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Agency Based Discussion => Cutcaster => Topic started by: johngriffin on August 11, 2009, 14:12

Title: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: johngriffin on August 11, 2009, 14:12
http://blog.cutcaster.com/2009/08/11/update-on-betta-name-change-and-what-happened-behind-the-scenes/ (http://blog.cutcaster.com/2009/08/11/update-on-betta-name-change-and-what-happened-behind-the-scenes/)

So last Friday I was asked by an istock lawyer, to remove the BTV title for our “Betta” collection, which I immediately removed any mention of it on our site upon istocks email request.  Here is the new premium photo collection.

http://www.cutcaster.com/Betta (http://www.cutcaster.com/Betta)

I posted some emails that I received from istock and a cease and desist letter but removed them because I didnt feel I had the right to post a conversation between myself and the istock lawyers even though i would have loved to. I did research on the Vetta trademark and istock in fact did NOT have it registered anywhere in the world but had a claim to it (according to them) due to common law.  Since the Cutcaster press release they have gone to actually register the Vetta mark and I apologize to istock for using and it won't happen again. "Betta" is now a common law trademark of Cutcaster so don't go using it istock ;-)

To be completely honest, I found the whole process of creating a collection and the legal tussle that ensued to be very interesting, a bit fun, a bit scary due to some perceived threats and appreciate everyone’s posts, whether in support or calling me a dumb idiot or an embarrassment for choosing that name. I have to say that I was once told that “what would embarrass me would cause a normal person to emigrate from their country,” so I don’t get embarrassed that easily but had a bit of a chuckle when a few of you felt embarrassed for me. It’s ok ;-) I listen to everyone’s opinion very seriously and I have to say that I am just trying to help our Cutcaster photographers get more sales, help our customers find the best images and make Cutcaster work fairly for everyone, myself included.

I will keep fighting for photographers and buyers so everyone gets a fair shake.  I will keep fighting to improve sales at our site so photographers have more choices and aren’t stuck with the status quo. I understand sales and revenue are at the top of the importance list for many of you and that is why it is my main focus.  I need your best content and support as I build something that can be better for everyone.

I have changed the collection to just “Betta.” I hope istock isn’t going to try to have a monopoly on all words that rhyme with Vetta ;-)

I’m open to criticism, reactions to the letters above and any legal opinions.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: sharpshot on August 11, 2009, 17:29
I still can't believe you did this John.  Not sure if your were being naive or if you are very clever and this was a publicity stunt.  I just hope it is the latter, or you can convince people it was :)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on August 11, 2009, 17:57
I still can't believe you did this John.  Not sure if your were being naive or if you are very clever and this was a publicity stunt.  I just hope it is the latter, or you can convince people it was :)

Agreed.  Fight all you want, but this was just weird.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Oldhand on August 11, 2009, 18:02
For my two good old english pounds worth -

Nice one! I thought it was very amusing, would have ruffled a few complacent feathers, and actually quite catchy.

Quite rightly not worth a legal fight, but as a shot across the bows from a competitor very funny.

The Vetta pics are great, but were launched very pretentiously. For what it's worth I had my portfolio with Cutcaster on hold (only a couple of hundred pics and no sales). I joined after a recommendation over at microstockdiaries, and as he is still singing your praises and you have a similar sense of mischief to myself, I started uploading the rest of my portfolio tonight.

I'm no great micro player,  but I'll send a couple of thousand pics you way over the next couple of months.

Betta than Vetta
Betterstock than Istock?

Oldhand

Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: stockastic on August 11, 2009, 18:32
There is something about IStock that just invites a send-up like this.  Their public image has become so pretentious, so elitist.  All the hoop-jumping,  the art-school personality, the head-scratching rejections, and then they pay you 28 cents just like everyone else.

Go for it.





Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: madelaide on August 11, 2009, 18:56
Correct me our fellow Spanish-speaking members, but wouldn't Vetta and Betta sound the same in Spanish?
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: m@m on August 11, 2009, 20:38
Correct me our fellow Spanish-speaking members, but wouldn't Vetta and Betta sound the same in Spanish?

