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Author Topic: Freedom of speech and a hint of intimidation  (Read 36554 times)

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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2011, 15:00 »
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Censorship like this is an admission to guilt! Istock would not be censoring people if they didn't feel that they were saying something that was correct.  I stock will most likely make millions off of this lawsuit...lets not forget that the penalty for copyright infringement is about $10,000 per infringement....multiply by how many images were stolen...that is millions...will the contributor see any of the settlement money?....Absolutely not! At any retail store I have ever worked in my life, Credit card companies are always responsible for stolen credit cards, it is never the merchants responsibility.  Why should it be different than how amazon or anyother online store works.  Something fishy is going on here.


helix7

« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2011, 15:12 »
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Quote
Of course they have the right.  They pay the bills.

So when I pay the bills, I have the right to do whatever I want?

"Having the power" and "having the right" are not the same things!

Same or not, istock has both of those things on their own website. They have every right to decide what appears in the forums and what doesn't.

I've wondered why they even have a forum at all. Seems to be more trouble than it's worth. Nothing says they're required to have it.

« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2011, 15:24 »
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Quote
Of course they have the right.  They pay the bills.

So when I pay the bills, I have the right to do whatever I want?

"Having the power" and "having the right" are not the same things!

Same or not, istock has both of those things on their own website. They have every right to decide what appears in the forums and what doesn't.

I've wondered why they even have a forum at all. Seems to be more trouble than it's worth. Nothing says they're required to have it.

If istock didnt have any forum, someone would make one up and then istock would have absolutely no control of what is said about their company on that forum.
This is a crowd sourced business. And in business, like life, nothing is going to be fair or democratic.
This forum, you can be childish all you want and make fun of other peoples age and job title without the fear of getting banned.

« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2011, 15:28 »
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Censorship like this is an admission to guilt! Istock would not be censoring people if they didn't feel that they were saying something that was correct.  I stock will most likely make millions off of this lawsuit...lets not forget that the penalty for copyright infringement is about $10,000 per infringement....multiply by how many images were stolen...that is millions...will the contributor see any of the settlement money?....Absolutely not! At any retail store I have ever worked in my life, Credit card companies are always responsible for stolen credit cards, it is never the merchants responsibility.  Why should it be different than how amazon or anyother online store works.  Something fishy is going on here.

Online sales are no treated as presencial sales (when the card is phisically present) by banks and credit cards companies,

« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2011, 16:10 »
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do you think that gives you the right to post anything you want on their bulletin board?   

Does someone really need to explain this to you?

fred

From what I can see the OP wasn't being abusive, he inadvertently questioned the authority of the "boss" by stating his belief in free speech. You can construe this as "anything you want", hiding behind this is my sandbox mentality if you like, but the fact is the only reason the sandbox exists is because everyone there contributes their hard work and creativity to the cause. You see it's almost like, gosh, being in a democracy, where you contribute and feel that you should be heard or a least able to vent some some of your concerns. The company isn't just THE COMPANY it's a tiny bit of everyone who contributes.

I think that is what I was saying.  They have the right to protect their investment.  If they act in some way that a contributor thinks it is no longer in her/his best interest to stay with IS then the contributor has the right to leave.  Its a basic business agreement.  If you don't like the deal you are free to not sign up or leave within the constraints of the original agreement.

Where is the confusion?

fred

« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2011, 16:22 »
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Censorship like this is an admission to guilt! Istock would not be censoring people if they didn't feel that they were saying something that was correct.  I stock will most likely make millions off of this lawsuit...lets not forget that the penalty for copyright infringement is about $10,000 per infringement....multiply by how many images were stolen...that is millions...  Something fishy is going on here.

Let's also not forget that this is an international serving company.  If the images were purchased some place where copyright doesn't mean anything, it won't amount to anything.  I don't care what the agreement on iS says.  I doubt any of us will ever see anything from this.

« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2011, 17:26 »
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Fred and Zeus: No, I was not being abusive. At least I didn't meant to be. Don't take things I wrote personal. By the way I am a 'she', not a 'he'... ;D
 
I understand your point of view. But when talking about a company, you have a contract to work for them, right? You don't bring anything in. They pay you for the work you do for them.
But, like for example being a bank, stockagencies have a contract with us. We bring everything in! For the licenses they sell are our images. And we don't sell the rights. The copyright remains to stay with us. When all the contributors should decide to remove their portfolios from an agency there is no business at all anymore.

