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Author Topic: Selling your port as RM and RF at the same time - who cares?  (Read 4178 times)

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« on: January 26, 2013, 11:35 »
0
First off, I don't want to cause any harm to any photographer who makes their money creating original and creative content.

I've stumbled upon a rather strange issue and I wanted to get the input from the MSG community.

I found a series of RM photos of a microstock photographer which are being distributed through a partner agency at Alamy. All these images are also on sale as RF on all the micros.

First, I didn't think much of it as it is perfectly possible that the partner deal between Alamy and the affiliated agency may have gotten screwed up and Alamy is listing the images wrongly as RM although they technically should be RF.

I checked the partner agency's web site directly where it says that they ONLY license RM content. On their web site it explicitly states that all their images are licensed on a per use basis (RM). These images can be found in their database with a simple site search as well.

A less important assumption of mine would be that the RM agency would not be too happy about the fact that parts of their RM content is being sold as RF AND at micro prices.

I have no intent on causing trouble to the photographer. I'd rather would like to hear whether I should just go ahead and submit my RF stuff to RM agencies as well because we've seen this happening an awful lot in the past years that photographers sell their stuff both RF/RM at the same time with Sean emphasizing that there is technically nothing wrong with that as long as we are in compliance with the agency's terms.

What do you think?


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 11:38 »
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Alamy say you can't have RF content anywhere else sold as RM on Alamy.

It could like you suggest be some sort of mistake with the ingestion from the partner, but it seems odd if the partner is only RM.

« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 12:07 »
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Almost always a mistake by the partner agency! The answer to your question is:  its definetely not recommended that you yourself supply same images as RF and RM.

Personally and especially the way the stock-climate is going I would much rather supply my images as RM, rather then RF. Thats me however.

« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 13:43 »
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At a certaing time I had a couple of hundred picures uploaded to Zonar.
After a while and no sales I sent them an email and asked to have my images deleted.
They responded that I should release the pictures via zonar to other agencies.
One was alamy.
Being already there (With 2 images, holding an account open) I replied...That there could be a RF vs RM conflict.
Zoonar replied that that didnt matter.

So..In my opinion it looks like everybody ( all kinds of 2nd order agencies) make their profit by selling content back and forth, and they do not care much about copyright.

It it beyond my comprehension, how a company that bases its living on copyright, does not value copyright.
The best comparison comes from biology and has to do with hyperparasites. Like little wasps that prey on larger wasps that lay eggs in butterfly caterpillars.

I find it more and more important to only support the agencies of the first order. The agencies that sell pictures to customers.
When first they begin to show hyperparasitic tendencies, like selling back and forth, Im out of there.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 13:49 by JPSDK »

« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 13:48 »
0
At a certaing time i had a couple of hundred picures uploaded to Zoonar.
After a while and no sales i sent them an email and asked to have my images deleted.
They responded that i should release the pictures via zonar to other agencies.
One was alamy.
Being already there (With 2 images, holding an account open) I replied...That there could be a RF vs RM conflict.
Zoonar replied that that didnt matter.

So..In my opinion it looks like everybody ( all kinds of 2nd order agencies) make their profit by selling content back and forth, and they do not care much about copyright.

It it beyond my comprehension, how a company that bases its living on copyright, does not value copyright.
The best comparison is hyperparasites. Like little wasps that prey on larger wasps that lay eggs in butterfly caterpillars.

Zoonar are terrible at this. You can actually delete your pics yourself there. I did, waste of time. Ofcourse they dont care, really. Why? because in case of any comebacks, trouble,  the photographer carries the ultimate responsibillity. For the photographer to supply the same images as RM/RF, could end up being extremely expensive, crushing in fact.

« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 13:50 »
-1
Come on. If you can prove it was spread by an agency, it would hold in court.

« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 13:58 »
-2
Come on. If you can prove it was spread by an agency, it would hold in court.

Try it out and see what happens. I was there in, 2002 and finished up with a fine of 11K and that was in Sweden, imagine if it had been in the US or UK.
Not the slightest fault of my own, in fact it was even a rectified mistake.

« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 14:00 »
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I have not had any of those. Maybe it helps that I withdrew from zonar.

« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 14:15 »
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I have not had any of those. Maybe it helps that I withdrew from zonar.

Dont know, perhaps it also depends on your subject matter. My images tend to be a bit sensitive at times. Industry, corporate, etc. However I would definetely tell them not to sell identical stuff, palming them off as RM and RF.

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2013, 14:36 »
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I have a few RM images up on Alamy, but the vast majority are RF.  Early last year I had occasion to review my portfolio and was shocked to discover about a quarter were marked RM.  These images were all up elsewhere as RF.  How these got in as RM I don't know.  There are some glitches in their uploading system that, if you don't follow the sequence exactly right, can change your license setting back to the RM default.  I'm assuming I got a little careless during uploading and that's likely what happened.  Anyway, I tabulated all the images that were marked this way and sent a note to Alamy explaining the situation and requesting they be changed to RF.  Two of them had apparently already been sold as RM but fortunately the time limit on the license had already expired.  Still, just to be safe going forward I took those two images down.  Alamy then changed all the rest over to RF.

« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 02:13 »
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Alamy's rules say you should only provide material on the same license terms as you have elsewhere. That means no microstock editorial pictures of people or with logos etc. should be sent to Alamy because you can't license them RF at alamy (I wonder if people realise that).

If you read Alamy's rules in the strictest possible way it would mean that no microstock pictures at all should be sent there, since no two agencies have the same terms once you get into the details, but they obviously don't want it to mean that.

As a photographer who primarily sells RF on the micros, I really don't care if a customer wants to buy a picture under an RM license, it makes no difference to me. If I were selling entirely RM it would probably bother me a bit more if someone wanted something RF because it would suggest they had a mega usage plan and didn't want to pay the premium for it.

« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 11:34 »
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Early last year I had occasion to review my portfolio and was shocked to discover about a quarter were marked RM.  These images were all up elsewhere as RF.  How these got in as RM I don't know. 
I would guess these images, if you marked them correctly upon uploading, may have people in them without MR. Even if the people are just dots in the image, you have to mark that there are people in it and that automatically will make an image RM. If you didn't mark and they find, they will change it. I would expect however they would send a note, even as an alert.

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 12:46 »
0
Early last year I had occasion to review my portfolio and was shocked to discover about a quarter were marked RM.  These images were all up elsewhere as RF.  How these got in as RM I don't know. 
I would guess these images, if you marked them correctly upon uploading, may have people in them without MR. Even if the people are just dots in the image, you have to mark that there are people in it and that automatically will make an image RM. If you didn't mark and they find, they will change it. I would expect however they would send a note, even as an alert.

No, no people of any sort.  And since Alamy changed them to RF as I requested, that confirms to me that I made some sort of mistake when I uploaded them.  All good now.

« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 13:05 »
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99999/1000000 no one will likely care. The other time becomes a gong show with mostly lawyers invited to the party.

« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2013, 02:59 »
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I have asked them about RM/RF.
Here is what they answered me: "at Zoonar all RF photos will be offered as RM too, because our RM is without exclusivity. So the best would be, you choose RF. But be careful, you only can choose RF if you didn`t have this photos at another agency as RM. And if the photos shows no people without Model Release or products without Property Release. "

« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2013, 05:01 »
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I'm exclusively a vector artist dealing only with RF illustrations, so please correct me if I've made any severely incorrect assumptions in my following statements.

Putting aside all technicalities, isn't it ethically wrong to offer the same image as both RF and RM at the same time? Isn't the whole point of purchasing an RM image to ensure that for the period of time the image is used, it has a certain level of exclusivity that is not enjoyed with RF images? To offer the same image as one that is RF seems to undermine that very aspect that RM buyers are going for.

Once again, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'd really like to know more about how all this works!

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2013, 06:13 »
+1
Putting aside all technicalities, isn't it ethically wrong to offer the same image as both RF and RM at the same time? Isn't the whole point of purchasing an RM image to ensure that for the period of time the image is used, it has a certain level of exclusivity that is not enjoyed with RF images? To offer the same image as one that is RF seems to undermine that very aspect that RM buyers are going for.


