Dear Photographer, Agency and/or Representative: 

All of us here at the magazine (hereinafter referred to as the "MAGAZINE") appreciate and value our relationship with you (the "PHOTOGRAPHER" and/or "AGENCY" and/or "CONTENT PROVIDER" and/or "YOU"). With all the changes affecting our industry, from digital storage to foreign syndication, it seems an appropriate time to clarify that relationship by outlining the magazine's policy concerning our rights to any and all ("ALL") photographs ("PHOTOS") commissioned or acquired by the magazine. These issues become even more critical in light of the recent acquisition of our ("OUR") parent company, containing our ("OUR") magazine group, by a large, global media concern ("THE COMPANY"). 

As has been our long-standing policy, the magazine reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to digitally store, transmit, manipulate, enhance, airbrush, crop and otherwise alter any and all photos that happen to pass within a two-mile radius of any of the buildings housing the company or any of its subsidiaries or any third party that the magazine may enlist as a representative or licensee, now or in the future. This right shall include, but shall not be limited to, the right to darken the features of African-Americans, correct the dental work of septuplet mothers, and otherwise cosmetically transform the appearance of celebrities and their surroundings, over and above any oral or written agreement to the contrary between the photographer and the celebrity ("CELEBRITY") and/or his or her publicist ("SCUMBAG"), agent, manager and/or representative. 

The magazine reserves the right to incorporate any and all aforementioned photos, altered or not, into its cover, and to reproduce the cover, including the little inkjet or sticky subscriber label ("AUNT SOPHIE'S ADDRESS"), for any editorial or commercial purpose. The magazine reserves the right to utilize any and all such photos for promotional and/or publicity purposes, no matter how tacky. 

In addition, for no additional fee, the company, magazine and any third party deemed appropriate by the company or magazine, reserve the nonexclusive right to repurpose these photos, for any purpose, into magazine-related franchises, line extensions, ancillary products, services, databases and/or electronic storage media including but not limited to foreign, special or spin-off editions of the magazine, books, television programs, CD-ROMs, Internet applications, magazine prototypes, merchandise, calendars, posters, screen-savers, promotional materials (including but not limited to T-shirts, ties and coffee mugs) and any other medium or usage that might conceivably be conceived of, now or in the future, in perpetuity, anywhere in the universe (the "UNIVERSE"). The company and magazine's rights to the photos will apply for the full term of the universe, whether or not it is proven to operate under a Big Bang, Steady State, closed, expanding or oscillating model. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the agreement's provisions will apply even if it is subsequently demonstrated that duplicate, mirror, negative, or anti-versions of the applicable photos actually exist in a parallel or competing universe. 

The photographer acknowledges that neither the company nor the magazine shall assume any legal exposure whatsoever arising from the magazine's decision to hire, assign or offer a fee or guarantee to the photographer, his representative, agency, assistant, stylist, hair and/or makeup artist, studio, producer, location scout or any similar third party, nor shall any legal risk be assumed arising from the magazine's decision to store in its files, transmit or utilize any photo that the photographer, his agency or representative agrees to allow the company or magazine to consider for such use ("EXPLOITATION"). The photographer, his heirs, successors and assigns further agree to hold the company and magazine harmless for anything whatsoever, including but not limited to miscrediting, miscaptioning, damage, loss, running photos totally out of context and/or postage stamp-sized and/or with gobs of type splashed over them and/or inevitably wedging someone's face in the gutter. 

We would be grateful if you could sign this policy - acknowledgment agreement in the space provided and return it to the above address. If you do not wish to sign the agreement, acknowledging the rights stated herein, and would prefer never to work for the magazine or company again, either in this life or the hereafter, the magazine and company, in good faith, acknowledge your right to do so. 

Please note that a failure or refusal to sign and return this agreement to the magazine will be considered a tacit acceptance of its terms. 

     Yours, as ever, 

     The Magazine

     Your signature                             

David Friend, whose humor has appeared in Salon, National Lampoon and other publications, is Vanity Fair's Editor of Creative Development. This article is published, concurrently, with American Photo magazine.


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