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Author Topic: Crazy ... or what?  (Read 9997 times)

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« on: February 18, 2008, 16:58 »
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In have just received an e-mail from iStock telling me that they are deactivating one of my images that has a car in it because (in their words) they are:

" ... taking up this leadership role by implementing a change in our policies, and improving the standards for content that is accepted into the collection."

This is the image:



It's been a steady seller since I uploaded it last autumn, not brilliant, but it's earned me over $20.

And the reason they give for deactivating it is:

"... we can no longer accept most images of cars where the vehicle is depicted as a product or represents more than 20% of the image as the main focus of the photograph. Luxury and exotic cars are not acceptable regardless of size, context or alterations done to the image."

I'm appealing. I mean ... are they going to remove every image featuring a car that's more than a dot on the horizon? What are they afraid of?

Litigiophobia (I made that word up) seems to be spreading wider and wider.


« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2008, 17:17 »
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I think it is understandable. What is less understandable is why do they have accepted those pictures before?

Car design is copyrighted I guess. I understand that Porsche, Ferrari and other companies do not want their cars to be used in other's companies ads.

As far as I know, the car may either be a dot on a horizon or on the contrary a close-up where you see only some generic part of the car without too specific design elements.

Your photo is a good example: BMW could have used it for one of their own product  ;D

Oh... and welcome from Lausanne  ;)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 18:05 by araminta »

« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2008, 17:51 »
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What is really funny is that the tags "BMW", "Ferrari", "Jaguar" (Car Manufacturers' Brand Names), etc. still exist.  You would think that they would get rid of the tags first, so that you couldn't search for those images.

I always found it funny that they don't want images of brand name products, yet their own tagging system contains them.  Kleenex, Boeing, Pepsi, McDonalds, etc. are all there.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 17:54 by GeoPappas »

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2008, 17:58 »
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I had one of my cars removed for potential copyright issues. Don't like it but it's understandable.

abimages

« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2008, 18:39 »
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You gotta trust them on this. It's new policy to protect both THEM and YOU from serious legal action for copyright breach.

vonkara

« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2008, 18:51 »
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Inderstandable, but each time I shoot an object, I'm very affraid to have a rejection. Even the text of an open book is copyrighted. I think more and more to just shoot editorial images.

That will keep my mind on what is important composition, focus and lightning. Not to look for a good lawyer that tell me if I'm wrong to shoot a piece of paper

« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2008, 19:28 »
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Heh ... looks like my old car.

digiology

« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2008, 20:20 »
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there is a "culled images" thread going on at IS

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=64925&page=1

sorry for your loss

« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2008, 20:34 »
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Just to clarify things (and please correct me if I'm wrong), but iStockphoto are protecting their buyers from legal action, not themselves or their contributors.

My understanding is that a photographer cannot be subject to litigation for taking a photo of a copyright design.  It's the publisher who uses it that is liable.  This makes sense when you realise that it's difficult to hold a photographer responsible for how his/her images are used.

I'm sure most contributors here will have had images rejected by one or more agencies for copyright issues but accepted at others. It happened to me very recently with some farm machinery that was a copyright design (all John Deere equipment, apparently). I didn't know it was copyright until I got the rejection, but by that time many other agencies had accepted it. 

As a buyer, I would be less comfortable buying images from agencies that weren't covering my back in this way!

GWB

« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2008, 21:44 »
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I can see the legal side of this argument, but if you do a search at Getty there are plenty of car and cruise ship images available for sale in their RF (and RM) sections.  Could it be that IS has eaten into their sales of more expensive images?  If it's a legal concern then why are images of similar subject matter still available for sale at Getty?

In regards to John Deere, their green and yellow color scheme is copyrighted.  At least that's what IS told me when I got my my tractor pictures rejected.  However, a search at Getty reveals plenty of John Deere tractor images.  Maybe there is a good reason for this but I am at a loss to know what it is.  All I know is one side can play and the other can't.

« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2008, 22:01 »
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Well spotted! They're always saying that iStockphoto operates independently of Getty, so I'm not surprised by such a discrepancy in their operations. Other microstock agencies have expressed concerns over the level of sophistication among their own buyers. Perhaps iStockphoto perceives their buyers as requiring more protection from themselves than Getty buyers.

« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2008, 22:03 »
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Also, Istock operates out of Calgary and would respect Canadian laws.  Getty is from where, U.S.?  Maybe Canadian copyright law is more strict.

« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2008, 02:10 »
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I think it is understandable ... car design is copyrighted I guess.

Oh... and welcome from Lausanne  ;)


Hi from Gland (that will make sense to a Swiss resident).

Okay ... agreed. Car design is copyrighted. If you are going to be making cars you can't make ones the same shape and size etc. as BMW. That's perfectly right and proper. But we're not making cars.

The whole point of my photograph is not the car (which is intentionally blurred, and questionably identifiable) but the weeds growing into the picture. I even alluded to it in the title - 'Taking over'.

But, okay, so they're scared of litigation. Why stop at cars? Certain makes of buses, and lorries and railway engines, ships and boats, yachts, and even bicycles are all identifiable. Presumably their design is copyrighted.

Planes too (sorry Sharply _done). In fact, planes are far more identifiable than cars.

Then furniture. A lot of furniture from big manufacturers (for example, think of a Scandinavian company whose name begins with I and ends with A) is easily identifiable by its design.

Then houses too. And interiors. And tools used in workshops. And kitchen equipment ...

... the list goes on.

What's there left to photograph? Flowers?



« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2008, 02:50 »
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Sunsets will be left as well...

« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2008, 03:57 »
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But we're not making cars.

You don't know who will actually use your photo and for what purpose.

But you're right: it is very delicate to know what is copyrighted or not.

We are photographers and not lawyers and as you, I often wonder what is copyrighted and why. For example, IS reject most of my illustrations containing a generic world map. I got rejection for a photo of a teddy bear. There are also issues with english coins and I got rejection at some site for a photo of a US dollar bank note, not for copyright reason, but because it is forbidden under US law. And also for a champagne bottle because I let some text such as "brut imprial" on the cork.

My last rejection at IS was for a photo of a DVD disk: I had removed all trademark, but there was a barely visible serial number which is the reason why IS do reject it (white all other site do accept it).

IS is definitively the site which do take copyright issue the more seriously (too seriously?). We have to live with it I guess.

« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2008, 04:37 »
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Why don't istock allow editorial photos?  SS does and so do some of the other sites.

« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2008, 05:03 »
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But we're not making cars.

You don't know who will actually use your photo and for what purpose.


There you've got it! You've hit the nail on the head.

The buck should stop with the user of the image. Not the photographer, nor the agency.

Trouble is, in these litigious times, the suing party and their lawyers will go for anyone they think they can get money out of.

« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2008, 06:24 »
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Trouble is, in these litigious times, the suing party and their lawyers will go for anyone they think they can get money out of.

I think that if you stay in Gland, you should not worry too much about US lawyers which are the more dangerous  ;)

« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2008, 06:43 »
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Well...crazy, of course. The world is turning into a madhouse - and the whole thing is driven by lawyers and accountants. Soon there will be no free air to breathe. If taking a picture of a car is not allowed because of copyrights - then maybe it would be reasonable to take car companies to the court for putting their logos in front of my eyes all day round - which is an invasion of privacy. I have no duty to watch their bloody logos, but I am forced to - no way to avoid it...

This is a copyright protection concept reduced ad absurdum: they claim to own the light reflected from their product. What an idiocy... and even larger idiocy that the "law" makes it accepted and acceptable...

If I had enough money - I would do just that.

« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2008, 09:34 »
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What's there left to photograph? Flowers?

