Magnum Portrait


A one minute movie by Chien-Chi Chang

838 Responses to “Magnum Portrait”

  • Bill, info on copyright:

    My understanding is that if you registered your photo with the copyright office, you win $150,000, minus lawyers fees of course. If you failed to register it, although you are legally entitled to the cash, you will have difficulty finding a lawyer to take the case. That’s just heresay though, I have no direct experience.

  • Bill…
    Good old trick when I was in music was to send yourself a registered parcel with a CD with your music and written lyrics… So when someone was blatantly copying your music,lyrics, or melody you took them to court with perfectly legal proof that at so and so date year you had already written/composed it and no need to copyright or anything… Could do exactly the same strategy with images.

  • The other day I recieved a comment on my blog asking me in if I would post my images on the web at correct printing resolution because they had tried printing them at 72dpi and they didn’t turn out properly… !!!!!!

  • Dear BBC,

    Our photographs are not public domain.



  • There’s no need to guess. Just follow my link above. Here’s a particularly relevant link from that group:

  • Bill, please let us know the outcome.


  • Got a story to pitch to Once magazine? iPad based, 50 – 50 split of revenue between photographer and magazine.

  • Bill

    First thing to do before contacting the offender,BBC in this case, is to ensure you have an archived
    screen grab of your image in use on their site.

    Beyond this you have basically two approaches.

    1-contact them,state your position, and request adequate compensation for the use.
    Some add a 100% surcharge as a way of making a point others are content with the space rate.
    It’s up to you.
    2- contact a copyright attorney and launch a suit. If the image is not registered with the U.S copyright
    office the liklihood of getting a significant settlement is,prbably, a long shot.

    A good primer here:

  • Paul,

    I don’t but I do think often about where my career would be if events hadn’t tragically transpired as they did. I’ll say no more…



  • Bill, Send them an invoice plus a little extra. I’m guessing they will pay up when asked. I don’t think it would be worth taking them to court in the UK. Don’t let them take the piss though they will probably expect to pay 30 quid.

  • I have learned how this happened and I think now that everyone was acting in good faith, somebody was just careless under time constraints. I don’t have any time myself to explain right now, but before this day ends, I will.

    I will also go back and read all the links that you gave me and follow up on the suggestions.

  • “I’ve been trying for some time to develop a life style that doesn’t require my presence.” -Garry Trudeau.

    There’s something to that, I think.

  • “I’ve been trying for some time to develop a life style that doesn’t require my presence.”
    Akaky also achieved this!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    FROSTFROG…I am ready to take action…
    I am in a “fighting zone”
    I might have no idea about copyrights,laws and legal systems
    BUT I have my ways…which you don’t really wanna know
    cause…” it takes a thief to catch a thief”:)))

    To All of you out there…who don’t respect “my BURNIANS property”
    this I have to say:

    “If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.”
    Yogi Berra
    cause Civilian will come after you…you have been Warned!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Last night…when I returned back to your civilian’s house…
    next to my chickens…
    YAKUZA was waiting for me…

    ANTON’S book is here …
    no much to say…I will second all of you
    I wanted to cry…BUT I didn’t want to make a mess
    MR.HARVEY…you are a freaking master
    oime…MY BURNIANS…
    I have seen you going through a painful process:)…
    many of you …like my chickens…struggling,pushing,sweating
    you are breaking your cells…
    and you are coming out…
    I am the proudest civilian in the Universe…
    keep shooting
    keep BURNing…damnit…I will be here waiting

    P.S…EVA…check e-mail…
    your civi

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy Birthday JARED…please,send me update regarding your chickens…

    Goodmorning MY BURNIANS!!!

    I am requesting reports from many of you…I know where to find you:)))
    u have been warned…

  • CIVI

    you are welcome… please enjoy….

    hugs, a

  • EVA…

    yes Sally did find the perfect balance i think…and she would be the very first to thank her husband Larry for being such a great father, business success etc and allowing her to do her work…we have to be very very honest here…i think most know that many photographers like HCB, Frank, Riboud and Sally as well never had to think about how to earn a living…they just put all of their energy into work and the potential conflicts of art and commerce never came up…but this is nothing to dwell on..we are all dealt a different hand in life…we must play our own cards….one must know what is what and how to best make the most of what you have, but you cannot change the hand…so, look at it, and get on with it….enjoy things for what they are, not be bitter for what they are not…


    yes, you are correct…we see that sort of thing everyday in every way…but again, people do confuse the myth and glamor of Magnum for what the agency was set up to do, which had nothing to do with myth was a totally practical thing….i might point out again that any photographer on this planet who owns the copyright on their commissioned material should at least tip their hat towards Magnum who without any doubt has fought this battle for photographers rights more and better than anyone…the models have followed…that is why i tip my hat to VII, Luceo,Prime etc for continuing and helping all of us to maintain the clear ownership of our work…i know some do not care about this, and that is fine …but for those who do care, good ole M clearly did lead the way for all…


