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Getty's bad week ends with picket lines in New York

15 May 2001 - EPUK

For Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein, picket lines and angry photographers seem to be becoming a way of life.

At last week’s annual shareholders’ meeting he was questioned by photographers angry at the company’s proposed new contributor’s contract, while others demonstrated outside Getty headquarters in Seattle. This week he and company Chairman Mark Getty found themselves confronted by more photographers when they arrived at a Getty sponsored award ceremony in New York.

Photographers demonstration. Photo © 2001 Allan Tannenbaum /www.sohoblues.com

Gary Gladstone of the Stock Artists’ Alliance reports:

Over 70 photographers walked in an orderly but highly vocal sign-waving demonstration outside Manhattan’s Cipriani Club where the Institute of Contemporary Photography were holding their Getty sponsored Annual Infinity Awards; the march contained editorial, fashion, portrait, advertising, stock and industrial photographers.

The ICP annual gala, a high point in NY photo events, is attended by many important people in the professional photography business including photographers, manufacturers, and photo luminaries from all over the world.

For the Stock Artists Alliance it was the best place to address complaints about Getty’s horrendous contract offering in front of a wide and influential industry audience.

SAA Chief Glenn Allison flew in from California to march and carry signs with over 70 photographers. Many photographers who were invited guests, including Luc Delahaye, one of the evening’s honorees, walked outside to briefly join the demonstration and chat with marchers.

Among those who came outside to chat was Gordon Parks, Jay Maisel, Jack Reznicki and other major photographers. Joel Hecker, well known intellectual property attorney, stopped by to talk with marchers on the line.

A few manufacturers let it be known that they were concerned about our cause. Dan Steinhardt from Epson and Mike Newler from Canon, both active supporters of photographers and photo organizations, came to spend time with the marchers.

Pobereskin, Gladstone, Klein and Getty photo © 2001 Duncan Ball/PhotoNews Network

Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein and company Chairman Mark Getty came outside and talked for a full 15 minutes with Joe Pobereskin of the SAA and marchers at the picket line; the discussion was general and friendly. When it was suggested to Getty & Klein that instead of lawyers talking with lawyers about our concerns, it might be more fruitful to sit down and talk face to face to address concerns, they both replied that it was best having the lawyers dealing with the lawyers because the points were legal points.

Some present saw this as a distancing technique to allow screening of issues to be dealt with.

News from inside the event was that everybody attending knew marchers were outside and what the issues were.

ICP sent it’s P.R. firm executive out to let us know that they were concerned about our complaints that ICP has accepted money from Getty. Their position seemed to be that they needed the money and had not been aware of what our concerns were regarding Getty.

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