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Author Topic: Fraud going down at IS  (Read 36422 times)

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ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #125 on: December 29, 2010, 08:42 »
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Seems from that site Cathy linked to on the other site:
http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-403-265-3062/4
that iStock is paying back money to scammed cardholders who contact them.
I'm sure it will take a while for all of the cardholders to find out - I for one don't do any sort of internet banking.
Some card companies are better than others: my card company phoned me because by chance I registered two websites with the same (American) host within a week (I'm in the UK) and they wanted to be sure it was genuine: and that only totalled about 110.


« Reply #126 on: December 29, 2010, 09:53 »
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Why not? They are happily screwing contributors a bunch of other ways. I don't doubt I will be saying "told you so" sometime in the near future.

I also love how they have locked the thread now (generally means that the speculation is correct :D). $100 says that is the last you will hear of it. And that they will pocket the money.

I don't think so. I'm pretty sure that would be a flagrant case of fraud and iStock likes to rip us off by legal means, rather than risk having KT languishing in the penal system.

Maybe so, but it wouldn't be the first time we've seen a legitimate business eventually use illegitimate means to boost their profits as they got greedier and greedier.

« Reply #127 on: December 29, 2010, 10:49 »
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I think that story about stolen or misused credit cards is more acceptable for iS than to admit that someone hacked their site. Yes - world changes but idea that someone planned very carefully how to make money by distributing images paid by misused cards seems to be to crazy for me but anything is possible.
Anyway,  I'm paranoid android and simply don't trust anybody who needs so long time to explain the situation.

« Reply #128 on: December 29, 2010, 11:06 »
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Maybe this has already been discussed and I missed it or it was just subtle and I didn't get it.

Why would someone steal credit cards and buy stock photos???  They did 4 of mine of a crashed truck but how are they going to turn all that theft into money in their pockets?  I think I remember reading about someone saying putting all the images on discs and selling them on the streets of China but how is that worth it?  All this effort for what?  

I saw a bunch of posts made in Twitter just after Christmas recruiting for people to, among other things, "clone iStockphoto" -- I tried to follow the link, but it went to a freelance programming project site and said it was private and by invitation only.  Might be someone just creating a site with a look and feel like iStock's, and it's not the first time -- but it makes me wonder.  

lisafx

« Reply #129 on: December 29, 2010, 12:55 »
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Seems I am late to this discussion, but I just have to agree that Kelly's admonishing contributors for not being thankful enough was pretty disgusting.  Gostwyck nailed it by comparing it to Tony Hayward's "I just want my life back" remark.   Also reminiscent of Kelly's other "Money isn't going to be what makes you happy" quip.  Really, this guy should use some of the additional royalties Istock will be keeping to hire a PR person to proofread his posts.

I realize that 800notes thread was old, but it seems to have taken on new life in Nov. 2010.  And the amounts went from smaller numbers like $175 to very large numbers in the $1500 - $2200 range.  Seems to me it could be connected...

I don't know who will eat this loss - Istock or the credit card company.  What I do know is that this is not the contributors' fault and they should not have to bear the financial brunt of this.

nruboc

« Reply #130 on: December 29, 2010, 13:05 »
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it amazes me that contributors don't seem to hold themselves to the same standards of communication they expect from admins.

I'm not sure that's true. I think the anger comes from the way they ignore us. Look at the long september threads. How many sensible and important questions were asked and just ignored, and still remain unanswered?  The silence creates a strong impression of contempt and when you are openly arrogant and contemptuous of people, showing no interest in valid concerns about the way you are treating them, you have to expect that they will react negatively.

Exactly!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 13:09 by nruboc »

« Reply #131 on: December 29, 2010, 13:19 »
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I don't know who will eat this loss - Istock or the credit card company.

Apart from the cost of administration, time etc is there actually a loss to eat ? Otherwise are these not just sales which never happened ?

Contributors lose out if a picture gets used without a licensing fee being paid. But suppose a whole bunch of content from iStockphoto ends up at one of the mega-download sites or on a torrent - is that likely to affect sales ? Are the sorts of people who would use stolen content ever likely to have paid a licensing fee in the first place ?

lisafx

« Reply #132 on: December 29, 2010, 13:22 »
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I don't know who will eat this loss - Istock or the credit card company.

Apart from the cost of administration, time etc is there actually a loss to eat ? Otherwise are these not just sales which never happened ?



The only way to say there was no loss is if you think intellectual property has no value.  As people who make some or all of our living licensing our IP, I don't see how many of us on this board would be making that argument...  ???

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #133 on: December 29, 2010, 13:30 »
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Seems I am late to this discussion, but I just have to agree that Kelly's admonishing contributors for not being thankful enough was pretty disgusting.  Gostwyck nailed it by comparing it to Tony Hayward's "I just want my life back" remark.   Also reminiscent of Kelly's other "Money isn't going to be what makes you happy" quip.  Really, this guy should use some of the additional royalties Istock will be keeping to hire a PR person to proofread his posts.
I really don't think we want a PR spin. There's enough smoke and mirrors over there as it is. We're as well to know who we're dealing with.

