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Author Topic: Fotolia Banned me from their forum for posting this!  (Read 22344 times)

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« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2009, 16:54 »
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Are we able to make some kind of legal, and powerful enough organization to stand up for us when we need it? It could be tough in the beginning, but it would bring us many goods...

One of the very realistic requests made to sites should be to be clearer and more specified about rejection reasons, and in general, use the same list over sites. No individual contributor can ask that, but a group could. You don't have to start the world revolution (yet) to make a difference.


« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2009, 17:18 »
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Right...just someone has to start it. Maybe someone who is powerful enough in microstock world.

« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2009, 18:54 »
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As much as I like the idea, I don't think it would work as all the sites can easily update their terms and conditions to ban such activity while it's still in its development.

« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2009, 20:41 »
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As much as I like the idea, I don't think it would work as all the sites can easily update their terms and conditions to ban such activity while it's still in its development.

ban what activity? 

No one can stop you from joining a group.  And if agencies started banning people from joining a Microstock Alliance group, then they probably shouldn't have us as contributors, anyway.

Gebbie

« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2009, 20:57 »
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No one can stop you from joining a group.  And if agencies started banning people from joining a Microstock Alliance group, then they probably shouldn't have us as contributors, anyway.

It would probably be illegal too.

« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2009, 21:27 »
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I'm being the devil's advocate here, but I think they could find a "legaleze" wording to do it in the contributor's contracts if the group has any legal status at all. If it is just an informal group, that would be more difficult. However, an informal group might not work as efficiently on the issues it advocates.


« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2009, 05:15 »
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I'm being the devil's advocate here, but I think they could find a "legaleze" wording to do it in the contributor's contracts if the group has any legal status at all. If it is just an informal group, that would be more difficult. However, an informal group might not work as efficiently on the issues it advocates.



I think an agency would think twice before doing that.  Like someone on the FT said : "If we all pulled are portfolios at agency X, we actually wouldn't lost any $$ at all" ... because buyers would just change agency and we have all the same images there.

regarding FT.  It has been a good earning for me the past 6 months and this month looks good too.  Maybe I'm not to happy about their changes, but I'm not happy with IS either.  StockXpert and BigStock are why too small to mean anything.  Leaves only SS and DT to be content about.

So FT isn't the worst place on earth (yet) ...

except

for that $---issue where we don't get any answer from FT.  It really annoys me not getting any response for management.  They know there are wrong, that's why they don't want to speak about it.

But again, let's do the math :

I have/had 55 affiliates at FT

7 of them are registered at the US
46 in the UK
1 in Germany
1 in France

Of my last 10 sales, I sold 4 images to a german customer and 3 to a french one.  The other 3 seems to be english or american.

Now, you don't need to be a professor to see why they increased the credit price in europe and refuse to pay the US and UK contributors their fair share.  Are am I wrong ?

RT


« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2009, 06:36 »
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@ RGebbiePhoto & litifeta, We should somehow find a way to get all top 3000 or 4000 contributors move together and pull about hundreds of thousands images off of fotolia overnight if we want to make a statement. I am very disappointed at how some of the big guys digest these changes. Not everybody can really be BIG. Being BIG is not about money. I don't see them as BIGS anymore.

Cidepix, I understand your frustration but try to understand for the BIG players it is all about money, if you operate a business selling microstock it is the net profit a site produces that is the most important factor in deciding whether you sell your images via them, having morals and firm beliefs in the way you're treated is all well and good but that doesn't balance your account book, any of the big players will come out and air their opinion about any changes they're not happy with but that's as far as it will go for as long as the site in question gives an adequate return, when that stops happening they'll pull out.

Forming any sort of Microstock alliance may sound good but will it have any actual effect, the agencies are aware of the people that make them money, they are also aware that these people operate a business. Look at the SAA lots of shouting and standing up for rights, has it had any actual effect - No, sure they'll take a proportion of credit for a few things but in the real world they haven't done much at all.

Everybody selling stock images is an individual, you cannot have a union of individuals.   

WarrenPrice

« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2009, 10:38 »
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The part about "individuals" doesn't make much sense.  All unions started as individuals ... even the United States.

The Actors Guild might be a better example.


« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2009, 11:13 »
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I so agree with this.  Putting food on the table and paying the bills is by far the most important part of selling my images.  I love DT but they only provide me with half of what my 3rd selling site  produces so until I start losing money I won't go against any of these top sites. At the moment that is not the case with any of the changes that Fotolia has made so far.  I have had 2 of my best earnings days ever this week since the last change at Fotolia so at the moment they have my support.
I made a stand against the overwhelming 25c downloads at crestock by stopping uploading but they made almost no difference at all to my income.

 


Cidepix, I understand your frustration but try to understand for the BIG players it is all about money, if you operate a business selling microstock it is the net profit a site produces that is the most important factor in deciding whether you sell your images via them, having morals and firm beliefs in the way you're treated is all well and good but that doesn't balance your account book, any of the big players will come out and air their opinion about any changes they're not happy with but that's as far as it will go for as long as the site in question gives an adequate return, when that stops happening they'll pull out.

   

RT


« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2009, 12:52 »
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The part about "individuals" doesn't make much sense.  All unions started as individuals ... even the United States.

If there was a microstock union and that union made the announcement that all it's members should stop uploading to a particular site because of it's latest change in terms what do you think would happen:

a - the members would follow the unions call
b - the members would do whatever they thought best for their own business

the answer would be 'b' because we are all individuals and therefore the union would have no power whatsoever, and of course every stock agency knows this, so therefore I ask what is the point of forming a union.

There have been many management turn arounds in both microstock and traditional stock, and they have all been the result of many members individually contacting the site by email or in their forums, I personally would never let a union representative be my spokesperson.

 

« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2009, 12:59 »
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I think the same, RT. Unless this union is a legally recognized organization with all members having a binding membership agreement. Such organization would probably have membership fees as well.

« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2009, 13:14 »
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Forum sites are a great source of information.  HOWEVER...  you also get trolls casting doubt.

I would agree with an Alliance that was there with actual facts on updates to sites, and easy to understand terms that translates over to other languages.  There could also be a rating system, giving the great points, and the not so great points.

It's true, as Individual Photographers, we would ultimately make our own choices.  But an alliance might unencourage people to join sites that don't pay timely, have unreasonable rejection rates, and that are unresponsive to their contributors. 

For example, Albumo hid their 400 day lockout on images hidden in their TOS, and it was only available to be seen AFTER you registered.  Do you read the TOS directly after you just read it and agreed to it? Or do you visit it again when you have an issue? 

I think, if there was an independant agency reporting on every site, it would kind of act like a credit report for the contributors.  Are the agencies credible?

Yes, we all have different opinions on every site, but the general consensus is usually the same. 

« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2009, 13:37 »
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Forum sites are a great source of information.  HOWEVER...  you also get trolls casting doubt.
I'm not sure if you meant to comment my posts here. Maybe I was not clear, I am all for any kind of alliance or union that would advocate contributors interests. I am just trying to point out to some obstacles that we might encounter doing that.

Any sort of independent agency would be a great thing as it would give guidelines to present and future contributors. However, this raises more questions, for example, who ensures that this agency is independent, and not influenced by some interests, perhaps interests of a particular stock site? This is not something that can be regulated, so the authority of this agency would highly depend on its perceived reputation.

RT


« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2009, 13:39 »
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For example, Albumo hid their 400 day lockout on images hidden in their TOS, and it was only available to be seen AFTER you registered.  Do you read the TOS directly after you just read it and agreed to it? Or do you visit it again when you have an issue? 

I never joined Albumo but if what you're saying is true and you weren't informed at the time of signing up that the terms you've just signed would change once registered, then they're not legal and as such they cannot enforce the 400 day lockout.

To be honest even if it did it wouldn't be too much trouble to get out of, same goes for all these sites that state a 3,6,12 month lock in, if I wanted out I'd be out tomorrow.

« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2009, 17:00 »
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Are we able to make some kind of legal, and powerful enough organization to stand up for us when we need it? It could be tough in the beginning, but it would bring us many goods...

I am very skeptical about a union of microstock photographers.  I didn't see a real move towards a united action in FT changes, maybe a slight one in StockXpert's changes (a lot of members leaving, but not really a coordinated action). 

