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Author Topic: Return to Start - Fotolia reserves right to put you back at white ranking.  (Read 92901 times)

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« Reply #100 on: September 23, 2011, 18:56 »
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I don't think it is a direct reaction to Photodune - they are too small (though I still won't support them with their current setup).
I think they followed the developments at Istock closely. After a year they decided that the majority of independents took Istock's kick between the legs with a simple reaction - whine a lot but continue to upload. The few that stopped uploading or pulled their port are insignificant.
So they decided that lowering commissions for those who accept lower commissions elsewhere (and Istock's commission is the lowest) would work. The part about prices is only there to confuse the masses and make it look at least a bit logical.

+1000


« Reply #101 on: September 23, 2011, 18:57 »
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"People like Yuri with the power to take a stand should do so in principle.  It might cost them a percentage that is not insignificant but it should send a clear message to management that you can't expect to beat contributors to a pulp and get away with it."

If they wanted to send any message, they would have already done, by not uploading to the penny sites in the first place.  It's likely they created this problem by uploading anywhere with a pulse, as Gostwyck said.

E=MC2

« Reply #102 on: September 23, 2011, 21:19 »
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Why not? The product is EXACTLY THE SAME on FT as on PD.
(there might just be minor differences in license terms, but I don't think it matters)

Of course it matters. The license terms are why an extended license is worth more. If people need an EL they'll buy the one that suits their needs if it's at a price they agree with.  If FT's EL terms are the same as PD's then people will go with PD, and FT will have to evaluate if their price is right.  That's competition and business. 

Why do you blame the contributor for the pricing policies of the agencies?  If Toyota started selling sunroof options for 5% of what Volkswagon charges - would you blame the sunroof supplier? (let's pretend they both get their sunroofs from company X)

helix7

« Reply #103 on: September 23, 2011, 21:46 »
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This is a pretty incredible stance on competition. As far as I know this is the first instance of a company having a say in who else their contributors work with.

It's a pretty disgusting stance, in my opinion, but it's their sandbox and their rules.

« Reply #104 on: September 23, 2011, 21:47 »
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This is a pretty incredible stance on competition. As far as I know this is the first instance of a company having a say in who else their contributors work with.

Photographer's Direct tries the same thing - "no micro contributors".

« Reply #105 on: September 23, 2011, 21:49 »
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.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 15:46 by stockmarketer »

« Reply #106 on: September 23, 2011, 22:06 »
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Well, when you guys get to the microstockexpo: http://www.microstockexpo.com/speakers you can ask "Oleg Tscheltzoff, Founder & CEO, Fotolia" why it's a good idea to screw over contributors who have built their business.

« Reply #107 on: September 23, 2011, 22:21 »
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.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 15:45 by stockmarketer »

« Reply #108 on: September 23, 2011, 22:39 »
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It sort of guarantees that Fotolia can be the winner of the race to the bottom of what they pay their contributors...  Too bad the contributors can't reverse this -

"oh, I'm sorry Fotolia, I get 60% on Alamy, so I'll take 60% at Fotolia too."

I wonder which "applicable laws" this is subject too.

« Reply #109 on: September 23, 2011, 22:47 »
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... Subject to applicable law, Fotolia reserves the right to inquire, from time to time, with any given contributor as to whether such contributor is distributing any Works through any other stock agency or website, and such contributor shall promptly provide this information to Fotolia. ...


This doesn't say anything about the consequences of refusing to provide this information. Most contract law does not cover specific performance (making someone do something), only what remedies will apply if they don't do it.

What sanction would Fotolia apply if a contributor in the US told them it was none of their business where they sold their work? And if they close the contributor's account or reduce their royalty rate to 1% (they just said the schedule wouldn't apply which suggests they think they can make up any rates as penalties for those who won't do what they want) wouldn't this type of behavior come under restraint of trade? In the US, anti-trust law

It seems to me this is the garbage that gets tried every so often by various manufacturers or distributors who try to strong arm stores or suppliers. Ben and Jerry's sued Pillsbury when the latter tried to exclude them from distributors - didn't work so well for Pillsbury.

I would assume that there is close to zero chance that Fotolia could enforce this "tell me where you buy your groceries" provision if contributors just ignored it. But with well known contributors and images (and Google image search) the content will tell who's where.

This has certainly set a new low of foul and nasty :)

« Reply #110 on: September 23, 2011, 22:49 »
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« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 15:45 by stockmarketer »

« Reply #111 on: September 23, 2011, 23:39 »
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It sort of guarantees that Fotolia can be the winner of the race to the bottom of what they pay their contributors...  Too bad the contributors can't reverse this -

I intend to turn it around on them when I close my port.  I will tell them that by reducing me to White, they will greatly reduce my earnings on the same images that earn greater returns for me on other leading sites.  Therefore it is in my financial interest to no longer sell my images at Fotolia.

