I signed the damn forms and the other day I got my check in the mail.
The final irony is that when I check priceless.com, I see a picture of Domilise’s all right — but it’s by somebody else. But I don’t care. I’m laughing all the way to the bank, and we sure could use some laughs around here.
I’m sure there’s a good Priceless parody here, but I can’t work up the energy.
Footnote: Apparently Miguel Pereira was contacted in the same fashion, with less favorable results but some interesting discussion regarding the implications of all this for photographers.
I just looked at the site and now it’s your photo complete with your copyright in the corner. They must cycle through different shots.
Dang. That looks delicious! I love Dom’s. I can taste that sauce right now.
I just noticed this pick on the site:
Two things wrong with this. One, they misspelled Camellia Grill, despite the fact that a picture of the establishment is part of the multimedia presentation. Two, Camellia Grill has not re-opened since Katrina.
Haha! It’s all priceless!
Sweet. $150 buys a lot of oyster po’ boys.
I recently got an e-mail from Open Source (part of NPR) telling me they used 2 of my Flickr pictures for a story about insurance companies and Katrina. They used them without asking, but my Creative Commons license says that’s okay as long as they give me attribution. I didn’t mind since it’s a story that needs to be told. Anyway, they used 2 of my pictures. Here’s the link: http://www.radioopensource.org/katrina-and-the-insurance-tsunami/
Professional Photographer? Priceless.
Thanks for giving Domilise publicity. I’m related to her thru marriage and she is a very hard working, nice lady. And, it’s one of my favorite places to eat.
a post about pictures and poboys…priceless.
I’ve been asked a few times. Sometimes they just want permission to use it, one time they offered me $50. Once I got an email from some woman at one of those “Funniest Videos” TV shows offering me $100 for permission to run a video I had up on YouTube of Liam dancing to the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack. I said sure. She says, OK, send me the video at such-and-such an address, Los Angeles, 92666. I said, well, there isn’t a video, it’s just an AVI file and it’s small, why don’t I email it to you.
She said, no, I should burn it on a disk and FedEx it because she needs it right away.
Riiiiiiiight. Like I’m made of time.
At the moment everything I have on Flickr is “All Rights Reserved”. I’m being dickish about my content because of these people. Looking forward to suing one of them some day.
Old Ad biz + New Media = Unnecessary, awkward, but nonetheless welcome $$$.
Ray, you might consider sharing your Flickr photos under a different Creative Commons license, like one that allows non-commercial uses.
Oh wow. Haven’t seen anything that good looking since I moved to Atlanta. My mouth is watering. Seriously.
Ray – after reading this article I was thinking you should upload some of your flickr photos to http://www.imagekind.com You can sell your photos and imagekind has a partnership with flickr so it’s really easy. Let me know if you try it, my gallery is http://meredith-roma.imagekind/roma