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2009, 17:16 »
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Like someone on the FT said : "If we all pulled are portfolios at agency X, we actually wouldn't lost any $$ at all" ... because buyers would just change agency and we have all the same images there.


I was the one who wrote that. I am not sure if someone else used it as well:)


And because of the above logic RT, I can not agree with you. It is a WIN WIN situation for us. Regardless which agency sells our images, we will sell them. We don't really care which agency exists or disappears. So the answer to your question must be (a) If the contributors have not got any health problems that affects their thinking  :)

I don't see why would the  so called BIG players not follow the aforesaid announcement of the union? Do you really think Yuri or Andres or someone else like you or me would lose any money if we pulled our images off of X agency?

I can not agree with your opinion that it will hurt us. The last people will be hurt is us If we do it in a well organised way. IF we pull our images from X agency, we will not lose a single penny! Ah ok, maybe for a couple of days we can lose some pennies but when the customers of X agency realize that the agency is dead with no images then they will go elsewhere to still buy our images.

Contributors only need a simplistic brain to know that pulling our images from one agency will not hurt us.

If we put our minds to it and form this union we are talking about, I am sorry but if we want we can make even BigStock the biggest agency in the world. IF we want we can start talks with X agency and agree on a let's say %60 commission and no subs model and everybody pulls the images off of other agencies and we have a single power that pays us %60. The agency will win too, because %40 of no competition is quite big as well. That would still be more money than any of them are making right now.


If there was a microstock union and that union made the announcement that all it's members should stop uploading to a particular site because of it's latest change in terms what do you think would happen:

a - the members would follow the unions call
b - the members would do whatever they thought best for their own business

« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 17:23 by cidepix »

« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2009, 17:24 »
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Although I said %60 on my above post I think %50 is pretty good with no subs ever!

RT


« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2009, 17:35 »
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Contributors only need a simplistic brain to know that pulling our images from one agency will not hurt us.

Let me know when you've convinced Yuri to pull all his images of the site he earns the most at, then after you've convinced him let me know when you've convinced Andres for whom it's his second highest earner, of course you'll then have to contend with the likes of Sean and convince him to pull out of iS, and then and then ... you see if you do your research you'll discover that all the big players earn varying amounts at different agencies, we don't all have the same 1,2,3


If we put our minds to it and form this union we are talking about, I am sorry but if we want we can make even BigStock the biggest agency in the world. IF we want we can start talks with X agency and agree on a let's say %60 commission and no subs model and everybody pulls the images off of other agencies and we have a single power that pays us %60. The agency will win too, because %40 of no competition is quite big as well. That would still be more money than any of them are making right now.

And then BigStock becomes a monopoly, reduces our commission to 5% and there's nothing we can do because all the other sites have disappeared!! Have a look at your local college for an economics course  ;)

« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2009, 17:48 »
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Contributors only need a simplistic brain to know that pulling our images from one agency will not hurt us.

Let me know when you've convinced Yuri to pull all his images of the site he earns the most at, then after you've convinced him let me know when you've convinced Andres for whom it's his second highest earner, of course you'll then have to contend with the likes of Sean and convince him to pull out of iS, and then and then ... you see if you do your research you'll discover that all the big players earn varying amounts at different agencies, we don't all have the same 1,2,3


If we put our minds to it and form this union we are talking about, I am sorry but if we want we can make even BigStock the biggest agency in the world. IF we want we can start talks with X agency and agree on a let's say %60 commission and no subs model and everybody pulls the images off of other agencies and we have a single power that pays us %60. The agency will win too, because %40 of no competition is quite big as well. That would still be more money than any of them are making right now.

And then BigStock becomes a monopoly, reduces our commission to 5% and there's nothing we can do because all the other sites have disappeared!! Have a look at your local college for an economics course  ;)

RT  :)

I will make a few points that I will always stand for.

1- Any union is better than no union: My points above are a bit utopic but a union will make us part of the decision making process. I bet we won't even need to ask X agency to get our opinion before they implement anything new.

2- We don't really need to convince everybody: Yuri and Andres make big money for themselves but what they make is still very small compared to what we all generate for the agencies. I love Yuri's work but his a few thousand images are only a small part of 5+ million images.

