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Microstock Photography Forum - General => Image Sleuth => Topic started by: cidepix on January 03, 2013, 20:19

Title: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 03, 2013, 20:19
Thanks to MSG, and a member who sent me a personal message (not disclosing who, as he/she may not like it..) we have(most probably) discovered the biggest scam in 10 years of microstock history..

Apparently they came up on MSG before: http://www.microstockgroup.com/shutterstock-com/who-is-high-leg-studio/ (http://www.microstockgroup.com/shutterstock-com/who-is-high-leg-studio/)
and today: http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/same-sales-with-400-images-and-4000-images-in-signelements/msg288079/?topicseen#new (http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/same-sales-with-400-images-and-4000-images-in-signelements/msg288079/?topicseen#new) (lower down the page)

and the scam still continues, while they probably already made 100s of thousands of dollars stealing other people's works..

Here is my original image which made me %100 sure that they are thieves:
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-5965507-various-shapes-and-graphic-design-elements.php?st=931b75c (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-5965507-various-shapes-and-graphic-design-elements.php?st=931b75c)
I can recognize my work from 1 million lightyears away.. There is no way I am wrong here..

and here are the ugly "warped" versions by these infringers:
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-26039425/stock-vector-logo-set.html?src=872305bcf7f5059bba0928db43dfe1cf-1-13 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-26039425/stock-vector-logo-set.html?src=872305bcf7f5059bba0928db43dfe1cf-1-13)

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-26039422/stock-vector-logo-set.html?src=872305bcf7f5059bba0928db43dfe1cf-1-7 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-26039422/stock-vector-logo-set.html?src=872305bcf7f5059bba0928db43dfe1cf-1-7)

Every vector artist reading this must take some time and check this portfolio here to see if they find their own work as well:
http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-146584p1.html (http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-146584p1.html)

They obviously think, it is OK stealing as long as you disguise it with warps and distortions..

edit: I am adding it here (as well) for people who didn't see the links..
(http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/1411/3425456.jpg)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 03, 2013, 20:37
I have contacted shutterstock.. It's unbelievable how long a scam can go on..

so much work going into disguising the vectors I guess.. nearly 40.000 vectors.. That is no human work.. not with the quality of some of those works..

Some of them are just ugly warps and distortions as I said, and some others are more complicated.. but any vector artist will tell you, it is not easy to produce this many vectors..

possible but not easy.. requires thousands of sleepless nights..

They call themselves a studio.. it is possible someone has some artists working for him and some of those artists happen to be OVER-INSPIRED by other original works..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fritz on January 03, 2013, 20:40
Site mail to SS. Sad, but that's the only thing you can do. Happen to me before and I mail to theft to remove the file and believe or not the answer was" Who the FYCK are you to tell me what to do"
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 03, 2013, 20:44
Site mail to SS. Sad, but that's the only thing you can do. Happen to me before and I mail to theft to remove the file and believe or not the answer was" Who the FYCK are you to tell me what to do"


I found more, not just mine.. here:

http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?searchterm=love+angel+devil&search_group=&lang=en&search_source=search_form#id=7831480&src=8e374a439576628e328aabc47b3696e9-1-1 (http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?searchterm=love+angel+devil&search_group=&lang=en&search_source=search_form#id=7831480&src=8e374a439576628e328aabc47b3696e9-1-1)

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-8596135/stock-vector-love-symbols.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-5-59 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-8596135/stock-vector-love-symbols.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-5-59)

just swapped the figures, and applied their usual ugly warps and distortions along with some rip off wings that doesn't even fit to this style..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 03, 2013, 20:54
http://www.microstockgroup.com/shutterstock-com/who-is-high-leg-studio/ (http://www.microstockgroup.com/shutterstock-com/who-is-high-leg-studio/)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 03, 2013, 21:29
this is a very puzzling case..

what's the connection between this? http://www.pixel77.com/incredible-vector-packs-designiouscom-famous-cities/ (http://www.pixel77.com/incredible-vector-packs-designiouscom-famous-cities/)

and these:
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799412/stock-vector-new-york-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=2ea83a4fb47bf6b5152b308a4aa876b2-1-1 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799412/stock-vector-new-york-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=2ea83a4fb47bf6b5152b308a4aa876b2-1-1)

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799361/stock-vector-london-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=d088992e45925b7dbbccd24965e1b3c0-1-0 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799361/stock-vector-london-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=d088992e45925b7dbbccd24965e1b3c0-1-0)

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799367/stock-vector-istanbul-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=1e06e8971fc082d7ca5b47e78f11bfeb-1-0 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799367/stock-vector-istanbul-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=1e06e8971fc082d7ca5b47e78f11bfeb-1-0)

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: JPSDK on January 03, 2013, 23:55
ja that sounds nasty and big.

But please, can you explain to us photographers and laypeople, what a warped vector is.
I mean what have they done to the original files?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 04, 2013, 03:38
ja that sounds nasty and big.

But please, can you explain to us photographers and laypeople, what a warped vector is.
I mean what have they done to the original files?

If you open any file in photoshop, on any layer with something on it, click on free transform, then right click, you will see the "warp" option.. play with it and you will learn what I mean..

Warp is also available in illustrator: Effect > Warp (with lots of options)

In illustrator, you don't even have to use "auto warp" options.. you can just manually pull from any point of the drawing and modify the shape of it..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: aspp on January 04, 2013, 05:34
Does Shutterstock ever contact the buyers in cases like this to notify them that they must unuse the content they have bought ? Do they ever reimburse the original artists ? What happens to the money they collect for selling stolen content ?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 04, 2013, 05:40
Cidepix, it might be drastic measures, but you can sue Shutterstock if they dont take it down. Its weird tho that they dont follow their own copyright policies as soon as big bucks are involved. And can you imagine how much money you lost out on. I am really sorry for you dude.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 04, 2013, 05:56
Cidepix, it might be drastic measures, but you can sue Shutterstock if they dont take it down. Its weird tho that they dont follow their own copyright policies as soon as big bucks are involved. And can you imagine how much money you lost out on. I am really sorry for you dude.


Thanks but I think the industry suffers from this gigantic scam more than me as an individual.. If it's not taken down as soon as possible, it is also a message to all the thieves that as long as they camouflage the theft well, it is ok stealing.. When I look at the images, for example his santa and reindeers, I can see how the legs of the deers are chopped off, and the outlines simplified, so not many people will recognize it even if it's their own drawings:
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-22312423/stock-vector-vector-christmas-greeting-card.html?src=ab757b5cfb60e599e37b86c45171e87a-1-47 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-22312423/stock-vector-vector-christmas-greeting-card.html?src=ab757b5cfb60e599e37b86c45171e87a-1-47)
notice the simplification..

I suspect it is ripped off from this one:
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-120438004/stock-vector-beautiful-winter-landscape-with-background-of-night-sky-with-a-bright-moon-and-the-silhouette-of.html?src=1e29c0ee90241bee01bbaf36488dd5ec-1-0 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-120438004/stock-vector-beautiful-winter-landscape-with-background-of-night-sky-with-a-bright-moon-and-the-silhouette-of.html?src=1e29c0ee90241bee01bbaf36488dd5ec-1-0)

but you can't tell because of the simplification.. this kind of sophisticated camouflage is all over the place..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Reef on January 04, 2013, 06:06
this is a very puzzling case..

what's the connection between this? [url]http://www.pixel77.com/incredible-vector-packs-designiouscom-famous-cities/[/url] ([url]http://www.pixel77.com/incredible-vector-packs-designiouscom-famous-cities/[/url])

and these:
[url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799412/stock-vector-new-york-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=2ea83a4fb47bf6b5152b308a4aa876b2-1-1[/url] ([url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799412/stock-vector-new-york-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=2ea83a4fb47bf6b5152b308a4aa876b2-1-1[/url])

[url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799361/stock-vector-london-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=d088992e45925b7dbbccd24965e1b3c0-1-0[/url] ([url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799361/stock-vector-london-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=d088992e45925b7dbbccd24965e1b3c0-1-0[/url])

[url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799367/stock-vector-istanbul-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=1e06e8971fc082d7ca5b47e78f11bfeb-1-0[/url] ([url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799367/stock-vector-istanbul-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=1e06e8971fc082d7ca5b47e78f11bfeb-1-0[/url])


http://www.vectorious.net/ (http://www.vectorious.net/)      600 Vectors for $30
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 04, 2013, 06:15
this is a very puzzling case..

what's the connection between this? [url]http://www.pixel77.com/incredible-vector-packs-designiouscom-famous-cities/[/url] ([url]http://www.pixel77.com/incredible-vector-packs-designiouscom-famous-cities/[/url])

and these:
[url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799412/stock-vector-new-york-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=2ea83a4fb47bf6b5152b308a4aa876b2-1-1[/url] ([url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799412/stock-vector-new-york-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=2ea83a4fb47bf6b5152b308a4aa876b2-1-1[/url])

[url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799361/stock-vector-london-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=d088992e45925b7dbbccd24965e1b3c0-1-0[/url] ([url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799361/stock-vector-london-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=d088992e45925b7dbbccd24965e1b3c0-1-0[/url])

[url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799367/stock-vector-istanbul-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=1e06e8971fc082d7ca5b47e78f11bfeb-1-0[/url] ([url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-77799367/stock-vector-istanbul-doodles-vector-illustration.html?src=1e06e8971fc082d7ca5b47e78f11bfeb-1-0[/url])


[url]http://www.vectorious.net/[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorious.net/[/url])      600 Vectors for $30


I was just about to post that.. these images were either posted to SS directly by vectorious.net, or some thief got them for $30 and posted them on SS.. If it was directly by vectorious.net, why the need to steal mine as well? and why not post under your brand name: vectorious?
http://www.vectorious.net/img13076.search.htm (http://www.vectorious.net/img13076.search.htm)
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-64823440/stock-vector-vector-abstract-illustration-with-colorful-butterfly.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-11-16 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-64823440/stock-vector-vector-abstract-illustration-with-colorful-butterfly.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-11-16)

Yeap a lot of images from http://www.vectorious.net/ (http://www.vectorious.net/)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 04, 2013, 06:32
vectorious claims to have 18000 files:
http://www.vectorious.net/subscription (http://www.vectorious.net/subscription)

what about the remaining 22000 in high leg's portfolio?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Reef on January 04, 2013, 07:02
http://www.vectorious.net/      600 Vectors for $30

The future of Microstock?  SS are slack with stuff like this.

Can it get worse? How about the 2 x 70gig Torrents out there that contain high quality SS photos. Seems to be all new material as well. That's a huge security breach.

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: noodle on January 04, 2013, 09:11
If the theif has made hundreds of thousands of $ - well then so has the ms site. That is a LOT of revenue, and you wonder how much harder it is to be motivated for them to shut down someone like this, when your own pockets are getting stuffed with money?

I truly feel sorry for the original artists like yourself that have invested time and creativity to producing vectors, only to have a scumbags come steal them and rip you off. I hope they get shut down pronto. And its kudos to you and others that find such violators and post them on these forums, so that ALL artists are aware of whats going on, and together to try to do something about it!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: JPSDK on January 04, 2013, 09:44
Clearly there is a lawsuit against both the copyright violator and the distributing agency.
BOTH.

I suggest you copyright owners gather up and file a lawsuit. There can be a lot of money there.
You are both being copied and redistributed.

And if you have informed the distributing agency, they cannot claim they were innocent.

The agency might be interested in setteling the matter with an agreement. Their problem will be if you represent all the copyright owners, or if there will be further demands in the future.
So settle, and they will have precedence. Which can limit and control the damages.



Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 04, 2013, 10:06
I agree with Jens. Sue the heck out of SS and the lot. If they are lining their pockets with stolen goods, they need to suffer as well. I would post it in the SS forum too if I were you. Make it public, shame them all.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fotomine on January 04, 2013, 11:45
Here's a sister company to Vectorius:

http://www.designious.com/ (http://www.designious.com/)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: JPSDK on January 04, 2013, 20:33
It seems that people are afraid of posting in this thread.
I can understand why.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cathyslife on January 04, 2013, 20:45
im not afraid of posting in the thread, i just dont do vectors, so there wont be anything i can do about it. but i have found my images on torrent sites, so i know how it feels to get ripped off. i hope something can be done to stop the thieves, but i fear no one wants to spend the money.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: gostwyck on January 05, 2013, 07:26
So what's going on here? SS are normally very quick to deal with such violations and usually suspend the portfolio almost immediately. How come the High Leg Studio port is still available at SS?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 05, 2013, 07:42
So what's going on here? SS are normally very quick to deal with such violations and usually suspend the portfolio almost immediately. How come the High Leg Studio port is still available at SS?
Well, suspending 36k vectors, bringing you a massive amount of $$$ obviously is not something you want to do. Thats why I think you can sue Shutterstock for copyright violation, because they keep the account live.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: ShadySue on January 05, 2013, 07:43
It seems that people are afraid of posting in this thread.
I can understand why.
Who's afraid? I wouldn't see why.
I am very interested to see how the hagiographified SS deals with this, and am concerned that, at the very least, the ports aren't suspended pending investigation.
I suspect the OP might be prevented from fully revealing how the issue is ultimately resolved.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 05, 2013, 07:46
What I find weird is that simple people's ports are suspended as soon as someone reports a (false) copyright claim against them, yet this port stays live regardless of massive violations. Simply put, Shutterstock is full of sh!t when they say they take copyright violations seriously. They only take it serious when it doesnt hurt them.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 05, 2013, 08:12
It seems that people are afraid of posting in this thread.
I can understand why.
Who's afraid? I wouldn't see why.
I am very interested to see how the hagiographified SS deals with this, and am concerned that, at the very least, the ports aren't suspended pending investigation.
I suspect the OP might be prevented from fully revealing how the issue is ultimately resolved.

I am still waiting for an answer from them.. I guess the issue is lifted to a higher department.. I am patient but obviously for a reasonable amount of time..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fritz on January 05, 2013, 08:45
What I find weird is that simple people's ports are suspended as soon as someone reports a (false) copyright claim against them, yet this port stays live regardless of massive violations. Simply put, Shutterstock is full of sh!t when they say they take copyright violations seriously. They only take it serious when it doesnt hurt them.
True!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: JPSDK on January 05, 2013, 08:47
I suggest you make a homepage with links to the violating ports on the different sites.
Details such as number of files and online time will be important.