Not always, and in fact probably for a relatively small proportion of RM licences, certainly on Alamy: "...any RF images that have previously sold would not be available for an exclusive RM sale. These are however rare ..."
http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/msg298698/#msg298698.

Rights Managed means that you are purchasing certain rights to use the image. These rights might be very narrow ("editorial web use, 1/8 screen size, 24 hours", or "newspaper, south-west Scotland, one week") or very broad ("book, poster, web, app, worldwide, ten years"), but neither of these would imply exclusivity.

RM buyers can also, if they choose, pay a lot more for various degrees of exclusivity if they need it - this could be geographic, media, usage, time or any combination of these.

RM can actually be cheaper than RF - so a buyer with a limited use and no need for exclusivity might prefer to buy an RM licence rather than an all-encompasing RF license.

« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2013, 07:25 »
0
selling as both RF and RM ?

that's business as usual considering how many millions of images are on sale nowadays, nobody is going to double check and same goes for similars with different keywording, no one will bother especially agencies.


« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2013, 08:01 »
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Probably no more unethical than selling the same image both at iStock at high prices and at Deposit Photos for pittance.  As pointed out, it's only unethical and possibly illegal (can someone jump in and confirm this please?) if the RM sale was for exclusive usage.

Speaking of which, doesn't DT offer exclusive usage of their RF images for a certain time frame with their 'sell the rights' licence?  How can that be when there are already thousands of other buyers using the image who have already purchased it?  I pointed out how unethical this was in their forum once and all I got from Serban was a 'shut up or I'll ban you' warning. 

« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2013, 09:47 »
0
I pointed out how unethical this was in their forum once and all I got from Serban was a 'shut up or I'll ban you' warning.

of course.
because this is the stock industry's dirty little secret !

only getty, corbis, and a few others are willing to prosecute copyright infringemente and licence abuse, and this seems to be limited to western countries, if the infringer is in china for instance you're F'ed.

and the most typical scenario can be buyers getting a licence for the cheapest RM small sized 5-10$ image and then using it for book covers, brochures, web site, full page spreads.

how are we supposed to spot the infringers as long as nothing can be found online of all this apart their web site ? will you see their business brochures given away in australia ? i dont think so, will you see their book printed in russian ? same same ... what about a double page spread in a gossip magazine in brazil ? no way.

RM is too vulnerable to abuse, but so is RF.
the only solution would be to raise prices to compensate for our losses, just as in many countries they have a tax on blank CD/DVDs to recover the losses of piracy.



« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2013, 11:38 »
0
Putting aside all technicalities, isn't it ethically wrong to offer the same image as both RF and RM at the same time? Isn't the whole point of purchasing an RM image to ensure that for the period of time the image is used, it has a certain level of exclusivity that is not enjoyed with RF images? To offer the same image as one that is RF seems to undermine that very aspect that RM buyers are going for.


Not always, and in fact probably for a relatively small proportion of RM licences, certainly on Alamy: "...any RF images that have previously sold would not be available for an exclusive RM sale. These are however rare ..."
http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/transfer-from-istock-rf-to-alamy-rm/msg298698/#msg298698.

Rights Managed means that you are purchasing certain rights to use the image. These rights might be very narrow ("editorial web use, 1/8 screen size, 24 hours", or "newspaper, south-west Scotland, one week") or very broad ("book, poster, web, app, worldwide, ten years"), but neither of these would imply exclusivity.

RM buyers can also, if they choose, pay a lot more for various degrees of exclusivity if they need it - this could be geographic, media, usage, time or any combination of these.

RM can actually be cheaper than RF - so a buyer with a limited use and no need for exclusivity might prefer to buy an RM licence rather than an all-encompasing RF license.


Thanks for this, ShadySue! What little I've read about RM seems to always include exclusivity in the picture -- I did not realize that exclusivity isn't always a given!

In that case, RM really does offer more flexible options for buyers when RF is a far more expensive option. It all makes sense now! :)

I guess it's only an ethical issue when a RM image promises exclusivity and is available as an RF image, or when an RF image is at a lower cost than its RM counterpart. But then again, the second scenario is arguably fine, since it's likely to happen across different marketplaces. Either way, thanks for taking the time to explain this to me.  :)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 11:40 by davidgoh »


 

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