    Alec does say that with a wry smile, but surely it is the secret dream of many

    cheers, david


    a clear violation by BBC…the fact that they gave you credit is no excuse……they stole your picture, plain and simple…you might have given permission of course, but they should have asked…BBC is one of my favorite news gathering organizations and i am surprised this happened to you…you should do a bit of homework and find out how and why this happened..unfortunately the nature of the net has everyone assuming that pictures that are on the net are just out there for all to grab….and an element of this is true..the pictures posted here on Burn are copied and re-posted every day…mostly with at least credit to Burn and the photographer and usually with no commerce involved…but BBC sells advertising and that is the big diff…


    yes…you are thing that should be noted , is that you can batch copyright your work..take a whole years worth and in five minutes have it all registered….

    you do have the legal copyright of your work when you push the shutter button UNLESS you sign it away as many do to get paid for their work…..having it registered is just a plus, but not the only measure…

  • Frost Frog – you were ripped off, even if it was by a bloke with a clipped oxford accent in brogues and a blazer, it still is not good form …if your pic was registered you could well show those chaps the door.

    Charles Peterson – Dude, I was riffing over your work 20 years ago before I even started looking at bylines.

    Anton – Yakuza arrived yesterday , still in wrapping paper, awaiting appropriate herbage and a nice bottle of Rioca for appreciation.

  • DAVID :)

    yes, i know (alec’s wry smile)…as was my own ;)

  • DAH, yes, a clear violation by the BBC and it shouldn’t have happened but the BBC does not sell advertising space. It is funded by the public via an annual licence fee paid by every household who own a television set.

    Being funded in this manner makes the unauthorised use of Frostfrog’s photograph even more bemusing.

    “we are all dealt a different hand in life…we must play our own cards….one must know what is what and how to best make the most of what you have, but you cannot change the hand…so, look at it, and get on with it….enjoy things for what they are, not be bitter for what they are not…” – you have said this before David and it is surely worth repeating: I remember your words often.


  • originally published by “alice press” (tristan dubois) in 2004 (?), tho actually produced by “editions treville” in japan – it inevitably faced distribution problems in america

    (high end art/controversy or fast cash?)

  • DAVID…

    Indeed! Only thing that works in the long run.. :)

  • Panos:

    “(high end art/controversy or fast cash?)”

    Last 2 it seems!

  • “DAH, yes, a clear violation by the BBC and it shouldn’t have happened but the BBC..”

    Yes, as it was initially presented but, in a later post,Bill,mentioned that he got to the
    root of the situation and that it was the result of miscommunication.


    oh, i must have missed a comment…thanks

  • This column in the latest Visura Magazine is applicable to the copyright discussion:

  • David,
    as a member of ASMP (American Society of Magazine Photographers) I take issue with your statement
    “. . . should at least tip their hat towards Magnum who without any doubt has fought this battle for photographers rights more and better than anyone…” in my opinion ASMP (one of the biggest photographer organisations worldwide) has been in the forefront in educating both their members and the users of photography about issues of copyright.
    Magnum may – last but not least – look out for the interest of their members. –
    Among the battles fought in Washington – including photographs becoming public domain after a certain time – ASMP and APA were also there to make the case for photographers.

    The aspect of making a living with photography, and those blessed with not having to worry about paying the rent . . . it’s good that this matter appears on BURN.

    Hope to shake hands with you in Perpignan.


  • I am perplexed and I hope for some direction in the midst of my perplexity. I wrote the following six years ago:

    “One of the great, unsung heroes of World War II died this past week. Todor Kupov died in his sleep at the age of 97 at this home in the little village of Krmumol, a few miles outside the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. Surviving him is his wife of 76 years, Elena, and 12 children, 47 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and an octogenarian gerbil named Stalin. Mr. Kupov’s great contribution to the Allied war effort came in the years 1942-1945, when Mr. Kupov, a farmer and well-known author, was able to subtly maneuver Adolf Hitler into decisions that ultimately led to the Nazi dictator’s downfall.

