MicrostockGroup

Agency Based Discussion => Adobe Stock => Topic started by: saniphoto on November 26, 2008, 12:55

Title: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: saniphoto on November 26, 2008, 12:55
If it isn't a 'glitch' in the system, Fotolia has changed the ranking levels. From today to get to Emerald require 25K sales when till last week it was 10K (so must be thankful we did get there in the right time!). To Sapphire will now require 100K sales. Bad news for who tought that just to go to 50K was hard...   ;)
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: CofkoCof on November 26, 2008, 13:01
It looks like all the ranking changed :
Less than 1000       White
Between 1000 and 5000       Bronze
Between 5000 and 10000       Silver
Between 10000 and 25000       Gold
Between 25000 and 100000       Emerald
Between 100000 and 250000       Sapphire
Between 250000 and 1000000       Rubis
Above 1000000       Diamond

Now I'm far from silver, shouldn't even be bronze yet  ???
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: MicrostockExp on November 26, 2008, 13:04
5000 for silver now damnit !

I always liked the communication style of Fotolia, sneaky , sneaky.....
I guess a lot of thread will be blocked on the FT forum the next coming days  ;D
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: leaf on November 26, 2008, 13:22
DDAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...... I have been watching my sales one at a time for the last 12 months watching my stats get closer and closer to emerald........ waiting for the day to set up my prices... now i was literally a FEW days away from being emerald.... and it was ripped out of my hands :(  boooooourns :(
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: cdwheatley on November 26, 2008, 13:27
Please say it isn't so  :(
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: digiology on November 26, 2008, 13:30
wow! and no official announcement either?  ???
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: azurelaroux on November 26, 2008, 14:18
Mat has posted that he's trying to find out what happened in the FT forums.

http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15671 (http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15671)
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: grp_photo on November 26, 2008, 14:22
DDAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...... I have been watching my sales one at a time for the last 12 months watching my stats get closer and closer to emerald........ waiting for the day to set up my prices... now i was literally a FEW days away from being emerald.... and it was ripped out of my hands :(  boooooourns :(
same here thats insane the Emerald was already incredible elusive if they change it i give up i hope its just a glitch but hard to believe it.
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: grp_photo on November 26, 2008, 14:29
Mat has posted that he's trying to find out what happened in the FT forums.

[url]http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15671[/url] ([url]http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15671[/url])

can you post it as i banned from their forums
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: stokfoto on November 26, 2008, 14:40

That's bad news indeed! but I wouldn't be surprised to   see others make such move too since a lot of contributers reaching high ranks resulting in smaller cut for the sites.Unfortunately things are changing:(
I was hoping to become gold early next year but it seems impossible now.  at least they havn2t lowered the existing ranks,I know I am being too optimistic:(

sorry to hear you've just missed  missed the chance to become emerald Leaf!
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: leaf on November 26, 2008, 14:42
Mat has posted that he's trying to find out what happened in the FT forums.

[url]http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15671[/url] ([url]http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15671[/url])

can you post it as i banned from their forums


he didn't give any info other than that he was trying to find more about what happened himself.

Well if people become emerald and above fotolia will earn MORE because people will raise their prices.
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: kosmikkreeper on November 26, 2008, 14:46
I checked and luckily they do seem to have "grandfathered" people in. I would have died loosing my emerald status and all my files going back to 1 credit! Especially with the Istock fiasco. That would have been a double whammy! I guess I'll be hitting saphire in about 5 years! ;)
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: grp_photo on November 26, 2008, 14:49
Mat has posted that he's trying to find out what happened in the FT forums.

[url]http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15671[/url] ([url]http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15671[/url])

can you post it as i banned from their forums


he didn't give any info other than that he was trying to find more about what happened himself.

Well if people become emerald and above fotolia will earn MORE because people will raise their prices.

Thanks i think it is stupid on their side too the flow of one credit photos will be unbroken as new contributors join the game on a daily basis and for big buyers there is still subscription. And 10.000 wasn't an easy goal at all with 25.000 its start to become nearly impossible if i remember correct Sapphire was before 25000 and only Andres and Yuri passed that line ::)
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: stokfoto on November 26, 2008, 14:50
Well if people become emerald and above fotolia will earn MORE because people will raise their prices.
that's right actually.but could they be worried  about loosing customers because of increasing prices?
please don't get me wrong I am not trying to justify their move I am just trying to understand the reason behind it.
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: grp_photo on November 26, 2008, 15:22
Funny thing the "Almost there" - section in the ranking page. Ahhhh yes the golds have only a little bit over 15.000 sales to go too reach emerald - thats really "almost there"  ;D
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: saniphoto on November 26, 2008, 15:38
DDAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH...... I have been watching my sales one at a time for the last 12 months watching my stats get closer and closer to emerald........ waiting for the day to set up my prices... now i was literally a FEW days away from being emerald.... and it was ripped out of my hands :(  boooooourns :(

Really sorry Leaf...  :'(    I still hope that this is some kind of hacking or a joke. If you have seen the 'best sellers' pages in the last period there were 'weird' things going on as well, with images in all time best that are the same of last month and today... and is changing with the hours. I'd still wait to hear some official communication from Fotolia if that thing is for real. Small hope, I know, but still a hope!   
Title: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: macromagnon on November 26, 2008, 15:48
The contributor ranking has changed :
http://us.fotolia.com/Info/Ranking (http://us.fotolia.com/Info/Ranking)
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Peter on November 26, 2008, 15:50
yeah. I guess I was lucky to turn gold in 5000+, by old system. I am still gold, I hope they wont back me to silver.... :D

(http://i37.tinypic.com/2a9z81s.png)


Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: saniphoto on November 26, 2008, 15:54
sorry to hear in FT forum from Moderator that the ranking change is for real....   :( 
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: macromagnon on November 26, 2008, 16:00
As usually they didn't communicate about it... Think/hope it will just be applied to new members...
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: grp_photo on November 26, 2008, 16:00
I could have understand a little adaption but that radical change makes me really sick. They more than doubled emerald ranking i'm speechless i will reconsider my stock-strategy!
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: azurelaroux on November 26, 2008, 16:01
The official word from Matt at FT is that the new ranks are correct. They've decided to change them. If you already earned the rank then you will keep it because you met the requirements at the time that you earned it.

So no one will be going backwards but it will take more to go forward.
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: CofkoCof on November 26, 2008, 16:03
Another response by Mat:
Quote
I got a brief overview of what's going on.  The change to the required number of sales for rank increases was made today.  The numbers posted are accurate.

Your current rank will not change however.  If you are silver for instance, you had earned that rank based on the existing criteria when you hit your sales goal.  You will need to hit the new, current goal for the next rank increase however.

If I hear anything else, I'll be sure to share it with you right away.


Thanks,

Mat
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Peter on November 26, 2008, 16:23
yesss! I can keep my gold! Sweet! But I can say goodbye to emerald in next 3 years lol!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Konstantin Sutyagin on November 26, 2008, 16:41
I am going to change links for buyers from Fotolia to Dreamstime. I see no point in referring buyers to FT now.
Title: Re: Change at Fotolia
Post by: lisafx on November 26, 2008, 16:57
I checked and luckily they do seem to have "grandfathered" people in. I would have died loosing my emerald status and all my files going back to 1 credit! Especially with the Istock fiasco. That would have been a double whammy! I guess I'll be hitting saphire in about 5 years! ;)

I hope you are right about the grandfathering.  I just checked and I am still emerald, although I fall short of the new 25,000 requirement. 

Because of doubling my prices Fotolia is on track to overtake istock as my top earning agency.  It would be a huge hit to see that progress lost. 

ETA:  Just checked their forums.  Yes, we are all grandfathered in at our current level.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 26, 2008, 17:19
Hi Lisa and everyone,

 This is very unexpected and as we all know it is going to hurt some people bad. I don't know what to say but I have an e-mail into them and I will report back what I hear. This can happen at any site at any time this is why you must diversify.

Best,
AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 26, 2008, 18:57
Hi All,

 Well I have received a reply and this is defiantly their new direction. I myself am very disappointed by their choice. I approach these things from the basic stand point if something doesn't make sense " follow the Money " if you want to try to figure out someones motives for something that doesn't seem clear you just need to follow the money. So why would this be a financially rewarding choice by a company that has been moving up the ladder of Micro.

 One thought that came to me is maybe they are setting up to find a buyer. The higher their returns the better the company looks to a buyer on paper.(  This is purely speculation on my part and has in no way been substantiated by anyone affiliated with Fotolia ) There is always a reason why companies make big shifts like this. I always say, " If it doesn't make sense then you probably don't know the entire story ".

 Could it be that if you are exclusive at Fotolia you can set your own price point so even though they say this applies to both exclusives and non-exclusives the results are completely different. If Fotolia is making twice as much money by raising their rates to their buyers then why would they remove this opportunity. They and others have said when they hit Emerald they made almost twice as much money. The cost was passed on to the customer so not only was the photographer making more money so was Fotolia.

 Could this be a motivator to try and get people to go exclusive. You can set your price point. Is it a possible sale and they want to make their numbers look good. The problem here is they made a very big change without announcing it or trying to explain it before implementing it. This is poor business practice and I am very discourged with their choice.

AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Tomboy2290 on November 26, 2008, 20:24
Wow this is disappointing. I was hoping to reach gold in six months, but I guess not now.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Lizard on November 26, 2008, 20:28
Well , before making any new calculations , you may want to consider that this can happen again in the future.

I guess they build their pyramid structure , and they want to keep it  the same it looks at this stage.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 26, 2008, 20:47
 Hi All,

 It's sometimes called " Chasing the Dragon "... As soon as you get close to a boost what is there to stop them from upping the number again next year. The integrity part of the choice is the part I am most disappointed with. If you want to make a change this big you should at least discuss the choice and try to explain the change to your contributor base before they find out backdoor through some blog.
 One option would be the new change could exist for all the new members at Fotolia. The people that signed an agreement with a certain intention of sales increasing should be able to have that relation upheld. Unless there is a plan for 2.5x growth in sales at Fotolia over the next few months.

AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: mantonino on November 26, 2008, 23:37
Typical for this site.  *sigh*  Was Fotolia ever actually GOOD to contributors?  Or is that a part of our collective imagination?  Why do people bother?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 27, 2008, 00:24
It was rocking for me but this is another big set back in the never ending battle how to make a buck.

AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: travelstock on November 27, 2008, 01:14
Typical for this site.  *sigh*  Was Fotolia ever actually GOOD to contributors?  Or is that a part of our collective imagination?  Why do people bother?

I can recall a time about 2 years ago where it was pretty decent - that was prior to the V2 debacle. Now that they are rejecting photos on mass, and decided to unilaterally change the terms of their website, and by implication their contract with contributors **and not communicate the change** its pretty clear that they couldn't care less about contributors. Seems to me that there are a few power plays going on in the industry - with the changes to the IS best match hurting non-exclusives, and now this. Personally I was almost at silver... now almost 1/5 of the way there. Pretty crappy change if you ask me.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: sharpshot on November 27, 2008, 01:56
...One option would be the new change could exist for all the new members at Fotolia. The people that signed an agreement with a certain intention of sales increasing should be able to have that relation upheld....
That is what they should of done.  I made silver but was looking forward to reaching gold.  This is very disappointing.  If anyone wants to start an upload boycott, I'm in.  Perhaps we can put some pressure on them?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: keo on November 27, 2008, 02:45
This is very very disappointing for me. I just need few days to reach gold (1000 DL) , but now I need to wait few more years.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: saniphoto on November 27, 2008, 03:04
Could this be a motivator to try and get people to go exclusive. You can set your price point. Is it a possible sale and they want to make their numbers look good. The problem here is they made a very big change without announcing it or trying to explain it before implementing it. This is poor business practice and I am very discourged with their choice.
AVAVA

Hi Jonathan

I think you have hit the exact point: Exclusivity. One of the key next move for microstock is to have exclusive content (not the same images everywhere) and the problem will be addressed sooner or later by all agencies. IS already made a clear strong move in that direction. FT is probably following now. I don't see nothing bad in it per se (I was already wondering what sense make to have five-six agencies selling all the same product?), the problem is how you implement it...

If on the contrary they are trying to sell FT, as you try to guess, I doubt if the outcome will be positive for us (Getty or Corbis will be buying it, in that case - forget the 50% payout to you, then...).

Val.




Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: saniphoto on November 27, 2008, 04:42
Oh, I want to add another thought. Probably at Fotolia they were realizing that if too many people got to Gold and Emerald (thus increasing their prices) Fotolia would became sooner an 'expensive shop' compared to other agencies. Is that another possible explanation of the move?

regards,
Val.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: madelaide on November 27, 2008, 05:17
I understand they wanted to change rankings, but they were quite radical.  If sales were not good in FT...

Regards,
Adelaide

My reply in their forum (before it gets deleted...)

