Article: “Annie Leibovitz risks losing copyright to images”

The article I read focused on the current financial crisis that famed photographer Annie Leibovitz is facing.  According to, Leibovitz took out a loan last year and used all of her photography and her home as collateral.  Apparently, she owes $24 million and may not be able to pay back the loan.  The due date is tomorrow.  If she is unable to pay back the loan, she will lose her home and all the copyrights to her work.  Leibovitz is a very well known and respected photographer who has captured quite a few controversial images of famous individuals.  She is most remembered for her Vanity Fair covers.

I found this article to be interesting but it also made me slightly frustrated.  I realize that nearly everyone is impacted by this current financial crunch, but with someone who makes so much money as it is, I thought that maybe this would not be an issue.  Furthermore, why would someone with such valuable and famous work as Leibovitz use it as collateral on a loan unless she was absolutely sure she could pay it back?   According to the article Leibovitz needed the loan to pay back mortgage payments and other undisclosed overdue bills.  However, no matter how frustrated this article makes me, I am also rather nervous as to the results of this current crisis Leibovitz is undergoing.  It would be a tragedy if she were to lose the rights to her photos.  Not only are those images timeless and some controversial, they are also worth a large sum of money.  However, maybe that would be the wakeup call Leibovitz needs.

One Response to “”

  1. Ross says:

    I heard part of this story on NPR and a similar reaction. How could someone sign their life’s work away? Some of the sheen has come off Leibovitz in recent years because she has become so commercial–probably because she has bills to pay. But there is no doubt that she has produced timeless images. What might happen to them should worry all artists. Look what happened to Beatles music when the band lost control, and not that McCartney is exerting control.