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Author Topic: "Fair" Trade Rules  (Read 8669 times)

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« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2011, 06:48 »
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So a quick visit to the agencies that have signed, and without logging in I'm able to download preview images that have no attribution (not just thumbnails, but the layout or comp images).  It is kind of silly to support a code of conduct that you don't actually support in practice, isn't it?  I think including attribution in the downloads or previews is a great idea.

One issue I see with including a minimum royalty (50/50 or whatever) is how subs factor in.  Since the actual royalties paid are determined by how much use is made of the subscription purchased is it kind of tough to promise any minimum royalty on subs.  As a matter of fact, the same is really true of credit packs too.  If you buy a credit pack and use a portion to buy a photo and the contributor gets 50% for that image, but then the buyer ultimately doesn't use the whole pack - contributors didn't really get 50% of what the buyer spent...  Not to mention how contributors who never collect a payout figure into all this :)

Enough grumbling, though, my one positive suggestion to add to the code of conduct is that in addition to the attribution in downloads, the license terms should also be added.  Especially for something like a one year license from Dreamstime, or an extended print license, etc.


« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2011, 07:45 »
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So a quick visit to the agencies that have signed, and without logging in I'm able to download preview images that have no attribution (not just thumbnails, but the layout or comp images).  It is kind of silly to support a code of conduct that you don't actually support in practice, isn't it?  I think including attribution in the downloads or previews is a great idea.

One issue I see with including a minimum royalty (50/50 or whatever) is how subs factor in.  Since the actual royalties paid are determined by how much use is made of the subscription purchased is it kind of tough to promise any minimum royalty on subs.  As a matter of fact, the same is really true of credit packs too.  If you buy a credit pack and use a portion to buy a photo and the contributor gets 50% for that image, but then the buyer ultimately doesn't use the whole pack - contributors didn't really get 50% of what the buyer spent...  Not to mention how contributors who never collect a payout figure into all this :)

Enough grumbling, though, my one positive suggestion to add to the code of conduct is that in addition to the attribution in downloads, the license terms should also be added.  Especially for something like a one year license from Dreamstime, or an extended print license, etc.

Thank you for the valuable feedback! As for attribution in metadata it's in progress of implementation at Pixmac. The subscription is an issue, but as it's complicated for now I tried to focus on most crucial things first...

« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2011, 10:59 »
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I think that if a "fair trade commission" is going to be founded to provide honesty and transparency to buyers, contributors and agencies, a simple answer like "political issues" isn't going to fly. Who was responsible for stripping out the copyright? Someone has to know, but no one wants to claim responsibility. What has been done since to remedy that situation? Apparently nothing, because just 2-3 weeks ago, my images were on a partner site with copyright info stripped out. Nobody's talking. Nothing has changed.

Please, look into history of MSG forum, Shutterstock's forum and our blog before you say this about Pixmac.

Here is the (or my) situation:

Things (that we contributors didn't like) have happened in the past, Pixmac knows it, the partner agencies know it.

While there is nothing wrong with posting the facts on all kinds of boards, I have to admit it's becoming terribly hard to keep up with who posted what, where.

I might not log on here for days, some contributors do not participate (or read) at all in the forums.

An issue of this proportions should have forced either participating party to actively approach contributors to inform them about what's going on.

I'm getting tired of this as well as many of you but just posting messages on a forum is not the best way to inform contributors.

Often, I inform fellow contributors who don't have the time to hang out here what's been happening lately and they have no clue.

Either party or preferably both Pixmac and the partner agencies should have come forth informing us about what has gone wrong. Selling licenses without giving proper credit is NOT ok. I don't think any of us assume that the agencies are all perfect and mistakes do happen, by coming forth with the information sent directly to all involved contributors, a huge amount of trust would have been gained or maintained.

I see that Pixmac is working hard to set things straight, but even following this forum as often as I can, I still have no clue of the extent of the issues we had in the past with them and their partners.

I apologize if I'm not reading the SS forums, Microstock Group and Pixmac's blog on a daily basis. Honestly, when are we supposed to do our work if the agencies are the ones who made the mistakes and don't inform us directly with a simple E-mail? If that has been done by Pixmac or others, I also apologize as I haven't received such emails.

« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2011, 16:34 »
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I think that if a "fair trade commission" is going to be founded to provide honesty and transparency to buyers, contributors and agencies, a simple answer like "political issues" isn't going to fly. Who was responsible for stripping out the copyright? Someone has to know, but no one wants to claim responsibility. What has been done since to remedy that situation? Apparently nothing, because just 2-3 weeks ago, my images were on a partner site with copyright info stripped out. Nobody's talking. Nothing has changed.

Please, look into history of MSG forum, Shutterstock's forum and our blog before you say this about Pixmac.

Please read the last line of my post.

Also, I have read the forums. I read them ALL as they were happening. Shortly after it happened, threads were locked and no one wanted to speak about it. I as a contributor still have not gotten a full detailed email report of exactly what happened from any of the agencies involved, and all of my images were affected. I can guess, based on what other contributors have said and have found out, but no official word from the actual agencies. I hear you saying "political issues". That doesn't answer my questions (see my post above).

Each and every contributor affected should have gotten a detailed email, outlining exactly who, what, when and why it happened, and what has been done to correct the problem.

It's amusing to me how megastock mentioned the fact that the agencies that have signed have not corrected the stripping of metatdata issue yet, and you thank them for their valuable input. I said the same thing, except I throw in the pixmac name, and you try to make me look like I don't know what I'm talking about.  ::) How could you sign, pledging something, that you yourself have just admitted a post or two ago has not been corrected yet and is still in progress?

The Fair Trade Agency "seal of approval" already means nothing.

« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2011, 17:18 »
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I think that if a "fair trade commission" is going to be founded to provide honesty and transparency to buyers, contributors and agencies, a simple answer like "political issues" isn't going to fly. Who was responsible for stripping out the copyright? Someone has to know, but no one wants to claim responsibility. What has been done since to remedy that situation? Apparently nothing, because just 2-3 weeks ago, my images were on a partner site with copyright info stripped out. Nobody's talking. Nothing has changed.

Please, look into history of MSG forum, Shutterstock's forum and our blog before you say this about Pixmac.

Please read the last line of my post.

Also, I have read the forums. I read them ALL as they were happening. Shortly after it happened, threads were locked and no one wanted to speak about it. I as a contributor still have not gotten a full detailed email report of exactly what happened from any of the agencies involved, and all of my images were affected. I can guess, based on what other contributors have said and have found out, but no official word from the actual agencies. I hear you saying "political issues". That doesn't answer my questions (see my post above).

Each and every contributor affected should have gotten a detailed email, outlining exactly who, what, when and why it happened, and what has been done to correct the problem.

It's amusing to me how megastock mentioned the fact that the agencies that have signed have not corrected the stripping of metatdata issue yet, and you thank them for their valuable input. I said the same thing, except I throw in the pixmac name, and you try to make me look like I don't know what I'm talking about.  ::) How could you sign, pledging something, that you yourself have just admitted a post or two ago has not been corrected yet and is still in progress?

The Fair Trade Agency "seal of approval" already means nothing.

Very good point - if something serious happened, it would at least help if contributors were told what it was rather than being treated like mushrooms.

« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2011, 17:29 »
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they might add a few kick out topics too, for both sides

« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2011, 18:15 »
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All the crap about Fair and Transparency, and yet Pixmac still fails to provide an open and clearly  stated list of who their microstock suppliers are. Is Shutterstock in on the game now too? See the link

http://www.pixmac.com/picture/http%3Asubmitshutterstockcomforumviewtopicphpp478725478725/000057684497

Or for more fun, type in Shutterstock as a search term and see what comes back. Even if the image is not coming from shutterstock, what gives PM the right to even allow Shutterstock as a search term or include URLs to the Shutterstock forum on their site?

I myself was a victim of the back room tactics when they scraped all my images from 123RF. When I demanded they be removed from Pixmac, PM said it couldn't be done. When I contacted 123RF about my images, they said they were aware of no such partnership. Well suddenly 123 somehow became "aware" I closed my account at 123. Not a big deal as I detach myself more and more from micro every day and now mostly shoot commercial.

This whole Fair signup and is nothing more than an attempt by this band of gypsies to build another link farm for themselves. How said for the the microstock industry. Those of you who claim that you are in a real business should do more research before signing their little link list. This is not a group I want anything to do with.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 18:19 by stormchaser »

« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2011, 02:41 »
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How could you...

