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Author Topic: Getty e-mail about iStock "Contributor Facing Changes"  (Read 31691 times)

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« Reply #225 on: July 31, 2016, 12:27 »
+1
The new keyword and deactivation policy is to prevent contributors from yanking their best files after August 20th.  If I couldn't delete my best ones, then my next move would be to change 20 relevant keywords to 5 unrelated terms and effectively make it un-searchable.

well as far as I understand we won't be able to change keywords, so this isn't any option  :-[


« Reply #226 on: July 31, 2016, 15:53 »
+5
The new keyword and deactivation policy is to prevent contributors from yanking their best files after August 20th.  If I couldn't delete my best ones, then my next move would be to change 20 relevant keywords to 5 unrelated terms and effectively make it un-searchable.

well as far as I understand we won't be able to change keywords, so this isn't any option  :-[

The approach I am taking is wait and see.  If they crush royalties further I will just close my account there. I am hanging by a thread that they will will do something positive with video, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

« Reply #227 on: July 31, 2016, 16:05 »
+5
I canceled video exclusivity in 2010 and it was a great decision by any measure stopped uploading footage then aswell .  I remained exclusive in other media until now. If they make royalties 20% for exclusivity then I will become non exclusive on those other media also. 

Wonder how all of this will play out. It was so easy to fix back in 2007 when they still controlled most micro and macro but they decided to erode the contrinutors to the bone instead.   :-\


w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #228 on: July 31, 2016, 21:04 »
+9
I was going back and forth whether or not to leave IS now, or wait, as some have mentioned, and see what life holds after the big G.  However, after checking this week's sales and finding I had a whopping $0.05 to show for the entire week, it seems rather pointless to hang around any longer.  That sure as hell isn't going to get any better under a Getty regime, so why put up with the aggravation to no purpose.  I used to make multiple monthly payouts and, at one point, was seriously considering going exclusive.  Thank heavens I never went there.  Now I can say good riddance with a clear conscience.

« Reply #229 on: August 01, 2016, 00:02 »
+13
iStock has always been an annoying agency, but now it starts to get pointless. In 2010, I had as much royalties there as with SS, around 30% of my totals for each of them. Nowadays, iStock hovers around 10% of the total, and the figures are getting smaller by the month. Ad to that the fact that they're still as annoying as ever, that they still have the slowest and most complicated uploading procedure and revisions like this, and I'm for the first time looking at leaving an agency that offers reasonable sales. Their business model borders on the unethical and I don't see any reason to trust them. I'll hold off for a while, but if I let them go, it will be like removing a wart, nothing more.

« Reply #230 on: August 01, 2016, 02:40 »
0
I think IS policies are not different from all other greedy agencies trying intercepting any kind of job in any domain, setting themselves between job seekers and employers. They are interested in people which will be agree with all their actions and stay calm. Then like statistics in France: employers cannot find good employees, job seekers cannot find jobs. All because of these intermediates, which work in their own interests. Employer which doesn't want to use their services counts as their competitor. The same pattern.

« Reply #231 on: August 01, 2016, 03:06 »
+5
Would they really try and cut commissions again?  It has worked out so badly and now it would probably kill them.  Most of us don't need istock now and I doubt people that are willing to upload for less than 15% are going to give them high quality images.

Perhaps they are doing this to stop exclusives deleting images when they scrap exclusivity?

« Reply #232 on: August 01, 2016, 05:25 »
+5
Can anyone tell me the procedure to close my iStock account? I deleted all my files, and emailed them on the same day the notice about the changes came out, requesting to close my account and be paid out the balance of my earnings. I have received nothing but an auto-response back. Replied to that a couple days later and... nothing.

Is there any other way I am supposed to be doing this or must I just wait indefinitely to hear back from them?

UPDATE: After 2 weeks I finally heard back from them with a non-answer:

"We wanted to give you an update on the progress of your ticket. Your ticket has been received, read, and assigned to an individual or department for action.
 
Tickets are prioritized by Contributor Services according to urgency. We will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience."

Yep, if I was them, closing a contributor's account would also not be a priority.




ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #233 on: August 01, 2016, 05:44 »
+6
Can anyone tell me the procedure to close my iStock account? I deleted all my files, and emailed them on the same day the notice about the changes came out, requesting to close my account and be paid out the balance of my earnings. I have received nothing but an auto-response back. Replied to that a couple days later and... nothing.

Is there any other way I am supposed to be doing this or must I just wait indefinitely to hear back from them?

UPDATE: After 2 weeks I finally heard back from them with a non-answer:

"We wanted to give you an update on the progress of your ticket. Your ticket has been received, read, and assigned to an individual or department for action.
 
Tickets are prioritized by Contributor Services according to urgency. We will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience."

Yep, if I was them, closing a contributor's account would also not be a priority.

From your ASA:
"11a Term and Termination
This Agreement is effective until terminated. You may terminate this Agreement at any time by giving thirty (30) days written notice to iStock using artists@iStock.com or such other means of written notice acceptable to iStock which enables confirmation of your identity and your intention to terminate..."


also note, as this question has been brought up by others on this thread:
12.a Effect of Termination
Upon the termination of this Agreement, the grant of authority given to iStock shall cease subject to the following conditions: (i) iStock shall remove Accepted Content from the Site and Distribution Partners within ninety (90) days of the termination of this Agreement; (ii) notwithstanding termination, iStock and its Distribution Partners shall have the right to continue licensing Accepted Content until it is removed from the Site or other sites where Accepted Content is distributed and for up to (1) year following termination where such Accepted Content has previously appeared in iStocks promotional materials, or Distribution Partner marketing programs; and (iii) regardless of the expiration or termination of this Agreement, iStock will continue, in accordance with this Agreement, to pay compensation due to the Supplier at the applicable non-exclusive royalty rate set out in the Rate Schedule in respect of licenses granted to members during any transitional period, subject to any rights of set-off under this Agreement or at law.
    Upon termination, iStock will be entitled to retain all amounts owing to the Supplier for a period of thirty (30) days to determine any applicable rights of set-off, and shall be entitled to deduct from such amounts, a reasonable administrative fee for establishing, managing and terminating your account.

Don't shoot the messenger. I'm absolutely not defending them, just stating what's in our contract.
If they haven't at least terminated your account within 30 days, you can jump all over them from a high height.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 06:48 by ShadySue »

« Reply #234 on: August 01, 2016, 07:46 »
+3
Would they really try and cut commissions again?  It has worked out so badly and now it would probably kill them.  Most of us don't need istock now and I doubt people that are willing to upload for less than 15% are going to give them high quality images.

Perhaps they are doing this to stop exclusives deleting images when they scrap exclusivity?

My money's on them slightly increasing the independent percentages and greatly reducing exclusive royalties to a flat universal rate whilst still insisting on artist exclusivity. They can then sell it as a massive win for the thousands of small suppliers whilst quietly shafting the few remaining 40%ers.

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #235 on: August 01, 2016, 09:46 »
+4
Would they really try and cut commissions again?  It has worked out so badly and now it would probably kill them.  Most of us don't need istock now and I doubt people that are willing to upload for less than 15% are going to give them high quality images.

Perhaps they are doing this to stop exclusives deleting images when they scrap exclusivity?

My money's on them slightly increasing the independent percentages and greatly reducing exclusive royalties to a flat universal rate whilst still insisting on artist exclusivity. They can then sell it as a massive win for the thousands of small suppliers whilst quietly shafting the few remaining 40%ers.

That would be a deal breaker for anyone making 40%. That 40% is the only reason I remain exclusive and the fact that several of my images make it into S+ for increased sales on Getty. These days it is a very delicate balance between being exclusive or non-exclusive. I will still try to have faith in the direction of Getty for the time being.

