How would you know if someone paid to use your photograph?

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Xerith
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:24AM
Just curious, how would you know whether someone actually paid to use your photograph after the first download? I mean, what if you used google image search and found 20 different places/sites using your image but it was only paid for once... so is there any way to identify who is actually the buyer? (of course, if there were zero downloads for that file, then you can safely say it was stolen, but once you exceed one download, the file could be out there for all to copy and you wouldn't know who is infringing your copy right).

(I personally don't really have this problem now since I only have one download and I guess I managed to find that one buyer, but was wondering how some of you guys who get so many downloads would know).


Thanks.

(Edited on 2012-11-14 08:25:36 by Xerith)
TheShihan
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloads
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:36AM

Interesting question. I don't know the answer but maybe some hidden image code is inserted into the downloaded pictures. But then I suspect that iStock won't tell us.
kelvinjay
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has won a contestForum Moderator
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:53AM
The short answer is that there is no way for a contributor to see if a file had been paid for by a particular individual. But the nature of the Royalty Free license means that the same file can be used as many times as the buyer likes, for as many different projects as they like, and they only pay once.

So, for example, if a web designer was to license your cute shot of the baby shoes, they could use that image in a thousand different websites for a thousand different clients and you as the contributor here would only get one single sale. That's how RF licensing works. A file may sell just one time and end up all over the internet, legitimately.

If anyone ever suspects that a file is being used outside of the license agreement, then they should contact iStock support. The best thing to do is start by reading here:

FILE MISUSE

Actually, there's a lot of good info for newbies here that may also help answer any basic questions:

New iStockers FAQ - Start Here (and say hello!)

Hope that helps.
gruizza
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:32PM
Posted By kelvinjay:
The short answer is that there is no way for a contributor to see if a file had been paid for by a particular individual. But the nature of the Royalty Free license means that the same file can be used as many times as the buyer likes, for as many different projects as they like, and they only pay once.

So, for example, if a web designer was to license your cute shot of the baby shoes, they could use that image in a thousand different websites for a thousand different clients and you as the contributor here would only get one single sale. That's how RF licensing works. A file may sell just one time and end up all over the internet, legitimately.


Are you sure about this?


Because, if this is true, than follows that the one who would buy an image, would also get absolute legitimate right to donate it to whomever he wants as many times as he wants, as long as appoints each  of possible usage of that particular image as its own project. Right?


Correct me if I'm wrong...
sjlocke
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Flash downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Flash ArtistExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:35PM
"Because, if this is true, than follows that the one who would buy an image, would also get absolute legitimate right to donate it to whomever he wants as many times as he wants, as long as appoints each of possible usage of that particular image as its own project. Right?"

Now you understand the license.
kelvinjay
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has won a contestForum Moderator
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:59PM
Sure I'm sure. That's what Royalty Free means. It means the one who licenses the content does not need to pay a separate royalty for each use. Otherwise that would be rights managed, where you have to specify where something will be used, for how long and how big etc.

Another example of RF usage might be a designer who licences a grunge background, they can use that background for as many different posters or websites as they like and for as many different clients as they like. They do not need to keep downloading and licensing the same file over and over again. The designer is the one licensing the content.

Useful info here:

http://www.istockphoto.com/help/licenses
gruizza
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:31PM

 


Well, I thought that the image has to be licensed for each usage, but that the other restrictions don't apply..


However, thanks for the clarification.
Maica
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusivePunctum Award Winner: Member has a file that has won a Punctum Awarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:52AM
What I always thought is that if I were a designer, after buying the license, I can use this image forever and ever for any project of my costumer, let's call him company "A". But if I wanted to use this image for another customer, let's say costumer company "B", unrelated to "A", I should have to buy a new license. Now, not sure I'm right.
crossbrain66
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:10AM
Posted By Maica:
What I always thought is that if I were a designer, after buying the license, I can use this image forever and ever for any project of my costumer, let's call him company "A". But if I wanted to use this image for another customer, let's say costumer company "B", unrelated to "A", I should have to buy a new license. Now, not sure I'm right.

kelvinjay pretty much explained it two post above - "... for as many different clients as [the designer] likes
Maica
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusivePunctum Award Winner: Member has a file that has won a Punctum Awarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:29AM
Yes, but that's diffrent from what I read in these forums years ago. I'm sorry I'm not able to find the posts, the search function in the forums could be better,
threeseven
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:34AM
Posted By Maica:
What I always thought is that if I were a designer, after buying the license, I can use this image forever and ever for any project of my costumer, let's call him company "A". But if I wanted to use this image for another customer, let's say costumer company "B", unrelated to "A", I should have to buy a new license. Now, not sure I'm right.