+ a call for copyright owners and a contact adress where the copyright owners can contact you.
I think the settlement will be based on how long the fraud files has been online, if not directly on the income made from them.
The copyright owners and the agency might want to form an alliance.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: panoramic on January 05, 2013, 10:50
Searched in google for "angry gorilla" . This is what I found:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cmfKTEDnOQw/UKZHGDOHe_I/AAAAAAAABaU/XdoYgxxCYVg/s1600/psyche-angry-gorilla.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cmfKTEDnOQw/UKZHGDOHe_I/AAAAAAAABaU/XdoYgxxCYVg/s1600/psyche-angry-gorilla.jpg)
This is one of their's most popular:
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-57269062/stock-vector-animals-mega-collection-vector-illustration.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-1-12 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-57269062/stock-vector-animals-mega-collection-vector-illustration.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-1-12)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: aspp on January 05, 2013, 11:34
I suggest you make a homepage etc

Why should he have to do any of that? He has contacted Shutterstock and they need to deal with it.

Unless they offer him a very significant amount of money he might be wise to refuse to retrospectively sign off these purchases. If he doesn't they are going to have to contact all of their clients who who have used these images in order to tell them to un-use them. Which will cost them.

He should be tough with SS because this sort of nonsense on the part of the agencies plays into the hands of people who have long argued that buying RF stock, and especially from un curated collections which undercut sustainable rates is inherently risky.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: JPSDK on January 05, 2013, 12:46
El pueblo unido jamais sera vencido
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cathyslife on January 05, 2013, 14:27
El pueblo unido jamais sera vencido

Translation from wiki: "The people united will never be defeated"
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 05, 2013, 18:51
Searched in google for "angry gorilla" . This is what I found:
[url]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cmfKTEDnOQw/UKZHGDOHe_I/AAAAAAAABaU/XdoYgxxCYVg/s1600/psyche-angry-gorilla.jpg[/url] ([url]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cmfKTEDnOQw/UKZHGDOHe_I/AAAAAAAABaU/XdoYgxxCYVg/s1600/psyche-angry-gorilla.jpg[/url])
This is one of their's most popular:
[url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-57269062/stock-vector-animals-mega-collection-vector-illustration.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-1-12[/url] ([url]http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-57269062/stock-vector-animals-mega-collection-vector-illustration.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-1-12[/url])


wow this is a great find.. they used source material that they don't own.. this is gonna be some thread!
as newbie links are not clickable, I am re-posting, so more people can see them:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cmfKTEDnOQw/UKZHGDOHe_I/AAAAAAAABaU/XdoYgxxCYVg/s1600/psyche-angry-gorilla.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cmfKTEDnOQw/UKZHGDOHe_I/AAAAAAAABaU/XdoYgxxCYVg/s1600/psyche-angry-gorilla.jpg)

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-57269062/stock-vector-animals-mega-collection-vector-illustration.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-1-12 (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-57269062/stock-vector-animals-mega-collection-vector-illustration.html?src=d57ff83b66fd73e0d4aad1a74198eec0-1-12)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Pinocchio on January 06, 2013, 12:25
I don't know if the folk here know this, but Firefox has a handy feature that might be very useful in situations like this.  First, navigate to the page you're interested in, then select File-> Save Page As from the Firefox menu; follow the Firefox dialog to create a new directory, then save.  You get the whole page, HTML and all.

IP lawyers often recommend taking screenshots of offending material; this is a way to capture the whole page in situations like that.

Regards
edit: changed "site" to "page"
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Mantis on January 06, 2013, 12:46
What's interesting is that I see nothing about it on the SS forums. Perhaps I missed it but you'd think that someone would make a stink over there about intellectual thievery. 
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 07, 2013, 04:36
I also think the Santa sled one and your logos are a blatant copies. Also agree that the gorilla seems to use that photo. Not too sure about the angel and devil one, seems to be the same concept but not using the same file.

I believe they are a studio based out of Romania, so maybe there is one person in the team who is infringing? To be honest most of the stuff in the portfolio looks to be original?

On Vectorious dot net they say inkydeals dot com is also one of their "sister sites" and you can see the team there in the about page. I am guessing it is the same people.



Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 07, 2013, 05:22
I also think the Santa sled one and your logos are a blatant copies. Also agree that the gorilla seems to use that photo. Not too sure about the angel and devil one, seems to be the same concept but not using the same file.

I believe they are a studio based out of Romania, so maybe there is one person in the team who is infringing? To be honest most of the stuff in the portfolio looks to be original?

On Vectorious dot net they say inkydeals dot com is also one of their "sister sites" and you can see the team there in the about page. I am guessing it is the same people.

I agree with you.. I have the same feeling.. I don't want the port to be taken down IF %99 of it, is original.. to be honest, I searched for many of the vectors and couldn't find much.. If they are a team, and one of them is an infringer, he needs to be punished though..

If this is vectorious team submitting to SS officially, they need to make sure to weed out the infringer(s)..

2 images in my OP are definitely copies, no one can deny that.. I believe that SS is not mad to keep those copies online..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: ShadySue on January 07, 2013, 07:06
We're read here of people having their ports closed because of one or two infringing files before, why not this one?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 07, 2013, 07:09
I am not sure what the best thing to do would be. Looking at that "about" page they seem to have art directors and the like so as a studio they should have caught the infringements/ know about them.

Then again, if it is a company account would shutting them down because of one or two files out of 20000 be like shutting down all of Shutterstock because some a**hole sneaks in some stolen content into the library?

I honestly don't know where to come down on it.

ETA of course if it was an individual's account, you know who the thief is so can shut it down right away.

Maybe they could take down the offending material and suspend the portfolio with a notification to the studio that they need to go through and scrub it of anything even possibly dodgy. Let them know that they have a zero tolerance attitude to the account from then on. One more infringement and a complete termination of account.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 07, 2013, 07:15
I guess I feel it is a bit less clear cut in this case, especially considering some of the content that is out there still on the big sites that is clearly infringing in the worst way.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 07, 2013, 08:09
We're read here of people having their ports closed because of one or two infringing files before, why not this one?


I think microbius has a good point in his post after yours..

If they determine this is a "one person show", then shut him down for sure..

IF it's a company hiring illustrators to create content to be submitted, this really is more complicated.. It is possible that they genuinely thought someone is creating original content for them..

but again, you are right I think, because whoever they are, it is their job to make sure all the content they submit is original, if not they should be shut down.. Why should we care for their carelessness..

btw, here is the fotolia port: http://us.fotolia.com/p/263976 (http://us.fotolia.com/p/263976)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 07, 2013, 13:10
its no longer available (talking about his SS portfolio)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: gostwyck on January 07, 2013, 14:12
its no longer available (talking about his SS portfolio)

The eagle-eyes of MSG contributors have foiled another thief!

"... and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!"
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: leaf on January 07, 2013, 14:16
I wonder how that account was run.  If it was a group or a hired bunch of illustrators working together?  It would be very depressing if one bad apple illustrator ruined it for a group or team of illustrators. 
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cthoman on January 07, 2013, 14:28
I wonder how that account was run.  If it was a group or a hired bunch of illustrators working together?  It would be very depressing if one bad apple illustrator ruined it for a group or team of illustrators.

I agree, but, at the same time, you have to be careful about who you hire. I've never hired anyone to help me create my illustrations, but I was thinking about it at one time. My thought was to hire people not to create original designs, but to have contractors create illustrations from my own sketches. That way, you don't have to worry about them taking designs from somewhere else or having any claim to the design's copyright. Just my two cents.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 07, 2013, 14:47
I don't feel bad about he or she or them, they made more than enough with other work, hope they have saved some, anyway they will come back...
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 07, 2013, 14:59
Just to spice things up..

It was shocking what I was told in my email correspondence with signelements..

They said they were going to remove the 2 images because they were similar, but they believed there was no copyright infringement or blatant copying here, rather they labeled it as merely a coincidence  ;D

They are either blind or they think I am naive instead of nice.. coincidence? this? 5 coincidences occuring all at once? I understand one coincidence per image, but this? come on!
(http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/1411/3425456.jpg)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 07, 2013, 15:03
If they consider that a coincident then they are a disgrace
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 07, 2013, 15:08
If they consider that a coincident then they are a disgrace

seriously, I urge anyone to stay away from signelements.. it's unbelievable..

do you really want to be represented by this kind of mentality?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 07, 2013, 15:23
If they consider that a coincident then they are a disgrace

seriously, I urge anyone to stay away from signelements.. it's unbelievable..

do you really want to be represented by this kind of mentality?

I believe they will have other attitude after knowing that SS took his portfolio away...
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: gostwyck on January 07, 2013, 15:28
I wonder how that account was run.  If it was a group or a hired bunch of illustrators working together?  It would be very depressing if one bad apple illustrator ruined it for a group or team of illustrators.

I don't know why people assume that HLS must be a team. Yes, it is a big portfolio, but you get to save a lot of time if you are assembling images using elements created by others.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 07, 2013, 15:28
If they consider that a coincident then they are a disgrace

seriously, I urge anyone to stay away from signelements.. it's unbelievable..

do you really want to be represented by this kind of mentality?

I believe they will have other attitude after knowing that SS took his portfolio away...

they shouldn't have to rely on others to have the right attitude..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 07, 2013, 15:32
If they consider that a coincident then they are a disgrace

seriously, I urge anyone to stay away from signelements.. it's unbelievable..

do you really want to be represented by this kind of mentality?

I believe they will have other attitude after knowing that SS took his portfolio away...

they shouldn't have to rely on others to have the right attitude..

indeed but we are talking about stock agencies, they change quite fast without any notice! ;D
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Mantis on January 07, 2013, 20:22
I wonder how that account was run.  If it was a group or a hired bunch of illustrators working together?  It would be very depressing if one bad apple illustrator ruined it for a group or team of illustrators.

I don't know why people assume that HLS must be a team. Yes, it is a big portfolio, but you get to save a lot of time if you are assembling images using elements created by others.

He didn't make that "assumption". Leaf said "IF".
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 08, 2013, 04:00
I wonder how that account was run.  If it was a group or a hired bunch of illustrators working together?  It would be very depressing if one bad apple illustrator ruined it for a group or team of illustrators.


I don't know why people assume that HLS must be a team. Yes, it is a big portfolio, but you get to save a lot of time if you are assembling images using elements created by others.

Believe me it is a team, there are many different styles and skill levels represented that are clearly from different artists.
In fact I would bet that this is the team (broken link so replace the "dot"):
http://www.inkydeals (http://www.inkydeals) dot com/about/

ETA, sorry I reread your post, I had misunderstood, of course it could have been one person taking lots of other people's work!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Tabimura on January 08, 2013, 04:53
The portfolio is still at SS.

http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-146584p3.html (http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-146584p3.html)

LE: ...but the images are not available when clicked.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 08, 2013, 12:26
40k images gone... wow.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: aspp on January 08, 2013, 13:54
Have Shutterstock started contacted the customers yet ?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 08, 2013, 16:39
Have Shutterstock started contacted the customers yet ?

SS telling their customers would be like finding a needle in haystack, imagine how many sales a 40k portfolio generates...
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: aspp on January 08, 2013, 16:44
Surely they have to tell the customers who have downloaded these images since they cannot legally be used.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 08, 2013, 16:55
Surely they have to tell the customers who have downloaded these images since they cannot legally be used.

I believe you aren't contributing to SS, his/her/whatever portfolio must sell 2-5k files per day... now imagine that since 2007 ;D
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: ShadySue on January 08, 2013, 17:08
Have Shutterstock started contacted the customers yet ?
They could make amends to some extent by compensating the artists whose work was ripped off, i.e. paying them the royalties they would have got had they sold directly.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: aspp on January 08, 2013, 17:36
They could make amends to some extent by compensating the artists whose work was ripped off, i.e. paying them the royalties they would have got had they sold directly.

AFAIK the original artists should expect to receive the total value of all sales - ie 100% of the sale with no commission deducted.

The agency will probably hope to also negotiate a signing off on the downloads - ie effectively making the sales legitimate such that their clients are not exposed.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: ShadySue on January 08, 2013, 17:50
They could make amends to some extent by compensating the artists whose work was ripped off, i.e. paying them the royalties they would have got had they sold directly.

AFAIK the original artists should expect to receive the total value of all sales - ie 100% of the sale with no commission deducted.

The agency will probably hope to also negotiate a signing off on the downloads - ie effectively making the sales legitimate such that their clients are not exposed.

It will be very interesting to see if SS's model is sustainable enough to allow for that.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cathyslife on January 08, 2013, 17:58
Have Shutterstock started contacted the customers yet ?

SS telling their customers would be like finding a needle in haystack, imagine how many sales a 40k portfolio generates...

I feel confident they would be able to track each and every sale. This IS the age of computers, after all. It's more a question of whether they would actually want to bother. I believe they should be able to run reports using specific data fields of what they are looking for.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 08, 2013, 18:24
Have Shutterstock started contacted the customers yet ?

SS telling their customers would be like finding a needle in haystack, imagine how many sales a 40k portfolio generates...

I feel confident they would be able to track each and every sale. This IS the age of computers, after all. It's more a question of whether they would actually want to bother. I believe they should be able to run reports using specific data fields of what they are looking for.

come on... and they will also see which files were copied by who and send the royalties to the real owners? that would take like all 2013 even in the computer age
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 09, 2013, 01:58
No agency, AFAIK, has ever compensated a contributor when they have discovered their work has been stolen and sold on their site, or for that matter notified a buyer.

Maybe because it would be like admitting culpability? or maybe because they can get away with pocketing the cash so they do?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: leaf on January 09, 2013, 07:44
No agency, AFAIK, has ever compensated a contributor when they have discovered their work has been stolen and sold on their site, or for that matter notified a buyer.

Maybe because it would be like admitting culpability? or maybe because they can get away with pocketing the cash so they do?

yes, I've also wondered the same many times.  I had some images stolen on Fotolia once.  I sent a DMCA and the images were taken down but I never heard anything about the royalties.  It was just a couple sales so I didn't bother fighting it but sometimes there are a lot of sales.  I can't really understand how anything other than paying the proper owner for the sales is the legally correct thing to do.  Especially when the legal owner of the content is already a member on the site.

