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Author Topic: Microsoft giving images away for free to unregistered users and istock agrees  (Read 8954 times)

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« on: January 09, 2013, 05:00 »
+8
I guess most exclusives already know this, in case you havent, please check out these two threads.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=350291&page=1

And the reply from the istock lawyer today:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=350397&page=1

If you are an istock exclusive, you cannot opt out of this kind of "promotional use". istock also shifts all responsibility in case of image abuse to the artists and we still havent been provided with a list of files that are in this "program".

My images have been downloaded over 1.3 Million times. At least those that i have found.

they are freely available on the internet, you dont need to log in to Microsoft and register to download the file, my copyright name is nowhere visible, the backlink to my portfolio doesnt work and I was never paid anything for this kind of "free give away to anyone".

Worst of all there is no user agreement to click on before downloading these files.

And commercial use is apparently allowed by the Microsoft EULA (makes sense of course, Microsoft Office is a commercial product)

And going forward there is no opt out for istock exclusives. istock believes they are entitled to do this kind of "promotional use" whenever they like.

I have never heard for any agency in the market acting this way. Ever.



Microbius

« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 05:25 »
0
Reading through those threads I feel really bad for the exclusives who have totally lost control of their content. Sounds like IS has no interest in doing anything about it.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 05:53 »
0
yes I've been reading these threads with much interest.

geez, exclusives just keep getting hammered? do they get any new sign ups??

my other thought was: ooooh, microsoft has lots of customers, maybe they should the new stock agency. i'd sell my stuff at 25c for a million downloads.

Microbius

« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 05:58 »
0
yes I've been reading these threads with much interest.

geez, exclusives just keep getting hammered? do they get any new sign ups??

my other thought was: ooooh, microsoft has lots of customers, maybe they should the new stock agency. i'd sell my stuff at 25c for a million downloads.

Don't they own Veer?

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 06:00 »
-1
yes I've been reading these threads with much interest.

geez, exclusives just keep getting hammered? do they get any new sign ups??

my other thought was: ooooh, microsoft has lots of customers, maybe they should the new stock agency. i'd sell my stuff at 25c for a million downloads.

Don't they own Veer?

do they? no idea. why wouldn't they use their global brand name to take dominance of the industry? we could start converting everyone to buying images instead of stealing. although i'm an Apple person i'd be willing join microstock as a stock agency.

« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 06:00 »
0
I'm afraid that my English is not good enough to understand and fully appreciate this exciting agreement.

Microsoft pays roughly 200 dollars for EL license. Millions of users will download image for free. IS hopes that some of them will click on iS link, register there and buy some image. Am I correct? If so I wouldn't call it a great deal.

Anyway - there are also Fotolia images on Microsoft site.

aspp

« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 06:01 »
+2
Divorcing couples and corporate ****s communicate via their lawyers. Not people in relationships of mutual trust and empathy. The Getty Images Istockphoto current method of communicating, as demonstrated in the communication about refunds, is to state the policy and ignore any contradictions.

It is weird that a company which is all about image is so useless at dealing with its own image. They should read their own trends analysis which is always all about companies wanting to be more authentic, trustworthy and genuine. As if.

« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 06:05 »
0
jm, Microsoft hasnt paid us anything. Zero. Null. Nada.

istock has declared that this is all "promotional use".

ETA: just saw that the lawyer now has a moderator badge.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 06:11 by cobalt »

« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 06:10 »
0
jm, Microsoft hasnt paid us anything. Zero. Null. Nada.

istock has declared that this is all "promotional use".

Even better.
I read this "We are selling them images with an Extended License for their online site for use under their EULA which will be made available for download by their members." and thought that you should get some money. To me it would be very bad deal even if you would be paid but this is absolutely beyond my understanding.

« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 06:14 »
0
There was a deal in 2006 were a few files were chosen and a small amount was paif for an extended license. But the new deal is all without payment:

To quote the lawyer:

"All of the contributors whose content was licensed to Microsoft were opted in for promotional use. Promotional use includes not only promotional use for a particular contributor but also the istock business, site and files.

