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Author Topic: Another rule change - deleting residential photos without PR  (Read 5642 times)

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« on: April 23, 2014, 12:17 »
0
23 of my old photos deleted so far:
Quote
Dear iStock Member,

The content is not suitable for our broad Royalty Free license; the reason given was: This image is deactivated due to a recent content guidelines change; images of a personal residence require a property release.

iStock Content Team

Pretty soon I won't have anything left there.


Ron

« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 12:31 »
0
Isnt that an older thing announced last year somewhere? Sucks though.

dbvirago

« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 12:33 »
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Just had 50 deleted. Doesn't matter - it was only iStock. On the sites that do actually understand the law, they still sell very well. I assume sales on those sites will go up.

« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 12:52 »
-2
here as well and what a joke!

why don't they ask if I have PR? I do!

ShadySue

« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 12:55 »
+1
I've had two today, one being my own house (but it's complicated).

« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 12:56 »
0
I've had two today, one being my own house (can't find anyone willing to sign as witness to my signature.)

how about a relative or a neighbor? ok not my business!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 12:59 by luissantos84 »

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 13:04 »
0
I've had two today, one being my own house (can't find anyone willing to sign as witness to my signature.)

how about a relative or a neighbor? ok not my business!
Do you think I haven't tried?

« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 13:05 »
0
here as well and what a joke!

why don't they ask if I have PR? I do!


They gave you the option to upload PRs when the thing was announced. Both in the email and at the site.

And as the article made clear at the time of the announcement ....

Quote
At anytime after December 20th you can still send us the required releases and we will reactivate the files as soon as we are able to review the documentation.


But don't let that get in the way of a good rant.

ShadySue

« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 13:10 »
0
Some people in the official iS thread say they had PRs with the images, yet they were still deactivated.

« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 13:11 »
0
Just had 50 deleted. Doesn't matter - it was only iStock. On the sites that do actually understand the law, they still sell very well. I assume sales on those sites will go up.

Over time buyers will inevitably become more educated re the general potential for hassle associated with the commercial use of unreleased content. Agencies which make sure that their content is hassle free offer buyers a more professional and reliable product.

Ron

« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2014, 13:11 »
+1
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=358092

Announced December 2013. Not that it helps, but then you know where its coming from

Ron

« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 13:13 »
0
Just had 50 deleted. Doesn't matter - it was only iStock. On the sites that do actually understand the law, they still sell very well. I assume sales on those sites will go up.


Over time buyers will inevitably become more educated re the general potential for hassle associated with the commercial use of unreleased content. Agencies which make sure that their content is hassle free offer buyers a more professional and reliable product.
Release is not needed, but you dont want the hassle of this;

http://propertyintangible.com/2010/08/houses-right-of-publicity.html

However, a release is not needed.

« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2014, 13:31 »
0
I had two deleted today.  Both of them were mansions owned by the state.  In other words, they were public property.  It was pretty easy to see that from the image, but I'm sure the reviewers are just looking for anything that looks like a house.

« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2014, 13:40 »
0
I had two deleted today.  Both of them were mansions owned by the state.  In other words, they were public property.  It was pretty easy to see that from the image, but I'm sure the reviewers are just looking for anything that looks like a house.

But the people looking through millions of images have no certain way of knowing who owns a property. You say it is public property - but in what country is this common knowledge ? And how can a reviewer be expected to know what the rules are in some specific country with respect to the commercial use of unreleased property whether or not it is public ?

If you are allowed to use the content commercially, if you can guarantee that a potential buyer anywhere on planet earth could not potentially be hassled for using the image commercially, then why not simply get a release signed by someone with the appropriate authority ?

« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2014, 14:06 »
0
Some people in the official iS thread say they had PRs with the images, yet they were still deactivated.

That's my case. Wonder if they are changing the terms of the release? One is a good seller.

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2014, 14:09 »
0
Some people in the official iS thread say they had PRs with the images, yet they were still deactivated.


That's my case. Wonder if they are changing the terms of the release? One is a good seller.


Seems to be 'an issue'.
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=360578&messageid=7005296

SNAFU:
"There was a small batch of images that were deactivated in spite of the fact contributors had sent in the necessary releases after we made our initial announcement. We have since reactivated those files.

Content that has been deactivated that had originally been uploaded with the necessarily releases which have been caught up in this cull will be reactivated in short order. We will have an update as soon as that process is complete.

We apologize for any inconvenience."

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=360578&messageid=7005316
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 15:19 by ShadySue »

« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2014, 14:48 »
+1

If you are allowed to use the content commercially, if you can guarantee that a potential buyer anywhere on planet earth could not potentially be hassled for using the image commercially, then why not simply get a release signed by someone with the appropriate authority ?