    Before the war, Mr. Kupov was one of Europe’s most outspoken vegetarian and homeopathic activists, publishing articles on the positive benefits of vegetarianism in the most of the leading Bulgarian newspapers and journals, articles which led to a popular, if temporary, vegetarian movement in the Black Sea and Balkans regions. German vegetarians translated many of Mr. Kupov’s articles and his ideas found a popular audience in the Third Reich, especially among the Nazi elite, who sought to curry favor with Hitler by adopting the Nazi leader’s vegetarianism. Among the more avid of Mr. Kupov’s disciples was Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal physician, who gave the Fuhrer many of the natural homeopathic cures that Mr. Kupov championed. One of the more unusual of these cures became the focus of an intensive Allied intelligence effort that eventually forced Mr. Kupov, who enjoyed his celebrity status in wartime Germany, to pick and choose which side he was really on.

    Mr. Kupov’s writings do not indicate when he discovered that the encapsulated feces of healthy Bulgarian peasants had some medicinal value, but Mr. Kupov advocated such capsules with such vigor that Dr. Morell began prescribing them for Hitler. The German leader suffered from chronic gastrointestinal complaints and Mr. Kupov believed that encapsulated Bulgarian ordure helped alleviate such problems. And for his greatest believer, Mr. Kupov made sure that Dr. Morell had access to the freshest and healthiest ordure available: his own.

    Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of German military intelligence and a man who loathed Hitler and everything Hitler stood for, tipped the Allies to the importance of Mr. Kupov. In 1942, a highly trained team of Allied nutritionists slipped across the border from neutral Turkey into Bulgaria disguised as Turkish yogurt salesmen with the name of a secure contact provided them by the former head of the British Press Office in Sofia, Sir Steven Runciman, the great historian of the Crusades and Byzantium, hidden in the aglet of the team leader’s left shoe. The contact, a short, fat, bespectacled man with a wart on one side of his nose and a bad limp in his right leg, was a former student of Sir Steven’s at Cambridge University and led the team to Mr. Kupov, who was at the time visiting relatives in Sofia. The team leader then proposed one of the boldest plans in the history of nutritional warfare and asked Mr. Kupov for his help. Mr. Kupov, a man who always knew his own mind, agreed to this campaign of intestinal sabotage immediately.

    The plan, devised months earlier by the senior medical staff of British intelligence, called for Mr. Kupov to subtly alter the content of Adolf Hitler’s fecal capsules by changing the content of Mr. Kupov’s diet, a plan which, if successful, would change Hitler’s mental state at crucial points in the war. While many military luminaries like Sir Arthur Harris called the plan stupid beyond belief and predicted that it would never work, the plan, codenamed DUNGBEETLE, succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. After some small experiments, Mr. Kupov found that he could best effect the Nazi leader’s mental state by changing the red pepper and lentil content of his (Kupov’s) meals. For reasons that are still a subject of scientific inquiry to this day, red pepper caused mistaken decisions on the Western Front, while lentils caused catastrophic decisions on the Eastern. In his greatest triumph, Mr. Kupov had a dinner of dried red peppers and rice in late May of 1944 and two weeks later, Adolf Hitler went to bed with an upset stomach and a sleeping pill and no one dared wake him up while the Western Allies successfully invaded Normandy.

    Mr. Kupov did poorly after the war. The Soviet Union arrested him for collaborating with the Nazis and spying for the Allies and shipped him off to Siberia; only his great good luck prevented him from standing in front of the firing squad. After his release in 1956 during the Khrushchev thaw, Mr. Kupov returned to his now collectivized farm and lived there for the rest of his life, still advocating vegetarianism to anyone who would listen. In later life he received some belated recognition for his war work and his works are now available in English; many modern American vegetarians and vegans point to Mr. Kupov’s work as the major reason for their own conversion to the meatless cause. Mr. Kupov was philosophical about world history and his role in creating it. “I did nothing no ordinary Bulgarian does not do,” he said once, “nothing less and nothing more.”

    Todor Kupov, dead at age 97.”

    What perplexes me is that anyone would take the above seriously, but apparently someone is, because I’ve just gotten a very nice email from a Bulgarian vegan wanting more information about the imaginary Mr. Kupov, whose name I arrived at by taking a two-door coupe and adding -ov to the end. Apparently there is some discussion of Mr. Kupov’s alleged contributions to the war efforts on Bulgarian vegan sites and my piece is being used to support one side’s claims versus another’s. I don’t want this guy to feel stupid, so should I answer this or just ignore his email and just hope he goes away? Advice, anybody?