« Reply #236 on: August 01, 2016, 10:28 »
+14
I think to continue to have faith in Getty at this point you really must have rose tinted glasses on. Getty is purely a money hungry behemoth. In their process of deciding how to try and squeeze another dollar out of a quarter, they never once think about what they might be doing to hurt people's livelihood or opinions of them. If a few exclusives get pissed off when they drop royalty iStock rates to a standard 20%, pull their files, or drop the crown, they don't care. They are going to make more money by paying out less and improve their Q4 earnings for the year. That is all they care about, full stop. They are a company completely ridden with debt and just trying to survive one day to the next. They are purely in it for the here and now. So then, if a few hundred, or even thousand exclusives, each pull a few thousand images off iStock, buyers won't even notice. They have more than a hundred million images under their control. In fact, it may make the searches less cumbersome with a few hundred thousand less images anyway. If you have any doubt about their integrity, or whether or not they ever consider doing the right thing, just look at the $1,000,000,000 lawsuit against them. Plus, a few more lawsuits like that, and they will be spending so much on lawyers and paying out settlements that they may not even be able to pay you your 20%.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 10:41 by PixBoxx »

« Reply #237 on: August 01, 2016, 10:49 »
+2
i am with a few RM agencies who pay out 50%, but one of their distribution partners is getty, so when a sale comes through getty i actually get 10% of the sale, not bad considering i am the creator, producer, investor, and owner of the images i sell. it is well worth the risk spending tens of thousands on nikon equipment these days,

but then again james cameron got only 13% of sales of avatar

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #238 on: August 01, 2016, 10:57 »
+2
I think to continue to have faith in Getty at this point you really must have rose tinted glasses on. Getty is purely a money hungry behemoth. In their process of deciding how to try and squeeze another dollar out of a quarter, they never once think about what they might be doing to hurt people's livelihood or opinions of them. If a few exclusives get pissed off when they drop royalty iStock rates to a standard 20%, pull their files, or drop the crown, they don't care. They are going to make more money by paying out less and improve their Q4 earnings for the year. That is all they care about, full stop. They are a company completely ridden with debt and just trying to survive one day to the next. They are purely in it for the here and now. So then, if a few hundred, or even thousand exclusives, each pull a few thousand images off iStock, buyers won't even notice. They have more than a hundred million images under their control. In fact, it may make the searches less cumbersome with a few hundred thousand less images anyway. If you have any doubt about their integrity, or whether or not they ever consider doing the right thing, just look at the $1,000,000,000 lawsuit against them. Plus, a few more lawsuits like that, and they will be spending so much on lawyers and paying out settlements that they may not even be able to pay you your 20%.

So what to do? Drop exclusivity and a good income attached to a great lifestyle to try and get back to where I am at? No thanks.

All of what you say about Getty is true, ugly in every way. But what are the options? Pretty much every other agency is the same these days.

All I see is agencies getting richer while they skin us alive in the process.

The industry has changed and it's not to our benefit, it's now under the control of bankers, venture capitalists, shareholders etc. And that never ends well for the worker bees.

So it's not just Getty. Just sayin.

« Reply #239 on: August 01, 2016, 12:10 »
+16
That is not true, no one has yanked me around more then iStock/Getty for my video clips!!! I often get over 50% Premium Ass. sales which are mostly $1-5 for my HD and 4K!! Pond5, VB, Fotolia and SS has never done that to me! I notice in the middle of last year my sales started to drop to the point I could not continue, it didn't matter what I shot my income would barley go up. Well I had a suspicion that the advantage for exclusive in search for video was gone. I can now state that is a FACT! My dl's since going non-exclusive have not gone down! Now I am happy about that at this point so no complaints from me, but there is no search advantage for exclusive video artist anymore! Other places just sell my work for a set price and focus on advertising and finding new markets. Novel idea I say!!

« Reply #240 on: August 01, 2016, 12:34 »
+7
I am glad to hear you are doing well Jeff. I know it was a very difficult decision.

Didn't istock write somewhere that they want to unify royalties between istock and getty?

Well, what are the chances of Getty adding an artist exclusive royalty system...?

I think we all know if the new royalty system was going to be to our advantage, they would have announced it before locking in all our files...

The only silver lining might be that they cancel artist exclusivity and adopt the getty system of series/image exclusivity.

You'll get only 20%, but would have instant freedom to upload new files anywhere.

We will see what happens, but I wouldn't be banking on royalty rates that are higher than those for the getty house artists.