Many cultivars of flowers, fruits, and vegetables are patented and copyrighted as well.  Just about any recent cultivar.  I know the agriculture dept. at my alma mater (U of Mn) is rather wealthy from an apple that they developed (the Honeycrisp), the patent is just about to (or just did) expire on it.  Not sure how this relates to photography (probably doesn't at all), just throwing this out there though.  Sunsets and landscapes it is.

« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2008, 09:41 »
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What's there left to photograph? Flowers?

Many cultivars of flowers, fruits, and vegetables are patented and copyrighted as well.  Just about any recent cultivar.  I know the agriculture dept. at my alma mater (U of Mn) is rather wealthy from an apple that they developed (the Honeycrisp) ...


Aaaaaaaaghh! iStock are going to start pulling pictures of apples next!

I give up. I'm gonna take up the nice quiet hobby of underwater needlework.

« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2008, 09:54 »
0
In have just received an e-mail from iStock telling me that they are deactivating one of my images that has a car in it because (in their words) they are:

" ... taking up this leadership role by implementing a change in our policies, and improving the standards for content that is accepted into the collection."

This is the image:



It's been a steady seller since I uploaded it last autumn, not brilliant, but it's earned me over $20.

And the reason they give for deactivating it is:

"... we can no longer accept most images of cars where the vehicle is depicted as a product or represents more than 20% of the image as the main focus of the photograph. Luxury and exotic cars are not acceptable regardless of size, context or alterations done to the image."

I'm appealing. I mean ... are they going to remove every image featuring a car that's more than a dot on the horizon? What are they afraid of?

Litigiophobia (I made that word up) seems to be spreading wider and wider.



Strange, how could they picked this image out of thousands similar. I mean i requires lots of 
time... I hope it was not a computer pick  :-[

vonkara

« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2008, 10:30 »
0
What's there left to photograph? Flowers?

Many cultivars of flowers, fruits, and vegetables are patented and copyrighted as well.  Just about any recent cultivar.  I know the agriculture dept. at my alma mater (U of Mn) is rather wealthy from an apple that they developed (the Honeycrisp) ...


Aaaaaaaaghh! iStock are going to start pulling pictures of apples next!

I give up. I'm gonna take up the nice quiet hobby of underwater needlework.

I heard that a Kiss rockstar "? name" have copyrighted the orange. Just make a search for flower and see how many picture there is...

I think I will make me a niche whit pictures of plain white sheets of paper.

RT


« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2008, 12:49 »
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I can see the legal side of this argument, but if you do a search at Getty there are plenty of car and cruise ship images available for sale in their RF (and RM) sections.  Could it be that IS has eaten into their sales of more expensive images?  If it's a legal concern then why are images of similar subject matter still available for sale at Getty?

In regards to John Deere, their green and yellow color scheme is copyrighted.  At least that's what IS told me when I got my my tractor pictures rejected.  However, a search at Getty reveals plenty of John Deere tractor images.  Maybe there is a good reason for this but I am at a loss to know what it is.  All I know is one side can play and the other can't.

I think quite a lot of the time the Inspectors get 'copyright' and 'trademark' confused, and I've no doubt they probably don't understand the difference, to be honest you wouldn't expect them too either as they're not lawyers and to my knowledge I wouldn't have thought iS give them any training into that side of things.
So I'd imagine that when faced with an image which has what could be a borderline decision they probably err on the side of caution.
In answer to your question John Deere's Green and yellow colour scheme is not copyrighted it is trademarked, thats why you'll see images of them on other sites, on these sites the responsability lies with the buyer of the image, in cases such as John Deere there would be no problem using the image as long as it doesn't breach the trademark.
There is a huge difference between copyright and trademark.


« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2008, 13:02 »
0
I heard that a Kiss rockstar "? name" have copyrighted the orange.

Actually the rumor is that Gene Simmons (from the rock band Kiss) patented the word "O.J" (as in orange juice), but I don't think that you can patent a word.  They might have meant trademark, but either way I'm not sure how true it is.


 

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