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Author Topic: Return to Start - Fotolia reserves right to put you back at white ranking.  (Read 70913 times)

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« Reply #525 on: October 10, 2011, 15:22 »
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I can just see the agencies rolling their eyes when I say "Yuri told me to negotiate with you for a better percentage" for my images. I'd rather they just offer a decent percentage and not make any changes for anyone.

Where do you see "Yuri told me"?

What I read was:

"We encourage every photographer to engage in negotiations with whatever agency they submit images to in order to get a fair commission."

Since the "We" was from his personal assistant, one would assume "Yuri told me" was the message's originator.

"Yuri told me" comes across as forcing someone to do something while "we encourage" is more about giving advice or support. But I could be wrong.

The original originator is chad, no?  ::)

I suppose "Alessa encouraged me to engage with you to negotiate fair commissions" would be better, but it is a bit of a mouthful. In any case I can't see any but the tiniest of sites doing more than rejecting it out of hand.

I'd still rather see the sites offer fair prices and commissions to all equally. They can include sliding scales for volume of sales or image numbers or whatever if they want, but they still should be applied to all equally.


lisafx

« Reply #526 on: October 10, 2011, 18:24 »
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First off, thanks Alessa for coming in and shedding some light.

Unfortunately, I'm still confused.  Is the situation that Yuri negotiated to have his images sold at a higher cost on DP?  Because if it was a higher commission, that would not address FT's issue with other sites charging too little. 

As a high-volume contributor, am I supposed to be negotiating for my images to sell at a higher price, or for a higher commission? 

If DP is willing to raise their prices, why not do it across the board? 

« Reply #527 on: October 10, 2011, 20:45 »
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Well I have managed so far to negotiate my percentages with 2 agencies, its no big deal and they will listen.
Details?
NO!  secret,  and you will understand.
Fair enough. It's still fine to know those things happen and thanks for sharing the info.

Apparently, it's all about divide and conquer from the agencies' side. To obtain enough leverage, you must be big.
An average contributor will never be big, but nothing prevents him to team up with 9 other average contributors (preferably with non-competing images and covering several niches) like Monkeybusiness did and be big (and have leverage) as a group.

« Reply #528 on: October 11, 2011, 00:08 »
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Well I have managed so far to negotiate my percentages with 2 agencies, its no big deal and they will listen.
Details?
NO!  secret,  and you will understand.
Fair enough. It's still fine to know those things happen and thanks for sharing the info.

Apparently, it's all about divide and conquer from the agencies' side. To obtain enough leverage, you must be big.
An average contributor will never be big, but nothing prevents him to team up with 9 other average contributors (preferably with non-competing images and covering several niches) like Monkeybusiness did and be big (and have leverage) as a group.

You'd have more leverage teaming up with people whose images do compete with yours. That way, you'd threaten to knock a whole in an entire niche. It's better for a site to lose a spread of images than everything on a particular subject.

Be aware, however (and this is what Yuri is actually urging) that however many get together you will still have no leverage whatsoever unless the agency believes you are serious about pulling your work if your demands aren't met. And they won't believe it unless you really mean it. So you will have to start pulling it off places before other sites realise you are serious and they have to decide whether or not they care enough to keep you.

So what Yuri is really advising, since he knows very well that no more than a handful of submitters have the clout to get special treatment, is that we should just quit microstock and leave the field clear for him.

Just to put into perspective how much clout contributors have, remember Photoshow/Bobby Deal? He was a top-10 contributore to Fotolia and they dumped him because he criticised them too much. I understand that later on he quit Istock because he disliked their actions. Did they go back to him with a special offer? There's no sign of that.

Well maybe these aren't sites that Chad/Yuri want us to threaten. Maybe it is just the small, new guys. If so, look at what the message really is from these two media bigwigs:

"We urge you to help big agencies that are screwing you with ultra-low commissions in order to stop small agencies that pay fair commissions from competing against us on price. Remember, high prices and low commissions are good for the industry, low prices and high commissions are bad". 

Or to put it another way, boosting big agencies' profit margins and destroying their competition is good. (Remember, new agencies can't compete on collection size, all they can compete on is price. Removing this advantage will leave them dead in the water).

Of course, this is good for Fotolia. But will it be good for us if Fotolia is the only game in town and there is nowhere else to stock your goods? How benign do you think Fotolia's commission rate will be then? Does anybody imagine that Chad or Yuri are interested in anything apart from boosting their own company's profits?

« Reply #529 on: October 11, 2011, 02:04 »
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The problem as I see it with DepositPhotos is NOT the normal credit pricing BUT their offer to download images and pay by SMS for about 1 EURO (high resolution, no subcription attached). I tested that with Yuris images a while ago (http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/2011/02/23/billig-billiger-depositphotos-warnung-an-fotografen/ [nofollow]) and it worked. So maybe Yuri is getting a higher percentage in the back, but that doesn't stop this low pricing structure.