Quote
It's not just disappointing, but very unprofessional to treat contributors like this.  It is amazing that another change was introduced without prior notice, and this one completely detrimental to current members (even the ones in higher rankings, now they see the next level further away).

Even if FT finds it necessary to change ranking levels, couldn't it post a thread explaining its reasons? Couldn't changes have been more subtle?  Why is it so difficult for FT admin to come forward and explain things to us members, who provide the material on which it profits?

Regards,
Adelaide
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: grp_photo on November 27, 2008, 05:58
Well , before making any new calculations , you may want to consider that this can happen again in the future.

I guess they build their pyramid structure , and they want to keep it  the same it looks at this stage.
Yes i agree next you reach 24999 Downloads they will push emerald to 50000. I'm 100% sure noone will come close to emerald in the next 12months (my personal calculation for my port is now three years). So whats the fuzz about this infinite collection if noone will reach emerald in the future ::)
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: grp_photo on November 27, 2008, 06:08
I could have understand (though not agreed) if they set the ability for double the prices for non-exclusive material to the next level but they did carry all away higher percentage, higher prices for exclusive material and the ability to at least apply for the infinite collection.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: macromagnon on November 27, 2008, 08:56
New changing after talking... but after silver, it's always hard...

(http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/1396/gradesfthv4.jpg)
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: HughStoneIan on November 27, 2008, 09:27
Has anyone heard how Yuri Arcurs or Andres Rodriguez are reacting to this?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: lathspell on November 27, 2008, 09:49
I always loved ther way of communication - it's simply non-existing. Safes time for both parties ...
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: CofkoCof on November 27, 2008, 10:10
New changing after talking... but after silver, it's always hard...
Well it looks I might be able to reach Silver in my lifetime :D
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: abimages on November 27, 2008, 11:25
Not been a good year for me at FT....Subs,odd rejections,below par sales, and now this!

Bad of them to let this out without any announcement too. I'm way off moving up anyway so I wont be affected, but I feel sorry for those about to jump up a level. :'(

All in all unfair treatment yet again from them!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on November 27, 2008, 12:00
I'm just amazed at Chad's "It's too easy to become successful, so we're making it harder" post on the yahoo group.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: grp_photo on November 27, 2008, 12:25
I'm just amazed at Chad's "It's too easy to become successful, so we're making it harder" post on the yahoo group.
Yeah shameful
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 27, 2008, 13:06
Happy thanksgiving everyone,

 I will address this in more detail on a business day. Today is food and football.

 Best to you all,
 AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: biedy on November 27, 2008, 13:57
I'm just amazed at Chad's "It's too easy to become successful, so we're making it harder" post on the yahoo group.

Could you please show us the link to this statement.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: grp_photo on November 27, 2008, 14:07
I'm just amazed at Chad's "It's too easy to become successful, so we're making it harder" post on the yahoo group.

Could you please show us the link to this statement.

Thanks.
He made it in the micropayment yahoo group
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: dirkr on November 27, 2008, 14:15
It's too easy to behave like a real partner, so let's behave like a real a..hole...  ::)

Is that a business philosophy? Did they learn anything from the uproar after the introduction of subs?

Just one more reason not to rely on them, what is valid now may not be anymore tomorrow...
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Pixart on November 27, 2008, 15:16
I haven't been able to follow the forum this week but today I can stop by and the first thing I see is this business with Fotolia.

This is crap. What are we going to do about it?  Are they not in breech of contract or do they have one of those convient clauses that says they can do that whenever they feel like?  What is the governing country, or what country is the parent company in?  United we stand.  We have to do something before they do something even more stupid.

We "let" them give away our photos as subs.  If we let them do this, what will they do next? 
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Pixart on November 27, 2008, 15:17
By something stupid I mean like take away our referral earnings.

Oh wait, they already did that without announcing it to us.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 27, 2008, 16:09
Hi Pixart,

 Go run around the block or take some meds or a stiff drink for the time being. I was there last night and it really pissed me off as well. Deep breathing helps. >:( This is crap and come monday or maybe sooner I will be making more comments. Today I eat and watch football in America. It is thanksgiving. You have every right to be upset I just know you have bigger things to deal with right now in your life.
 " don't let the *insult removed* get you down ".

Peace,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: madelaide on November 27, 2008, 16:21
New change is an improvement, still far from being edible.  Maybe if they increased commissions at each level - THAT would make it better. 

I feel like in the subs creation, when the "big" improvement was raising the subs commission, instead of letting us opt out.

Regards,
Adelaide
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Pixart on November 27, 2008, 16:22
Hehe... thanks Avava.... and I'm also giggling because I'm sure I didn't write crap... it wasn't that nice and it had the word bull in it.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 27, 2008, 16:26
My Bad Pixart,

 That was my choice of words. I must be careful not to put crap in other peoples mouths ;D I apologize you are far more eloquent than I. Have a great day.

Best,
AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on November 27, 2008, 19:49
Around the same time as Fotolia changes the ranking requirements, Alamy decreases commission by 5%.

Honestly, I think a drop in commission by 5 percentile points is  more serious and impactful issue than a change in ranking requirements.  However, the difference in the way both agencies handled implementing the change is so different.  Alamy chose to handle it in a professional and forthright manner.  Fotolia chose the opposite. 

To me the big issue is not the change in rankings per se, it is the indication of the disregard in which Fotolia holds its contributors, and its willingness to change its arrangement with contributors arbitrarily and at its sole convenience.  I honestly ask myself if this is an agency I can have a long-term relationship with? If we are basically being punished for contributing to Fotolia's success, do we wish to continue contributing to Fotolia's ongoing success?

Speaking for myself personally, I have suspended submissions to Fotolia.  I will decide on more drastic action later.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Pixart on November 27, 2008, 20:47
LOL, I wasn't trying to make you feel bad....  I'm pretty sure I used the BS words above and the forum automatically switched it to crap.  So, MY bad!  Not to mention my 7 year old said the f word today.  I gave him his get out of "tobasco on the tongue" free this time card so hopefully he won't say that again until he's 18.

My Bad Pixart,

 That was my choice of words. I must be careful not to put crap in other peoples mouths ;D I apologize you are far more eloquent than I. Have a great day.

Best,
AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 27, 2008, 22:37
Hey Pixart,

 Yu did much better than my wife and I. My second son was just barely able to talk and he was riding in his car seat and out of know where he said " F'ing Day ". He has since become very polite but when my wife heard it she just about crashed the car. It has become a bit of a family joke over the years.

Peace,
AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: tubed on November 27, 2008, 23:35
Boy what a bummer.. Just as I was regaining confidence with Fotolia.. Well confidence level is dropped drastically again.. Bummer.. Not sure about uploading anymore we'll see..
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: GeoPappas on November 28, 2008, 09:58
Can someone please post the old rankings, so that I can compare the two.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: leaf on November 28, 2008, 10:04
Before
 0 - 100    White
100 - 1000    Bronze
1,000-5,000    Silver
5,000-10,000    Gold
10,000 - 50,000    Emerald
50,000-100,000      Saphire
100,000 - 500,000    Rubis
500,000 + Diamond
After
Less than 100                      White
Between 100 and 1000       Bronze
Between 1000 and 10000       Silver
Between 10000 and 25000       Gold
Between 25000 and 100000       Emerald
Between 100000 and 250000       Sapphire
Between 250000 and 1000000       Rubis
Above 1000000       Diamond

Apparently the bottom 3 tiers were upped before too but fotolia set them back down.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on November 28, 2008, 10:47
This development solidifies in my mind the need to remain completely nimble. Is there really a downside to keeping the ranking at its old levels? Does Fotolia work on an image exclusive basis or does it follow the iStock, we own your soul method?

Peter


Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 28, 2008, 12:59
Good Morning,

 Yes the bottom three tiers were changed back. These tiers didn't help to up your sales point or let you double it. They didn't give you anything back. I am a silver and I don't get anything more than a bronze. Nope the change was made to stop giving the people that helped build this company a chance to make more money that they were promised and to increase profits through tougher competition by keeping their pricing down.
 The biggest single reason I thought Fotolia was the best bet out there is all but been removed. I still have to put my images up online and they are one of the only reasonable choices so I will continue to upload but this a big sign on the door for me.   
 To offer a contract with curtain opportunities and then pull those out of reach without even writing a proper proposal to their photographers to explain before doing so makes the future just a bit clearer for me. How can I be sure they won't change the agreement next week to something even worse. I wish I had somethiing positive to say but this is just a shame.

AVAVA
 
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: madelaide on November 28, 2008, 19:40
I am a silver and I don't get anything more than a bronze.

Not really.  You get higher commission and the possiblity to set higher EL prices.

Regards,
Adelaide
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 28, 2008, 19:51
Madelaide,

 You are absolutely correct I was not aware until you brought it to my attention. Thank you for pointing that out. I will look further into the extras. I guess I should have said that our image price per credits doesn't change. That is the part that makes me feel this is based on drawing more exclusives. I will go right now and read the contract in detail. Some of these site I find it hard to locate the information but I will go hunting.

Thanks for the help,
AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on November 29, 2008, 01:17
Have you noticed this tidbit "four files sold from subscription are equivalent to one old file from classical system." I'm pretty sure the "classical" (love that euphemism) system gave you one sale point for each sub DL. So for those of you who get lots of subs. Are you noticing your ticker going up even slower. Pretty easy to tell, just add sub plus paids should equal total files in the sold stats.

Peter


Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on November 29, 2008, 01:39
Another point, sorry if has been mentioned, is they have basically lowered commissions paid on regular sales. It used to be Gold was achieved at 5,000 now it's 10,000 so that is 5,000 sales at 35% instead of 37% by reaching gold earlier. I am averaging a bit over a buck for standard downloads. So that means a loss of $100 while waiting to reach Gold, $300 loss for waiting to reach Emerald from Gold and so on and so on. Never mind the 50,000 to get to where you can elevate prices. This loss is also seen on subs, since they go up incrementally a penny. This may have something to do with exclusives but really its just a good old fashioned lowering of payment percentages. Alamy just did, Corbis will do it on next contract flip, blah, blah, blah. Another squeeze of the tender areas.


Peter


Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 29, 2008, 02:00
Hi Zues,

 I beleive before the change they considered three subs equal to a classic sale so there has been a change there as well. Now you need 25% more subs to equal a " classic sale ".

AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: sharply_done on November 29, 2008, 02:25
I beleive before the change they considered three subs equal to a classic sale so there has been a change there as well. Now you need 25% more subs to equal a " classic sale ".

Nope, it's always been 4 subs = 1 classic.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: leaf on November 29, 2008, 04:10
I beleive before the change they considered three subs equal to a classic sale so there has been a change there as well. Now you need 25% more subs to equal a " classic sale ".

Nope, it's always been 4 subs = 1 classic.


except of course when it was subs don't count towards ranking at all
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: sharpshot on November 29, 2008, 04:50
Another point, sorry if has been mentioned, is they have basically lowered commissions paid on regular sales. It used to be Gold was achieved at 5,000 now it's 10,000 so that is 5,000 sales at 35% instead of 37% by reaching gold earlier. I am averaging a bit over a buck for standard downloads. So that means a loss of $100 while waiting to reach Gold, $300 loss for waiting to reach Emerald from Gold and so on and so on. Never mind the 50,000 to get to where you can elevate prices. This loss is also seen on subs, since they go up incrementally a penny. This may have something to do with exclusives but really its just a good old fashioned lowering of payment percentages. Alamy just did, Corbis will do it on next contract flip, blah, blah, blah. Another squeeze of the tender areas.


Peter

Alamy are spending the extra money on opening a new US office and paying a sales team to increase sales.  They still give 60% to their contributors, I don't mind that at all.  What are FT going to do with the money they are taking from us?  If they spent it on marketing and increasing sales, that would be OK but it looks like they are just pocketing it.  I am not going to put up with that.  There are enough sites paying me at least 50% commission or making more than FT and I will carry on uploading to them.  FT can go on hold until I see what they are doing with the extra money they have taken from us.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on November 29, 2008, 10:22
Hi Zues,

 I beleive before the change they considered three subs equal to a classic sale so there has been a change there as well. Now you need 25% more subs to equal a " classic sale ".

AVAVA

Sorry I'm confused here, what is a classic sale and what is its relevance? Is that what is used to give a ranking?

Peter
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Lizard on November 29, 2008, 11:38
I believe classic is the one that is not sub 
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: traveler1116 on November 29, 2008, 12:21
Subscription sales count as 1/4th of regular sales, four sub sales equal one classic sale which is used to determine your rank.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 29, 2008, 12:24
Hi Peter,

Yep, you need 4 subs ( it was three till last week, I think ) to equal one sale towards your sales count. So if you only sold subs you would have to sell 100,000 subs to become Emerald.

