Old 01-23-2013, 02:05 PM   #1
DWHonan
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Default Request for "digital rights" from Konrad Fuetter

Has anyone else received an email from Konrad Fuetter similar to this?

Quote:
Hi David,

I am interested in buying digital rights to some of your photos I saw on RailPictures.com. Could you please let me know if you sell them, what restrictions you have on use, and what the price would be.

Sincerely,

Konrad Fuetter
This seemed fishy, so I asked for more info:

Quote:
What I am interested in doing is printing photos of railroads combined with beautiful nature scenes for sale to railfans at rail memorabilia shows and on the internet. I am still working on the business plan but starting out their are four of your photos I am interested in ...
First, I'm flattered: Cool, somebody thinks my work is nice enough to want to print and sell at shows. Of course, the realities are:
  1. How can I reasonably trust my original files with someone I've never heard of? I have no problem arranging a licensing agreement with a company accustomed to dealing with usage restrictions on marketing materials, but how do I guarantee a level of trustworthiness with some random internet person?
  2. There is no verifiable means of recording sales.
  3. How to determine a "digital rights" fee so that I earn fair value for my work while the reseller earns fair markup for his efforts in production and distribution?
  4. I sell my own prints directly; how do I know I won't be undersold on my own work?
  5. No business plan to present to the photographers he wants to enlist.

Given these concerns, I declined to participate in his venture. I'm curious if anyone else has been contacted by Mr. Fuetter and what information has come forth from those discussions.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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Way too many alarm bells going off in my head. It sounds beyond fishy to me. I would have done what you did and declined the offer or else make the price so high no reasonable person would agree.

Just by nature, I am skeptical of anyone who signs an e-mail "Sincerely" when they don't know me.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:46 PM   #3
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Selling my original files so he can make unlimited prints? Hell to the no...........
Tell him that if he wants to sell prints at shows he can order the prints from you.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:49 PM   #4
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Lightbulb

Ever bought a print at a railroad show?

I think if you were talking about a pile of money, that would be one thing, but this guy would be lucky to clear a grand over his life time on any one photo sold at rail shows.

I would sell a limited licence for use, but only for a certain number of duplicates and I would want to know where the shows are.

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............Just by nature, I am skeptical of anyone who signs an e-mail "Sincerely" when they don't know me.
How do you sign things?
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:42 PM   #5
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How do you sign things?
As generic as possible. I hate sincerity. It seems so phony.

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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I wouldn't trust anyone named.. Konrad.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:05 AM   #7
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As generic as possible. I hate sincerity. It seems so phony.

Regards,


Joe Hinson
Damn, you couldn't even give him a "best."
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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As quickly as possible....walk away from this. Just from what little you shared from this guy, he clearly has no clue of the publishing business, or certainly the market. To my knowledge, the is no such thing as "digital rights." An image is an image, and the law covers the same no matter if it's a transparency, negative, print, or digital file. The downside of a digital image is that it can be shared with everyone in the world. He can purchase ONE TIME rights for use of an image, but that's it. It remains your image until the second coming, or the death of the last bitter and narrow-minded old white man, whichever is first.

I hear from guys like this off and on all the time. Translated, it means this: "....I can't photograph trains worth a shit, but I'd love to use your photography to make some money for myself....at your expense, of course."

No thank you, dude...
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
I hear from guys like this off and on all the time. Translated, it means this: "....I can't photograph trains worth a shit, but I'd love to use your photography to make some money for myself....at your expense, of course."

No thank you, dude...
I think Ron about summed it up. The vast majority of the RP e-mails that I get are from people wanting to do something with one or more of my images, but offering nothing other than "full credit" in return. I'm under no illusion that my stuff has any particular market value, but it is worth something to me. I don't get these pictures for free. I've spent a lot of money on equipment, software, travel expenses, charter fees....not to mention a great deal of my time. I wouldn't think of asking someone else for permission to use their photos without at least offering them SOMETHING to acknowledge the fact that the images have a value to the owner.

I haven't heard from this particular fellow, but given the same circumstances, I'd probably pass.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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Lightbulb Photo License.

I had someone e-mail me asking if they could use one of my images as a desktop on a computer, and or computers at an NS shop facility that I can't remember the name of.

When I asked for more information, they of course went silent.

I really wonder why someone would want this since I have 0 pictures of NS trains.

Ever find you photos on other people's Facebook pages and such?
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:33 AM   #11
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Ever find you photos on other people's Facebook pages and such?
Yes, I didn't really mind because they uploaded the whole picture with the RP copyright strip on the bottom, but then they also used it for the icon, and the front page, thus cropping it square, its a fan page for the particular railroad.....so, it's kinda, well.....so I liked it, to see what else happens
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:47 AM   #12
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Back to the OP:

I'll agree that his offer brings up alot of questions, but if he is offering to pay you up front, why not see how much he will go for? Like has already been mentioned, the reality is that most people aren't going to shell out money for a print of train. If this guy would pay something like $500 or $1,000 up front to make prints of your shots with your name on it, why not let him waste his money?

The only big back fire I can think of is he is intentionally playing dumb and really wants to turn around and sell your pic to an interested company at a huge profit or something like that. That kind of scenario seems pretty outlandish, but even that could be pretty easily protected against by coming to agreement about who he can sell to (ie, only to individuals at train shows).