If you bought it, you use it on whatever project. But if you got your client to buy it for their project, they own it and can use it for any further projects - but you can't. You pay, you get. Though you need to stick within the limits for the standard or extended licence, paying attention to maximim number of impressions etc. The multiseat restriction would imply that you, the designer, can have it on your computer, but not give a copy to every designer in your design firm. And most importantly, you can't give, sell or share the file.


It's a sad fact that the more liberal the licence, the more people assume there is no restriction at all. I used to regulate software and content use in a large university and marvelled at how some academics thought the only limit was their imagination. Royalty Free is so close to unrestricted that many people miss the restrictions altogether.
Imgorthand
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:39AM

My impression was similar Carmen. I thought that it's the end user of the file that needs the license not the web designer himself.


And my no means web designer can purchase a single license and then create unlimited sites and sell them to his clients.


Please clarify this.


For example:


" You may install and use the Content in only one location at a time, although subject to the Prohibited Uses and the other terms of this Agreement, you are entitled to utilize the Permitted Uses an unlimited number of times."


How can you have multiple web sites using the single licensed image?
tomprout
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:28AM
huh? diamonds and golds don't understand how their stuff is licensed?
sjlocke
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Flash downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Flash ArtistExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:32AM

Posted By Maica:
Yes, but that's diffrent from what I read in these forums years ago.


No it isn't. It's always been that way. It's been suggested by contributors, when buyers ask, that we'd sure like it if multiple licenses were purchased, but it isn't a requirement.


Posted By Imgorthand:
My impression was similar Carmen. I thought that it's the end user of the file that needs the license not the web designer himself.


Your impression was incorrect.

"We hereby grant to you a perpetual, non-exclusive, non-transferable worldwide license to use the Content for the Permitted Uses (as defined below)....Only you are permitted to use the Content, although you may transfer files containing Content or Permitted Derivative Works to your clients, printers, or ISP for the purpose of reproduction for Permitted Uses, provided that such parties shall have no further or additional rights to use the Content and cannot access or extract it from any file you provide. You may install and use the Content in only one location at a time, although subject to the Prohibited Uses and the other terms of this Agreement, you are entitled to utilize the Permitted Uses an unlimited number of times."

And my no means web designer can purchase a single license and then create unlimited sites and sell them to his clients.


Yes, they can. That's the point (just not auto-generated template sites).

"You may install and use the Content in only one location at a time" - You, the designer can only host and use the content in one location - ie., your office, your home, etc. - as part of your workflow. "Reproduction for permitted uses" does not count as "use" in that quote above. You can't say "Well, the content is installed on X's website as part of their homepage, and that's one use, and that's all I can ever use it for."

Now, another sub stock site has this confusing statement:
"You may use (ABC) Images for no more than three (3) clients per thirty (30) day subscription you purchase. To determine the number of clients for whom you may use Images, multiply the number of one (1) month subscriptions purchased by three (3). For example, if you purchase six (6) one (1) month subscriptions, you may service eighteen (18) clients during the period of your subscription."

Another site says:
"The Standard License grants you, a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to make use of and display the image in a website or print project. A maximum of 10,000 copies incorporating the image may be made."

Which seems relatively clear that the license is for a single website or print project, but makes no comment as to buying more licenses if needed for other projects.

And here is a very clear statement:
"Each separate use of an Image downloaded hereunder requires a separate payment. For example, if an Image is used as part of a website design and in a business card, the Image license must be paid for two times. This is accomplished by downloading and paying for the Image as many times as necessary. Using an Image in multiple products without purchasing separate licenses for such uses is a violation of this Agreement and might expose you to liability for copyright infringement. "

Unfortunately, IS seems incapable of crafting a coherent, clear legal definition of anything.
Imgorthand
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:46AM

Thank you Sean for clarification. I wish you were in charge of constructing the license agreements.


 
Xerith
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloads
Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:01AM

Thanks for all the replies and information. I do get the part about the file being allowed to be used at multiple projects, just don't quite understand how that stands to benefit iStockphoto (and of course the contributors) since there is no control of how easily the file can be copied to be used elsewhere. iStock may gain one more customer because of this flexibility, but lose many more since the file is now basically free for all to copy so people who would have paid for the file won't need to come to iStock.