Yuri was informed by a fellow photographer via Facebook and responded, but no changes so far...


How far back is "a while ago"? Because (Im a designer) i have tried to get Yuri pics via SMS on DP and its not possible and it hasnt been for a while. That is, because he is platinum there and apparently platinum photographers are excluded from SMS. Again, i have found that out many month ago and asked DP why. So the "no changes so far" come across a bit strange...

lthn

    This user is banned.
« Reply #530 on: October 11, 2011, 02:58 »
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Hi everybody,
We've seen a lot of guesswork going on in this thread as to what's happening, and we'd like to make it absolutely clear that we are not part of any sort of arrangement with Fotolia to keep prices in the industry at a certain level.
That being said, it is true that we here at Yuri Arcurs Photography, as many other photographers, have contacted amongst others Deposit Photos to make them aware of where the industry will be heading in a short time if they continue to drop prices. This has resulted in Deposit Photos having raised their prices. We encourage every photographer to engage in negotiations with whatever agency they submit images to in order to get a fair commission. The agencies cannot and should not agree on prices amongst them, so Fotolia will never negotiate any deals with Deposit Photos, but the photographers who submit images to the agencies can and should do so.

I hope this clarifies some of the questions which have been raised in this thread.

Best
Alessa
Yuri's personal assistant


Folks,

After carefully considering your feedback, we've decided to focus on retail pricing rather than commissions. Most of the photographers that we have spoken to agree that destructive retail pricing is not good for the industry. We have worked with industry leaders such as Yuri Arcurs and Mark Butler (Monkey Business) to convince agencies like deposit photos to sell at sustainable prices reflected by the current online market leaders. We applaud their recent success and hope the trend will continue. We encourage all photographers with portfolios on this and similar sites to do the same.

Based on your feedback, we've modified our rule to allow Fotolia to decrease retail pricing to the lowest tier, if a photographer's images are being sold on other sites for significantly less, **without** modifying the royalty levels.

Please note that this rule only applies to Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, and Diamond ranked images that are non-exclusive, and selling at prices above the standard XS price. No changes will occur without prior communications with the artist.

Chad Bridwell
Director of Operations
Fotolia.com



Note to anyone who dislikes fotolia- what theyve done is illegal and they would be fined for it in most countries. If one company tells another (via a supplier or otherwise) to raise their prices, it's called "price fixing". You can read about it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing
Anyone who has an issue with this company is advised to contact the relevant authorities in their countries.


Exactly, finally someone actually paying attention to the important things, not this yada industry negotiate yada. Price fixing is a serious crime that can (and often did) land people in prison in many countries

fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« Reply #531 on: October 11, 2011, 03:45 »
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The problem as I see it with DepositPhotos is NOT the normal credit pricing BUT their offer to download images and pay by SMS for about 1 EURO (high resolution, no subcription attached). I tested that with Yuris images a while ago (http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/2011/02/23/billig-billiger-depositphotos-warnung-an-fotografen/) and it worked. So maybe Yuri is getting a higher percentage in the back, but that doesn't stop this low pricing structure.

Yuri was informed by a fellow photographer via Facebook and responded, but no changes so far...


How far back is "a while ago"? Because (Im a designer) i have tried to get Yuri pics via SMS on DP and its not possible and it hasnt been for a while. That is, because he is platinum there and apparently platinum photographers are excluded from SMS. Again, i have found that out many month ago and asked DP why. So the "no changes so far" come across a bit strange...


@Gooner: My test was in the end of February and it still worked in March. Maybe he really managed to pull out his images of the SMS deal, BUT DepositPhotos does not mention anywhere that only some picture can be bought that way?

« Reply #532 on: October 11, 2011, 05:02 »
0
The problem as I see it with DepositPhotos is NOT the normal credit pricing BUT their offer to download images and pay by SMS for about 1 EURO (high resolution, no subcription attached). I tested that with Yuris images a while ago (http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/2011/02/23/billig-billiger-depositphotos-warnung-an-fotografen/ [nofollow]) and it worked. So maybe Yuri is getting a higher percentage in the back, but that doesn't stop this low pricing structure.

Yuri was informed by a fellow photographer via Facebook and responded, but no changes so far...


How far back is "a while ago"? Because (Im a designer) i have tried to get Yuri pics via SMS on DP and its not possible and it hasnt been for a while. That is, because he is platinum there and apparently platinum photographers are excluded from SMS. Again, i have found that out many month ago and asked DP why. So the "no changes so far" come across a bit strange...


@Gooner: My test was in the end of February and it still worked in March. Maybe he really managed to pull out his images of the SMS deal, BUT DepositPhotos does not mention anywhere that only some picture can be bought that way?


