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Author Topic: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?  (Read 8215 times)

Rob C

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2016, 05:57:28 PM »

Yes and no. The absurdity of market pricing of art as scarce, tradeable objects is equally true of a van Gogh selling for $100 million, when i can have the same sensoreal pleasure from a good quality print. Imagine if literature worked the same way: no one would care much about reading, only about owning a first edition...

The question of whether a Pollock or a potato or Duchamp's urinal or a bicycle wheel is art is a separate question, since there is no workable definition of art. Arguing about whether X is Y when you can't define Y is an inevitable waste of time. I have enjoyed looking at several Pollocks.


Perhaps 'art' at the stratospheric level is solely about money; it's similar to owning a famous diamond which, now and again, comes up for auction and one pocket's the difference after the dealers have taken their slice. That's on a good day, when the net return is greater than the purchase cost you. I wonder how these things are valued from the tax point of view; whether one has to give an annual valuation for each masterpiece, whether it's a simple capital gains mechanism after a sale, or whether a more sophisticated form of calculation gets made that considers the item's fluctuating, if imaginary value each year of your ownership.

Not a probem I'm likely ever to face.

Rob C

GrahamBy

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2016, 02:44:47 AM »

In France, yes, you need to list your "patrimoine" if it is likely to pass a certain threshold (about 850k€), beyond which one has to pay a capital tax. However it's self assessed unless challenged, so art is a much better tool for hiding wealth than ie real-estate: Marine LePen (leader of the far-right Front National)  is looking at being banned from political life for having under-stated the value of her houses by a factor of 3 or 4.
However there have been several notable cases of public figures, in particular Sarkozy's Minister of the Interior Claude Guéant, justifying remarkable leaps in their personal wealth by surprising sales of old paintings they found behind the wardrobe. In Guéant's case, he was found to have his hand in the till, surprise surprise.
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Rob C

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2016, 04:55:31 AM »

In France, yes, you need to list your "patrimoine" if it is likely to pass a certain threshold (about 850k€), beyond which one has to pay a capital tax. However it's self assessed unless challenged, so art is a much better tool for hiding wealth than ie real-estate: Marine LePen (leader of the far-right Front National)  is looking at being banned from political life for having under-stated the value of her houses by a factor of 3 or 4.
However there have been several notable cases of public figures, in particular Sarkozy's Minister of the Interior Claude Guéant, justifying remarkable leaps in their personal wealth by surprising sales of old paintings they found behind the wardrobe. In Guéant's case, he was found to have his hand in the till, surprise surprise.

Some tills are reminiscent of the gentle lips of crocodiles.

Having said which, it's alarming what is happening to the Swiss banking system. US-driven pressures should have been resisted at all costs. Let America solve its own problems at home without ruining foreigners.

You neeed only think of the vast sums of money being spent buying politicians and voters in the current madness sweeping the American state (as well as, surprisingly, filling our European screens with mindless, juvenile crap day after pounding day). Strikes me that if it's legitimate to buy political power at every level of the game, then what others outside the States do falls into insignificance, quite apart from being their business and not that of America. Time should be spent cleaning up the domestic act and throwing the peddlers out of the temple. If 'comfortable' US citizens see the failures within their domestic system and seek finacial refuge and safety externally, surely the message must be that it's the domestic condition that's the mess that needs tidying up?

Rob C

GrahamBy

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2016, 06:46:31 AM »

It was still ironic that one of the first people caught under the new Swiss regime was Holland's Finance Minister, who was found to have hidden a few million in a Swiss account... and had recently brought in legislation increasing surveillance of foreign bank accounts...
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landscapephoto

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2016, 08:21:28 AM »

"Duh" is right, Slobodan. The question isn't even stated correctly. Someone who buys something created by a famous "artist" such as Jackson Pollock isn't buying "content;" he's buying an object. That's especially clear in Pollock's case since the "content" is a collection of drips. The whole art auction scam is an illustration in spades of Barnum's maxim.

If you go back to the first post, you will notice that it is not a question, but a citation from another thread. The idea was to discuss present economics of marketing. And, contrary to what you say, some people do buy "content" even when not attached to a tangible object. The whole streaming business model is based on the idea.

As to who buys "content", it seems you are only considering end users. But if you read the first post, the citation is from a media consultant. Not only these people buy content, they are probably the largest buyers around. For photography, since this is the subject of this forum, they would buy usage rights. And, according to the text, they don't pay for the usage rights unless one is famous. I think we could easily find countless examples easily: when one's dashboard camera or cell phone records a one of a kind event, the images are in the news but the original photographer gets nothing. But when one wants to photograph an event by someone's famous, a concert for example, "content" suddenly has a very real price.
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landscapephoto

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2016, 08:22:51 AM »

What I found particularly interesting was his account of the NYT reporter changing the story to fit her ideas.

Indeed. This has also been my personal (limited) experience with the press.
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Rob C

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2016, 09:08:53 AM »

Indeed. This has also been my personal (limited) experience with the press.

My younger granddaughter, as a schoolgirl, won a small photographic contest. A Glasgow evening paper, perhaps with nothing better, local, upon which to pontificate, contacted the parents who, in turn, and to extend the photographic link in the story, supplied some snaps of grandpa in his studio, along with some of Brigitte Bardot. The copy was amazing: it covered an entire page and was all about me with hardly a mention of my poor granddaughter. According to the newspaper, I was Scotland's top celebrity photographer, and the studio shot was of myself directing Bardot for a Vogue shoot.