Best,
AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on November 29, 2008, 13:21
This is a useless post and I apologize, but it's always times like this that makes me want to take something expensive and throw it out a window. Of course the only loser is myself, however I can't help but think I'd feel better.

Peter

Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on November 29, 2008, 14:38
Peter,

 If you have small children with some really noisy obnoxious toys like ray guns that make terrible squeals when the trigger is pulled or fire engines that blare three different sirens. I would start with these items first and throw them very far. Then lean out the window and scream " I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore " . Then go take some more photos, you know you're addicted to it.  8)

Peace,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: tomsailor on December 01, 2008, 02:33
Hi Peter,

Yep, you need 4 subs ( it was three till last week, I think ) to equal one sale towards your sales count. So if you only sold subs you would have to sell 100,000 subs to become Emerald.

Best,
AVAVA

It has always been 4 to 1 - just not very well publicised
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on December 01, 2008, 12:29
Thanks for clearing it up Tom,

 I could have sworn I was just told 3 by one of their employees but we were having a long conversation and I could have easily made that mistake. Thanks for correcting my mistake. I want everyone to know what the right answer is. Thanks again.

Best,
AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: sharpshot on December 01, 2008, 13:45
If I remember correctly, subs didn't count towards ranking at all when they introduced them.  A bunch of us protested and they raised the subs commission twice and made 4 subs equal 1 ordinary sale for ranking purposes.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: leaf on December 02, 2008, 01:53
If I remember correctly, subs didn't count towards ranking at all when they introduced them.  A bunch of us protested and they raised the subs commission twice and made 4 subs equal 1 ordinary sale for ranking purposes.

yes, that is right.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 03, 2008, 05:17
*. I have had Fotolia on the do not upload list for 3 months because of the way they handled the subs and the fact that every sub license fotolia issues on one of my image pays me 8 cents less then Shutterstock does. However just last week I looked at my stats and saw increasing sales at a rate that I felt offset the loss on subs so I start uploading again. Then tonight I visit their forums and discover this wagon load of greed and it is back to no more new uploads for them for me. This change pushes Emerald 3 years instead of 3 months away for me.


The only difference this time is that now my upload ban for them is permanent. As long as they are owned by the same greedy management that they are owned by now I will never give them another image.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 03, 2008, 06:43
Just copying a post I made on Fotolia's forum, in case it gets deleted, or I get banned.:

I think it's actually in Fotolia's benefit to hear our opinions on this issue, rather than just assume everyone is OK with the way they have handled things.

I understand that there are larger business issues at stake, and Fotolia is perfectly within their rights to make any business decision they want.  However, I think they handled the whole affair in the worst way possible.

I don't presume to speak for everyone, but for me, here's why I am so upset over this issue:

1. Rankings and ratings systems are as much an emotional issue as a financial one.  People who are achievement-oriented (as I assume most microstockers are) strive towards certain milestones and goals.  Many organizations and systems, including microstock sites, implement this type of ranking system.  Some of these ranking systems are not monetized, and changes in rankings do not affect earnings.  By suddenly changing ranking requirements, this creates a feeling of "chasing the dragon" with contributors and, in effect, reduces the effectiveness of the system.

2.  Fotolia has a long reputation of poor communication with contributors.  Many contributors have taken this as an indication that Fotolia holds them in poor regard.  Despite many complaints and discussions every time Fotolia has done this, Fotolia has chosen to handle the rank change in the exact same manner.

3. Yes, I understand that Fotolia feels certain changes have to be made in order to stay competitive. There are many different ways to address this issue.  Basically, what Fotolia did is to squeeze their suppliers (meaning us) in order to be more attractive to their customers.  Yes, it was a business decision in order to (hopefully) achieve certain goals. However, make no mistake about it, we are the ones being squeezed.  Squeezing the supplier is a legitimate, time-honored practice, by the way.  The squeezee typically doesn't appreciate it though.

4. The way Fotolia chose to handle this demonstrates either a)  a very poor understanding of stakeholder dynamics or b) they don't care about contributors.  To take a business owner - employee analogy (yes, I understand we are not Fotolia employees, but we are in a many to 1 relationship, with Fotolia having the position of power, so close enough), imagine a business owner promising a pizza party to his team if they achieve 100 sales.  Then, when they achieve 100 sales, he says "well, times are tough, the company needs to be leaner and meaner, so we will postpone the pizza party to when we achieve 200 sales. With your hard work, 200 sales shouldn't be a problem. This is for your own good.".  Well, the pizza's not a big deal. I can buy my own pizza, but then it's not the pizza that's the issue is it?

5. What is Fotolia selling? Photographs and Images from contributors.  So, Fotolia has had so much success selling these photographs and images that they need to change the ranking/rewards system to be less favorable than it was previously? We have somehow contributed to the success of Fotolia in a manner that results in less favorable terms for us. Go Team!

Basically, I can understand that they are facing a legitimate business issue.  Is there a way to address the issue that doesn't automatically put us, the contributors, at a disadvantage?  Was squeezing us the last or first option on their list? Could they have handled implementing the change in a better way?  Do I have to buy my own pizza, then cry in it?

Would be nice if Fotolia could officially answer these questions.  Because that would mean they care.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: lathspell on December 03, 2008, 07:32
I'm pretty sure that they are perfectly aware of all your points, that they have never given (and will never give) a sh*t about any contributor's opinions and that there (if this posting is actually reaching its receiver) will be a big laugh about your naivity. Sorry, but how many people do you know who left fotolia after one of all the past communication "disasters"? I do know only one, and that's me ...

Quote
The way Fotolia chose to handle this demonstrates either a)  a very poor understanding of stakeholder dynamics ...

IMO it actually demonstrates a very, very good understanding.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: StockManiac on December 03, 2008, 07:35
*. I have had Fotolia on the do not upload list for 3 months because of the way they handled the subs and the fact that every sub license fotolia issues on one of my image pays me 8 cents less then Shutterstock does. However just last week I looked at my stats and saw increasing sales at a rate that I felt offset the loss on subs so I start uploading again. Then tonight I visit their forums and discover this wagon load of greed and it is back to no more new uploads for them for me. This change pushes Emerald 3 years instead of 3 months away for me.


The only difference this time is that now my upload ban for them is permanent. As long as they are owned by the same greedy management that they are owned by now I will never give them another image.

Bobby:

I have to applaud you for your effort to try and make a change.  It is extremely rare that a high level contributor actually does anything about most of the drastic changes that are taking place.

I wish that some of the other high level contributors (and you know who you are) would take a stand as well.  Maybe this industry would change a little for the better if they did.


Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: StockManiac on December 03, 2008, 07:38
Just copying a post I made on Fotolia's forum, in case it gets deleted, or I get banned.:

I think it's actually in Fotolia's benefit to hear our opinions on this issue, rather than just assume everyone is OK with the way they have handled things.

I understand that there are larger business issues at stake, and Fotolia is perfectly within their rights to make any business decision they want.  However, I think they handled the whole affair in the worst way possible.

I don't presume to speak for everyone, but for me, here's why I am so upset over this issue:

1. Rankings and ratings systems are as much an emotional issue as a financial one.  People who are achievement-oriented (as I assume most microstockers are) strive towards certain milestones and goals.  Many organizations and systems, including microstock sites, implement this type of ranking system.  Some of these ranking systems are not monetized, and changes in rankings do not affect earnings.  By suddenly changing ranking requirements, this creates a feeling of "chasing the dragon" with contributors and, in effect, reduces the effectiveness of the system.

2.  Fotolia has a long reputation of poor communication with contributors.  Many contributors have taken this as an indication that Fotolia holds them in poor regard.  Despite many complaints and discussions every time Fotolia has done this, Fotolia has chosen to handle the rank change in the exact same manner.

3. Yes, I understand that Fotolia feels certain changes have to be made in order to stay competitive. There are many different ways to address this issue.  Basically, what Fotolia did is to squeeze their suppliers (meaning us) in order to be more attractive to their customers.  Yes, it was a business decision in order to (hopefully) achieve certain goals. However, make no mistake about it, we are the ones being squeezed.  Squeezing the supplier is a legitimate, time-honored practice, by the way.  The squeezee typically doesn't appreciate it though.

4. The way Fotolia chose to handle this demonstrates either a)  a very poor understanding of stakeholder dynamics or b) they don't care about contributors.  To take a business owner - employee analogy (yes, I understand we are not Fotolia employees, but we are in a many to 1 relationship, with Fotolia having the position of power, so close enough), imagine a business owner promising a pizza party to his team if they achieve 100 sales.  Then, when they achieve 100 sales, he says "well, times are tough, the company needs to be leaner and meaner, so we will postpone the pizza party to when we achieve 200 sales. With your hard work, 200 sales shouldn't be a problem. This is for your own good.".  Well, the pizza's not a big deal. I can buy my own pizza, but then it's not the pizza that's the issue is it?

5. What is Fotolia selling? Photographs and Images from contributors.  So, Fotolia has had so much success selling these photographs and images that they need to change the ranking/rewards system to be less favorable than it was previously? We have somehow contributed to the success of Fotolia in a manner that results in less favorable terms for us. Go Team!

Basically, I can understand that they are facing a legitimate business issue.  Is there a way to address the issue that doesn't automatically put us, the contributors, at a disadvantage?  Was squeezing us the last or first option on their list? Could they have handled implementing the change in a better way?  Do I have to buy my own pizza, then cry in it?

Would be nice if Fotolia could officially answer these questions.  Because that would mean they care.

kgtoh:

That was an extremely well-written post.  I doubt that it will get any results, but we can always hope.

Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 03, 2008, 08:18
I'm pretty sure that they are perfectly aware of all your points, that they have never given (and will never give) a sh*t about any contributor's opinions and that there (if this posting is actually reaching its receiver) will be a big laugh about your naivity. Sorry, but how many people do you know who left fotolia after one of all the past communication "disasters"? I do know only one, and that's me ...

Quote
The way Fotolia chose to handle this demonstrates either a)  a very poor understanding of stakeholder dynamics ...

IMO it actually demonstrates a very, very good understanding.



If they were giving out medals for misplaced frustration, you'd be the Michael Phelps of microstock.
I'm on your side, big guy.

Keeping in mind, the post was originally on Fotolia's forum, when I said:

a)  a very poor understanding of stakeholder dynamics or b) they don't care about contributors.

Point b was a polite way of communicating what you meant by
"that they have never given (and will never give) a sh*t about any contributor's opinions"

I agree with you.  They have concluded that individual contributors have very little power, and that they will abuse us as much as feasible.  This is true of every single stock site.  Basic business analysis, Porter's 5 forces and all that.  Fotolia is more "in your face" about it than others, that's all.

I mostly wrote my post because Saniphoto took the time to write an intelligent, though-out response to my questions.  Something nobody else on the Fotolia forums, even the moderator, took the time to do.

Do I expect my post to accomplish anything at Fotolia? No, I am realistic.  What am I going to do about it? Just grudgingly accept it because I am in a position of weakness.  People will still continue to submit to Fotolia because they want to make money.  Fotolia realizes that and will continue to abuse contributors.  Other stock sites realize this, but conduct their abuse with better table manners.

So, Fotolia has not jeopardized its supply of photos. In my opinion what has happened is it's cut off its supply of exclusive photos, because you'd have to be naive to expect any sort of relationship with Fotolia where they aren't constantly (and without warning) coming up with new ways to exploit you.

Out of curiosity, anyone here exclusive with Fotolia?

StockManiac: thanks for the props.

What I'm hoping is that Fotolia realizes that:
1) Contributors are pissed off
2) So what, they'll keep submitting if they want money. They have very little discretion in the matter
3) So we'll keep exploiting them. heehe, this is fun
4) Wait, most of our contributors have some sort of relationship or communication with designers
5) Designers are our customers and they have a whole lot of discretion in the matter
6) If we effectively alienate our contributors, who have very little stake in the success of Fotolia itself
7) Because most contributors submit to multiple sites, it doesn't matter where the customers shop
8 ) Contributors still make the same money (more or less) regardless where customers shop
9) So contributors will strongly recommend other sites over us. Some contributors are even customers, aiee!!!
10) Only exclusive contributors would continue to support us
11) Oh wait, we pissed them off already

I can't really mention this on Fotolia's forums, because that would be an implied threat of something that I may or may not do, and may or may not encourage other people to do.

In business, just because you can exploit a stakeholder until its rectum bleeds does not mean you should.  The business environment is always changing, so you shouldn't squander goodwill until you have to.  What Fotolia did should have been last option, not (apparently) first option.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 03, 2008, 10:26
Another post on Fotolia forums that I'm putting here, in case it gets deleted:

If you're bringing up Alamy, Alamy cut commissions to contributors by 5%.
Let's compare the way Alamy did it:

- announced months in advance, making every possible effort to ensure contributors find out about it
- provide detailed explanations of why they were reducing commissions and what they were going to do with the extra money (boost sales efforts, especially in new regions)
- allowed contributors to review the new contract and compare with the old one
- extend a courtesy grace period to opt out of the contract (ie, leave Alamy)

Compared to how Alamy might have chosen to do it

- not make any announcement
- quietly implement the change right before a major holiday when no-one is around
- allow contributors to find out about it by themselves
- a week after, release a small announcement.  Ignore all further questions and discussion on the issue

Which method makes me feel like a respected partner working with a professional agency?

