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Author Topic: 123RF Serves Termination Notice to Pixmac  (Read 25359 times)

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Xalanx

« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 04:28 »
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Excellent, Alex.

« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 07:20 »
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Ouch! This is the 3rd agency doing this, after DT and FT?
Yet Pixmac keeps claiming it was just a small error on their side...nuhuh.

« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 08:52 »
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Alex,

as this case (again) has raised concerns with many contributors about the way their intellectual property is protected within the different partner programs of stock sites, I would have some suggestions how you could improve transparency for us.

  • list all partners on your website
  • including exact terms of how our images are sold (including pricing, licence terms etc.) per partner
  • allow contributors to opt in / opt out per single partner

That would be a great help for contributors and I believe you as agency can only benefit from such form of transparency.

It would be good to hear if you will consider such changes in the future.

Best Regards,
Dirk

« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 09:55 »
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Woe another one. They must have been very naughty indeed.


« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 04:57 »
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Thanks Alex, that's good news!

« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 18:26 »
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Hi,
I have just discovered my whole portfolio on Pixmac (http://www.pixmac.com/author/[email protected]) without me ever remembering to submit to that agency. The number of images there corresponds to the number of images in my 123RF portfolio. Shouldn't my port at Pixmac have been deleted by them if the partnership with 123rf had been discontinued? And more importantly, how to guard oneself against finding ones entire portfolio at sites, which you have no direct control over? I try to opt out of all API and 3rd party agreements that I can (both at Dreamstime and iStock), but I can't find such an option at 123RF.

« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 19:00 »
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Hi,
I have just discovered my whole portfolio on Pixmac (http://www.pixmac.com/author/[email protected]) without me ever remembering to submit to that agency. The number of images there corresponds to the number of images in my 123RF portfolio. Shouldn't my port at Pixmac have been deleted by them if the partnership with 123rf had been discontinued? And more importantly, how to guard oneself against finding ones entire portfolio at sites, which you have no direct control over? I try to opt out of all API and 3rd party agreements that I can (both at Dreamstime and iStock), but I can't find such an option at 123RF.


The answer to your question is yes, most definitely, but pixmac hasn't been behaving according to the terms of the API program. You could email pixmac directly and demand your images be removed immediately. I had to do that.

« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 19:11 »
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@dirkr Yes, we will work towards providing more transparency. Hence, the survey :)

Best regards,

Alex.

How long should we wait until we as contributors must fight with Pixmax to get our images removed?

« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2011, 19:12 »
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Well grumble grumble grumble *insert choice words here*. I also just found my pics there as well from 123rf. I guess I will contact them directly as well to have my port removed. Clapper, how was your response from them when you requested yours be removed?

« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2011, 19:38 »
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Well grumble grumble grumble *insert choice words here*. I also just found my pics there as well from 123rf. I guess I will contact them directly as well to have my port removed. Clapper, how was your response from them when you requested yours be removed?

It was a while back, last year I think, before all the latest problems, but pixmac handled it right away, no problems. Hopefully, that is still the case.

[email protected]

« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2011, 20:54 »
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@dirkr Yes, we will work towards providing more transparency. Hence, the survey :)

Best regards,

Alex.

How long should we wait until we as contributors must fight with Pixmax to get our images removed?

I've never uploaded any of my photos to Pixmac, never the less I find a large amount of my portfolio there...Now a silly question to Alex @ 123rf, should it be the responsibility of the contributors to contact Pixmac and fight to have their photos removed from their site, or should it be the responsibility of 123rf, Dreamstime etc. to make sure all photos are removed from the site?

« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2011, 21:04 »
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@dirkr Yes, we will work towards providing more transparency. Hence, the survey :)

Best regards,

Alex.

How long should we wait until we as contributors must fight with Pixmax to get our images removed?

I've never uploaded any of my photos to Pixmac, never the less I find a large amount of my portfolio there...Now a silly question to Alex @ 123rf, should it be the responsibility of the contributors to contact Pixmac and fight to have their photos removed from their site, or should it be the responsibility of 123rf, Dreamstime etc. to make sure all photos are removed from the site?

I'm not going to answer for Alex, but I think you have a great point. Unfortunately, this has been a big problem since ALL of the sites have decided to do this whole Partner Program thing. Even though I have opted out at every site, for some reason or another, I find one day that the setting has changed and I have found my images on some site or another. Just a month or so ago, they were on an Asian site, through BigStock. But I have been opted out of their PP for months! It's an ongoing battle.

