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Author Topic: NEWS - Operation Level Ground attracts Artists to Fotolia  (Read 24989 times)

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traveler1116

« Reply #75 on: October 22, 2009, 22:49 »
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So what's the word on whether this is open to existing contributors?

I talked to Jennifer from Fotolia at Photoplus today and she told me that current Fotolia contributors would not qualify for 'Operation Level Ground'

Well I will continue to plan to be exclusive on IS in the next couple months then.   Operation Level Ground is a pretty funny name for this program though, thanks for the info Leaf.


« Reply #76 on: October 23, 2009, 02:27 »
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So what's the word on whether this is open to existing contributors?

I talked to Jennifer from Fotolia at Photoplus today and she told me that current Fotolia contributors would not qualify for 'Operation Level Ground'
How ironic, they are trying to level the playing field by giving new contributors favoritism.

« Reply #77 on: October 23, 2009, 04:46 »
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I applied. Let's see what they say. With the number of downloads they require I should be Sapphire or more while I am 'only' emerald now. With 8k images online and with years of work behind me I'll be very angry if they place newcomers above me. Especially if I could have the same level according to the same standards.

Well, I do not have a problem with the new method how they try to attract new volume contributors. But they should place the limits much higher if the option is closed for existing contributors. Earning 65k overall USDs is far far far FAR more easy then reaching emerald level on FTL. Just an example: to reach the next level (sapphire) it would take 4 years!!! for me. So anyone who is on my level would get sapphire instantly why I should have to wait 4 more years for it. Just because I am already a FTL contributor. This is VERY UNFAIR!

If this is the case, I'll remove my portfolio, apply and reupload it. Reuploadning would need about one or two months... not four years!

traveler1116

« Reply #78 on: October 23, 2009, 05:31 »
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It is crazy that I'm bronze but someone who never contributed to FT and had my stats would be emerald, I think even if I wasn't considering going exclusive elsewhere I would probably quit FT now on principle alone if this policy isn't open to everyone.

« Reply #79 on: October 23, 2009, 06:08 »
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they won't open it up to everyone that would be too fair

« Reply #80 on: October 23, 2009, 06:29 »
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Has anyone asked if we can delete our portfolios and re-apply?  I wouldn't want to do that only to find that I still wasn't eligible for this offer.

PaulieWalnuts

  • You talkin' to me?
« Reply #81 on: October 23, 2009, 06:40 »
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Hmmm. I wonder why would they risk alienating a lot of their existing contributors to go after what appears to be a fairly small group of new contributors?

And the fact that maybe only a small percentage of that small group will bite.


RT


« Reply #82 on: October 23, 2009, 07:00 »
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Has anyone asked if we can delete our portfolios and re-apply?  I wouldn't want to do that only to find that I still wasn't eligible for this offer.

I wrote and asked if the new ranking system would apply to existing contributors or do I need to delete and reapply, FT UK wrote back and told me they are going to check with the senior management regarding this issue and get back to me, I'll let you know when they do.

It would be interesting to see what the OFT say about it if Fotolia don't honor this ranking system for all contributors new or old, it might fall foul under the Competitions act.

If I were a member of their targeted audience for this announcement one thing I'd being doing for sure is checking up on the site which no doubt would bring up a whole load of information about the way Fotolia treat their contributors!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 07:06 by RT »

« Reply #83 on: October 23, 2009, 07:27 »
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Hmmm. I wonder why would they risk alienating a lot of their existing contributors to go after what appears to be a fairly small group of new contributors?

And the fact that maybe only a small percentage of that small group will bite.



Why the would risk alienating ther existing contributors?
That's simple.
Because they have done time and time again in the past without any noticeable impact on their bottom line. Sure, there will be some ranting and complains in the forums, maybe even a few contributors may leave, but after a few weeks it's back to business as usual...

That's why they'll do it.

« Reply #84 on: October 23, 2009, 10:48 »
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Fotolia PR say Jim did his press release by himself, but that they knew about it and when it was coming.  So it seems it was all planned this way.

Don't you have to give 30 days notice to drop exclusivity? If so this deal was presumably agreed at least a month ago. FT would therefore have had plenty of time to produce their own press release extending the offer to others. The way it came out only after it was discussed on this forum does suggests that the deal with Jim was originally a one-off arrangement and possibly intended to be private. A plausible reason for the delay would be if they wanted to use Jim's example as publicity to launch the scheme but they haven't done that.

« Reply #85 on: October 23, 2009, 10:55 »
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Fotolia PR say Jim did his press release by himself, but that they knew about it and when it was coming.  So it seems it was all planned this way.
Don't you have to give 30 days notice to drop exclusivity? ...
That's correct.

It also seems odd to say he did it by himself - did he then make up the quote attributed to a FT executive? I'm assuming not and they gave him the quote.