No Adelaide, there is a small difference in the pronunciation  ;D
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on August 11, 2009, 21:54
BTW, it just occurred to me that "The Betta Collection" reminds me of something in Beta testing, something that isn't ready for prime time yet.  Just a thought to the marketing guys.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Adeptris on August 11, 2009, 22:12
Would it not be better to ditch the name and come up with something original.

From my persective the similarity between the words vetta and betta within the same industry will always look like a cheap shot 'wannabe' imitation.

Look at the fashion industry and the famous top tier exclusive Italian protected brands, lets call this collection 'Vetta' which the buyers and people in the industry know as a quality brand and buy with confidence.

Then you have the independent middle teir which are the solid local high street brands, these have their own respected brand names, and the products are based on the top designers collections.

For the bottom tier go to the local market and you have the wannabe look alike items with the sound alike branding, these are normally just low quality products with sound alike names, the name 'Betta' is still to similar to 'Vetta' and could quickly fall into this category just by branding perception not by product quality.

There is a contridiction in copying a companies business model, then watching and replicating each change they make, and then telling the world with a big announcement how different your business is compared to the company who's ideas you are copying that have the known collection with a similar name.
 
Companies that will survive and do well are the ones that earn a good brand reputation in an industry, this is often by delivering a quality product in a quick and timely fashion, at a competitive price point, and either having a uniqe selling point or adding a value to the buying experience.

Many people shop at the different supermarkets because they know which business has an affordable product range for thier income and budget, what quality to expect, where to easily find most of the products within the store, and a speedy check out, that is the added value.    

Shopping at an exclusive store that have their own quality branded products has a unique selling point as you know that the purchase you just made will not be found in the high street or market.

It is hard in a saturated market to find where you fit and how stand out from the crowd, and it will be hard to get established, but I.M.H.O. you should drop the name 'Betta' quickly, decide where you fit and what you need to offer the customer to achieve that position, and then build your own brand that stands out from the crowd or you will only ever be a wannabe.

I think a few new businesses that have recently come into the market with a bang and then gone quiet while they step back and re-evaluate, and have had a big shock of just how expensive it is to get established and how hard it is now to attract good suppliers and customers compared to a couple of years ago.

David  ;)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: b79 on August 11, 2009, 22:28
Correct me our fellow Spanish-speaking members, but wouldn't Vetta and Betta sound the same in Spanish?

i think in Spanish from Spain there is subtle difference, but here in Argentina 99.9% of the people would pronounce it exactly the same.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: ShadySue on August 12, 2009, 05:35
Would it not be better to ditch the name and come up with something original.

From my persective the similarity between the words vetta and betta within the same industry will always look like a cheap shot 'wannabe' imitation.

David  ;)

Agreed.
When I was a child, there was a product 'similar to' Lego called Betta Builda (or possibly Betta Builder).
Has anyone heard of it?
I rest my case.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: ShadySue on August 12, 2009, 06:38
Would it not be better to ditch the name and come up with something original.

From my persective the similarity between the words vetta and betta within the same industry will always look like a cheap shot 'wannabe' imitation.

David  ;)


Agreed.
When I was a child, there was a product 'similar to' Lego called Betta Builda (or possibly Betta Builder).
Has anyone heard of it?
I rest my case.

Added - well, there you go. I Googled and it was made by Airfix and was called Betta Bilda. You can still buy boxes for it nowadays. (my Mum threw mine out because I was always leaving it lying about; nothing changes)
[url]http://www.bettabilda.com[/url] ([url]http://www.bettabilda.com[/url])
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Adeptris on August 12, 2009, 06:49

Agreed.
When I was a child, there was a product 'similar to' Lego called Betta Builda (or possibly Betta Builder).
Has anyone heard of it?
I rest my case.

Added - well, there you go. I Googled and it was made by Airfix and was called Betta Bilda. You can still buy boxes for it nowadays. (my Mum threw mine out because I was always leaving it lying about; nothing changes)
[url]http://www.bettabilda.com[/url] ([url]http://www.bettabilda.com[/url])


The whole 'copy another product' outcome is summed up nicely in your link.