[email protected]

« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2011, 21:25 »
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Then maybe we should hold them accountable for anything that may happen with our photos, since we did not upload them to those sites to begin with...
I know what you mean cclapper, I also find my photos all over the place, specially in sites I've never heard of, or would even think on uploading too...

Come on 123rf etc. you guys place our photos there not us, so you should be responsible to make sure there not on those sites anymore once you stop doing business with them, its only fair DON'T YOU THINK?...Provide the transparency as well as taking the responsibility of protecting your contributors.  
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 21:41 by [email protected] »

« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2011, 22:09 »
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When I started uploading to all the sites, I avoided PixMac because the answers the owner was giving to the questions about their problems sounded like political spin-no direct answers just redirection of topics.  Glad I avoided them; now must find if my other sites have put my images with them

« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2011, 22:22 »
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Since you branched out more recently, I think you should be ok. The other sites that broke contact with them did so before you dropped you exclusivity.
Way OT, but I absolutely love your port. Glad you are getting to live the dream.

« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2011, 23:24 »
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Way OT, but I absolutely love your port. Glad you are getting to live the dream.

Thanks; sometimes it seems more a nightmare but it is one of my choosing; so i guess I can always wake up if I don't like the dream/nightmare

« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2011, 02:20 »
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Hi everyone,

Kindly write in to
[email protected] and we will effectively remove your portfolio from Pixmac.


Many thanks,
Anglee

« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2011, 06:22 »
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Thank you!

« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2011, 07:45 »
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@dirkr Yes, we will work towards providing more transparency. Hence, the survey :)

Best regards,

Alex.

How long should we wait until we as contributors must fight with Pixmax to get our images removed?

I've never uploaded any of my photos to Pixmac, never the less I find a large amount of my portfolio there...Now a silly question to Alex @ 123rf, should it be the responsibility of the contributors to contact Pixmac and fight to have their photos removed from their site, or should it be the responsibility of 123rf, Dreamstime etc. to make sure all photos are removed from the site?

Agree with your assessment.  It should be 123rf's responsibility.  I did email Pixmax and their response was that they are still in an active agreement with 123 and when the contract termination date hits they will remove my images.  Now, when is that? 30 days?

« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2011, 08:18 »
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Agree with your assessment.  It should be 123rf's responsibility.  I did email Pixmax and their response was that they are still in an active agreement with 123 and when the contract termination date hits they will remove my images.  Now, when is that? 30 days?

If you opted in to the Partner Program, then yes, I believe they have 30 days to pull your images down. If you were NOT opted in to the Partner Program, then they should pull them down immediately.

edit: but I see above Anglee says they will "effectively" remove your port. Not sure what that means...immediately or within the terms of your agreement with 123rf.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 08:21 by cclapper »

« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2011, 03:54 »
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Kindly write in to [email protected] and we will effectively remove your portfolio from Pixmac.


I tried that but was advised "We could do an exclusion for you. But, by doing that exclusion, Your name and images will not appear in any of our partner's program site."  which is not really what I want.  Where do I go from here?

« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2011, 07:19 »
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Kindly write in to [email protected] and we will effectively remove your portfolio from Pixmac.


I tried that but was advised "We could do an exclusion for you. But, by doing that exclusion, Your name and images will not appear in any of our partner's program site."  which is not really what I want.  Where do I go from here?


I got the same e-mail today. I want my images removed from Pixmac but stay in the PP at 123RF.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 07:21 by wolf »

« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2011, 07:58 »
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I haven't gotten a reply yet... I really don't expect one for at least a week if I use their review times as a gadge. I just keep checking pixmac to see if my images are still there... They are.

« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2011, 08:05 »
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The answer to your question is yes, most definitely, but pixmac hasn't been behaving according to the terms of the API program. You could email pixmac directly and demand your images be removed immediately. I had to do that.

May I ask you where do you source such information? We are fully behaving according the terms of the API. Termination notice comes prior to the actual termination date.

« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2011, 08:06 »
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How long should we wait until we as contributors must fight with Pixmax to get our images removed?

You can either write an email to 123RF or to Pixmac ([email protected]) and your porfolio will be deleted immediately (before the terminaton actually happens).

« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2011, 08:08 »
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I've never uploaded any of my photos to Pixmac, never the less I find a large amount of my portfolio there...Now a silly question to Alex @ 123rf, should it be the responsibility of the contributors to contact Pixmac and fight to have their photos removed from their site, or should it be the responsibility of 123rf, Dreamstime etc. to make sure all photos are removed from the site?

