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Monday, 25 February 2019


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While I’m no communist, Kodakit is a typical example of the kind of corporate ethics (or lack thereof) we’ve seen too much of lately. Anybody remember Enron? Anybody remember 2008?

This sounds like when I was an army photographer. "Do an assignment under contract for Kodakit, and you surrender your "entire copyright." You aren't allowed to keep your own outtakes (!), you can't use the shot for your own promotion, and you can't even claim that you're the person who took the picture you took!"
All the photos I took were credited "US Army Photo" but at least things were loose enough in the lab that I was able to make prints of the best ones for myself.

Audio trade names are an excellent example. Fisher is not the same company, and I seem to recall Harmon-Kardin, or am I thinking of Altec Lansing? RCA, GE and Black & Decker small appliances, and the list goes on. You can't tell who's playing without a program. Look at Newell Brands: Rubbermaid, Sunbeam, Dymo, Sanford, Paper-Mate, Oster, Coleman and the list goes on.

A music site which encourages subscribers to upload their musical material has this notice:

6. USER CONTENT. You hereby grant Company a license to use the materials you post to the Site or Service. By posting, downloading, displaying, performing, transmitting, or otherwise distributing information or other content (“User Content”) to the Site or Service, you are granting Company, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees, consultants, agents, and representatives a license to use User Content in connection with the operation of the Internet business of Company, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees, consultants, agents, and representatives, including without limitation, a right to copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate, and reformat User Content. You will not be compensated for any User Content. You agree that Company may publish or otherwise disclose your name in connection with your User Content. By posting User Content on the Site or Service, you warrant and represent that you own the rights to the User Content or are otherwise authorized to post, distribute, display, perform, transmit, or otherwise distribute User Content.

In other words, you've just given up almost all rights to your music, for nothing. Artists of all kinds really have to beware of the Internet. These companies are nothing but content sucks, and the artists provide that content, too often to companies that IMHO are basically scammers.

I think you have the basis for a great screenplay here. Seriously.

What's the relationship between the company that does this and the company that makes film (which I think is Kodak Alaris)? It smells to me like it might be 'not much', and these people are some kind of collection of vampires who have acquired the brand for cheap and are now going to extract everything from it they can in the standard way (SCO springs to mind).

Still, I wish the film people were more realistic about the price of TXP.

How about just calling out corporate greed with a new term - e.g. the company has ”putresced”.
Which means we need a term for it coming good again, ala Apple. And possibly a new term for companies that keep cycling between good and bad, ala Apple.
I’d suggest use of Phoenix, but it’s already taken for owners that gut a company of funds, send it into receivership, and start over again with the same funds and none of the liabilities from the old company.

Ugh, sounds like Uber for photographers. No thank you, Kodak's dessicated corpse.

If I recall correctly, Clarke was not very popular around these parts.

This brought to mind the high end HiFi brands that ended up labels stuck on cheap junk. Not naming names. Makes me feel old and a little sad.

Not just the Kodak name that no longer has the same value as the company once had. Vivitar and Yashica come to mind.


I don't think I've ever seen you angry before. Righteous indignation looks good on you!

On Giving up Copyright and the State of The Business these days. If most refused to sign "work for hire" it would not be a normal thing.
70's day rate for news shooting was $300 to start and more for involved assignments. Commercial was $500 minimum. Stock agency cut was 70/30 in favor of me -the Photographer. (not "content provider")
Kodak had pro reps who visited, helped with business and technical questions and gave samples so we could check them out. Ordered Kodachrome and 120 film by the case. Sheet film 10+ boxes at a time and ran light balance tests with each new emulsion.
Eastman Kodak provided service, support and quality products.

Business changes are no longer in favor of those who photograph. Stock agencies act as if they are doing one a favor by licensing an image for less than a dollar - through a subsidiary agency and taking 70% for their cut - while telling you what a good deal you have with them. News agencies are tighter than ever and day/assignment/job rates are lower now than 40 years ago while business and hardware costs are higher than ever.

This is progress?

Reminds me of the time Paul Frank left Paul Frank Industries and the company tried to prevent the founder from trading under his own name. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2006/09/paulfrank200609

I bought a new Leica M6 in the mid-1980s. Several years later, I somehow whacked the rewind crank loose so I sent the camera to Leica for repair. When I got the camera back, I noticed that they replaced the red "Leitz" roundel with a "Leica" roundel. I think they had to pry the old roundel off to open the camera up but it still bugged the heck out of me from then on.

The Leica sister company, which manufactures cinema lenses under the Leica badge (Summilux, Summicron and Thalia), had previously been called "CW Sonderoptic". It recently changed its name to "Leitz Cine". I don't know the legal mish-mash about this, but Leitz lives on in the cinema world of Leica lenses.

Kodakit contacted me a few months ago (must have a higher web profile than I thought!) and a quick glance at their terms and conditions confirmed that they were exploiters. There are other companies that also do this; at least two to the best of my knowledge. It amounts to the Uberization of photography. Sadly they have realized that there are more photographers than ever chasing less and less work. Their greatest appeal will be to the desperate and the incompetent who if you read their contract will likely not get paid at all. Of course the interesting question is what they charge their clients.

Sorry when I saw this headline all I could think of was a beautiful sunset with a huge Budweiser logo superimposed on it.

Not specifically photographic, but you touched a minor nerve here ... the brand name that really needs to be retired is Bell and Howell. What used to be a trusted name was sold long ago and is now attached to any one of a number of ‘as seen on TV’ plastic schlock products selling for four easy payments totalling $19.95 (plus shipping) ... but wait! There’s more—buy right now and get a second one free (just pay shipping).

How about Voigtlander? (Cosina)
How about Contax? (Kyocera)
Some brands maintain quality, some don't. Caveat Emptor.

Every time I pass by Kodak tower in Rochester-3 or 4 times a year-I can help but think of Sauron's Dark Tower and wonder what the hell is going on in there.

How about "Polaroid" or "Bugatti"....or AT&T - that bankrupt company name was bought by one of the local telcos spun off at divestiture that now owns a satellite TV company and an entertainment company. Guess that's why my phone service is $%^&*()_+!

Perhaps their real motive is not just pay a pittance to gain full ownership, but after that ( or if the work was ‘rejected ‘) the photographer is out of the picture, and they have an ever growing ‘ stock’ library on which they negotiate on their own behalf.
They as much as admit their clients are those who are desperate or don’t know better.

Sorry to hear you had a rough birthday. Now I know somebody else who shares my February 25 birthday besides George Harrison.

Happy Birthday,

Jim Fellows

I somehow think that the Leitz family is now regretting the decision to ban the use of their name. Why did they change the company name in the first place to include Leitz? (In late 1800s?). To get immortality to their family name. I can also understand the decision to ban it’s use as Leica was in serious trouble and was at that time damaging the famous name with little hope of success.

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