In this case with SS, the lines are a little more grey (in my opinion) as the illustrations in questions weren't direct exact copies, more derivative works that closely (too closely) resembled the original.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: ShadySue on January 09, 2013, 07:53
No agency, AFAIK, has ever compensated a contributor when they have discovered their work has been stolen and sold on their site, or for that matter notified a buyer.

Maybe because it would be like admitting culpability? or maybe because they can get away with pocketing the cash so they do?
I'd have thought if they compensated the offended-against contributor they wouldn't have to contact buyers, who generally get some sort of assurance from the agencies. That's only my own moral opinion, however, not any sort of legal statement.
Also, by permanently removing offending content, they are admitting not exactly culpability (as it's probably unrealistic to run checking searches on every site on the internet, also content could have been illegally uploaded from non-internet photos) but the fact that this content, once pointed out to them, was doubtful/dodgy at leaast.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 09, 2013, 10:02
Hi everyone,

My name is Alex Dumitru and I'm one of the partners at Brainik (brainik.com) the company that owns the account "highlegstudio" on Shutterstock along with other web properties mentioned in this thread.

We are a design studio based in Romania and in the last 5 years we had over 25 designers that worked to create the portfolio we have, as you can imagine 40k vector images are not easy to create. All the vectors on Shutterstock are created inhouse by our designers with our own design elements (we create and sell vector elements and more on couple of websites).

We take very serious copyright infringement and we would have never uploaded this image if we knew that it was a copy of someone else's work. We are very sorry and we apologize to the user"cidepix" that one of our designers was over inspired from his design to create the one in our portfolio. Once our account will be reinstated we will remove the image if Shutterstock will not do it.

As designers (or design studio) we understand how is to have your work stolen very well because others have stolen from us, released for free on websites and on torrents and even more.

That being said the title of the thread is a bit harsh and a lot of the things said here were exaggerated. We didn't want to steal anything, it was just a mistake and again we are very sorry for it.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 09, 2013, 10:08
Hi everyone,

My name is Alex Dumitru and I'm one of the partners at Brainik (brainik.com) the company that owns the account "highlegstudio" on Shutterstock along with other web properties mentioned in this thread.

We are a design studio based in Romania and in the last 5 years we had over 25 designers that worked to create the portfolio we have, as you can imagine 40k vector images are not easy to create. All the vectors on Shutterstock are created inhouse by our designers with our own design elements (we create and sell vector elements and more on couple of websites).

We take very serious copyright infringement and we would have never uploaded this image if we knew that it was a copy of someone else's work. We are very sorry and we apologize to the user"cidepix" that one of our designers was over inspired from his design to create the one in our portfolio. Once our account will be reinstated we will remove the image if Shutterstock will not do it.

As designers (or design studio) we understand how is to have your work stolen very well because others have stolen from us, released for free on websites and on torrents and even more.

That being said the title of the thread is a bit harsh and a lot of the things said here were exaggerated. We didn't want to steal anything, it was just a mistake and again we are very sorry for it.

its not 1 my friend..... shame on you!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: click_click on January 09, 2013, 10:27
... We are very sorry and we apologize to the user"cidepix" that one of our designers was over inspired from his design to create the one in our portfolio. ...

So you actually admit that one of your designers gets "inspiration" from other Shutterstock contributors. Don't you think this would ba a little too close for comfort to copy from a person that also submits their work to the very same stock agency? This is ruthless behavior.

Quote
Once our account will be reinstated we will remove the image if Shutterstock will not do it.
Reinstated? Your portfolio was removed for a reason. I wonder how SS would allow your port to go back online.

I cannot see SS allowing these guys to go back online under the same pseudonym. It's obviously an open secret that these guys will try anything to open new accounts and do the same thing all over again since they believe they didn't do anything wrong.

WOW.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cthoman on January 09, 2013, 10:31
Reinstated? Your portfolio was removed for a reason. I wonder how SS would allow your port to go back online.

I cannot see SS allowing these guys to go back online under the same pseudonym. It's obviously an open secret that these guys will try anything to open new accounts and do the same thing all over again since they believe they didn't do anything wrong.

WOW.

I always thought it was standard SS operating policy to suspend an account while they investigate, so a final verdict may have not been delivered yet.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 09, 2013, 10:38
... We are very sorry and we apologize to the user"cidepix" that one of our designers was over inspired from his design to create the one in our portfolio. ...

So you actually admit that one of your designers gets "inspiration" from other Shutterstock contributors. Don't you think this would ba a little too close for comfort to copy from a person that also submits their work to the very same stock agency? This is ruthless behavior.

Quote
Once our account will be reinstated we will remove the image if Shutterstock will not do it.
Reinstated? Your portfolio was removed for a reason. I wonder how SS would allow your port to go back online.

I cannot see SS allowing these guys to go back online under the same pseudonym. It's obviously an open secret that these guys will try anything to open new accounts and do the same thing all over again since they believe they didn't do anything wrong.

WOW.

What I admit is that one of the designers we employed created an image 4 years ago from someone else's work, I didn't approve that and I surely didn't encourage it.

Our portfolio is suspended, we had one image from 40000, I don't think they would remove our entire portfolio.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 09, 2013, 10:44
I also do not like the weasel words, I believe Cidepix's  files weren't just used for inspiration, I believe his files were downloaded, changed and reupoaded as yours (just an opinion), but I will still make a serious suggestion to you.

I predict that your portfolio will probably be reinstated. Before that happens, you need to ensure that you delete all the vectors from the artist/s that produced the Cidepix rip offs and also the Santa sleigh illustration. On all the stock sites and your own, not just SS

Then you need to take down everything that has used a photo from Google as a source to create an illustration of an animal (there are a few that seem familiar to me, as well as that gorilla)

Because believe me, if they catch you on one more infringement you will be getting a permanent ban, and I for one don't want to see all those artists out of a job because of one or two people-- or poor curating by an art editor.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 09, 2013, 10:49
Also, I notice you haven't bothered to take down the offending images from your portfolios on other sites yet. Shouldn't you be doing that as a priority?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: gostwyck on January 09, 2013, 10:53
Hi everyone,

My name is Alex Dumitru and I'm one of the partners at Brainik (brainik.com) the company that owns the account "highlegstudio" on Shutterstock along with other web properties mentioned in this thread.

We are a design studio based in Romania and in the last 5 years we had over 25 designers that worked to create the portfolio we have, as you can imagine 40k vector images are not easy to create. All the vectors on Shutterstock are created inhouse by our designers with our own design elements (we create and sell vector elements and more on couple of websites).

We take very serious copyright infringement and we would have never uploaded this image if we knew that it was a copy of someone else's work. We are very sorry and we apologize to the user"cidepix" that one of our designers was over inspired from his design to create the one in our portfolio. Once our account will be reinstated we will remove the image if Shutterstock will not do it.

As designers (or design studio) we understand how is to have your work stolen very well because others have stolen from us, released for free on websites and on torrents and even more.

That being said the title of the thread is a bit harsh and a lot of the things said here were exaggerated. We didn't want to steal anything, it was just a mistake and again we are very sorry for it.

Thanks for coming here and providing an explanation. I think the biggest mistake you made was employing others to 'create' vectors for you. It inevitably meant that you lost control of your portfolio. Quite frankly I despise 'image factories' like yours though.

Living in Romania, with it's extremely low cost-of-living, you should have been able to earn a very good income as an individual microstock contributor with only a modicom of talent. You didn't need to have a 'factory'.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 09, 2013, 10:57
I also do not like the weasel words, I believe Cidepix's  files weren't just used for inspiration, I believe his files were downloaded, changed and reupoaded as yours (just an opinion), but I will still make a serious suggestion to you.

I predict that your portfolio will probably be reinstated. Before that happens, you need to ensure that you delete all the vectors from the artist/s that produced the Cidepix rip offs and also the Santa sleigh illustration. On all the stock sites and your own, not just SS

Then you need to take down everything that has used a photo from Google as a source to create an illustration of an animal (there are a few that seem familiar to me, as well as that gorilla)

Because believe me, if they catch you on one more infringement you will be getting a permanent ban, and I for one don't want to see all those artists out of a job because of one or two people-- or poor curating by an art editor.

What do you mean by weasel words? I can assure you that the files were not downloaded and re-uploaded, but indeed our designer used his files to create the one in our portfolio. The files will be removed for sure. My guys will also remove the files that were posted here as inspired from others.

I didn't post here to be accused, I tried to answer and let you guys know that we are serious and we try to fix this. I could have easily leave it like that and move on.



 
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 09, 2013, 10:58
Also, I notice you haven't bothered to take down the offending images from your portfolios on other sites yet. Shouldn't you be doing that as a priority?

We just found out about this today, it will be done.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 09, 2013, 11:01
Hi everyone,

My name is Alex Dumitru and I'm one of the partners at Brainik (brainik.com) the company that owns the account "highlegstudio" on Shutterstock along with other web properties mentioned in this thread.

We are a design studio based in Romania and in the last 5 years we had over 25 designers that worked to create the portfolio we have, as you can imagine 40k vector images are not easy to create. All the vectors on Shutterstock are created inhouse by our designers with our own design elements (we create and sell vector elements and more on couple of websites).

We take very serious copyright infringement and we would have never uploaded this image if we knew that it was a copy of someone else's work. We are very sorry and we apologize to the user"cidepix" that one of our designers was over inspired from his design to create the one in our portfolio. Once our account will be reinstated we will remove the image if Shutterstock will not do it.

As designers (or design studio) we understand how is to have your work stolen very well because others have stolen from us, released for free on websites and on torrents and even more.

That being said the title of the thread is a bit harsh and a lot of the things said here were exaggerated. We didn't want to steal anything, it was just a mistake and again we are very sorry for it.

brainik,

If what you are saying is true, I would prefer you to get your portfolio back.. BUT it sends a bad message to the rest of the industry because you;

- didn't make sure to submit "only" the work you fully own.. how can you be trusted that you will be careful in the future?
- I believe and (want to believe) that your portfolio is fully original (except the 2 images based on mine) but as mentioned earlier in this thread, some suspicion is raised for "angry gorilla" and some "santa sled" images too.. and since 2 images are inspired by my image, there is a good reason to believe there are more..

I will be honest, I think you should get your portfolio back, but you need to make sure "all images" in your portfolio are original and there should be some kind of condition to prevent future violations by "one of your designers"..

There needs to be some kind of enforcement because it is otherwise unfair to people who had their accounts closed for 1 violation..

I am not happy to see someone lose a good income, but I am also not happy that someone is stealing my image..

as for the title: you may find it harsh but I had no idea about "highlegstudio" and I thought it was "one person" stealing from many designers (not just me) at first..

I hope it is "only" my image and nothing else..

I don't want anyone to be punished more than they deserve.. But there has to be some kind of consequences..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 09, 2013, 11:02
I also do not like the weasel words, I believe Cidepix's  files weren't just used for inspiration, I believe his files were downloaded, changed and reupoaded as yours (just an opinion), but I will still make a serious suggestion to you.

I predict that your portfolio will probably be reinstated. Before that happens, you need to ensure that you delete all the vectors from the artist/s that produced the Cidepix rip offs and also the Santa sleigh illustration. On all the stock sites and your own, not just SS

Then you need to take down everything that has used a photo from Google as a source to create an illustration of an animal (there are a few that seem familiar to me, as well as that gorilla)

Because believe me, if they catch you on one more infringement you will be getting a permanent ban, and I for one don't want to see all those artists out of a job because of one or two people-- or poor curating by an art editor.


What do you mean by weasel words? I can assure you that the files were not downloaded and re-uploaded, but indeed our designer used his files to create the one in our portfolio. The files will be removed for sure. My guys will also remove the files that were posted here as inspired from others.

I didn't post here to be accused, I tried to answer and let you guys know that we are serious and we try to fix this. I could have easily leave it like that and move on.

Okay now I am confused. Is the designer still working for you and you asked him/ her what they did and that is how you know they have not reuploaded the file, just been "inspired" by it?

Or are you saying that you knew at the time you had people on staff copying other people's work, and that is how you know it is not a reupload?

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you didn't know what was going on.

I am just trying to get a handle on what happened.


ETA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word)  in this case "inspired"
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 09, 2013, 11:12
Quote

brainik,

If what you are saying is true, I would prefer you to get your portfolio back.. BUT it sends a bad message to the rest of the industry because you;

- didn't make sure to submit "only" the work you fully own.. how can you be trusted that you will be careful in the future?
- I believe and (want to believe) that your portfolio is fully original (except the 2 images based on mine) but as mentioned earlier in this thread, some suspicion is raised for "angry gorilla" and some "santa sled" images too.. and since 2 images are inspired by my image, there is a good reason to believe there are more..

I will be honest, I think you should get your portfolio back, but you need to make sure "all images" in your portfolio are original and there should be some kind of condition to prevent future violations by "one of your designers"..

There needs to be some kind of enforcement because it is otherwise unfair to people who had their accounts closed for 1 violation..

I am not happy to see someone lose a good income, but I am also not happy that someone is stealing my image..

as for the title: you may find it harsh but I had no idea about "highlegstudio" and I thought it was "one person" stealing from many designers (not just me) at first..

I hope it is "only" my image and nothing else..

I don't want anyone to be punished more than they deserve.. But there has to be some kind of consequences..

We did submit only work we own, or so I thought. That image is from the when we started out with creating and submitting illustrations and learn along the way that people/designers are not always fair to one another.

I really understand you point of view and hope this won't happen again.



 
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 09, 2013, 11:14
I also do not like the weasel words, I believe Cidepix's  files weren't just used for inspiration, I believe his files were downloaded, changed and reupoaded as yours (just an opinion), but I will still make a serious suggestion to you.

I predict that your portfolio will probably be reinstated. Before that happens, you need to ensure that you delete all the vectors from the artist/s that produced the Cidepix rip offs and also the Santa sleigh illustration. On all the stock sites and your own, not just SS

Then you need to take down everything that has used a photo from Google as a source to create an illustration of an animal (there are a few that seem familiar to me, as well as that gorilla)

Because believe me, if they catch you on one more infringement you will be getting a permanent ban, and I for one don't want to see all those artists out of a job because of one or two people-- or poor curating by an art editor.