They can always give special deals to the chosen few...
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 13:58 by cobalt »

« Reply #241 on: August 01, 2016, 15:30 »
+1
I am glad to hear you are doing well Jeff. I know it was a very difficult decision.

Didn't istock write somewhere that they want to unify royalties between istock and getty?

Well, what are the chances of Getty adding an artist exclusive royalty system...?

I think we all know if the new royalty system was going to be to our advantage, they would have announced it before locking in all our files...

The only silver lining might be that they cancel artist exclusivity and adopt the getty system of series/image exclusivity.

You'll get only 20%, but would have instant freedom to upload new files anywhere.

We will see what happens, but I wouldn't be banking on royalty rates that are higher than those for the getty house artists.

They can always give special deals to the chosen few...

Some excellent points. So come end of this month, no more contributor exclusivity, just image exclusivity as it already is on Getty for all other regular Getty contributors. Then just 20% royalties for everyone, all existing iStock images will become image exclusive with Getty and then be mirrored on the Getty site too.

Then there will just be one price for all iStock imagery, no more collections, and whatever you have on the iStock site now will be locked in with Getty forever. This further means you won't be able to upload any of your existing iStock files to other sites, even though you will no longer be an exclusive iStock contributor.

And the only way to remove images will be to remove all your images and close your Getty account completely. Any new work you create can of course be uploaded to other sites as royalty free if you like, but then it can't be uploaded to Getty.

So Getty will then be able to say all of their iStock content is now "Only on iStock", which is the goal. Pay less to exclusives and lock in all iStock imagery as exclusive.

I am not sure how they will handle the files of independents who already have their iStock files on many other sites. Guess the indies will be forced to take the files down from other sites, or close their Getty account.

And even though all exclusives will be taking a 10%-20% royalty cut, they will spin it to everyone by saying in their next announcement: "but you will be making more sales now because all your images will be on the Getty site and not just your existing S+ stuff. So don't worry about the royalty rate drop because you will be making lots more sales".

Then everyone can simply look forward to getting 35%-50% less in royalties than they are now, with perhaps a few more downloads on Getty in return. I guess those $0.16 GI royalties some people are earning now will drop to under $0.10 per download. Not much to be happy about.

So if you think you might want to put any of your existing iStock portfolio on other sites, without having to close your iStock account, then better to deactivate those files before the middle of this month.

« Reply #242 on: August 01, 2016, 16:25 »
+2
I dont think anyone at getty will try to lock in independent files.

Getty itself has tons of non exclusive content from over 200 partner companies. Only the Getty house artists are exclusive, the rest is content you see everywhere in the macro industry.


« Reply #243 on: August 02, 2016, 07:01 »
0
Can anyone tell me the procedure to close my iStock account? I deleted all my files, and emailed them on the same day the notice about the changes came out, requesting to close my account and be paid out the balance of my earnings. I have received nothing but an auto-response back. Replied to that a couple days later and... nothing.

Is there any other way I am supposed to be doing this or must I just wait indefinitely to hear back from them?

UPDATE: After 2 weeks I finally heard back from them with a non-answer:

"We wanted to give you an update on the progress of your ticket. Your ticket has been received, read, and assigned to an individual or department for action.
 
Tickets are prioritized by Contributor Services according to urgency. We will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience."

Yep, if I was them, closing a contributor's account would also not be a priority.

From your ASA:
"11a Term and Termination
This Agreement is effective until terminated. You may terminate this Agreement at any time by giving thirty (30) days written notice to iStock using artists@iStock.com [nofollow] or such other means of written notice acceptable to iStock which enables confirmation of your identity and your intention to terminate..."


also note, as this question has been brought up by others on this thread:
12.a Effect of Termination
Upon the termination of this Agreement, the grant of authority given to iStock shall cease subject to the following conditions: (i) iStock shall remove Accepted Content from the Site and Distribution Partners within ninety (90) days of the termination of this Agreement; (ii) notwithstanding termination, iStock and its Distribution Partners shall have the right to continue licensing Accepted Content until it is removed from the Site or other sites where Accepted Content is distributed and for up to (1) year following termination where such Accepted Content has previously appeared in iStocks promotional materials, or Distribution Partner marketing programs; and (iii) regardless of the expiration or termination of this Agreement, iStock will continue, in accordance with this Agreement, to pay compensation due to the Supplier at the applicable non-exclusive royalty rate set out in the Rate Schedule in respect of licenses granted to members during any transitional period, subject to any rights of set-off under this Agreement or at law.
    Upon termination, iStock will be entitled to retain all amounts owing to the Supplier for a period of thirty (30) days to determine any applicable rights of set-off, and shall be entitled to deduct from such amounts, a reasonable administrative fee for establishing, managing and terminating your account.