Respecting a contract does not mean that a contract can never be changed.  Respecting a contract means treating the contract and the parties bound to the contract in a professional manner.

Edit:
The original post was censored and deleted from Fotolia's forums.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 03, 2008, 14:55
. I have had Fotolia on the do not upload list for 3 months because of the way they handled the subs and the fact that every sub license fotolia issues on one of my image pays me 8 cents less then Shutterstock does. However just last week I looked at my stats and saw increasing sales at a rate that I felt offset the loss on subs so I start uploading again. Then tonight I visit their forums and discover this wagon load of greed and it is back to no more new uploads for them for me. This change pushes Emerald 3 years instead of 3 months away for me.


The only difference this time is that now my upload ban for them is permanent. As long as they are owned by the same greedy management that they are owned by now I will never give them another image.

Bobby:

I have to applaud you for your effort to try and make a change.  It is extremely rare that a high level contributor actually does anything about most of the drastic changes that are taking place.

I wish that some of the other high level contributors (and you know who you are) would take a stand as well.  Maybe this industry would change a little for the better if they did.




Thanks, appreantly though Oleg does not see me as a highlevel contributor even though I have spent most of the past 3+ years firmly entrenched within the top 50 ranking even with 3 previous upload boycotts.

I just received confirmation from Chad

"Hello Bobby,

 

As discussed in our phone conversation today Fotolia has decided to close your account. I have just spoken to my engineers and we have sent you your remaining money plus removed your images from the website and all partner sites. Please note that a $1 fee was incurred to send you the money on Paypal"

The funny thing is they think they have now silenced me LMAO. I guess Oleg has not paid attention these last 3 years.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: grp_photo on December 03, 2008, 15:05
I'm sorry to hear this Bobby  :-[ . I guess you have been banned from their forums long ago (like me  ;) ). So what was the reason that they removed your portfolio?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: lisafx on December 03, 2008, 16:15


Thanks, appreantly though Oleg does not see me as a highlevel contributor even though I have spent most of the past 3+ years firmly entrenched within the top 50 ranking even with 3 previous upload boycotts.

I just received confirmation from Chad

"Hello Bobby,

 

As discussed in our phone conversation today Fotolia has decided to close your account. I have just spoken to my engineers and we have sent you your remaining money plus removed your images from the website and all partner sites. Please note that a $1 fee was incurred to send you the money on Paypal"


Wow!  This is surprising! 

Did you ASK to have your account closed or was your phone conversation heated enough to cause them to want to remove you?   

If so it is a good indicator that none of us is a big enough fish to be irreplaceable.  Very sad to hear.....
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: jsnover on December 03, 2008, 16:29
I just received confirmation from Chad
"Hello Bobby,
As discussed in our phone conversation today Fotolia has decided to close your account. I have just spoken to my engineers and we have sent you your remaining money plus removed your images from the website and all partner sites. Please note that a $1 fee was incurred to send you the money on Paypal"

The funny thing is *E* think they have now silenced me LMAO. I guess Oleg has not paid attention these last 3 years.

I can't say I'm surprised - *E*. I'm sorry that it came to this Bobby and I do hope that if the folks running that place think this will cower other contributors that it doesn't happen. I can't see what else they can be hoping to gain by tossing out a contributor. You spoke up and helped during the fight to get improved subscription terms and I guess they view your forthrightness as "trouble". Just lovely way to run a business.

Lump of coal for FT's stocking this Christmas :(
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: sharply_done on December 03, 2008, 16:36
Wow!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: leaf on December 03, 2008, 16:55
what are all these *E*'s doing here....

well i think it is important that these forums keep open, but also name calling free... sorry :-[
instead of just putting words on the 'censor' list and having them disappear automatically, an *E* is put there instead just so you know something has been taken out.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: jsnover on December 03, 2008, 17:13
I'm not sure how far the censor can go into things that aren't even an expletive - such as the variation I used or others where you place symbols in place of letters.

I'll happily put *bleep* into posts on the few occasions when I think something is warranted as it will be crystal clear what the meaning was even in the bowlderized form.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: grp_photo on December 03, 2008, 17:14
If the whole thing wouldn't be so sad and disgusting the part of the 1 dollar fee could be good for a laugh. And yes i would like to  add my *E* too.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: AVAVA on December 03, 2008, 17:23
Hey Leaf,

 I think you are one letter short in the alphabet, try the next one up. ;D

Come on tell us the truth. The first girl that dumped you was Emily or Eve or something like that. ;)

Best,
AVAVA
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 03, 2008, 17:28
Wow, my condolences.

And they charged you $1 to process your involuntary departure?
Talk about adding insult to injury.
Fotolia as usual, never fails to impress with its show of class and professionalism.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 03, 2008, 18:15


Thanks, appreantly though Oleg does not see me as a highlevel contributor even though I have spent most of the past 3+ years firmly entrenched within the top 50 ranking even with 3 previous upload boycotts.

I just received confirmation from Chad

"Hello Bobby,

 

As discussed in our phone conversation today Fotolia has decided to close your account. I have just spoken to my engineers and we have sent you your remaining money plus removed your images from the website and all partner sites. Please note that a $1 fee was incurred to send you the money on Paypal"


Wow!  This is surprising! 

Did you ASK to have your account closed or was your phone conversation heated enough to cause them to want to remove you?   

If so it is a good indicator that none of us is a big enough fish to be irreplaceable.  Very sad to hear.....

No nothing like that. I sent an email last night directly to Oleg telling him that even though I had recently resumed uploading there after evaluating the effect their sub sales where having on my bottom line that I was going to once again cease adding new content because of the current bait and switch tacttics they were subjecting us to. I like a great many other contributors who have been there a long time was on the threshold of evelvatring to Emerald and based on current sales level the new allocation needed to reach that level would push that goal 3 years down the road for me. I told Oleg that I felt this move on their part was purly motivated by greed.

Chad called me this morning and with no discussion informed me that Fotolia had choosen to cease doing business with me as it was obvious that they did not operate their business in a way that I could favorably agree too.

BTW even after all the brewhaha's I have had with Oleg, Chad and Matt I was Never banned from their forums.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 03, 2008, 18:23
I just received confirmation from Chad
"Hello Bobby,
As discussed in our phone conversation today Fotolia has decided to close your account. I have just spoken to my engineers and we have sent you your remaining money plus removed your images from the website and all partner sites. Please note that a $1 fee was incurred to send you the money on Paypal"

The funny thing is *E* think they have now silenced me LMAO. I guess Oleg has not paid attention these last 3 years.

I can't say I'm surprised - *E*. I'm sorry that it came to this Bobby and I do hope that if the folks running that place think this will cower other contributors that it doesn't happen. I can't see what else they can be hoping to gain by tossing out a contributor. You spoke up and helped during the fight to get improved subscription terms and I guess they view your forthrightness as "trouble". Just lovely way to run a business.

Lump of coal for FT's stocking this Christmas :(


Oh Joanne, I am sure that is exactly how they viewed me. I have always had an earful for them as I have had for any agency that has tried to give us the stinky end of a short stick.
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.

Lets be serious what they did with this last move ensured that no contributor would receive a commision increase for 2 to 3 years. 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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: jsnover on December 03, 2008, 18:52
My only other suggestion would be to publicize your swift kick to the curb in as many places as possible (ensuring you don't libel the tossers as who knows they might prefer to pay lawyers than put money into contributors' pockets). SS forums, other independent groups, your own web site.

Calling things by their true names and shining the light of publicity upon shameful practices is generally helpful in reining in unsavory behavior.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Iriz on December 03, 2008, 19:28
Calling things by their true names and shining the light of publicity upon shameful practices is generally helpful in reining in unsavory behavior.

I totally disagree. There are very few MS sites that seem to handle adverse commentary well and fotolia is definitely not one of them. DT is another in case you 're interested. The guy who runs that has an ego as fragile as a Canon sensor and you 'll get banned just for spelling his name wrong.
Fotolia have sent out a very clear message by dumping Photoshow and it's desgined to intimidate.
We don't give a crap who you are "if you speak out against us we will punish you" is the message. Interesting.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 03, 2008, 19:40
Calling things by their true names and shining the light of publicity upon shameful practices is generally helpful in reining in unsavory behavior.

I totally disagree. There are very few MS sites that seem to handle adverse commentary well and fotolia is definitely not one of them. DT is another in case you 're interested. The guy who runs that has an ego as fragile as a Canon sensor and you 'll get banned just for spelling his name wrong.
Fotolia have sent out a very clear message by dumping Photoshow and it's desgined to intimidate.
We don't give a crap who you are "if you speak out against us we will punish you" is the message. Interesting.

Trust me Iriz, I have been around this industry long enough to know the CEO's of these companies on a first name basis and have their direct phone numbers, including Serban at DT. The hardest part of dealing with many of them are simply getting past the cultural differences with them.

I do agree that the forums of other agencies is not the place to fight this battle but it is a battle that should and will be fought non the less. You are correct the message Fotolia hopes to send with the bouncing of my account is one of intimidation and intolerance to any sort of questioning of their authority. It is my hope though that there are many more among us that will question their authority, that will point out that Fotolia is an Agency Not an Employer and that will continue to fight against unethical business practices from them or any other agency that wishes to undervalue the contributors that make their high style of living possible.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: jsnover on December 03, 2008, 22:44
Calling things by their true names and shining the light of publicity upon shameful practices is generally helpful in reining in unsavory behavior.

I totally disagree. There are very few MS sites that seem to handle adverse commentary well and fotolia is definitely not one of them. DT is another in case you 're interested....

I think my experience with all these agencies over the last 4 years says you're mistaken. They don't like it when contributors speak out and work as a group to further our interests, but we have, as a group, managed to make a number of changes happen or not happen by refusing to just say "Yes sir!!" when a site tried to unilaterally change something that hurt contributors.

The sites don't like it, but up to a point they put up with it - it's a power struggle pure and simple. FT threatened to close my account, but they didn't go through with it. Hence my complete lack of surprise that they actually did it this time. If we keep quiet about this sort of stuff it just emboldens the agencies to pull an even bigger one next go around - and you know that there will be a next time, especially as the economy's not in great shape.

It is just about impossible (IMO) to get a regular group acting for contributors, but on an ad hoc basis you can often find enough people to work together to try and even the balance of power out a little when dealing with the agencies.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 03, 2008, 22:59
Calling things by their true names and shining the light of publicity upon shameful practices is generally helpful in reining in unsavory behavior.

I totally disagree. There are very few MS sites that seem to handle adverse commentary well and fotolia is definitely not one of them. DT is another in case you 're interested....

I think my experience with all these agencies over the last 4 years says you're mistaken. They don't like it when contributors speak out and work as a group to further our interests, but we have, as a group, managed to make a number of changes happen or not happen by refusing to just say "Yes sir!!" when a site tried to unilaterally change something that hurt contributors.

The sites don't like it, but up to a point they put up with it - it's a power struggle pure and simple. FT threatened to close my account, but they didn't go through with it. Hence my complete lack of surprise that they actually did it this time. If we keep quiet about this sort of stuff it just emboldens the agencies to pull an even bigger one next go around - and you know that there will be a next time, especially as the economy's not in great shape.

It is just about impossible (IMO) to get a regular group acting for contributors, but on an ad hoc basis you can often find enough people to work together to try and even the balance of power out a little when dealing with the agencies.

And this is why they have tried to eliminate me from the move this time because they know I was at the heart of the push against the subscription plan they originally announced, and I was at the heart of the push with StockXpert when they tried to screw us around with the Jupiter Unlimited fiasco as I have been at the heart of the issue everytime an agency (even DT) has tried to make a change that I believed to be adverse to the contributing community.

I have to say that Dreamstime has proven to be one of the few that truly seems to have a desire to see to it that we are treated fairly. They may run their forum with an Eastern Block Iron fist but their business practices are definately above board. I can not say the same for Fotolia.

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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: DanP68 on December 04, 2008, 00:08
Thank you for standing up for contributors, Bobby. 

I am deleting all of my files on Fotolia as I type this message, and have requested my final payment.  Their hubris will be their downfall.  I could go on for pages about the disgust I have for their actions this last several months, not the least of which being Chad Bridwell's threat on the Micropayment forums to delete the accounts of anyone critical of them on an indie forum.

They have mistreated contributors at every turn.  And frankly, I don't think they have the earnings power to get away with it. 

