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Author Topic: Are iStock's IP objections getting more bizarre?  (Read 1989 times)

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« on: May 05, 2014, 19:00 »
Is it just me, or are iStock taking legal based objections to images to a whole new level of paranoia?  I know there was a separate thread about the change of policy on domestic buildings, but the problem seems to be more widespread than that.  And my last few rejections don't even appear to give the option of re-submitting as editorial (or at least the standard little sentence about re-submitting as editorial is missing - I haven't actually tried to do so yet). 

The current policy in respect of my images at least seems to be: if its a building, and whether it is submitted as editorial or not, property release or nothing.  The silliest example so far:  Photo of an Australian War Cemetery in France.  There is a large plain memorial stone with the words "Their Name Liveth for Evermore".  (The quote is from Ecclesiasticus 44.14, selected by Rudyard Kipling in the 1920s and used on all Commonwealth WWI cemeteries).  The rejection was on the grounds of, of all things, privacy!!!  That is, it has been put in the same category as license plates or signatures.  Even if the reviewer meant copyright, it is still completely baseless. (And, no, the font would not be protected in these circumstances).

I also just had a photo deactivated because of copyright issues - it is of a restaurant window in an old European city, taken from the street, which has writing on the shutters.  I am 99% certain I  submitted it as editorial because in this circumstance, I would agree it should be.  So, this gets back to my query whether the current policy is property release or nothing?

I am considering just not submitting any photos with any images or any sort of building, or basically anything shot outdoors in a city, to iStock anymore because its just getting a bit too frustrating.  As best as I can tell, if you submit any request to Scout for review, it just sits there for weeks or months.   


  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 19:27 »
They have plenty from Arlington National Cemetry, but it's no use trying that as a precedent, because they just don't work that way.

I've had castellated buildings rejected for being castles. One of these was never a castle and one was but isn't now. Both of these were clearly and accurately described in the description, and there are examples of both of these in the 'creative' collection.

If you question that, they say, more or less, they'll get round to deactivating them one day. And it depends which reviewer you get. I once uploaded two views of the same object, one accepted, one rejected.

No help to you, sorry. You just have to decide if your sanity can stand it. Or just submit as editorial - what commerical use is likely to be made of this image anyway?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 19:39 by ShadySue »

« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 19:59 »
Yep, had same issue with inconsistent reviews of same building facades.  Oh, and my other personal favourite you reminded me of, the blurb about castles not being allowed unless ruins?  I had one rejected on those grounds - it was of ruins of course.

Agree re editorial, but I guess what I have noticed the last week or two is that the standard sentence about re-submitting as editorial is missing, so wondering if they are not accepting them as either category? And I am pretty sure the deactivated image referred to above was in editorial.  I have tried now to resubmit some as editorial and will see what happens.

I wouldn't care too much if it wasn't for the resubmit process being cumbersome, unless there is a shortcut I don;t know about, I have to go through the whole disambiguation and category process again each time.

I don't really blame the reviewers: I don't understand how the process works but I am guessing that these issues are decided by people with technical not legal training.  I just wish they received better guidance maybe.

« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 21:32 »
I had a few questionable rejections, but they seem responsive and overturned them after I offered some justification. They may just be err on the side of caution.

« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 21:54 »
thanks, reassuring to know


  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 03:18 »
I don't really blame the reviewers: I don't understand how the process works but I am guessing that these issues are decided by people with technical not legal training.  I just wish they received better guidance maybe.

Remember firstly that iS is micro, with relatively low and currently getting lower prices, so it's hard to imagine the inspectors are really well paid. Secondly, content and inspectors come from all over the world, where laws may be totally different from in the US. They no doubt have to have a fast through rate, and wouldn't have time to check on legal charts from every country on every inspection. Therefore they will apply blanket rules for all submissions, which may not apply to any one particular image.
Evidence for the cost cutting on inspections: it used to be that keywords were inspected on submission, now it seems that all manner of lies, mistakes and spam are accepted, messing up any search by 'new'. IMO that was a very costly mistake in decision making.

« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2014, 11:28 »
I did have to resubmit an image of the new visitor center at Port Canaveral as editorial. It is a rather distinctive building but a public one built by the Port authority and I took the image from the street. I did not even submit the great images I took from a later night shoot.


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