Plus, the reality is that if he wants to steal your work, he probably already has (like we've seen time and time again) or will sooner or later, and there is very little you can do to stop him unless you get lucky and see it somewhere.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:13 AM   #13
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I'm with John on this one...

What do you have to loose? Just get an agreement on what can and can not be done once he has "the rights" to your digital image. Then, figure out a price that's equitable.

My guess - he's just an entrepreneur trying to make some pocket money. He'll likely post your image(s) on a site like CafePress and then offer it on merchandise like clocks, shirts, mouse pads, ect.

The negatives - cuts into your sales, but are you selling via such sites?
- you don't know where your images may show up.
(This is why I'd charge SUBSTANTIALLY more as the
resolution goes up). I doubt many advertising agencies
nor businesses would accept a low res image).

The positives - Some cash up front.
If you never see the image, in a sense, you've lost nothing
- you weren't marketing to that audience.
If you DO see the image and it's not within the confines
of the agreement, you can sue for damages, lol - and still
come out ahead. He solicits, you profit.

Last -Can't anyone simply order an 8X12 print for under $20 and then simply
scan it anyway?

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:54 AM   #14
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.....My guess - he's just an entrepreneur trying to make some pocket money. ...
I think he is a helmet.

Who uses mouse pads anymore?

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #15
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I would have stopped reading after Railpictures dot COM...
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #16
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I actually feel bad for Konrad... as HG noted above, this is not a business that is going to make any money. Honestly, if you have some railfan street cred or fame (like a Steve Barry, or maybe or own Mr. Flannery on this thread) I would think you might be able to pay for your framing - but if you are looking to start a business by selling prints of train photos - unless you know something that I don't know, you are trying to milk a rock.

I know that there was a time when you could pay for your railfanning trips by selling slides (shoot three, sell two, keep one), but I think even that is drying up.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:09 PM   #17
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I got that picture of 3751 making the turn out at Lavic printed and framed poster sized, and it was almost $300.



I just don't see selling photos at rail events to be a big money maker, perhaps because a large portion of the attendees are still living at home with mom, or in assisted housing.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #18
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I got that picture of 3751 making the turn out at Lavic printed and framed poster sized, and it was almost $300.

I just don't see selling photos at rail events to be a big money maker, perhaps because a large portion of the attendees are still living at home with mom, or in assisted housing.
I sense that many railfans share my own odd obsession with having pushed the shutter release themselves. While I actually do have a small slide collection of other people's work, I honestly have no interest in other people's digital images or prints as something to keep and store. I look at them on line and I'm done. My limited interest in owning other people's photos (outside of books - which I enjoy owning a great deal) is in owning images of things that I just missed or saw and didn't shoot or that occured in my hometown long before I was born.

Now, there is a different buyer, the non-photographer who enjoys RR photos, but is that a large enough population to make money off of, especially with so many photographers out there today now framing correctly and shooting with such amazing cameras and glass?
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #19
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I sense that many railfans share my own odd obsession with having pushed the shutter release themselves. While I actually do have a small slide collection of other people's work, I honestly have no interest in other people's digital images or prints as something to keep and store. I look at them on line and I'm done. My limited interest in owning other people's photos (outside of books - which I enjoy owning a great deal) is in owning images of things that I just missed or saw and didn't shoot or that occured in my hometown long before I was born.

Now, there is a different buyer, the non-photographer who enjoys RR photos, but is that a large enough population to make money off of, especially with so many photographers out there today now framing correctly and shooting with such amazing cameras and glass?
Its funny how much work we go through just to duplicate something we could likely already see on the internet without leaving the house, just to say you went there and took the picture.
I'm the same way about other prints too, all of the ones I've bought have been photos of the long abandoned line through my home town. The few times I have sold any prints have been to people who happened to live near where I took the photo and stumbled across my picture, don't think any of my sales have been to other railfans.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Freericks View Post
I actually feel bad for Konrad... as HG noted above, this is not a business that is going to make any money. Honestly, if you have some railfan street cred or fame (like a Steve Barry, or maybe or own Mr. Flannery on this thread) I would think you might be able to pay for your framing - but if you are looking to start a business by selling prints of train photos - unless you know something that I don't know, you are trying to milk a rock.
I sold one railroad photo on my web site recently and I almost ran through the streets naked screaming and shouting. I was shocked. Most of my railroad sales have actually been to counties and towns wanting to do web sites and such. But most of my photography sales have been non-rail.

Which doesn't explain where there are more railroad shots on my Fine Art America web site, which, by the way, is linked below. Credit cards accepted, 30 day money back promise!

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Old 01-27-2013, 05:15 PM   #21
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Credit cards accepted, 30 day money back promise!

Why the 30 day wait? Wouldn't it simply be far easier not to charge in the first place?

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:06 PM   #22
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... - but if you are looking to start a business by selling prints of train photos - unless you know something that I don't know, you are trying to milk a rock...
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:48 PM   #23
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In my experiences with print selling (several store fronts and what I sell at fairs and festivals) the railroad photography outsells the non-railroad material by a decent margin. I will agree that selling at dedicated railfan events is a break-even game at best.

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:47 AM   #24
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That is utterly ridiculous.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #25
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That is utterly ridiculous.
I was waiting for this...

Tit for tat.
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