« Reply #134 on: December 29, 2010, 13:32 »
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The only way to say there was no loss is if you think intellectual property has no value.  As people who make some or all of our living licensing our IP, I don't see how many of us on this board would be making that argument...  ???

Only if you believe that this is going to result in significantly fewer licensing sales. Do many buyers really look for pirated images ?

We're in the business of licensing images via iStockphoto. It's the licenses to use the images which we sell via iStockphoto, not the images themselves.

I'm not saying that this is not serious. Credit card fraud is serious. From our points of view though it is not really a theft (from any of us) unless the image ends up getting used without a licensing fee being paid.

« Reply #135 on: December 29, 2010, 13:36 »
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The only way to say there was no loss is if you think intellectual property has no value.  As people who make some or all of our living licensing our IP, I don't see how many of us on this board would be making that argument...  ???

Only if you believe that this is going to result in significantly fewer licensing sales. Do many buyers really look for pirated images ?

We're in the business of licensing images via iStockphoto. It's the licenses to use the images which we sell via iStockphoto, not the images themselves.

I'm not saying that this is not serious. Credit card fraud is serious. From our points of view though it is not really a theft (from any of us) unless the image ends up getting used without a licensing fee being paid.

From your point of view, obviously. Sure not from mine. It is theft of all the peoples images who got downloaded with the bogus cc. On top of any losses in sales they incur by having the file floating all over the net.

lisafx

« Reply #136 on: December 29, 2010, 13:47 »
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Cathy, you and I are on the same page.  IP has value, and it's theft is still theft.  We don't really know how damaging this will be financially to the artists because we don't know where these images will end up.  But IMO there is the potential to damage sales of Istock's high end collections. 

@Sue, good point about not needing any more PR spin from Istock.  I just don't appreciate reading such condescending BS from the person who is ultimately in charge and responsible for these disasters on the site. 

« Reply #137 on: December 29, 2010, 14:16 »
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Cathy, you and I are on the same page.  IP has value, and it's theft is still theft.  We don't really know how damaging this will be financially to the artists because we don't know where these images will end up.  But IMO there is the potential to damage sales of Istock's high end collections. 

I think that in general terms it also damages the value of IP as a whole too when it ends up on free download sites or cheap CD's.  If the images were not easily available to use via access to stolen goods then some of those using them might just go to the legitimate sites and realize that you have to pay (sometimes dearly) for good content.  I'm sure that there are users out there that will look for the least expensive option and not realize that the least expensive means is because they are accessing stolen goods.  But it also puts it in their mind that they should not have to pay for that type of content when it's available cheaply or free, creating a devaluation of the overall marketplace.

« Reply #138 on: December 29, 2010, 14:27 »
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Cathy, you and I are on the same page.  IP has value, and it's theft is still theft.  We don't really know how damaging this will be financially to the artists because we don't know where these images will end up.  But IMO there is the potential to damage sales of Istock's high end collections. 

I think that in general terms it also damages the value of IP as a whole too when it ends up on free download sites or cheap CD's.  If the images were not easily available to use via access to stolen goods then some of those using them might just go to the legitimate sites and realize that you have to pay (sometimes dearly) for good content.  I'm sure that there are users out there that will look for the least expensive option and not realize that the least expensive means is because they are accessing stolen goods.  But it also puts it in their mind that they should not have to pay for that type of content when it's available cheaply or free, creating a devaluation of the overall marketplace.

And the images may not be available for free. The thieves could very well charge for the images, in which case the person paying would have no clue whatsoever that they are stolen!

rubyroo

« Reply #139 on: December 29, 2010, 14:57 »
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I agree with what others have said about Kelly's statement.

He sounded as though he was talking down to a bunch of unruly five-year olds, rather than giving reassurance to hard-working artists whose livelihoods depend on a well-functioning and secure sales portal.

« Reply #140 on: December 29, 2010, 15:13 »
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Finally a response - direct from Kelly Thompson:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286152&messageid=5474742

it was credit card fraud and they knew it several days ago and have had a skeleton crew working on it.  still a big wow that someone was able to do this much damage.  


The spin is making me dizzy.

Again with the "you should feel indebted to us because we caught it". No, THAT'S YOUR JOB! YOU GET PAID FOR IT. A HEFTY SUM!

I'm pretty sure he actually meant to say, "thanks to all you contributors for making this a great year for all of us at Getty/IS. If it weren't for your hard work, I wouldn't be living the life of luxury."


I posted this earlier, but I think it needs reposting.