I would guess that they had hoped to be able to target this program only to the people not currently at FT that they wanted to attract - folks at traditional agencies only and exclusives at other micros. Quietly publicizing it in selected arenas. Once it was made known to the pool of existing contributors they needed to do damage control.

If they had really planned it, I think the FT release about operation whatever-it-is would have come out at the same time as or before Jim DeLillo's...

« Reply #86 on: October 23, 2009, 11:37 »
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FT dropped the ball...again...

Maybe IS will come back with something better to say :)

« Reply #87 on: October 23, 2009, 11:39 »
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It's funny because I read the Level Ground post on Fotolia's blog the day this thread started, but now it appears to be gone.

edit: My mistake. It is still there, but not on the front page anymore.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 11:54 by cthoman »

« Reply #88 on: October 23, 2009, 18:25 »
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Has anyone asked if we can delete our portfolios and re-apply?  I wouldn't want to do that only to find that I still wasn't eligible for this offer.

I saw Garth today at PhotoPlus and asked him this question for you.

And no - they are not going to entertain this type of thing.  The program is only for NEW contributors who have not submitted to Fotolia before.

RT


« Reply #89 on: October 23, 2009, 18:36 »
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Here's the reply I've just got:

"Dear Richard,

Level Ground is open to accomplished photographers and artists looking to enter or expand in the microstock industry.
It has been designed to bring on board leading artists, with strong portfolios that will compliment Fotolias collection. Any online contributor looking to transfer images, can only do so from one site of their choice, as opposed to accumulating content from various sites. Enhancing our collection drives more consumers to our family of photographers, and as a result everyone benefits.
Level Ground is a limited time offer, requires interested contributors to apply, and is subject to Fotolia's discretion and approval.

Kind regards,

Fotolia Team U.K.
0208 816 72 84"

Which didn't answer my question and is more a 'statement' that has been made up as a blanket reply, it also doesn't fit in with their application form or the announcement whereby they specifically ask for all the sites potential contributors are on.
I'll await an official refusal from my application before contacting the OFT, there's been a huge issue in the UK about unequal treatment of suppliers by supermarkets and a brief look into the Competition act leads me to believe this might have similar undertones.
I don't want to leave Fotolia because I actually like the site but there is no way I am going to be paid less and be put further back in the search results than somebody new who's sold less than me, the last ranking fiasco was bad enough.

« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 18:51 by RT »

« Reply #90 on: October 23, 2009, 20:16 »
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^^^ Richard __ understand your frustration mate but leave it out, for your own good. You'll get nowhere and all you to stand to 'gain' is to get kicked out of FT. Potentially very expensive in the long run unless you are going ex with IS.

« Reply #91 on: October 23, 2009, 21:40 »
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I don't want to leave Fotolia because I actually like the site but there is no way I am going to be paid less and be put further back in the search results than somebody new who's sold less than me, the last ranking fiasco was bad enough.



ditto.

« Reply #92 on: October 23, 2009, 22:00 »
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I don't want to leave Fotolia because I actually like the site but there is no way I am going to be paid less and be put further back in the search results than somebody new who's sold less than me, the last ranking fiasco was bad enough.

And there's your conundrum. It's no good saying "there's no way" unless you're prepared to do something to force a change. About the only thing that gets a site's attention (I don't think the regulatory angle will pan out and if it does it'll take years) is halting the flow of uploads. For a site that depends on subscriptions that matters.

In the past contributors were able to get changes from a number of sites, including FT when that happened. You'll never get all contributors and generally won't get the top folks as they don't get involved, but you can get a big chunk of the middle tier to halt uploads - if enough people aren't happy.

In the absence of something that FT wants from contributors going away, why would they change what they're doing? No one did over the ranking changes; DT and  FT managed to pull off a commission cut. They figure contributors will put up with pretty much anything.

The only FT-specific issue to consider is that they play hardball - they have threatened to, and have, removed contributor accounts for actions they see as anti FT, even on independent forums. So you need to understand that there's a possibility if you stand up to them you may end up leaving involuntarily.




« Reply #93 on: October 24, 2009, 03:48 »
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If we just let the sites do whatever they want, we will end up in a big mess anyway.  Sometimes we are going to have to do something.  Several sites have changed their minds when enough of us have complained and stopped uploads in the past.  Quite often it is in their best interests to listen to us and make changes.  Just look at how SS handled the withholding tax situation recently.  The online form they have now is much better than the proposition they first came up with.

« Reply #94 on: October 24, 2009, 04:08 »
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If this is the case I wouldt have qualified for a higher ranking anyway as I dont have 100,000 dls on any one site.
Here's the reply I've just got:

 Any online contributor looking to transfer images, can only do so from one site of their choice, as opposed to accumulating content from various sites.

traveler1116

« Reply #95 on: October 24, 2009, 04:19 »
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If this is the case I wouldt have qualified for a higher ranking anyway as I dont have 100,000 dls on any one site.
Here's the reply I've just got:

 Any online contributor looking to transfer images, can only do so from one site of their choice, as opposed to accumulating content from various sites.