Quote
in the early 60's they went head to head against Lego and produced their own building kit series.
Betta Bilda (often mistaken for 'Better Builder' or ‘Betta Builder’) it was essentially a cheaper version of Lego.


Forward 30 years and you might read:
Quote
in the late 90's they went head to head against Vetta and produced their own collection.
Betta (often mistaken for 'Better' or ‘Beta’) it was essentially a cheaper version of Vetta.


My personal experience as a child was getting a 'Lima' train set, it worked but was never in the same league as the Horby 'OO' Scale Railway I wanted. 

David  :D
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: m@m on August 12, 2009, 09:55
Correct me our fellow Spanish-speaking members, but wouldn't Vetta and Betta sound the same in Spanish?

i think in Spanish from Spain there is subtle difference, but here in Argentina 99.9% of the people would pronounce it exactly the same.

That's very surprising to hear b79, here in my neck of the woods I've met and know people from almost every country in S. America, including lots of people from Argentina, and they seem to speak and pronounce the Castellano language very well (even though they're not from Spain, including myself), but the next time I see one person in specific (from Argentina as a matter of fact) I will call him Bictor instead of Victor, and see what his reaction may be, I'm sure he'll be pleased to know this information came from one of his fellow countryman.  ;)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: madelaide on August 12, 2009, 10:10
m@m,

Remember in Argentina they speak Casteshano.  Y ellos vosean, no tutean.  ;D  BTW, I learnt that only Argentina and Uruguay use "vos", is that true?  
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: m@m on August 12, 2009, 10:39
Casteshano!...lol...that's a good one Adelaide, I love it...but as far as the "vos", even though "vosotros, ustedes, aquellos" (referring to a group of people) is part of the language, Argentina and Uruguay are the most famous for using "vos", instead of "tu o usted", not 100% sure if anyone else uses it, maybe in "SPAIN".
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: goldenangel on August 12, 2009, 16:34
"vos" is interesting, sounds like it's similar to "você" in Portuguese. Maybe they got it from their northern neighbors in Brazil :D
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: madelaide on August 12, 2009, 17:06
GA, both of us probably got it from old Spanish.  The Spanish spoken in Galicia has a lot of similarities with Portuguese, BTW.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: goldenangel on August 12, 2009, 17:30
Oh yes, a friend of mine that went to Santiago de Compostela told me that Galician is something between Portuguese and Spanish. Ok, I know we are way out of topic here by now. :)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Phil on August 12, 2009, 18:01
Would it not be better to ditch the name and come up with something original.

From my persective the similarity between the words vetta and betta within the same industry will always look like a cheap shot 'wannabe' imitation.

David  ;)

Agreed.
When I was a child, there was a product 'similar to' Lego called Betta Builda (or possibly Betta Builder).
Has anyone heard of it?
I rest my case.

yep, you can still buy it :)

but its not as good, doesnt have the range etc.  if you have the money you still buy the original 'tm' lego :)

but if it was as good it may have been a whole different story.  bit like macro vs micro. micro wasnt as good so you still buy macro. Now the quality is there and so people just buy the micro and the original lego / macro is struggling.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Phil on August 12, 2009, 18:20
If cutcaster had come along and said we are announced our premium xyz collection people would have still just said they are just copying vetta collection, it's not exclusive, who cares, etc etc...

If they dont do anything (and really every site just copies each other - look at how many started with subs, even vetta could be said to a copy from ft and 123rf (not sure who had it first)) then people says cutcaster aren't doing anything and just another loser site doing nothing :)   

seems to me they are damned no matter what they do or dont do :)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on August 12, 2009, 20:04
If cutcaster had come along and said we are announced our premium xyz collection people would have still just said they are just copying vetta collection, it's not exclusive, who cares, etc etc...

If they dont do anything (and really every site just copies each other - look at how many started with subs, even vetta could be said to a copy from ft and 123rf (not sure who had it first)) then people says cutcaster aren't doing anything and just another loser site doing nothing :)   

seems to me they are damned no matter what they do or dont do :)

Not really.  Fotolia had the "Infinite Collection" or whatever it is.  No one cared that iStock also unveiled a premium collection.  This is all to do with the presentation of the name.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Adeptris on August 13, 2009, 00:07
yep, you can still buy it :)

but its not as good, doesnt have the range etc.  if you have the money you still buy the original 'tm' lego :)

but if it was as good it may have been a whole different story.  bit like macro vs micro. micro wasnt as good so you still buy macro. Now the quality is there and so people just buy the micro and the original lego / macro is struggling.