And that authority would be who, the governor?  I'm sure he would love to sign a property release in his spare time.  With this thinking, eventually there will be absolutely no stock photography that contains any part of a building unless the photographer has a property release, even though property has no rights.  That should only include about two-thirds of the stock photography industry.

« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2014, 14:51 »
0
21 deactivated - most of them are non-recognizable cookie-cutter suburban homes. And, by the way, I never received any emails from Istock notifying me that this is going to happen - this is complete news to me.

« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2014, 15:11 »
+4
21 deactivated - most of them are non-recognizable cookie-cutter suburban homes. And, by the way, I never received any emails from Istock notifying me that this is going to happen - this is complete news to me.

That is exactly why this makes no sense.  There is no intellectual property involved, unless there is unique architecture or landscape design, and the designer wants to assert her copyright.  In most countries, the owner of the house has no right to prevent somebody from taking a photo of his house from the public street.  If it bothers him, he should put up a tall fence.  Istock's demand for "property" releases for generic houses is legally meaningless, but that is part and parcel of a badly managed company.

Ron

« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2014, 15:14 »
+1
Isnt it the same as with a tattoo then? The home owner may own the house, but they didnt design nor create it, so how can they sign a property release when the architect is the one holding the copyright to the design? It seems when a home owner signs a PR they could be doing so illegally.

ShadySue

« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2014, 15:17 »
+2
  In most countries, the owner of the house has no right to prevent somebody from taking a photo of his house from the public street. ...

... for personal use, or to sell as editorial, just the same as shooting a person for editorial.
Commercial use is different for people, and in some countries, e.g. the UK, for property:
http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/02/12/is-it-legal-to-take-pictures-of-buildings-photography-law-questions-answered-by-experts

« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2014, 15:32 »
-1

If you are allowed to use the content commercially, if you can guarantee that a potential buyer anywhere on planet earth could not potentially be hassled for using the image commercially, then why not simply get a release signed by someone with the appropriate authority ?

And that authority would be who, the governor?  I'm sure he would love to sign a property release in his spare time.  With this thinking, eventually there will be absolutely no stock photography that contains any part of a building unless the photographer has a property release, even though property has no rights.  That should only include about two-thirds of the stock photography industry.

The governor of where ? You make it sound as if people are supposed to know what country, regional state or jurisdiction is at issue, what set of normal practices you are even talking about.

One-size-fits-all stock sites where thousands of contributors upload millions of pictures annually need a single set of practices which relate to images taken anywhere on the planet and which might potentially be used anywhere on the planet. Anything which does not fit that boiler-plate model should be with a specialist agency and probably RM so that any use is mediated by an actual conversation between the customer and the agent. Or else the potential use should be restricted. To protect the users. Or else there should be releases, at least.

From the buyer perspective it certainly is not only about the law. It's about knowing that any questions or hassles about the use of an image will definitely be addressed by the agency. This is something I feel quite strongly about FWIW. It is absolutely essential that the people buying images are able to feel confident that they will not be called out (either legal or socially - on the web) for using an image which raises a complaint or for which the use is out of context.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 15:35 by bunhill »

« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2014, 15:51 »
+1
Still requiring property releases for  residential houses makes no sense to me. I photographed several properties with legit releases signed by the owner (one of them being me) that have been sold to someone else in recent years. Now someone else owns these buildings. Do my releases still stand or not? And if they do, how is this not absurd?

« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2014, 15:59 »
+1
Still requiring property releases for  residential houses makes no sense to me. I photographed several properties with legit releases signed by the owner (one of them being me) that have been sold to someone else in recent years. Now someone else owns these buildings. Do my releases still stand or not? And if they do, how is this not absurd?

https://contribute.gettyimages.com/producer/help/propertyReleases

A property release records a permission given at the time the picture was taken. Potentially someone selling a property would need to tell a buyer that a property release had been signed. The same as any other legal contract relating to the property would need to be disclosed. Any issue would be between the new owner and the previous owner who signed the release.

« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2014, 16:07 »
+1
  In most countries, the owner of the house has no right to prevent somebody from taking a photo of his house from the public street. ...

... for personal use, or to sell as editorial, just the same as shooting a person for editorial.
Commercial use is different for people, and in some countries, e.g. the UK, for property:
http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/02/12/is-it-legal-to-take-pictures-of-buildings-photography-law-questions-answered-by-experts


If there is no copyright, it generally does not make a difference whether you use it commercially or not.  In the UK, it appears that there is a voluntary advertising standards council that has a policy of discouraging advertisers from using such photos.  That is a concession to the overly sensitive, but it is unlikely to be a legal requirement.  Stock photos are always de-identified, with house numbers etc. removed.  Most houses are not very unique, and for many of the photos being removed by Istock, their owners would not be able to swear that it is their own house as opposed to a similar one a thousand miles away. 

