Scoopt, the world's first 'citizen journalism' picture agency, officially launches tomorrow on August 4th. Now anybody with a cameraphone can sell their pictures to the press on the same terms as a professional photographer. Scoopt bridges the divide between the public and picture desk.
Using MMS and mobile E-Mail technology, Scoopt members can submit photographs straight from the scene - any scene - in seconds. Scoopt then licenses these photos for publication to the mainstream media. Membership is free and without commitment.
Scoopt members retain copyright to their photographs, and receive 50% of each and every licensing and syndication deal. This is in direct contrast to signing over universal copyright in exchange for a one-off flat fee, which is what usually happens when a member of the public tries to sell directly to a picture desk.
To protect media buyers, Scoopt applies vigorous measures to verify the authenticity of its material. Only members can submit material and Scoopt insists upon full and legally binding disclosure about each submission (the 'who/what/when/where/how'). Scoopt also has a strong internal editorial policy governing what it will and will not handle.
The Scoopt premise is simple. Virtually everybody now has a mobile phone, and virtually every mobile phone has a built-in camera. This means that somebody, somewhere, is in a position to photograph just about anything that happens on the planet.
Says Scoopt founder Kyle MacRae:
"The shocking events in London on 7th and 21st July brought citizen journalism into sudden, sharp focus, demonstrating once and for all that images taken by members of the public can be startling and evocative. Citizen journalism is here to stay and set to change the nature of news. Scoopt is at the forefront of this revolution, ensuring that frontline citizen reporters are properly and professionally represented. The key thing is joining Scoopt now so that you can send in your photos immediately next time you find yourself in the right place at the right time."
Scoopt soft-launched on July 4th 2005 to a considerable buzz in the blogs. However, the events in London on 7th and 21st July twice delayed a public launch, as Scoopt was unwilling to exploit the immediate aftermath of terrorist attacks. The Scoopt team includes extensive experience of journalism, photography and picture desk work.
Well, that's an interesting concept to make money with your camera phone (I have to add Scoopt to my recent article "What do you use your camera (phone) for?") if you don't have your own blog where you can post/upload photos to. On the other hand, this concpet is dealing with the harm of others (or you become a yellow press snapshoter and you take pictures of celebraties in captious situations).
Cheers ~ Arne