While I’m still waiting on the final word regarding publication of a photograph in a regional nature guide, I received yet another request for licensing rights for one of my pictures. This one, however, has me looking askance at best.
I’m writing to you on behalf of […] an independent television production company based in London. We are currently looking for photographs to use in a new comedy series for the UK, and I would like to ask your permission to use your photo […].
If you consent, we would require you to sign a materials release form for the photo, which would grant [us] a non-exclusive license for world transmission, in all media for perpetuity. I can have this emailed or faxed to you.
Let us be clear on this.
They are requesting legal permission to utilize one of my images for commercial purposes, one to be broadcast in all media in which they choose to dabble, and they want that right indefinitely.
Probably aware of what’s being asked for in light of what’s not being offered, the letter closed with this statement:
[I]f we do use the image I’ll be more than happy to write a short statement for your portfolio about our usage of your image.
Let’s be clear about something: I’m not a professional photographer, and I have no plans to ever be one. It’s nothing more than a hobby for me.
That means I have no portfolio—not technically or otherwise—and I never will.
Therefore my images are personal, items not meant to drum up business or prospects.
Asking to use the image forever in whatever way they deem fit, all without proper attribution or payment, seems presumptive and—not to put too fine a point on it—dreadfully mercenary.
I’m declining this offer as it stands. I hate to do that, mind you, but I must.