Good riddance to the most arrogant agency in microstock. 
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: nruboc on December 04, 2008, 00:49
Ok...saw a post awhile back questioning why other high level contributors have not taken a stand. I'll chime in from my perspective, even though it won't be popular here.  I'm in the top 10 at Fotolia, and quite honestly they have not done anything I have felt deserved to take a stand against. Was I looking forward to becoming a Sapphire and the increase in commission? Of course, but then I considered it rationally. They are the only agency besides ShutterStock who actually offers the abilty to increase commissions at all. In addition, in the beginning they didn't even have a Sapphire level, was it greedy for them when they voluntarily increased the number of levels to accomodate the people who had already achieved the max Emerald level at the time...NO. It was generosity. Who else even offers the ability to increase commission percentages, besides ShutterStock's yearly increases? NO ONE!

My thought is you have to pick your battles and choose the ones you see as the most important. Believe me, if I see a battle worth fighting for, I will be there.

Currently, I am taking a stand against Istockphoto because they pay a measly 20% commission and have the biggest pain in the ass upload process in the industry. This, in my book is something to take a stand against.

At my day job, they just laid off 600 people today. Luckily I survived. Changing the number of downloads to get to the next level at Fotolia, in todays economy, is the least of my worries.

So, in summary.. to each his own
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: jsnover on December 04, 2008, 01:02

At my day job, they just laid off 600 people today. Luckily I survived. Changing the number of downloads to get to the next level at Fotolia, in todays economy, is the least of my worries


You must work for Adobe? I just read the news on PDN's blog and thought I should check on a buddy of mine who works there to see how he's doing.

I guess if there is more than one compnay laying off 600 people today, the economy's doing worse than I thought :)

I don't think the issue is that everyone must stand up for the same thing, but that if you are getting the raw end of a deal, it's worth trying to do what you can to improve it.

Realistically, there are a lot more people who aren't emerald than who are, and all of those below emerald had been working with a set of expectations about what was needed to get to the next commission level. That set of expectations was suddenly trashed. Those of you who were already emerald clearly were less drastically affected, but I'm sure you can see how the impact on gold and below was quite different from the impact on you.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: nruboc on December 04, 2008, 01:14

At my day job, they just laid off 600 people today. Luckily I survived. Changing the number of downloads to get to the next level at Fotolia, in todays economy, is the least of my worries


You must work for Adobe? I just read the news on PDN's blog and thought I should check on a buddy of mine who works there to see how he's doing.

I guess if there is more than one compnay laying off 600 people today, the economy's doing worse than I thought :)

I don't think the issue is that everyone must stand up for the same thing, but that if you are getting the raw end of a deal, it's worth trying to do what you can to improve it.

Realistically, there are a lot more people who aren't emerald than who are, and all of those below emerald had been working with a set of expectations about what was needed to get to the next commission level. That set of expectations was suddenly trashed. Those of you who were already emerald clearly were less drastically affected, but I'm sure you can see how the impact on gold and below was quite different from the impact on you.

Hi Joanne, yes you are correct, I was speaking from my experience only. I must admit, if I were close to Emerald and being able to raise the prices the images sold at, it would affect me more, and I would be more upset. That being said, honestly, I would still see my main battle against IStock at 20% commission and the most time intensive uploads. Sorry to say that, because you have been one of the nicest posters on these forums, and I saw that you went exclusive recently. I have nothing against the exclusives, and wish you much success. Just trying to explain why some choose not to take a stand, from my perspective.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: DanP68 on December 04, 2008, 01:33
As I replied to you on the other forum:

That's misleading. Dreamstime offers the ability to increase
commissions through their levels program, and you know this. The
increase is significant too, far more than the roughly 2% commission
raise you make for each level at Fotolia.

And what would rather have? A 50% commission share? Or a 31%
commission share with the ability to work your way up to about a 40%
commission share after 10 years?

As you say, to each their own. Good luck with your future dealings
with Fotolia.


It isn't a matter of choosing which battles to pick.  All we've done this last year with Fotolia is battle, and battle.  It's one screw job after another.  I'm tired of trying to keep up with how they are sticking it to their contributors.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: cphoto on December 04, 2008, 02:37
Calling things by their true names and shining the light of publicity upon shameful practices is generally helpful in reining in unsavory behavior.

I totally disagree. There are very few MS sites that seem to handle adverse commentary well and fotolia is definitely not one of them. DT is another in case you 're interested....

I think my experience with all these agencies over the last 4 years says you're mistaken. They don't like it when contributors speak out and work as a group to further our interests, but we have, as a group, managed to make a number of changes happen or not happen by refusing to just say "Yes sir!!" when a site tried to unilaterally change something that hurt contributors.

The sites don't like it, but up to a point they put up with it - it's a power struggle pure and simple. FT threatened to close my account, but they didn't go through with it. Hence my complete lack of surprise that they actually did it this time. If we keep quiet about this sort of stuff it just emboldens the agencies to pull an even bigger one next go around - and you know that there will be a next time, especially as the economy's not in great shape.

It is just about impossible (IMO) to get a regular group acting for contributors, but on an ad hoc basis you can often find enough people to work together to try and even the balance of power out a little when dealing with the agencies.

And this is why they have tried to eliminate me from the move this time because they know I was at the heart of the push against the subscription plan they originally announced, and I was at the heart of the push with StockXpert when they tried to screw us around with the Jupiter Unlimited fiasco as I have been at the heart of the issue everytime an agency (even DT) has tried to make a change that I believed to be adverse to the contributing community.

I have to say that Dreamstime has proven to be one of the few that truly seems to have a desire to see to it that we are treated fairly. They may run their forum with an Eastern Block Iron fist but their business practices are definately above board. I can not say the same for Fotolia.

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.

Bobby, I'm really sorry to hear that Fotolia reached a new low today.  It's really a shame.

I only wish that the other top contributors would have raised their voice like you did everytime those agencies introduced a new way to make more money on our back.  I think the industry would be very different today.

Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Phil on December 04, 2008, 02:58


Thanks, appreantly though Oleg does not see me as a highlevel contributor even though I have spent most of the past 3+ years firmly entrenched within the top 50 ranking even with 3 previous upload boycotts.

I just received confirmation from Chad

"Hello Bobby,

 

As discussed in our phone conversation today Fotolia has decided to close your account. I have just spoken to my engineers and we have sent you your remaining money plus removed your images from the website and all partner sites. Please note that a $1 fee was incurred to send you the money on Paypal"


Wow!  This is surprising! 

Did you ASK to have your account closed or was your phone conversation heated enough to cause them to want to remove you?   

If so it is a good indicator that none of us is a big enough fish to be irreplaceable.  Very sad to hear.....

someone from ft mentioned towards the end of the subscription debarcle that any contributor basically putting down / being disrespectul / etc of FT will have their account closed irrespective of the amount of sales etc.

It's a shame and sad to hear, so many problems in the world come back to respect and communication

Phil
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Iriz on December 04, 2008, 03:56
Ppl let's have a big reality check here. It would be nice - in an ideal world - if we were guaranteed a fair deal and afforded the same rights as any union member or employee working off minimum wage. But we are not!

The internet still reminds me of the lawlessness that existed in the 18th century where any gun toting lunatic could take a pot shot at you from a distance and get away with it. Grant it, there have been great improvements but when push comes to shove, will any of the big contribs actually get behind Photoshow online in an act of solidarity or support? I doubt it! And for very good reason. There's too much money involved.

The furor surrounding this latest move by FT will die down very quickly purely because it's not a big enough issue to keep alive or risk large chunks of revenue fighting. Yes, FT have changed the ranking without consulting their contributors and they too took a risk in doing so, but it was a well calculated risk. Were we entitled to be consulted? Of course not! Why should we? MS contributors have no rights or entitlement in this arena unless it's a big enough issue for them to vote with their feet. This IMHO was not one of those issues.

Photoshow, you took a risk and you lost. For you to have succeeded in your protest you'd need a lot more clout than just a personal phone number. Were we unionized we would be obliged to come out in support of you but you already know the answer to that. Yes you can request an audit and put your foot down in public forums like this but I wish you well. There are just too many ready and able to fill your shoes and that is the unfortunate reality here; you are dispensable and that unfortunately is the very harsh reality for most of us.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: sharpshot on December 04, 2008, 04:45
I agree that at the moment there isn't a lot we can do when a site does something we don't like.  I sometimes stop uploading for a while but that isn't going to make them give us more respect and it is probably going to lower my earnings in the future.  Leaving sites or getting banned is going to cost me even more and might not make any difference.

We might have more clout if we started our own site and uploaded lots of exclusive content.  Anyone interested?  I know it costs money and takes time but if that is shared out between 1,000 or more of us, it might be feasible.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Peiling on December 04, 2008, 08:12
You know there are always all these "issues" with the agencies....i was wondering...just tossing a random thgt...there are so many different people with varied background doing this stockphoto thing...maybe one day everyone should bend together and set up a "new photo agency" and treat the photographers the way we want to be treated??? ::)
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: riffmax on December 04, 2008, 08:50
Wow - I've never spent much time building a port on FT, and glancing over this thread now makes me very glad.

I jumped over here from the ss thread out of morbid curiousity about who got thrown out.  I would have NEVER thought it would be Bobby - holy cow, you're top tier, Bobby!  You produce images that I could only daydream about!  What are they thinking?

Anyway, I won't get into the politics - I'm not involved over there remotely - but I hope you know that it is their loss, not yours!

Wow again.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: leaf on December 04, 2008, 09:01
for those curious about the conversation on shutterstock about this topic (as i became after riffmax's post :)) it is here
http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=51563
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: grif on December 04, 2008, 09:04
thanks I was looking for that!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 04, 2008, 09:11
To me, the microstock market seems to be an oligopoly with a small number of powerful microstock agencies, who are in a position of power over the suppliers (us, the contributors). Suppliers are weak and fragmented.  Unfortunately, because microstock contributors are in such a position of weakness, the best treatment we can hope to get is tough but fair (Dreamstime) or outright disdain (Fotolia).

It's for this reason that I support the smaller microstock companies as much as possible.  The more like an oligopoly or even monopoly that the microstock sellers become, the weaker my position.  It is in my interest for customers to buy from many different agencies than from a few strong ones.  I would rather sell through 10 agencies than 1 big agency.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult for new entrants to gain a foothold in this market. Barrier to Entry seems deceptively low (basically setting up an engine that can sell photos).  However, barrier to success  is very actually high.

In my opinion, the three main competitive factors among microstock agencies are: price, quality, and selection.  Price (or at least lower price point) is relatively inelastic because there is a lower limit beyond which you can't make a reasonable profit.  Quality is a moot issue since everyone is selling the same images.  That leave selection, which means long-standing agencies with 4 million photos have a huge advantage.

As someone (sorry, can't remember) said on this forum (paraphrasing): "If I'm a new stock agency selling the same photos at the same or high price, with less selection, why should customers buy from me?"
Throw in the fact that some of these newer agencies are pursuing strategies that are, in my opinion, laughably naive, and the future looks grim in that respect.
NB: A half-hearted adwords campaign and SEO skillz does not a "marketing campaign" make.

Just some thoughts, no solutions  :)
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kaycee on December 04, 2008, 09:18
Bobby,

I feel very sorry for you.
I think this kind of treatment towards contributers is very wrong .
If this happends in the "real business world" you are protected with some kind of law.
But in this business there are no rules or what ever ,only one way traffic,no freely speaking of your feelings .
In the SS forum there is a discussion going on on this topic I hope you respect my decision what ever it will be.
I hope in the future there is some kind of sollution with an union/association how will stand up for our rights in this business.
My as a small contributer like other small contributers  to several agencies can not  stand up for you or at least I have no big influence to speak up freely and risk that my account closed down immediately.
Not that it's a big deal closing down my account (no earnings so far) but this is not the sollution to the problem if you know what I mean.
Hope in the future there is a way to speak up freely about such a discussion without consequence......  
  
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 04, 2008, 11:12
Despite what everyone says the only solution is to continue to stand up against unfair treatment from the agencies. The banding together of many small contributors who are publicly vocal can and does work, we have proved it in the past with Fotolia, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, StockXpert and even IStock.

Apathy and acceptance of the abuse will only bring more abuse. If you all want to be treated fairly by those who distribute your products you have to demand that fairness. Fotolia shut down my account to create exactly the type of fear based apathetic response that is happening. Without great risk there can be no great gain. If the small and medium contributors band together and are vocal they can effect change, we have done it before.

It is not the big contributors that can effect that change, even the biggest of us make up only a fraction of a single percentage point of the database at any given agency which has already been pointed out means I or any other single contributor is in fact dispensable. What is not dispensable is 500 or 5000 smaller contributors showing solidarity and support each other against unethical, abusive treatment.

