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Author Topic: Contributor ranking changing  (Read 46364 times)

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lisafx

« Reply #150 on: December 04, 2008, 19:05 »
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As this drama continues to unfold it seems like this is the culmination of a long and contentious relationship.  Kind of a last straw on both sides.

In business as in life, sometimes a relationship just turns sour and somebody has to pull the plug. 

As for Fotolia changing the rankings, I can see how that is disappointing.  I'm relieved they grandfathered us in to the rankings we already achieved.  Fotolia was the first site to offer any ranking or advancement to non-exclusive contributors.  I always appreciated that and still do. 

I am more than willing to speak up if I feel I am being treated unfairly by any of the sites I do business with, but frankly I don't see this as a cause for severing my relationship with Fotolia at all. 

In fact I think RT's points are all very well taken.  We don't know the details from Fotolia's end and in this economy all businesses are tightening their belts to remain competitive.  While I can appreciate this is upsetting to a lot of people, to me this is a business, not a hobby, so I think it is worthwhile to keep emotions in check and express ourselves with professionalism and civility. 

I feel bad for Bobby.  If it was me being banned I would be really devastated - Fotolia is my #2 producing site and rapidly gaining on #1.  But this really does sound like a personal conflict, not a new scorched earth policy on Fotolia's part.  Look at all the people who have voiced dissent about this and other issues and have not been banned.   


« Reply #151 on: December 04, 2008, 19:27 »
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A couple of questions/comments

1. Do we have any evidence that Bobby said what he did?  We are just assuming Fotolia has not exaggerated or misspoken in some manner.  I would like to hear Bobby's point of view further.

2. I think this issue is bigger than Bobby or any one contributor.  Bobby's relationship with Fotolia, and things he might or might not have said is one thing.  Tarnishing Bobby's reputation and the nobility, or lack thereof, of his individual cause does not diminish the market forces that are in play.  I think in a sense, it's actually unfortunate the two issues have become mixed to such an extent.

Jsnover:
You have some very good points.
"FT is counting on a lack of concerted contributor action to be able to push through their changes. They know that their business would fold tomorrow if most of the contributors close their accounts and contributors look at their monthly income if they did that (and worry about losing their earned rank if they later have to start over) and dither. If they had gotten a worse black eye over the introduction of subs, would they have pulled the current stunt?"

I agree completely.  I'm sure there will be additional changes in the future, mostly not in our favor.
There's a saying, if you drop a frog in boiling water, it will jump out. If you put a frog in water and slowly raise the temperature, it will happily sit there and boil.

DanP68

« Reply #152 on: December 04, 2008, 19:47 »
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To heck with signing petitions.  Show some true support, and pull your images if you don't want to be abused by this company anymore.

Edit:

I'm really disappointed, but not the least bit surprised, by the amount of contributors who are shrugging their shoulders and saying "oh well" to this.  This isn't about a ranking change.  This about an entire year of Fotolia stepping on contributors and looking to intimidate anyone with a contrary opinion.  For instance when they threatened us on the Micropayment forums, and when they threatened to delete Josnover's account for organizing a protest to their ridiculous 22cent sub commissions.  Every change we've affected at Fotolia has been through protest, and many of you aren't even willing to protest anymore.

So continue to be abused and accept whatever Fotolia wants to do to you in the future.  Just keep in mind that all agencies are watching this unfold.  When you fold up like a cheap suit this time, you will be easy pickings when the other agencies decide to make similar decisions.  And then where will your business be?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 20:00 by DanP68 »

« Reply #153 on: December 04, 2008, 19:59 »
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If they had gotten a worse black eye over the introduction of subs, would they have pulled the current stunt?

No, they probably wouldn't and your comment only echoes what others have said on here already. Bobby is simply not going to get the support he is seeking and if you look at the numbers signing the petition - which is a futile exercise IMO - there is no significant numbers coming out in unity for this one man crusade against the autocrats.

What's more, I think it's rather selfish to try and drum up support for what amounts to a rash decision on the part of one contributor. Looking at the issue and the comments made one might reasonably conclude there was impulse involved here. Now the whole debate seems to have turned into a face saving exercise with the "isn't it awful fraternity" trying to be seen to say all the right things because one of our own has been injured or fallen on his own sword more to the point.