3- Do you really not see If we really manage to be organised and pull our images altogether we won't lose any money. (Even %20 of all contributors will hurt them enough to make them ask us before they do anything)

4- X agency will not have any legal power to lower our comissions to %5 as we will make our own agreement before anything is done. Forget about usual terms of service you are used to.

lisafx

« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2009, 18:56 »
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I'm all for a union or alliance or whatever.  I would certainly pay dues to it if it was going to negotiate on my behalf with the agencies. 

The problem seems to be that for all the talk nobody wants to take the initiative and form one.  I don't have time or experience to do it and don't know anyone else that does either.

Another big hurdle would be getting enough people to join so that they represented a sufficient proportion of the microstock image collection that they would have some authority. 

Frankly with most people doing this as a hobby and not serious income there might not be enough interest.

« Reply #46 on: March 06, 2009, 19:22 »
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We're living in different countries, microstock sites are also in various countries. Some of us earn a hundred dollars a day, others a month. Some of us even refuse to show where we live or our real names.  Some of us have thousands of images online, some have a few dozen. Some of us are happy with subs sales. Some love site A, some hate this same site.

I would like to know what are the concrete ideas to make this variety of contributors work in cohesion.

Regards,
Adelaide

RT


« Reply #47 on: March 06, 2009, 20:07 »
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2- We don't really need to convince everybody: Yuri and Andres make big money for themselves but what they make is still very small compared to what we all generate for the agencies. I love Yuri's work but his a few thousand images are only a small part of 5+ million images.

and earlier you said..

I don't see why would the  so called BIG players not follow the aforesaid announcement of the union? Do you really think Yuri or Andres or someone else like you or me would lose any money if we pulled our images off of X agency?

So now you're arguing with yourself, what hope has a union got  ;D

Seriously though I only mentioned those two because you mentioned them earlier, I agree that their portfolios are a tiny amount of 5 million images, but what you need to understand is that of the aforementioned 5 million images I can almost guarantee you that 4.5 million of those images make a very small fraction of the agencies overall sales, of the ones that are left there will be a large segment that belong to photographers of the type I mentioned.
So if for example I ran an agency with 1000 photographers and out of that 1000 photographers 50 make me 90% of my turnover do you really think I'd care if the other 950 threatened to leave, now if all 1000 united and threatened to leave I'd sit up and listen, but I'm well aware that my top 50 photographers who are all successful business men and women are not going to that, so the 950 leave - I then market my site as an elite collection of handpicked quality images by the worlds top 50.


Milinz

« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2009, 10:27 »
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...

Seriously though I only mentioned those two because you mentioned them earlier, I agree that their portfolios are a tiny amount of 5 million images, but what you need to understand is that of the aforementioned 5 million images I can almost guarantee you that 4.5 million of those images make a very small fraction of the agencies overall sales, of the ones that are left there will be a large segment that belong to photographers of the type I mentioned.
So if for example I ran an agency with 1000 photographers and out of that 1000 photographers 50 make me 90% of my turnover do you really think I'd care if the other 950 threatened to leave, now if all 1000 united and threatened to leave I'd sit up and listen, but I'm well aware that my top 50 photographers who are all successful business men and women are not going to that, so the 950 leave - I then market my site as an elite collection of handpicked quality images by the worlds top 50.



Happilly that would never happen. That 50 left contributors don't think they earn enough and any coordinated action will make their solidarity in that action... Maybe some won't join - but that is as in any strike...
I am sure that Yuri or Andersr or anyone who can be called 'big' understands that all actions are in contributor benefit. So, ideas with opposition to some 'what if' is not real.
Look at CRESTOCK and see for yourself!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 10:29 by Milinz »

batman

« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2009, 15:58 »
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To expect an open border union is ridiculous at most, highly undoable at least.
Why not just get a handful of hot shot photographers to join force with you? Your combined talents would get equal those stock producing machine that are the big sellers at this moment.  It's more realistic and doable if you just look within your own network and get the people you feel comfortable working with you , than  dream of a revolution which is like barking at the moon. A more realistic force is to get your network to form as one "band"  under one name or brand if you like.
Forget the union.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 16:04 by batman »


 

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