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Feb 2 - One Contributor's Thinking

Displaying 101 to 120 of 384 matches.
PaulCowan
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:01AM
I'm sorry to hear that many people did not understand that ending exclusivity or deleting their portfolios would lead to a loss of income and I am greteful to Mr Barnes for pointing this out.


 


My problem is this:


Getty appears to think that it can do anything it likes without reference to the contributors because of (a) the very wide terms of the contributor agreement and (b) the practical reality that scarcely any of its contributors have the resources to fight it in court over anything that might appear to go beyond the contractual terms.


Now, what would happen if Getty, in a deal with iStock, paid me commission of $1 for a special deal with one of its wholly owned subsidiarias, entitling that subsidiary to market my portfolio as stock images?


You may think that is absurd, but there is very little difference in principle between that and the Google Drive deal, where Google is now effectively sub-licensing the images to a fourth party, saying it is ok for that party to use them, even though the TOS for that party require ownership of the copyright (and iStock says this is a permitted use under the secret contract; we don't even know if Getty is selling the license at $60 or maybe $30 per image or if there is some other figure, or if there are additional benefits accuing to Getty, perhaps a payment for adminstration/curating the files, or some secret Google search position benefit for Getty files).


Also, consider Getty's treatment of RM material on its main site, where it has decided that if this is unsold then it can be converted to RF and transferred to Thinkstock (and potentially from there to Google). The assumption that files that don't sell are rubbish is nonsense: we all know that great files can die because of bad luck pushing them down the search particularly in heavily saturated markets, such as lifestyle.


In the past, we knew the terms of the contributors' contract were tilted enormously in iStock's favour but I, at least, assumed that there was no intent to exploit all the legal possibilities to the maximum because I used to think that we had a common interest - that what was bad for contributors would also be bad for iStock, so iStock's business decisions would be in our common interest. That no longer appears to be the case.


Mr Barnes's argument can be summarised thus: "They've got you over a barrel and you'll only hurt yourself if you try to get off, so just grin and bear it".


Now, that's a perfectly rational position to take, but the question is, have they done their worst? If you stay on the barrel will it be better than getting off, or are they going to come along and horsewhip you tomorrow?


The issue is not so much what has been done as what might be done next, now that it is clear that the bond of common interest is worthless. I guess it has pretty close parallels with an abusive marriage, where divorce is going to cost you a packet but putting up with things is likely to get you another beating down the road.


Personally, I don't know what to do. I think it is very unlikely indeed that iStock/Getty will sabotage my entire portfolio for their gain, but it is no longer utterly unthinkable as it was until recently. It's not very likely that they will take my best images and give them away, because they aren't mainstream Google subjects, but it has reached the point of being a genuine matter of concern.


I stopped uploading when this began and I don't know if I will resume. I also removed a few model released pictures in view of the potential risk if they had ever got caught in a Google trawl.


Of course, things are different for independents and exclusives. If an exclusive pulls his or her best images their income for that picture drops to zero, whereas I might actually recover some of the lost sales from buyers switching to other sites. Dropping the crown probably means losing three-quarters of your income and unless you are very good indeed you may never recoup that elsewhere, and anybody telling you otherwise is probably not being entirely straight with you. But, on the other hand, if the iStock sales continue to dwindle, then in a year from now you might have lost half your income anyway, without benefitting from a return elsewhere, Nobody knows.

(Edited on 2013-01-28 01:06:55 by PaulCowan)
Starkblast
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:26AM

@PaulCowan,


Good post! Says it all.
topshotUKCLOSED
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloads
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:33AM

I deactivated a lot of my old low selling images when commissions were cut below 20% for non-exclusives.  This has to be an individual decision and I can understand that exclusives are in a very different position to me.  I've just lost enthusiasm for selling image licenses and only getting 18% of the price.  It might be different if istock was making me more money but that's not happened.  Last year was so bad that my earnings here have become much less significant to me.  The Google deal was the final straw for me.  Not asking permission for those images is disgraceful and there's been no good explanation why it happened and no reassurance that it wont happen again.  This time, my best images are going.  I've had lots of time to think about this, as I started deactivating years ago now and have had no regrets.  I'm not going to leave istock but I'm not going to sell my best images here and I'll be taking part in the February 2end deactivation day.


Unfortunatley I can't see things improving here, It will be great if istock do something to make me regret deactivating images but until that day comes, I'm left with little choice but to remove my best images.
swilmor
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloads
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:45AM

I have already begun deactivating images here. It is purely a business decision for me and not an emotional one.

I've been here long enough to ride the gamut of emotions at iStock and I few emotions left to spend. Getty, like any other large corp, is only looking out for their own business interests and not mine. That leaves me entirely responsible for my own bottom line. With that in mind, it would be irresponsible of me to just sit tight and wait. I've already been doing that for several years and have only seen my bottom line diminishing. I have no other course but to take action even if that means making short term sacrifices.