Iriz, you are no more here then an anonymous shill. Why not come out from behind your cloak and show us you are who and what you claim to be?

There was no compulison in my response to Fotolia. My response to Fotolia was measured against direct experiance and history with Oleg and Chad but I suspect strongly that you know this already.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #154 on: December 04, 2008, 20:05 »
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To heck with signing petitions.  Show some true support, and pull your images if you don't want to be abused by this company anymore.

I'm a nobody at fotolia ... at all microstock sites, as a matter of fact.  But, I have signed the petition with the comment that I would remain insignificant until the wrongs documented in this thread are corrected.  I strongly believe that we are our own worst enemies.  If you want to pull your images, please, do so.  But would it hurt to add your name to the total count on the petition?  If you are pulling your files anyway ... it won't hurt to get Fired.    ;D

I hope all who agree that contributors have been wronged will sign the petition.  You owe it to yourselves to take action ... any action, but do SOMETHING.

WarrenPrice

PS: Thanks, Bobby.  I hope having guts has not cost you too dearly.




« Reply #155 on: December 04, 2008, 20:12 »
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OK well, the demands of running my business are interfering with me keeping up here today but let me say that to those that would post Chads remark from the Yahoo group here to raise question against me and to those who want to know what I said to Fotolia all you have to do is go to the micro stock group forum to see my direct response to Chad.

Bottom line yes we have history
Yes I did call them Greedy ( a point of fact I will stand on)
Yes I did refer to the situation in this very thread as "*'
No I did not call them F*ckers I learned a long time ago there is no profit in that sort of language in a debate.
Rapists? No I never directly called them rapists but I suppose I could have some where in time said something that could have been taken in a context to the effect that the contributors were getting raped (figuratively) in a situation though I don't specifically recall this.

« Reply #156 on: December 04, 2008, 20:16 »
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To heck with signing petitions.  Show some true support, and pull your images if you don't want to be abused by this company anymore.

I'm a nobody at fotolia ... at all microstock sites, as a matter of fact.  But, I have signed the petition with the comment that I would remain insignificant until the wrongs documented in this thread are corrected.  I strongly believe that we are our own worst enemies.  If you want to pull your images, please, do so.  But would it hurt to add your name to the total count on the petition?  If you are pulling your files anyway ... it won't hurt to get Fired.    ;D

I hope all who agree that contributors have been wronged will sign the petition.  You owe it to yourselves to take action ... any action, but do SOMETHING.

WarrenPrice

PS: Thanks, Bobby.  I hope having guts has not cost you too dearly.

It has cost me a few hundred a month but it is not money I can not live with out. Experiance shows me that at least a portion of the business I would do at FT will simply follow me to a different agency. I will survive, the finacial loss is minimal in the long run. Given the track record of FT making changes that were unfavorable to us over the past year it would not have been long before I shut down with them on my own anywise. At least this way it gives a bit of voice to the reality of doing business with Fotolia





« Reply #157 on: December 04, 2008, 20:27 »
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Just reinfoces the need for a type of Microstock Photographers Union. Someone with a big name needs to start it in order for it to become influential. Maybe this is your calling Bobby.

« Reply #158 on: December 04, 2008, 20:40 »
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I was just reading the messages over at micropayment Microstock Stock Photography Group.

Besides the claims of the employees of Fotolia, I see zero evidence that Bobby spoke in such an insulting and vulgar manner.
While his writing style can be described as spicy, I would not call it vulgar.

Please keep in mind that basically Fotolia is accusing Bobby of libel . Libel must be proven through publicly accessible writing. (private conversations where Bobby used vulgar language would technically be insults, not libel).  If they cannot satisfactorily prove libel, by providing a direct and public posting from Bobby, then they are technically committing libel themselves.

« Reply #159 on: December 05, 2008, 00:10 »
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Hey, I signed the petition earlier today but my name is not showing. I assume that I should sign it again?

I posted this at the SS forum earlier but that thread is now closed, so I am posting it here again; I think that the word "fired" should be changed. Bobby was a supplier not an employee.

