"Image Banks"
and the people who build them.
"Why steal images from other people?"
An Editorial!

There is an interesting trend lately, that of taking scans or pictures of label images. Some folks have the idea that gathering every possible label image will make them a lot of money in the future. One reason is that they think re-issuing reproductions of labels in the future will be a great idea and a money-maker. Others simply can't afford the REAL labels, so they watch eBay auctions and simply download the images from there of all the rare labels they will never buy, or own, so they can take the image for re-use. One woman on eBay, actually takes the images from labels which have JUST been listed, and before the sale is over, she has a new "version" of it on eBay for sale as a reproduction.

Well, this shows two-dimensional thinking and very short-sighted at that. First of all, it is a fact that the BEST images are already in the biggest, PRIVATE hands collections alrady. They have been for years. One label dealer has a "museum" or exhibit on his website, displaying a lot of labels. He may come up with hundreds of rare labels. But, never scratch the surface of what exists. There are about 6,000 labels available to collectors today, including all the labels from websites, eBay, and dealer-stocks. These are the "body of collectible material." Collectors such as myself (and about 25 others) have ALL 6,000 of these images. But, we/they don't reproduce them for sale on eBay. WE/they would rather deal in REAL labels for the health of the hobby. Then, there are the RARER labels no one will see on eBay, and elsewhere. Labels in private hands. I have about 30,000 such images, images none of the copy-cat reproducers online will ever get to even see let alone copy.

The truth is, if about 5-8 of the biggest collectors WANTED TO DEAL IN IMAGES, we already would. But the market is small. If I, for example, wanted to deal in reproductions, I would have so many available, no one could possibly compete with me. But, I REFUSE to do so.


I know of one dealer in Washington, and two in Southern California who regularly "grab" images, and or color copies for their "collection." One dealer brokers sales between sellers and buyers, and in the process COLOR-COPIES EVERYTHING FOR THEMSELF! WHY would someone do this? Because they "love labels and can't afford them all..." Or, because they think the can make CDs of images for the art-market, and sell them INSTEAD of real labels. I don't think this is a problem, until they call collectors and say, "hey, can I come over and photograph your labels?"

Color copies are also a problem, because once someone HAS copies of your collection, potential buyers may THINK they are getting a "copy: of the label, meaning a REAL copy of the REAL label, NOT a "copy" or forgery of the label. Especially when a collector passes away, and the family goes to sell their collection, not realizing it is full of color copies. They may be injured when they go to sell the collection and find these reproductions are nt of any value.

Also, if some person sells you a CD of "lein-free, or "public domain" images, chances are, they have never done the research to see if the truly ARE copyright free, which is expensive and time-consuming. You may use an image from this disc, then be sued, and have no recourse. Look out! Copyright law is a tricky subject.

Now some folks make these reproductions in a size that is NOT the original size. But if the copy is original-size, you may have a hard time knowing what to look for. NEVER let anyone photograph your collection, not even for a fee. They have other plans for YOUR images! Suc reproducing, devalues YOUR labels!!

I am going to keep adding to this page and subject. In the meantime......

For more on this topic click <here> for information about reproductions.

Thanks!! -- Pat Jacobsen

(Last update: 2/06)