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Author Topic: Are agencies informing well client when EL is needed?  (Read 3312 times)

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« on: May 22, 2009, 13:25 »
I  just like to share a recent experience I had with one of the agencies, fotolia for naming it but it doesn't matter that much I think.
I was contacted by one of the staff member asking for details for one of my picture (a cat) because a client wanted to use it for a cat food package. I gave them the info and few hours latter the picture was bough but under a traditional licence. I was a bit surprised because I'm selling quite well cats pictures for the same purpose and they are purchased under EL. So I asked fotolia if this was not a mistake and the day after an EL licence was purchased. About a week later I got a message from fotolia saying that EL was nor needed for the purpose.
I cant tell if the same client has purchased the picture under two licences or what has happened there, but this has brought some confusion in my head...h
I must say honestly that I have never read in detail the term of the contracts at the various agencies (I find this part of the job a bit boring), but this story raised the question of my thread : "Are agencies informing well client when EL is needed?"
The client should to my opinion been clearly informed of the condition of use. I have no clue if clients are so ignorant of the details of the licence as I' am (but this is the photographers privilege..), but I think they shouldnt be allowed to be...
Is anyone have an experience as client or have similar experience???



« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 14:07 »
Is anyone have an experience as client or have similar experience???

Yes and it happens all the time. The longer we all are in Microstock the more we will see the drawback of this industry.

Right now, I assume you don't even know who the buyer is. Sad enough, when you go shopping one day to the pet store, seeing your photo on a major brand that's being distributed worldwide.

On the traditional agencies this could have bought you a nice summer vacation...

I sold an image once on DT (single image download - I got $1) and the buyer left a comment that it's going to be printed in a book. DT replied that this is adequate. I'm selling images on the traditional agencies all the time for book publications and I do get significantly more for that.

What can you do? Move your stuff to the trads...


  • diablo como vd
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 14:28 »
click_click , you say : What can you do? Move your stuff to the trads...

But what good is that going to do? they won't sell there, would it?

« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2009, 14:37 »
click_click , you say : What can you do? Move your stuff to the trads...
But what good is that going to do? they won't sell there, would it?

You have to determine: "What are my images worth to me?"

When I started with photography I couldn't get into the trads because I sucked.

I used the micros to make money along the way and now through continuous learning my images are good enough to make it into the trads.

Most of my newest stuff goes there. But I have to accept that some images on the Micros either get stolen after a while or are being used without a proper license. Most of the times there is nothing you can do because you can not even trace back the culprit.

Not so with the trads... There you can easily identify the buyer and more importantly it is a lot easier to enforce a copyright infringement claim or lost damages through a lawyer.

So my advice: Move your stuff (your NEW stuff) to the trads.

« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2009, 15:48 »
But what good is that going to do? they won't sell there, would it?

Sorry, got a bit carried away in the last one...

It depends on the buyer. If you have buyer who only wants to spend $5 or less for an image that's going on a product packaging, of course, they are not going to spend $500 on it. Then you will not sell the image on a trad agency.

But, and this is the case if you have a buyer who wants exclusive usage rights for a specific amount of time you will sell the image on a trad agency for a lot more money.

If they really cared about their product, they most likely don't want an image that's been sold many times through the micros and take the risk that the image appears in a different context. There is a buyer for everything...

Example: You have an image of a cat and the cat food company wants to put the cat on their cat food bags. They want a cheap image and buy it off some Microstock agency. They most likely don't think far enough, that the image is still being sold to other people at the same time. Also consider that as a photographer you can not put any sales restriction on the image which means the image can be used in many many ways.

Now, PETA comes along and starts a campaign against animal cruelty and needs an image of a pretty innocent cat. Assuming they bought your image as well and use it in one of their TV campaigns, you will soon realize that there is a conflict of interest going on. It has nothing to do with you. It's just the fact that if a client wants it cheap - they might run into a lot of trouble that way.

Again, that's why I said: If you keep your stuff on the trads - you will sell your images only to buyers that are a lot more educated/smarter to prevent such things from happening and besides you make a lot more money that way as well.

On another note. Take Yuri's images. They are EVERYWHERE. Consider that some companies just want it cheap and then also that there are buyers who want to be unique. Like I said, there is a buyer for everything. It just hurts when the little ones on the micros are being screwed over because they simply can not take legal actions.

« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2009, 16:15 »
I think the license terms in micros are too lose.  They allow an image purchased as standard license in book covers and in very high copies of prints.  Yes, the rules have been there for ages, but I don't think they are coherent with the microstock philosphy. 

A good image in the cover of a book won't make it a best-seller, but it is surely part of the marketing strategy - a best-seller almost always has an attractive cover.


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