And also, I think that people should sign their real names instead of user names. C'mon, how serious are you about backing up the petition if you are not even signing your own name?

« Reply #160 on: December 05, 2008, 01:49 »
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I was just reading the messages over at micropayment Microstock Stock Photography Group.

Besides the claims of the employees of Fotolia, I see zero evidence that Bobby spoke in such an insulting and vulgar manner....

I think you need to re-read the first reply to Chad in the Micropayment MS group thread.  Perhaps calling someone a *insult removed* and rapist is not vulgar to you but I think most would agree that it is not appropriate language for a serious discussion of issues.

fred
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 01:51 by Fred »

DanP68

« Reply #161 on: December 05, 2008, 02:19 »
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So far neither Chad nor Mat have been able to produce a single post which shows such vulgarity being used by Bobby toward them and Fotolia.  Perhaps you can produce the evidence Fred?  Just give us a link.

« Reply #162 on: December 05, 2008, 02:26 »
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I was just reading the messages over at micropayment Microstock Stock Photography Group.

Besides the claims of the employees of Fotolia, I see zero evidence that Bobby spoke in such an insulting and vulgar manner....


I think you need to re-read the first reply to Chad in the Micropayment MS group thread.  Perhaps calling someone a *insult removed* and rapist is not vulgar to you but I think most would agree that it is not appropriate language for a serious discussion of issues.

fred




Fred, can you please provide a link to this post, so that we know we are referencing the same quotation?

I did a full-text search for "*insult removed*" on the forum
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/micropayment/msearch?query=*insult removed*&pos=20&cnt=10

Is the "first reply to Chad" you refer to this post:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/micropayment/message/22137

Where Bobby says this:
"Yes Chad it is true I called you Greedy *insult removed* and that was / is
the truth. I did not call you fuckers and rapists even though the
truth is you are raping your contributors. And Chad you NEVER GAVE ME
A SINGLE WARNING. FOTOLIA has acted in a selfish, greedy and
unethical manner towards those who helped to build you and make you a
success and you have done so on multiple occasions.

You hold out a carrot to all of us promising a reward for perfomance
and then just before a large number of us are about to realize that
reward you move the carrot 3 years down the road. That sir is
unethical treatment of your contributors."

They are claiming he is calling them *insult removed*, f*kers and rapists.  Bobby admits to calling them greedy *insult removed*.
" I did not call you fuckers and rapists even though the
truth is you are raping your contributors."
This was said after the accusation, after a point of provocation.
I am looking for evidence Bobby called them a rapist before, not after.

As a point of interest, in my full-text search for "*insult removed*", here are some other references to *insult removed*

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/micropayment/message/11508
The Financial Times refers to Google as *insult removed*.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/micropayment/message/2426
Sean Locke calls another contributor a greedy *insult removed* (in what looks like a friendly way)

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/micropayment/message/19395
Fotolia's own Mat Heyward refers to McCain as a *insult removed*.
Should McCain and the Republican party stop distributing Mat Heywards stock photos?

The only part of the accusation that I have seen proven is Bobby using "greedy *insult removed*". Honestly, I don't find it that bad because I am not seven years old and Mommy is not hovering in the background with a bar of soap.
Chad has not provided any evidence. If you insist on defending him, please provide evidence with a direct link of what he said before the accusation, not something he said after the accusation, upon direct provocation.

Edit: some rapist editing
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 02:40 by kgtoh »

« Reply #163 on: December 05, 2008, 02:48 »
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Bobby, Bobby, Bobby,

Don't you realize when you're being baited?

Chad is using a classic children's tactic on you (and it's working)

Child A does something nasty to Child B
Child A : "I did this because Child B lost his temper and yelled at me"
Child B : "I never lost my temper; I never yelled at you!" promptly loses temper and yells at Child A

Child A wins.

Iriz

    This user is banned.
« Reply #164 on: December 05, 2008, 05:29 »
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Iriz, you are no more here then an anonymous shill. Why not come out from behind your cloak and show us you are who and what you claim to be?

There was no compulison in my response to Fotolia. My response to Fotolia was measured against direct experiance and history with Oleg and Chad but I suspect strongly that you know this already.

I am not an FT employee and I do not know Oleg or Chad personally if that's what you are implying.