Don't shoot the messenger. I'm absolutely not defending them, just stating what's in our contract.
If they haven't at least terminated your account within 30 days, you can jump all over them from a high height.

Thank you. I will wait it out. Am sure it will all get sorted eventually. And thanks for posting the details from the T's and C's.

« Reply #244 on: August 02, 2016, 10:07 »
0
I dont think anyone at getty will try to lock in independent files.

Getty itself has tons of non exclusive content from over 200 partner companies. Only the Getty house artists are exclusive, the rest is content you see everywhere in the macro industry.

If they are going to pay all iStock contributors 20% across the board, and independent files are not going to be locked in, then there will be no incentive for any of the current iStock exclusive contributors to allow their images to be locked in as exclusive content with Getty either.

Meaning if independents can still earn 20% on Getty, and sell their files on other sites, then all exclusives will want to do the same.

Based upon what you are suggesting, they will need to pay exclusives a higher rate to keep their images exclusive with iStock. And I don't see that happening. This is why I suggested all images will be locked in at 20% under the new structure as there isnt any other logical solution other than to lock in independent files too.

« Reply #245 on: August 02, 2016, 11:11 »
+1
If they kill off exclusive and keep the new money, they will make a bunch more profit. I'd be happy if they gave indies a raise but why would they? This will be grab the money and nothing else. We get less or nothing more. That's the way Getty thinks. All for them, none for us.

« Reply #246 on: August 02, 2016, 11:35 »
+2
My personal feeling on this is just delete your good stuff and leave the bad stuff out there.  Those are the images you really want to protect eg. Rights Managed work.

« Reply #247 on: August 02, 2016, 11:37 »
+1
As was said before, cutting exclusives down to 20%, and raising independents up to 20%, will still be a huge net gain for them, especially if they lock in all the independent content as exclusive content in the process. But it seems what they also may want is a uniform system of everyone earning 20%, which is another valid reason for the change.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #248 on: August 02, 2016, 12:32 »
0
As was said before, cutting exclusives down to 20%, and raising independents up to 20%, will still be a huge net gain for them, especially if they lock in all the independent content as exclusive content in the process. But it seems what they also may want is a uniform system of everyone earning 20%, which is another valid reason for the change.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I don't see how they can lock in indie content as exclusive. Well, at least not without the contracted 30 days notice. They may well put exclusives down to 20%, and hold indies down at 15%.

« Reply #249 on: August 02, 2016, 12:44 »
+1
As was said before, cutting exclusives down to 20%, and raising independents up to 20%, will still be a huge net gain for them, especially if they lock in all the independent content as exclusive content in the process. But it seems what they also may want is a uniform system of everyone earning 20%, which is another valid reason for the change.

I don't see how they can lock in indie content as exclusive. Well, at least not without the contracted 30 days notice. They may well put exclusives down to 20%, and hold indies down at 15%.

They could give all indies 30 days to remove their content from other sites, and then raise them from 15% to 20% when they do, or then force them to close their iStock accounts after 30 days if they aren't willing to comply.

But simply putting exclusives at 20% and indies at 15% wouldn't work. I think any exclusive would give up the extra 5% at that point to have the option to put their files onto as many sites as they want. They would need to offer a bigger reward to keep your files exclusive.

The only other incentive they could offer to exclusives to keep them file exclusive, versus going indy, would be to put all exclusive content onto Getty in exchange for the exclusive royalty cut to 20%, while keeping indies at 15%, but without mirroring any of their files on Getty.

Even so, I'm not sure exclusives would want to stay exclusive for only 5% more, with or without the Getty mirror. Not enough of an incentive.


 

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