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Author Topic: Pixmac no longer a partner?  (Read 21405 times)

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« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2011, 17:04 »
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I am assuming that is where their content is coming from, but I certainly could be wrong. In any case, I am thinking that not ALL of the partners will be shown, in either instance.

At Pixmac website, you can pick and choose who will be reselling your images if those are uploaded to Pixmac directly. As for the link to partner agencies, it's outdated and Colossus will be removed by tomorrow. That page contains some of our supplier partners.

As for the main issue, it's still in the investigation progress. Sorry for the delay, but I need to be clear that we examined the data and everything well. Will keep you posted...



« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2011, 08:13 »
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Thank you for the update and explanation. I hope it is all sorted out now.

« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2011, 09:57 »
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Here is the explanation.

Quote
We had discovered a technical error in tracking transactions in our internal system that affected one of our suppliers. Out of 9.753 transactions during 14 months there were 58 transactions not reported to the supplier. Total value of  transactions is $283.60. We will send that amount to the supplier.

We will include information about what photographers should be paid with details about image IDs, credits and size. The error technically happened when our customer purchased a previously downloaded image. Only single image purchase was affected. Downloads by customers using prepaid credits were not affected by this error.

The error also caused transactions that reported downloads in the supplierss system but were not sold to an end-user in total value of $600.30. Pixmac have already paid these extra costs while not charging customers.

The error was fixed immediately after its discovery and we have carefully checked the transaction history again during last several days. We are sorry for the error. We assure you, that we will do anything technically possible to avoid such issues. Mainly by adding several cross controlling mechanisms that would notify us in case there is any difference in the communication between Pixmac and the suppliers API.

On a general note internal system of Pixmac is a complex solution. There are currencies, credit pack discounts, refunds, bonuses, individual discounts, price changes, affiliates etc. There are many controlling mechanisms already. Pixmac website and its backend is changing constantly. Same as all the other agencies sites are under development. We are open to discuss any improvements and we are flexible to answer any questions anytime.

It is not our interest to do anything against contributors or suppliers. That is not a scenario working long term. We know that. We are trying to build a fair company although we make mistakes.

If you are interested more in our philosophy, we recommend you to read recent MicrostockGroup article: Major Press Release from Pixmac Fairness in Front and also The Idea of an Open Company.

If there are any further questions on this matter we would like to answer any of those by email at user@pixmac.com and phone +420 296 566 268 (9-17 CET).

According to DT, high rez images were cached on your system and sold directly from your site and that is NOT how the whole API partner program was supposed to work. You don't address anything about that.

« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2011, 10:04 »
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You are only talking about one of your suppliers. Why were the contracts with two suppliers canceled?

« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2011, 10:21 »
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According to DT, high rez images were cached on your system and sold directly from your site and that is NOT how the whole API partner program was supposed to work. You don't address anything about that.

'The error technically happened when our customer purchased a previously downloaded image.'

To avoid technical problems such as broken download, bad connection, non-responsive servers and other technical issues the caching system allows to store the purchased files for a limited time for the buyers. Without the need to pay twice for the files while the customer is the same. Although it is an added value for the customer it is a thread for the contributor.

« Reply #56 on: January 24, 2011, 10:25 »
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You are only talking about one of your suppliers. Why were the contracts with two suppliers canceled?

The other partnership was terminated on 31.1.2010 after mutual discussion between the parties in November 2010.

« Reply #57 on: January 24, 2011, 10:42 »
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According to DT, high rez images were cached on your system and sold directly from your site and that is NOT how the whole API partner program was supposed to work. You don't address anything about that.

'The error technically happened when our customer purchased a previously downloaded image.'

To avoid technical problems such as broken download, bad connection, non-responsive servers and other technical issues the caching system allows to store the purchased files for a limited time for the buyers. Without the need to pay twice for the files while the customer is the same. Although it is an added value for the customer it is a thread for the contributor.

