All your photo rights belong to us, says Time Inc. UK

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 6:01 PM EDT


Time Inc. UK is taking heat after announcing a change to its contract with its freelance photographers. The new terms require that freelance photographers surrender ‘all rights’ to images taken on assignment for the roughly 60 niche publications Time Inc. UK owns.

Interestingly, these cross-publishing rights are only applicable to Time Inc. UK’s niche publications, not its weekly TIME news magazine. Such an exception is small comfort to many photographers, though. David Hoffman, spokesperson for Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK), told PDN, ‘it’s an outrageous rights grab. It’s just bullying.’

Time Inc. UK’s Director of Corporate Communications, Karen Myers, countered, telling PDN, “The new agreements better reflect our needs as a multi-platform business […] Contributors need to bear in mind that commercial realities dictate that we will be using the content that we purchase in many different ways to reflect the changing media landscape, both now and in the future.’

Not all hope is lost for Time's freelance photographers, though. Those who want to retain republishing rights to their images may be able to negotiate a more favorable contract. According to Myers, photographers can ‘object and negotiate different terms with us in the usual way.’

We won't know the full repercussions until January 1st of next year, but it's safe to assume such efforts could make it difficult to retain talent.

(via PDN Pulse)