But I would guess you would be closer to your next level?  I would still qualify for 2 levels higher if only using one site.

« Reply #96 on: October 24, 2009, 07:52 »
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understand your frustration mate but leave it out, for your own good. You'll get nowhere and all you to stand to 'gain' is to get kicked out of FT. Potentially very expensive in the long run unless you are going ex with IS.

I'm not a contributor to FT, but on a matter related to this whole thing...

My last employer did not pay me for the last 5-1/2 days I worked. This was done to several other people also. Once we left their employ, they said that the pay periods that were written on our checks were wrong. They verbally changed the pay periods so that, conveniently, they contend they didn't have to pay us because we'd already been paid. The amount is too little to sue over. The state will only collect minimum wage. In essence, they can get away with it. The only recourse would be for all the employees to walk out and halt any production but you can be sure that isn't going to happen now. Everyone is quaking in their boots about a job and is willing to take the abuse just to keep bringing home their paycheck.

The similarities are that these companies know exactly what they can get away with. Big business today is all about making sure the people at the top can keep their 5 vacations to Europe a year (or wherever) and their 3 homes and their Rolls Royces. Screw the people at the bottom who actually do the work. They know what they can get away with and they do everything they can to swing the advantage their way. They have planned for the collateral damage and consider it an acceptable risk.

OK, rant over. But the point is, I'm pretty sure FT has thought about all the consequences to what they are doing and have determined that the monetary gain far outweighs any number of small potatoes they might lose.

If enough contributors get together on this, you can make a difference. I watched it happen once before here on microstock. I think it's pretty wrong that they are stomping on current contributors to swing some big fish their way, but frankly, it doesn't surprise me. Look for a lot more of this to happen as the economy stays in the toilet.

I hope I'm wrong about FT and I would be happy to see them change their heart...

« Reply #97 on: October 24, 2009, 08:46 »
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I'm not sure if anyone else here has ever studied contract law, but some of the things FT has been up to, particularly with changing the rankings systems and commission rates is on pretty shaky ground legally. You can't just unilaterally change conditions of a contract to the detriment of existing suppliers in most jurisdictions without gaining some sort of agreement - and often not even then. This is particularly so when you set up a ranking and progression system giving people a reasonable expectation when they sign up to provide you with services that they'll be able to meet targets. I know I'm still talking about the drop in commissions and change which is in some ways old news, but its probably only now that people have been able to calculate the amount of revenue they've lost through the change.

I'd suggest for the contributors where this amounts to a big $ figure, that you consider your position, and if necessary seek advice on it.

The contract terms state that the laws of New York govern the contract, and any legal action be taken there (not that it precludes things from happening at home), and my area of practice is really Australia, where different rules tend to apply, but they're not fundamentally different.

While this post is surely not going to make me popular at FT, I'm really not one to be bullied or cowered by the suggestion that I'll be disadvantaged because I speak my mind.

« Reply #98 on: October 24, 2009, 09:11 »
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I'm not sure if anyone else here has ever studied contract law, but some of the things FT has been up to, particularly with changing the rankings systems and commission rates is on pretty shaky ground legally. You can't just unilaterally change conditions of a contract to the detriment of existing suppliers in most jurisdictions without gaining some sort of agreement - and often not even then. This is particularly so when you set up a ranking and progression system giving people a reasonable expectation when they sign up to provide you with services that they'll be able to meet targets. I know I'm still talking about the drop in commissions and change which is in some ways old news, but its probably only now that people have been able to calculate the amount of revenue they've lost through the change.

I'd suggest for the contributors where this amounts to a big $ figure, that you consider your position, and if necessary seek advice on it.

The contract terms state that the laws of New York govern the contract, and any legal action be taken there (not that it precludes things from happening at home), and my area of practice is really Australia, where different rules tend to apply, but they're not fundamentally different.

While this post is surely not going to make me popular at FT, I'm really not one to be bullied or cowered by the suggestion that I'll be disadvantaged because I speak my mind.

Many of these sites use the 'faceless internet company' to try to gain an advantage.  There is a lot of legislation going on around the world to prevent these ridiculous management teams from getting away with it, and I'm sure that some attorney somewhere would love to be the guy to set the precedent.  I'm not one of those crazy iStock fanboys, but if I remember correctly, iStock has made changes but has also re-issued the agreement so that they have a new agreement between contributors and the company.  Given, I don't think what iStock has done has been out to screw the contributors in any way, and their aim is to increase exposure and generate income, but the way they handle their business is much cleaner and less controversial than the other sites.

« Reply #99 on: October 24, 2009, 09:25 »
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Hi CClapper,
you are never wrong. Not ever.
It's almost funny how I always agree with you :)
In this case (Fotolia's Ground Level) your always being right is unfortunate, but still spot on.
Such is life, unfair, and there's probably nothing little people like me can do about it.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 09:29 by Eireann »


 

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