You can contact either 123RF or Pixmac. We will remove your images immediately upon request.

« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2011, 08:11 »
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Come on 123rf etc. you guys place our photos there not us, so you should be responsible to make sure there not on those sites anymore once you stop doing business with them, its only fair DON'T YOU THINK?...Provide the transparency as well as taking the responsibility of protecting your contributors.  

We are trying to be transparent and obviously all the parties involved want to be secure. So if you have any particular problems with the partnership, please contact us directly and we will explain any issues you might have. Re-selling is an usual way of making money in Traditional RF and worked well for years.

« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2011, 08:12 »
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I got the same e-mail today. I want my images removed from Pixmac but stay in the PP at 123RF.

Thank you Wolf for being honest.


lisafx

« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2011, 09:40 »
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I got the same letter from 123RF.  We are being told two completely different things.  Anglee from 123 tells us Pixmac is no longer a partner, but Eric at support tells us something completely different.

@zager - I would really like to believe you that there is no problem with Pixmac.  My goal is to make money and removing a legitimate agency that sells my images and pays me acceptably for that is not in my best interest.  But please don't blame contributors for being concerned after three of your major affiliates have severed their relationships with you claiming some sort of fraud. 

If you really haven't been caching and reselling images without payment to your  partners or contributors, then you need to work it out with DT, FT, and 123, because that's the rumor, and it is pretty persuasive IMO. 

« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2011, 10:21 »
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@zager - I would really like to believe you that there is no problem with Pixmac.  My goal is to make money and removing a legitimate agency that sells my images and pays me acceptably for that is not in my best interest.  But please don't blame contributors for being concerned after three of your major affiliates have severed their relationships with you claiming some sort of fraud.  

If you really haven't been caching and reselling images without payment to your  partners or contributors, then you need to work it out with Dreamstime, Fotolia, and 123, because that's the rumor, and it is pretty persuasive IMO.  


Well, as I've explained in our company blog (http://blog.pixmac.com/2394/explanation-of-single-purchase/). The reasons for all the three agencies were different.

Unfortunately, I cant mention the company names, due to the nature of the legal processes. But the information was in the blogpost above. This is how it all happened:

As for the first agency that discontinued contract with us, the reason was that both companies are competitors in a certain country. And as we acquired the photographers content from a closing company in that country the situation got difficult with the first agency.

The second agency made an allegation after that independently. And we're working that out with them = explaining everything.

The third agency was a result of domino effect. In other words a mixture of loud photographers on forums, unclear information at that time etc. It was a security step on their side as they dont want to loose photographers (And I understand that). There was no other issue (technical or legal) such as the allegation of the second agency because of which it all happened. We are currently in the termination period with the third company.

No other partner (out of 20+) terminated a contract with us.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 10:23 by zager »


[email protected]

« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2011, 10:31 »
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I got the same letter from 123RF.  We are being told two completely different things.  Anglee from 123 tells us Pixmac is no longer a partner, but Eric at support tells us something completely different.

@zager - I would really like to believe you that there is no problem with Pixmac.  My goal is to make money and removing a legitimate agency that sells my images and pays me acceptably for that is not in my best interest.  But please don't blame contributors for being concerned after three of your major affiliates have severed their relationships with you claiming some sort of fraud. 

If you really haven't been caching and reselling images without payment to your  partners or contributors, then you need to work it out with Dreamstime, Fotolia, and 123, because that's the rumor, and it is pretty persuasive IMO. 

Very well said Lisa, those are my feelings and observations as well, thanks for this post.

« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2011, 10:39 »
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Dear Contributors,

Kindly take note that we have sent a Termination Notice to Pixmac as an API Partner.

Thank you very much.

Alex.

Hi everyone,

I wanted to stand up and say some words as Pixmac "country manager".  First just so that my position is clear to everyone:

- I do not have my own database but sell from Pixmac website - so no need for anyone to be scared of yet another source having your pix in some database that you are not aware of
- I am not employed by Pixmac but do run my own business through which I only represent Pixmac in my country
- I have no other access to any Pixmac database images than through a purchase made. So when one of my customers buys an image, it is direct purchase from Pixmac database, or if the image in question is in Pixmac via some contributor API, it is direct purchase from that contributor. All customers are registered to Pixmac database, and can buy and download images only through registration in Pixmac database. The same goes with myself; if I download some pix, I must pay for it to Pixmac. This means that even in marketing I am forced to use only preview files with watermark, because of which it is not possible to make print advertising, unless I buy the images.
- I have very long past in image industry so I know all possible rules about photographers' rights, copyright law etc so I am not just someone "selling from bedroom" in hope of making quick and easy money