Regardless, you knew full well the consequences of speaking out against FT in the way you did and now having looked at your latest commentary above it only adds weight to the decision that was made.

FT was perfectly within their rights to ban you. And by virtue of the fact that you've garnered a certain amount of respect on various forums one would have thought you'd be a lot more temperate in your language and try and set an example.

The reality is, younger photographers will tend to look up to the best sellers but if you start behaving like a bar room drunk just because you've got a point of view you can expect some serious consequences if you go about things the way you have.

It's an unfortunate truth that contributors do listen to people like yourself, Yuri, Andrez and many others at the top of their game but that doesn't necessarily make you or them right. Unfortunately however, some star struck contributors have a difficulty making that distinction and when you start rallying the troops, the "sheep syndrome" can kick-in and that's when your self-righteousness becomes dangerous.

Now I suggest you have a good long think about that last paragraph before you start playing the victim here. It'll take a lot of guts on your part to stand down here but it would be even worse if you were to start taking others with you out of some misplaced sense of loyalty.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 05:35 by Iriz »

« Reply #165 on: December 05, 2008, 05:33 »
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Quote from: kgtoh
...
Where Bobby says this:
"Yes Chad it is true I called you Greedy *insult removed* and that was / is
the truth. I did not call you fuckers and rapists even though the
truth is you are raping your contributors. And Chad you NEVER GAVE ME...

I thought that english was your native language perhaps I was mistaken.  The quote you site is what I meant and it seems perfectly clear to me.

He says he did not call them "...rapists" and then does exactly that in the rest of the sentence.  - i.e. "the truth is you are raping your contributors..." that is unambiguously calling them rapists.

The degree of offense taken by someone due to being called a "greedy *insult removed*" is not up to you or me or bobby to determine it is up to the person offended as with any other epithet.

And as far as my providing evidence I make no claims that require any more than what is in the threads (but you do have to read them - sometimes carefully.)  You all seem to accept whatever bobby says as gospel but in fact we have only his word as to how offensive he was or what else transpired in the telephone conversations mentioned.

This seems to me to be somewhat analagoous to a business manager/owner stopping into a bar where one of his employees is mouthing off about how his greedy so-and-so boss(es) are cheating him.  How that would be handled is completly up to the manager and has nothing to do with free speech.

fred



« Reply #166 on: December 05, 2008, 05:54 »
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I don't believe Bobby ever said something like :actiontime do this do that etc.......
He only said what's been happening at F and why.
Others has taken over the fact by closing account, signing petition etc........
It's everybodies own decision to take some kind of action and support Bobby.

hilary

« Reply #167 on: December 05, 2008, 06:08 »
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Iriz, you are no more here then an anonymous shill. Why not come out from behind your cloak and show us you are who and what you claim to be?

There was no compulison in my response to Fotolia. My response to Fotolia was measured against direct experiance and history with Oleg and Chad but I suspect strongly that you know this already.


I am not an FT employee and I do not know Oleg or Chad personally if that's what you are implying.

Regardless, you knew full well the consequences of speaking out against FT in the way you did and now having looked at your latest commentary above it only adds weight to the decision that was made.

FT was perfectly within their rights to ban you. And by virtue of the fact that you've garnered a certain amount of respect on various forums one would have thought you'd be a lot more temperate in your language and try and set an example.

The reality is, younger photographers will tend to look up to the best sellers but if you start behaving like a bar room drunk just because you've got a point of view you can expect some serious consequences if you go about things the way you have.

It's an unfortunate truth that contributors do listen to people like yourself, Yuri, Andrez and many others at the top of their game but that doesn't necessarily make you or them right. Unfortunately however, some star struck contributors have a difficulty making that distinction and when you start rallying the troops, the "sheep syndrome" can kick-in and that's when your self-righteousness becomes dangerous.

Now I suggest you have a good long think about that last paragraph before you start playing the victim here. It'll take a lot of guts on your part to stand down here but it would be even worse if you were to start taking others with you out of some misplaced sense of loyalty.


