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People are funny. If something is thought to be unique it is worth more, even if it is ugly. If you had a beautiful picture and reproduced it exactly, 10 times, why would a copy be worth any more or less than if you reproduced it exactly, 100 times, or 1000 times? Some books are out of print and when there are thought to be only a few copies left in existence they are usually considered very valuable. Is it the book itself — the paper and cover — or the text inside that is the true value? Why not just typeset it and make a few thousand more?
With the right scanning equipment, no photograph is difficult to reproduce, and it is even easier if you have the negative or a digital file. Taking or making the image in the first place is where all the work is.
I forget the company’s name. There is an organization that issues serial numbers for photographs so purchasers can be assured they have an official copy of a limited print run.
While I think there is something to be said for having an original oil painting, because it contains the artist’s brush strokes and paint, I think the notion does not apply to something like a photographic print.
I think there is an argument to be made for licensing photos to advertisers or publications. There is more value if the distribution is larger.