Now I’m naming names.
You see, the internet is the Wild West of the common era. Do something bad and people are apt to wipe your name through the digital mud.
And that’s what I intend to do here.
FlameTV, “an independent television production company based in London,” recently sent me an e-mail requesting free rights forever to use one of my photographs worldwide in whatever media they so desired, whether that be the “new comedy series for the UK” they claimed to be developing or any other outlet to which they decided to submit it.
What they requested for such use was that I “sign a materials release form for the photo, which would grant FlameTV a non-exclusive license for world transmission, in all media for perpetuity.”
In trade? They said they would “be more than happy to write a short statement for [my] portfolio about [FlameTV’s] usage of [my] image.”
Yep. That’s it. For commercial use of a picture, all they can offer is a note to my parents to say they used the picture for commercial purposes. That’s it. Nothing else. Not a damn thank you or a reach-around or even a peck on the cheek.
So I replied in the negative with this message to Sam Shepherd, the FlameTV representative who e-mailed me:
Thank you so much for contacting me regarding the use of my photograph.
Unfortunately, I do not grant unpaid licenses for any image if intended for commercial purposes, especially in perpetuity and for all media.
Please understand photography is a hobby for me and no portfolio is forthcoming; therefore, except in cases of not-for-profit use, I’m rather exacting when it comes to licensing my work for profit.
Again, I appreciate you taking the time to contact me regarding this matter. If FlameTV wishes to reassess its licensing terms in this regard, I’d be more than happy to discuss an arrangement.
Basically, they offered me nothing, so I gave them nothing. If they want to make a profit with content they didn’t create without sharing said profit, they can do it elsewhere.
As someone who has been in the professional world for decades, I know the importance of not burning bridges. Therefore, even when denying something (like employment or rights or whatever), I always left a sweet taste in the mouth of those I contacted.
In this case, that meant I should have received a “thank you for your consideration and feedback” message.
What did I get instead?
The immeasurable silence of amateurism, the cold shoulder of unprofessional conduct perpetrated by those wanting something for nothing.
Like spoiled children, FlameTV stalked off several days ago sans any response, sans any professional action that would intimate they intended to conduct business with fairness, equality, competence, and know-how.
Instead, they blew me off and didn’t offer even a parting handshake.
Pitiful. Unprincipled. Pathetic. Dishonorable.
Plainly said, that was WRONG!