I dont know. Probably not. Its just the "no changes so far" bit, that you wrote yesterday, when your test was over half a year ago, that confused me a bit...

« Reply #533 on: October 11, 2011, 13:44 »
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Exactly, finally someone actually paying attention to the important things, not this yada industry negotiate yada. Price fixing is a serious crime that can (and often did) land people in prison in many countries

Many see the internet as the wild west where anything goes - that's certainly FT's attitude to a lot of things and so far they've been proven right. 

There's many problems with the way they conduct their business - if challenged they'd probably loose, but the cost of challenging them is prohibitive for those that are on the wrong end of their decisions. Authorities that might be interested are incompetent, oblivious to the problems or put things like this in the "too hard basket".

« Reply #534 on: October 11, 2011, 14:04 »
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Well, but making the rule of "if you sell your product elshewere cheaper we'll match this price" is not price fixing prices at all. And many internet business do that, beggining with Amazon.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #535 on: October 11, 2011, 14:20 »
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I've browsed this with amusement more than interest.  We all tend to get up in arms "frequently" but seldom do anything.  Don't you think this is just more of the same "Noise?"

Another thought -- if we band together to negotiate --- wouldn't it make more sense to negotiate with the source of the problem ... Fotolia?

lthn

    This user is banned.
« Reply #536 on: October 11, 2011, 14:31 »
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Well, but making the rule of "if you sell your product elshewere cheaper we'll match this price" is not price fixing prices at all. And many internet business do that, beggining with Amazon.

No, they are trying to go around negotiating the price, even if thru some 'third party'

CD123

« Reply #537 on: October 12, 2011, 08:19 »
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I've browsed this with amusement more than interest.  We all tend to get up in arms "frequently" but seldom do anything.  Don't you think this is just more of the same "Noise?"

Another thought -- if we band together to negotiate --- wouldn't it make more sense to negotiate with the source of the problem ... Fotolia?

I made the "let us stand together" suggestion about 50 posts ago and it was also ignored. It is clear that Fotolia made their point and can stand by it, as they can clearly see that there is a lot of moaning and gowning going round (which will eventually quiet down) and no action. Lot of huff and puff, but when it come to any action which might influence my income (although it will be much less now), I will rather not stir.   

It seems like Fotolia (I am sorry to say) know just how far to push their own income increases up at the cost of their contributors, without really risking loosing them.

OK, my 5 cents worth, so huff and puff now further........

lisafx

« Reply #538 on: October 12, 2011, 08:30 »
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It is clear that Fotolia made their point and can stand by it, as they can clearly see that there is a lot of moaning and gowning going round (which will eventually quiet down) and no action. Lot of huff and puff, but when it come to any action which might influence my income (although it will be much less now), I will rather not stir.   

It seems like Fotolia (I am sorry to say) know just how far to push their own income increases up at the cost of their contributors, without really risking loosing them.


Actually, as far as I've heard, there has been no action on Fotolia's part.  They have threatened to lower people to white IF they are selling cheaper elsewhere, but it hasn't yet been implemented.  Are you suggesting that people quit Fotolia based on a threat that they MIGHT lose earnings at some time in the future?  That's ridiculous! 

If FT actually lowers some emeralds to white level, then you will see people pull their ports and close accounts. 

« Reply #539 on: October 12, 2011, 08:37 »
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they have told here a while ago they will be "pushing" emerals and above to the min price allowed for buyers, hope I made myself clear :)

« Reply #540 on: October 12, 2011, 08:39 »
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It is clear that Fotolia made their point and can stand by it, as they can clearly see that there is a lot of moaning and gowning going round (which will eventually quiet down) and no action. Lot of huff and puff, but when it come to any action which might influence my income (although it will be much less now), I will rather not stir.   

It seems like Fotolia (I am sorry to say) know just how far to push their own income increases up at the cost of their contributors, without really risking loosing them.


Actually, as far as I've heard, there has been no action on Fotolia's part.  They have threatened to lower people to white IF they are selling cheaper elsewhere, but it hasn't yet been implemented.  Are you suggesting that people quit Fotolia based on a threat that they MIGHT lose earnings at some time in the future?  That's ridiculous! 

If FT actually lowers some emeralds to white level, then you will see people pull their ports and close accounts. 

You support FT threatening us and using us as pawns in the price war. Income over fair treatment I see how FT can bully and push people around becasue none stands up to them. Abused wife doesn't leave home because husband takes care of her and makes a nice home. FT makes income and abused photographers don't leave.