What do you mean by weasel words? I can assure you that the files were not downloaded and re-uploaded, but indeed our designer used his files to create the one in our portfolio. The files will be removed for sure. My guys will also remove the files that were posted here as inspired from others.

I didn't post here to be accused, I tried to answer and let you guys know that we are serious and we try to fix this. I could have easily leave it like that and move on.


thank you for coming here to post.. I believe you are sorry.. there are 2 images based on mine, not 1..

http://us.fotolia.com/id/7600605 (http://us.fotolia.com/id/7600605)
http://us.fotolia.com/id/7600604 (http://us.fotolia.com/id/7600604)

There is a good reason to believe that the designer who did this may have done it more than twice, and you need to make sure to remove any other suspicious files..

As I said before, I hope this can be sorted the right way..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 09, 2013, 11:20

Okay now I am confused. Is the designer still working for you and you asked him/ her what they did and that is how you know they have not reuploaded the file, just been "inspired" by it?

Or are you saying that you knew at the time you had people on staff copying other people's work, and that is how you know it is not a reupload?

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you didn't know what was going on.

I am just trying to get a handle on what happened.


ETA [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word[/url])  in this case "inspired"


The designer that made that is no longer with us for more than 2 years now.
I'm sure that he didn't download the file is because he would have to purchase it first at home some how, bring it to the office, modify it here and than give us the file to upload it. That's a bit hard to do in my opinion.

Again, we never encouraged anyone to copy someone else's work.

At that time there were 10-12 designers that were creating illustrations and it was a bit harder to keep track of what each one of them is doing.
At this moment we only have 1 person that creates vector images for shutterstock because the income is low and is not worth while to employ more.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 09, 2013, 11:27

thank you for coming here to post.. I believe you are sorry.. there are 2 images based on mine, not 1..

[url]http://us.fotolia.com/id/7600605[/url] ([url]http://us.fotolia.com/id/7600605[/url])
[url]http://us.fotolia.com/id/7600604[/url] ([url]http://us.fotolia.com/id/7600604[/url])

There is a good reason to believe that the designer who did this may have done it more than twice, and you need to make sure to remove any other suspicious files..

As I said before, I hope this can be sorted the right way..


I have deleted both files from fotolia, I will try tomorrow to sort it out with the other agencies.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: click_click on January 09, 2013, 11:31
We did submit only work we own, or so I thought. That image is from the when we started out with creating and submitting illustrations and learn along the way that people/designers are not always fair to one another.

I really understand you point of view and hope this won't happen again.

Here is a very simple analogy:

If you go to a store and you are caught stealing you will be charged for theft and you will be prosecuted and most likely fined.

In your case you appear to be very confident that Shutterstock will treat your situation in your favor despite the fact that you violated Shutterstock's contributor terms as well as copyright laws. You do not seem to grasp the fact that you as the account holder are actually responsible for any wrong doing of "your guys".

Additionally you emphasize that you "didn't know". Not knowing is not a free fare to innocence. You are obviously not in control over your account as only the diligent eyes of other contributors blew up your cover.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 09, 2013, 11:40
We did submit only work we own, or so I thought. That image is from the when we started out with creating and submitting illustrations and learn along the way that people/designers are not always fair to one another.

I really understand you point of view and hope this won't happen again.

Here is a very simple analogy:

If you go to a store and you are caught stealing you will be charged for theft and you will be prosecuted and most likely fined.

In your case you appear to be very confident that Shutterstock will treat your situation in your favor despite the fact that you violated Shutterstock's contributor terms as well as copyright laws. You do not seem to grasp the fact that you as the account holder are actually responsible for any wrong doing of "your guys".

Additionally you emphasize that you "didn't know". Not knowing is not a free fare to innocence. You are obviously not in control over your account as only the diligent eyes of other contributors blew up your cover.

You are right, we are not entirely without fault and we should have better managed this aspect. I don't know what shutterstock will decide, that's their call to make.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 09, 2013, 13:06
another one!

http://www.designious.com/t-shirt-design-558 (http://www.designious.com/t-shirt-design-558)

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/bald-eagle/ (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/bald-eagle/)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fujiko on January 09, 2013, 13:19
If I had people working for me I would tell them to show me their inspiration, going as far as checking the browser history to see what they used as source or completely close internet access.
And if I had an agency I would not reinstate an account that acted like this even if it was a 40k account.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Oldhand on January 09, 2013, 16:10
Whatever the rights and wrongs - mistakes or deliberate deceptions - good on you for breaking cover and posting in this forum.

Whether we agree on not, surely it's best to have a sensible discussion about the topic?

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cathyslife on January 09, 2013, 16:35
Have Shutterstock started contacted the customers yet ?

SS telling their customers would be like finding a needle in haystack, imagine how many sales a 40k portfolio generates...

I feel confident they would be able to track each and every sale. This IS the age of computers, after all. It's more a question of whether they would actually want to bother. I believe they should be able to run reports using specific data fields of what they are looking for.

come on... and they will also see which files were copied by who and send the royalties to the real owners? that would take like all 2013 even in the computer age


You are right, silly me.

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: leaf on January 09, 2013, 17:12
Thanks for jumping in here Brainik.  It is nice to hear your side of the story and brave of you for jumping in the lions den here.

I have to say that I have a certain amount of understanding for your case.  If you are running a studio with multiple employees it's pretty hard to keep a close enough eye on everyone and double check that their work ethic doesn't drop below what is acceptable.  The stock sites are examples of this as well.  We don't accuse Shutterstock for stealing cidepix's images because, well, it was one of Shutterstock's contributors (in a way employee... at least business relation) who uploaded it.  I'm sure Shutterstock stops copies at the door if they spot them.. but they didn't spot them in this case.  With a large port and production like Brainik's, it could be pretty hard to notice a lazy designer when 1 out of 50 of their designs is sub-par.  That doesn't excuse it however.. I just understand how it can happen.

I also agree that none of the images linked look like exact same files.  They look more like heavily inspired, direct copies at best. 

What's stopping one of Yuri's photographers from directly copying someone else's images when the lazy photographer is low on inspiration but still wants to impress his boss (Yuri).  Yuri probably wouldn't notice the copy (there is 20,000,000 images to pick from in just the microstock sites).  Yuri has probably lectured them about copying and where to get inspiration from but that doesn't stop the lazy photographer from doing it.  If that happened should Yuri's portfolio be removed?  Would it be removed?

Anyhow, I hope you get this worked out and are able to clean up your portfolio.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 09, 2013, 17:58
What's stopping one of Yuri's photographers from directly copying someone else's images when the lazy photographer is low on inspiration but still wants to impress his boss (Yuri).  Yuri probably wouldn't notice the copy (there is 20,000,000 images to pick from in just the microstock sites).  Yuri has probably lectured them about copying and where to get inspiration from but that doesn't stop the lazy photographer from doing it.  If that happened should Yuri's portfolio be removed?  Would it be removed?

I think it should be removed, a few days there was a discussion here about transferring the rights to the photographer/seller, are we just men/women to the good stuff and "rats" for the other?

I believe we should be responsible regarding everything we upload, if we don't know or can't handle a big team that's not other contributors (having loses in sales/exposure) or agencies problem

like Cathleen said the other day, grow some skin, people!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Reef on January 09, 2013, 19:41
I can also understand the copy case but what gets me is 600 Vectors for $30 Are you nuts!?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Artist on January 10, 2013, 00:04
I was very closely following this thread and just wanted to share that, yes brainik and their team did rip off images from other sources.

It is very sad for any user to see its image being ripped off.
I always use to be a good fan of HighLegStudio but never thought they do such things.

Although my personal opinion.... hilegstudio's work was seriously very nice, being a designer I will agree with brainik that its very hard to create vector images and... when the number comes 40k I can't even imagine the hard work they put up.

Yes, the company did ripped off images and created their own vectors, no matter whether its one file rip or many.

But, from my opinion there should be some other system too rather than just closing the entire account. It is very hard for any artist to create so much portfolio.
The person charges should be done with penalty or let the portfolio banned to 1-2 months or don't pay his earning for 2-3 months giving very strict last warning to him. Or let the user have direct interaction with the claimed person and get things sorted out.

If you are a good designer then why do such things, create your own and be safe always. Portfolio which was there for 5 years with 40k images is very hard to create, why take risk.?

Also if banning the artist the only solution then why nothing happens to those users who without concerns upload images/vectors for free on those file sharing websites and torrent illegally. No one can do anything to them. Daily images are being given for free and nothing happens to them.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 10, 2013, 03:41
Also if banning the artist the only solution then why nothing happens to those users who without concerns upload images/vectors for free on those file sharing websites and torrent illegally. No one can do anything to them. Daily images are being given for free and nothing happens to them.
Don't understand this comment at all, that is because they are operating on illegal sites, not a legitimate image library like Shutterstock etc., but anyway, moving on.

It is getting a bit too much now. The eagle is a blatant trace, look at the feathers at the neck, exactly the same arrangement. If you overlay them they fit exactly. That artist makes up a large amount of their best selling stuff and the eagle and other animals appeared many times in their SS port. I would guess  that all this artist's animal illustrations are traced in the same way from photos online.

As they have pointed out this is done in a studio, not remotely, I for one can't believe an artist working under their noses was tracing photos from the internet for what must have been many hours and weeks on end without them knowing. If they wish to come on here and say that the other animals aren't traced, I will happily go through their portfolio and look for the sources online to double check for them.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 10, 2013, 03:43
..... If you are running a studio with multiple employees it's pretty hard to keep a close enough eye on everyone and double check that their work ethic doesn't drop below what is acceptable.....
Check my post above, there needs to be at least a minimum oversight, which with the animal traces doesn't seem to have been there
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 10, 2013, 04:46
If I had people working for me I would tell them to show me their inspiration, going as far as checking the browser history to see what they used as source or completely close internet access.
And if I had an agency I would not reinstate an account that acted like this even if it was a 40k account.

Easier said than done when it comes to manage teams, if you ever manged a team of more than 4-5 people you would understand better our position and think about this twice.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: gostwyck on January 10, 2013, 04:56
If I had people working for me I would tell them to show me their inspiration, going as far as checking the browser history to see what they used as source or completely close internet access.
And if I had an agency I would not reinstate an account that acted like this even if it was a 40k account.

Easier said than done when it comes to manage teams, if you ever manged a team of more than 4-5 people you would understand better our position and think about this twice.

Ooh dear! We're supposed to feel sorry for you because you were so greedy that you lost control of your business? You've stolen other people's work and taken money out of their pockets as a result. Do you have any plans to return that money to the rightful owners?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 10, 2013, 06:12
To be honest I think this discussion is over. There have been National Geographic photos traced. That is a massive legal minefield for SS.

By your own admission you cannot regulate your workers, you cannot legitimately tick the box saying you certify the work is your own, so you can't indemnify the stock agency.

No legit stock site will touch you now I am afraid, any site that reads this thread is in the position that if they accept your work they do so knowing that you can't say whether it is stolen or not. I guess they need to rethink taking work from big studios in general.

They need to cover their a** now, sorry if you legitimately didn't know what was going on, but you should of, fin.

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 10, 2013, 06:24
Oh my word, I hadn't realised there was a long history of allegations against them going back to 2010 resulting in thousands of takedowns! check this out, run it through translate if you don't speak Russian!

http://www.microstocktime.ru/text/high-leg-studio-rasplachivaetsya-za-ispolzovanie-chuzhix-elementov/ (http://www.microstocktime.ru/text/high-leg-studio-rasplachivaetsya-za-ispolzovanie-chuzhix-elementov/)

ETA reading through it I can't believe SS let them back after the last incidents. Alex is on the comments saying the exact same things as he is saying now. Surly SS legal should have realized at that point that the studio is unable to legitimately claim they own the rights to the work they are uploading? again by their own admission they can't provide sufficient oversight to guarantee authorship of the work.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fujiko on January 10, 2013, 06:39
If I had people working for me I would tell them to show me their inspiration, going as far as checking the browser history to see what they used as source or completely close internet access.
And if I had an agency I would not reinstate an account that acted like this even if it was a 40k account.

Easier said than done when it comes to manage teams, if you ever manged a team of more than 4-5 people you would understand better our position and think about this twice.

Cut the internet to the team, it's very easy.
Design and illustration studios existed even before the internet and were able to create without it.
Hire people that can create without resorting to ripping other people's work.

And last but not least, have a team you can manage.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 10, 2013, 06:43
Oh my word, I hadn't realised there was a long history of allegations against them going back to 2010 resulting in thousands of takedowns! check this out, run it through translate if you don't speak Russian!

[url]http://www.microstocktime.ru/text/high-leg-studio-rasplachivaetsya-za-ispolzovanie-chuzhix-elementov/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstocktime.ru/text/high-leg-studio-rasplachivaetsya-za-ispolzovanie-chuzhix-elementov/[/url])

ETA reading through it I can't believe SS let them back after the last incidents. Alex is on the comments saying the exact same things as he is saying now. Surly SS legal should have realized at that point that the studio is unable to legitimately claim they own the rights to the work they are uploading? again by their own admission they can't provide sufficient oversight to guarantee authorship of the work.


Google translation (I don't speak russian so I don't know how accurate it is):

Team High Leg Studio, which produces runoff illustrations, once again seen in the foreign borrowing of vector elements in their works.
 
High Leg Studio took (and still is) the 13th place in photobank Shutterstock on the number of works in the portfolio. Now, however, its position is much lowered, now instead of the 38 381 meter in the gallery displays 21,600 works. And all of them are available only in the form of a preview. When you visit the page with the specific work the user sees the following message: This image is temporarily unavailable. In other words, the work of the studio is not available to customers.
 
This is not the first time the High Leg Studio accused of using other people's work. In 2010, the well-known illustrators and not just AKaiser already raised the issue of "impropriety" citing examples of borrowing:
 
Then High Leg Studio account is blocked, but you can see the mountain dealers were able to return to the system and continued to mass produce stock content. This year, the allegations against them were from the Ukrainian team, working under the direction of LoopAll.
 
Personally, I believe that everything in life eventually returned. What goes around, comes around - this is not just a proverb, it is the law of life.
 
However, sometimes in the short term wins loot.
 
