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Author Topic: photographers selling the same images at micro and macro prices?  (Read 16826 times)

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saniphoto

« on: June 25, 2009, 11:27 »
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Hi

I noticed recently some cases of photographers selling images for microstock prices, images that are licensed also at traditional agencies for much higher fees.

I started to think about the ethical aspect of this behavior. Obviously for the micro agencies there is nothing to be concerned, but the photographers doing this kind of practice maybe don't realize that they risk their and the other agency (the so called 'macro stock') reputation, if this kind of unprofessional underpricing is found out by customers.

I am speaking of EXACT same images here, not similar. I think this kind of problematic could be the subject for a debate. Is in your opinion correct/acceptable this kind of practice?

My opinion is implicit in my commenting above, I'm curious to hear others.


« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 11:39 »
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Uh, the way I understand it  - it goes a bit deeper than a mere moral dilemna.

I'm pretty sure it's illegal.


« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 11:55 »
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Most Macro site do not allow the same images to be sold on Microsites, there are exceptions though.

Is it ethical is the question you ask, that is really a double edged sword, many producers supply the same produce for different brands at different price points, the ink in our inkjet printers comes from one company, a branded cartridge might be $20 and an unbranded $5, the ink supplied is often the same, there might be an extra chemical or process by the cartridge company we do not really know, but often we are paying just for the brand name and packaging.

Many think that subsrciption sites are un-ethical, and macro site selling through third party collections and cutting the photographers share might be seen as un-ethical, but this is a business and some will sell the same images on Macro and Micro as long as they can get away with it and the customers are paying.

I did move some images from Micro to Macro, but I removed them from the microsites first, but there are buyers out there that paid a couple of dollars for the same image another buyer paid $175 for, I know there are some big micro shooters that have similar images that look almost the same but the models top is just a different color, but content wise they are the same.

I would not have the same or similar image on both but I think that each photographer has to run their business as they see fit, they do run the risk of the buyer seeing the image on a microsite and asking for a refund, and many buyers of traditional commercial images only buy RM, Alamy sell 78% of all images as RM if a buyer buys as RF they do not have the same protection.

Many Macrosite have account customers with good discount deals, which would mean the customer bases of the two stock models is often different, those buyers with a foot in each camp would know which sites to look for a particular type of image, just because a microstock image finds it way to a macrosite does not follow that it will sell there.  

David    
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 12:03 by Adeptris »

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 11:59 »
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If the most avid microstock fans are correct (and I don't see how anyone can be 'wrong' about their own business experiences), then the 'cheap' price of micro image licenses is made up for, to them, by volume sales. Therefore someone selling the exact same image at mid or macro pricing is by default commiting no ethics crime because they have already disavowed any claim to be participating in 100% distinctive licensing.

People can sell their content when, where, and how they choose. It's not like you're selling a Porsche that costs $40K to produce for $75K with one dealer and $10K with another, we are talking about images that up until several years ago went for hundreds if not thousands per license, now being sold for cents/dollars at micro levels or tens/hundreds of dollars at mid/macro levels. Marginal price differences between vendors does not mean a lowering of ethics IMO, it's just good, capitalist business.

This isn't religion or a political movement, it's just applying a price to very intangible products - creative digital content. There needs to be some wiggle room or the whole industry will become Wal-mart.

alias

« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 12:08 »
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I have been told that some photographers and artists are apparently getting away with selling the same images both RM and RF. And or selling images RM which have previously been available RF.

How does that work? Managing rights is normally about also making available details of other use of the image which is obviously impossible if the image has previously been sold RF.

« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 12:18 »
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What about a micro photographer who sells the same image for 0.25 at SS and 70 credits (XXXL) at IS? You must understand that sometimes macro sites give photographers just a few dollars per download too.

What about if you moved to a new city, got a minimum wage job as a start, and then you got a professional job to make more than 100,000 per year? You are the same person right?

Some photographers upload smaller sized photos to the micros and bigger sizes to macros, if that makes you feel more legal and ethical.

However I suggest that our energies will be better used to focus on our own work and creativity, instead of judging others and fantasize some universal standards in a free market place.

« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 12:29 »
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From what I understand a macro RF licence is different to a micro licence and to get the equivalent you would have to buy a micro EL which would bring the price points more equal, or in some cases the macro RF could even be cheaper.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 12:31 »
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Is there a distint line between micro and macro???  How am I to know if I am doing something illegal if the site sets the price?  Are Macro sites for exclusives only?  Or, do different Macro sites sell the same image at different prices?  And, doesn't the licensing play a part in all this???


« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2009, 12:59 »
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This question is typical from those who don't understand the business, and usually ends up with a lot of ignorant and stupid statements.

The whole base of the stock industry is the license, and this is extremely different from micro and macro.

Even if the image is the same, the license is not as the RF license in micro is full of restrictions. If you buy all the Extended Licenses available in micro you still won't have the liberty that the Macro RF License gives you.

The Macro RF license allows you to use that image for EVER, in ALL supports and without ANY limitation in the number of prints.

Make an experience: check the price of the RF in alamy, and then sum all the extended licenses in IS to get an approximate liberty in the usage of an image.

In most cases iStock is more expensive than Alamy! And despite this you still have restrictions!

It's the same as if you rented a car (micro), or you bought the same car (macro). In one case you'd pay 50$, and in the later you'd pay, lets say 40.000$.

Is it immoral for the car seller to charge 40.000$, when you can drive the same car for 50$ a day? No, because it's A DIFFERENT SERVICE.

So before coming here discussing ethics and legalities study this subject a little more.

Regards,
e=mg2

« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 13:06 »
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^^^ Good answer.

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 13:22 »
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Except for the part where he calls people with differing opinions ignorant and stupid?

I also don't find much credibility in someone who can come up with a lame statement such as the last comment on http://www.microstockdiaries.com/how-to-change-the-stock-photo-market.html. This business begins and ends with respect, not crapping on people.

saniphoto

« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2009, 13:29 »
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all right, it seems that was a silly thread, after all... judging from the very 'polite' answers I got here.
So, bye, I will not bother anymore with my 'ignorance'. Thank you 'Einstein', you must be a real genius, as your nick imply.
I just add that your reply is even very useful and informative, for who like me didn't realize or thought about this aspect of the argument (yes, I hear you call me stupid, again...), but your 'ass kicking attitude' was very useful for me to understand also and especially what kind of people 'rules' these forum...  

« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2009, 13:33 »
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I think e-mg2's response is the most thorough I have read on this topic. 

The consensus seems to be that macro prices are coming down and micro prices are going up, so the gap is narrowing.  

Buyers have the option to license images wherever and however they want and sellers have the option to sell RF wherever they are accepted as long as they aren't violating the terms of the sites they are selling on.  

Alias makes a good point about RM vs. RF. If you are selling an image RF I don't see how it could be also sold RM.   I think in the cases that happens it is a mistake, but I don't sell much macro so I wouldn't know first hand.  

« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 13:37 by PixelBytes »

« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2009, 13:34 »
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Except for the part where he calls people with differing opinions ignorant and stupid?

But he (or she) doesn't actually say that __ but hey, don't let's get the truth in the way!

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2009, 13:36 »
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Saniphoto, don't feel like you need to withdraw, these discussions are why this forum is here. I am sorry if people are sometimes not civil about it but that's how it goes. Simply click 'ignore' on the account names and the bad vibes magically disappear. :)      (not that I have ever done that personally, sometimes people just get worked up and then come around - myself included)

« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2009, 13:38 »
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Except for the part where he calls people with differing opinions ignorant and stupid?

But he (or she) doesn't actually say that __ but hey, don't let's get the truth in the way!

I didn't see anyone say ignorant or stupid either.  Was something deleted?

saniphoto

« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2009, 13:43 »
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Except for the part where he calls people with differing opinions ignorant and stupid?

But he (or she) doesn't actually say that __ but hey, don't let's get the truth in the way!

I didn't see anyone say ignorant or stupid either.  Was something deleted?


This question is typical from those who don't understand the business, and usually ends up with a lot of ignorant and stupid statements.



saniphoto

« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2009, 13:54 »
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Saniphoto, don't feel like you need to withdraw, these discussions are why this forum is here. I am sorry if people are sometimes not civil about it but that's how it goes. Simply click 'ignore' on the account names and the bad vibes magically disappear. :)      (not that I have ever done that personally, sometimes people just get worked up and then come around - myself included)

Hi Keith

Thanks. For now I have nothing to say more, as I should rightly study the argument and check the licensing comparison as suggested (IS versus Alamy). maybe I will do like you and come around again in the future, who knows?  Have a nice day.

« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2009, 13:56 »
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Except for the part where he calls people with differing opinions ignorant and stupid?

I also don't find much credibility in someone who can come up with a lame statement such as the last comment on http://www.microstockdiaries.com/how-to-change-the-stock-photo-market.html. This business begins and ends with respect, not crapping on people.