Dreamtsime, Shutterstock, Istock they all effectively give the contributors a raise every year. Either by raising the commission percentage or by raising prices. With this unannounced change to the ranking system Fotolia has effectively deferred giving the contributors a raise for approximately 3 years. They can say that it was done to remain competitive if they want but the truth is the move was made to put more money in their pockets at the expense of your pockets.  There is a large percentage of us who have been with Fotolia since the beginning who seriously contributed to helping them build their success and the bulk of us were on the verge of a Ranking increase. So while we helped to build their success they punished us by taking away the carrot that has been dangling in front of us for the past 3 years. Personally I can not stand for that type of abusive totalitarian treatment. I don't care how many agencies delete my accounts I will continue to stand up for what is right hopefully you will too.

There is a strength in many small voices speaking together. Unfortunately I can only speak with you not for you so if you want to effect change you have to take risks and make noise. If you are loud enough they will hear you and they will make changes.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 04, 2008, 11:19
Please show your solidarity with Bobby and do not allow this precedent to be set, we should fight for the right to critise our agency without being fired as a result, they are supposed to represent US and be accountable to US, not the other way around.

Anyone that is a Fotolia contributor and wants to show solidarity with Bobby (Photoshow) please sign this petition that will be emailed to them:
http://www.draiochtwebdesign.com/blog/an-open-letter-to-fotolia

The more names the better, let's come together as a community and get this done!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 04, 2008, 11:24
Anyone that has a blog, post the link to the petition, http://www.draiochtwebdesign.com/blog/an-open-letter-to-fotolia

Let's try and get as many people aware of what happened as possible, if you have friends that are contributors, email them.. we need as many names as possible!!!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: azurelaroux on December 04, 2008, 11:46
Please do not take what I am about to say as being in any way supportive of FT recent decision to change their ranking system. I do feel that this was not handled as well as it should have been but FT 's Terms and Conditions do cover this situation. If you don't agree with it the T&C clearly states how to proceed.

I will not sign the petition. First of all FT clearly stated that anyone speaking out against them may be removed from their forums and / or their website. They have not hidden this fact and it is actually listed in the T&C under section 4. Secondly, the petition clearly states that Bobby was "fired". For Bobby to have been fired he would have to be an employee of FT. He is not. He is a supplier and independent contractor. Lastly, I will not sign a petition that the petition writer will not or can not sign. How much will FT really care about a letter that is written by someone who is not a contributor to FT?

I doubt that anyone is happy about the ranking changes, but creating petitions without thinking them through is not going to solve any problems. When you signed up you agreed to play by their rules.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 04, 2008, 11:52
Please do not take what I am about to say as being in any way supportive of FT recent decision to change their ranking system. I do feel that this was not handled as well as it should have been but FT 's Terms and Conditions do cover this situation. If you don't agree with it the T&C clearly states how to proceed.

I will not sign the petition. First of all FT clearly stated that anyone speaking out against them may be removed from their forums and / or their website. They have not hidden this fact and it is actually listed in the T&C under section 4. Secondly, the petition clearly states that Bobby was "fired". For Bobby to have been fired he would have to be an employee of FT. He is not. He is a supplier and independent contractor. Lastly, I will not sign a petition that the petition writer will not or can not sign. How much will FT really care about a letter that is written by someone who is not a contributor to FT?

I doubt that anyone is happy about the ranking changes, but creating petitions without thinking them through is not going to solve any problems. When you signed up you agreed to play by their rules.

1. Yes, you can get fired by your own agent, they just did it, they in effect 'terminated his contract'
2. I will have an FT contributor send the email, the most important thing at the moment is to get as many names on there as possible, the smallest detail is who will send it, it might never get sent at all if not enough people sign the thing

If you do not wish to show solidarity fair enough, it's everyone's own personal decision as to what is acceptable, and what is not, and how they themselves wish to be treated by their agent.

Those who wish to show solidarity with your colleague, please sign.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: lilcrazyfuzzy on December 04, 2008, 12:11
wow, that's exactly why I agreed with Zastavkin and his idea of an organisation defending our rights and interests
http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33557&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=zastavkin&start=15

we need engaged people!...  :-\
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: CCK on December 04, 2008, 12:20
I'm not a major contributor at FT, and stopped uploading months ago. I just logged in at FT, the first time in quite a while. There was a time when I thought FT would become one of my top sites, but alas that has not happened. So this issue convinced me to close my account with them.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: azurelaroux on December 04, 2008, 12:28
I have nothing against solidarity. As I said I'm not fond of the changes or the way things get handled on that site either. What I'm saying is that your rush to write your petition has some fundamental problems. FT is not an agent or an employer. Bobby was not an employee. He was an Independent Contractor. The T&C clearly states this. Bobby was not fired. He was removed from the site per the T&C that he agreed to when he signed up.

Good luck with your petition.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 04, 2008, 12:33
I have nothing against solidarity. As I said I'm not fond of the changes or the way things get handled on that site either. What I'm saying is that your rush to write your petition has some fundamental problems. FT is not an agent or an employer. Bobby was not an employee. He was an Independent Contractor. The T&C clearly states this. Bobby was not fired. He was removed from the site per the T&C that he agreed to when he signed up.

Good luck with your petition.

His contract was terminated, I don't understand what your definition of getting fired is if not that!! But thanks anyway..
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 04, 2008, 12:37
I have nothing against solidarity. As I said I'm not fond of the changes or the way things get handled on that site either. What I'm saying is that your rush to write your petition has some fundamental problems. FT is not an agent or an employer. Bobby was not an employee. He was an Independent Contractor. The T&C clearly states this. Bobby was not fired. He was removed from the site per the T&C that he agreed to when he signed up.

Good luck with your petition.

How can you say Fotolia is not an Agent? That is exactly what they are.

Yes they are also the same T&C that were in place when I signed up (one of the first 250 members) that led me to belive that I had a goal of advancment and that goal of advancment was well definded and documented. Then as a large number ofd us reach the threshold of obtaining that goal of advancment Fotolia without prior notice moves the goal so far down the road on us so as to effectively postpone it by 3 years!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: jsnover on December 04, 2008, 13:42
This isn't my fight at this point - given that I'm now exclusive elsewhere - but I honestly think there is only one thing that will get FT's attention, and it isn't a petition.

People who don't like what FT's doing need to suspend uploading until FT changes policies to protect contributors from arbitrary account termination for things other than fraud (uploading images you don't have the copyright to and such).

They sell subscriptions and new images are the lifeblood of a subscription site. Given that this is a power struggle, if there's no muscle flexing from the contributor side the folks running the show will feel they can continue acting as they have.

The fact that the T&Cs at all the sites say they can change the terms at any time for any or no reason doesn't relieve them of the responsibility to act reasonably. Not all contracts are upheld if there's a lawsuit. FT knows that it's very hard for contributors to sue them to invalidate parts of the contract that might not hold up though, so again, the power is effectively on their side.

I think it's unlikely you'll get any emeralds or up involved in any action - they aren't really hurt by this even if it should put them on notice about the nature of the behavior they can expect. If a significant number of the other ranks participated, I still think you could get enough impact to get their attention.

Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 04, 2008, 13:50
You have my support, and my signature.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

This might seem like a small, insignificant thing to do (which honestly, Fotolia will most likely ignore), but we have to start somewhere.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 04, 2008, 13:57
I agree with Joanne 100%

The only thing that has ever worked against any of the agencies has been the treat to cut off the supply. Remember we own the content therefore we do own the power. The question is do we have the courage of our own convictions to exert that power or are we going to surrender that power to the agencies by not standing up for ourselves.

In the end it always comes down to the actions of the masses. It is not the single voice of a large contributor that extracts change. Even though the contributor is large the lone voice is small. It is the rakus voice of the many that combine to rise above the din and be heard. It is the voice of the many that bring about change and it is the power of the many that can break through seemingly impenetrable barriers.

I was dropped from Fotolia not because I spoke against them. I was dropped because they felt that is would send a message of of their ultimate strength and superiority over all of you. It is a message meant to intimidate and tame the beast that is the masses. It is all bravado though, they can not remove the masses, to do so would be seriously detrimental to their business. If the masses unite they can and will bring change. If the masses cower under the intimidation of the agencies then they can only expect for more and more oppressive behavior to come down the pipe in the future.

So in truth this is a fight that belongs to all of us regardless of which agencies we are or are not with.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: riffmax on December 04, 2008, 14:03
I agree with Joanne 100%

The only thing that has ever worked against any of the agencies has been the treat to cut off the supply. Remember we own the content therefore we do own the power. The question is do we have the courage of our own convictions to exert that power or are we going to surrender that power to the agencies by not standing up for ourselves.


I have contacted support requesting that they remove my images and close my account.  My small, pitiful effort will not affect them at all, but perhaps my doing so will be just one more drop in the bucket of "protest"
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: RT on December 04, 2008, 14:34
Bobby, I sympathise that your account was deleted.

However unlike the majority of people who have shown support I'm also a businessman and am fully aware that you are also, I appreciate that you have in the past taken part in a public campaign against certain changes, as have many, but like you I only do what is in my best interests, I'd be interested as to the nature of the phone call you made, where you asking for some kind of special treatment?

At the end of the day Fotolia have done nothing illegal in changing their terms, they owe you nothing, you are a supplier and nothing more, as such they have the right to terminate your account, you keep stating you were close to Emerald and now it would take three years, so what! were they supposed to wait for you to get to Emerald before making any changes, you had as much chance as the others who did reach that level but you didn't and they did, that's business.

You've mentioned them lining their pockets (or words to that effect) ummm... they're a business and how they run it and what they do with the proceeds is their business, they have just raised the price of the credits we get paid which I notice hasn't been mentioned much. Tell me when you have a good month do you give your models extra money? Do you explain to them how you spend your profits?

As has been pointed out they made it very clear anybody bad mouthing them would have their account deleted, you can't say you weren't warned, I would advise you to be careful regarding your future actions and statements on public forums regarding Fotolia because you could end up in a legal battle, you're pissed we can all see that and my advice would be to move on.

I'm annoyed about the recent change on Fotolia, however nothing they have done has changed the way my images are represented which is what I choose an agency for, they have just raised the commision I receive on any sales which IMO is a good thing.

As for the petition thing, then sorry I'm not signing it, and to whoever wrote it no he hasn't been fired because he didn't work for them.

Will I stop uploading there, nope sorry they're a reasonable source of revenue for me, and in case you're interested yes I was close to a rank change, but that's business and I have the freedom of choice whether to use them as a representative for me or not.
Same goes for iStock and their recent best match change which has effected me far more than Fotolia, again it's my choice.

I keep seeing a lot of people saying things like 'standing up for our rights' etc ..... what rights exactly? We do not work for them we are all self employed (technically speaking)  they are an agency we we choose to represent our work in return for a commission on any sales they make on our behalf.
Apart from any rights regarding the usage of our work under the license they sell for us we don't have any.
For those who are going to stop uploading in support of Bobby, your choice but at the end of the day who do you think is going to lose out the most?

Bobby I wish you well for the future.





Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: jsnover on December 04, 2008, 14:47
...for, they have just raised the commision I receive on any sales which IMO is a good thing.

They didn't raise credit prices worldwide. In the US the credit price is still $1.00 AFAIK (I just went to check but can't get to the site right now - it's just a blank page). It probably hasn't been mentioned much because a large percentage of contributors are not affected by it.

And as far as standing up for rights, it isn't only in employee/employer situations that two parties to a business arrangement take action to protect their interests. You need to consider not only short term gain/loss, but long term. Every time an agency gets to bully its suppliers and gets away with it, not only does it make it more likely they'll do the same sort of thing again, but other agencies will follow suit - market pressures, competitiveness, etc.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 04, 2008, 14:52
Bobby, I sympathise that your account was deleted.

However unlike the majority of people who have shown support I'm also a businessman and am fully aware that you are also, I appreciate that you have in the past taken part in a public campaign against certain changes, as have many, but like you I only do what is in my best interests, I'd be interested as to the nature of the phone call you made, where you asking for some kind of special treatment?

At the end of the day Fotolia have done nothing illegal in changing their terms, they owe you nothing, you are a supplier and nothing more, as such they have the right to terminate your account, you keep stating you were close to Emerald and now it would take three years, so what! were they supposed to wait for you to get to Emerald before making any changes, you had as much chance as the others who did reach that level but you didn't and they did, that's business.

You've mentioned them lining their pockets (or words to that effect) ummm... they're a business and how they run it and what they do with the proceeds is their business, they have just raised the price of the credits we get paid which I notice hasn't been mentioned much. Tell me when you have a good month do you give your models extra money? Do you explain to them how you spend your profits?

As has been pointed out they made it very clear anybody bad mouthing them would have their account deleted, you can't say you weren't warned, I would advise you to be careful regarding your future actions and statements on public forums regarding Fotolia because you could end up in a legal battle, you're pissed we can all see that and my advice would be to move on.

