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Newsweek Cover Photographer At Center Of Rights Controversy

Palin.jpgYesterday we reported on the controversy brought up by what some are calling a “sexist” cover of Sarah Palin on the current issue of Newsweek. The issue featured a picture of the former governor wearing athletic shorts, taken from an old copy of Runner’s World, which struck us as odd. How can a magazine cop a picture from another one without approval?

Today we got our answer from Jeff Bercovici over at AOL’s DailyFinance: they didn’t.


According to Bercovici, the fault is currently on the shoulders of the photographer of the original Palin pic, Brian Adams, who sold the picture for a second time to Newsweek without, apparently, Runner’s World‘s knowledge about the transaction. Runner’s World posted a comment on their Web site stating that they had the picture under embargo for one year — which would stretch until August 2010 — and Adams is violating that clause in his contract with them. However, Bercovici isn’t convinced that the sports magazine isn’t just rescinding its consent after the fact:

“A source with knowledge of the situation says multiple outlets, including Time, approached Runner’s World after the photos first appeared on its website in July to inquire about obtaining the reuse rights. Those who inquired were forwarded to Adams. Editors at the magazine were aware of negotiations to resell the pictures, and were primarily concerned to see that Runner’s World received prominent credit, says the source.

Runner’s World claims no knowledge of the sale to Newsweek, but would not comment on whether or not they had knowledge of the sale to the stock photography agency that Adams originally sold his picture to. Newsweek‘s cover did feature a prominent logo of the original source material and, according to Newsweek spokesperson Frank De Maria, the photo was originally purchased from a third-party photo agency and the publication had no contract with Adams specifically. Josephine Parr from Runner’s World referred our questions about the embargo back to the Editor’s Note on the magazine’s Web site, which reads:

“On the cover of this week’s issue of Newsweek is a photo that was shot exclusively for the August 2009 issue of Runner’s World, in which Sarah Palin was featured on the monthly I’m a Runner back page. The photos from that shoot are still under a one-year embargo, and Runner’s World did not provide Newsweek with its cover image. It was provided to Newsweek by the photographer’s stock agency, without Runner’s World‘s knowledge or permission.

Previously: Newsweek Editor Defends Palin Cover

Read More: Runner’s World Editor’s Note: Photos of Sarah Palin, Palin photographer breached contract with sale to Newsweek — DailyFinance

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