CD123

« Reply #541 on: October 12, 2011, 09:14 »
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Are you suggesting that people quit Fotolia based on a threat that they MIGHT lose earnings at some time in the future?  That's ridiculous!  
Interesting. You ask a question and follow that up with an outcry as though you received an answer (get that sometimes from my wife as well......). Can not remember ever using the word "quit" or suggesting anything else than to stand together.  Did I say "quit"? How ridiculous to read that into my post!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 09:20 by CD123 »

WarrenPrice

« Reply #542 on: October 12, 2011, 09:19 »
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Ready - Fire - Aim

 ;D

CD123

« Reply #543 on: October 12, 2011, 09:21 »
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Ready - Fire - Aim

 ;D
Now that is support for you..................  ???  :D

« Reply #544 on: October 12, 2011, 09:29 »
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Are you suggesting that people quit Fotolia based on a threat that they MIGHT lose earnings at some time in the future?  That's ridiculous!   

Personally, I don't think it is ridiculous. If they are asserting the right to cut commissions just because you supply an unnamed site that they don't like, then they have changed the rules and it is reasonable to say that by doing so they have created conditions that are unacceptable.

It's also quite reasonable to be pragmatic and say that until you are affected you are not going to respond. It's a personal decision.

CD123

« Reply #545 on: October 12, 2011, 09:36 »
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Are you suggesting that people quit Fotolia based on a threat that they MIGHT lose earnings at some time in the future?  That's ridiculous!   

Personally, I don't think it is ridiculous. If they are asserting the right to cut commissions just because you supply an unnamed site that they don't like, then they have changed the rules and it is reasonable to say that by doing so they have created conditions that are unacceptable.

It's also quite reasonable to be pragmatic and say that until you are affected you are not going to respond. It's a personal decision.
So, in essence this thread is now really becoming warn out if no combined action can be achieved (which clearly it can not). All wait till it affects you and then one by one decide to quite or not.. End of story.

« Reply #546 on: October 12, 2011, 09:53 »
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Are you suggesting that people quit Fotolia based on a threat that they MIGHT lose earnings at some time in the future?  That's ridiculous!   

Personally, I don't think it is ridiculous. If they are asserting the right to cut commissions just because you supply an unnamed site that they don't like, then they have changed the rules and it is reasonable to say that by doing so they have created conditions that are unacceptable.

It's also quite reasonable to be pragmatic and say that until you are affected you are not going to respond. It's a personal decision.
So, in essence this thread is now really becoming warn out if no combined action can be achieved (which clearly it can not). All wait till it affects you and then one by one decide to quite or not.. End of story.

I'm afraid that's how it is. Perhaps if enough quit Fotolia will take notice but that will be the cumulative result of a lot of individual actions, not a glorious united stand by the workers. And Fotolia will only pay attention if enough people are annoyed enough to actually quit - no threats, no useless half-hearted negotiations, just action that takes them out of Fotolias sphere forever.

« Reply #547 on: October 12, 2011, 10:25 »
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Are you suggesting that people quit Fotolia based on a threat that they MIGHT lose earnings at some time in the future?  That's ridiculous!   

Personally, I don't think it is ridiculous. If they are asserting the right to cut commissions just because you supply an unnamed site that they don't like, then they have changed the rules and it is reasonable to say that by doing so they have created conditions that are unacceptable.

It's also quite reasonable to be pragmatic and say that until you are affected you are not going to respond. It's a personal decision.
So, in essence this thread is now really becoming warn out if no combined action can be achieved (which clearly it can not). All wait till it affects you and then one by one decide to quite or not.. End of story.

That's the simple truth. Just look at what has happened at Istock during the last year. They did not only threaten to do something, no, they actually did cut commissions for the big majority of contributors. What was the result? No combined action, just a lot of moaning and whining in the forums. Some (maybe a lot, we will never know exact numbers) contributors decided they are not willing to continue to sell via Istock under these changed conditions and quit. Others just stopped uploading. Others continued and are now selling at lower commission rates.
But all that did not lead to any real reaction from Istock. Nothing that shows they feel it affects their business enough to re-think their action.
And that is exactly why FT can announce (and possibly execute) such a change. Because we all (as the combined mass of contributors) have proven to them before: "We" in general accept the lowering of our commissions.

What's left to do? Evaluate your personal situation and act accordingly. If the change affects you and you think it is unacceptable, then act.

lisafx

« Reply #548 on: October 12, 2011, 10:41 »
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What's left to do? Evaluate your personal situation and act accordingly. If the change affects you and you think it is unacceptable, then act.

Exactly. 

There's been talk around here for years about starting a union or trade association.  Nobody has ever gotten past the talking stage. 

There are always plenty of folks trying to browbeat everyone else into taking a bullet for them, but somehow the same people are never willing to take the bullet themselves. 

So what's left to do?  Act in one's own self interest. 

lagereek

« Reply #549 on: October 12, 2011, 11:05 »
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Lisa!  it seems the place all of a sudden is invaded by trade-union boyos. They want people to act on threats?  jeez! fancy if all countries sprung into action because of threats?


 

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