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Author Topic: "Free Images" - Should we get paid?  (Read 5000 times)

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CD123

« on: August 13, 2012, 01:21 »
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One of the sites I contribute to has constant "No Obligation - Free Tryout" marketing campaigns.  I can see that my images get downloaded twice to three times more, but does not get any remuneration for these "free" tryouts (and sales are actually not increasing after these marketing periods).

I am starting to feel very uncomfortable with this, especially when I can see I am also loosing big out where clearly private individuals are making use of this opportunity to obtain high res pictures for free, as my weekend sales/visits goes up by 800% during these marketing spells.

My feeling is that an agency should at least pay us a nominal amount for these free giveaways. We are still the owners of those images, so it is not their own goods they are giving away for free, but our hard work. I say they should include an amount in your marketing budget to pay (at least proportionally) for "stock" they give away, like any other type of company would have to when giving stock away on promotion!

What is your take on this?


Les

« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 01:44 »
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I could never see any benefit for contributors by giving the pictures away for free. Just opt out.

« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 02:20 »
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I presume it's PhotoCase, with no opt out?  It's not like other sites, they reject all my best selling stock photos.  I don't like free and I agree, we should get something.  The problem is, there's enough people that don't care about giving their images away for free.  So we don't have any power to stop it happening.  I think it would be sensible for the sites to charge something, like $1 for 10 low quality images.  That would get potential new buyers to register their payment details and get used to paying something for their images.  But how do we get any site to change?

Microbius

« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 02:51 »
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Definitely we should be paid, that is what the agencies cut is for, marketing.

« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 04:37 »
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I never found an advantage to giving them away (although some people have). Veer gives you the choice and pays you for a set time and use ie 3months, european market etc. I dont see why the others cant do the same.

CD123

« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 05:58 »
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Not PhotoCase, but yes, on this one you are also not given the option to opt out, as this is the way they market their site. I do receive some income from them still, so do not want to act drastically (I actually need the money to make up for all the zero sales sites with rankings on the right of your screen :P)

« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 06:05 »
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One of the sites I contribute to has constant "No Obligation - Free Tryout" marketing campaigns.  I can see that my images get downloaded twice to three times more, but does not get any remuneration for these "free" tryouts (and sales are actually not increasing after these marketing periods).

I am starting to feel very uncomfortable with this, especially when I can see I am also loosing big out where clearly private individuals are making use of this opportunity to obtain high res pictures for free, as my weekend sales/visits goes up by 800% during these marketing spells.

My feeling is that an agency should at least pay us a nominal amount for these free giveaways. We are still the owners of those images, so it is not their own goods they are giving away for free, but our hard work. I say they should include an amount in your marketing budget to pay (at least proportionally) for "stock" they give away, like any other type of company would have to when giving stock away on promotion!

What is your take on this?

Unless you have specifically opted into something, you should absolutely get paid.  IS pays you on a credit value of $1 (I believe) for any of the "free" credits given to you when you sign up as a buyer.

« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 06:06 »
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I don't remember but I think it is "freeimages" something dot com :)

You must be crazy to contribute there.. Just remove your port..

Yes, you are making money but distributing your content for free will make people think they are "creative-commons" stuff after a while..

« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 06:07 »
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I don't remember but I think it is "freeimages" something dot com :)

You must be crazy to contribute there.. Just remove your port..

Yes, you are making money but distributing your content for free will make people think they are "creative-commons" stuff after a while..
+1

CD123

« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 07:38 »
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Oh, please stop the guessing contest  ::), can we focus on the principle involved?  :D

PS This is not a business model, it is a marketing drive they do from time to time (getting to be to frequent for me now).
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 07:46 by CD123 »

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2012, 07:42 »
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The surprising thing is you feel the need to ask for opinions on this.

When someone takes your property and does not compensate you for it, it's called theft. That's pretty much a universal definition. The fact that this agency then gives it away to third parties or that you let them do it, doesn't change that it's still theft.

That you put up with this because you make a "little" bit of money with them suggests that you value your own work about as much as the agency does.

They will take as much from you as you let them. Stop letting them.

« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2012, 07:46 »
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Oh, please stop the guessing contest  ::), can we focus on the principle involved?  :D

Yes, read the "no guessing contest" part of my post..