I'm annoyed about the recent change on Fotolia, however nothing they have done has changed the way my images are represented which is what I choose an agency for, they have just raised the commision I receive on any sales which IMO is a good thing.

As for the petition thing, then sorry I'm not signing it, and to whoever wrote it no he hasn't been fired because he didn't work for them.

Will I stop uploading there, nope sorry they're a reasonable source of revenue for me, and in case you're interested yes I was close to a rank change, but that's business and I have the freedom of choice whether to use them as a representative for me or not.
Same goes for iStock and their recent best match change which has effected me far more than Fotolia, again it's my choice.

I keep seeing a lot of people saying things like 'standing up for our rights' etc ..... what rights exactly? We do not work for them we are all self employed (technically speaking)  they are an agency we we choose to represent our work in return for a commission on any sales they make on our behalf.
Apart from any rights regarding the usage of our work under the license they sell for us we don't have any.
For those who are going to stop uploading in support of Bobby, your choice but at the end of the day who do you think is going to lose out the most?

Bobby I wish you well for the future.


I did not make a phone call and I did not ask for special treatment. I sent an email that expressed my displeasure with the change and informed that I would cease uploading new content but not remove the nearly 5,000 images I already had there.

The phone call came from them the next day telling me they were deleting my account.

While their changing the terms of ranking may not be illegal it most certainly is unethical to have so many work for so long toward a published goal only to move the goal miles and miles down the road just as a large number of contributors who have worked long and hard are on the threshold of reaching that goal.

A proper move by Fotolia would have been to grandfather existing contributors to the original goal at least until they reached their next level upgrade and then they could apply the new standards. To move the goal that so many worked so hard to reach is tantamount to punishing those who have made you a success for working hard to help you build your business. Would you freeze your work staffs earnings because they worked hard and made you a success?





Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 04, 2008, 14:57
RT,

I feel I have to speak up regarding what you have just said.
Yes, we have no "rights", that we would have if we were employees.  In fact, one of the main reasons why I'm not doing stock fulltime is that I have a lot more rights and protections as an employee that I do as a stock contributor.

I realize that Fotolia is a business, and has an enlightened self-interest to make money.  This is part and parcel of a free economy. All independent business entities have their own agendas, with the most basic goal to increase earnings (or maximize rents in show-off speak).  Fotolia is a business entity, as are other competing agencies and, as you rightly put, so are all of us.

It is in their best interest to get products at a cheapest possible cost (meaning with the lowest possible reward to us, the supplier).  I think it's clear, as the industry becomes more competitive, agencies such as Fotolia are exploring ways of doing that.  We can choose to accept it, or we can choose to explore ways to make our position stronger. This is business.

I realize that, in the larger scheme of things, supporting Bobby actually helps us all, and more importantly, helps me.
And yes, honestly, it's me that I'm the most concerned about.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 04, 2008, 15:24
I can guarantee you, every single stock agency is having managerial meetings where the primary topic is how to increase profits.

I can guarantee you, in every single one of the meetings, one of the solutions they've arrived at is to lower costs.

The easiest way is to lower the amount paid to the suppliers, either now or in the future, as a percentage of revenue.  (by this I mean maintaining payment rates to suppliers regardless of future price increases to the customers would also apply)

The only thing holding them back is possible reaction by suppliers.

The only one, so far, who has tried to implement something like this is Fotolia.
I can guarantee you every single stock agency is watching to see what the outcome will be.

Full time microstockers who feel they have the most to lose in the short-term should actually be the most worried, because they have the most to lose in the long-term.

These are just my personal theories mind you.
I would really appreciate some like-minded discussion (with actual economic and management theory) beyond
"I am a businessman, so if you call Fotolia greedy, you are naive"
and
"Fotolia is greedy. The *insult removed*."
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: madelaide on December 04, 2008, 15:46
Bobby,

Is there a place in the forum where we can know you were banned?  I believe your posts must have been deleted...  It would be a good way to bring the discussion of the arbitrary deletion of your portfolio.  Their unethical attitude must be brought to evidence.

Given the unreasonable spli subs are having in FT too, I'll stop uploading. 

Regards,
Adelaide
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: jsnover on December 04, 2008, 16:22
I would really appreciate some like-minded discussion (with actual economic and management theory) beyond
"I am a businessman, so if you call Fotolia greedy, you are naive"
and
"Fotolia is greedy. The *insult removed*."


I'm not an economist and I'm not a manager at the moment, but have been in the past, however I'll discuss. Think of how various business situations that have made the press in the US have played out. Many, many times, one airline will raise prices on something; if the customer reaction isn't what they hoped, the other airlines don't follow suit and then the original airline backs out the increase. The airlines wold plan it out overtly if that weren't illegal in the US.

Wal-Mart strong-arms one supplier into accepting less favorable terms or more onerous work specifically preparing product for them. When that supplier caves, they try it again with the next one. Read this article if you're interested in the tale.

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html

These situations are all about trying to jockey for more power and control if you can. Obviously you can sow the seeds of your own eventual undoing if you go too far. Understanding just who has the power in a given situation is really important - if you don't have any, threatening and blustering won't do any good. Games of chicken can be tough - in my neck of the woods the recent Boeing strike is an example of a long and costly strike that was resolved in ways that could have been done before the strike even started. Both parties got hurt (not to mention all the businesses in the area affected indirectly). When both sides dig in thinking they have to prove a point, sometimes both can lose.

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?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Iriz on December 04, 2008, 16:53
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: RT on December 04, 2008, 17:42
I did not make a phone call and I did not ask for special treatment. I sent an email that expressed my displeasure with the change and informed that I would cease uploading new content but not remove the nearly 5,000 images I already had there.

The phone call came from them the next day telling me they were deleting my account.

Appologies it's a long thread I thought you made the initial phone call, maybe the content of your email was read by them as threatening, or have you made some statements in public which could be read that way.

While their changing the terms of ranking may not be illegal it most certainly is unethical to have so many work for so long toward a published goal only to move the goal miles and miles down the road just as a large number of contributors who have worked long and hard are on the threshold of reaching that goal.

But we are in the middle of a worldwide recession with hundreds of businesses closing each day, I appreciate that they weren't forthcoming in explaining the reasoning behind such a move but there may be issues none of us know about, and of course they wouldn't want to 'air their dirty laundry' for all and sundry to see, I'm speculating of course but it did cross my mind that could be the reason. I'd rather they stay operating and providing a revenue stream for me albeit with some minor changes.

A proper move by Fotolia would have been to grandfather existing contributors to the original goal at least until they reached their next level upgrade and then they could apply the new standards.

I don't think 'proper' is the right term, but to do what you suggested would have been sociable, but as I said above we don't know the reason they did it, so your suggestion might not have been a viable option in their forecasting.

To move the goal that so many worked so hard to reach is tantamount to punishing those who have made you a success for working hard to help you build your business.

It's a two way thing, whilst you helped make them succesful in retrospect so did they you! And to be punished would be to have something you had taken away, you didn't actually have it in the first place.
Would they have the right to anything if all of a sudden you decided to go exclusive somewhere and pull all your images off FT.

Would you freeze your work staffs earnings because they worked hard and made you a success?

No I wouldn't, but then they are employees and would have employees rights, we are not employess of FT.
But just to add again they haven't frozen our earnings, in actual fact they've just increased them for everyone irrelevent of ranking by increasing the credit value.

This whole scenario would have a different meaning if it was in reference to certain macro agencies where you sign an exclusive contract for a fixed period of time, but it's not it's a microstock agency where neither party has any any form of ties.

Maybe you could speak to a third party and see if you can resolve your account deletion, I think Yuri is well thought of on FT.







Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: RT on December 04, 2008, 18:00
I've just been sent this, it was posted by Chad Bridwell on the Yahoo micropayment forum:

"Hello Everyone,

 Would any of you continue to do business with a grocery store, restaurant, beauty salon, airline, etc who continued to call you names and use derogatory language against you publicly?
 No logical person would do this. Why should Fotolia be any different? What
Bobby Deal has done over the years is appalling and Fotolia has been
very  tolerant until now. Calling us F**kers, *insult removed*, and Rapists, is
not professional and we do not have to tolerate this any longer.
After giving him many warnings we decided close his account.
 Chad Bridwell
 Director of US Operations
 Fotolia.com"

Clearly there is a history involved here that goes way beyond the issue of recent changes.


 
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Iriz on December 04, 2008, 18:15
I've just been sent this, it was posted by Chad Bridwell on the Yahoo micropayment forum:

"Hello Everyone,

 Would any of you continue to do business with a grocery store, restaurant, beauty salon, airline, etc who continued to call you names and use derogatory language against you publicly?
 No logical person would do this. Why should Fotolia be any different? What
Bobby Deal has done over the years is appalling and Fotolia has been
very  tolerant until now. Calling us F**kers, *insult removed*, and Rapists, is
not professional and we do not have to tolerate this any longer.
After giving him many warnings we decided close his account.
 Chad Bridwell
 Director of US Operations
 Fotolia.com"

Clearly there is a history involved here that goes way beyond the issue of recent changes.


 


If what has been quoted above is correct and if someone referred to me or my business using that sort of vocabulary I would kick their account from here to the other side of Mars and then sue their sorry ass for libel.

Count yourself lucky that the only thing you've lost is your account!!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: cphoto on December 04, 2008, 18:24
I've just been sent this, it was posted by Chad Bridwell on the Yahoo micropayment forum:

"Hello Everyone,

 Would any of you continue to do business with a grocery store, restaurant, beauty salon, airline, etc who continued to call you names and use derogatory language against you publicly?
 No logical person would do this. Why should Fotolia be any different? What
Bobby Deal has done over the years is appalling and Fotolia has been
very  tolerant until now. Calling us F**kers, *insult removed*, and Rapists, is
not professional and we do not have to tolerate this any longer.
After giving him many warnings we decided close his account.
 Chad Bridwell
 Director of US Operations
 Fotolia.com"

Clearly there is a history involved here that goes way beyond the issue of recent changes.


 


If what has been quoted above is correct and if someone referred to me or my business using that sort of vocabulary I would kick their account from here to the other side of Mars and then sue their sorry ass for libel.

Count yourself lucky that the only thing you've lost is your account!!

The actual post that Chad was referring too is this one:

"They did nothing but blow smoke up are asses on this one. Giving us
> > an opt out does nothing to solve the greater issue of undermining an
> > already undermined industry. Allowing print resale for a 30 cent
> > commission simply shows what greedy *insult removed* all these agencies are
> > becoming. I swear if just one agency would step up and prove that
> > they knew there place in the industry and would treat the content
> > providers like clients (which we are) then I would give serious
> > consideration to providing exclusive content to that agency. Of
> > course that will never happen so I will continue to whore my elf out
> > to all the pimps for my penny here and my penny there."

To me that's just straight talk and to the point.  No personal attack and a valid personal opinion.  What's wrong with that?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: leaf on December 04, 2008, 18:37
no thats not the post chad was talking about. Chad never referenced that post, sj_coburn did (in the yahoo email group), and it was just a reference to show an example of language used in a point that sj_coburn was making.

the quote was from this thread, this post
http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=5258.msg57637#msg57637

which was pointed towards stockxpert from photoshow - and has nothing to do with fotolia.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: lisafx on December 04, 2008, 19:05
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.   
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 04, 2008, 19:27
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: DanP68 on December 04, 2008, 19:47
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?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 04, 2008, 19:59
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 04, 2008, 20:05
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.



Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 04, 2008, 20:12
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 04, 2008, 20:16
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




Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Kngkyle on December 04, 2008, 20:27
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 04, 2008, 20:40
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Mona on December 05, 2008, 00:10
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?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Fred on December 05, 2008, 01:49
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
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: DanP68 on December 05, 2008, 02:19
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 05, 2008, 02:26
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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 05, 2008, 02:48
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Iriz on December 05, 2008, 05:29

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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Fred on December 05, 2008, 05:33
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


Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kaycee on December 05, 2008, 05:54
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 05, 2008, 06:08

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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Fred on December 05, 2008, 06:32
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
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 05, 2008, 06:47
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Fred on December 05, 2008, 08:08
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


Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 05, 2008, 08:44
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?
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 05, 2008, 08:44
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: kgtoh on December 05, 2008, 08:58
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: azurelaroux on December 05, 2008, 09:35
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.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 05, 2008, 09:48
We still need Fotolia to make a proper lengthy statement similar to your own. Also, I believe anything Bobby has said after his account was terminated is besides the point, his relationship with them is over, and if they want to sue him, or he wants to sue them, that's up to them to decide.

What I want to know, is if he had made the exact same statements without using language, is that acceptable? Also, what can we say in a public forum that does not involve the use of language? You, and others, keep saying, oh well, nobody ELSE got fired for speaking out of turn in a forum, the fact that even ONE person got fired worries me, and I think deserves some attention if it is going to set a precedent.

