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Author Topic: Stock Union  (Read 4552 times)

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« on: March 07, 2008, 13:05 »
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The submitters have become kind of new age slave: he/she has the main duty to upload as much as she/he can, to be well equipped, and mostly to obey all the absurd requirements of stock sites(to swap each and every pixel of noise, to explain how he made certain animation etc.) When it comes to money, the submitter has to wait as long as the stock site is willing as if the money transfer is done through stone age ways.
It would be an easy way to transfer money into someone's account directly from the site's one, instead of pumping money into MB and PP.

On short: the stock has all the rights and power it wants, the submitter has almost no right at all. It is time to organize ourselves, some kind of union, some kind of institution to represent and defend us against the increasing power of stock sites. The relation between the sites and submitters is almost humiliating. I heard someone from a stock site saying: what if X photographer is leaving? I get tens or hundreds to replace him/ her.

It is time to do something to defend ourselves.


« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2008, 13:26 »
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I can't afford union dues

« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2008, 14:09 »
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Oh, please! Last time I looked under my desk there were dust bunnies but no chains. If you feel so humiliated, get the want ads.

« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2008, 14:19 »
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It would be very hard to get together a union when the vast bulk of the people involved are hobby users and not tied to it as a primary means of income.

« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2008, 14:32 »
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we already resist to cheating by canceling subscriptions, canceling accounts on non producing sites.
I think that is enough for now: the industry is too young.

 

« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 14:37 »
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I think each one must define its own upload strategie.

I, as vector uploader, try to obtain the same amount per image in each site (uploading only simple vector images to subscription obligatory sites; uploading to all sites in which I can define the price;...), Its not easy but possible.

lisafx

« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2008, 18:06 »
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It would be very hard to get together a union when the vast bulk of the people involved are hobby users and not tied to it as a primary means of income.

Agree completely.  I am actually a very pro union person - my husband has been a union electrician for 22 years - but it would be completely impractical to have a union in the microstock business as it currently exists.

In order to have a powerful successful union you need to have a majority of the labor force in the union and agreeing to adhere to the union's decisions.  With more hobbyists, and now pro trad stock shooters too, entering the microstock arena every day there is no way to get enough suppliers onboard. 

Bottom line is all of us are replaceable.  Even the big-shots.  A year or two ago Lise Gagne seemed irreplaceable and now Yuri has come along and challenged her supremacy.  And I see shots uploaded every day that I think are Yuris or Lise's and they turn out to be from some unknown newbie or other who has mastered their shooting style. 

« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2008, 18:19 »
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I agree with Lisa.  In order to be a "union" we need to be a majority and to really accept to work and move as one.  And if you check some of the discussions here, we're far from agreeing in most subjects.

Even in subscription sales, everyone has restrictions to it, possibly everyone would like the option to opt out, yet many are ok in being in SS.

Regards,
Adelaide
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 18:28 by madelaide »

« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2008, 18:22 »
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And the fact that we are replaceable is hard to avoid.

In a town (or country) all the electricians can stop working and there is a problem - it would take quite a while before you could get new electricians in town to replace them if it came to that.

With stock photography, they stock agencies could just take photos from the next guy who lines up - from anywhere in the world.

« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2008, 00:49 »
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Bottom line is all of us are replaceable.  Even the big-shots.  A year or two ago Lise Gagne seemed irreplaceable and now Yuri has come along and challenged her supremacy.  And I see shots uploaded every day that I think are Yuris or Lise's and they turn out to be from some unknown newbie or other who has mastered their shooting style. 

A style that existed  before microstock may I add!

« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2008, 10:28 »
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We should realize the naked truth, in a globalized market there's two kind of products. The mainstream easy replaceable ones and the uniques ones.

Until your product/work is so unique and wonderful (or well marketed ;)) you are on the weak side of the market and so you have to accept what the strongest side push upon you and there's no union that can save you from this (I talk from experience as I am an union representative in my daily job).

If tomorrow a chinese stock agency opens up with half the price than SS or IS and about same quality, SS and IS themselves will be in our same problems and I think they're well aware of this. Keeping their prices low is a method to keep the competitors away as investments in a new stock agency will become profictable in a longer time period (just look at Snapvillage), for the most economical aware of you is the theory of Break Even Point.

It would pretty different if customers would scream to have an image from Lisa Gagne and/or Yuri Arcus and not shot by anyone else. But until this will happen they too will have to get their 30 cents from SS or 30% from IS and be happy with it.

(Another solution would be the communist revolution but shooting with a Kiev88 isn't very practical nowadays  ;D)




« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2008, 11:05 »
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A union is a bit much but a boycott could work to get better commissions from those sites that only offer a very small 20% commission.

Personally I think it should be a 50/50 split or better as featurepics does.

If enough people stop uploading to those sites and post on their forums that a better commission is needed maybe we can make some changes.

iStock for one raises it's prices but not the commission percentage going to those who make it, the contributors and hide behind advertising cost, well I see plenty of Fotolia and stockxpert ads in the trades and they give us a better commission.

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2008, 13:33 »
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^^ Agreed - would be nice if istock would raise commissions.  But as long as they are the top earning agency (or in the top three or so) most people will continue to upload to them.   

Who's going to boycott the top selling agency?  Certainly not many of the top contributors with large portfolios who actually make a living doing this.  And the smaller portfolios would most likely not be missed. 

Union or boycott - toma(y)to - toma(h)to. 

« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2008, 14:45 »
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exactly, but if top non exclusive earners such as you, lisafx, would boycott new uploads then they may reconsider their position on non exclusive commissions and it may even benefit exclusive by having them finally give exclusive a 50/50 split regardless of level. Aside from their very restrictive exclusivity being all or nothing, not image exclusivity but artist, not even RM agencies require that. I feel if they reject an image then you should be free to upload it else where.

helix7

« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2008, 15:02 »
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I'd like to see something like the SAA organized around the microstock community. Or some other organization that does the same thing without excluding microstock. Not a union, but a group that advocates for microstock artists' rights. The SAA has negotiated on behalf of photographers, and a group that did the same for microstock would be fantastic. I'd pay dues for that.



« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2008, 15:48 »
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We should realize the naked truth, in a globalized market there's two kind of products. The mainstream easy replaceable ones and the uniques ones.

Until your product/work is so unique and wonderful (or well marketed ;)) you are on the weak side of the market and so you have to accept what the strongest side push upon you and there's no union that can save you from this (I talk from experience as I am an union representative in my daily job).

If tomorrow a chinese stock agency opens up with half the price than SS or IS and about same quality, SS and IS themselves will be in our same problems and I think they're well aware of this. Keeping their prices low is a method to keep the competitors away as investments in a new stock agency will become profictable in a longer time period (just look at Snapvillage), for the most economical aware of you is the theory of Break Even Point.

It would pretty different if customers would scream to have an image from Lisa Gagne and/or Yuri Arcus and not shot by anyone else. But until this will happen they too will have to get their 30 cents from SS or 30% from IS and be happy with it.

(Another solution would be the communist revolution but shooting with a Kiev88 isn't very practical nowadays  ;D)




pfff... 88 is for pussies, 60 is the real deal!

« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2008, 17:08 »
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(Another solution would be the communist revolution but shooting with a Kiev88 isn't very practical nowadays  ;D)


pfff... 88 is for pussies, 60 is the real deal!

Sssshhhh... I'm trying to grab a Pentacon Six from eBay just now  :P


 

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