Basically, if there is no way to track, then it stands to say that you can never really know who is infringing your copyright and you will not be able to catch those who just copied it somewhere (maybe from your first paying download). Since iStock is probably not going to be actively searching for infringement, it is up to the contributors themselves to be doing so. However, without the means, then it is a lost cause from the start. Just a thought.

"If anyone ever suspects that a file is being used outside of the license agreement, then they should contact iStock support." BTW, just curious, have there been many cases of this succeeding? Watermark cases are clear cut so that should be easy, but for identifying who is misusing, once you have sold your photo once, you will never know for sure anymore. right? I doubt, iStock will force the issue with a "potential" customer if they just don't reply to the query. Anyway, that's not for me to worry about since I don't even have sales now... but its just something that has been nagging at me for a while so I wanted to find out if anyone else had the answer only.


Thank you all.
lostinbids
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerThis member chickened out of their last cage challenge. What, are you scared of a little photoshop challenge?
Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:21AM
Posted By Maica:
What I always thought is that if I were a designer, after buying the license, I can use this image forever and ever for any project of my costumer, let's call him company "A". But if I wanted to use this image for another customer, let's say costumer company "B", unrelated to "A", I should have to buy a new license. Now, not sure I'm right.


It is the person who bought the license that can use the image over and over for different projects.


In your example, lets say as a designer you build customer A and B different websites but both contain the same image.  You would only need to buy the image once. 


Then customer A comes back and says he wants some business cards and headed note paper with the image.  You can design them for him on the exisiting license.  Customer B comes back and says he too wants the image for headed paper and business cards but he would like his son to design them because the lad is a wiz with microsoft publisher.  You would now have to either say 'I can't do that because of the license' and direct him to the image for him to buy from istock or just tell him you can't send the image to him (and hope he sees sense and lets you do the design for him).


So customer B buys the image for himself and gets his son to do the design work. While he was on istock he saw some other great images and bought them too.  He contacts you because he wants a brochure.  He sends over his just purchased images for you to include in his brochure. You do a fantastic job and use the images he sent over.  After the job is finnished you must get rid of the images because they are not licensed to you just customer B, for who you are doing a job.  Customer B can also use the images he purchased on other jobs too with other designers.


That is my understanding of it.


 
sjlocke
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Flash downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Flash ArtistExclusive iStockphoto VideographerMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:36AM
"Basically, if there is no way to track, then it stands to say that you can never really know who is infringing your copyright and you will not be able to catch those who just copied it somewhere (maybe from your first paying download). Since iStock is probably not going to be actively searching for infringement, it is up to the contributors themselves to be doing so. However, without the means, then it is a lost cause from the start. Just a thought."

That's not a new thought. We've obviously all accepted those conditions knowing that.
kelvinjay
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has won a contestForum Moderator
Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:08AM
Quite a lot of people have made quite a lot of money over the past few years here. So the system obviously works for most contributors, at least well enough for them to keep doing it. We all know the risks of putting our stuff out there on the internet and we all accept the inherent risks of licensing our creations on an RF basis. Well, most of us I think understand and accept it, this thread does show a slightly worrying ignorance from some long time contributors, but that aside, contributors here generally accept the risk to reward ratio that this licensing model offers.

If anyone is uncomfortable about the way RF works here, they can always choose to sell their creations Rights Managed elsewhere instead, which offers far stricter controls on usage and provides stricter monitoring and enforcement. But all of that monitoring is expensive, so RM files are much more expensive and sell far more infrequently.

RF isn't right for everyone and every file, but hopefully the info in this thread and elsewhere helps contributors to make informed choices about what to do with their content. If anyone has suspicions of files being used outside of the license terms, they should read this thread and let support know: FILE MISUSE. iStock does have a very active legal team that work hard to make sure that the licensing terms are adhered to.

Hope that helps

(Edited on 2012-11-18 06:12:24 by kelvinjay)
pink_cotton_candy
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Posted Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:49AM
After the job is finnished you must get rid of the images because they are not licensed to you just customer B, for who you are doing a job.  Customer B can also use the images he purchased on other jobs too with other designers.

That is my understanding of it.

one quick clarification on this point for any Buyers out there reading this - you don't need to get rid of the images because it's possible that same client may need more work from you using them. You may not, however, use them for a different client or yourself without you or your second client purchasing an additional license.



(Edited on 2012-11-18 11:50:23 by pink_cotton_candy)
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