It is great pity that 123RF has decided to leave Pixmac. It is also pity for the photographers as I know how many 123RF images I have sold in my country alone, and I also know the monthly sales overall have been very good, and the sales have been growing every single month. So many photographers will now loose money. I can also tell that Pixmac has not been allowed to show or tell anywhere on their website that 123RF images were sold by Pixmac. When 123RF came to Pixmac, I immediately asked if I can launch that representation in my Pixmac blog, or if we could get the License visible on Pixmac license page - but unfortunately it was forbidden by 123RF. So please, do not blame Pixmac team for not having shown that info anywhere.

I have naturally asked for the reason of this termination from Pixmac, for the sake of my own business. It is NOT because of any misuse of API. There are NO sales that were not reported. The only reason is the photographers who have been demanding this; because of the one and only unfortunate case with payments of another supplier, it was nasty but human mistake made by a technical guy. I agree that mistake like this should not happen, I have also said that to Pixmac, but hey, is here someone who could honestly say no mistakes happen? I would love to be able to say I am perfect and never make any mistakes but unfortunately I can not. Pixmac came up and admitted they had made the mistake, they corrected the technical error asap, and made sure they paid everything they owed.

I believe it would be fair if Alex could/would confirm this instead of letting you guys to think there is some dishonesty of Pixmac behind the termination.

The contract is valid till the end of March so that is why your pictures still are on Pixmac website. At the moment only termination notice has been sent, there always is some notice time in cases like this, that is common contractual term.

I have no access to Pixmac payment and/or reporting tools but I have made multiple questions to Pixmac about these cases. And I got answers that I can believe in. My trust is also based on the co-operation that I have had with Pixmac. If they would have given me any reason to have some doubts, I would have them and would have acted accordingly. I am sure dishonesty of any kind would have come visible to me during the time I have been selling Pixmac - please remember they owe me money every single month, and not once has there been delay or any "technical" or other kind of error in reporting or payments. I am daily in connection with the Pixmac head office; making question, making suggestions so I have learned to know the guys pretty well. Among Pixmac TMs there are many image industry professionals who share their knowledge with Pixmac and develop the agency together with Pixmac. That means we make demanding questions and requests all the time too - and act as watchdogs to Pixmac too. So in fact in Pixmac system there are many more "big brothers" watching what they are doing than in those agencies that have their own staff only.

I already know what kind of replies some of you will send to this topic. So I just say that I was not asked or told by anyone in Pixmac to write this. In fact I take a risk here because they might not even like me to do this - but I take that risk. Because I feel sorry for not being able to push your images in 123RF database anymore, because you will loose money now, because it is such a pity this microstock industry has made so many people to think there are thieves behind every single corner, and because it seems to be ok to send "words flowing on the sky" instead of never telling the whole truth.

And by the way, my name is Merja and I can be reached at [email protected] - I have no reason to hide myself behind nickname.
Take care!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 11:04 by Penguin »

« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2011, 12:58 »
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I believe it would be fair if Alex could/would confirm this instead of letting you guys to think there is some dishonesty of Pixmac behind the termination.

Alex, I know you as an honest open guy so I do not get it when you are so not transparent about the reason 123RF is ending the coorporation.
It makes me think there are no mistakes meade by Pixmac but 123RF is affraid their contributors will leave because they believe Pixmac should burn.
Witchhunt is one of the first terms that spings to mind.

Frenk

« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2011, 13:15 »
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I disagree with this. I think after what happened with Bigstock people are a bit freaked. I like money. I will be uploading my 4000 images directly to Pixmac so they can represent my work.  I may be the naive one of this group but I'm going to be the guinea pig, I guess.  I think things have domino'd out of control, I tend to believe people and I do agree that at this point it's a bit of a witchhunt.

lisafx

« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2011, 13:26 »
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Thanks Zager, and Merja for your detailed accounts of what's going on.  Hope you will attempt to understand the concerns of contributors.  We are given very little information about where and how our pictures are being represented, so we tend to be very wary. 

I won't rule out uploading directly to Pixmac myself, like Mantonino is planning.  Just want to do some more research and lay this issue to rest first. 

And Zager, you are right, it would be nice if the agencies who have stopped their partnerships with you would be straightforward about why so we have more than guesswork and rumors to base our decisions on.


« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2011, 15:41 »
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We have decided to join Pixmac after a productive and satisfying discussion with their management. They seem to be very open about issues and genuinely interested to treat the contributors fairly. The minimum image commission now is fixed to 25 cents which is low but not that unusual in the industry. Here is an interview with me on their blog: http://blog.pixmac.com/3132/elena-elisseeva-professional-microstock-producer/

And remember, the other agencies are their direct competitors. They may not be exactly 100% objective and honest in this case.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 15:54 by Elenathewise »

« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2011, 15:56 »
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^^^ Very interesting blog Elena.

How do you 'join' Pixmac directly? I don't see any links to sell directly with them, much less any detail of commissions or ToS.

« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2011, 16:04 »
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How do you 'join' Pixmac directly? I don't see any links to sell directly with them, much less any detail of commissions or ToS.


We're not hiring a lot of photographers. Our primary focus is marketing, selling and perfect customer experience. On the other hand, we're working on a section to introduce contributors to Pixmac if they are interested.

This is some basic info:
http://blog.pixmac.com/2816/calling-all-photographers-submit-your-work-to-pixmac/

ToC:
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/major-press-release-from-pixmac-fairness-in-front/
http://www.pixmac.com/page/termsandconditions

« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2011, 16:32 »
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^^^ Thanks for that Zager, it does look interesting.

I'm still a little baffled why you don't just go for it and simply become a 'full-on' microstock agency. That's where the real money is surely? You appear to already have the staff, the offices, the hardware and the development expertise to make it happen. If you are experts at SEO and also have unique access to particular markets, as previously stated, then that can only help not hinder.

The more significant contributors, like Elena, that you are representing the more confidence that others will have to trust you and believe that you can build the sales to make it worthwhile uploading.

« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2011, 16:55 »
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I'm still a little baffled why you don't just go for it and simply become a 'full-on' microstock agency. That's where the real money is surely? You appear to already have the staff, the offices, the hardware and the development expertise to make it happen. If you are experts at SEO and also have unique access to particular markets, as previously stated, then that can only help not hinder.

The more significant contributors, like Elena, that you are representing the more confidence that others will have to trust you and believe that you can build the sales to make it worthwhile uploading.

Well, you're not the only one. Believe me.

As in every business, it's 80% marketing 20% development. There's no reason to build another small agency as any other, doing only their own business. I hope we're all on a same boat and if there already are agencies with a millions of images, why to build the collection again on our own and loose time/money?

My idea, that obviously is challenging, is that we'd focus on marketing, reaching new markets, doing smart advertising and experimenting with new ideas while failing and pushing our borders further. The idea is internally called "Stock Photo Food Court" and means that Pixmac would be able to get variety of content from micro agencies, traditional RF agencies and contributors to one site. And then by focusing on UX/UI (I'm a designer by trade) achieving the best site to buy "any" picture.

The problem comes with the "being competitor while being partner". Although I'm sure we reach markets and market segments that wouldn't be reached if Pixmac was not here, we surely overlap with others. But the truth is that in the end the amount of money to split is bigger. I'm sure it's win-win. But if you look at that from other perspective we might be only a strange API reseller that grows too fast.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 17:36 by zager »

« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2011, 17:19 »
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I, for one, appreciate that someone has come forward and admitted something wrong was done, it was Pixmac fault and they are willing to own the responsibility for this error.  I got really tired of the "smokin mirror" routine by Zager saying it was a misunderstanding.  "Bullsh*t"

I have made plenty of mistakes in my life; I plan to make a few more.  When I make a mistake, I am honest and admit my mistake and take ownership of that mistake and attempt to make it right.  I don't hide behind legal-mumble-jumble saying I can not comment because of pending legal problems.  The truth will come out, admitting the truth will not hurt any legal case.  You want our images; then show us the respect and stop the "smokin mirrors" routine.  I am willing to trust someone that will be transparent; even if they have made mistakes in the past.  I assume you are human, I expect you to muck-up once in-a-while or have an employee that mucks up.

Remember, these images are our life-blood; they are how we feed ourselves and our family.  If someone steals them, we have lost everything.

lisafx

« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2011, 18:26 »
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I feel like Zager has been pretty up-front and honest here.  I think the smoke and mirrors are coming from other directions. 

« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2011, 18:41 »
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I feel like Zager has been pretty up-front and honest here.  I think the smoke and mirrors are coming from other directions. 


