Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Must-Read: George Zimbel's Copyright Crusade w/ the NY Times

Last month, through what is perhaps the most unlikely of means—a conversation with one of Toronto's city councillors, Michael Thompson—I became aware of the work of well-respected photojournalist George Zimbel. (Zimbel is Thompson's father-in-law, and Thompson cited him in an interview as anecdotal proof that culture, beyond being a creative realm, is also a business realm.)

Anyway, shortly after that conversation with Thompson I started perusing Zimbel's site and came across an absolute must-read: A Freelance Photographer vs. the New York Times. This copyright-related correspondence is a bit of an oldie (1999/2001 era), but a total goodie—nuanced, well-argued, persistent, passionate, and sporting a hell of a kicker. (No wonder it was reproduced in the Columbia Journalism Review soon afterwards.)

Because I'm now scared of copyright infringement myself, I'm not going to reproduce any of the correspondence here. But I highly recommend it for a read over at Zimbel's site.

If you enjoy the exchange, you may also want to note that Zimbel is due to give a talk in the Toronto area this week. He's chatting at the McMichael Collection in Kleinburg on April 30 from 11am to 12:30pm. Tickets cost $30 for the public, $15 for members—a bit steep in my view, but given Zimbel's experience, tempting. The talk is to focus on Zimbel's iconic Seven Year Itch pics of Marilyn Monroe, but it would still be a great chance to ask him questions about life as a freelance photographer in general. For more information, visit the McMichael's event page.

(Image of the New York Times building from VentureBeat)

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