Your reaction was also not about what I tried to say. This is not about Istock particularly or one of the other agencies.
What I was saying that having the power to do things not makes automatically that you also have the right to do so. That should all injustice in the world makes just at once!
And of course you cannot write what you want on a forum. I said that too. There are always two sides.
There is also an agency side. They have to keep their business healthy. Of course I am not happy when commissions are lowered. But can I see, from my point of view, if this is necessary or not? Perhaps it is greed, perhaps it is necessary surgery to keep a business healthy.
But if it should be really only greed. What can we do? Ranting and calling names will not help. And of course tehy will not allow you! So even if they would choose to go that way, we have no choice than to try to find another.
At least the way all the bigger contributors are active to set up their own websites to sell their images from and the way they are organizing themselves are a sign at the wall. 
I am only a few years in this business and I don't know very much about it and I don't know either what will happen in the near future, but sometimes I have the feeling that agencies are sawing the branch they are sitting on.
And sometimes, reading the discussions, I feel if we all are the blind people trying to describe how an elephant looks like. Doe it look like a snake, like a tree, like a... ?  ;)

« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2011, 18:58 »
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Fred,

I always hear people say "If you don't like it you can just leave.." and i have to slightly disagree with that.

The thing is that you start out on a site like iStock which has certain values, a good commission and what seems like a good set of opportunities for the future.
After a few years of investing your time and effort into iStock (making them loads of money along the way) you have built a substantial portfolio which should yield a good return over lets say the next 5 to 10 years.

Then, out of the blue they decide they have the 'power' to change everything they want. Lowering your commission, your income and taking whatever cut they seem fit for themselves (no more EL bonus, less %,etc..) because they say paying you less than a fair % already has become quite 'unsustainable' (because they need the money to complete the construction of their 'Death Star').

At that point yes.. you have the free choice to abandon your investment.. but you really can't can you.
They know you have invested into every upload, the file management, getting your work accepted, getting exclusive, having vettas and agency files... And so on and so on..

Not really a valid or even sane choice is it.. unless you are willing to wipe away everything you have achieved and have put your valuable time into.
They on the other hand a fully aware of this and don't try to hide their intent because why should they..
It's like renting a farm, fertilising the fields making it healthy and then hear you have to pay triple rent.

It is taking advantage of you because they can.
It's pushing you around because you're meek, weak and scared.
It's a choice to stand up and get banned or accept your faith and keep shoveling crap like a good little lemming.
'That' choice, is entirely yours...

« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2011, 19:07 »
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Fred,

I always hear people say "If you don't like it you can just leave.." and i have to slightly disagree with that.

The thing is that you start out on a site like iStock which has certain values, a good commission and what seems like a good set of opportunities for the future.
After a few years of investing your time and effort into iStock (making them loads of money along the way) you have built a substantial portfolio which should yield a good return over lets say the next 5 to 10 years.

Then, out of the blue they decide they have the 'power' to change everything they want. Lowering your commission, your income and taking whatever cut they seem fit for themselves (no more EL bonus, less %,etc..) because they say paying you less than a fair % already has become quite 'unsustainable' (because they need the money to complete the construction of their 'Death Star').

At that point yes.. you have the free choice to abandon your investment.. but you really can't can you.
They know you have invested into every upload, the file management, getting your work accepted, getting exclusive, having vettas and agency files... And so on and so on..

Not really a valid or even sane choice is it.. unless you are willing to wipe away everything you have achieved and have put your valuable time into.
They on the other hand a fully aware of this and don't try to hide their intent because why should they..
It's like renting a farm, fertilising the fields making it healthy and then hear you have to pay triple rent.

It is taking advantage of you because they can.
It's pushing you around because you're meek, weak and scared.
It's a choice to stand up and get banned or accept your faith and keep shoveling crap like a good little lemming.
'That' choice, is entirely yours...

good point, but if I can interject a bit here.  They have also wiped away quite a bit from contributors.  I, personally, hit diamond in December and should be making that 40% commission right now.  However, because my portfolio is a mix of vectors and photos I was to take a huge hit and drop down to 25% under the new system.  I didn't like it.  In October I went non-exclusive and decided to branch out.  I'm making up the loss by expanding my distribution market for my work.  It's not as horrific and cumbersome as some people may think.  In fact, it's been rather nice to see how differently things can be at other outlets.

