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Author Topic: 123RF Serves Termination Notice to Pixmac  (Read 25761 times)

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




    This user is banned.
« Reply #51 on: March 11, 2011, 00:21 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »

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 »
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 »
My portfolio is still on pixmac... awaiting reply from [email protected]



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