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Author Topic: We know what we want - the agencies don't. Let's tell them.  (Read 14431 times)

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stockphoto-images.com

« on: May 30, 2014, 09:44 »
+1
This may not be a new idea but I can't recall reading something similar here on the forums:

As we've gone through more than enough stress with agencies doing the "wrong" thing, I believe we are able to to get our voices heard by joining forces to turn it into something better.

With joining forces I'm thinking of starting an online petition (perhaps at change.org) which states what we contributors want, or better, expect from our contractual partners.

I'm not familiar with starting online petitions nor am I 100% sure that this is the most effective way to let agencies know how many of us feel the way we do and/or how serious this situation is for many of us. I just thought it would be an "easy" way to state our thoughts and to have as many contributors sign that petition in order to make the agencies bosses aware that there is a certain number of us supporting this petition.

As you may have noticed, English isn't my mother tongue. Therefore I'm asking native English speakers with advanced writing skills to compile a relatively short list of essential points of what we would like the agencies to consider for future business decisions.

As an example:

First paragraph explaining which disasters have caused distrust towards the agencies. Why do we feel "out of control". We are merely suppliers without control, feeling like we are not in a business partnership (well... an abusive one yes).

Emphasize that not all agencies are automatically addressed with this petition. However, well-behaving agencies could still benefit from reading the petition to prevent future issues with us contributors by understanding our "demands" or code of ethics.

Fact is, that rules and regulations are imposed only on us contributors by the agencies. We, the contributors have no way (except one: leaving) to impose rules onto the agencies. It is an unbalanced business relationship which inherently should be relying on trust which has to be earned in the first place. Once trust has been kicked out the window it is even harder to regain again. It is technically not a very complicated rule of any relationship. However, in the business world, relationship rules may not always come first and I think we can understand that - to an extent.

Our content is the life blood of any agency. No content - no agency.

We are already in this together, no need to "jump ship" BUT it will require changes on the side of some agencies to regain trust and to keep contributors that will supply the demand with quality content by being compensated appropriately.

Our content is worth something. It's certainly not worth nothing:

So, one point of the petition I am sure will include the point that any form of trial, beta testing, potential new big client deal etc. will have to result in direct compensation for the contributor. In most cases the days of receiving 50% of the sale price are over. Naturally, the agencies have to cover their costs but those costs have to include future costs for development of access to new markets. We cannot make any further sacrifices to pay for the agencies' "potential" business opportunities in which we, the contributors, have no say in them anyway!!!

I assume most of you who happen to read this understand my point and maybe I'm too idealistic to see this being realized by someone here on the forums or whoever else reads this.

But it's not going to help on a large scale (or in the long run) if we keep barking at the agencies after the fact that something went wrong.

Let's try to help our contractual partners to improve the situation for us and subsequently them as well. It should be in any agency's interest to have somewhat happy contributors so the flow of high quality content can be guaranteed.

The need for professional content won't end, ever. There will always be paying customers who value good content. We, the contributors, need compensation to be able to continue to produce this content.

If this is not in the interest of the agencies then we have no weapons to win this battle but to throw them down and leave the field.

If anyone wants to step up and create a separate thread to collect all the points that they believe need to be included, feel free to do so. I would try to add what I believe is important.

As I said before this may have been tried before - I don't know but in my "perfect" world I thought this might be a "good" idea :)


« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 09:59 »
+31
Two things.

1. I don't believe the problem is that the agencies don't know what we want. I believe they don't care. And that the only way to get them to pay any attention is to take away (or be prepared to do so) what they need - continued uploads of our content or our whole portfolios (in extreme cases like the Getty-Google deal was for me). This is a power struggle not an education exercise

Which leads me to...

2. We are all entitled to make the best decisions for our own businesses, but given how I feel about the nature of our situation, I couldn't spend any time working with people on trying to improve our situation with the agencies if those people were still opted in to the Dollar Photo Club, which you are. I am sure you have your reasons for making that decision, but the only reason there is even an opt out is because of action taken by a group of contributors to organize a boycott. If you recall, at the beginning, Fotolia support was telling contributors they had to leave if they didn't like DPC.


« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2014, 10:01 »
0
It's time for contributors to revolt and put rogue agencies in their place. We are their assets so we should use our power

« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2014, 10:06 »
+1
2. We are all entitled to make the best decisions for our own businesses, but given how I feel about the nature of our situation, I couldn't spend any time working with people on trying to improve our situation with the agencies if those people were still opted in to the Dollar Photo Club, which you are.

+1

« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2014, 10:10 »
+5
DPC and opt out shows about the only way we can get the attention of some agencies.

The problem is, as individuals most of us are too small to be able to make a difference.  As a group we "fight" too much to join together.... Can we put aside our fighting long enough to build something to be able to make a difference?

stockphoto-images.com

« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 10:19 »
+3
@ Jo Ann & luissantos84:

I highly value your opinions and respect you for your work and the contributions you have made to this forum.

That being said, am I correct that you both feel that I'm not worthy to cooperate with as I'm still opted into the DPC?

« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 10:25 »
+4
do you think it is reasonable to be in all ends? wouldn't that be unfair to all other who have taken the boycott in full power?

if you decide to opt in at all deals agencies doesn't that mean you are happy with it? so why create/join another "alliance"?

« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 10:33 »
+5
Sorry, my bunker isn't going to fit everybody.  ;)

« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 10:38 »
+8
@ Jo Ann & luissantos84:

I highly value your opinions and respect you for your work and the contributions you have made to this forum.

That being said, am I correct that you both feel that I'm not worthy to cooperate with as I'm still opted into the DPC?

Actions speak louder than words.

« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 10:47 »
+1

That being said, am I correct that you both feel that I'm not worthy to cooperate with as I'm still opted into the DPC?

I wouldn't presume to judge anyone's worthiness in general - as I said, we all have our reasons for joining or leaving various agencies or protesting/staying silent when various things happen. My kids won't go hungry if my stock income plummets; if it was my only source of income, I don't know if I'd make the same choices as I do/have done.

What I was trying to say was that I don't feel I can participate in the effort you'd like to get going. Other people - and there are many who've made the choice you have with the DPC - may feel differently.

Shelma1

« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 10:53 »
+12
DPC and opt out shows about the only way we can get the attention of some agencies.

The problem is, as individuals most of us are too small to be able to make a difference.  As a group we "fight" too much to join together.... Can we put aside our fighting long enough to build something to be able to make a difference?

We have joined together and made a difference. Fotolia offered an opt out only after we did that. I see the glass as half full here. For maybe the first time, a very large group of people from all corners of the world joined together to take action against a microstock agency. If there's a next time, we know joining together will work. And since we have this success under our belts, we can probably reach even more people next time. We've shown that we have some power. We're not alone, and we're not too small to make a difference.

stockphoto-images.com

« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2014, 11:02 »
-2
Thanks Luis for your response.

I tried to give an idea for a concerted effort to get contributors' voices heard. Nothing more - nothing less.

I apologize if I have offended anybody.

I do not know if I will stay in DPC. I have been opted out other APIs, partner programs etc at other agencies.

I do not care who of the members here belong to which agency or participate in whatever dubious "deals".

We're all contributors of the same kind to the agencies, aren't we? The way we contributors perceive each other apparently is a different thing.

stockphoto-images.com

« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 11:06 »
+2
We have joined together and made a difference. Fotolia offered an opt out only after we did that. I see the glass as half full here. For maybe the first time, a very large group of people from all corners of the world joined together to take action against a microstock agency. If there's a next time, we know joining together will work. And since we have this success under our belts, we can probably reach even more people next time. We've shown that we have some power. We're not alone, and we're not too small to make a difference.

I agree. Let me add:

What is holding us back to prevent these huge screw-ups from happening in the future by informing the agencies now where our limits are?

Is it delusional to look for a constructive dialogue with the agencies, ideally on an ongoing basis to keep such dramatic events to a minimum?

What would even be the interest or benefit for any agency to stay stubborn and quiet, risking a huge outrage if they can prevent it from happening in the first place?

« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2014, 11:07 »
+7
At the moment opting out of DPC is the best thing we can do. Agencies will care more seeing DPC content disappear than any website with our thoughts. Not only Fotolia but other agencies too, as i'm sure they are following the situation.

« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2014, 11:08 »
+10
We have joined together and made a difference. Fotolia offered an opt out only after we did that. I see the glass as half full here. For maybe the first time, a very large group of people from all corners of the world joined together to take action against a microstock agency. If there's a next time, we know joining together will work. And since we have this success under our belts, we can probably reach even more people next time. We've shown that we have some power. We're not alone, and we're not too small to make a difference.

I agree. Let me add:

What is holding us back to prevent these huge screw-ups from happening in the future by informing the agencies now where our limits are?



If you stay opted in it means you are clearly informing the agencies that they still haven't reached your limit ;)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 11:20 by Desintegrator »

« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2014, 11:09 »
-3
DPC and opt out shows about the only way we can get the attention of some agencies.

The problem is, as individuals most of us are too small to be able to make a difference.  As a group we "fight" too much to join together.... Can we put aside our fighting long enough to build something to be able to make a difference?

We have joined together and made a difference. Fotolia offered an opt out only after we did that. I see the glass as half full here. For maybe the first time, a very large group of people from all corners of the world joined together to take action against a microstock agency. If there's a next time, we know joining together will work. And since we have this success under our belts, we can probably reach even more people next time. We've shown that we have some power. We're not alone, and we're not too small to make a difference.

street protests in big eu and usa cities could be our next step

« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2014, 11:13 »
+5
Yesterday I got email from new future stocker (maybe), young boy that doesn't know life. He's trying to get to microsites and he asked me what to do because he gets rejections for a year, all the time over and over again! He wants to sell his work with micros so much...  :o
He has read that it's so great business, you just do what you love and upload images and voila, money is coming in streams to your wallet. Really, he was expecting that. I saw the images and it reminded me last uploaded on DP (do they review it ever?).

He doesn't care if he gets 0,30$, 30% or less... He'll sell in milions DL... Poor boy has now idea how many has changed since the old article was written. We see changes going very fast, month by month new is coming. Agencies don't care a lot who will bring them new stuff. We should care who will sell our work!

Spiral is going down faster and faster, right into the bottom. New young stockers with poor images come, old pros go away. Nobody sees there's a hole ready to fill. Good pros need some good place. Fair pricing, serious offer and reasonable clients. Trust is what we need for sure. I'm not asking anything else. I'll give my images exclusive but give me fair treating.
In current micros I don't see any courageous.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 11:16 by Ariene »


Shelma1

« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2014, 11:19 »
+9
We have joined together and made a difference. Fotolia offered an opt out only after we did that. I see the glass as half full here. For maybe the first time, a very large group of people from all corners of the world joined together to take action against a microstock agency. If there's a next time, we know joining together will work. And since we have this success under our belts, we can probably reach even more people next time. We've shown that we have some power. We're not alone, and we're not too small to make a difference.

I agree. Let me add:

What is holding us back to prevent these huge screw-ups from happening in the future by informing the agencies now where our limits are?

Is it delusional to look for a constructive dialogue with the agencies, ideally on an ongoing basis to keep such dramatic events to a minimum?

What would even be the interest or benefit for any agency to stay stubborn and quiet, risking a huge outrage if they can prevent it from happening in the first place?

Agencies won't listen if we're not willing to take action. Opting out from DPC seems to me one of the easiest actions to take.

1. It's new...it's not like anyone is counting on DPC for most of their income yet.

2. It's simple...you just opt out with the click of a mouse. Your files keep earning (more) money on Fotolia.

3. It's painless. See point #1.

4. It helps you and your fellow contributors, because buyers need to look to better-paying sites for images.

stockphoto-images.com

« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2014, 11:21 »
-4
If you stay opted it it means you are informing the agencies that they still havn't reached your limit ;)

Going back to my OP. I just threw out the idea of the petition. Disregard my person.

If anyone feels it is worth doing - do it. If not, drop it.

I've made my decisions as others have made theirs. Their prerogative and not my business. Nonetheless, we contributors always get the short end of the stick not just since I stayed in DPC...


stockphoto-images.com

« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2014, 11:26 »
-5
Agencies won't listen if we're not willing to take action. Opting out from DPC seems to me one of the easiest actions to take.

