In one evening, Paul removed issues 1-6 from the JPG website, removed Heather from the About page, and deleted the “Letter from the Editors” that had lived on the site since day one. Paul informed me that we were inventing a new story about how JPG came to be that was all about 8020. He told me not to speak of that walk in Buena Vista, my wife, or anything that came before 8020.
First, thanks to my 8020 cofounder and good friend Paul Cloutier. If you submitted a photo to issues 2 - 6, you used his upload tool. He and I built the plan for the new JPG together over the last six months, and I couldn't have wished for a better business partner.
It became increasingly evident that long-standing, significant differences of opinion regarding the direction of 8020 Publishing were preventing us from moving forward.
The JPG magazine that Derek and Heather created will always be an inspiration to us and we are committed to the principles that they set out.
To be clear, this was never about ego for me. It has always been about respecting the community. Erasing issues 1-6 and pretending that the "new" JPG was somehow not the same magazine was what I could not agree to, and was what's made the community so justifiably angry.I also want to make sure everyone knows that the other employees at 8020 had no hand in this. That's why I named Paul in my post. If I'd said "the people at 8020" it would have been untrue. They had no idea this was going on. I'm really sorry this has been so hard on them. It sucks, no doubt about it.I'll tell you honestly, watching all the JPG account removals makes me sick. JPG was my life's work for three years. I hate watching it suffer. But I understand that a trust with the community has been broken, and there's always a price to pay for that.
"Many companies have hard-and-fast rules regarding references for former employees that result in handing out little more than name, rank, and serial number. The rash of defamation lawsuits brought by employees and former employees has made many employers uncomfortable about sharing any substantive information about their former workers."*
"I would have loved to handle this privately....Maybe it was a mistake for me to tell this story. I don't think it makes me look good. It probably will hurt me financially. And it's certainly embarrassing."
"1. A large camera company will sponsor a contest for the best flower/kids/pet/something pleasing to a mass audience. The winning photo will be on the cover of JPG Magazine, the winning photographer will be paid $100 and the camera company will own the rights to all submitted photos to use in advertising at their will.
2. Photographers who submit to JPG will have the option of their photographs being sold in a microstock capacity. This option will be turned on by default. Users will have to actively opt out if they don't want to sell their work for pennies.
3. Photography submitted to JPG will be used in other magazines published by 8020. Pay for these images will be better than microstock wages but still far less than standard magazine photography rates. 8020 magazines will not have staff photographers or use freelance photographers on anything resembling a regular basis. They won't have to."
We never intended them to be erased from the history of JPG and everyone that contributed to them has a right to be angry about that. The plan was to find a way to include the old issues on the site but to more clearly show that they came before 8020 and to talk about how they were different from what we are doing now.
Laura from JPG/8020: "Paul received funding for a publishing company based on community submissions. He brought Derek on as his partner, and later chose to re-publish JPG as the first project. Derek and Heather were paid by 8020 for the rights."*
Derek: "I still own a percentage of the company, so I hope to see JPG continue to grow and prosper."*
Derek: "...I’ll tell you honestly, watching the JPG backlash makes me sick.*
"Derek Powazek's history of JPG Magazine -- from inspiration during a walk in the park with his wife, Flickr's Heather Champ, to his acrimonious departure -- is a classic tale of entrepreneurial naivete. When Paul Cloutier, the designer's partner, jumped at the chief executive role, Powazek thought that meant they were still equal partners in the photography mag; and he felt he still 'owned' the magazine even though he'd sold it, in exchange for a minority stake, to 8020 Publishing, a vehicle backed by CNET's Halsey Minor. Please.
In the interest of honesty with JPG's readers, Powazek draws six lessons from the experience, most of which are passive-aggressive rebukes to his former partner, who is portrayed as uncommunicative, incompetent, and dishonest. There's one lesson he didn't list. Creative talent and collegiality rarely go together. Stars like Powazek -- half of one of the web's celebrity couples -- make uncomfortable business partners. And their departures, as Powazek demonstrated yesterday, are rarely quiet."
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