That isn't how I was told it would happen. I was told that when a client finds my image on your site, they click on the image and the thumb takes them directly to my port on DT (or whatever partner) where the client purchases the image. That's not at all how it is happening. You have circumvented that whole process by making your site become an actual site in competition with the other sites, rather than just being a partner site.

Here's the quote from DT:

   
Quote
As you all know, Dreamstime sells content using a large distribution network, additional to our own site.  From time to time, we audit our distribution partners to ensure that everything is going as it should.

Earlier last week, we have decided to remove the access to one of our distributors for a serious infringement of the terms of our contract with that distributor.  More specifically, we discovered that the distributor has been selling some images at a higher price point than agreed with Dreamstime, with the extra amount not being reported by the distributor.  The added amount per image varied from a few percentage points up to several times the acceptable price.  Furthermore, some of the files were duplicated and used, via a caching system, to allow future downloads from new and previous customers, without any payments sent to Dreamstime or its photographers.  Dreamstime considers this to be a serious violation of its contributors rights one which we intend to see remedied by any and all available means.

We have consequently removed their access to all Dreamstime images, and were currently preparing a legal action towards this company.  I will not name the company here, due to the nature of the legal process.  Once this process ends, and we recover any royalties due, we will add any additional missing royalties due.

We are making this post to publicly advise our distributors and contributors that we will not tolerate any kind of infringements.  Similarly, we will not quietly end an infringement, endorsing suspected instances of fraud this way.  Strong ethics must prevail and should be the very first thing one analyzes before joining a partnership, no matter its type.

We will keep you posted.

I have bolded the relevant words, which seem to indicate more than a one or two time infringement. I can't imagine that DT is preparing legal action based on you just allowing a client to re-download an image they have already paid for, once or twice. And the fact is, it shouldn't be happening at all, because I was under the impression that you only got thumbnails, no high rez images. I was told they were all stored on DT (or wherever). So the high rez images should be in DTs caching system, not yours.


WarrenPrice

« Reply #59 on: January 24, 2011, 11:40 »
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Zager,
This would all have more validity coming from Dreamstime.  If you have this settled, why not have Serban post a retraction?

« Reply #60 on: January 24, 2011, 13:48 »
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All the original hires files were always in the suppliers system only.
Yap.
Pixmac only gets hires files that have been purchased by a buyer.
Yap.
To be able to send the file to the buyer.
Obviously, unless the temporary download link points to a third server without the DT domain in it. This is the reasonable thing to do. It won't be a server under Pixmac control.
Caching system temporarily stores files that were recently purchased only.
So, there was a local caching mechanism on servers controlled by Pixmac. Fine.
Not all the files available at suppliers server nor all the resolutions without paying for each of them.
Yes we know that. You can only cache the copies that the customer bought. Whenever a customer bought a DT hires file, he got a download link to it on a DT controlled server. You intercepted that link and saved a copy of the image for yourself on a Pixmac controlled server and you set a flag in the DB: "we have copy".
The next time a customer wants that file, you check your DB and if you copied cached the file, you just sell your cached copy and there is no way DT can know that, nor the contributor. Fine.

The problem of course arises when a third auditing party buys a popular file that has probably been "cached" by you. You'll give him the download link on a Pixmac controlled server and not on a DT controlled server. That's how the auditor knows. He then just has to check with DT if the "conveniently" cached file has been reported. Obviously not since DT made a big fuzz about it. They must have had an eye for a while on these creative practices to be sure and gather enough evidence.
As for the bold parts in your quote, I can't comment them now. Sorry for that.
You'd better not.  :P
On the Pixmac blog a technical "mistake" was mentioned as to the under-reporting. The elephant in the room, the caching, was ignored once again. Can we cut the cr@p about "transparency" and just get that huge Colossal beast out of the room?  ;)

« Reply #61 on: January 24, 2011, 14:14 »
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Thanks for explaining all that technically, FD. That's exactly how I understood it all to be working.