Let's just get one thing straight here Iriz. You don't know me, same as I don't know you. I am the one providing the web space for the petition: http://www.draiochtwebdesign.com/blog/an-open-letter-to-fotolia

I don't know Bobby, I am not sticking up for Bobby, I am sticking up for the right to complain, as much as we please, about changes to micro-stock policies which directly effect us, in public forums such as this, that are NOT controlled by the micro-stock agents. If we cannot gather here, and in other places, to deal with these changes (sometimes bad changes) as a group, without fear of reprecussions ELSEWHERE, we have nothing.

That is my motivation, I am not a 'younger photographer', and I am not 'star struck', in fact I find this laughable because I am a very accomplished person, but then again, you do not know me, what I just wrote here is the truth. What you wrote, is not. Feel free to continue and say untrue things about the motivations of others in this dispute, that's what this forum is for.

And like I said to someone else, you are entitled to your opinion even if it is wrong, and I own many web sites that I will never ban you from as a result of anything you say here. Free speech.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 06:12 by hilary »

« Reply #168 on: December 05, 2008, 06:32 »
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So far neither Chad nor Mat have been able to produce a single post which shows such vulgarity being used by Bobby toward them and Fotolia.  Perhaps you can produce the evidence Fred?  Just give us a link.

Dan, The quote I was referring to is in my previous post to kgtoh.  This seems to me to just be a simple case of bobby's word against chad's and I don't see anything convincing for either side. However, bobby's reply that I quoted seems to indicate to me that he at least uses language rather carelessly - perhaps deviously.  I do think that if he was abusive in trying to make his case then FT reacted as I would have and exercised their rights under the Terms of Service.

As far as their changing the game in the middle I think we all should realize that the world financial situation has changed the game in ways and magnitude that no one foresaw.  Businesses will have to adjust drastically and it is inevitable that many will be unhappy.

It also seem perverse that the lower rankings are being riled up against a policy that mostly effects the upper rankings that can't be bothered to do it for themselves.

fred

« Reply #169 on: December 05, 2008, 06:47 »
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Quote from: kgtoh
...
Where Bobby says this:
"Yes Chad it is true I called you Greedy *insult removed* and that was / is
the truth. I did not call you fuckers and rapists even though the
truth is you are raping your contributors. And Chad you NEVER GAVE ME...

I thought that english was your native language perhaps I was mistaken.  The quote you site is what I meant and it seems perfectly clear to me.

He says he did not call them "...rapists" and then does exactly that in the rest of the sentence.  - i.e. "the truth is you are raping your contributors..." that is unambiguously calling them rapists.

The degree of offense taken by someone due to being called a "greedy *insult removed*" is not up to you or me or bobby to determine it is up to the person offended as with any other epithet.

And as far as my providing evidence I make no claims that require any more than what is in the threads (but you do have to read them - sometimes carefully.)  You all seem to accept whatever bobby says as gospel but in fact we have only his word as to how offensive he was or what else transpired in the telephone conversations mentioned.

This seems to me to be somewhat analagoous to a business manager/owner stopping into a bar where one of his employees is mouthing off about how his greedy so-and-so boss(es) are cheating him.  How that would be handled is completly up to the manager and has nothing to do with free speech.

fred


Regarding "Rapists":

Let me break down my argument into bite-sized numbered chunks:
in chronological order:
1. Chad / Fotolia claims Bobby called him/Fotolia a) F*kers b) *insult removed* c) Rapists publicly
2. This is an accusation of Libel
3. Based on this alleged Libel, Fotolia terminates its relationship with Bobby
4. Therefore, in my mind, as the termination is based on an alleged act of libel, Fotolia should satisfactorily prove this act of Libel before the action they took
5. As a reaction to Fotolia's accusation, and under provocation, Bobby then called them rapists. This was not a smart thing to do (please refer to my previous post re: children's tactics)
6. This does not, in my mind, remove the need to see evidence of Bobby calling them F*kers and Rapists before the accusation was made (you cannot make an accusation of misdeed, then provoke said misdeed)

All I am asking is for you to show evidence of Bobby's statements from before the accusation.

You say I am taking what Bobby says as gospel. I could accuse you of the same. What I'm looking for is logical evidence, based on what is publicly available.
You could say that this is unnecessary, but I like to think "Innocent until proven guilty".