I started with iStock in 2004 and expected that I would always be with iStock.  However, the changes that have gone on over the last year simply do not work for my best interest.  So yes, the choice is each one's individual choice.  I choose to leave exclusivity and branch out.

« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2011, 19:28 »
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I always hear people say "If you don't like it you can just leave.."

I received a warning sitemail from Lobo yesterday after posting this -

Posted By risamay:
Oh, stop your worrying. We have a seasoned new VP (read: expensive). He's going to fix everything. Just you wait and see.


in response to this -

Posted By delirium:
Unbelievable. Unprofessional. Unacceptable. I've been here since 2002, and I've never seen a company go so bad, while making money hand over fist.


At first I was like, okay. I get it (because I do). But then, after seeing how many similarly snarky and vitriolic comments were left live both before and after my post, I took it personally and asked that Lobo shut my forum posting privileges. He finally got around to turning them off just now.

So I'm now banned, by special request.

While I'll always have an opinion, I realized that it's pretty well senseless to go on sharing it there. The feeling I get is that iStock doesn't really care, isn't really listening, and, even if it does/is, isn't doing anything with the lion's share of our criticism (snarky and vitriolic or not). On the contrary, things only seem to get stranger and more disappointing. And frankly, I'm tired of yelling at a wall.

Thankfully there's still this forum for ranting, commiseration, etc. And I'm sure Lobo/Andrew/iStock monitors the chatter here, so they know where to go to find other views not expressed on their own forums. Not that what we say here makes a lick of difference, either.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 19:31 by Risamay »

« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2011, 20:22 »
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I don't get why IS wants to 'police' their contributor forum anyway.  How are they damaged by negative posts?  Are they afraid buyers are going to read the forum and get the impression that a lot of contributors are unhappy?  Or is the company itself being shopped around, and someone is concerned that potential buyers or investors will be discouraged?

ShadySue

« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2011, 20:54 »
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So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2011, 22:09 »
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So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

« Reply #38 on: February 03, 2011, 22:10 »
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Respect Marisa,

Only a handfull of people have the guts to do a thing like that.
Let's call being banned by Lobo a "Lobotomy" shall we :-X

I am surprised how many messages and even emails i get with support of people who have big concerns with IS

« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2011, 22:13 »
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I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

To send a clear message, to make a change however small,.. to name but a few..

« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2011, 22:59 »
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So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

Sounds like the making of a new group on Microstock.Me - Criteria for joining the group, you've been banned from IS forums.  Soon to be the biggest group there.

« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2011, 23:46 »
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So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

Lol, hey Soopy
Welcome to the club, we have t-shirts!

« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2011, 00:03 »
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So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

Thanks, Sue.

Tundra, I'm just fed up. With Lobo deleting my posts and not those of others, with one brouhaha after the next, the whole shebang. And sure, I could self-censor/moderate or just stay out of the forums, but I know myself. crap there continues to hit the fan and piss me off and I'd rather not have even the temptation of posting or having to bite my tongue. If the threat of speaking my mind in my own voice (and yes, sometimes that means with a heavy dollop of sarcasm) means sitemails warning me to cool it or be banned, go ahead and ban me then. Screw it. I no longer give a crap. Besides, like I stated earlier, there is this forum if I *really* have something to say or want to interact with my fellow contributors.

I hope they get it together and the company continues on successfully for each of us, I really do. But I'm no longer interested in trying to help people who could care less about what I have to say.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 16:33 by Risamay »

« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2011, 00:06 »
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Respect Marisa,

Only a handfull of people have the guts to do a thing like that.
Let's call being banned by Lobo a "Lobotomy" shall we :-X

I am surprised how many messages and even emails i get with support of people who have big concerns with IS

I'm not in any way thrilled about my last interaction with Lobo. I *thought* he and I were friends or at least friendly. So it was disappointing. I wish him only luck and hope he finds a way to be nicer to people - online life is real life, so far as I am concerned. I'm not one way with people online and another in "real life".

He has a difficult job, but he makes it infinitely harder for himself than it has to be.

And that's all I have to say about that.

RacePhoto

« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2011, 00:19 »
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I do not agree to RacePhotos comment.
"Freedom of speech is an elementary and essential human right.


I'll try to control my tendency to explain details or intricacies.