  • By the way… I always loved Josephine Blosephine’s work. Breezy, yet ephemeral.

  • Akaky… That’s funny. But to be honest, it’s difficult to tell when you’re having us on. OK, the original essay is a bit of fiction, but how do we know the “Bulgaria vegan” is real? ;^}

  • And what if the “Bulgarian vegan” isn’t from your imagination but someone else’s? What if it is a creation of Panos’ or Bob Black’s and they’re really have you and all of us on!?

  • Ok – here is what happened:

    My biologist friend, whose pictures also appear on the BBC site, gave a presentation on Eskimo whaling at the IWC convention, built on his slides and a few of mine. I am told that the presentation went well and reporters there, including the BBC, wanted to use some of the pictures and deadlines were looming. My friend and the whaling captains there thought it might be helpful, so they provided some of Craig’s pictures along with the one of mine which appeared in the article. Craig forwarded an email to me and it included his instructions that reporters should contact me for permission before using my picture.

    Somehow, that never happened. Perhaps because the deadline was pressing and the reporter felt that the face that the picture had been passed to him was permission enough. Now that I understand the circumstance, I am not so upset as I was, because the original intentions were all good. Still, any media outlet – let alone the BBC – has a responsibility to obtain the photographer’s permission before publishing his work. I have written to both the BBC and the reporter and have let the know that at the very least, I would have insisted that they include links both to my blog and to the NYT Lens blog piece, but so far I have heard nothing in response.

    Akaky – I agree with Michael. In fact, I strongly suspect that you are setting us up, because, given your delight in creating delightful absurdity, it seems to me that if the scenario you now present were true, you would happily jump back in, lead that Bulgarian vegan on, and give both sides in the argument more ammunition to fire at each other.

  • I really hope it’s Bob or Panos! ;^}

    Bill, thanks for sharing what went down.

  • I only posses knowledge about Bulgarian Feta , that is and nothing more !


    it is a full time job managing your work…and you must take it very seriously…i do take it seriously and still occasionally end up in grievous situations as you have here…i can see what happened ..neither the reporter nor BBC saw anything here but a scientist presenting work..they were not looking at it as coming from a pro editorial photographer with a knowledge of their rights…scientists usually do not care about photo use since their agenda is different and often give away photos to help promote their work…again, just a bit careless all around, yet i do think you will most likely hear from BBC eventually..

  • GG

    oh yes ASMP has fought very well for the rights of photographers….this whole discussion stream was more about what Magnum is than a discussion about photographers rights, yet i humbly give my apologies for not mentioning the ASMP who over the years has clearly done so much for so many photographers…

    you may or may not be aware of very specific cases, at NatGeo for example, where Magnum quite literally changed the playing field for photographers rights there…not just Magnum member photographers, but all photographers shooting at NatGeo…details at some point if you want…we even referred to it as the “Magnum deal” even though at the time there was only one Magnum photog shooting for NG and this affected dozens of NG shooters who had no representation.. i and many others were very grateful to Magnum for saving our rights, particularly on clear ownership of published originals, yet i was not in Magnum at the time…

    yet there is no doubt the ASMP also has many examples of where they were most influential in maintaining and securing photographer’s rights..THE most important rights organization for the most photographers hands down.

    neither of us should take exception with the other however, since we indeed are on the same page and have the same values.. i do indeed looking forward to shaking your hand as well..thank you for mentioning the value of ASMP as an instrumental organization for photographers rights…a big high five and big hug to all at the ASMP

    cheers, david

  • krumi buys a bit of Tassie to hang around in

  • That’s sweet Imants! Now you’ll be able to experience some NZ-like weather!

  • David; I got caught last year when a mag publisher re-used one of my articles that had been previously published in one of their “sister” publications without payment; not even a 65% second use fee. Their excuse was that since they had paid for it originally (all my copyright, not commission!); it was theirs to use for nought!

    Also this poster (of an old nature image of mine) has been floating around for years. Neither of my agencies ever sold it to these companies. Trying to sort it out has been like trying to shadow box!

  • Yea it’s about 45 minutes south of Hobart near Franklin overlooking the Huon River ………….. this area has been the battleground of ferals v loggers v greenies for over a generation. There is a small pickers hut, a heap of blackberry bushes and we will probably build in about 4-5 years time. Meanwhile Linda will use the place and knit and I will make up bullshit

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.