Regarding offensiveness of "Greedy *insult removed*"

Yes, Fotolia took offense to Bobby, and they reacted in a certain manner. Does this reaction improve their standing in my eyes, or does it reinforce any negative perceptions that I had?

I could, as a terrorist, blow up a car bomb and kill people because a particular author spoke badly about my religion.
I am severely offended. Nobody can argue against that ("no, you are not offended"). It's perfectly in my right to be offended, and many like-minded people will feel similarly offended and that I am fully justified in any actions I do.  There will be others who feel my actions were not fully justified.

Also, extending your boss - employee anology. If an employee mouthed off about me, and I fired him, it's within my rights. (let's just ignore any existing discrimination / employee rights issues for the moment).  The issue here is how do the other employees feel. In this situation, some of the "employees" side with the guy who got fired. Some of the employees are siding with the employer, quite vocally so.

By the way, No, English is not my native language.. so you are correct on that point.

"It also seem perverse that the lower rankings are being riled up against a policy that mostly effects the upper rankings that can't be bothered to do it for themselves."

I am in complete agreement with you on this one. As I mentioned before, I think fulltimers who are in the upper rankings actually have the most to lose in the longterm by not acting.

« Reply #170 on: December 05, 2008, 08:08 »
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Quote from: kgtoh
...
Where Bobby says this:
"Yes Chad it is true I called you Greedy *insult removed* and that was / is
the truth. I did not call you fuckers and rapists even though the
truth is you are raping your contributors. And Chad you NEVER GAVE ME...

I thought that english was your native language perhaps I was mistaken.  The quote you site is what I meant and it seems perfectly clear to me.

He says he did not call them "...rapists" and then does exactly that in the rest of the sentence.  - i.e. "the truth is you are raping your contributors..." that is unambiguously calling them rapists.

The degree of offense taken by someone due to being called a "greedy *insult removed*" is not up to you or me or bobby to determine it is up to the person offended as with any other epithet.

And as far as my providing evidence I make no claims that require any more than what is in the threads (but you do have to read them - sometimes carefully.)  You all seem to accept whatever bobby says as gospel but in fact we have only his word as to how offensive he was or what else transpired in the telephone conversations mentioned.

This seems to me to be somewhat analagoous to a business manager/owner stopping into a bar where one of his employees is mouthing off about how his greedy so-and-so boss(es) are cheating him.  How that would be handled is completly up to the manager and has nothing to do with free speech.

fred


Regarding "Rapists":

Let me break down my argument into bite-sized numbered chunks:
in chronological order:
1. Chad / Fotolia claims Bobby called him/Fotolia a) F*kers b) *insult removed* c) Rapists publicly
2. This is an accusation of Libel
3. Based on this alleged Libel, Fotolia terminates its relationship with Bobby
4. Therefore, in my mind, as the termination is based on an alleged act of libel, Fotolia should satisfactorily prove this act of Libel before the action they took
5. As a reaction to Fotolia's accusation, and under provocation, Bobby then called them rapists. This was not a smart thing to do (please refer to my previous post re: children's tactics)
6. This does not, in my mind, remove the need to see evidence of Bobby calling them F*kers and Rapists before the accusation was made (you cannot make an accusation of misdeed, then provoke said misdeed)

All I am asking is for you to show evidence of Bobby's statements from before the accusation.

You say I am taking what Bobby says as gospel. I could accuse you of the same. What I'm looking for is logical evidence, based on what is publicly available.
You could say that this is unnecessary, but I like to think "Innocent until proven guilty".

Regarding offensiveness of "Greedy *insult removed*"

Yes, Fotolia took offense to Bobby, and they reacted in a certain manner. Does this reaction improve their standing in my eyes, or does it reinforce any negative perceptions that I had?

I could, as a terrorist, blow up a car bomb and kill people because a particular author spoke badly about my religion.
I am severely offended. Nobody can argue against that ("no, you are not offended"). It's perfectly in my right to be offended, and many like-minded people will feel similarly offended and that I am fully justified in any actions I do.  There will be others who feel my actions were not fully justified.

