IBX5980432E7F390 ASMP & Their $1.3 - Business Tips

ASMP & Their $1.3



Much has been said (here, and elsewhere) about the windfall of funds that the American Society of Media Photographers received almost a year ago. ASMP did the right thing in putting out a call for member ideas for spending that money - "Call for Member Ideas for Furthering Industry Education and Advocacy!", writing: "The $1.3 million distribution has the potential to do much good in its areas of use, which are restricted to furthering industry education and advocacy."

ASMP has set as a deadline of tomorrow (Monday, 10/20) as the deadline for the reciept of ideas. Here are several things that ASMP should be doing:

1) Because of the importance of the case that has made its way to the Supreme Court regarding the National Geographic's use of photographers' works from their printed edition in their CD-ROM edition, I proposed ASMP utilize those funds to "fund additional counsel to aid in the preparation of {the amicus curiae} brief..." so that the rights of all photographers and this industry would benefit from the information that the ASMP would present. (Greenberg background here).
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2) There seems to be some movement in the possibility of being able to register with the copyright office works that are published and unpublished together, in one registration. Currently, you must register them seperately. The ASMP could fund a study into the benefits of this combined registration type, that would be of value in making the case for a combined registration. There are a great many challenges for a segment of the photography community that may not be able to determine which images meet the test of "published", and which do not. further, the ambiguity of the language in the era of the internet further confuses people. Surely, more people would register their work if this were the case. (ASMP FAQ on this here).

3) There are a great many endeavors that PLUS - the Picture Licensing Universal System cross-industry organization is working on. PLUS has recieved support from large corporations to fund the majority of it's development, and with the downturn of the economy and consolidation in the industry, PLUS is likely to face funding challenges. Because of their cross-industry consensus, the furtherance of the PLUS Licensing Glossary, the PLUS Registry (which has an significant importance in response to the expected Orphan Works legislation), are projects that, without a doubt, meet the test of "furthering industry education and advocacy", especially when facilitated by an unbiased organization like PLUS.

4) And here's the big one - fully fund an ASMP Strictly Business 3 program. I was a part of the SB2 program, and a protege of the SB1 program 15 years ago. One of the repeated messages we as presenters heard was "please repeat this more often." We were able to do just four cities, and each event was well attended. Consider a 10, or even a 20-city tour? Economies of scale would make each city less expensive, to be sure, and the ciriculum from SB2 could be utilized, further minimizing the planning necessary. I'm not plugging this so I can hit the road again (but I'd consider it), but if ASMP wanted to take my piece of the curriculum and have it used as the basis for a new presenter on those topics, I wouldn't have any problems with that. The SB2 program was open to ASMP members and non-members, but there was a price difference. Perhaps the pricing at the same level for both this go-round would resolve any concerns about benefits specific to ASMP. In fact, you could slash in half the price of the entire weekend, making it even more available; offer scholarships, or, maybe make the entire weekend free? I know, it sounds crazy, but it's worth looking into.

So there you have it - four ideas for the American Society of Media Photographers to spend their $1,300,000.00 in windfall funds. I'm sure others have been sent in. If you have your own ideas, hit this link - suggestions@asmp.org - and let them know. You have one day left to propose your ideas. As the e-mail notes - "Just be sure that your suggestions conform to the parameters of 'furthering industry education and advocacy.'"


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