Let's see how the situation will develop. Will the Shutterstock restore the account for a profit, which will undoubtedly generate High Leg Studio.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: noodle on January 10, 2013, 07:13
To be honest I think this discussion is over. There have been National Geographic photos traced. That is a massive legal minefield for SS.

By your own admission you cannot regulate your workers, you cannot legitimately tick the box saying you certify the work is your own, so you can't indemnify the stock agency.

No legit stock site will touch you now I am afraid, any site that reads this thread is in the position that if they accept your work they do so knowing that you can't say whether it is stolen or not. I guess they need to rethink taking work from big studios in general.

They need to cover their a** now, sorry if you legitimately didn't know what was going on, but you should of, fin.

wow
this is just pathetic - repeat offender, and as was pointed out someone who is clearly NOT in control of their business or chooses Not to be in control
sorry, there has to be a line drawn somewhere by th ms sites, and if you have a PATTERN or PRACTICE of crossing that line - even unwittingly - it is the consequence you have to face
We all sign up under the same terms, and it is up to us to live up to our end of the business agreement, end of story
I do not pity repeat offenders, I pity the original artists that got hosed out of what should belong to them for their works
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 10, 2013, 07:22
I agree, the line has clearly been crossed. I was arguing that they could be given a second chance, but turns out it is actually more like a third or fourth chance.

They don't seem to have tightened up their workflow to catch the problems or vetted their collection after the other incidents, so no way it is going to happen now.

If anything, IMHO, they seem to have learned they will get away with it so no need to worry.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: ShadySue on January 10, 2013, 07:29
So what is the fantabulous SS going to do about this?
Does this shady mob submit to iS?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: panoramic on January 10, 2013, 09:39
Oh my word, I hadn't realised there was a long history of allegations against them going back to 2010 resulting in thousands of takedowns! check this out, run it through translate if you don't speak Russian!

[url]http://www.microstocktime.ru/text/high-leg-studio-rasplachivaetsya-za-ispolzovanie-chuzhix-elementov/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstocktime.ru/text/high-leg-studio-rasplachivaetsya-za-ispolzovanie-chuzhix-elementov/[/url])

ETA reading through it I can't believe SS let them back after the last incidents. Alex is on the comments saying the exact same things as he is saying now. Surly SS legal should have realized at that point that the studio is unable to legitimately claim they own the rights to the work they are uploading? again by their own admission they can't provide sufficient oversight to guarantee authorship of the work.


Google translation (I don't speak russian so I don't know how accurate it is):



Yes. It's pretty accurate. Their account was banned for some time after many complaints from other distributors. Thousands of images were deleted as a result. Now it's back online and they continue "borrowing".
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: brainik on January 10, 2013, 09:46
It's true that our account was blocked in 2010 and as consequence we had to fire almost the entire team, 10 designers out of 11 we had at that moment were sacked. Shutterstock reviewed the entire portfolio at that time, and they were releasing verified batches of images weekly that's why there were a bit over 21k instead of the entire portfolio. They found a few more images and they were removed.

The images that suspended our account like the ones of Cidipex were all submitted over 2-5 years ago, these images have escaped the verification back than.

From the summer of 2010 no more than 2 people at a time worked on this project and what we submitted from then on were verified thoroughly to make sure this things won't repeat.

It looks like these things follow us and there is nothing we can do.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: aspp on January 10, 2013, 09:51
Branik, have you compensated the artists who had their work ripped off by you ?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 10, 2013, 09:51
So how do you explain the more recent traced animal photos that were in your SS portfolio a couple of days ago before it went down?
Like those featuring the National Geographic eagle:
http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/grunge-floral-vector-852393 (http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/grunge-floral-vector-852393)
http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/birds-vector-857324 (http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/birds-vector-857324)
http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/colorful-floral-background-vector-851827 (http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/colorful-floral-background-vector-851827)
http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/vintage-vector-851857 (http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/vintage-vector-851857)
http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/4th-of-july-vector-857834 (http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/4th-of-july-vector-857834)
etc. etc.

ETA checked one more, a lion this time, overlayed it's exactly the same IMHO:
http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/grunge-tshirt-design-vector-854789 (http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/grunge-tshirt-design-vector-854789)
http://thetbjoshuafanclub.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/lion.jpg (http://thetbjoshuafanclub.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/lion.jpg)

Every one I've checked so far has been easily tracked down as from a Googled photo.

Anyway, I'm done, no point arguing anymore. SS will sort this out now, I think they would be crazy to have not learnt from their previous several mistakes.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: VB inc on January 10, 2013, 10:10
How is it that a studio that produced such "great" designs can't come up with a decent looking web site since they are a design agency. Why is it that the supposed design house doesn't have actual client work like any other design houses and the only works they show are images of what seems like their other sites that sell 600 vectors for $30. No creativity here... stolen or traced is my opinion on them. If they are not stolen, they hired some designer with minimum experience to change up some  bestsellers they already downloaded on shutterstock and other subscription sites. minimum pay and effort for maximum gain.

It pisses me off that these guys got away with this for so long.. i opened the other thread back in sept 2011...
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 10, 2013, 11:15
It's true that our account was blocked in 2010 and as consequence we had to fire almost the entire team, 10 designers out of 11 we had at that moment were sacked. Shutterstock reviewed the entire portfolio at that time, and they were releasing verified batches of images weekly that's why there were a bit over 21k instead of the entire portfolio. They found a few more images and they were removed.

thank GOD you were the only guy that wasn't fired ;D

this is not only the biggest rip off in microstock history but also the biggest joke!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Artist on January 10, 2013, 14:21
It's true that our account was blocked in 2010 and as consequence we had to fire almost the entire team, 10 designers out of 11 we had at that moment were sacked. Shutterstock reviewed the entire portfolio at that time, and they were releasing verified batches of images weekly that's why there were a bit over 21k instead of the entire portfolio. They found a few more images and they were removed.

thank GOD you were the only guy that wasn't fired ;D

this is not only the biggest rip off in microstock history but also the biggest joke!

Never knew that they had previous allegations against them in 2010, if this was the case then they should have been double conscious in creating design and managing the team.
My previous statement on giving a chance to listen the plea was becoz I thought that they have been claimed for infringement issue for the first time.

@brainik, I guess there are lot of RIPS in the portfolio, if you hold the animal photos copyright then better show the RAW files or else accept the truth that the portfolio is no more.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: click_click on January 10, 2013, 14:39
post reduced to just biting my tongue...  :-X
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Dantheman on January 10, 2013, 14:51
Wow, shocking stuff. The amount of money they made with port full of copied pics! Very interesting thread. SS (and all other agency's) will need to take the Port down!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: panoramic on January 11, 2013, 00:49
Well, guys.. What do you say about this?
Tons of first class mickrostock vectors are given away for free by some chinese guy here:
http://freedesignfile.com/category/free-vector/ (http://freedesignfile.com/category/free-vector/)

Whois:
http://whois.domaintools.com/freedesignfile.com (http://whois.domaintools.com/freedesignfile.com)

His hosting company:
http://www.worldstream.nl/ (http://www.worldstream.nl/)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 03:29
Well, guys.. What do you say about this?
Tons of first class mickrostock vectors are given away for free by some chinese guy here:
[url]http://freedesignfile.com/category/free-vector/[/url] ([url]http://freedesignfile.com/category/free-vector/[/url])

Whois:
[url]http://whois.domaintools.com/freedesignfile.com[/url] ([url]http://whois.domaintools.com/freedesignfile.com[/url])

His hosting company:
[url]http://www.worldstream.nl/[/url] ([url]http://www.worldstream.nl/[/url])


Just another illegal site giving away stuff they don't own, there's lots of them, Heroturko, the torrent sites etc. Lets not muddy the waters by discussing it in the same thread, maybe start another one for this site?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 11, 2013, 03:38
Well, guys.. What do you say about this?
Tons of first class mickrostock vectors are given away for free by some chinese guy here:

as microbius said: that has no relation to this thread.. completely different subject..

If you want to sell on legit microstock sites, you have to be legit too..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: DavidBaker on January 11, 2013, 05:25
So how do you explain the more recent traced animal photos that were in your SS portfolio a couple of days ago before it went down?
Like those featuring the National Geographic eagle:
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/grunge-floral-vector-852393[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/grunge-floral-vector-852393[/url])
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/birds-vector-857324[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/birds-vector-857324[/url])
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/colorful-floral-background-vector-851827[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/colorful-floral-background-vector-851827[/url])
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/vintage-vector-851857[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/vintage-vector-851857[/url])
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/4th-of-july-vector-857834[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/4th-of-july-vector-857834[/url])
etc. etc.

ETA checked one more, a lion this time, overlayed it's exactly the same IMHO:
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/grunge-tshirt-design-vector-854789[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/grunge-tshirt-design-vector-854789[/url])
[url]http://thetbjoshuafanclub.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/lion.jpg[/url] ([url]http://thetbjoshuafanclub.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/lion.jpg[/url])

Every one I've checked so far has been easily tracked down as from a Googled photo.

Anyway, I'm done, no point arguing anymore. SS will sort this out now, I think they would be crazy to have not learnt from their previous several mistakes.


Microbius,

I notice at least 80% of yr post are about reporting the frauds and scams commited by contributors.
I find it surprising becos I believe you enjoy spending time in searching for evidence and prove others guilty rather than producing yr work.
I am curious why do u keep yr name and portfolio anonymous?

I personally believe that yr works in yr portfolio are not 100% original. There will be at least some artworks in yr port that are similar and identical to others in terms of ideas and execution.

Can u pls show yr reveal name and portfolio here, like nothing to hide?
Yoa re afraid of revealing yr port, just in case, other whistle blowers will do the same to you, right?

Even though the animals are traced, but it is not a easy task to trace. It required skills and experience to do that, and i personally dun think the traced works are wrong doings.

From tdys onwards, i will keep track of you and i will find out what's yr identity and portfolio.



Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 05:49
Wow, I'm flattered, but also freaked out. I post anonymously because I make my living through stock and want to be able to post without fear of retaliation from stock agencies, or indeed criminals like those who steal others work. Clearly some have no scruples or morals so wouldn't hesitate to retaliate in any way they could (take your threat for example)

If you check my posts more thoroughly you will see that I don't partake in witch hunts and also often defend people accused where I feel there could be a legit explanation (start of this thread, recent one with photos using others backgrounds etc.).

I am sorry if you have been caught stealing other people's work in the past and are bitter about it, you have now openly said you think it is okay to trace other people's work because it isn't easy (?). Neither is breaking into a bank, but it don't make it right!

You may think tracing other people's work without compensating them is okay but I don't agree, and neither does any legitimate stock agency. I post a lot about infringements because I see it as all our responsibility to protect each others work. No one else is going to do it. They don't make up the majority of my posts though.

If you disagree about any of the evidence, why not refute the evidence instead of attacking me personally?

P.S. Plenty of people here know my real ID, they are fellow pros who wouldn't attack a colleague out of spite (like you threaten to do) or hesitate to report wrong doing if they thought I partake in it (because they are pros).
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 05:59
Thankfully your bizarre spelling has made your portfolio very easy for me to find through your post on a stock site forum.
I wont bother searching it for infringements I have better things to do
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: DavidBaker on January 11, 2013, 08:36
Thankfully your bizarre spelling has made your portfolio very easy for me to find through your post on a stock site forum.
I wont bother searching it for infringements I have better things to do


Stop trying to be noble and pretentious.

The way I see it, is your incapabilities to produce better artwork than others and poor designing/ drawing skill that made you jealous of others success. So to made yourself feel better, you try to sabotage others port.

The basics of adobe illustrator is tracing, and to hone the art of tracing to perfection takes time and years. I do trace, but i trace the artwork i draw on paper.

The animals that the fellow trace maybe copies, but he does alot of touchup and finishing in his works and made the final design a good piece of works.
This guy obviously have skills and talents and just because of a few pieces of works, you are gonna sabotage his years of work. This is really really bad and terrible thing to do.

Look at Shepard Fairey from the Obey. That guy obviously traced and sell his works but still regarded as a good artist.
Another example is Cristiano Siqueira from www.crisvector.com (http://www.crisvector.com). One cafepress imitates Shepard Fairey style and come up with obey the breed. His works are also traced but they are accepted at cafepress to be sold.

For yr info, i dont any port in any microstock agencies listed here. I am only available at gettyimages and corbis.
Initially, i am only selling at istock and shutterstock but i have stopped. Becos I realised everybody there is selling themselves short and only making the agencies earn more $$$.

Pls post yr portfolio here if u have nothing to hide. Are u afraid that I can easily spot a few design of yours to be similar to others?

It is obvious that you are not going to post yr port here, becos you are afraid of the outcome.
You are only fit to accused others if you are 100% clean yourself which i doubt so.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 08:41
Pot, kettle where's your port?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: leaf on January 11, 2013, 08:45

Look at Shepard Fairey from the Obey. That guy obviously traced and sell his works but still regarded as a good artist.
Another example is Cristiano Siqueira from [url=http://www.crisvector.com]www.crisvector.com[/url] ([url]http://www.crisvector.com[/url]). One cafepress imitates Shepard Fairey style and come up with obey the breed. His works are also traced but they are accepted at cafepress to be sold.




That would be called creating a derivative work, and yes it takes talent and yet it is legal.
Derivative works however are NOT allowed to be sold as stock photography with the major stock agencies (Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia etc).  There isn't really any more do discuss.  If your images / illustrations are copied, your account will be shut down.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 08:46
Also if you don't contribute to micro what was this post about?
http://www.microstockgroup.com/illustration-general/shutterstock-terminated-my-account/msg287498/#msg287498 (http://www.microstockgroup.com/illustration-general/shutterstock-terminated-my-account/msg287498/#msg287498)
It is funny how SS took action immediately to delete yr acct without explanation.

I tried deleting my SS and IS acct with 200+ images few weeks ago, and the images are still there.

I agree that earnings from there are quite good...........
Based on my 6 months journey with microstock listed here, the only sites that is worth uploading is Canstock, 123rf, Veer , yaymicro and GL, drawshop, toonvectors. This is based on illustrator point of view, not photographer.

Many ppl complain 123rf and Canstock is cheap, but for foreign contributors that are not based in US like me, they do not have W8ben form tax withholding rule and other silly foreign tax policies. Even though SS paid 35cent per dl, but after witholding tax, it is actually less than 20cent per dl, which is cheaper than 123rf.