Also, extending your boss - employee anology. If an employee mouthed off about me, and I fired him, it's within my rights. (let's just ignore any existing discrimination / employee rights issues for the moment).  The issue here is how do the other employees feel. In this situation, some of the "employees" side with the guy who got fired. Some of the employees are siding with the employer, quite vocally so.

By the way, No, English is not my native language.. so you are correct on that point.

"It also seem perverse that the lower rankings are being riled up against a policy that mostly effects the upper rankings that can't be bothered to do it for themselves."

I am in complete agreement with you on this one. As I mentioned before, I think fulltimers who are in the upper rankings actually have the most to lose in the longterm by not acting.

Oh, I agree the quote does not provide any direct evidence of bobby having called FT management  rapists before they removed his account.  The whole thing is just a matter of his word against theirs - I know of no other direct evidence.  However, the careless (devious?) way in which bobby used the language in his reply to call them rapists, indirectly indicates to me that he may have done so in the past.

The matter of Libel is clearly up to some court somewhere to decide - do not think it would work in the U.S. - not really my concern.

FT certainly needs to be concerned about how this affects their relationship with contributors but I really think that only a small percentage of their contributors are even aware of this case.  My understanding is - I am possibly mistaken - that a very small percentage participate in this or any other forum.  So I would hope they would concentrate their energies on improving the business, especially given current world economic conditions.

FT's reaction to the offense was up to FT and I don't think any of us really know the nature or frequency of the offense or if a warning was given - just their word vice bobby's word.  It would have been much better if this were all in writing that FT could produce - and should have been ( a big strike against FT management if there is no written record.)  But telephone conversations can get heated and perhaps this is the reason for their action.   

I don't think FT is too worried about the reaction of the contributors to bobby's removal - most won't even be aware as I stated above - but they probably do have legal concerns and probably have everything documented.  However, they are unlikely to publish it unless it is beneficial to any legal action that may result.

I must say your english seems as good as mine (not necessarily a compliment I guess) and certainly much better than I would do in any other language.

fred



« Reply #171 on: December 05, 2008, 08:44 »
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You're right, Fred, this is very much a case of he-said she-said.
Fotolia is well within their rights to cancel any business relationship, for reasons much less serious than the one they gave. We have the same right were positions reversed (although I can't imagine Fotolia calling us rapists, or having any reason to)

I can't presume to speak for Bobby, but I'm pretty sure he realizes that he cannot challenge them on that.  His only recourse is to stir public opinion against them by portraying their actions as unjust and authoritarian.  I don't think Bobby even wants to work with Fotolia anymore.

Fotolia's reaction to this was to attempt to tarnish Bobby's reputation by basically accusing him of calling them vile names, which would make Bobby a not-nice person and alienate his supporters.  In my mind, they have not properly supported their accusations (although Bobby's recent statements are not helping him much).

In my mind, it's less a case of whether Fotolia should be able to "fire" Bobby (because they can, and they don't actually need to provide an explanation) but the fact that they in turn accused Bobby of certain actions, which I feel they should then prove.

Ultimate, like you said, it's a case of Fotolia's word versus Bobby's word.
And, ultimately, does anybody care?

hilary

« Reply #172 on: December 05, 2008, 08:44 »
0
The point is, none of us know what happened. The fear is, that Bobby was 'terminated' as a result of an opinion he expressed in a forum that was not a part of the FT web site. So how much can we say on a forum like this without fear of recrimination?

FT have now changed the rules, because no-one has ever been terminated by a micro-stock agency for expressing an opinion publicly in an open forum, in fact, we ALL do it, ALL the time, to ALL the agencies.

Do you want to be able to talk about changes to policies/commission as a group, or not? FT now need to tell their contributors what they can, and connot say publically about the company.

They need to state:

1. You are free to express your opinion in a public forum as long as you do not use language towards us

2. You are NOT free to express your opinion in a public forum

Or whatever they believe about what we are entitled to say in a forum that is NOT owned by them. I have seen worse things than what Bobby has said (that we have evidence of), being said about other agencies, and it has NOT resulted in a termination, so why should Fotolia be allowed to do this, when traditionally agencies have recognised that they CANNOT control the content of a public forum, or a personal web site. They need to write down the rules now.