I'm not talking about right or wrong. In principle I might agree with you, BUT

They own the website and the forum, they can allow or disallow anything they want. There is no human right or freedom of speech issue here. It's Their Site!

The End

RacePhoto

« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2011, 00:23 »
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So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

Lol, hey Soopy
Welcome to the club, we have t-shirts!

I could earn a T-Shirt in under 24 hours, but two things.

1) I'd have to care enough to post on the IS forum, what I really think. (is this like gone in 15 seconds?)
2) We'd have to print the T-shirts and pay for them

I suppose there's a 3, if I wore it, no one would know what it meant? "Banned by iStock and Proud"  ;D

« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2011, 00:46 »
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Well, Marisa, I always knew you'd come to a bad end :)

I do sort of get the request to be banned. I've been trying to stay out of the train wreck/car crash that is iStock these days, but like many an addict, I can't help myself. Seems to me that all respect for contributor concerns has gone out the window. If they were being ruthlessly efficient and the site was humming like clockwork, I'd be a bit sad, but would probably adjust to the new reality. But this keystone cops farce is just embarrassing.

Now when Leaf starts sending you PMs warning you about your posts here...

:)

jbarber873

« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2011, 08:40 »
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I don't get why IS wants to 'police' their contributor forum anyway.  How are they damaged by negative posts?  Are they afraid buyers are going to read the forum and get the impression that a lot of contributors are unhappy?  Or is the company itself being shopped around, and someone is concerned that potential buyers or investors will be discouraged?

     I think they are trying to keep the forums closer to the woo-yay model going forward and let the negative posts fade away, so that any analyst digging into the forums will think everything is okay. This company, being private, has no analyst following at the moment, but if they try for a sale or IPO, there are a few very good analysts who will be asked for an opinion. They will look at the books, which will show a big jump in revenue ( coinciding with the end of the recession ) and the forums will look like everyone is relatively happy. It's called "window dressing". A time honored wall street tradition. All they need to make the sale is a good story and no apparent warning signs about the future. Buy on the rumour, sell on the news...

ShadySue

« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2011, 08:48 »
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So I'm now banned, by special request.
Hey, look: the Club of the Banned is so cool, people are asking to join.
Welcome!  8)

I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

Thanks, Sue.

Tundra, I'm just fed up. With Lobo deleting my posts and not those of others, with one brouhaha after the next, the whole shebang. And sure, I could self-censor/moderate or just stay out of the forums, but I know myself. crap there continues to hit the fan and piss me off and I'd rather not have even the temptation of posting or having to bite my tongue. If the threat of speaking my mind in my own voice (and yes, sometimes that means with a heavy dollop of sarcasm) means sitemails warning me to cool it or be banned,  ban me then.  it. I no longer give a crap. Besides, like I stated earlier, there is this forum if I *really* have something to say or want to interact with my fellow contributors.

I hope they get it together and the company continues on successfully for each of us, I really do. But I'm no longer interested in trying to help people who could care less about what I have to say.
That's essentially why I declined the offer to become unbanned.

« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2011, 09:00 »
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I am a little puzzled at asking to be banned. Why not just stay out of the forums? That's pretty much what I'm doing, just not wasting my time over there.

Thanks, Sue.

Tundra, I'm just fed up. With Lobo deleting my posts and not those of others, with one brouhaha after the next, the whole shebang. And sure, I could self-censor/moderate or just stay out of the forums, but I know myself. crap there continues to hit the fan and piss me off and I'd rather not have even the temptation of posting or having to bite my tongue. If the threat of speaking my mind in my own voice (and yes, sometimes that means with a heavy dollop of sarcasm) means sitemails warning me to cool it or be banned,  ban me then.  it. I no longer give a crap. Besides, like I stated earlier, there is this forum if I *really* have something to say or want to interact with my fellow contributors.

I hope they get it together and the company continues on successfully for each of us, I really do. But I'm no longer interested in trying to help people who could care less about what I have to say.

I hope you didn't take my question the wrong way.  The reason I asked is that I contemplated doing the very same thing.  Then I just decided I would try to stay out.  As a result, I was curious why you actually did it.  So, I completely understand your motivation now.  I still peruse the forums over there occasionally and I have even typed in a response a few times.  However, up to this point I have just convinced myself to close that browser window and move on (i.e. not post my response) - since like you, I realize it will do no good.  I just wish more of those folks knew about this forum.


 

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