IS is good, but they have 18 files upload limit per week. Unless yr files sold like hot cakes daily,  it is impossible to survive for a freelancer starting out like me.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 11, 2013, 08:49
tracing other people's work "for stock" is ok, ONLY if you have written permission from the owner of the source material..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 09:04
....I notice at least 80% of yr post are about reporting the frauds and scams commited by contributors.....

Now looking through your posts I notice that a large percentage are defending stealing other people's work. I know which side of the fence I'd rather be on, if you prefer to steal rather than create, you are in the wrong business
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 09:35
That would be called creating a derivative work, and yes it takes talent and yet it is legal...

Although lets not forget that Fairey was actually sued over the Obama pic, then sued again for faking evidence.....
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: DavidBaker on January 11, 2013, 10:17
Also if you don't contribute to micro what was this post about?
[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/illustration-general/shutterstock-terminated-my-account/msg287498/#msg287498[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/illustration-general/shutterstock-terminated-my-account/msg287498/#msg287498[/url])
It is funny how SS took action immediately to delete yr acct without explanation.

I tried deleting my SS and IS acct with 200+ images few weeks ago, and the images are still there.

I agree that earnings from there are quite good...........
Based on my 6 months journey with microstock listed here, the only sites that is worth uploading is Canstock, 123rf, Veer , yaymicro and GL, drawshop, toonvectors. This is based on illustrator point of view, not photographer.

Many ppl complain 123rf and Canstock is cheap, but for foreign contributors that are not based in US like me, they do not have W8ben form tax withholding rule and other silly foreign tax policies. Even though SS paid 35cent per dl, but after witholding tax, it is actually less than 20cent per dl, which is cheaper than 123rf.

IS is good, but they have 18 files upload limit per week. Unless yr files sold like hot cakes daily,  it is impossible to survive for a freelancer starting out like me.



See, it is obvious that you are a good for nothing whistle blower who like to spend time looking for nonsense proof to make other fall.

I would'nt call them thief to steal pic to trace, i would call them Designers who took good inspiration source and ReCREATE them in a different expression and style.
Almost 100% of  the contributors' portfolio here are Recreation and mimic of each other ideas.

Which contributors here dare to say that his works are purely 100% original here???

People like you, microbius who have nothing to do but spy on others deserve to be shot and gun down. How many good contributors have you sabotaged just becos 1 or 2 similar pics. You only judged their fault and not the hardworks they took.

Without Recreation, there is no improvement.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 10:23
? I only looked through your previous posts to return the favor after you looked at my posting history.
By the way, less then 10% of my posts are in the "image sleuth" section
 
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 10:27
Oh, and most contributors' portfolios feature no tracing from outside sources.
IStock in fact insists on the inclusion of all source files.

There's a lot of talented honest contributors on the micros, it takes many years to reach the standard expected today. I know it's frustrating of you are starting out, but it's no excuse to steal.

Yes a lot of concepts are re-circulated, that is very different from direct copying or tracing or resubmitting work as your own.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 10:30
....How many good contributors have you sabotaged just becos 1 or 2 similar pics....

None, no one has ever had a portfolio closed without there being blatant stolen work re uploaded or direct copyright violation. Even then sometimes people get individual takedowns and warnings.


Can you point to any examples?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 11, 2013, 10:32
Thankfully your bizarre spelling has made your portfolio very easy for me to find through your post on a stock site forum.
I wont bother searching it for infringements I have better things to do


Stop trying to be noble and pretentious.

The way I see it, is your incapabilities to produce better artwork than others and poor designing/ drawing skill that made you jealous of others success. So to made yourself feel better, you try to sabotage others port.

The basics of adobe illustrator is tracing, and to hone the art of tracing to perfection takes time and years. I do trace, but i trace the artwork i draw on paper.

The animals that the fellow trace maybe copies, but he does alot of touchup and finishing in his works and made the final design a good piece of works.
This guy obviously have skills and talents and just because of a few pieces of works, you are gonna sabotage his years of work. This is really really bad and terrible thing to do.

Look at Shepard Fairey from the Obey. That guy obviously traced and sell his works but still regarded as a good artist.
Another example is Cristiano Siqueira from [url=http://www.crisvector.com]www.crisvector.com[/url] ([url]http://www.crisvector.com[/url]). One cafepress imitates Shepard Fairey style and come up with obey the breed. His works are also traced but they are accepted at cafepress to be sold.

For yr info, i dont any port in any microstock agencies listed here. I am only available at gettyimages and corbis.
Initially, i am only selling at istock and shutterstock but i have stopped. Becos I realised everybody there is selling themselves short and only making the agencies earn more $$$.

Pls post yr portfolio here if u have nothing to hide. Are u afraid that I can easily spot a few design of yours to be similar to others?

It is obvious that you are not going to post yr port here, becos you are afraid of the outcome.
You are only fit to accused others if you are 100% clean yourself which i doubt so.
Yo, whats up with the completely unfounded accusations? Where is this attack coming from? I havent noticed that Microbius did anything to you to deserve that kind of abuse.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: DavidBaker on January 11, 2013, 10:34
? I only looked through your previous posts to return the favor after you looked at my posting history.
By the way, less then 10% of my posts are in the "image sleuth" section

I do not have anything against you. I just dun see to eye for your sin in reporting good contributors with 1 or 2 minor fault. What you are committing is a very bad karma, and i believe one of these days you will feel the same as the victims you reported.  It is right to report contributors who copies exactly and have many unrightful pics from others, but not good contributors who recreate them in new expression and style.

And dun forget, the last ones who get the last laugh is the agencies themeselves, not contributors like us.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 11, 2013, 10:35
...

People like you, microbius who have nothing to do but spy on others deserve to be shot and gun down . ...

That right there is enough for a permanent ban if you ask me. Thats just sick.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 10:36
Yo, whats up with the completely unfounded accusations? Where is this attack coming from? I havent noticed that Microbius did anything to you to deserve that kind of abuse.

Thanks for the support, means a lot.

He seems to upset about an incident I had nothing to do with (tracing some hair maybe from previous posts) and is just taking out on me.

I can take the abuse, but the physical threats are getting a  it out of hand now....
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 11, 2013, 10:37
Yo, whats up with the completely unfounded accusations? Where is this attack coming from? I havent noticed that Microbius did anything to you to deserve that kind of abuse.

Thanks for the support, means a lot.

He seems to upset about an incident I had nothing to do with (tracing some hair maybe from previous posts) and is just taking out on me.

I can take the abuse, but the physical threats are getting a  it out of hand now....
You are welcome. Its a ridiculous attack. Scary really.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: KuriousKat on January 11, 2013, 10:37

Stop trying to be noble and pretentious.

The way I see it, is your incapabilities to produce better artwork than others and poor designing/ drawing skill that made you jealous of others success. So to made yourself feel better, you try to sabotage others port.

The basics of adobe illustrator is tracing, and to hone the art of tracing to perfection takes time and years. I do trace, but i trace the artwork i draw on paper.

The animals that the fellow trace maybe copies, but he does alot of touchup and finishing in his works and made the final design a good piece of works.
This guy obviously have skills and talents and just because of a few pieces of works, you are gonna sabotage his years of work. This is really really bad and terrible thing to do.

Look at Shepard Fairey from the Obey. That guy obviously traced and sell his works but still regarded as a good artist.
Another example is Cristiano Siqueira from [url=http://www.crisvector.com]www.crisvector.com[/url] ([url]http://www.crisvector.com[/url]). One cafepress imitates Shepard Fairey style and come up with obey the breed. His works are also traced but they are accepted at cafepress to be sold.

For yr info, i dont any port in any microstock agencies listed here. I am only available at gettyimages and corbis.
Initially, i am only selling at istock and shutterstock but i have stopped. Becos I realised everybody there is selling themselves short and only making the agencies earn more $$$.

Pls post yr portfolio here if u have nothing to hide. Are u afraid that I can easily spot a few design of yours to be similar to others?

It is obvious that you are not going to post yr port here, becos you are afraid of the outcome.
You are only fit to accused others if you are 100% clean yourself which i doubt so.


Hmmmm, methinks he doth protest too much.....

This really feels as if you are trying to muddy the waters somewhat.

The issue is black or white - not grey. You cannot copy work if you do not have the right to do so - it is against the submitter agreement on all stock sites. There are many 'similars' on stock sites but that is a different matter - inspiration, (unless it is considered abusive), is not the same as theft. I can put up a cartoon of seven garden gnomes but, if I want to make them look like Disney characters and name them after the seven dwarfs, I will find myself in a lot of trouble - even if I have done a brilliant and skilful job of it.

It doesn't matter how good a job you do, how difficult it is or whether you should be allowed to do so or not. It is wrong - FULLSTOP. If you get caught you will get banned.

I for one would like to thank Microbius and others who take the time to report their findings and help to protect the interests of the honest contributors.

You appear to be implying that Whistle Blowers are  a breed of jealous, small-minded contributors who have nothing better to do than to trawl the internet trying to catch people out? I prefer to think of then as generous with their time in their efforts to look out for our collective interest. I am sure that their motivation comes from a strong sense of right and wrong and a desire to seek justice for the underdog.

It IS noble and it is not pretentious to behave in such a manner.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on January 11, 2013, 10:39
I do not have anything against you. I just dun see to eye for your sin in reporting good contributors with 1 or 2 minor fault. What you are committing is a very bad karma, and i believe one of these days you will feel the same as the victims you reported.  It is right to report contributors who copies exactly and have many unrightful pics from others, but not good contributors who recreate them in new expression and style.

And dun forget, the last ones who get the last laugh is the agencies themeselves, not contributors like us.

I am not going to respond or read your posts anymore as you can't conduct a conversation in a civilized manner. You started out by threatening false allegations and have now moved on to physical threats. I am finished with the conversation.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fotografer on January 11, 2013, 10:39
? I only looked through your previous posts to return the favor after you looked at my posting history.
By the way, less then 10% of my posts are in the "image sleuth" section

I do not have anything against you. I just dun see to eye for your sin in reporting good contributors with 1 or 2 minor fault. What you are committing is a very bad karma, and i believe one of these days you will feel the same as the victims you reported.  It is right to report contributors who copies exactly and have many unrightful pics from others, but not good contributors who recreate them in new expression and style.

And dun forget, the last ones who get the last laugh is the agencies themeselves, not contributors like us.
Anybody that doesn't outright steal has nothing at all to worry about.  Tracing other people's work is stealing and should be reported by anybody who sees it.  It affects us all if it is allowed to go unpunished and Microbius has done nothing to warrant your attacks on him!!!!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: DavidBaker on January 11, 2013, 10:43
I do not have anything against you. I just dun see to eye for your sin in reporting good contributors with 1 or 2 minor fault. What you are committing is a very bad karma, and i believe one of these days you will feel the same as the victims you reported.  It is right to report contributors who copies exactly and have many unrightful pics from others, but not good contributors who recreate them in new expression and style.

And dun forget, the last ones who get the last laugh is the agencies themeselves, not contributors like us.

I am not going to respond or read your posts anymore as you can't conduct a conversation in a civilized manor. You started out by threatening false allegations and have now moved on to physical threats. I am finished with the conversation.

Your career in stock business will be finished soon as well in the near future.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fotografer on January 11, 2013, 10:45
I do not have anything against you. I just dun see to eye for your sin in reporting good contributors with 1 or 2 minor fault. What you are committing is a very bad karma, and i believe one of these days you will feel the same as the victims you reported.  It is right to report contributors who copies exactly and have many unrightful pics from others, but not good contributors who recreate them in new expression and style.

And dun forget, the last ones who get the last laugh is the agencies themeselves, not contributors like us.

I am not going to respond or read your posts anymore as you can't conduct a conversation in a civilized manor. You started out by threatening false allegations and have now moved on to physical threats. I am finished with the conversation.

Your career in stock business will be finished soon as well in the near future.
Oh grow up.  You are acting like a 12 year old!!!!!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: KuriousKat on January 11, 2013, 10:45
Also if you don't contribute to micro what was this post about?
[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/illustration-general/shutterstock-terminated-my-account/msg287498/#msg287498[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/illustration-general/shutterstock-terminated-my-account/msg287498/#msg287498[/url])
It is funny how SS took action immediately to delete yr acct without explanation.

I tried deleting my SS and IS acct with 200+ images few weeks ago, and the images are still there.

I agree that earnings from there are quite good...........
Based on my 6 months journey with microstock listed here, the only sites that is worth uploading is Canstock, 123rf, Veer , yaymicro and GL, drawshop, toonvectors. This is based on illustrator point of view, not photographer.

Many ppl complain 123rf and Canstock is cheap, but for foreign contributors that are not based in US like me, they do not have W8ben form tax withholding rule and other silly foreign tax policies. Even though SS paid 35cent per dl, but after witholding tax, it is actually less than 20cent per dl, which is cheaper than 123rf.

IS is good, but they have 18 files upload limit per week. Unless yr files sold like hot cakes daily,  it is impossible to survive for a freelancer starting out like me.



See, it is obvious that you are a good for nothing whistle blower who like to spend time looking for nonsense proof to make other fall.

I would'nt call them thief to steal pic to trace, i would call them Designers who took good inspiration source and ReCREATE them in a different expression and style.
Almost 100% of  the contributors' portfolio here are Recreation and mimic of each other ideas.

Which contributors here dare to say that his works are purely 100% original here???

People like you, microbius who have nothing to do but spy on others deserve to be shot and gun down. How many good contributors have you sabotaged just becos 1 or 2 similar pics. You only judged their fault and not the hardworks they took.

Without Recreation, there is no improvement.


OMG - I don't believe this guy.

Nonsense proof? Sabotage? Shot?

What planet are you living on??

I guess your opinions, and now your physical threats, will get you banned from here but I doubt you will be missed.

Bye-bye!
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on January 11, 2013, 10:56
I do not have anything against you. I just dun see to eye for your sin in reporting good contributors with 1 or 2 minor fault. What you are committing is a very bad karma, and i believe one of these days you will feel the same as the victims you reported.  It is right to report contributors who copies exactly and have many unrightful pics from others, but not good contributors who recreate them in new expression and style.