Okay, I did shoot Bardot and I did shoot for Vogue, but never the two in combination and I was certainly never a celebrity photographer: I was a fashion and calendar photographer. I was already living in Spain at the time, and I blushed reading the thing, wondering what a lying asshole my remaining Glaswegian peers must have thought me.

Yep, newspapers...

BartvanderWolf

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2016, 09:59:20 AM »

I think we could easily find countless examples easily: when one's dashboard camera or cell phone records a one of a kind event, the images are in the news but the original photographer gets nothing.

Why?

Why give it for free? Is beating their competitors to a one of a kind scoop worth nothing? Then one of their competitors may be willing to pay for it in some form or another.

Cheers,
Bart
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landscapephoto

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2016, 10:55:05 AM »

Why give it for free? Is beating their competitors to a one of a kind scoop worth nothing?

I don't really know. Seems that in most cases witnesses of a one time event simply post their findings on facebook or youtube and the media simply help themselves.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2016, 02:43:47 PM »

I don't really know. Seems that in most cases witnesses of a one time event simply post their findings on facebook or youtube and the media simply help themselves.

That "helping themselves" proved $1.2 million costly for them in at least one case:

AFP and Getty Images found liable for willful copyright infringement, Haitian photojournalist Daniel Morel wins maximum damages.

Quote
Gasps were heard in the courtroom as the trial of Daniel Morel vs. Agence France Presse (AFP) and Getty Images ended at the Thurgood Marshall US Court House in Manhattan with Morel being awarded $1.2m in damages, the maximum possible. Jury members said they were “outraged” by the behavior of both agencies.

landscapephoto

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2016, 03:26:40 PM »

That "helping themselves" proved $1.2 million costly for them in at least one case:

AFP and Getty Images found liable for willful copyright infringement, Haitian photojournalist Daniel Morel wins maximum damages.

Yes, I have read about that case. It is actually the only time it proved costly. The fact that Daniel Morel was a professional photographer was also important for the decision, it is not said whether an amateur would have had any success.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2016, 04:34:52 PM »

... whether an amateur would have had any success.

They would, the law is the law. It is a different question whether amateurs would have enough motivation to engage in a lengthy and expensive legal process. If anything, amateurs are inclined to go in the opposite direction: being excited and "honored" to be published for their 15 minutes of fame, so they are volunteering to give it away.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2016, 05:10:46 PM »

... You neeed only think of the vast sums of money being spent buying politicians and voters in the current madness sweeping the American state ... Strikes me that if it's legitimate to buy political power ...

About that pesky myth how money "buys" elections:

landscapephoto

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2016, 05:16:25 PM »

They would, the law is the law.

It is a bit more complicated than that. Morel was awarded damages. Amateurs would have a much more difficult job to argue damages than a professional and certainly not to the same amount. On the other hand, celebrities are much more likely to successfully argue damages, which is probably a possible answer to the question in the title.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2016, 05:22:25 PM »

... Amateurs would have a much more difficult job to argue damages than a professional and certainly not to the same amount...

The question you asked was "any success," so the amount is irrelevant in answering it. Besides, it is not the status of the photographer that determines damages or the punitive part of the judgment, but the the status of the photograph, i.e., is the photograph registered with the copyright office or not (in the States, at least).

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2016, 05:23:20 PM »

A visual commentary:

landscapephoto

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2016, 02:15:10 AM »

The question you asked was "any success," so the amount is irrelevant in answering it. Besides, it is not the status of the photographer that determines damages or the punitive part of the judgment, but the the status of the photograph, i.e., is the photograph registered with the copyright office or not (in the States, at least).

I am not a specialist on the question of intellectual property laws, so I will leave the discussion at that.
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eronald

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2016, 04:37:24 PM »

The question you asked was "any success," so the amount is irrelevant in answering it. Besides, it is not the status of the photographer that determines damages or the punitive part of the judgment, but the the status of the photograph, i.e., is the photograph registered with the copyright office or not (in the States, at least).

 Of course, "famous" photographer probably have team members who file every image with the copyright office ...

 But the thread isn't about this. The question was, is there any sense in trying to sell content TO MASS MEDIA  if you're not famous, or do you have to give it away in the hope that one day you will become famous? I remind you that the guy who made the original remark was until very recently a major content buyer -editor in chief of a magazine- and himself a painter by training with paintings exhibited in museums. So one cannot accuse him of disrespecting authors.

Edmund

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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2016, 04:57:05 PM »

... The question was, is there any sense in trying to sell content TO MASS MEDIA  if you're not famous, or do you have to give it away...

Sorry to point out the obvious, but it depends on the content (if you are not famous). I have a friend, an amateur, who was shooting Chicago Air & Water Show from the top of the skyscraper he lives in. He caught the precise moment of an incident, where two planes briefly touched each other's wings, with debris still in the air. He called Chicago Tribune and they paid for it.

eronald

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Re: Why would anyone pay for content if it is not by someone famous?
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2016, 07:45:01 PM »

Sorry to point out the obvious, but it depends on the content (if you are not famous). I have a friend, an amateur, who was shooting Chicago Air & Water Show from the top of the skyscraper he lives in. He caught the precise moment of an incident, where two planes briefly touched each other's wings, with debris still in the air. He called Chicago Tribune and they paid for it.

Slobodan,

 I'm happy your friend can find a plane accident to lense every day.

Edmund
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 07:52:54 PM by eronald »
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