Friday, January 16, 2009

The $500,000 water plane Flikr picture

I've been asking around. If this dramatic pic by Janis Krums of the US airway's crash and rescue went exclusive it could have by conservative estimates netted half a million for Janis.

It's an interesting dilemma. If you're a blogger/twitter and you come by a news story of this magnitude, do you:

  • 1. release it immediately and get famous?
  • 2. wait for a bidder?
  • 3. tag across it and put it out; the original after a sell won't carry your logo
  • 4. you don't know.

There are many newshounds scratching their heads about the sums they could have commanded.

Pap pictures can fetch anything up to millions depending on how exclusive and important the picture is.

The video taken in 1996 of a plane unsuccessfully landing in water, blogged earlier today went for about 70,000 UKP, which would have been near 120,000 US at the time.

It was a dramatic video ( not sure the couple had an a agent. Doh!) so frankly they must have been gobsmacked at the sums coming their way. In any case the comparisons with the significance and symbolism of the NY pic in today's frenetic media world are poles apart.

The famous pic used by the BBC of 7/7 underground has an interesting history. It was given to the BBC, but then a number of media felt they could also use it. The owner, I understand, with help from the BBC was able to recover some money for the its improper use.

Janis Krums may well reap significant rewards yet; he already has with air play across various networks and a flikr hit rate through the roof.

It's likely Krums took more than one, so he might still be approached by a magazine to see the others and or buy the original of him.

And given the popularity of the pic, its unlikely anyone will ever be able to use it without his permission ( creative commons aside- if that was being exercised).

Mind you if you're the phone maker behind the pic, that's your stock rising after a lavish campaign. So keep an eye out for where the photos going. 500,00 US is still possible.

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