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Author Topic: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing  (Read 37474 times)

Alan Klein

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2015, 04:02:02 pm »

His publicly published letter is addressed  to the individuals by their first names who make up the band.  He then complains to them that their management company is offering him a bad deal that is against their personally promoted ideal of fair play and pay for artists.   

OK.  So why didn't he send the letter privately first and see what his friends could do for him through the management company?  By going public first and embarrassing his "friends", he shot himself in the foot.  If he wasn't so high and mighty, he may have gotten their respect and help financially.  After all, if they are promoting fair play for artists, they wouldn't want to be known as people who abuse artists.  Now he destroyed any possible relation with them in the future and may have destroyed his career to boot.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2015, 04:12:00 pm »

... OK.  So why didn't he send the letter privately first and see what his friends could do for him...

If that would be an issue surfacing for the first time between him and his friends (and them only) and the goal is to ultimately get paid, that would be a preferred approach indeed. If, however, the issue is much wider and pervasive (as it is) and deserving a public debate, than he did the right thing.

Alan Klein

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2015, 04:16:34 pm »

Quote
If that would be an issue surfacing for the first time between him and his friends (and them only) and the goal is to ultimately get paid, that would be a preferred approach indeed.

There's nothing that I read that this previously occurred with this group and him.  Since it was the first time, he should have tried to resolve it privately first.  He had plenty of time to go publicly if the group did nothing.  
« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 04:19:02 pm by Alan Klein »
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Alan Klein

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2015, 04:22:18 pm »

Quote
If, however, the issue is much wider and pervasive (as it is) and deserving a public debate, than he did the right thing.

That's very noble of you.  So the public debate will benefit other artists.  Meanwhile, this guy just sacrificed his career.  What did these other artists sacrifice?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2015, 04:39:08 pm »

There's nothing that I read that this previously occurred with this group and him.  Since it was the first time...

Perhaps I phrased it wrongly. I meant it is not an issue that was just discovered between them, it is already a wildly known and pervasive issue, surely known to both sides. There are tons of debates, examples, rants, satires even, on the subject already.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2015, 04:41:38 pm »

That's very noble of you.  So the public debate will benefit other artists.  Meanwhile, this guy just sacrificed his career.  What did these other artists sacrifice?

I assume he is a grown up, capable of weighing pros and cons of his actions on his own. I wasn't (nor was anyone else) telling him what to do or encouraging him.

Isaac

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2015, 04:44:11 pm »

There's nothing that I read that this previously occurred with this group and him.  Since it was the first time, he should have tried to resolve it privately first.  He had plenty of time to go publicly if the group did nothing.

So you haven't actually read the open letter that you've been commenting on?

PS: Just so you know, this is actually an improvement on the management of your "Absolute Garbage" album where the record company just used my work without even asking. I only found this out when I went into a shop and bought a copy, which, when you think about it, has a certain irony.
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MarkM

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2015, 04:54:24 pm »

OK.  So why didn't he send the letter privately first and see what his friends could do for him through the management company?  By going public first and embarrassing his "friends", he shot himself in the foot.  If he wasn't so high and mighty, he may have gotten their respect and help financially.  After all, if they are promoting fair play for artists, they wouldn't want to be known as people who abuse artists.  Now he destroyed any possible relation with them in the future and may have destroyed his career to boot.

Alan, here's the situation: you are trying to make a living and are constantly bombarded with "offers" to use your work for credit as though they're doing you and the world a favor. You have probably been ignoring or quietly dealing with them for years. But it's become so pervasive and is coming from people who should clearly know better, that it is no longer a simple string of business decisions, it is an unjust system that you want to change. If you want to smooth over the isolated instances one at a time, your advice is sound. Deal with it quietly, nobody has to know. Normally you are just wasting your time with people, but on rare occasions you'll talk them up from nothing to something. But you're usually wasting your time.

Eventually you will have had enough — you will want to deal with more than the isolated instances and change the system. You'll want to let young photographers know that credit doesn't pay the rent and rarely even gets noticed. You'll want to tell people that this isn't the path to success and you don't need to put up with this. The only way to do this is to publicly stand up and make yourself heard. That's how change happens. And yes, the people who stand up and insist on change sometimes sacrifice a lot. We call these people heroes. Having said that, I don't think Pat Pope has sacrificed his career for this. There are plenty of good clients who pay photographers and these people will very likely understand why he felt he had to do this. They will likely also resent somebody who thought publishing a photography book without a photography budget was a good idea.

By the way, it's not just photographers that deal with this. Nate Thayer made a similar move a couple years ago when the Atlantic wanted him to write for free. He also took it public: https://natethayer.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-freelance-journalist-2013/
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Alan Klein

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2015, 10:28:57 pm »

Quote
Alan, here's the situation: you are trying to make a living and are constantly bombarded with "offers" to use your work for credit as though they're doing you and the world a favor. You have probably been ignoring or quietly dealing with them for years. But it's become so pervasive and is coming from people who should clearly know better, that it is no longer a simple string of business decisions, it is an unjust system that you want to change. If you want to smooth over the isolated instances one at a time, your advice is sound. Deal with it quietly, nobody has to know. Normally you are just wasting your time with people, but on rare occasions you'll talk them up from nothing to something. But you're usually wasting your time.

