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Twitter photo sharing service Zuu.li to pay citizen photographers

Citizen journalism agency Citizenside has launched Zuu.li, a photo sharing service that offers those who take a newsworthy photograph to be paid a minimum of 50 per cent in commission.

“Conventional image-sharing services don’t give photographers a fair deal,” said Citizenside editor-in-chief Philip Trippenbach. “If you take a photo and share it through a conventional sharing site, you could see that picture published around the world, and not get a cent in fees or even a named credit.”

After a citizen photographer (if we can call them that) uploads a photo to Zuu.li and ticks a box saying “scoop”, the Citizenside newsdesk, which is based in Paris, monitors the feed and seeks to license any newsworthy pictures.

Citizenside carries out picture verification to ensure a photograph of an exploding volcano, crashed plane or train on fire is authentic. The agency then tries to sell the photographs on, including to the agency AFP, which it has a relationship with. Trippenbach told Journalism.co.uk they are working on ways to improve the speed and process of verification and hoping to use the community.

The citizen photographer is paid 65 per cent of the money Citizenside sells the picture for if it is published in the same country where the picture was taken; the photographer gets 50 per cent if it appears in a different country.

Philip Trippenbach on Zuu.li by Sarah Marshall

Trippenbach told Journalism.co.uk that Citizenside will “fight to get credits” for photographers so they are named by news outlets publishing their newsworthy photos.

We cannot be responsible for the publishing practices of newspapers or websites that we have no control over. However, credits are very, very important and it is our objective to make sure every picture that is published will have a named credit.

Zuu.li was due to be launched later this year but bosses decided to bring the beta launch forward after Twitpic, a photo sharing service, changed its terms and conditions resulting in some users believing Twitpic could sell on users’ photos without crediting or paying royalties to the person who took the picture. That took place shortly after Twitpic signed a deal with entertainment news agency WENN. Twitpic responded by apologising for any confusion and seeking to limit the damage to its brand by assuring users that the photographer always retains the copyright.

Android and iPhone apps are planned for Zuu.li, which will be launched after version two of Citizenside’s app, which will include a photo request service from editors looking for citizen journalists to provide specific photos.

Zuu.li launched on the same day as Twitter announced its photo sharing service. Trippenbach said it offers something different. “The thing that sets us a side is that we’re dedicated to a community of people who want to share images in a fair way,” he said.

“You take personal pictures and if you share them with your friends and contacts, you should be able to trust that they should stay personal. If you do want to see where they can go, see if they can get published and get paid for them then you should deal with the experts and Citizenside are the experts,” he said.

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Where does Twitpic row leave journalists?

Newspapers, broadcasters and websites are unable to publish Twitpic photos without permission from the person who owns the copyright, according to a media law specialist.

And the copyright is owned by the person who took and uploaded the photo, the founder of Twitpic, a service which allows users to append a photo or video to a tweet, has confirmed in the company’s blog.

“From what I’ve heard of the terms they are describing I don’t think that journalists can use the pictures people have uploaded to Twitpic and print or broadcast them,” media law consultant David Banks told Journalism.co.uk.

The question of the copyright of Twitpics has been answered this week and founder of Twitpic Noah Everett has apologised to users after it faced a barrage of criticism when it changed its terms leading many users to understand that Twitpic would have the right to sell users’ photos.

Twitpic users ditched their accounts in their droves in favour of alternatives, like this (really nice) option, Imgur.

“To clarify our ToS regarding ownership, you the user retain all copyrights to your photos and videos, it’s your content,” Everett said on the blog.

However, by signing up to use Twitpic you agree to allow the company to distribute your images to its partners, which include celebrity photo agency WENN.

Twitpic has said that it had changed its terms to prevent the media publishing and broadcasting photographs of newsworthy events – like this Twitpic of the Hudson river plane crash – without the permission.

Writing on the Twitpic blog, founder Noah Everett said:

Our terms state by uploading content to Twitpic you allow us to distribute that content on twitpic.com and our affiliated partners. This is standard among most user-generated content sites (including Twitter). If you delete a photo or video from Twitpic, that content is no longer viewable.

Twitpic’s full terms of service are at this link.

The BBC editorial guidelines on the use of photographs from social media sites are at this link.

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Journalism Daily: thelondonpaper to close, tax and video for freelancers and video mag ads

August 20th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism Daily

A daily round-up of all the content published on the Journalism.co.uk site. You can also sign up to our e-newsletter and subscribe to the feed for the Journalism Daily here.

News and features:

Ed’s picks:

Tip of the day:

#FollowJourn:

On the Editors’ Blog:

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Online Journalism Blog: #skypic – how one Twitterer got Sky to pay for his Twitpic

Really good round-up from Paul Bradshaw on the Online Journalism Blog of the case of Joe Neale, whose photo of a crime scene at Waterlook station was used by Sky News after Neale posted it to Twitter.

Neale’s picture, which he submitted via Twitpic, was used by Sky for the story a couple of weeks ago without his knowledge.

Using Twitter to raise the issue – and maintain pressure on Sky – and backing himself up with TwitPic’s terms of service, Neale has now been contacted by Sky, who have agreed to pay for use of the image.

Fascinating to see Neale’s correspondence with Sky in the open via Twitter/the use of the service to campaign. The ultimately positive response from the Sky News Online team is also interesting and counter to the original act of using the photo – which suggests that mainstream media organisations still see social media as a free pool of content – as a comment on the OJB post suggests.

Full post at this link…

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Twitterfall makes it onto Telegraph newsroom screens

February 25th, 2009 | 17 Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology

Twitterfall, an app that lets you monitor new updates to Twitter on certain #tags or search terms, has been a fixture on the big screens in the Telegraph’s integrated newsroom for the last two weeks, according to this pic from Telegraph.co.uk editor Marcus Warren (courtesy of TwitPic):
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

The Twitterfall of #twitterfall is the first non-mainstream media news source to appear on the screens, Warren said in a Tweet, adding that it’s the same size as the projection of Telegraph.co.uk on the screens and given more space than Sky, BBC and CNN on the wall.

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BBC News: Twitter’s iconic image of US Airways plane

January 16th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

A BBC video piece about that now infamous Twitpic of the plane in the Hudson River by Twitterer Janis Krums, plus guest appearance by the Guardian’s Kevin Anderson. Full story…

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