It's a beta. It's a proposal. We launched it to get the feedback and soon comply with the rules we and you set.

« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2011, 02:46 »
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Or for more fun, type in Shutterstock as a search term...

That's data entered by contributor.


johngriffin

« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2011, 17:36 »
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Or for more fun, type in Shutterstock as a search term...

That's data entered by contributor.

Vita is right. I would bet a lot of money that was the users fault either because it was a part of the users workflow and got entered by accident or they were copying and pasting it from shutterstock to those fields.

« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2011, 06:57 »
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. Although some of you think this initiative is not going to work because of business politics Im sure this might help all levels of agencies and contributors in the long run.

Real life examples:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelin_Guide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_NCAP

Both initiatives have impact on customers and producers as well. They dont force anyone to do this or that. They just award those who do it objectively right. It impacts the business indirectly but the long term results are pretty strong.

From the discussion here and under the initial article at www.microstockdiaries.com its clearly visible that there might be some additions to the beta of FairStock idea. Please tell me what you think makes sense:

1. Ranking

This is a brilliant idea! Thank you Cory. I can imagine 3 levels as you said, where the contributor can get an extra bonuses such as better revenue split, easier upload, no need to upload MR files with each JPG file etc. The main benefit for agencies would come when responsible contributors would switch to Fair agencies only. And also to clearly show the agencys qualification to sell the creative content responsibly without leaks and grey zones.

2. Auditing

Same as flagging of images with keyword spam. We all work with agencies/cntent every day and that gives us million of eyes to watch each agency or contributor doing bad stuff. The consequences might be that contributor that does bad stuff would be rejected from all Fair agencies at once. Buyer that does a lot of strange refunds might be rejected too. And an agency that would not be able to treat its contributors fairly might be audited by FairStock initiative while receiving a public rank even if not a part of the initiative.

3. Top Contributors and Big Agencies

Everyone who participates in this needs a reason to participate. Thats for sure. Fair Trade Coffee and stuff like that is initiative that forces either business or customers to do something. Its similar to sustainability of Europe Union with all its artificial regulations. This FairStock initiative (now I realize the name was not chosen right) should rather talk to both camps and ask each what would be acceptable and effective. And finding a compromise that would result in a sustainable yet profitable business for all parties. In the end it could be that 15/85 for newcomers is the right split. Who knows? If the top content is only available at the Fair agencies the customers will find it.


Other ideas

The secrecy passus issue. Thank you Pancaketom and Cobalt and others. The idea behind this was that people usually assume on forums before they speak with the agency. I wanted to avoid misunderstandings there. It could be said differently, please suggest anything.

The 50/50 issue. Thank you for that Dirkr. Even that short term interest of an agency might be high profitability, lowering the revenue for contributor brings long term difficulties. I agree that 50/50 could seem as a ideal split. But we dont live in an ideal world so the split will always be changing. It would be great to open each agency books to everyone, but thats not possible for a simple reason: competition.

If I may speak of Pixmac, our target is to give the contributor as much as possible. Increasing the revenue for contributor in time, that is the most important thing that keeps photographers working with the agency. And I believe that agency should become just an effective marketing layer for example as Amazon.com where margin is the lowest in the retail industry. For an agency it should be primarily about volume, not margin. This will actually happen in the future, we just need some time to get there.


Id be very happy to read/hear any other issues or ideas here. Thats the only way the idea could fly. I know its difficult for some of you to discuss it with an agencys CEO and also a member of an agency which approaches the industry in a disruptive way. Still from the other point of view weve made a few things already that inspired the big agencies so I hope were not just another agency.

I always say: Innovation is like a walk through a mine field. Every step is risky.

« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2011, 12:33 »
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dont forget to add that contributors may say on a public forum that an agency is DEAD when we have 2 sales for 2 years, that isnt a valid reason to kick out a contributor that spent time uploading and submitting pictures (good or bad it is our work and we must respect it at least)

« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2011, 12:50 »
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Yeah, I was a little curious about this whole being rejected from sites too. That seems a bit extreme. What is a punishable offense? I can't vouch for every keyword in every file or claim that I'll never say something I'll regret. Everybody makes mistakes now and then.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 12:53 by cthoman »


 

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