Let's not feel powerless to this change.  We don't have to accept this.
Of course you don't; quite the reverse, it would be rather idiotic to accept it :)

lagereek

« Reply #112 on: September 24, 2011, 00:54 »
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I have not recieved this mail as yet. Ofcourse!  its in response to the IS/TS merger, what else?  we are only watching the beginning of all this,  this merger is going to create lots of stir, anxiety and force lots of sites to do silly things and by the end of it all we are working for 0.10c, per shot.

This is all part of what was predicted a few years back. Micros, will kill off themselves,  they dont need any help what so ever.

« Reply #113 on: September 24, 2011, 01:09 »
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I wish they would say directly who is on or off their "ethical stock list"
They wouldn't be on mine.

There are some agencies that are cheaper than FT but return me more money for each sale because their percentage is higher.

Hopefully photodune will increase their extended licence price to a sensible level.

 

« Reply #114 on: September 24, 2011, 01:18 »
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One reason more for a new agency with shares in hands of contributors... Without any stupid percentage commission story...
Soon, we will write about this here...  ;)

« Reply #115 on: September 24, 2011, 02:40 »
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Well, when you guys get to the microstockexpo: http://www.microstockexpo.com/speakers you can ask "Oleg Tscheltzoff, Founder & CEO, Fotolia" why it's a good idea to screw over contributors who have built their business.


and while at it - ask the Platinum sponsor too - Istock.

« Reply #116 on: September 24, 2011, 02:51 »
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It sort of guarantees that Fotolia can be the winner of the race to the bottom of what they pay their contributors...  Too bad the contributors can't reverse this -

I intend to turn it around on them when I close my port.  I will tell them that by reducing me to White, they will greatly reduce my earnings on the same images that earn greater returns for me on other leading sites.  Therefore it is in my financial interest to no longer sell my images at Fotolia.

Let's not feel powerless to this change.  We don't have to accept this.

I' m pretty sure this won't affect me. I'm silver, I haven't had a notice, I'm not on planet Dune,there's no significant difference between what TS and Fot pay me for a subscription and I've just opted out of Veer (which has just announced it is launching subs with commissions as low as 10c, but offering opt outs if you ask quick enough - could that be what is bothering Fotolia?).

HOWEVER... after they have unfairly discriminated against me by putting me in their dollar zone and letting others go into their pound or euro zones, so that as a silver I am probably paid less than a complete newbie who signs up for pounds or euros; after they lied to us about the commission rate, claiming we were paid a percentage of the sale price when in fact they are using their credit-currency trickery to pay way below the percentage people think; after they have shifted the levels to make it very difficult for me to reach the next level; after they introduced the subs they said they never would and then tried not to give any credit towards the levels from sub sales (eventually caving in for 25% of a sale - or was it 20%); after they openly cut my commission percentage two or three (or is it more?) times, on top of all the hidden cuts from shifting goalposts and operating a system that allows them to increase the price to customers while still only paying me the new reduced number of cents per sale....

After all that, it doesn't matter that this new change probably doesn't affect me. I've already swallowed more than I could stomach. I've disliked fotolia from the time I found out about their barrow-boy-level trickery with the credits, I've had a gut desire to get out since they slashed my commissions by a third or so early this year. The idea that they can now fix arbitrary commission levels based on the lowest they can find anywhere is utterly outrageous. I had an 8c credit sale at iStock a while ago, does that mean I should now get only 8c per credit for all Fotolia sales, or for all sales everywhere?

To put it in perspective, my sales at iStock (including TS) average about 75c (without TS the average is about $1.50), at SS the average is about 65c and at Fotolia it is now 50c, yet they claim that is not competitive.

I have absolutely no trust in Fotolia any longer so I'm going to get my next payout and tell them where to go.

« Reply #117 on: September 24, 2011, 02:58 »
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Wouldn't it be great if we could move the FT buyers to a site like Stockfresh or Graphic Leftovers?  I'm sure that if a significant number of contributors removed their portfolios and told every buyer they knew where to look for them, it would make a difference.

It's getting to the point where there's nothing to lose.  Letting FT get away with this would just lead to the other big sites dropping commissions again.  We really have to do something or just sit back and watch microstock become unsustainable.

I'm just going to spend all my time working with the sites I like, alamy (60%commission) and Pond5(50%).  If I do any more microstock images, FT wont see them.

If enough contributors decide to leave FT, I will join them but I really think it's getting a bit too late to take action.  I would love to see the higher commission microstock sites doing better but they need more buyers and we would have to do something on a big scale to make that happen.  I'm not going to sacrifice the earnings I have only to see most of the top contributors carrying on as if nothing has changed.  I stopped uploading to istock for nearly a year and started removing my portfolio but then saw that was only losing me money.

