After the Editorial Picture Agency Guild released their open letter to publishers last week the British Association of Picture Libraries has released the following message about the sames subject of pricing for digital rights.
Working with image buyers, sister associations and its members, the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA) is on the verge of releasing its first draft of a Digital Rights Model.
BAPLA has engaged with small members, and has met with a number of the biggest BAPLA members in order to create the model, which it will reveal to the broader membership at its AGM later this month.
Protecting the longevity of the picture licensing industry is pivotal to everything BAPLA does; more so now, than in all its 35 years of existence and whilst the digital era provides many opportunities for BAPLA members to exploit, it also poses threats, and this year, BAPLA has spent considerable time conducting far reaching research on the issue of Digital Rights.
Simon Cliffe is BAPLA’s Executive Director: “We absolutely believe Digital Rights are essential in providing a multi-media platform that’s relevant to the 21st century, but, in our opinion, they are not ‘free’ rights, and BAPLA has always urged its members to give nothing away and negotiate everything. Being unable to establish a consistent value for digital content now, risks loss of revenue and, BAPLA also believes, risks the future business model for the industry if we set dangerous precedents at this stage”
BAPLA Chairman Paul Brown says, “It is really important that our industry have a united front on these new, emerging rights, to avoid confusion, and ensure a fair structure for both rights-holders and clients. Having the support of BAPLA’s larger members means we really can produce a proper industry model, and the input from smaller members means that it will indeed be suitable for almost everyone. We welcome the recent initiative by the US editorial agencies, who have essentially taken the same line as the underlying principles of BAPLA’s model, though, as will be seen later this month, our model is more tailored to the UK market and by necessity takes into account the restrictions of UK Competition legislation.”
A number of key relationships have been developed with image buyers from different sectors as a result of BAPLA’s work through publishing forums and through a 4 month research project on book publishing and digital rights. Tim Harris, Chairman of BAPLA’s Rights Working Group says “It is vital that BAPLA works closely with publishers and image buyers to work out an approach to licensing digital rights, both re-use and stand-alone, which is fair to our members but also takes into account the challenges facing the publishing industry in a period of unprecedented change. We already have much positive feedback from the publishing sector indicating the need for clarity and structure in digital rights and we now need to engage urgently with publishers to discuss and agree a way forward which will work for both our industries, which are so interdependent.”