Why can't Fotolia come out and say you are all entitled to say anything you like about Fotolia policies publicly? Why don't they come out and say you are all NOT entitles to speak out about Fotolia policies publicly.. if they are going to be the first to use public content in order to terminate someone's contract, then they should be the first to define how much control they have over content on public forums/blogs/web sites, and the repercussions based on the language used in that content.

If anyone uses language while publicly criticising a change of policy in an open forum they risk termination? Does it have to happen once, twice, three times? Will there be an official warning after the first offence? There are so many questions around this precedent, and they need to be answered.. it's only a matter of time now that this has happened, that the other 'agencies' start looking through the content on web sites such as this as seeing who they feel is damaging them, and then terminating their contract.

Oh and about libel based on the words: "greed driven tyrants" , they would have to prove that they are NOT greed driven tyrants in order to make that libel, and good luck to anybody in the world that can prove that :) In order for libel to be proven it would have to be based on fact, not a derogatory term, such as, they said they would pay me 'x' amount, but they only paid me 'y', that would be a libellous statement as long as they could prove that they did pay amount 'x', therefore the statement was untrue. No-one can ever prove beyond doubt that they are not a greed driven tyrant!!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: azurelaroux on December 05, 2008, 10:05
I think you missed the point of the post. They stopped working with him after a history of him protesting by publicly refusing to upload images 4 times,  several "earfuls" about his opinions and personal attacks. I do not believe that they read one post and said that's it let's get rid of him. I believe that FT looked at his post on page 3 where he openly states that he will not honor his contract and supply images and they decided that they would honor his decision and terminated his contract.

I don't see this as setting a precedent because his contract was not terminated over a single post. It was terminated after several incidents of him refusing to honor the contract and threatening to do so again.

Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 05, 2008, 10:10
So publicly refusing to upload is an offence that will result in termination? Or publicly refusing to upload combined with public discussion on bad policies?

Also, they used public content from forums such as this to terminate his contract, and we all need to know if it is safe to express an opinion here, and in other public places, or not, fair enough, he posted things in their forum, but they banned him from their forum, without terminating his contract, therefore the entire decision to terminate his contract was based on what he said publicly, in forums that were absolutely nothing to do with them, regardless of what had happened leading up to that.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 05, 2008, 10:17
Hi,
I'm new to microstock.  Fred needs to revise his demographic stats, however.  I'm new, but I am far from being a young contributor.  I've been selling pictures since 1980.

Bobby is not the subject of this thread.  He bacame the focal point but the thread is about the latest "unannounced" change at FT.  I have my opinion about Bobby's misfortune just as anyone else should have.  But, I am not unduly influenced by his "star power."  

I am a fan of the organised approach to "resistance."  Divided we Fall.  Certainly FT will not sit idly by while a small group of contributors organize.  You can bet there will be attempts to silence the squeaky wheel.  Bobby is their example.  Signing that petition could be your last squeak but if you don't squeak now ... and as a group, what next?  

I guess it's the nature of the business.  Take what's offered and shut up!

Warren Price
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 05, 2008, 10:22
Quote
Signing that petition could be your last squeak but if you don't squeak now ... and as a group, what next? 

Lol!!! Thanks Warren, I love that line, and it's true, all we are is a tiny squeak :) And even at that people think a squeak is too disobedient!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Fred on December 05, 2008, 10:23
I should be obvious that anytime you do or say anything anywhere that might negatively impact the bottom liine of your employer (agent, whatever) you are risking the continuation of your relationship with them.  

fred
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: azurelaroux on December 05, 2008, 10:31
Refusing to honor your contract 4 times and openly stating that you intended to never honor that contract? Yes that is grounds to stop doing business with someone.

You will need to check to your facts about Bobby's termination. I have not seen anything from FT stating that his contract was terminated solely because of a post made here. There was mention by FT that Bobby had been name calling for some time, and that is evidenced in this forum. Bobby has posted that he was never banned from the FT forums (yahoo group) so I'm not sure where you are getting that info from.  Chad has posted that Bobby was warned about the name calling.

Unless you have seen the written contract termination notice from FT to Bobby you have no real knowledge of why they choose to terminate the contract.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: leaf on December 05, 2008, 10:31
No nothing like that. I sent an email last night directly to Oleg telling him that even though I had recently resumed uploading there after evaluating the effect their sub sales where having on my bottom line that I was going to once again cease adding new content because of the current bait and switch tacttics they were subjecting us to. I like a great many other contributors who have been there a long time was on the threshold of evelvatring to Emerald and based on current sales level the new allocation needed to reach that level would push that goal 3 years down the road for me. I told Oleg that I felt this move on their part was purly motivated by greed.

Chad called me this morning and with no discussion informed me that Fotolia had choosen to cease doing business with me as it was obvious that they did not operate their business in a way that I could favorably agree too.

BTW even after all the brewhaha's I have had with Oleg, Chad and Matt I was Never banned from their forums.

well i would have to say i agree with azurelaroux and say that fotolia banning photoshow was hardly on a single post, but rather on a long standing attitude and after direct emails.

It seems as though you are merely trying to stir up trouble hilary, everything in your last post is untrue, it seems you are twist the facts and create a culture of fear. Seeing how you seem to be quite active in the yahoo group discussion in direct conversation with matt and chad, I would expect you to have more of the facts straight.  Photoshow was never banned from the fotolia forum (he said so himself in the quoted thread) additionally, it appears that Photoshow said he was removed from fotolia after his DIRECT email to fotolia, not forum posts.

And yes, I agree Photoshow is not the subject of this thread..., it is the change in ranks at fotolia and our thoughts about it, i am not sure how much longer this thread should be let to run wildly... It seems we are just going in circles, people are claiming untrue statments and we are getting no where in any sort of discussion.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 05, 2008, 10:39
I should be obvious that anytime you do or say anything anywhere that might negatively impact the bottom liine of your employer (agent, whatever) you are risking the continuation of your relationship with them.  

fred

Good point Fred.  I guess it is up to each of us to determine just what that relationship is?  Individually we are simply bugs and they are the windshield.  It's embarrassing.  How many of your friends know that you sell pictures for thirty cents?  It certainly doesn't make one proud to be a "professional," does it?

I know.  I joined them.  We ALL did.  And it will take ALL of us to make a difference.

Sign the petition. 

Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: marinini on December 05, 2008, 11:08
Hi
I found this part of movie "Any given sunday" connected with all things around FT (and all microstock agencies)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4tIrjBDkk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4tIrjBDkk)
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 05, 2008, 11:17
No nothing like that. I sent an email last night directly to Oleg telling him that even though I had recently resumed uploading there after evaluating the effect their sub sales where having on my bottom line that I was going to once again cease adding new content because of the current bait and switch tacttics they were subjecting us to. I like a great many other contributors who have been there a long time was on the threshold of evelvatring to Emerald and based on current sales level the new allocation needed to reach that level would push that goal 3 years down the road for me. I told Oleg that I felt this move on their part was purly motivated by greed.

Chad called me this morning and with no discussion informed me that Fotolia had choosen to cease doing business with me as it was obvious that they did not operate their business in a way that I could favorably agree too.

BTW even after all the brewhaha's I have had with Oleg, Chad and Matt I was Never banned from their forums.

well i would have to say i agree with azurelaroux and say that fotolia banning photoshow was hardly on a single post, but rather on a long standing attitude and after direct emails.

It seems as though you are merely trying to stir up trouble hilary, everything in your last post is untrue, it seems you are twist the facts and create a culture of fear. Seeing how you seem to be quite active in the yahoo group discussion in direct conversation with matt and chad, I would expect you to have more of the facts straight.  Photoshow was never banned from the fotolia forum (he said so himself in the quoted thread) additionally, it appears that Photoshow said he was removed from fotolia after his DIRECT email to fotolia, not forum posts.

And yes, I agree Photoshow is not the subject of this thread..., it is the change in ranks at fotolia and our thoughts about it, i am not sure how much longer this thread should be let to run wildly... It seems we are just going in circles, people are claiming untrue statments and we are getting no where in any sort of discussion.

We are entitled to email the 'agent' and state that due to a policy change we disagree with, we are not uploading new images as a form  of protest. Do you believe if your colleague in real life went on strike (or in this case refused to work optional Saturdays) for an improvement in wages he should be fired immediately? In any civilised country, we have a RIGHT to protest in order to get better conditions. It is not written into our contracts that we MUST upload images, therefore he was NOT threatening to dishonour his contract at all. I'm not into cultures of fear, and that is exactly why I have donated my web space to the petition, so that having gotten a full explanation from Fotolia, people do not need to be afraid to voice their opinion, to disagree with company policies that effect them, and that they can say what they like amongst their peers. Hopefully Fotolia will come out and assure people that speaking in forums like this, or even refusing to upload as a form of protest will not result in their termination. Then everyone can move on, and tackle the actual policies openly, without fear.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: hilary on December 05, 2008, 11:20
Hi
I found this part of movie "Any given sunday" connected with all things around FT (and all microstock agencies)
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4tIrjBDkk[/url] ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4tIrjBDkk[/url])


lol!  ;D Love it!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: Iriz on December 05, 2008, 11:31
How many of your friends know that you sell pictures for thirty cents?  It certainly doesn't make one proud to be a "professional," does it?

I have no difficulty whatsoever selling pictures of chickens or good looking women for 30c. Multiply that by 100+ and that's when I start to smile. I sometimes can't quite believe the crap that people purchase from me and yes I'm a pro in case you're wondering.

Were I an f.m.c.g. (fast moving consumer goods) producer or organic farmer the margins are almost identical and in some cases more compared to the product I produce. What's more I only have to make it once so maybe you might rethink whether or not MS offers such a raw deal as you are suggesting.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: saniphoto on December 05, 2008, 12:00
well i would have to say i agree with azurelaroux and say that fotolia banning photoshow was hardly on a single post, but rather on a long standing attitude and after direct emails.

It seems as though you are merely trying to stir up trouble hilary, everything in your last post is untrue, it seems you are twist the facts and create a culture of fear. Seeing how you seem to be quite active in the yahoo group discussion in direct conversation with matt and chad, I would expect you to have more of the facts straight.  Photoshow was never banned from the fotolia forum (he said so himself in the quoted thread) additionally, it appears that Photoshow said he was removed from fotolia after his DIRECT email to fotolia, not forum posts.

And yes, I agree Photoshow is not the subject of this thread..., it is the change in ranks at fotolia and our thoughts about it, i am not sure how much longer this thread should be let to run wildly... It seems we are just going in circles, people are claiming untrue statments and we are getting no where in any sort of discussion.

Perfectly pointed Leaf. You couldn't have written a better post!
 
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: ChasingMoments on December 05, 2008, 12:00
Oh, just got home and got caught up on all the FT news.... ah, so sorry, Bobby, to hear what happened.

+1 for the petition.

Agency-contributor relations should evolve symbiotically, and here's an example of an agency that doesn't quite get it....aaah!
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: photoshow on December 05, 2008, 13:02
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




Fred, you really should not waste your time trying to Speulate. The phone conversations about this between myself and Chad were polite and professional. There was no name calling. I have been a passionet defender of the rights of microstock contributors with all the agencies for years now. Fotolia knows this and felt they needed to try to remove me from the equation and spread a little intimidation in the process. At this they have been partially successful in that they have created intimidation among the lower ranks in the masses. However they have failed at silencing me.

For what it is worth the greatest defense against lible and slander are the truth. I can call some one a greedy *insult removed* and if it is the truth then there is no wrong. They may feel personally affronted by that truth but it does not change the fact.

Now we are talking about a company led by a man who

1. Instituted subscription sales and tried to pay us 22 cents per download when the current market rate was 30 cents (I am not calling them rapists but this could be seen as a figurative rape)

2 . recently made unannounced attempts to take away referral earnings

3. Changed the ranking levels with no discussion and no annuncment just as a significant number of long time contributors where on the threshold of reaching their goals.

4. Refused to give subscription sales the same weight in the ranking scale as a standard sale. Instead forcing us to give away 4 sub sales to equal one sale for the purpose of rank increase even though their is no difference in the license terms  for either sale.


So I don't see that I spoke out of turn or in any sort of devious manner. The facts speak for them selves and this is only the recent past with Fotolia.

Now for Editorial, oh excuse me I mean Iriz.......... yea what ever you are still the same trol you have always been and I see no further need to even communicate with you.
Title: Re: Contributor ranking changing
Post by: leaf on December 05, 2008, 13:22
Well i think we have pretty much all said what we need to say, so I will let photoshow have the last word and lock this topic.  If someone has something more to say (that is new), or want to discuss the new fotolia rankings or other things, feel free to start a new topic.

If you think I am locking this prematurely feel free to let me know.