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Author Topic: Forum Policy  (Read 4527 times)

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« on: September 14, 2006, 09:33 »
I am looknig for input here.

What do you all think is acceptable for this forum.  I think it is important to keep things open and be able to say what we feel and think about the different sites without having to working about censorship. 

This however then also becomes a grey area when decided how much we should be able to say about a company.
Is saying a company has sketchy business pracises over the line.  On one had we need to be able to say our thoughts if we think a business IS doing sketchy things, on the other hand it is a pretty bold accusation to make, even if it IS a personal opinion.

I think if a post was made about a person doing illegal or sketchy business it would be over the line, so is it different when talking about companies... perhaps.. perhaps not.

If a company did one day decide to take advantage of it's photographers, it would be silly for all of us to think that they were doing this but none of us say anything because it was rude.  However, to make an accusation is still pretty bold.


« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2006, 10:15 »
First thought, "sketchy" and "illegal" are two separate things. One could be sketchy without being illegal. However, in the end I think both are acceptable.

« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2006, 10:19 »
I think if one has concrete evidence that a company has questionable business practices (like not getting paid when a payout is due, like not being able to access one's account, like not getting a response when contacting administrators, or like the site being down for an extended amount of time with no explanation....etc.), then it is appropriate to question what is going on.

To accuse the administrator of a site of engaging in illegal activities because you are not happy with the number of sales you receive at that site seems way over the top to me. Different sites reach different markets. I have some images that sell really well on some sites that barely sell on others. But those others sell images that may not sell well yet on the first mentioned sites. Does that mean the administrators are engaging in illegal activities? I don't think so. That kind of accusation, without corroborating evidence, seems mean-spirited and abusive to me. Opinions are opinions, but blind accusations with threat of attorney involvement without evidence to back it up, I think, is over the line. It goes way beyond "being rude".

« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2006, 11:37 »
Accusing sites of illegal activities could be libelous

but warning of other Micro stockers of strange behaviour is quite another thing. There are a lot of sites out there and I'm sure some are making offers too good to be true.

Not to mention of sites that can't seem to sell any images.


« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2006, 11:53 »

i believe if a person isn't happy with what a comp is doing ,then don't do any business with them, they will tell you that themselves.


  • tough men are pussys
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2006, 14:52 »
Hi guys, my 2 cents:

I agree with fintastique writing:  "Accusing sites of illegal activities could be libelous

but warning of other Micro stockers of strange behaviour is quite another thing. There are a lot of sites out there and I'm sure some are making offers too good to be true."

One of the advantages of a talk forum like this is to alert other members to unusual behavour.  The admins of all these commercial sites should be reading this forum, and if there is something unusual written about them, they have the opportunity to respond to the concern. 

AND, as we have seen, there has been highly questionable behavour by some micro payment sites which, in my case has never been addressed on that site through either the forum or private email from admin.

Malicious       NO
Unusual        YES

« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2006, 14:52 »
I don't "think" the site would be responsible for libelous statements made -- but I'm not an attorney.  I like when people are honest and write what they think.  I do that but with restraint.  In other words if I make a strong statement I try to say it in a non-libelous way.

Back to your question.  I think if you find a statement on the site that worries you then you should delete it.

« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2006, 16:16 »
I agree, Tyler since you are responsible for this site, it's up to you to give the tone.  Free speech doesn't necessarily means to gossip or spread suspicions, and it would be nice if everyone would stick to the facts, to keep the integrity and the transparency of this place.  If a contributor has something to 'reveal' about a company, he shouldn't be afraid to speak his mind here if it comes with reliable sources and if it is legally correct.

I am quite new on this site, but after checking it for a while as a 'guest', I decided to register, for I found it to be a neutral central place where I can quickly get the main relevant stock news topics without having to check the 10 different ones from each stock site, and it's a practical way to get some feedbacks or clarifications from an independent source.  Thanks Leaf  :)

« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2006, 16:59 »

Please don't let the politically inept get to you.

IMO, Rinder didn't say anything wrong.  He was stating his opinion, which if you read it again contains a valid concern.  He said that he makes ~ 100x less money on Canstcok than he does on Shutterstock.  With the quality of images that he has, this is a valid cause for concern.

Some people have stated "what is the harm in leaving them there?".  Well, there is plenty of "harm".

First, if one of his images is used in a wrongful manner, having it on this site makes it that much harder to track down where the sale originated from.