And dun forget, the last ones who get the last laugh is the agencies themeselves, not contributors like us.


I am not going to respond or read your posts anymore as you can't conduct a conversation in a civilized manner. You started out by threatening false allegations and have now moved on to physical threats. I am finished with the conversation.

Best decision. Ignore the troll.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: DavidBaker on January 11, 2013, 11:03
I do not have anything against you. I just dun see to eye for your sin in reporting good contributors with 1 or 2 minor fault. What you are committing is a very bad karma, and i believe one of these days you will feel the same as the victims you reported.  It is right to report contributors who copies exactly and have many unrightful pics from others, but not good contributors who recreate them in new expression and style.

And dun forget, the last ones who get the last laugh is the agencies themeselves, not contributors like us.
Best decision. Ignore the troll.

I am not going to respond or read your posts anymore as you can't conduct a conversation in a civilized manner. You started out by threatening false allegations and have now moved on to physical threats. I am finished with the conversation.

A bunch of losers with pathetic designing skillsets who sell themselves short for meagre cents supporting each other. You guys have no dignity. I am done with the conversation and i wished u bunch of losers good luck in the downhill microstock.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: ppdd on January 11, 2013, 11:07
I do not have anything against you. I just dun see to eye for your sin in reporting good contributors with 1 or 2 minor fault. What you are committing is a very bad karma, and i believe one of these days you will feel the same as the victims you reported.  It is right to report contributors who copies exactly and have many unrightful pics from others, but not good contributors who recreate them in new expression and style.

And dun forget, the last ones who get the last laugh is the agencies themeselves, not contributors like us.
Best decision. Ignore the troll.

I am not going to respond or read your posts anymore as you can't conduct a conversation in a civilized manner. You started out by threatening false allegations and have now moved on to physical threats. I am finished with the conversation.

A bunch of losers with pathetic designing skillsets who sell themselves short for meagre cents supporting each other. You guys have no dignity. I am done with the conversation and i wished u bunch of losers good luck in the downhill microstock.

Please stop feeding the troll. He's just poking you to get a rise. I think this whole part of the thread should be moved to a "Satire" section.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: leaf on January 11, 2013, 12:00
... and he's banned.
I'll remove some of the posts in an hour or so when I have a little more time.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: noodle on January 11, 2013, 12:21
Let's all join in the chorus, a one ana two ana:

ding dong the wicked witch is dead..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fotografer on January 11, 2013, 12:24
Shouldn't his name be unclickable if he's banned?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: gostwyck on January 11, 2013, 12:26
Shouldn't his name be unclickable if he's banned?

No. It's only unclickable (and greyed out) if the account is closed. He'll have the opportunity to come back once his ban is lifted.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on January 11, 2013, 12:28
Shouldn't his name be unclickable if he's banned?

No. It's only unclickable (and greyed out) if the account is closed. He'll have the opportunity to come back once his ban is lifted.

sure he deserves a second chance :o
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: leaf on January 11, 2013, 13:13
Shouldn't his name be unclickable if he's banned?

No. It's only unclickable (and greyed out) if the account is closed. He'll have the opportunity to come back once his ban is lifted.

Correct. It is only grey when someone deletes their own account.
You can't tell which members are banned. Perhaps I should change that in te future.
Bans last for as long as they are set to last. This ban is set to last forever.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: fotografer on January 11, 2013, 13:16
Thanks for explaining it Luis and Leaf
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on January 11, 2013, 16:33
I was out today and only now had a chance to read the last page of the thread..

I will just say "I couldn't believe what I read.."

I don't see anyone better to run this place than Leaf!

so thanks Leaf!

@ Microbius
We are all in this together, and thanks for contributing to this and many other threads reporting violations..
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: michaeldb on January 11, 2013, 16:40
...I don't see anyone better to run this place than Leaf!

so thanks Leaf!

@ Microbius
We are all in this together, and thanks for contributing to this and many other threads reporting violations..
I have been watching this thread, and as an illustrator I thank the posters who took the time and did the work to bring the infringer to justice. Good job.
And yes, Leaf is great, what would we do without MSG?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Noedelhap on March 10, 2013, 08:01
Well done to those who exposed the fraud of that Romanian studio. Although it surprised me people still wanted to believe this scam guy when he said he didn't know. Nothing more than some lame excuse and a "Ich habe es nicht gewusst" mentality.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: VB inc on March 11, 2013, 01:40
so brainik comes on here claiming they are the studio owners  ::) we call them out as thieves. then signs up on another account as "davidbaker"  ::) to begin trash talking. same thief?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on March 11, 2013, 03:18
http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/designious? (http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/designious?)
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cidepix on March 13, 2013, 14:53
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/designious?[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/designious?[/url])


vectorstock is a disgrace to microstock community
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Noedelhap on March 17, 2013, 10:19
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/designious?[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/designious?[/url])


Is this plagiarism as well? Then report it.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: luissantos84 on March 17, 2013, 10:26
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/designious?[/url] ([url]http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/designious?[/url])


Is this plagiarism as well? Then report it.


sure it is, its the same portfolio but in other agency
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Lizard on March 17, 2013, 13:02
I was thinking a bit after long time that I didnt want to use my brain for various reasons...

I really think I have some good ides of making microstock better place for us and I would like to share them even if I end up being funny.

I would start from here and if this turns to be ok idea i can add more to it...


So what have we ever done to protect our self... nothing or little me thinks... and why is that so ?


So there are tons of us out there , but our system doesn't exist and individual efforts are ok but not good enough.



Im not so good with coding and stuff , but wouldn't it be possible to build a small site where when someone finds something like that just copy-paste the link and the system does reporting automatically or semi-automatically and report the case where it should be reported in shortest possible perod. Or if its strange some moderatr could take a look a decide if its worth reporting.

Yes there are million possible places to track but the number of microstock artist is not something that's to throw away , i saw many times things like that and didnt know what to do except looking for some forum topic buried in time.

The project could be linked to this site , and it can also have in later phase some implemented artist notification that could bring more fellow microstockers here.

If someone is interested to do some derivation of this idea i will always be willing to contribute in financial way for webhosting.

If we don't protect ourself....who will ?  Every industry is stronger in that than us.


Didnt know if its good enough to open new topic so I wrote it here and if u find idea stupid just forget it
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: click_click on March 17, 2013, 13:08
It's not a stupid idea. But as you mentioned there is no programmer available who would do that for free. Furthermore there are costs involved (domain, hosting etc.) Plus the site has to be updated and maintained as lots of things change constantly.

...
Im not so good with coding and stuff , but wouldn't it be possible to build a small site where when someone finds something like that just copy-paste the link and the system does reporting automatically or semi-automatically and report the case where it should be reported in shortest possible perod.
...

It has to be a special person that would start working on it without pay. There might be payment options possible down the road (premium services, advertising income etc.) but initially there are no funds to start this.

There are people out there that do this kind of work but only very few.

Maybe someone on this forum is willing to set up such a site...?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Lizard on March 17, 2013, 13:12
It's not a stupid idea. But as you mentioned there is no programmer available who would do that for free. Furthermore there are costs involved (domain, hosting etc.) Plus the site has to be updated and maintained as lots of things change constantly.

...
Im not so good with coding and stuff , but wouldn't it be possible to build a small site where when someone finds something like that just copy-paste the link and the system does reporting automatically or semi-automatically and report the case where it should be reported in shortest possible perod.
...

It has to be a special person that would start working on it without pay. There might be payment options possible down the road (premium services, advertising income etc.) but initially there are no funds to start this.

There are people out there that do this kind of work but only very few.

Maybe someone on this forum is willing to set up such a site...?

And how hard would it be if high amount of us contribute with small amounts...

How expensive could it be , I would throw lets say 20$ in that direction anyday...
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: click_click on March 17, 2013, 13:28
Ok you can take the initiative and start a new thread to call this a project.

It does require someone who has a plan (you) to direct the efforts appropriately.

You have to find a trustworthy programmer who is willing to work on this project (with a plan in place in order to present it to the programmer!).

There are a lot of people on this forum who focus on producing images to sell them.

Very few have the time, energy and resources to do what it requires in order to create this site.

The idea is good - but it has to be thought through. A discussion on this forum can help to figure things out. Therefore it might be a good start to create a separate topic regarding this potential project.

Maybe this helps.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: michaeldb on March 17, 2013, 13:37
Ok you can take the initiative and start a new thread to call this a project.
...
There are a lot of people on this forum who focus on producing images to sell them.
I agree. This idea might be something worth doing. The very fact that microstockers have little spare time means that a site which saves us time dealing with copyright infringement is probably a good idea.

And there might be many ways to do this project. Maybe treat it as a lean startup, these are often built in a weekend. Ads could be sold on such a site. Or maybe one of the microstock sites might provide this as a free service.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: halfshag on March 17, 2013, 13:39
Im not so good with coding and stuff , but wouldn't it be possible to build a small site where when someone finds something like that just copy-paste the link and the system does reporting automatically or semi-automatically and report the case where it should be reported in shortest possible perod. Or if its strange some moderatr could take a look a decide if its worth reporting.


You Thought We Wouldn't Notice... but we did (http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/). No reporting as such, but is this the sort of thing you had in mind?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: michaeldb on March 17, 2013, 14:10
Im not so good with coding and stuff , but wouldn't it be possible to build a small site where when someone finds something like that just copy-paste the link and the system does reporting automatically or semi-automatically and report the case where it should be reported in shortest possible perod. Or if its strange some moderatr could take a look a decide if its worth reporting.


You Thought We Wouldn't Notice... but we did ([url]http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/[/url]). No reporting as such, but is this the sort of thing you had in mind?

Another possibility for the idea. Maybe this blogging lawer - or another IP attorney - would subsidize the OP's idea in order to promote his or her practice?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Lizard on March 17, 2013, 16:49
Im not so good with coding and stuff , but wouldn't it be possible to build a small site where when someone finds something like that just copy-paste the link and the system does reporting automatically or semi-automatically and report the case where it should be reported in shortest possible perod. Or if its strange some moderatr could take a look a decide if its worth reporting.


You Thought We Wouldn't Notice... but we did ([url]http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/[/url]). No reporting as such, but is this the sort of thing you had in mind?



Actually my original though were much wider than only this...but..

I was thinking of something really really simple , one copyspace for link in the middle of the page, one "help" section where the procedure is described...and linked from this forum

No images, no comparations , something that works , that send warning to all sides involved with owner of the site being last in chain because he knows exactly what he is doing.

I believe the site on your link is ok , but what i had in mind is stronger much stronger...and the main strength would be that it would be part or or linked at this site, place where  most of contributors come for this or that reason.



As I said I started to think how we can make microstock better place for us and one idea lead me to another...

On the other hand beside protecting our work one of the goals would be to bring more contributors to independent forum and make this place even larger contributors base for any discussion...

of course i only wrote one of my ideas , i don't want nothing from that , i don't have skills to make this project happen and as i said i will participate with a donation if anyone is up and willing to do something , but its Leaf is the one in charge here so if he thinks it good idea he can use it anytime.

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: elvinstar on March 17, 2013, 17:45
I'm willing to purchase the domain and provide hosting and coding to get this going. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but what we're talking about is a website that does the following:

What am I missing?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Lizard on March 17, 2013, 17:55
I'm willing to purchase the domain and provide hosting and coding to get this going. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but what we're talking about is a website that does the following:
  • Allows microstockers to report copyright infringements
  • Allows microstockers to send DMCA takedown notices

What am I missing?

You are right and Im glad if i helped with an idea... ;)

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: elvinstar on March 17, 2013, 17:59
Anyone have ideas for domain names?

artistprotect.com

ETA first domain that I thought of. It's available.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: alberto on March 17, 2013, 19:05
picturesafe sosartist copyrightshield
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: elvinstar on March 17, 2013, 19:12
Of those suggestions, only sosartist.com is available.

A quick FYI for anyone else that wants to help decide on the domain name... You can check domain name availability at http://www.whois.net (http://www.whois.net).

I'll try to keep a running list of available domains here. So far we have:
sosartist.com
artistprotect.com
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: michaeldb on March 17, 2013, 19:14
artistprotect.com

ETA first domain that I thought of. It's available.
Sounds very good to me. I would be willing to kick in some $ if it should be useful. And I still think it should be designed with some potential for revenue, in case it is successful and more money is needed to grow and maintain it (and the .com as opposed to .org suggests that it is a business).
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: elvinstar on March 17, 2013, 19:41
I think that there may be a way to make the main functionality free and have some premium/add-on features or products for sale.

Thanks for thinking of my pockets!   :P :D
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: leaf on March 18, 2013, 04:56
I think one problem with having a central system or person sending an official take down notices is that they have to be sent by the copyright owner themselves.  I once notified fotolia of an infringing account and they told me to notify the original artist so that he could send the copyright infringement himself.  It didn't help that I pointed out the problem to them.

Perhaps a reasonable alternative would be to simply have a page with appropriate links to contact the various agencies (where to send the takedown notice) and other usefull links so that if someone found their images stolen they could take the necessary steps to get the images taken down without doing a full days research of what they need to do.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Noedelhap on March 18, 2013, 14:55
I think one problem with having a central system or person sending an official take down notices is that they have to be sent by the copyright owner themselves.  I once notified fotolia of an infringing account and they told me to notify the original artist so that he could send the copyright infringement himself.  It didn't help that I pointed out the problem to them.

Perhaps a reasonable alternative would be to simply have a page with appropriate links to contact the various agencies (where to send the takedown notice) and other usefull links so that if someone found their images stolen they could take the necessary steps to get the images taken down without doing a full days research of what they need to do.

Yes, perhaps it can be done as a sticky topic? An informative post about each agency and what to do, or who to contact if you find one or more of your images being stolen?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Lizard on March 18, 2013, 16:09
Ok next problem....next idea modification...

What about setting a system where people can willingly transfer copyrights to that service only in that purpose of defending their work, so one service or a person running it could legally represent all of us who joined and get signature to speak in the name of any outor that joined...

Those collections are huge sometimes , if only people from the forum joined im sure someones work would be there....what are the opposite chances ?  Whenever someone opened topic like that i find something mine there...and u ?

Its sure beats this nothing we have now.


Maybe someone wit more knowledge in that legal direction can think a way to make it work.

