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Author Topic: Google giving photos away free for commercial use and iStock agrees  (Read 242148 times)

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« Reply #1250 on: March 25, 2013, 01:39 »
The part that truly baffles me is not that contributor action resulted in a low number of deactivations, it's that iStock has let the relationship with their suppliers plummet to the point where many simply won't upload to them anymore.

That, in an industry where the contributors are also customers or have the power to refer customers?

I don't know how many quieter contributors out there have done the same, but I stopped submitting to iStock more than a year ago. There was really no need to deactivate files they are simply not getting any fresh content.

As mentioned in a post above, looking at a comparison between IS and SS on Alexa tells the story well. Surely it's not that hard to figure out that their downward trend will not cease unless iStock takes a 360 degree turn in how they treat all their suppliers?

« Reply #1251 on: March 25, 2013, 02:12 »
I have never really understood this premium access time limited sale.

Does it mean that the files can only be used for a limited time - a year for example and then have to be removed?

Or does it mean the customers access to the files at ultra cheap prices is time limited, i.e. "download all you want for 5 dollars a file for three months".

If the files on Google drive automatically dissapear after a year, this would at least lower the damage to the artist.

« Reply #1252 on: April 13, 2013, 10:31 »
It's a shame there's still no sign of positive action from iStock/Getty to fix this mess.

There's an interesting parallel from 2006, when users of Vox (the now defunct blogging site) were allowed to use low resolution iStock images in their blog.

I think at first there was a lot of concern because there wasn't much attribution to artists.

Things were changed, and this thread was opened, asking contributors to think about it and respond...


- the images were clearly marked with an iStock logo and the artist's name
- very low resolution images were used
- images linked back to iStock, and if a purchase was made, the artist would get a referral bonus
- artists could opt out if they weren't happy with the deal

Fast forward to now, and what a huge contrast in the approach.  It's a bit different because the images were licenced to Google (using a licence which is kept secret from the owners of the work). 

As with the Vox deal, it's about enabling end users to use our images for free. 

But this time..
- instead of the deal being discussed before it was made, we were told nothing until people noticed that it had already happened
- there was no opportunity for artists to opt out
- extremely high resolution images are being used
- even if the end user wishes to give proper credit to the artists, they can't because they have no way of knowing who created the image

As a bare minimum, using a similar solution of watermarking the image itself with the artists name and agency seems like a good, simple idea.  Shouldn't be too technically demanding for either Getty or Google to manage.

Getty keep saying things like "Copyright protection is absolutely central to our business and we remain committed to doing all we can to support and maintain your intellectual property rights."

I think they'd find it tough to argue that they're doing all they can to support and maintain our intellectual property rights if they're happy to put 12,000 images on the web, without any possiblity of copyright protection.  Guess that might explain why they're still refusing to say anything at all about it.

« Reply #1253 on: April 13, 2013, 16:16 »
Getty  puts your name and a large watermark on the istock and getty  site themselves. But when they send your files out to partners, it looks like you get orphaned. My files from getty house are still on Masterfile, Corbis and F1online but my name is nowhere. Even if the buyer wanted to give me image credit on his blog, newspaper article etc...he couldnt do it, because my name is not there.

istock does the same with Thinkstock. All files there are missing the name of the copyright holder.

They have said several times they wanted to change that, but nothing happened. Only on gettyimages itself has the watermark been significantly improved. But they always had the name there, so Getty wasnt the problem.

Thinkstock is a site they fully own and market heavily. They have full control over what they do there, so they cant blame it on unwilling partners.

It is just not right. These are our files and not their private property.


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