I constantly caution all of you about lending surfing memorabilia and letting a company/author/museum use your stuff for a publications. Years ago I met Mark Blackburn, he was producing the Schiffer Publication, “Surf’s Up”. It was a project right up my alley! I eagerly participated. I eagerly signed over all photo rights of photos that Mark Blackburn’s photographer had taken to Schiffer Publications! At that moment in time I wanted my name and boards in print. I wasn’t too worried about problems down the road, a mistake!
The movie staring Tom Cruise, “Vanilla Sky” wanted a valuable vintage surfboard for a scene. Via a recommendation from Steve Pezman, the producers contacted me. They were going to pay me in excess of $10K for usage of the Malibu Preputal Surfboard. They were shooting on New Years Day. The glitch they need a photo to see how it would fit into the scene. The producers needed the photos like two day before! I desperately started to call. Obviously Schiffer was first on the list. This was about 5 to 8 years after the book. Schiffer reminded me that I had signed away those photo rights! If I was willing to pay $500 they could get me the photo in a week. Needless to say I got snaked and they used a retro surfboard which the maker failed to capitalized on its fame after being in the movie!
Fast forward, on a previous blog on fins I used an image of a wood keel skeg. About 6 to 8 months later Jed was contacted by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. They sent him a bill for photo usage for $1500. The first photo they sent Jed I did not use. However, that’s right, the second photo I used. I goggled wood surfboard fin and it came up without any mention of photo costs and or credit! We had to pay.
I will not mention this person’s name. His posters are on sale on the internet for $24.95 for a min to $70.00 for an XL. I was cautiously looking for photos for a blog article. All of a sudden I found this poster from an artists from Spain with ten of my surfboards painted of the Schiffer publication “Surf’s Up” photos. I immediately contacted the artist. I was super mad after the Getty incident. The artists pleaded poor and said he was sorry, I felt sorry for him and believed him! Let me make myself perfectly clear. If your making money off my surfing memorabilia I want a reasonable compensation. ”You really don’t think the goddam Mona Lisa leaves the Louve in Paris France for nothing!”, a quote from me. So I return from a trip to Acapulco. Three weeks had passed. I asked for acknowledgement where the boards came from. Important in case someone wants to pay you for usage of your stuff or mine! Remeber I had bought the poor starving artist. I ask for prints myself and family members. Nothing arrived when we arrived home. I waited a week for a response, nothing. I also found out that the artist was a law student while in college before he switched to art. He know better than to pull a trick like this! I am mad and daCoach is a bad guy to get made at you!
If people borrow your surfing memorabilia for a project you need to ask some questions. 1. Is anyone getting paid and or is the company/individual/museum getting paid? 2. If pieces are traveling is the producer of this event willing to put a bond for full value? What are you nuts, the place where you surfing memorabilia burns down or the stuff is stolen! Or worst than that these events goes overseas or the people overseas just decide to keep your stuff. How are you going to get back? 3. Investment of some form of compensation for usage of your surfing memorabilia provides some security of the fact that the lenders have an investment in keeping the stuff safe! Do they insure your stuff?
Please do get so excited you allow your rights to be violated! If these entities destory/sell/allow to be stolen/damaged they are violating you! It is simply not worth it to have your beautiful priceless collectibles abused for five minutes of fame! This is our hobby not our business! When the business side takes over the collector generally is the one to lose! This my story and I am sticking to it! How about you? got a story on how you got ripped off by lending you stuff out? Remember a picture with your reply is worth a 1000 words. Oh yeah, all the photos of surfboards are from the artist who ripped me off and made money by the use of my surfboards! I know what your thinking? He would have had to pay a model wouldn’t have he?
Keep Surfing, da Coach, listen to daCoach don’t let this happen to you!