And that's pretty much the problem...we are scattered all over the country and the world and are only connected by our computers...it's pretty difficult to know what is the truth and what is smoke and mirrors.

From reply #32 above, from Zager:

Quote
Well, as I've explained in our company blog (http://blog.pixmac.com/2394/explanation-of-single-purchase/). The reasons for all the three agencies were different.

Unfortunately, I cant mention the company names, due to the nature of the legal processes. But the information was in the blogpost above. This is how it all happened:

As for the first agency that discontinued contract with us, the reason was that both companies are competitors in a certain country. And as we acquired the photographers content from a closing company in that country the situation got difficult with the first agency.

The second agency made an allegation after that independently. And we're working that out with them = explaining everything.

The third agency was a result of domino effect. In other words a mixture of loud photographers on forums, unclear information at that time etc. It was a security step on their side as they dont want to loose photographers (And I understand that). There was no other issue (technical or legal) such as the allegation of the second agency because of which it all happened. We are currently in the termination period with the third company.

No other partner (out of 20+) terminated a contract with us.


If everything is above board, why are their legal processes going on in which you can't mention their names? If it were all a misunderstanding, there would be NO legal processes, would there? Would agencies really invest money in a legal battle if they knew it was just a misunderstanding?

Of course everyone has the right to believe what they want. Since I am never going to see the actual court documents, I prefer to err on the side of caution, at this particular point in time. And just because Zager says it's all a misunderstanding here in this forum, I prefer to have a little more proof. But that's just me.  :)

[email protected]

« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2011, 20:00 »
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...and me!

« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2011, 21:05 »
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How do you 'join' Pixmac directly? I don't see any links to sell directly with them, much less any detail of commissions or ToS.


We're not hiring a lot of photographers. Our primary focus is marketing, selling and perfect customer experience. On the other hand, we're working on a section to introduce contributors to Pixmac if they are interested.

This is some basic info:
http://blog.pixmac.com/2816/calling-all-photographers-submit-your-work-to-pixmac/

ToC:
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/major-press-release-from-pixmac-fairness-in-front/
http://www.pixmac.com/page/termsandconditions


Seems like every few months something problem pops up about pixmac (do a search on 'pixmac'), trust takes a long time to rebuild especially when new problems keep coming up :) (although that's better than istock's almost daily issue LOL)

Commissions are different between the two docs you posted :)
You're T&C still talks exclusivity which you say in one of the docs is Exclusivity is something like DRM in music. It doesnt work long term.
"Were trying to become a true Open Company" good and thankfully you've got rid of the $0.02 commissions but "Subscription    30% ($0.25+)    40% ($0.25+)" implies that higher amounts are possible for subscription sales??, however based on your front page pricing, artists cannot recieve the more than the $0.25 minimum???
still have credits earned expire in 1 year so if you havent made payout too bad you lose your earnings.
etc etc
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 21:15 by Phil »

« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2011, 22:12 »
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Hi everyone,

Kindly write in to
[email protected] and we will exclude your portfolio from only Pixmac, not our entire Partnership Program.

Please note that the exclusion will take effect in about 2 weeks. However, we will do our best exclude your content within that timeframe.

Thanks for your understanding.



Cheers,
Anglee




 

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #51 on: March 11, 2011, 00:21 »
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I, for one, appreciate that someone has come forward and admitted something wrong was done, it was Pixmac fault and they are willing to own the responsibility for this error.  I got really tired of the "smokin mirror" routine by Zager saying it was a misunderstanding.  "Bullsh*t"

I have made plenty of mistakes in my life; I plan to make a few more.  When I make a mistake, I am honest and admit my mistake and take ownership of that mistake and attempt to make it right.  I don't hide behind legal-mumble-jumble saying I can not comment because of pending legal problems.  The truth will come out, admitting the truth will not hurt any legal case.  You want our images; then show us the respect and stop the "smokin mirrors" routine.  I am willing to trust someone that will be transparent; even if they have made mistakes in the past.  I assume you are human, I expect you to muck-up once in-a-while or have an employee that mucks up.

Remember, these images are our life-blood; they are how we feed ourselves and our family.  If someone steals them, we have lost everything.

I agree except zager calls it a "misunderstanding", you call it an "error" but I would go one step further and call it "breaching copyright laws" or in lamens terms "theft" (of IP).  Every man and his dog knows about the fiasco with google catching images.  The courts decided they didn't breach copyright but they were catching thumbnails as backup whereas pixmac catched maximum sized images.  Effectively, they owe the artist/photographer payment of a licence fee for every image that was cached illegally.  As far as I'm concerned, pixmax is lucky there is no class action taken against them by contributors to receive compensation. 