« Reply #141 on: December 29, 2010, 15:17 »
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Finally a response - direct from Kelly Thompson:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286152&messageid=5474742

it was credit card fraud and they knew it several days ago and have had a skeleton crew working on it.  still a big wow that someone was able to do this much damage.  


The spin is making me dizzy.

Again with the "you should feel indebted to us because we caught it". No, THAT'S YOUR JOB! YOU GET PAID FOR IT. A HEFTY SUM!

I'm pretty sure he actually meant to say, "thanks to all you contributors for making this a great year for all of us at Getty/IS. If it weren't for your hard work, I wouldn't be living the life of luxury."


I posted this earlier, but I think it needs reposting.


He should also have said "thanks to some very diligent contributors for bringing it to our attention". His claims that they were aware of it are highly suspect. If they were aware of it, it should NEVER have gotten as bad as it did or gone on for as long.

rubyroo

« Reply #142 on: December 29, 2010, 15:18 »
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Oh well said Cathy!

You too Cas.

« Reply #143 on: December 29, 2010, 15:30 »
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Just read KK's response as i was out last night; it ticks me off, to put it VERY polite and understated...
I know, and am made very clear too, that we contributors are annoying, whining PoS's ...but we're not imbeciles.

Of course this is theft, its not because its nothing physical that was taken it makes it different, they have stolen the biggest versions of the most valuable collections on istock (and most likely dont have bonafide plans with it either) which is worth $1000's and $1000's of dollars to the contributor AND istock. Saying this isnt really theft beats me...
I console myself with the thought that while i keep bending for them, they've collected so much bad karma 2011 will be a disaster year for them...one fail after another, contributors and buyers banging the doors and windows while they desperately keep sticking fingers and toes in every crack of the bursting dam. While KK is watching from his luxury million penthouse of course...
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 19:41 by Artemis »

« Reply #144 on: December 29, 2010, 16:48 »
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Hi All,

 I had a 27.54 dollar extended license today and it was posted before yesterdays sales were. It seems to have sold for the correct amount though. Are you seeing the larger items sold for less than they are supposed to? Thanks for the feedback. I'm not exclusive.

Best,
Jonathan

lisafx

« Reply #145 on: December 29, 2010, 17:04 »
0
@Jonathan, no this doesn't appear to have anything to do with ELs.  The issue here is that some person or persons has downloaded many thousands of dollars worth of largest-available-size images, mainly from Vetta and Agency collections, using stolen credit cards.   A read through this thread and the Istock one should tell you what you need to know :)

@Cathy,  well stated on what KK should have said.  But that would have required some humility, which is sadly lacking.   

« Reply #146 on: December 29, 2010, 17:13 »
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 it was posted before yesterdays sales were.

EL sales always appear virtually immediately in the stats graph, well before normal sales are shown.

« Reply #147 on: December 29, 2010, 19:18 »
0
it amazes me that contributors don't seem to hold themselves to the same standards of communication they expect from admins.

I'm not sure that's true. I think the anger comes from the way they ignore us. Look at the long september threads. How many sensible and important questions were asked and just ignored, and still remain unanswered?  The silence creates a strong impression of contempt and when you are openly arrogant and contemptuous of people, showing no interest in valid concerns about the way you are treating them, you have to expect that they will react negatively.

Exactly!

Exactamundo.

And matters in general (to say nothing of communication) are only made worse when the captain of the ship logs on to flog us in the forums over worthy concern and outrage. Frankly, I think people are pretty self-censored with regard to iStock and all the many issues, at this point. I know I bite my tongue to the point of blood spatter, when I do post. Both here and over there. Because, in the end, iStock is still my exclusive agent (though soon too be just one of many agents of mine) and therefore I genuinely want them to get their effing sh*t together to best/better sell my work.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #148 on: December 29, 2010, 20:17 »
0
The only way to say there was no loss is if you think intellectual property has no value.  As people who make some or all of our living licensing our IP, I don't see how many of us on this board would be making that argument...  ???

Only if you believe that this is going to result in significantly fewer licensing sales. Do many buyers really look for pirated images ?

We're in the business of licensing images via iStockphoto. It's the licenses to use the images which we sell via iStockphoto, not the images themselves.

I'm not saying that this is not serious. Credit card fraud is serious. From our points of view though it is not really a theft (from any of us) unless the image ends up getting used without a licensing fee being paid.

I agree.

BooKitty

« Reply #149 on: December 29, 2010, 22:21 »
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I thought KK's response was condescending, rude, immature and just a bit snotty. He may be under stress, but if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I think ( as previously mentioned) he could could use a PR person.

 The only good thing I can say about his response is at least it did not sound like it came from a robot spewing canned responses, as most of the admin postings often sound, but like a pissed-off human being, who "wants his like back".

 I like IS, and make a lot more money from them than any other site, but I am sorry, the place is a mess right now.


 

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