Macrosites shot themself in the foot, as the market changed they did not respond, microstock's success is not to do with how many customers they took from the traditional agencies as the value of the market was far lower that today, microstock was a whole new concept and model that attracted a mass of new buyers with an acceptable price point, the bread and butter of microstock is 'not' the people that were buying images before from traditional services, but the new customers microstock created and the macrosites chose to ignore.

It is not another website but a new model that will be needed, new collections and libraries only dilute the existing markets and do not generate a new market of buyers.

David  ;)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Leontura on August 13, 2009, 01:08
Bizarre. Im not in a rush to contribute to a company which seems to come up with policies on the back of a beer mat.
"I did research on the Vetta trademark and istock in fact did NOT have it registered anywhere in the world but had a claim to it (according to them) due to common law."
So you did something which half of the people here thought was probably illegal but didnt think to consult a lawyer first? Come on now it would have cost you a few hundred bucks. Just call up a copyright lawyer and ask- one hour session.
"To be completely honest, I found the whole process of creating a collection and the legal tussle that ensued to be very interesting, a bit fun, a bit scary due to some perceived threats"
Im sure contributors will be glad to know that the CEO of the company is using his time wisely!
I think "Betta" is also pretty bad. It sounds cheap. "Premiere Collection" or something similar would have been a lot better.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: snaprender on August 13, 2009, 09:15
Bizarre. Im not in a rush to contribute to a company which seems to come up with policies on the back of a beer mat.
"I did research on the Vetta trademark and istock in fact did NOT have it registered anywhere in the world but had a claim to it (according to them) due to common law."
So you did something which half of the people here thought was probably illegal but didnt think to consult a lawyer first? Come on now it would have cost you a few hundred bucks. Just call up a copyright lawyer and ask- one hour session.
"To be completely honest, I found the whole process of creating a collection and the legal tussle that ensued to be very interesting, a bit fun, a bit scary due to some perceived threats"
Im sure contributors will be glad to know that the CEO of the company is using his time wisely!
I think "Betta" is also pretty bad. It sounds cheap. "Premiere Collection" or something similar would have been a lot better.

Yes, it's much better for a CEO to spend his time wisely! (insert sarcasm) Apparently John Griffin should be spending his time devising a scheme to raise prices on buyers while lowering commissions for contributors like so many other CEO's are doing these days! What were you thinking Mr. John Griffin coming up with a tactic to drive people to your site and get everyones attention?!?!? (end of sarcasm)

Snaprender
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Adeptris on August 13, 2009, 09:26
Yes, it's much better for a CEO to spend his time wisely! (insert sarcasm) Apparently John Griffin should be spending his time devising a scheme to raise prices on buyers while lowering commissions for contributors like so many other CEO's are doing these days! What were you thinking Mr. John Griffin coming up with a tactic to drive people to your site and get everyones attention?!?!? (end of sarcasm)

Snaprender

Hold that thought and when you see another artist has copied your image or illustration, almost identical same composition keywords and title, just remeber it is a smart move as they are only trying to drive customers to thier images.

Bless them all!

David  ::)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: snaprender on August 13, 2009, 09:40
Yes, it's much better for a CEO to spend his time wisely! (insert sarcasm) Apparently John Griffin should be spending his time devising a scheme to raise prices on buyers while lowering commissions for contributors like so many other CEO's are doing these days! What were you thinking Mr. John Griffin coming up with a tactic to drive people to your site and get everyones attention?!?!? (end of sarcasm)

Snaprender

Hold that thought and when you see another artist has copied your image or illustration, almost identical same composition keywords and title, just remeber it is a smart move as they are only trying to drive customers to thier images.

Bless them all!