« Reply #62 on: January 24, 2011, 14:15 »
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Thanks for explaining all that technically, FD. That's exactly how I understood it all to be working. Sometimes the connection between my brain and my hands doesn't work so well.  :)


« Reply #64 on: January 25, 2011, 06:08 »
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There is a Forbes report about browser history sniffing that lists Pixmac (in addition to YouPorn and some other well-known sites) as one of the sites that actively use it to find out which other websites a user has visited.

Here is the link:

http://blogs.forbes.com/kashmirhill/2010/11/30/history-sniffing-how-youporn-checks-what-other-porn-sites-youve-visited-and-ad-networks-test-the-quality-of-their-data/

It doesn't seem to be illegal but it is probably worth knowing if you visit the site.

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #65 on: January 25, 2011, 07:07 »
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Interesting, zager, how youve come in here and blamed it on a technical error to desperately try to maintain Pixmacs innocence yet youve refused to respond to what exactly youve been accused of doing.

Youve completely swept under the rug and justified the issue about caching, by saying that you do it temporarily to avoid technical problems for the buyer but the fact of the matter is that you had no right to store our files in your system and sell them directly and you know it!  Youre in the microstock business.  You cant really play dumb and act as if you didnt know that because if you didnt, then youre in the wrong business.  Furthermore, youve completely ignored the part about you selling the images directly at a price several times over the amount that was agreed to by Dreamstime.  Was that a system error too?

To top things off youve tried to brush the whole thing off by claiming that Pixmac just made a little mistake and we should all forgive you and sign up with you.   I suppose you can say that violating the terms between you and your supplier and breaking copyright laws by selling contributor images without their permission would be considered a mistake.  HUGE mistake! 

To make matters worse, after all of this Pixmac then tried to recruit us via email to upload to their site directly.  Pixmac couldnt be more sleezy!

Its amazing how Pixmac flushed their reputation and probably their company down the gurgler over a few lousy hundred bucks.

I hope other third parties learn from your teeny weeny mistake.

« Reply #66 on: January 26, 2011, 04:34 »
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the hard truth that I've been writting so many times is that we as contributors don't have ANY control of what is going on behind the scenes

the only reason all this to come up now is that one agency is stealing from another

if an agency is stealing - we can't make an audit

« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2011, 10:28 »
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After following this topic, and other common writings about using re-sellers in Microstock, the following questions have raised in my mind:

Why don't we find the use of re-sellers good thing, in common? It however offers us possibility to get our images pushed harder, and it is well proven procedure in image industry.

Why the re-sellers are often not allowed to tell/show who are their partners? Is it because the various agencies do not want to tell the photographers there is someone else also creating sales - perhaps good sales? As far as I know, the re-sellers really are forbidden to show the name of the image supplier/agency. Agencies like Alamy, Corbis etc always show who are their re-sellers, and their re-sellers are openly allowed to show who they are representing. Microstock could/should learn from this habit.

Why are the agencies not showing in their sales reports the origins of the sales = the name of the re-seller - is that again because they do not want to tell the photographers there is someone else than themselves creating the sales?

Why are the agencies stating the top price the re-seller must use? Is it because they are afraid of our images could be sold with higher prices than what they use themselves? Nice way to prevent the photographers to get more money.

Why are the agencies stating/agreeing the share of photographers commission in some dollar amount only, instead of clearly showing the gross sales prices received and our agreed x% of that? When using re-sellers this gross sales price naturally should/would be the gross price the agency received from the re-seller (>original gross sales price > minus re-seller commission > net price reported to agency > in photographer's report > net price minus agreed commission %). If no re-seller is used, this system would still always leave us the certain agreed % - and not make it possible for the agency  to reduce the sales prices but still keep as much or almost as much money as earlier - and the only one suffering is the photographer

Why do we feel re-sellers could not sell images with higher prices than the original supplier? Wouldn't it only be good for us - providing we get higher fee ourselves, too.

Why do we attack the re-sellers about problems in reporting or showing the origin of images - we can do it, but at the same time we should demand information about the terms that the origins have stated to the re-sellers - from the origins. These suppliers might have their "fingers" in it anyway and the re-seller is not to be blamed about everything.