In any event, it is up to the user to know what they are using the photo for and whether that use is legal where they are using it.  I sell hundreds of photos of "personal residences" on microstock sites every year.  Presumably, if there was a major legal risk in using them, people would have gotten wind of it, and stopped buying long before now.   

Removing a photo just because it is of a "personal residence," which Istock is doing, is a downright silly reason.  However, as somebody else pointed out, it is probably a good thing, as buyers who want these will have to migrate to other stock sites, and virtually all of them pay a higher commission to the photographer than Istock.

« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2014, 16:10 »
+2
Anything which does not fit that boiler-plate model should be with a specialist agency and probably RM so that any use is mediated by an actual conversation between the customer and the agent. Or else the potential use should be restricted. To protect the users. Or else there should be releases, at least.

I guess we should get rid of all editorial then, just in case an image with people in it was shot in Hungary? ;)

« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2014, 16:22 »
+1
They gave you the option to upload PRs when the thing was announced. Both in the email and at the site.

don't remember seeing that, anyway without doing anything they decided to reactivate it an hour ago, guess they are checking the forum here :D

« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2014, 16:30 »
0
I've had two today, one being my own house (can't find anyone willing to sign as witness to my signature.)

how about a relative or a neighbor? ok not my business!
Do you think I haven't tried?

I understand Sue!

stockphotoeurope

« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2014, 16:30 »
+2
  In most countries, the owner of the house has no right to prevent somebody from taking a photo of his house from the public street. ...

... for personal use, or to sell as editorial, just the same as shooting a person for editorial.
Commercial use is different for people, and in some countries, e.g. the UK, for property:
http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/02/12/is-it-legal-to-take-pictures-of-buildings-photography-law-questions-answered-by-experts


As an architect (my other job) I truly appreciate the clarity of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/62
which is clearly based on a proper understanding of the distinction between a building and its representation, by stating that a photograph of a building is not a violation of copyright. This solves the copyright issues completely in my opinion.
Unfortunately, it still doesn't clear the property issues, probably because it's not the purpose of that Act, thus leaving the interpretation of commercial use to the advertising authority.

The German Panoramafreiheit not only states the same concept, but with the paragraph in bold also allows the distribution of those photographs explicitly (if I understand correctly, since I can't read German and used Google translator), thus allowing every use, not just personal use:

  59 UrhG Werke an ffentlichen Pltzen
    (1) Zulssig ist, Werke, die sich bleibend an ffentlichen Wegen, Straen oder Pltzen befinden, mit Mitteln der Malerei oder Grafik, durch Lichtbild oder durch Film zu vervielfltigen, zu verbreiten und ffentlich wiederzugeben. Bei Bauwerken erstrecken sich diese Befugnisse nur auf die uere Ansicht.
    (2) Die Vervielfltigungen drfen nicht an einem Bauwerk vorgenommen werden.


Curiously - despite being Italian - the situation in Italy it is a lot less clear to me. But this is probably another issue: Roman law (and way too many laws) vs Common Law (with fewer, simpler acts).

Amidst all these different regulations, I am afraid they are just taking the easy way (better safe than sorry) instead of properly checking each country's legislation.

Similarly, they reject all "castles in Europe" just because some are the property of the National Trust in the UK. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

With their generous take, one could expect a bit more of research. However it's their policy... as long as other sites are accepting such pictures, I am not worried (I feel sorry for exclusives).

« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 17:32 by stockphotoeurope »

« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2014, 16:42 »
+2
Hi All,

 Here is a good link that answers a lot of questions being asked here. I love the opening statement to the link. ": There is only one answer to every question ever put to a lawyer. That answer is, "It depends." The reason for this is that the answers to legal questions are always based on two things: the law and the facts. The lawyer may know the law, but he/she probably won't know all of the facts, and a slight change in what seems like a minor detail can result in a completely different answer " I hope this is a bit of help in a very grey area.

https://asmp.org/articles/business-and-legal-faq.html#.U1gzcxaq7d4

Cheers,
Jonathan

ShadySue

« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2014, 17:16 »
0
Similarly, they reject all "castles in Europe" just because some are the property of the National Trust in the UK. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
They also now reject buildings with castellation, even if they're not castles, which isn't unusual in e.g. Scotland - long before the residential buildings. Also they rejected a former castle which is now an office block (and there are previously submitted pics of same, still live and non-editorial).