Pixmac, who is not an agent, who we have not contracted with directly and have not uploaded our images to, have (or had) our images on their database and therefore should pay us all a royalty free licence.

For them to try and mask this as either a missunderstanding or an error is poor form.  If they seriously didn't realise that caching our images is breaching copyright laws, then what business do they have handling our images?  Either they cached the images knowing full well that this is illegal (which they should have known) and therefore I don't trust them and never will, OR, they didn't have a clue that it was illegal, which makes them incompetent.  Either scenario makes them an unworthy business to deal with.

« Reply #52 on: March 11, 2011, 03:34 »
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Thanks Zager, and Merja for your detailed accounts of what's going on.  Hope you will attempt to understand the concerns of contributors.  We are given very little information about where and how our pictures are being represented, so we tend to be very wary. 

I won't rule out uploading directly to Pixmac myself, like Mantonino is planning.  Just want to do some more research and lay this issue to rest first. 

And Zager, you are right, it would be nice if the agencies who have stopped their partnerships with you would be straightforward about why so we have more than guesswork and rumors to base our decisions on.

Hi Lisa,

Just wanted to say I do understand your concerns. In Microstock there seems to be some strange manners which I have never seen in "traditional" stock photo industry. One of them is this hassle with using reps. It should be just ok as being local is a strength, and it is of benefit to the photographer,supplier, agency and rep. But it should be made openly. If these agencies have this opt-in/opt-out system, that should clearly list all the reps they are using, in that way the photographers would always see and know which channels are being used. And of course there should be no technical problems in that function either; if you choose to opt-out your status should stay like that and you should have no reason to do that more than once. Having said that, I am sure every single technical solution has some problems every now and then, and there always is a human person behind the technology, mistakes do happen. We should understand that, too.

The representation contracts should be transparent on agencies' website, too. The supplier should list the channels they are using (on special reps page) and the rep should list the suppliers on special "supplier/partner" site. It should be allowed to show the photographer's name and the supplier's name next to the previews on the website, too. Instead of just telling here some representation has been terminated, I feel there should be reason to come in and tell about the beginning of that relationship, too. Instead of letting you all to wonder how your images are on this and that website. it is not fair either to throw here some other statement, confuse you, make you worried, and then just disappear. All kind of accusations must be based on facts and when accusations are made, one must give details, too. If it does not work like that, I get suspicous. Making decisions based on rumours must be like hell to the photographers.

I do represent some local photographers too, not in microstock but in trad.RF. I see their distress about being able to make their living every single day. And I feel very sorry for them, the change in this industry has been rapid and quite unique. It has been a big change to me too; years back I was able to sell an image with 20 000 euros, next week when trad. RF showed up I was able to get only 600 euros for the same usage, now it might be 5 euros or less. It is obvious the budget prices will come to this industry, but there never was reason to go this low so my opinion is the pioneers in microstock made huge mistake. Now it is impossible to change that but we must make the best of the current system. With the low price level it is hard job for the agencies to cover the costs of technical solutions and salaries but still; offering commission of 20 % to the photographer is not fair and it is not justified ; there is no agency without images and photographers producing them so I fully understand the agony the photographers are having.

Have a nice weekend!

« Reply #53 on: March 11, 2011, 03:37 »
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If everything is above board, why are their legal processes going on in which you can't mention their names? If it were all a misunderstanding, there would be NO legal processes, would there? Would agencies really invest money in a legal battle if they knew it was just a misunderstanding?

Of course everyone has the right to believe what they want. Since I am never going to see the actual court documents, I prefer to err on the side of caution, at this particular point in time. And just because Zager says it's all a misunderstanding here in this forum, I prefer to have a little more proof. But that's just me.  :)

Well, legal process is one. The rest is just "we can't talk about the details in the contract". I wish I could do that, but unfortunately I've not signed any contract yet that doesn't contain a paragraph forbidding us to talk about the details. On the other hand, it makes sense as it's a bit of know-how.

« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2011, 04:06 »
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Seems like every few months something problem pops up about pixmac (do a search on 'pixmac'), trust takes a long time to rebuild especially when new problems keep coming up :) (although that's better than istock's almost daily issue LOL)

I don't know how iStock handles that, but we try to explain/fix that and avoid that in future. And yes Pixmac is related to a few problems, some were our mistake, some were not. But as we're connected with several agencies, it's more probable that we're involved. It's easy to mask anything if it's only one agency/authority. Pixmac is being watched by many eyes. I think that's good, but also brings in some challenges.