I understand and agree with some of your points.  However, the group had the expectation of courtesy that he should have tried to resolve his issue with them privately at first.  If the group continued to insist on free services, then he could have gone public if he wanted to make a point of industry abuse.  By doing that first, it appears he used the incident as an excuse.  In effect, he abused them as he's complained the industry abused him and others.      As someone who is neither in the industry nor a pro photographer, I understand the issues raised by many photographers about not getting paid.  But the way he handled it does not make him a good spokesman.  His lack of fair play to the group is similar to the lack of fair play he accused the industry of perpetrating on him.  To me, he lost much the ethical high ground from lay people who would have otherwise supported him. 

Alan Klein

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2015, 11:13:39 pm »

They may have insulted him but he just didn't handle it right. 

In his public  letter posted on Facebook, he said: " So I wanted to ask you a couple of questions, and I wanted to do it publicly because I think it's important that people know what your answer is."  Why didn't he wait for their response to a private inquiry?   Maybe they would have agreed with him and offered him real money.   He didn't know what they would do at that point, yet he went public.  He was stewing for a fight.

In the letter he also admitted: "I'm not accusing you personally of being hypocrites, I don't know how involved you are in this process, but I'm letting you know it's happening and it's happening in your name."  If he didn't know what the musicians knew, he should have waited for them to respond before going public.  It appears he was looking for a fight or for the publicity.  Also, by going public first, he put them in an embarrassing position to defend themselves.  Maybe they are "garbage".  But he still lost his moral high ground by attacking them first in such a public way.

rmyers

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2015, 11:27:40 pm »

Does the band previously using one of his images for an album cover without permission change your opinion of his reply?  Does it in any way make the nature of his reply more understandable?

This is an open, general question.  It is not directed at anyone in particular.
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MarkM

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2015, 11:55:13 pm »

They may have insulted him but he just didn't handle it right…

Alan, if his goal was to change the mind of the next person thinking about asking for free or 'for credit' work, what should he have done?

If he was less concerned about sealing this deal than he was about changing the business climate that many photographers find themselves in because so many people assume that a credit line is a form of payment, how should he have handled this?

If he wanted to make it clear to young, inexperienced photographers that no, we don't have to take these deals, what then would be the right way to reply.





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Alan Klein

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2015, 12:05:24 am »

Mark:  He could have made all those points later in a public exposure if they responded negatively to a private inquiry from him.  That would have made his position stronger.  If they responded positively, then he couldn't use this incident publicly.  Now it looks to many as a temper tantrum of someone aching for a fight who didn't want to find out if it could be resolved privately and adequately. 

Alan Klein

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2015, 08:44:30 am »

Isn't the real problem the other photographers who agree for"credit"?  If enough of them would say "no" people would stop asking to use their work for nothing. Maybe his open letter should have been aimed at them.

pegelli

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2015, 09:04:05 am »

After 20 years as a professional photographer I don't think he needs anyone on this forum to tell him how to run his business.
I agree with that, but don't think Pope is looking for "advice" from anybody (and certainly not from the LL community  ;) ). However when you write an open letter making your point there will be opposing opinions around (both on method as well as content) and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
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pieter, aka pegelli

AlterEgo

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2015, 09:30:20 am »

After 20 years as a professional photographer I don't think he needs anyone on this forum to tell him how to run his business.
just like one mr Bush does not need to be scolded for WMD, right... everybody makes mistakes - this is the case
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AlterEgo

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2015, 09:31:20 am »

Maybe his open letter should have been aimed at them.
then he should stay away from disclosing the client's name, etc... you can perfectly write an opinion w/o pointing fingers publicly
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AlterEgo

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2015, 09:32:09 am »

Mark:  He could have made all those points later in a public exposure if they responded negatively to a private inquiry from him.  That would have made his position stronger.  If they responded positively, then he couldn't use this incident publicly.  Now it looks to many as a temper tantrum of someone aching for a fight who didn't want to find out if it could be resolved privately and adequately. 

absolutely...
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AlterEgo

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2015, 09:33:37 am »

Does the band previously using one of his images for an album cover without permission change your opinion of his reply?

but they didn't - moreover it was a mutually profitable business before that... so your question is a loaded one - when did you stop beating your wife ?
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AlterEgo

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Re: You sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2015, 09:35:54 am »

Maybe they are "garbage".  But he still lost his moral high ground by attacking them first in such a public way.

so he had perfectly good business with them many times before and now they are "garbage" - looks more like he had a particularly bad day and did not think before taking it to the internet.
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