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Author Topic: 123rf sharing commissions with parent company Inmagine  (Read 19152 times)

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fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« on: October 30, 2014, 07:53 »
+37
Hello,

I did some research and found out that 123rf is also selling our images at their parent company Inmagine, even if "API partner sales" have been disabled.

After selling the image at Inmagine, first Inmagine takes a 40-50% royalty cut, before the "usual" royalty split at 123rf takes place.

For me it does not make sense, because both agencies belong to the same company.

The difference between the 40-50% comes from the currency exchange.

If a customer pays for example 10 USD for an image, the royalty split of Inmagine is 40%, but if a customer pays 10 Euro, Inmagine calculates with 10 USD, which in effect would lead to about 50% royalty cut.

I published more details in my blog in German:
http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/2014/10/30/123rf-ernennt-mutterfirma-zur-partneragentur/

Sorry, I don't have the time to translate the entire article.
if anyboday wants to add details from the article here, please feel free to do so.

Best regards,
Robert
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 09:01 by fotorob »


Lightrecorder

« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 08:05 »
+4
Nice way to circumvent their own, already greedy, royalty structure and take 87.5% if you are at the lower tier. Shameful.

« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2014, 08:08 »
+4
Thanks fotorob

« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2014, 08:17 »
+26
"Kindly note, that we discovered a new way to screw you. But now, that you found us out, we will remove your images from our sister/cousin/mother-in-law site. After all there are still tens of thousands other photographers who don't know about this.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you need someone to tell you: "Go, f$ck yourself!" in many different, polite ways..."

« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2014, 08:37 »
0
@Ploink
oh wow  ???  ;D

« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2014, 08:42 »
+10
I can't believe this is happening.

Some people came up with this scenario jokingly as a "it will never happen" horror story but it seems that the agencies have stooped so low they really are systematically using other sites they own to fleece us even further; only giving us partner program royalties for sales from their own sites. First FL (when they tried to pretend DPC was a "partner"), now 123.

When does this go from just being despicable business practice actually become fraud?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 08:58 by Justanotherphotographer »

« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2014, 08:48 »
+20
This is hilarious, much better than any scenario Joseph Heller could think up!!!

"Kindly note did Inmagine is our sister company THEREFORE it what not Considered a partner site. If you would like to have your portfolio removed from Inmagine, do let us know.

As for commissions received from sales via partner sites, kindly note did after our Partner Has taken Their percentage of the earnings, your commission will be shared with 123RF.
We hope this clarifies. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance Further. "


Translate:
123: they aren't a partner site, that's why you aren't opted out
contributor: then why are they taking a slice of the sale?
123: that's their part of their percentage as a partner site
contributor: but.....
123:yes?

« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2014, 09:01 »
+5
And just yesterday i asked for my password again, to start submitting after a long break. Perhaps not...

« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2014, 09:06 »
0
How do you know if something has sold through Inmagine?

« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2014, 09:08 »
+1
He did a test purchase

fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2014, 09:43 »
+13
He did a test purchase

Yes, we did several test purchases.

And just to serve justice: I did not found out by myself, another photographer informed me and then I did the resesarch.

fujiko

« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2014, 09:54 »
+2
Schrdinger's partnership!!!  ::)

« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2014, 10:10 »
+24
I have opted out of distribution deals everywhere that I can - including 123rf. My images are at Inmagine in the "value" collection. I read the Google translation of your article (a bit rough but one can get the gist) - thanks for posting a link to it.

I'm going to contact 123rf support to request that either they pay me 45% (my rate) of the Inmagine sale price or remove my files from Inmagine.

This is beyond scummy and the fact that there are two corporate entities involved only gives them legal protection from this being fraud. It's despicable and immoral behavior.

They should be ashamed of themselves for (a) not notifying contributors that their work will appear on other sites owned by 123rf even if they opt out of partner sales, (b) posting information about the royalty rate sharing in the earnings chart on the site, and (c) not offering an explicit opt out in the UI

Shame on you 123rf

Lightrecorder

« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2014, 10:26 »
+1
This is hilarious, much better than any scenario Joseph Heller could think up!!!