ETA: Just to add that my deactivations have more to do with protecting my own business interests and planning my future business strategy than with any protest or self-imposed deadlines. Like I said, it's not emotions. I definitely encourage contributors to think/plan clearly before making any rash decisions.

(Edited on 2013-01-28 05:12:23 by swilmor)
Juanmonino
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:38AM
It is very sad to see old time contributors deactivating their images here. I had to deactivate some images because the models in the images expressed me concerns about their images being missused or manipulated in the web after the google deal fiasco. I do not personally want to deactivate any images, but I do not want to find friends that posed for me in good faith suing me because someone made wrong use of their image in the web
JoeGough
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:10AM

^^^ Take a bow Mr Cowan. That's an outstanding and comprehensive summary of the position that many contributors here find themselves in.
Lobo
This user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:43AM

Posted By Starkblast:

@PaulCowan,


Good post! Says it all.


Posted By JoeGough:

^^^ Take a bow Mr Cowan. That's an outstanding and comprehensive summary of the position that many contributors here find themselves in.

I'm in his fan club too.

For everyone wondering why I left this train wreck up please do take the time to read through Pauls post.
AdShooter
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:46AM
I have not opened up a forum post since Thanksgiving.  I pretty much have given up uploading and keeping up with all the problems here.  I would like to know however what the February 2nd deadline is about.  Could someone provide a link for a catch up for those of us that have dropped out for our own sanity?
ClarkandCompany
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:53AM
It's a planned deletion of pictures and or closing of accounts in protest at HQ actions in relation to the Google deal. You will have to go to other sites that I dare not speak of for more info.


Nice post Paul Cowan. Sums up my feelings too.

(Edited on 2013-01-28 07:54:16 by ClarkandCompany)
AdShooter
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:59AM
Thanks Clark...  I didn't mean to get you in trouble with the Canadians.  lol
ClarkandCompany
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:11AM
Ha! You mean the Colonies?
DonMcGillis
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:12AM

@ PaulCowan - articulate as always, thanks;


@Lobo - train wreck notwithstanding, kudos to you for allowing intelligent and thoughtful discussion to continue for those weighing an important decision
Lobo
This user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:13AM

Posted By ClarkandCompany:
Ha! You mean the Colonies?

Hey! Keep your stick on the ice, Clarkandco.
ClarkandCompany
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:29AM
Will do Sir!
PhotoInc
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:34AM
I have been trying to piece together information that is being discussed here. Can we please have an up to date link to the core of this discussion? Would that be the Jan 23 Google update thread?  Thank you.
travellinglight
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:43AM
/
/Great post Paul.


I will give you all the thought that I had when I (finally) divorced my first husband. Sometimes, you have to make things worse, in order to make them better.


I gave up on being exclusive in May last year, and I am not sorry. Sure, my income is less, but from what I have read, it's now pretty much equal to what it would be if I had remained exclusive.


I'm with several others who've posted. I'm no longer uploading, and I won't be. My new best work will go elsewhere. There is life outside Getty/iStock.


ETA My best images are long gone from IS.

(Edited on 2013-01-28 12:23:22 by travellinglight)
lisafx
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:56AM
Absolutely brilliant post Paul!  Sums up the situation a lot of us find ourselves in perfectly!
Willowpix
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:10AM
Posted By DonMcGillis:

@ PaulCowan - articulate as always, thanks;


@Lobo - train wreck notwithstanding, kudos to you for allowing intelligent and thoughtful discussion to continue for those weighing an important decision

Yup and Yup.
whitemay
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:58AM
Posted By DonMcGillis:

@ PaulCowan - articulate as always, thanks;

@Lobo - train wreck notwithstanding, kudos to you for allowing intelligent and thoughtful discussion to continue for those weighing an important decision

Agree absolutely with both comments.
cr8tivguy
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:27PM

I too agree with Paul very much.


One thing that I'd like to add, is the reason we feel this way is that trust has been broken between the contributors and our Agent. Our Agent did a deal, that in the long run could and will probably hurt our industry as a whole. Letting people believe that imagery has little or no value, hurts our hard work here. Lack of communication, and showing leadership to us the contributors has led to this revolt. We don't want to be unhappy here, and remove our images, but we've been backed into a corner with only one way out!


Remember who owns the images! We can remove them, and go to whom ever we like. We did like it here, maybe you could try to communicate better, open the phone lines again, show that there's transparency between us. Ask us questions before you act. Maybe just maybe we might know a thing or two to contribute before you stick us with another bad deal.


How long will I stay, depends on you IStock/Getty .


Divided we fall...United we Stand!
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