Commissions are different between the two docs you posted :)
You're T&C still talks exclusivity which you say in one of the docs is Exclusivity is something like DRM in music. It doesnt work long term.
"Were trying to become a true Open Company" good and thankfully you've got rid of the $0.02 commissions but "Subscription    30% ($0.25+)    40% ($0.25+)" implies that higher amounts are possible for subscription sales??, however based on your front page pricing, artists cannot recieve the more than the $0.25 minimum???
still have credits earned expire in 1 year so if you havent made payout too bad you lose your earnings.
etc etc

The exclusivity in ToC is going to be fixed soon. As for the share:

- we've removed expiration of credits earned by photographer (a while ago)
- we've removed the possibility to buy the smallest size in subscription so the revenue usually doesn't fall even close to $0.25 (same as SS)
- homepage was innacurate, that's being fixed
- what "etc" do you mean please?

Thank you for understanding.

« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2011, 04:42 »
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I am not picking sides. I simply believe in a chance for any accused to have their saying before the get nailed to the cross as seems to happen to Pixmac a lot these days. Herunder is the official explanation of what happened with the termination of a coorporation where Pixmac INDEED made some mistakes but never tried to hide them in any matter. Still we are awaiting Alexes answer of what errors have been made by Pixmac leading to the notice of termination Alex has given Pixmac.

As there was an allegation where the supplier says that we sold images for higher prices without permission.
The misunderstanding comes from the Single Image Purchase setup that weve agreed on with the supplier.
The Single Purchase price included an extra transaction fee.
The reason is to cover the direct costs we have with each transaction such as payment gateway, affiliate, local manager, accounting.
Some of those costs are based on percentage but some are fixed and some are combined.

This modified price in case of the Single Image Purchase was offered to the supplier.
Due to technical reasons, the supplier was not able to implement that to their API (our current microstock suppliers implemented that already).
Pixmac therefore came with a temporarily workaround where the price difference was balanced by offering free credits for further purchase in the value of the price change.
The customer was able to get the Single Purchase fee back with the next purchase of credits.
And could spend the credits on other images. That was agreed with the supplier.

The truth is that a re-seller such as Pixmac can easily be tested by doing a test purchase anytime.
And therefore its easy to discover any issues.
We were always very quick and responsible in correcting things which might have gone in a wrong direction because Pixmac is a young and starting company.
Mistakes can occur everywhere and anytime and we tried to fix them as soon as possible! Obviously the re-seller doesnt have access to any hi-res files unless the image is purchased.

« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2011, 17:01 »
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Zager,

I think we all feel very uncomfortable about partners, because everything is so obscure to us, we feel uncertain there is enough control to guarantee the security of our images and the honesty in transactions - not to mention we often do not know who are these partners, it's an information often denied to us, or at least difficult to obtain.

As cclapper says, we are scattered around the world, connected by networks, not having any real idea of who are the people behind the nicknames here, and actually unable to take any legal action if we find ourselves frauded. And we've seen strange things happening even in the most respectable (in theory) sites.

« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2011, 17:14 »
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I think we all feel very uncomfortable about partners, because everything is so obscure to us, we feel uncertain there is enough control to guarantee the security of our images and the honesty in transactions - not to mention we often do not know who are these partners, it's an information often denied to us, or at least difficult to obtain.

As cclapper says, we are scattered around the world, connected by networks, not having any real idea of who are the people behind the nicknames here, and actually unable to take any legal action if we find ourselves frauded. And we've seen strange things happening even in the most respectable (in theory) sites.

I understand that. And definitely it's difficult to use this virtual world to show/get a real world trust. For you as contributor and for us as those who sell/might sell stolen images from strange contributors or reach strange buyers on the other end of the chain such as IS. Even the most respectable sites have problems. And I think it's the matter of extensive complexity of all the systems.

I am already working on a website that should define what are the crucial standards/rules of a good agency. I feel the need not only for Pixmac, but for the whole microstock industry. And I also want to share this valuable experience I'm getting here in this MSG forum. For others to get inspired. It's my personal motivation to set some basic rules that will make it easier and more fair for both agencies and contributors. It's going to be challenging...

« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2011, 11:06 »
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My portfolio is still on pixmac... awaiting reply from [email protected]

Patrick.


 

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