How Copyright Holders Make Money
So I was scanning the Washington Post this morning over breakfast, and I came across a beautiful article on how copyright holders make money. In fact, it’s a great article on how freelancers make money. I started the article, however, because it was about a guy who organizes road races and runs. Who knew?
This article is a prime example of what my husband, Dean Wesley Smith, calls the Magic Bakery. Copyright holders like writers make money by slicing up pieces of the copyright pie on a property. Only it’s an unlimited pie. You can see what I mean here, since he explains it much better.
And so does this article. Check it out here.
Or, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Stewart wants him to run in the Cherry Blossom race so that he can trot out the photo one more time for marketing purposes and make yet another buck from it.
I think he would like him to run the race. Agree to disagree here, David. Photojournalists make their money on the moment, any moment. And this one hit the zeitgeist, whether you like it or not. If you read through the article, you’ll see that he decided NOT to make money on purely political uses of the photo, which I thought was a good choice. Just use the article as a learning tool about copyright, and ignore the politics. I didn’t put it up here for political reasons.
Kris, I think “historic” is too strong a word. Capitalistic, yes. Current events (at the time), maybe. But would the U.S. and the world been better served by knowing that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had polio? That was much more “historic” in nature, but photos of it were not sold for the equivalent amount (at the time) in cash, and the world and history moved on. Not everything that happens, even to a president of the U.S., is historic or even newsworthy. Carter’s momentary collapse was an event, but not all events are historic, just as not all (or even most) events in fictional character’s life are worth putting on the page or screen. If the event lead to some important decision or non-decision, then it could be historic; otherwise, it was an event that led to money making, to selling copies of magazines, etc. There is a difference, and unfortunately the difference is too often lost in a rush to make a buck, to push a product. And I think that Stewart has an inkling of that, if the last line of the Washington Post article is accurate.
I found the last line of the article interesting: “Stewart said it would make him feel much better if former president Carter would participate.”
I would like a little more elaboration on this. While I don’t begrudge him making money by holding onto the copyright, I guess I find it odd that it is on the back of somebody else’s failure and pain.
It’s a historic photogaph, David. A journalistic one. If we cut out all of the photos of failure and pain and hurt, then there would be almost no historic/journalistic photographs. An unfortunate sad fact of life. (And Carter knew what he was signing up for when he became president. He’d been governor of Georgia before that–he knew that public good and bad moments came with the territory.)