About this particular case and topic: when serious accusations like this are made, I trust the one that made this accusation in the beginning will come in public again, and tell about the result of real audit that has been conducted (?). At the same time, the other part in this case must be allowed to give their statement. The decent way to handle this case would have been to first make the audit, see the results - and only then make it public.

This is how I would see fair Microsoft world.


« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2011, 03:43 »
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I tried to explain the elephant here:
http://blog.pixmac.com/2394/explanation-of-single-purchase/ [nofollow]

Thank you daffodil.
This might help:
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/major-press-release-from-pixmac-fairness-in-front/ [nofollow]


So it looks like this  "other company" first wanted you to represent them but after you started to grow bigger and more "dangerous" competitor in form of getting more images and more photographers of your own, they did not like that and terminated the contract. I must say this is exactly what should change in Microstock; "traditional" agencies do not have so many photographers of their own anymore but they too represent freelancers, and yet they are willing to have re-sellers, even in same market area as they have their own selling offices, and at the same time the re-sellers can naturally build their own business and represent photographers freely. Someone here said it is "sleezy" to invite photographers attend directly; I see nothing sleezy in that, every company, including I as a photographer, must have freedom to develop the business without any competitor or business partner trying to prevent that.

« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2011, 06:11 »
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So it looks like this  "other company" first wanted you to represent them but after you started to grow bigger and more "dangerous" competitor in form of getting more images and more photographers of your own, they did not like that and terminated the contract. I must say this is exactly what should change in Microstock; "traditional" agencies do not have so many photographers of their own anymore but they too represent freelancers, and yet they are willing to have re-sellers, even in same market area as they have their own selling offices, and at the same time the re-sellers can naturally build their own business and represent photographers freely. Someone here said it is "sleezy" to invite photographers attend directly; I see nothing sleezy in that, every company, including I as a photographer, must have freedom to develop the business without any competitor or business partner trying to prevent that.

Oh really? <sigh>

I can't help noting that 'daffodil' has only just joined MSG, has felt the need to respond only to this topic and both of their posts read like a press release from Pixmac themselves. Funny that.

« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2011, 08:12 »
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So it looks like this  "other company" first wanted you to represent them but after you started to grow bigger and more "dangerous" competitor in form of getting more images and more photographers of your own, they did not like that and terminated the contract. I must say this is exactly what should change in Microstock; "traditional" agencies do not have so many photographers of their own anymore but they too represent freelancers, and yet they are willing to have re-sellers, even in same market area as they have their own selling offices, and at the same time the re-sellers can naturally build their own business and represent photographers freely. Someone here said it is "sleezy" to invite photographers attend directly; I see nothing sleezy in that, every company, including I as a photographer, must have freedom to develop the business without any competitor or business partner trying to prevent that.

Oh really? <sigh>

I can't help noting that 'daffodil' has only just joined MSG, has felt the need to respond only to this topic and both of their posts read like a press release from Pixmac themselves. Funny that.

Exactly.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #72 on: February 07, 2011, 09:04 »
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If ignorance is bliss ... I'll just ignore them and be happy.   ;D


« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2011, 10:55 »
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I think overall this speaks of the "wild west" nature of an immature industry where quite a few things happened, all of which are understandable from a business development standpoint in an immature industry:

- It makes perfect sense that a new agency like pixmac would try to become established by partnering as much as partner agencies will allow in order to built a library and credibility and sustainability
- The technical underpinnings of these relationships are complicated and made more so by the fine line between too much and not enough information.
- These relationships get confused and strained by the vague nature of the technical relationships, as well as the lack of experience on all fronts with such an affiliation.
- The relationships outlive their usefulness on one or both sides as the relative postion of the agencies evolves.

This seems, to me, like what's happening. Sounds like it could have been handles more smoothly, by it's nice that zager is here trying to work it out. Just my .02.

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

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