Listen Mr,

I find it truly, truly, disgusting that you've distorted what I've said. And It was made in with bad faith giving you little credibility.

I never called anyone stupid, and especially by simply having different opinions than mine!

But IT'S A FACT that this issue brings a lot of stupid and ignorant STATEMENTS - if you check the dictionary, "statements" is not a synonym of person, people or anything of the sort.

So, IT'S YOU, YES YOU, who's implying that someone making a stupid and ignorant statement, is by itself stupid and ignorant.

But despite your pathetic attempt on a personal attack, nothing of what I said is wrong. This is an issue brought out by people who don't understand the basics of the business and yes, it ends with a lot of stupid and ignorant statements. I've read it a thousand times.

As for the link you've provided tell me if I was wrong in anything I said? Even today I've read statements in Macro foruns where there's still a lot of anger against the attitude of the Photoshelter management towards the decisions on their business. They were bad managers, they took a lot of wrong decisions and in the end they've betrayed their contributors because they've thrown down the drain months of work of their contributors so they could keep their "ideals"!

You should grow up and discuss issues, instead of making personal attacks. You've never referred to any of my arguments, just attacked me personally. And this shows a lot about you. If you don't like strong opinions go to the kindergarten.

e=mg2

« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2009, 14:01 »
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What about a micro photographer who sells the same image for 0.25 at SS and 70 credits (XXXL) at IS?

It's actually 28 credits for an XXXL.

« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2009, 14:06 »
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all right, it seems that was a silly thread, after all... judging from the very 'polite' answers I got here.
So, bye, I will not bother anymore with my 'ignorance'. Thank you 'Einstein', you must be a real genius, as your nick imply.
I just add that your reply is even very useful and informative, for who like me didn't realize or thought about this aspect of the argument (yes, I hear you call me stupid, again...), but your 'ass kicking attitude' was very useful for me to understand also and especially what kind of people 'rules' these forum...  


Just some questions for you:

Can you point out where I've called you stupid or ignorant?

Can you point me a dictionary where "Statement" is synonym of people or person?

Have you read the RF Licenses of Micro and Macro agencies before coming with these questions?

And have you searched other previous discussions where this issue was debated?


You see, everyone is entitled to an opinion but some research before raising some topics doubting the ethics of others is really important.

What I find odd is that you take offense for thinking that someone called you stupid and ignorant, but it seem perfectly normal to you, to DOUBT OTHER'S HONESTY!!!

Regards.

« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2009, 14:13 »
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Saniphoto, don't feel like you need to withdraw, these discussions are why this forum is here. I am sorry if people are sometimes not civil about it but that's how it goes. Simply click 'ignore' on the account names and the bad vibes magically disappear. :)      (not that I have ever done that personally, sometimes people just get worked up and then come around - myself included)

Look it's the Knight in the shining Armour, riding a white horse to help the maid in distress!!!

Will you stop the personal attacks and discuss the issue? If anyone here is not being civil it's you because you've distorted completely what I've said.

People should research these issues before raising them, especially because they start discussions doubting other peoples honesty and ethics!

But I guess that doubting other people ethics it's ok to you right? Very civil indeed...


« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2009, 14:16 »
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Except for the part where he calls people with differing opinions ignorant and stupid?

But he (or she) doesn't actually say that __ but hey, don't let's get the truth in the way!

I didn't see anyone say ignorant or stupid either.  Was something deleted?

No, nothing was deleted. I still would like to see where I called anyone stupid or ignorant...

But apparently it seems ok to Mr zymmetrical for someone to cast a doubt about others honesty and ethics...

Regards,

bittersweet

« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2009, 14:17 »
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Even if the image is the same, the license is not as the RF license in micro is full of restrictions. If you buy all the Extended Licenses available in micro you still won't have the liberty that the Macro RF License gives you.

The Macro RF license allows you to use that image for EVER, in ALL supports and without ANY limitation in the number of prints.

It's hard to tell for sure what you mean here, but if you are saying that macro RF has no limitations, you are mistaken. Products for resale is definitely prohibited on several of the macro sites from which I have licensed imagery. If you are strictly speaking as to number of prints, your claim may be true. Since I have not gone and checked every macro agency to verify, I would be reluctant to issue any blanket statements about what licenses do and do not allow.

« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2009, 14:23 »
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You are probably right. Some exclusives get 70 credits for XXXL under Vetta though.


What about a micro photographer who sells the same image for 0.25 at SS and 70 credits (XXXL) at IS?

It's actually 28 credits for an XXXL.


 

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