A total of approximately 6,000 small and medium files from exclusive contributors were delivered to Microsoft under the Agreement. No content has been provided to Microsoft since early 2010. "

If you are exclusive, you can no longer opt out of this kind of "promotional deal".

Microbius

« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 06:23 »
0
yes I've been reading these threads with much interest.

geez, exclusives just keep getting hammered? do they get any new sign ups??

my other thought was: ooooh, microsoft has lots of customers, maybe they should the new stock agency. i'd sell my stuff at 25c for a million downloads.

Don't they own Veer?

do they? no idea. why wouldn't they use their global brand name to take dominance of the industry? we could start converting everyone to buying images instead of stealing. although i'm an Apple person i'd be willing join microstock as a stock agency.
Corbis owns them, but I think I was wrong and maybe Bill Gates owns Corbis as a separate entity to MicroSoft? It would explain why MS didn't just use Corbis/Veer rather than IS

« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2013, 06:24 »
0
Then it's great deal for iS.
Profit from this promo will be close to zero - but with no expenses. It's paid by contributors so why not to try it.

ShadySue

« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 08:03 »
0
ETA: just saw that the lawyer now has a moderator badge.
So that he can remove posts which are too painfully truthful.

I don't think I have any photos in this scheme, thank goodness, at least I didn't get any 'special payment'. I tried searching a few categories in which I had lots of images in iStock before 2010, but it's needle in a haystack stuff.

Way back then, it was somehow clear (or maybe I was far too diligent in searching out the info) that the files, like all MS clipart at that time, was for non-commercial use (I used it all the time when teaching).
I remember I was doing a poster and my first pick was a photo by Uncle Rob which was in the MS scheme. Then I got into knots worrying about whether a poster for a Summer Fayre run by a state school to raise money for charity counted as commercial, decided it did, and went another way.

That said, then and now, lots of small concerts and events run by local clubs use MS clipart in their posters, flyers and tickets.

Actually, this MS shambles might be the real 'ultimate rip-off'.

It seems so weird that every time I give someone a non-stock photo (probably of themselves) I have a rant about how it can't be sold RF when they don't even know what RF means (I spare them the rant if they don't have a computer!), yet here's iStock giving their stock away willy-nilly. I see that point was picked up on yesterday.

« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2013, 08:55 »
+3
I feel for those whose images have been used (esp 2.6 million downloads), Personally I would be deleting the images off istock to force them to stop. What gets me is a few weeks ago we had "We've been thinking for some time that we need to make changes to how we communicate to the contributor community at iStock." then there is the lawyer who comes along and says we're right, you're wrong, suck it up. Wonder what next months istock drama will be....

ShadySue

« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 09:01 »
+1
I feel for those whose images have been used (esp 2.6 million downloads), Personally I would be deleting the images off istock to force them to stop.
I'm not sure that it would stop them from doing this sort of thing again. They keep showing that they really don't give a d*mn about what contributors say or do. Even the flood away from exclusivity isn't giving them pause for thought (unless my theory that that's what they actually want holds good).

Quote
What gets me is a few weeks ago we had "We've been thinking for some time that we need to make changes to how we communicate to the contributor community at iStock." then there is the lawyer who comes along and says we're right, you're wrong, suck it up. Wonder what next months istock drama will be....
Or even next week's.
This issue was first raised last March, and nothing has been done.
They seem to be letting the best match, MS and sales threads to run with very little cutting. Some people may have been 'warned/threatened', but otherwise they're going to let the threads blow out of steam, then they can say that the issue 'kind of went away', or whatever idiot phrase KKT used about the RC scheme when it was introduced.

« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2013, 09:35 »
+1
I feel for those whose images have been used (esp 2.6 million downloads), Personally I would be deleting the images off istock to force them to stop. What gets me is a few weeks ago we had "We've been thinking for some time that we need to make changes to how we communicate to the contributor community at iStock." then there is the lawyer who comes along and says we're right, you're wrong, suck it up. Wonder what next months istock drama will be....

As far as I get it there is no way out to ever delete the image from MS - at least they tell us so. There are also pictures on this page of people who cancelled exclusivity some time ago. This is totally insane. They simply don't own the CR, they can't give away these sorts of "Rights".

« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2013, 09:44 »
0
I feel for those whose images have been used (esp 2.6 million downloads), Personally I would be deleting the images off istock to force them to stop. What gets me is a few weeks ago we had "We've been thinking for some time that we need to make changes to how we communicate to the contributor community at iStock." then there is the lawyer who comes along and says we're right, you're wrong, suck it up. Wonder what next months istock drama will be....

As far as I get it there is no way out to ever delete the image from MS - at least they tell us so. There are also pictures on this page of people who cancelled exclusivity some time ago. This is totally insane. They simply don't own the CR, they can't give away these sorts of "Rights".

non exclusive images can be included in promotional use, just looks like istock chose not to use them, so they probably dont have to remove for non-exclusivity. I cant see how they can keep them there if the contributor deletes the file though. (but then there is thread about deleted accounts on thinkstock)

« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2013, 09:55 »
+3
It is time for those affected to band together and ACT for goodness sake. Are we all a bunch of scared, frozen in our seats, pansies. In the famous words of an American hero, "Let's roll".

« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2013, 10:02 »
-2
It is time for those affected to band together and ACT for goodness sake. Are we all a bunch of scared, frozen in our seats, pansies. In the famous words of an American hero, "Let's roll".

Your words might have more meaning if you weren't posting anonymously.

ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2013, 10:04 »
0
I feel for those whose images have been used (esp 2.6 million downloads), Personally I would be deleting the images off istock to force them to stop. What gets me is a few weeks ago we had "We've been thinking for some time that we need to make changes to how we communicate to the contributor community at iStock." then there is the lawyer who comes along and says we're right, you're wrong, suck it up. Wonder what next months istock drama will be....

As far as I get it there is no way out to ever delete the image from MS - at least they tell us so. There are also pictures on this page of people who cancelled exclusivity some time ago. This is totally insane. They simply don't own the CR, they can't give away these sorts of "Rights".

non exclusive images can be included in promotional use, just looks like istock chose not to use them, so they probably dont have to remove for non-exclusivity. I cant see how they can keep them there if the contributor deletes the file though. (but then there is thread about deleted accounts on thinkstock)

Originally this was an exclusive perk, and was presented as such - you got a special-EL payment, and limited to non-commercial use, and IIRC it was supposed to be linked back to your portfolio for commercial use. I actually thought until this issue surfaced in March that it was only done once, a lot further back than early 2010. I didn't realise that it had been ongoing, and it seems that at least some contributors weren't paid for use.

« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2013, 10:05 »
0
It is time for those affected to band together and ACT for goodness sake. Are we all a bunch of scared, frozen in our seats, pansies. In the famous words of an American hero, "Let's roll".

Your words might have more meaning if you weren't posting anonymously.

Seriously? I am not posting anonymously.

« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2013, 10:05 »
0
It is time for those affected to band together and ACT for goodness sake. Are we all a bunch of scared, frozen in our seats, pansies. In the famous words of an American hero, "Let's roll".


Your words might have more meaning if you weren't posting anonymously.


surprised with you! http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=314508

« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2013, 10:08 »
0
It is time for those affected to band together and ACT for goodness sake. Are we all a bunch of scared, frozen in our seats, pansies. In the famous words of an American hero, "Let's roll".


Your words might have more meaning if you weren't posting anonymously.


surprised with you! http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=314508


Can you not see who I am when I post? (serious question).

« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2013, 10:12 »
+1
It is time for those affected to band together and ACT for goodness sake. Are we all a bunch of scared, frozen in our seats, pansies. In the famous words of an American hero, "Let's roll".


Your words might have more meaning if you weren't posting anonymously.


surprised with you! http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=314508


Can you not see who I am when I post? (serious question).


Danny just got up ;D how hard is to google your nickname :D

« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2013, 10:22 »
0
Ooops! My bad. Forgot about the google. I shouldn't have criticized such a well established photographer.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 10:29 by rimglow »

« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2013, 10:27 »
+1
Do you suppose that Microsoft paid iStock money as part of this deal?  If so, and someone could get the details, that would make a good case that IS should compensate contributors

They call it "promotional" but they get paid and contributors don't?  I'd ask this in the IS forums if I could. It would be interesting to see how they answer.

lisafx

« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2013, 10:45 »
+1

Can you not see who I am when I post? (serious question).

Yes, we can see who you are just fine Jani.

Looks like this issue has been resolved so I will stifle my indignation on your behalf... :)

ShadySue

« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2013, 10:49 »
0
Do you suppose that Microsoft paid iStock money as part of this deal?  If so, and someone could get the details, that would make a good case that IS should compensate contributors

They call it "promotional" but they get paid and contributors don't?  I'd ask this in the IS forums if I could. It would be interesting to see how they answer.

Unfortunately they changed the terms of the ASA to that we were all forced to agree that they could use them in promotions withough compensating us.

However, that clause was only changed in 2011 so didn't apply back then. Payment was definitely promised for the MS deal, but it possibly didn't specify how much, so 5c might cover it.

« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2013, 10:53 »
+3
While waiting for an answer from a friend in the know to Jo's question I did a little searching and found this article from 2009

http://markstoutphotography.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/the-time-magazine-cover-photo-ripoff/

"For example, iStock worked a deal with Microsoft to license images for $20 each.  Microsoft then made those images available FREE to all who bought their software.  These images are now available to millions of people free, at the expense of the photographers who produced them.  Try buying a copy of Windows Vista and then giving copies of it away to your clients free and see what Microsoft does to you.."

« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2013, 10:55 »
+2
Divorcing couples and corporate ****s communicate via their lawyers. Not people in relationships of mutual trust and empathy. The Getty Images Istockphoto current method of communicating, as demonstrated in the communication about refunds, is to state the policy and ignore any contradictions.

It is weird that a company which is all about image is so useless at dealing with its own image. They should read their own trends analysis which is always all about companies wanting to be more authentic, trustworthy and genuine. As if.

Hope you don't mind posting your words in the IS thread :-) - I'm not sure if they will stay up ...

« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2013, 11:08 »
+2
Do you suppose that Microsoft paid iStock money as part of this deal?  If so, and someone could get the details, that would make a good case that IS should compensate contributors

They call it "promotional" but they get paid and contributors don't?  I'd ask this in the IS forums if I could. It would be interesting to see how they answer.

Unfortunately they changed the terms of the ASA to that we were all forced to agree that they could use them in promotions withough compensating us.

However, that clause was only changed in 2011 so didn't apply back then. Payment was definitely promised for the MS deal, but it possibly didn't specify how much, so 5c might cover it.

I know about the promotional terms in the ASA, but what I was getting at is the possibility that this wasn't about promoting the IS site at all, but being paid by Microsoft to allow some content to be included in their office site. More along the lines of a bulk sale but stiffing the contributors of their share by classifying it as a promotion. The Getty goal is no more than 20% payout to rights holders, but 0% would just mean all the more profit for them.

I wonder if any ex-iStock employee who knew the terms of that deal would be prepared to share?

« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2013, 11:13 »
0
Keep in mind that this is not just an istock exclusives problem, there are also images of other sites, at least Fotolia. I dind't spent much time in the MS page, but, for example, I found a lot of Lisa's images, coming from Fotolia.

« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2013, 11:23 »
0
Keep in mind that this is not just an istock exclusives problem, there are also images of other sites, at least Fotolia. I dind't spent much time in the MS page, but, for example, I found a lot of Lisa's images, coming from Fotolia.

I was aware of this and so was Lisa - if I recall correctly she (a) was asked if she wanted to participate and (b) was paid for the inclusion of her images.

It's still not right that you can download images without registering or agreeing to a license (and I did just that with one of Lisa's images to see if the IPTC data was there; it was for the Fotolia images but not for the iStock ones. For Lisa's images they were marked as Copyrighted but for the iStock ones I checked they were marked as Public Domain).

ShadySue

« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2013, 11:26 »
+1
Keep in mind that this is not just an istock exclusives problem, there are also images of other sites, at least Fotolia. I dind't spent much time in the MS page, but, for example, I found a lot of Lisa's images, coming from Fotolia.

I have no idea how the fotolia thing is panning out with Fotolia, but it used to be that at least you could see that the photos came from Fotolia.
In fact, even now, fotolia-supplied images say:
Provided by
Fotolia

Fotolia

Microsoft Partner

For more variety, visit the Fotolia site. (with a link), so I guess that is a legitimate promotion.

I thought that was what was supposed to happen with the iStock files, or something similar, and IIRC that did happen with the original batch.

So I looked up the file referenced by the OP in the now locked thread, and it has exactly the same at the top:
Provided by
iStockphoto

iStockphoto

Microsoft Partner

For more variety, visit the iStockphoto site. (also with a live link to iStock with a 10% off signup deal).
So I guess that is also 'promotional'.
I don't know if all the iStock supplied images have the link.

I'm not saying it's right, but I guess they've covered their *ss.

« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2013, 11:30 »
0

non exclusive images can be included in promotional use, just looks like istock chose not to use them, so they probably dont have to remove for non-exclusivity. I cant see how they can keep them there if the contributor deletes the file though. (but then there is thread about deleted accounts on thinkstock)

If they have given MS an unlimited royalty free license to use them why would it be any different from a sale? Issuing the license is final. the person getting it does not have his rights to use affected by the changing status of the photographer.

That is probably why they are indicating that nothing can be done.

lisafx

« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2013, 11:40 »
+1
Keep in mind that this is not just an istock exclusives problem, there are also images of other sites, at least Fotolia. I dind't spent much time in the MS page, but, for example, I found a lot of Lisa's images, coming from Fotolia.

I was aware of this and so was Lisa - if I recall correctly she (a) was asked if she wanted to participate and (b) was paid for the inclusion of her images.

It's still not right that you can download images without registering or agreeing to a license (and I did just that with one of Lisa's images to see if the IPTC data was there; it was for the Fotolia images but not for the iStock ones. For Lisa's images they were marked as Copyrighted but for the iStock ones I checked they were marked as Public Domain).

Great sleuthing JoAnn!  To be honest, I am no longer thrilled with the Fotolia deal. 

When one of my images of an elderly couple wound up being used in a statewide billboard campaign against syphilis and their relatives contacted them about it, it could have been disastrous.  When I contacted the state and spoke with the people responsible for the ad, they said they thought it was okay to use the image because it was "clipart" from MS.  Fortunately, after I explained sensitive uses to them they were willing to take down the images. 

Unfortunately, I have asked both Fotolia and Microstoft several times over the past couple of years to have my images removed from Microsoft Clipart and it has never happened.  I have not been told "no", exactly.  I had thought they were removed awhile back, but turns out they haven't been.  Without legal action, I don't know how I can get them out.  On a slightly positive note, we only agreed to specific images and no new ones have been added. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 11:43 by lisafx »

« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2013, 06:35 »
0
Slightly off topic, but does anyone know if there is anything similar at SS? (even if it is not Microsoft related)

With all the iStock problems, I was thinking of trying for SS as well (anyway I'm not exclusive), but it would be no point trying if SS is just as bad...


 

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