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: EmberMike on March 19, 2013, 09:04
vectorstock is a disgrace to microstock community

What drives me crazy about vectorstock is that they could be a good company. More amazingly, they could be making a heck of a lot more money for themselves, but they are their own worst enemy. Their logic is that lower prices encourage higher sales volume. And in some ways they're right, but they're aiming so low that they undercut the competition and themselves at the same time. They want to price everything at $1 to beat the competition. I don't work with any other company that sells a vector for less than $6. VS could have set their prices at $5, still undercutting the competition, paid out 40% to everyone, and that would have been a deal that most people would get on board with and they would make a lot of money.

They say that higher prices will generate less sales. I don't even think that's true, especially when we're talking about going from $1 up to $3 or $5 and still remaining below the prices of most competitors. I've got a 3-credit image there that has sold 410 times, but according to VS, pricing my work at 3 credits is supposed to hurt sales.

I've got stuff on vectorstock, although lately I feel like I'm done with them and I won't upload anything new. I've never given them all of my work, at least not the best stuff, and I've demanded that most of my work gets at least 3-credit pricing. They agreed to that, but they don't always honor the request. They said they would, but haven't.

I hate to see a company squander an opportunity to do something good. Vectorstock is doing exactly that. They have potential, but they'll never realize their full potential because they are stuck in the belief that selling $1 images is they only way they can make a buck. They have a good amount of buyers. I guess they're just afraid they'll scare off those buyers if they raise prices, even though that belief is false. I wish they'd just look at their own data and see that people are willing to pay more.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on March 19, 2013, 09:14
I think you may be giving them more credit than they deserve, have you seen the ads they use and where they appear?
It is a silhouette of a naked woman and I have only ever seen it on sites giving away stolen vectors.

It seems to me they are targeting people that are frequenting warez sites and don't want to pay for anything. Vectorstock figure that a few cents is better for us than the alternative (nothing)
The problem is people downloading illegal stuff may be prepare to pay a dollar for a vector if it isn't on the free site (yet), they will also have no qualms about posting it on their favorite warez site when they are done.

Also as I have already mentioned, they have never to my knowledge shut a portfolio down for violating copyright, all the major infringers reported here over the last few years still have large active portfolios on the site. I just rechecked one from a serial thief, and yep it's still there, with at least one new trace from a famous stock photo.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: EmberMike on March 19, 2013, 09:23
I think you may be giving them more credit than they deserve, have you seen the ads they use and where they appear?
It is a silhouette of a naked woman and I have only ever seen it on sites giving away stolen vectors.

It seems to me they are targeting people that are frequenting warez sites and don't want to pay for anything...

And yet those same people are paying more than $1 very often. Many have no problem paying $3 or $5.

To be fair, I've seen plenty of ads for other companies that we all support on those same warez sites. All of the companies do the same thing, they are just buying ad insertions on any site that is remotely vector-related. I've seen as many BigStock ads on those sites as vectorstock ads.

I'm not saying that it's right, it's just what's happening. If we're going to say that we should avoid any site that will buy ads on warez site, then there are a lot more names on the right side of ths page we should be crossing off the list.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Microbius on March 19, 2013, 09:29
True, I've been +1ing you because I agree with most of what you're saying, I just have less faith in them than you based on the same evidence. Just a difference of opinion. I feel like the fact that they said they would price your work higher, then didn't, speaks volumes about their integrity.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: VB inc on March 19, 2013, 10:23
I dont think vector stock is a legitimate site. Probably an offshoot site from the same hackerz that illegally download these images w stolen credit cards. They probably amassed so much free illegal downloads in the beginning and decided to sell these things themselves. Its like laundering dirty goods. Who wouldn't want to profit off free electronic data if your a crook? anyone do a whois on this company?

Its clear that this company doesn't care about how it makes its dollar because they have no respect for the artist for valuing the work for $1. I would be cautious in giving any financial information to these crooks. EVERYONE SHOULD BOYCOTT THIS SITE!!! It is just hurting the vector stock industry!
Your shooting yourselves in the foot by having your work on this site.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: VB inc on March 19, 2013, 10:37
Hmmm. just checked on the site. So they claim they are from new zealand. I wonder how strict the copyright laws are there.

This site has a section on virus notice? Come on, your giving yourself away now that you guys are hackers. Which other agency has any text on viruses? At the very least there is no inspection process and you can upload all illegally download warez you got to this site.... The sites that contain viruses are usually the seedy sites that has illegally obtained material being given out for free.

Think about it people, these guys are crooks.

http://www.vectorstock.com/faq]
[url]http://www.vectorstock.com/faq (http://[url)[/url]
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: EmberMike on March 19, 2013, 11:38
I dont think vector stock is a legitimate site. Probably an offshoot site from the same hackerz that illegally download these images w stolen credit cards. They probably amassed so much free illegal downloads in the beginning and decided to sell these things themselves. Its like laundering dirty goods. Who wouldn't want to profit off free electronic data if your a crook? ...

Any proof of that? I've never heard of a case where they've been suggested to be populating the site with stolen content that they acquired.

...This site has a section on virus notice? Come on, your giving yourself away now that you guys are hackers..

Having a virus warning on a stock site is a bit odd, since stock assets can't carry viruses, at least not vectors and JPGs. But does that mean that they are "hackers"? Kind of a stretch...

Look, I'm not defending their business model, their pricing, etc. But let's keep the conversation in reality. We have no proof or reason to suspect that this company is anything less than legitimate. I'd consider the virus warning just some overprotective legal speak that is strange and unnecessary, but harmless.

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cthoman on March 19, 2013, 11:45
Its clear that this company doesn't care about how it makes its dollar because they have no respect for the artist for valuing the work for $1. I would be cautious in giving any financial information to these crooks. EVERYONE SHOULD BOYCOTT THIS SITE!!! It is just hurting the vector stock industry!
Your shooting yourselves in the foot by having your work on this site.

Is selling subscriptions that much different? I don't see how one is an absolute abomination and the other is just how you earn a buck. Both are based on the concept of getting enough volume to make it profitable. Looking at VS's credits, you have to buy at least $25 worth of credits to make a purchase.

I'm not defending Vectorstock. I just don't really see a drastic difference between it and a subscription model. Both severely undercut the market.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: VB inc on March 19, 2013, 13:39
Its clear that this company doesn't care about how it makes its dollar because they have no respect for the artist for valuing the work for $1. I would be cautious in giving any financial information to these crooks. EVERYONE SHOULD BOYCOTT THIS SITE!!! It is just hurting the vector stock industry!
Your shooting yourselves in the foot by having your work on this site.

Is selling subscriptions that much different? I don't see how one is an absolute abomination and the other is just how you earn a buck. Both are based on the concept of getting enough volume to make it profitable. Looking at VS's credits, you have to buy at least $25 worth of credits to make a purchase.

I'm not defending Vectorstock. I just don't really see a drastic difference between it and a subscription model. Both severely undercut the market.

The difference between subscription and vectorstocks pricing scheme is that the buyer is paying a lot more than a dollar when he buys a subscription plan starting at $249 a month. The lowest you need to spend on SS is $19 for one single image.

To the buyer, $25 for 25 images is a great deal. Vectorstock is getting the buyer used to thinking he can get decent images for a buck. That buyer mentality hurts us all in the long run and i'm doing my best to slow that tide.

I have been against subscription prices but the reality is that i am independent now and I would be foolish not to put my images on SS. I have been looking at SS images for the past 5 years and the quality has been getting better and better every year. I think this is another reasons buyers are flocking to SS. They have just as good quality images as istock.

One of my images i uploaded last month on SS got me 39 dls so far. thats $9.75. i cry and laugh at the same time since i was making over $10 a dl for that vector image on istock at 35% royalty.

I am pretty sure istock will continue to lose buyers so that is why i decided to go independent late last year.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: VB inc on March 19, 2013, 13:51
I dont think vector stock is a legitimate site. Probably an offshoot site from the same hackerz that illegally download these images w stolen credit cards. They probably amassed so much free illegal downloads in the beginning and decided to sell these things themselves. Its like laundering dirty goods. Who wouldn't want to profit off free electronic data if your a crook? ...

Any proof of that? I've never heard of a case where they've been suggested to be populating the site with stolen content that they acquired.

...This site has a section on virus notice? Come on, your giving yourself away now that you guys are hackers..

Having a virus warning on a stock site is a bit odd, since stock assets can't carry viruses, at least not vectors and JPGs. But does that mean that they are "hackers"? Kind of a stretch...

Look, I'm not defending their business model, their pricing, etc. But let's keep the conversation in reality. We have no proof or reason to suspect that this company is anything less than legitimate. I'd consider the virus warning just some overprotective legal speak that is strange and unnecessary, but harmless.

Its just my thoughts. I have no proof but just because its a web site doesn't make them a legit company. I don't think my ideas are far fetched when we live in a world with scammers and scam artist everywhere looking to make a buck. Do we need proof for it to be a reality?

My comment for them to be hackers might be far off from the truth but it is entirely possible and in my eyes probable.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: EmberMike on March 19, 2013, 14:23
Its just my thoughts. I have no proof but just because its a web site doesn't make them a legit company. I don't think my ideas are far fetched when we live in a world with scammers and scam artist everywhere looking to make a buck. Do we need proof for it to be a reality?

My comment for them to be hackers might be far off from the truth but it is entirely possible and in my eyes probable.

I don't understand. Is it just the pricing? You said it yourself, you have no proof that the company is anything less than legit, it's just a theory of yours. So barring any proof of that coming out and putting that idea aside, it seems like it just boils down to price.

And that's fine, lots of people have issues with their pricing. But why jump into false accusations and conspiracy theories? Why not just say you don't like their pricing and think they're bad for business?

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cthoman on March 19, 2013, 14:34

The difference between subscription and vectorstocks pricing scheme is that the buyer is paying a lot more than a dollar when he buys a subscription plan starting at $249 a month. The lowest you need to spend on SS is $19 for one single image.

That doesn't necessarily translate to money in my pocket. They could buy just a single file of mine with that subscription. I agree though that it's definitely hard to match the volume of SS, but I'd say Vectorstock outsold DT, FT and other subscriptions. So, it's hard for me to say it is much different.

That said, it's definitely the wrong direction to go, but they seem like a pretty small time player in the grand scheme of market cannibalism.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Pinocchio on March 19, 2013, 14:34
Ok next problem....next idea modification...

What about setting a system where people can willingly transfer copyrights to that service only in that purpose of defending their work, so one service or a person running it could legally represent all of us who joined and get signature to speak in the name of any outor that joined...

Those collections are huge sometimes , if only people from the forum joined im sure someones work would be there....what are the opposite chances ?  Whenever someone opened topic like that i find something mine there...and u ?

Its sure beats this nothing we have now.


Maybe someone wit more knowledge in that legal direction can think a way to make it work.

If you are able to formulate a plan based on this idea, you need to be certain that the copyrights are transferred properly.  Failure to do just that contributed to Righthaven's eventual downfall....

ImageRights, based in Boston, makes a business of pursuing infringers.  They offer a number of plans; when last I checked a few days ago, one of the plans involved no cost until you find a case that's worth pursuing, and (if I recall correctly) even then the fees seemed reasonable to me.  They seem to have a good name, and there has been some discussion on the Alamy forum that describes favourable experiences...  I'll dig up the link if anyone is interested.

Regards
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: JPSDK on March 19, 2013, 14:40
To make centralized place to persue copyright infringements is an illusion and cannot be done. So just forget about it.

For the following reasons:
1.. False claims, or claims not valid.
2.. Copyright laws not the same in all countries
3.. Rule of law not efficient in all countries.

You will need a horde of lawyers to look into every 10 dollar case.
Not at all viable.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: VB inc on March 19, 2013, 15:20
And that's fine, lots of people have issues with their pricing. But why jump into false accusations and conspiracy theories? Why not just say you don't like their pricing and think they're bad for business?

I think its fair to say a lot of contributors read these forums. If any part of my previous posts (or false accusations according to you) prevents a contributor from signing up on vectorstock, I feel it is a small victory for everyone involved in this industry.

What would be the difference between vectorstock and SS if they had the same images? Cheaper price for the buyer. I am not talking about what goes in your pocket this month. Buyers dictate where this industry is going. The more contributors hear stories of how much money your making off this site, the more will join which will lesson your current downloads but attract new buyers due to a bigger library.

I will tell you another wild conspiracy theory. You know who's a resident of new zealand? Kim Dotcom, the owner of MegaUpload (the site that got shut down). How did they make hundreds of millions? off stolen copyrighted content. There's a whole network of unscrupulous businesses operating online and i sure don't need any proof to know that.

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: EmberMike on March 19, 2013, 18:21
I think its fair to say a lot of contributors read these forums. If any part of my previous posts (or false accusations according to you) prevents a contributor from signing up on vectorstock, I feel it is a small victory for everyone involved in this industry...

And you're ok with your small victory being won with false information?

...I will tell you another wild conspiracy theory. You know who's a resident of new zealand? Kim Dotcom, the owner of MegaUpload (the site that got shut down). How did they make hundreds of millions? off stolen copyrighted content. There's a whole network of unscrupulous businesses operating online and i sure don't need any proof to know that.

So any company out of NZ that deals in images or intellectual property shouldn't be trusted? What are you saying?

Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on March 22, 2013, 02:15
Just send a DMCA to the ISP of VS if you find blatant infringement
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: click_click on March 22, 2013, 12:11
Just send a DMCA to the ISP of VS if you find blatant infringement
What or who is VS?
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: cthoman on March 22, 2013, 12:21
Just send a DMCA to the ISP of VS if you find blatant infringement
What or who is VS?
Vectorstock
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: click_click on March 22, 2013, 12:43
Just send a DMCA to the ISP of VS if you find blatant infringement
What or who is VS?
Vectorstock
Thanks, it's getting a little much with all the abbreviations... Especially if one is not submitting to them.
Title: Re: Biggest Rip Off in microstock history! Shocking finds..
Post by: Poncke on March 22, 2013, 13:07
Just send a DMCA to the ISP of VS if you find blatant infringement
What or who is VS?
Vectorstock
Thanks, it's getting a little much with all the abbreviations... Especially if one is not submitting to them.
Sorry mate. I meant VectorStock indeed.