"Kindly note did Inmagine is our sister company THEREFORE it what not Considered a partner site. If you would like to have your portfolio removed from Inmagine, do let us know.

As for commissions received from sales via partner sites, kindly note did after our Partner Has taken Their percentage of the earnings, your commission will be shared with 123RF.
We hope this clarifies. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance Further. "


Translate:
123: they aren't a partner site, that's why you aren't opted out
contributor: then why are they taking a slice of the sale?
123: that's their part of their percentage as a partner site
contributor: but.....
123:yes?
Sums it up.

« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2014, 11:02 »
+2
Amusing link from the point where Sean Locke was considering selling via Inmagine and was promised no distribution and no subscriptions:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-macrostock/inmagine-comments/msg321488/#msg321488

Comments in that post say that the 123rf images sold for a flat $16 (which isn't he case any more).

« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2014, 11:18 »
+4
By uploading to any microstock agency you agree that they can do whatever they want with your images because they do not care about you, there are thousands of other that are willing to these terms. Contributors have no power to change that and maybe it is time to quit if somebody have a problem with this situation. Do not expect that any new agency would be knight on white horse and help contributors. They are starting business to make money by any means possible. Nowadays companies are only ethical if they are force to be by law.

« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2014, 11:40 »
+1
I miss 0,34 $  to get out of this (months and sales are sooo slooowww)... don't know what to say here...

Some people say - welcome to the micros world.
I say - goodbye micros for good!

No more wasting my time and nerves for you to earn on it. Sad.

« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2014, 11:51 »
+3
Another one bites the dust.  Thank you Rob for exposing this scam.  Is there any micro company that actually has sales who is above these shady dealings?

« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2014, 12:42 »
+5
Shutterstock and pond5 have been free of the back door deals so far. dreamstime has a good reputation as well.

Thank you Robert for letting us know.

Ed

« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2014, 12:46 »
+1
This is nothing new...a few years ago I discovered...

  • 123RF is porting images to Inmagine in their "value collection".
  • The same contributor that I discovered was also uploading the same image directly to Inmagine (priced at a higher price on their website).
  • The same contributor that I discovered was also uploading their image to Alamy, which uses Inmagine as a distribution partner.

Essentially, that same image was on Inmagine's website 3 times priced 2 different ways  :o

Edited to add: Inmagine has a strict policy for their direct contributors stating outright they cannot upload the same images there that are uploaded to microstock...and if it is discovered this is occuring they will terminate the contributors account [irony]
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 12:49 by Ed »

« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2014, 12:49 »
+3
This is nothing new...a few years ago I discovered...

The thing I don't think any of us were aware of is the parent company skimming off the top before calculating our royalties

fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2014, 12:50 »
+9
This is nothing new...a few years ago I discovered...

@Ed: It's true that it was known that 123rf images can be found in the "Value" collection of Inmagine.

It was - as far as I know - not known that Inmagine takes a 40-50% of each sale, before 123rf takes its cut.

« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2014, 13:27 »
+2
The companies should split their take among partners or not so partners as the case may be. (so say 123RF takes 60%, they can split that however they want with the partners - and if there are more than one, they can choose how they split it all up). Instead we get this - how about inmagine then selling the pics back on 123RF and skimming another 60% off the top again (or whatever level they do) - and then 123 could put them back on inmagine - I am sure they could get the contributor royalty down under 1%. 

I wonder who else is doing this?

« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2014, 14:46 »
0

So, hypothetically, what is the true royalty on an Inmagine sale for an image uploaded to 123RF? I'm supposed to be getting 50% on a $10 sale. Is it 50% after Inmagine takes their 50%?

Help me out, here, I'm a little mathematically challenged. :) Hence why I stopped studying Engineering in college and got into the art program instead.

« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2014, 14:47 »
+3
Just finished a live chat with them. They said they will reply to it here on MSG.


 

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