1. It's new...it's not like anyone is counting on DPC for most of their income yet.

2. It's simple...you just opt out with the click of a mouse. Your files keep earning (more) money on Fotolia.

3. It's painless. See point #1.

4. It helps you and your fellow contributors, because buyers need to look to better-paying sites for images.

Will our situation with all other agencies change if I opt out of DPC?

Is the petition a bad idea?

« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2014, 11:40 »
+4
We know what we want - the agencies don't. Let's tell them.

1 - what do you want? opt in at DPC
2 - let's tell them? guess you told them already!

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2014, 11:55 »
+1
If you stay opted it it means you are informing the agencies that they still havn't reached your limit ;)

Going back to my OP. I just threw out the idea of the petition. Disregard my person.

If anyone feels it is worth doing - do it. If not, drop it.

I've made my decisions as others have made theirs. Their prerogative and not my business. Nonetheless, we contributors always get the short end of the stick not just since I stayed in DPC...

I personally don't care what you do, rather you opt in or out of DPC, that is your decision. I'm not going to judge you on that. The idea you have is a good one and just because you are opted in to DPC shouldn't mean the idea isn't a fair one, but just so you are aware, this talk has been going on for years. No petition has ever been done that I am aware of. Many times demands have been made of stock agencies by it's contributors. Some times it works sometimes not. Sometimes people get banned from the sites for being to loud about issues. Many threaten to leave, but most never do so the agency usually wins. There isn't one person willing to do what you talk about. I gave them my answer years ago...I walked away from them all of them except for Shutterstock. People speak loudly on here about issues, but no one person has ever taken the reigns to do anything about it. In my opinion if one person threatens to leave an agency unless it changes, then they should keep their word, but that usually doesn't happen. Good luck.

Shelma1

« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2014, 12:05 »
+11
Agencies won't listen if we're not willing to take action. Opting out from DPC seems to me one of the easiest actions to take.

1. It's new...it's not like anyone is counting on DPC for most of their income yet.

2. It's simple...you just opt out with the click of a mouse. Your files keep earning (more) money on Fotolia.

3. It's painless. See point #1.

4. It helps you and your fellow contributors, because buyers need to look to better-paying sites for images.

Will our situation with all other agencies change if I opt out of DPC?

Is the petition a bad idea?

Our situation at other agencies may change if you don't opt out of DPC. They may lose sales or reduce the percentage they pay to compete. So the situation for all of us might get worse.

Before you say one person opting out doesn't matter, consider that If everyone thought that way...that one person opting out won't make a difference...nobody would have opted out. In fact, there would be no option to opt out!

I don't think a petition is a bad idea, but we'd need bargaining power. We'd need to be able to "go on strike." You're not willing to do that, even on a new site that doesn't affect your income much yet. What more can I say?

farbled

« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2014, 19:37 »
+6
I have to admit that I am surprised by the low turnout and engagement here in the forums of "up and coming" agencies that want to make a mark in this industry.

I can't think of a better time for a currently low earning, well run, small agency to come up with a better model that works for all of us. Just think what might happen with what a reasonably easy to use agency could do by popping in here and saying, "Yes, 50% of every sale and no fine print". I'd put some eggs in that basket for the right agency. I know only a couple have tried, but where are the rest? That's a pretty long list down the side of this site. How come so few try to engage us (the contributors, not just us forum people).

C'mon small agencies, its a good time to get into the bigs. People are looking for places to go and grow. Give us a place to hang our hats and partner with you.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2014, 19:49 »
+2
I have to admit that I am surprised by the low turnout and engagement here in the forums of "up and coming" agencies that want to make a mark in this industry.
It's not at all surprising, given the past history of such enterprises.

H*ll, way back before micro was even thought of, I sent sheets of 35mm slides to an agency recommended by a well-known British pro and writer. I never heard back from them, never got my slides back (despite having supplied SAE), no reply to letters (this really was back in the day!). They may just have binned my slides, which was a PITA as they were originals and I had no copies, or they might have used them until 35mm became useless, and even then they might have scanned them.

Nowadays it's even easier for them to get digital files, go 'out of business' then goodness knows what they might do with your files. Though to be fair, most of the scams we hear about here have not been files acquired from failed agencies, but from current ones.


 

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