New AIA Agreement

Aug.14, 2003

On August 11, Victor Perlman, ASMP legal counsel and managing director, and I met with Mr. James Dinegar, American Institute Architects (AIA) Chief Operating Officer, and Ms.Vicki Allums, AIA Associate General Counsel. The purpose of the meeting was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and approve a new limited permission form regarding use of photographs created by ASMP members submitted in connection with AIA’s award programs. This event was the culmination of over six months of negotiations and has resulted in a new and mutually beneficial relationship between ASMP and AIA.

The new agreement and permission form, both of which are at the bottom of this letter, constitute a vast improvement over the previous forms that frequently placed ASMP’s member photographers at odds with their architect clients over the rights to be granted to AIA. Previous forms required the granting of rights far in excess of those required to conduct and promote the various awards programs.

The current documents limit uses by AIA to the announcement and promotion of the awards programs and limit any non-AIA advertising use. In regard to the AIA slide library, materials may be loaned out to member architects for in-house educational use and for outside educational presentations at non-profit educational institutions – however the images may not be reproduced without permission of the photographer. Promotional presentations also require the permission of the photographer. All uses, in conduct and promotion of the awards programs and in the slide library, will be accompanied by appropriate photographer credit. The indemnification provision now protects both photographers and the AIA instead of just the AIA, and its terms are fair and reasonable.

In addition to the awards programs, ASMP and the ASMP Architecture Specialty Group have been working with AIA on the AIA Annual Convention to be held in Chicago in the spring of 2004. In exchange for the use of various images of architecture and the city of Chicago, ASMP is being given a booth at the convention, a gallery space to exhibit member work, and access to the event for 20 of our members. Also, ASMP hopes to be participating with AIA in the presentation of continuing education seminars on the relationship of photographers and architects. ASMP and AIA will be co-producing a checklist for architects to use as a guide to their business relations with ASMP photographers.

ASMP looks forward to expanding our mutually profitable relationship with AIA. We will engage in ongoing discussions in an effort to discover new ways to benefit our combined memberships. The first six months are only the beginning.

Release form PDF
AIA/ASMP MOU Press Release PDF

— Eugene Mopsik
Executive Director, ASMP