Second, if sales are that slow, there is cause for concern that one isn't receiving due compensation.  There is one thing that I have learned in life - if there is a easy way for people to cheat you, then they will.  People cheat all of the time.  This industry is unaudited and has basically said "trust us with your files".  How hard would it be for a microsite to sell a photo and not report the sale?  Especially if it is in another country?  Or for a microsite to sell an extended license and report it as a standard sale?  Probably not hard at all.  And even if they were caught, they could just say it was an honest mistake.  Is CanStock doing this?  Only they know for sure.

Third, it takes time to continually upload to sites.  If you don't continue to post, then your income will probably drop substantially.  Many people have reported how their income has dropped substantially if they don't continue to upload to sites.  This takes time, especially since each site has its own quirks.  Some sites don't allow FTP, some sites require categories, some sites allow more keywords than others, etc.

Fourth, it takes that much longer to keep up with the changes that sites are continuously making.  As you are all aware, this industry is in its infancy.  Changes are happening every month, and every week in some cases.  A site might add new options that they might enabled or disabled by default.  If a photographer wants to opt-in or opt-out, they would have to know about these changes.  Thus, they would need to keep up with the news about the site.  For example, IS partnered with Vox within the last month.  Many people didn't want to be involved, but they were required to manually opt out.  Another example, is Dreamstime recently announced new Extended licensing.  But if you wanted to be a part of this, then you needed to opt in.  Fotolia recently partnered with TemplateMonster, and the list goes on...

Fourth, it is his right to remove the images if he wants to.  They are his property and he should do with them as he sees fit and put them on sites that will maximize his profit.  If he feels that CanStock sucks, then he has the right to remove his photos from them.  End of story.

Finally, censorship already occurs on the microsites themselves (as has been attested to many times in this forum).  To censor posts here (or on any of the neutral forums) would be a tragedy.  Freedom of speech is a blessing.  Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't give you the right to demand that they stop giving their opinion.

This world has become too thin-skinned.  People get offended at everything and they then demand that the offense be stopped.  But what they (the offendees) don't realize, is that they are offending those of us that believe in freedom and free speech.  The world is a nasty place.  Evil does exist.  If someone finds a problem on a site, then I want to know about it.


« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2006, 21:48 »
Photographers need to know. I really don't understand how some people just upload to any site that comes along without any concerns. I have my own site (http://www.snappystock.com), that if I was unscrupulous, I could very easily change it to accept other photographers (only my pics on there now) . Does it look like it could pass as a legitimate company? (Well it is legitimate but it's only me - I programmed it and they're my pictures AND I do it in my spare time, as I have a day job) What I'm trying to say is, some photographers can be fooled very easily. It just takes a small bit of code to shortchange photographers (maybe payout 1 after 5 sales for example). I'm not accusing any specific site of this, but it would be way too easy to do. Then what I would do is as a person got closer to a payout, I would really slow them down. One could drag this out over a year or two, then when/if someone starts to get suspicious, close down the business and start another one under a new name.

Be careful folks, be very, very careful.

« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2006, 03:14 »

Now I am paranoid of not getting any extended license sales asthats where the big bucks lay, I was almost suspicious about sales slow down as I approach a payout limit.

I have enough agencies to deal with so unless one of the macro agencies start up a micro agency I won't bother with any more - to lessen the risk of getting stung.

Anybody removed their images from Gimmestock? 

As any new agency needs cash pumping into marketting, maybe that explains the crappy percentage at iStock they actually spent money on marketing.

Even some of the legitimate companys have annoying business practices.

Though 123 beat iStock to reach the $100 mark, istock paid up after 24 hours and 123 make you make wait a month before paying you, whats the interest rate in the USA?

The customers pay up front (with subscriptions and bulk credit purchases) but the suppliers are paid in arrears standard business practice but in NOT microstock. SS pay you once a month BUT at the beginning.


On a brighter note

I remember reading elsewhere about someone who had their own site and used to FTP to their site and had some code to FTP to automatically to the micro sites -are you that person?
Any way of finding out that code. Not so much interested in setting up my own site just speeding up the upload process (after completing a 72 hour upload marathon 1.8meg/min, 108meg/hour sounds good until you have half a gig to upload to multiple sites).

My e-mail address is on this site

I had 9.40 euros at SPM way short of 60 euros and I requested a payment as you can do so every 3 months and they sent me 10 euros. I wish more low earning sites would allow a similar system of 4 payments a year.

« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2006, 09:48 »
This and other independent sites should work towards a politically correct freedom of speech.  No need to attack with vulgarities and profanities.  Just simple acknowledgements of whats going on and how you feel about it.  Shady, shifty and weird business practices can be an indication of whats to come and it can save people a TON of time and money and hassle and these forums are a place where people can find out if its worth it.  As well, if owners of these backyard microstocks are serious they will read the posts and work with the people to make them better.  It serves as a means of evolution because if you have a bad name no one will trust you.  But if you work with people you get a better shot.

I would wish that LO would start marketing because I'm stuck on $81.00 forever and I just want a payout. 

And no one will ever be sure if a site is a fraud because they can always come back and say we had a failure or our site doesn't work properly because of a virus or something, but through this behaviour you can persuade people to not upload until they get their act together.  Its important to weed out the bad companies so that the competition becomes top notch and those who pay for the photos trust the industry.

« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2006, 12:26 »
I would wish that LO would start marketing because I'm stuck on $81.00 forever and I just want a payout.

$81 in tokens or $81 in your piggy bank?

« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2006, 18:47 »
$81 in piggy

Its complicated to explain.  There are a few people who have downloaded quite a few from me so that they could decorate their sites and stuff but I got about $15-$20 that I don't know where they came from and a few dollars are from me downloading my own pictures becauase I didn't know that they were saying you can't. When I got to read that blog it was all good.

« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2006, 03:40 »
if you click on your piggy bank you should be able to see where everything came from.!?!

« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2006, 09:20 »
ya but I don't know who downloaded them

« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2006, 09:49 »
Back to the topic ...

What do you all think is acceptable for this forum.  I think it is important to keep things open and be able to say what we feel and think about the different sites without having to working about censorship.

I agree ... with minor qualifications. That is the beauty of this forum, and why it's needed. If you say something a little contrary or critical on the forums of certain other sites (and I'm thinking of one in particular) you will have the thread locked, erased, or even find yourself banned.

However, that should not mean that this site is open house for slander, airing personal grievances, or becomes a 'troll's playground'. (A 'troll' being someone who deliberately posts provocative comments to forums to wind people up.)

There are, for example, a number of people (usually lousy photogs, anyway) who get very upset about rejections, and may try to use this site as a place to sound off nastily. I believe we have to avoid things like that like the plague. Selection/Rejection is a highly subjective process. Live with it, or stop submitting.

Is saying a company has sketchy business pracises over the line. 

No. As this business grows - and it's growing enormously fast - crooks and scam artists will inevitably start getting in on the act. This is the ideal place to identify them and warn others before they get caught.

Or weaker sites may start wobbling before they go under. Again, this is a great place to warn about that sort of thing too, and all sorts of other things like that.

... on the other hand it is a pretty bold accusation to make, even if it IS a personal opinion.

But when posting this sort of message, people should try to stick to the facts as far as possible. E.g. "I've submitted 1'000 photographs to X, they're all good sellers on other sites, but I never get a cent from X. And they never reply to my e-mails." Most readers should be able to pick up the message here. And it's much more effective that just saying "Company X are crooks," without backing it up with a shred of evidence. (That's probably libellous, anyway.)

So, this forum should be a place to share facts, information and ideas, and for photographers to get together and help each other out. It should not be a place for trolls, disgruntled people airing their pet grievances, etc. And that's what the 'Report to moderator' link is for. We all can use it, if necessary, to support the moderators in their decisions.

We depend on you, Tyler, and your team of moderators (whoever they are) to strike the balance. A great forum, open and helpful. Let's keep it that way, with minimal censorship. Thanks for setting it up.

That's my 2 cent's worth.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2006, 15:37 by Bateleur »

« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2006, 04:16 »
Ok, well i think i have come to some sort of conclusion about when people think a company is doing illegal or shifty business.

If someone thinks a comapny is doing something illegal i would sudjest NOT to write on these forums, company X is stealing our money,.. but rather, i had $50 in my account and sold 30 more photos but my account $$ never went up, or .. i don't understand how company X has 1,000,000 in images and as much traffic as istock, yet no sales.. where are my earnings... and so on.... if you come to the conclusion that the company IS doing something illegal, i would sudjest reporting it to the local authorities, rather than making accusations here.

As such I have removed one such legal accusation in another thread.  I have kept the heart of the post in that thread, just removed the legal pointing of fingers. Sorry to have to do this, i just think we should keep it fair (and legal) for both individuals and companies.


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