You must be crazy to contribute to any site that does that.. Just remove your port..

Yes, you are making money but distributing your content for free will make people think they are "creative-commons" stuff after a while.. You are helping create a perception that your images are copyright-free..

If I download an image for free I will automatically think it is copyright free..
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 07:48 by cidepix »

« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 07:49 »
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PS This is not a business model, it is a marketing drive they do from time to time (getting to be to frequent for me now).

They MUST pay you..

CD123

« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2012, 07:52 »
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Harsh but very true words / opinions on this.

There is actually method in my madness (this thread). I have politely requested the site's staff to monitor this thread, which hopefully will give them insight into contributor's feelings about this concept, before their Marking Manager's approach hurt them due to contributor reaction. Hope it might bring a change in their approach, as the site itself is, in my opinion, worth supporting.

ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2012, 08:19 »
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Free is what happens in the retail world!

They offer something for free to get people in the door and then once you are in the door they get you because they now have you, but what they forgot is that there is and will always be those one or two people who will not falter and will only be there for the "Free" stuff and are not interested in anything else.

There are a bunch of sites that want your rejected work to be given away for free, but why should they give it away for free after all they rejected it.

No one gets anything for free.

« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2012, 08:37 »
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If you have signed something allowing them to give your images away, then they can. If you haven't agreed to those terms then they can't. I would have thought that was obvious.

I thought the old "free image of the week" system was good, where a site offered just one free image with a link to the contributor's portfolio as a promotion. The idea of giving away anything and everything is just crazy, so is giving away rejects - thereby representing the agency and artist with sub-standard work.

lisafx

« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2012, 11:20 »
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Oh, please stop the guessing contest  ::), can we focus on the principle involved?  :D

I don't see why you won't just post the name of the site.  If they are gouging contributors this way, I see no reason to protect their anonymity. 

AFAIK, none of the sites I contribute to do these sorts of free promotions without paying contributors.  DT, FT, and 123 all have free sections, but you are under no obligation to donate to them.  

In answer to your question, yes, it's a lousy practice.  The reason it matters where it is, is because if it is a low tier site, you are crazy to continue contributing.  

If/when I do find out who this site is, I will certainly avoid them.  
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 11:23 by lisafx »


« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2012, 11:24 »
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Not PhotoCase, but yes, on this one you are also not given the option to opt out, as this is the way they market their site. I do receive some income from them still, so do not want to act drastically (I actually need the money to make up for all the zero sales sites with rankings on the right of your screen :P)

actually i know what site you are talking about and the owner told me i would do over 500$ there but seriously no thank you

« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2012, 18:05 »
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Does anybody have a link or a list with all the sites that offer for free some of our images ore work together with such agencies?

« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2012, 18:31 »
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Craigslist Ad:
We are a small & casual restaurant in downtown Vancouver and we are looking for solo musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More Jazz, Rock, & smooth type music, around the world and mixed cultural music. Are you interested to promote your work? Please reply back ASAP.

A Musician's Reply:
Happy new year! I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to come to my house to promote his/her restaurant by making dinner for me and my friends. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get a positive response. More fine dining & exotic meals and mixed Ethnic Fusion cuisine. Are you interested to promote your restaurant? Please reply back ASAP.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2012, 18:39 »
0
Craigslist Ad:
We are a small & casual restaurant in downtown Vancouver and we are looking for solo musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More Jazz, Rock, & smooth type music, around the world and mixed cultural music. Are you interested to promote your work? Please reply back ASAP.

A Musician's Reply:
Happy new year! I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to come to my house to promote his/her restaurant by making dinner for me and my friends. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get a positive response. More fine dining & exotic meals and mixed Ethnic Fusion cuisine. Are you interested to promote your restaurant? Please reply back ASAP.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

OM

« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2012, 19:45 »
0
Craigslist Ad:
We are a small & casual restaurant in downtown Vancouver and we are looking for solo musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More Jazz, Rock, & smooth type music, around the world and mixed cultural music. Are you interested to promote your work? Please reply back ASAP.

A Musician's Reply:
Happy new year! I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to come to my house to promote his/her restaurant by making dinner for me and my friends. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get a positive response. More fine dining & exotic meals and mixed Ethnic Fusion cuisine. Are you interested to promote your restaurant? Please reply back ASAP.


