George Zimbel vs. The New York Times

“I am ashamed of you and your management colleagues [at the New York Times]. I still have the highest regard for your editors, writers, and photographers. Your statements have the feel of events in Florida during the last election with lawyers and persons of authority depriving people of what was theirs. You are expending huge amounts of highly paid time to deprive freelance photographers of their property and consequently of income for the minimal amount of profit that will be generated by this mean-spirited policy. It is not acceptable. You use your muscle in words in a court of law because you are lawyers. I will use my muscle in words in the court of public opinion because I am a communicator.” –George Zimbel in a 2001 exchange with a New York Times Co., lawyer

George Zimbel’s website is a treasure trove of vintage photography and stories of the days of photographic yore (check out the blog). Via The Photo Brigade, I see that Zimbel has published a 2001 exchange with a New York Times Company lawyer when trying to reclaim a vintage print that the Times claimed it owned. It’s an interesting look into some of the unexpected and strange legal hoops freelancers sometimes need to jump through.

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