The Difference in Working With Good People

Joe Reifer – Words � Blog Archive � JPG Magazine: Usage rights scenarios Joe Reifer, a photographer who I admire and respect a great deal has a post out about JPG Magazine — a publication that I also admire and respect a great deal.

Joe gives some of the basics behind JPG. JPG has recently expanded their publication and now includes interactive voting for images on their website as well as actual cash awards for photographers selected for publication.

Joe is concerned over how the licensing at JPG works:

“Submitting images to JPG does not just give them one-time editorial use — by submitting your images you are allowing JPG to use your images:

* For advertising the magazine (commercial use)
* In a gallery show (no details provided on artist involvement)
* In a book (no details provided)
* Web use”

Derek Powazek, one of the founders of JPG responds to some of Joe’s concerns in the comments section noting that book and gallery plans are yet to be defined by JPG and that any advertising with your images would be coincidental as part of your image being on say the cover of JPG if they were to advertise it.

I’ve had three images published in JPG Magazine. Although Joe might have some points about the “technicality” of the language — I think he misses the spirit of what JPG is.

JPG Magazine is not some big corporation out to screw the artist. JPG is an exciting collaborative effort that allows individuals working primarily with digital images to see their images in print. It allows people who like to share to do so in a non digital printed form that is beautiful.

Certainly JPG is a business too and to this end I’m sure had some lawyer somewhere type up some kind of rights disclaimers as advised. But more than a business, JPG is the effort of a love of photography by it’s founders Heather Champ and Derek Powazek. I know Derek and Heather and these are really good people, who really care about photography. So I think some of this criticism is misplaced outside of that context.

Do I worry that somehow JPG might misuse my image and that I might lose out? Not at all. Because I know that if I ever objected to anything JPG did with my images that I could just mention it to Heather and Derek and that they are the type of people who respect artists as artists themselves and they would happily address whatever concerns I might have. And that’s the difference. When you know someone and you know that they are good people who care about artists at heart then it’s different then dealing with a nameless faceless corporation.

Now maybe I’m naive, but I never even read JPGs terms of use when I’ve submitted photos in the past. Conceptually I understood that JPG was about community, was about sharing, and with the respect for the individuals involved with the project I had and still have the utmost faith in the project.

Anyways, JPG is a pretty cool project in my opinion and you should definitely check it out.

By the way, issue 7 of JPG Magazine is due out soon. They received over 2,378 submissions (their most ever) for the issue. To see some pretty great photography check out the images chosen for publication here.

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  1. Joe Reifer says:

    Tom –

    Thanks for your thoughts. I don’t doubt that Derek and Heather have the best intentions, and the community oriented spirit definitely shows through in JPG’s messaging. My point was to give neutral, constructive criticism about some vague portions of their image licensing agreement. Having a lawyer spell out the terms, and being more clear about book and gallery usage would make me feel more comfortable. I thought Derek’s response was great, and that he was open enough to accept my comments in a constructive way shows that you are right about him being a cool guy.