« Reply #173 on: December 05, 2008, 08:58 »
0
As a point of discussion:

Let's say Fotolia can cancel anybody's account for
- speaking critically about them
- speaking critically about them while using R-rated language
- speaking critically about them, with all words in poetry of iambic pentameter, wearing slippers on their head

This being the internet, everybody is pretty much anonymous.  Discussions on internet media not directly controlled by Fotolia, for example an independent forum, cannot be verified by Fotolia.

I can claim to be someone else.
I can claim to be a particular person that I am not.
I can claim to be a certain high-ranker on Fotlia.

I can then criticize Fotolia on the internet, while claiming to be that person, using one of the three flavors stated above.  Fotolia polices statements critical of them by punishing the person making the statement.  However, since they are effectively policing internet media not belonging to them, how do they know they are punishing the right person?

I am actually Yuri Arcurs in disguise, by the way. Shhh. Secret. Don't tell anyone.

« Reply #174 on: December 05, 2008, 09:35 »
0
You can't find the words here because of the automatic censor. See page 4 of this thread were Leaf asks about "E". The actual cursing aside, Bobby posts in page 3 that he was hadn't uploaded in 3 months as a protest against subs. He also posts that FT has a greedy management team and that he will stop uploading to FT permanently. On page 4 he mentions that he has boycotted FT by not uploading 3 previous times. He then goes on to say that Chad called him and told him that FT  has decided to remove his account. Also on page 4 Bobby posts that email Oleg (?) personally and told them that FT was greedy and was participating in a "Bait and Switch" scheme. In another post he states that he "always had an earful for them" and goes on to say:

"I am also sure that they expect that the news of me getting tossed will have a cowering effect on the masses but personally I am hoping that the masses in this industry are smart enough to realize that if they continue to lay down and take this type of treatment from AGENTS that WORK FOR THEM then it will not be long before the masses are so downtrodden by these greed driven tyrants that the masses will be little more then indentured servants to the masters in the eyes of the agents. Hell they are already treating us as such as it is."

This statement erroneous in that FT is not an agent and they do not work for contributors. The comments about FT being "greed driven tryants" and referring them to them as "Masters" and contributors as "indutured servants" could be considered libel. He further encourages a libel charge in his next post were he states:

"This was not about keeping up with competition it was about keeping up with an executives high standard of living. Nothing more nothing less. It was motivated purely by greed."

His next post on page states the comment again, after bragging about having the home phone numbers of several MS CEO's, about how this was only done to line the pockets of FT's admin. He also refers to FT as unethical and continues to refer to them as a agency, which they are not.

He follows this up by claiming that he spearheaded the fight against subscriptions and another fight at StockXpert. He goes on to say:

"What I love is that Oleg and Chad think they have silenced me but the truth is that they have actually given me voice. They have already done the worst to me thay can do, as long as I play by the rules from here forward there is really nothing else they can hit me with.

I wonder how they are going to respond to my request for an Audit?
or to my demands for continuation of payments for referral sales from Emerald level photographers I referred to them that they are still obligated to pay me for the next 2 years? Yea the referral program had no mandatory tie to a contributor account I do believe that regardless of their desire to cease doing business with me they have no legal ground on which they can wiothold those earnings."

Was he accusing FT of mishandling his royalties? This could be considered a libelous and defamatory statement by FT as well.  

In other forums Bobby has used the terms "greedy *insult removed*" and stated that FT was "raping" their contributors.

FT is not beholding to their contributors and free speech comes with responsibility. Regardless of if the curse words were used or not the statements by Bobby listed above are enough for me to determine that his removal from FT was over more than just one post in an open forum. When you go back and read all of his posts in this thread you'll see that he refers to himself as being in the "top 50" and having a direct line to all the micros CEO's. In my opinion Bobby felt that he was to important to the micros for them to remove him so he would threaten to stop uploading anytime he wasn't happy with something. FT got tired of the game after the 4th threat to stop uploading and decided that they were done playing.

Several others have made comments in this forum, the yahoo group and on FT's forums that were critical of the rank change. But only Bobby, as far as I know, has been removed from the site. I know of no one who was banned from their forums over a single post. As I said before I believe that this particular case goes far past a single post and is based on a history of behaviour.


 

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