« Reply #118 on: September 24, 2011, 03:33 »
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Just look at what this actually says:

"if the commission/royalty rates and/or pricing (the Rates) applied on such other stock agency or website are comparatively lower than the Rates applied on Fotolia, then, subject to applicable law, Fotolia reserves the right, at its discretion, to lower such contributor's Rates on Fotolia so as to essentially match the contributor's Rates on the other stock agency or website (whether in respect of commission/royalty rates, pricing, or both, at Fotolias sole discretion). In such case, the royalty/pricing table(s) and information relating to royalty rates and/or pricing for images, vectors and/or videos, as applicable, shall not apply. "

IF you sell anywhere where the commission percentage is lower than at Fotolia, they can cut your percentage to that level.

IF you sell anywhere where the sum paid per sale is lower than at Fotolia they can cut your payments to that price.

So, if you get 10% from a site that sells images for $10,000 dollars each, Fotolia can give you 10% (presumably that is 10% of their dodgy credits, which might be 5% of the actual sale price of that credit)

If you get 10c per sale from a site that sells your work for 20c, that entitles Fotolia to pay you 10c for a credit that they sold for $1.50.

This is just disgusting.

And what does it mean "stock site OR WEBSITE"?

What about people who have allowed stuff into DT's "free section"? I guess Fotolia can now sell their work without paying any royalty at all, because they do specify that this rule applies to all your work, regardless of whether it is the same as you are offering elsewhere.

What about people who are getting 15% or 16% or 17% from iStock as non-exclusives? Should the Fotolia percentage of a credit be reduced to that level? Why not? There is nothing in the relevant paragraph that says this applies only to subscription sales.

« Reply #119 on: September 24, 2011, 03:50 »
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And now you also know how FT spents our royalities - not for marketing, not for improving the site - no to pay someone who snoops after contributors to see where they sell and for how much they sell their images elsewhere. (At least this is what it feels like to me - and I am quite p*ssed at the moment).

« Reply #120 on: September 24, 2011, 03:53 »
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Wouldn't it be great if we could move the FT buyers to a site like Stockfresh or Graphic Leftovers?  I'm sure that if a significant number of contributors removed their portfolios and told every buyer they knew where to look for them, it would make a difference.

I am talking this whole the time... Results won't come over night, but on some period probably will...
Promoting portfolio with better deal is only solution...
Don't wipe your portfolios from them... That is your effort of keywording and uploading and still brings money...
But we need to make a plan and decide...
 Do we want to send them new images and when...?
I am talking about all "bad deal" agencies...
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 06:16 by borg »

rubyroo

« Reply #121 on: September 24, 2011, 03:59 »
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Well they certainly don't have enough pulling power to hold on to me if they drop me back to white.   

eggshell

« Reply #122 on: September 24, 2011, 04:23 »
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All this looks like the Homeland security act introduced after 9/11 . It's basically a major excuse to do whatever they want whenever they want to . Very risky and desperate move by FT . On the other hand I completely agree with Snufkin about Photodune . Nobody can screw contributors like the contributors themselves .

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #123 on: September 24, 2011, 04:54 »
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This is a pretty incredible stance on competition. As far as I know this is the first instance of a company having a say in who else their contributors work with.

It's a pretty disgusting stance, in my opinion, but it's their sandbox and their rules.
iStock have their version of it which says "if you sell anywhere else, all your files must (also) sell for peanuts via TS". Plus they give their exclusives a higher commission.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 05:50 by ShadySue »

XPTO

« Reply #124 on: September 24, 2011, 05:14 »
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I think this is a very clever move by FL.

What is the contributors excuse if they have been submitting to each and every new site that appears diluting their work? Even those with terrible low prices where this is the only selling argument? Sites that you don't have any information about them, about their creators, investment plans and nothing in them gives you confidence that they are trustworthy companies?

And what about the free-photos sections that some are always so eager to participate pouring dozens of images of their own portfolio to them?

What would you expect? If someone is to blame, the first would be the contributors.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not backing up this move by FL, which is the agency I dislike the most, to the point I seriously doubt that everything that happens there is even legal. And I also think that this is just another blatant excuse to another rip-off to contributors even if the most legitimate one to date.

But contributors, which many are in this forum, have been throwing gas into the fire for several years now, including some of the top microstock photographers, supplying every crappy agency that appears and throws them a peanut. Now you've laid the ground to be fed with peanut shells!

I hate what FL is doing, but cannot condemn their arguments no matter how hypocrite they are. I even see myself making that same decision if I were an agency owner since there is no valid argument against it! And I certainly haven't read one single good argument so far in this forum against it up until now, except the obvious greed!

I personally only submit to the top 4 (in the right pane) and 123rf, BS, Veer and Stockfresh. And only consider to submit to new agencies if they have some credibility like Veer being a part of Corbis, or SF being founded by the previous founder of StockXpert.

In the right pane there are more than 30 agencies, many of them never seem to get a higher ranking and have been around for years. They had more than time to become bigger. Why are they supported?

Are they different from the top 9? Are they niche agencies offering specialized images? No! So why do you support them? So you can get an extra 20$ among all of them but never receiving it because you don't reach payout? Yet you're giving a good life to the agency owners which profit thousands despite licensing just a small amount of images per month and at the same time  downgrading this whole business.


 

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