+1  ;D

In a similar vein I noticed an ad on a Dutch site for artists and photographers asking for a 'student of photography' to come and get experience photographing bespoke wedding and special occasion cakes for use on their site! The cakes were not cheap but no mention of payment. 'Course, someone will do it for their portfolio.

Even asking for $1 payment sometimes doesn't work......this is the 'everything for nothing generation'.

Quote
Mobile developer Madfinger Games said piracy issues in the Android store had forced it to make its title, Dead Trigger, free to download.

"At first we intended to make this game available for as many people as possible - that's why it was for as little as buck," the company wrote.

"Even for one buck, the piracy rate is soooo giant, that we finally decided to provide Dead Trigger for free."



http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19100613

ShadySue

« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2012, 20:02 »
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I got an email from some American professor last week asking if she could use one of my pics from my personal website in a book she was writing. No payment was mentioned, but, and wait for it - I had to fill in a form for her, granting her permission to use the pics - she wasn't offering to sign an RM agreement for me, AND I had to size/crop to a particular size and send it as a tif!

So I wrote back and gave her the option of purchasing a similar (E+) from iStock or licensing the one she wanted directly from me for $70, an amount I arrived at from the iStock price of the similar plus the bother of looking for the file, resizing it, converting it to a tif and sending it to her.

Have I heard back from her? You guess! (There are no Googlable alternatives on the web apart from the set on my website, though, so she'll just have to do without.)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 08:07 by ShadySue »

StockBottom

    This user is banned.
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2012, 07:57 »
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then maybe it's 500px.com ?

what's the point exactly giving away your work for free ?

i can understand the fun in showing pics around, imagine a camera club where on a big table everyone show their best prints in A4 or A3 ... great ...they can look, they can touch, but they can't steal it ... but on the web they can and they do and they will !

« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2012, 09:38 »
0
I got an email from some American professor last week asking if she could use one of my pics from my personal website in a book she was writing. No payment was mentioned, but, and wait for it - I had to fill in a form for her, granting her permission to use the pics - she wasn't offering to sign an RM agreement for me, AND I had to size/crop to a particular size and send it as a tif!

So I wrote back and gave her the option of purchasing a similar (E+) from iStock or licensing the one she wanted directly from me for $70, an amount I arrived at from the iStock price of the similar plus the bother of looking for the file, resizing it, converting it to a tif and sending it to her.

Have I heard back from her? You guess! (There are no Googlable alternatives on the web apart from the set on my website, though, so she'll just have to do without.)

At least she didn't just steal it from your site. The form may have been for the publisher who would know about such things. But sometimes this process takes some time. I would recommend that you email her back as any good salesperson would do seeking a sale.

ShadySue

« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2012, 09:48 »
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what's the point exactly giving away your work for free ?
i can understand the fun in showing pics around, imagine a camera club where on a big table everyone show their best prints in A4 or A3 ... great ...they can look, they can touch, but they can't steal it ... but on the web they can and they do and they will !
I can partly answer this.
I've been in several Flickr conversations from people asking about my watermark, so I've asked them why they're so happy to let their pics be used for free. There have been various answers, but in general:
1. It's mostly wildlife images, and people imagine that they'll be used for editorial/educational/conservation charities, and usually have indicated that they should not be used commercially, and fondly imagine people will honour that restriction. They're perfectly happy to allow education/editorial/charity use for an attribution - 'paying back'.
2. They dislike agency 'standards' which don't correspond with their own aesthetic, particularly with regards to natural  lighting (again, wildlife photos). They see captive animals on agencies labelled as 'wild', and many, many misnamed species, and have no respect for the integrity of the non-specialist agencies.
3 They don't care about pixel-perfection, and prefer to achieve interesting compositions or capture interesting action/behaviour and submit to exhibitions etc where content is what matters.
4. They are working full time and don't want to have to spend time captioning and keywording.
5. They don't photograph all that much and can't see much point in uploading a few photos each month, with corresponding low sales, then all the hassle of registering self-employed for tax for such a small income. Alternatively, they spend hours/months/years photographing the life-cycle of one particular species. Neither of these would make it possible to submit to a specialist agency, which require large numbers of a variety of species, regularly.

These are the main five. Don't shoot the messenger.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 07:35 by ShadySue »


 

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