BTW, the feeling is generally that the NT/NTS are on shaky legal ground (there have allegedly been cases where they've challenged agencies on images, taken from public places and sold as editorial), but they do rattle the cages of the agencies, because they sell images of their properties themselves. However, no agency wants to get dragged through the mud taking on a national charity which 'needs the money'.
BTW, I've also heard more than once that one of them (NT/NTS?) would sign a release provided they got 50% of the proceeds, which of course is impossible with any agency, but would possibly be agreeable to someone on e.g. Symbiostock.

« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2014, 17:20 »
+1
So if this images were transferred to editorial use they could keep them?

stockphotoeurope

« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2014, 17:22 »
0
deleted double post

« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2014, 20:33 »
0
They did reactivate my deactivated images as I did have property releases submitted with them.

lisafx

« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2014, 22:43 »
0
I only had two deactivated.  Fortunately most of my port is not affected, and the two deactivations were not big sellers. 

FWIW, one of them was a public historical site which hasn't been in private hands for about 120 years.  For the amount of sales it had it would not be worth flying to Kentucky to try and get a release signed though...

« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2014, 01:30 »
+2
Shutterstock does not accept buildings in main focus. I had very large houses like skyscraper and an one public building in main focus and they rejected it. I had a two property releases too for these buildings, but reply was a copyright infringement. Same for tractor in field. All logos and numbers were removed. There is no problems with such images at macro agencies. I add this image as link.

http://goo.gl/6jr9Z

« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2014, 01:49 »
+1
The German Panoramafreiheit not only states the same concept, but with the paragraph in bold also allows the distribution of those photographs explicitly (if I understand correctly, since I can't read German and used Google translator), thus allowing every use, not just personal use:

  59 UrhG Werke an ffentlichen Pltzen
    (1) Zulssig ist, Werke, die sich bleibend an ffentlichen Wegen, Straen oder Pltzen befinden, mit Mitteln der Malerei oder Grafik, durch Lichtbild oder durch Film zu vervielfltigen, zu verbreiten und ffentlich wiederzugeben. Bei Bauwerken erstrecken sich diese Befugnisse nur auf die uere Ansicht.
    (2) Die Vervielfltigungen drfen nicht an einem Bauwerk vorgenommen werden.

Yet Germany is to my knowledge the only bigger country where Google offered an "Opt Out" for StreetView, so people could report if they did not want to see their houses in it. They had to blur hundreds of thousands of houses from their pictures as a result.

It was not because the law would not have been on Google's side but popular opinion and the support of politicians in an effort to protect privacy made them consider it might not be good for their reputation to push through what they might have legally be allowed to do. As I have read as a result Google gave up taking new pictures for StreetView in Germany for the time being.

That is just an example of how things are: Even if the law is on your side, it's sometimes smarter not to get into an argument.

And quite frankly, there are enough photographers out there who are willing and able to provide property releases for the locations they shoot. So why should agencies need to put up with the potential of problems when they also can get similar content hassle-free?

ShadySue

« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2014, 08:26 »
0
So if this images were transferred to editorial use they could keep them?

Yes, but remember the points here: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=360598&messageid=7005534

« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2014, 09:16 »
0
If studio shots or illustrations can be editorial why edited images cannot? Asking to re-edit and re-upload as editorial is just shifting work to contributors.

So if this images were transferred to editorial use they could keep them?

Yes, but remember the points here: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=360598&messageid=7005534

« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2014, 11:32 »
0
Still requiring property releases for  residential houses makes no sense to me. I photographed several properties with legit releases signed by the owner (one of them being me) that have been sold to someone else in recent years. Now someone else owns these buildings. Do my releases still stand or not? And if they do, how is this not absurd?

and of course, who knows whether the PR I signed by the owner?  renters can't sign away an owners alleged rights

this just gets sillier & sillier -- but again, it's only IS, so it hardly matters

« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2014, 11:36 »
0
Renters can sign, in my view.

« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2014, 12:48 »
+3
8 of mine removed: all historic homes owned by city parks. Clearly stated that they were public property and not needing a property release. Istock is such a pain in the ass to deal with. 

« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2014, 04:53 »
+3
Oh dear, this explains a lot.  I recently uploaded a group of images of facades of 100+ year old buildings in a European city, all taken in the one street.  In their infinite wisdom, iStock allowed some as RF commercial, knocked back some with the option to resubmit as editorial, and gave others no option to resubmit (ie property release or nothing). Some of the inconsistencies are for the same building! 

IMHO, and my day job is an IP lawyer, there cannot be any reasonable basis for requiring a  property release for these images.  I sent a query to Scout (very polite, really) asking if they could explain the inconsistency.

After reading this, I expect the outcome will be that the already accepted (for commercial) images will be deactivated.  groan


 

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