David  ::)

Too late, I already had that happen this week (other than it was a video and the title and keywords were changed).  It was taken down by the sites that he uploaded it to just like Vetta was taken out of Betta than Vetta (except my video were he downloaded it from clearly states I am the copyright holder. As well as the fact that he was violating the terms and conditions he signed up for prior to downloading it - a bit of a difference from this instance obviously - but hey apples or oranges).  I can promise you though, if I go to any site and search a picture of a 'Business handshake' or 'woman with headset' there will be more than one image and they will have similar keywords.

I also never said it was a smart move, I would just rather see this move than ones were royalties are being lowered (hence the sarcasm).
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: m@m on August 13, 2009, 09:47
Yes really Mr. Griffin! what were you thinking, trying to drive people to your site by tactics other than lowering royalties and commissions (more sarcasm)  ;)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: pixel86 on August 13, 2009, 10:39
^^ :) @ m&M

There is something about IStock that just invites a send-up like this.  Their public image has become so pretentious, so elitist.  All the hoop-jumping,  the art-school personality, the head-scratching rejections, and then they pay you 28 cents just like everyone else. Go for it.

I totally agree here. And I thought it was pretty funny when I saw it. That being said, there are some legitimate points made by later posters. I think the Betta works when in the sentence Betta than Vetta, but take away the last part and Betta on its own could be miscontrued. We all will remember what it means but in a month when this is all old news, people who didn't read the forums won't get the joke.

We had a similar incident here in the city where I live. A local bar is named Up A Creek because it sits right next to...you guessed it...a creek! But a competitor opened across town and called itself Without a Paddle. Up a Creek is still there, Without a Paddle has changed hands and names twice in the last year. It was funny for a minute.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Leontura on August 13, 2009, 21:57

Yes, it's much better for a CEO to spend his time wisely! (insert sarcasm) Apparently John Griffin should be spending his time devising a scheme to raise prices on buyers while lowering commissions for contributors like so many other CEO's are doing these days! What were you thinking Mr. John Griffin coming up with a tactic to drive people to your site and get everyones attention?!?!? (end of sarcasm)

Snaprender

One second... Cutcaster making a ton of pointless mistakes is somehow excused by the fact that other agencies keep lowering our cut? You know, it is possible to be competant AND not lower royalties. It sounds like youd be happy with any screw up as long as your percentage stays intact!
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: snaprender on August 13, 2009, 23:04

Yes, it's much better for a CEO to spend his time wisely! (insert sarcasm) Apparently John Griffin should be spending his time devising a scheme to raise prices on buyers while lowering commissions for contributors like so many other CEO's are doing these days! What were you thinking Mr. John Griffin coming up with a tactic to drive people to your site and get everyones attention?!?!? (end of sarcasm)

Snaprender

One second... Cutcaster making a ton of pointless mistakes is somehow excused by the fact that other agencies keep lowering our cut? You know, it is possible to be competant AND not lower royalties. It sounds like youd be happy with any screw up as long as your percentage stays intact!

I'm missing where Cutcaster made a TON of POINTLESS MISTAKES?!?!?  Seems like a very dramatic statement to me.  I highly doubt this was much of a mistake at all, nor do I think it was a 'screw up', but that's just my opinion and to each his/her own.  I cant help but think this move was planned to get more attention to the site in which it has succeeded.  I do appreciate your efforts Leontura in trying to assume what makes me happy though, it's nice to see someone is thinking of me - thanks  ;)
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: borg on August 16, 2009, 17:34
No more "Betta", now is "Crescendo collection"...
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on August 16, 2009, 19:13
Really?  Applause to John, then.  Good move.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: goldenangel on August 17, 2009, 13:32
Crescendo sounds much better, or much betta :D
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: madelaide on August 17, 2009, 16:30
Crescendo means growing in Portuguese, or gradual increase in music.
Title: Re: Update on "Betta" name change and what happened behind the scenes
Post by: RacePhoto on August 19, 2009, 15:03
Not a member of the Cutcaster site, but my compliments to John for some good entertaining poking fun.

Vetta = top, summit, peak, tip

Some other words that come to mind, Apex, or pinnacle, but if you can get a clearance from the Roadrunner, Acme Collection!  ;D Meep Meep!