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Author Topic: Retroactive raise in Royalty?  (Read 10775 times)

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« on: October 10, 2014, 15:17 »
+9
"Hi there,
You reached the next redeemed credit level this year. Nice work!
Weve applied the new rate retroactively and added $*8.71 to your account.

Please accept our apologies for the delay."

The iStock Team

There is so much wrong with this I don't even know where to begin. I haven't reached a new level. If I have I would like to know what that level it is. If it is retroactive I would like to know to what date.

Part of being an agent is being accountable to the principals (contributors or as they erroneously think, suppliers.) Something that has always been lost on them or denied by them.
This letter went out to a lot of members as evidenced in the on site thread. They claim they have people there that actually went to business school.

I hope we can get an explanation from someone a little higher up than their contributor relations spokesperson who seems to have little understanding of what is to be expected as to accountability and tends to ban those that ask too many questions.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 15:49 by landbysea »


« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2014, 15:20 »
+4
Looks like I'm going to get a couple hundred taken back in a few months.

« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 15:35 »
+2
Same thing here.

Your post is completely on point. I mean, "extra cash" is good, but it'd be good to know why/how/when.


U11


« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2014, 15:42 »
+1
hopefully it is not another iGlitch

dbvirago

« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2014, 15:43 »
+4
I got $1.61, so heading for the beach now

« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2014, 15:46 »
+4
"LOBO ETA: The retroactive royalties are legitimate. However, the email sent is clearly incorrect. We will get the correct email out to you all early next week. We're sorry for the confusion."

Apology accepted then.
Ok that's good. It sounds like I may get to keep this money. I will venture a guess and say it has to do with an inacccurate accounting at some point and nothing to do with a new royalty level.

« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2014, 15:50 »
+2
I will venture a guess and say it has to do with an inacccurate accounting at some point and nothing to do with a new royalty level.

That sounds right, they would pay out if they found a mistake but I'm pretty sure they're not going to dish out a pay rise - and if they did they would be sure to announce it.

« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2014, 15:56 »
+2
Looks like I'm going to get a couple hundred taken back in a few months.

This is my fear too.  Happy to see my balance go up, but confused about why.

For one thing, I got three letters, all with different amounts, and all addressed to "Hi There", not my name or my screen name. 

Another clawback won't go over good.  Not at all. 

« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2014, 15:59 »
0
"LOBO ETA: The retroactive royalties are legitimate. However, the email sent is clearly incorrect. We will get the correct email out to you all early next week. We're sorry for the confusion."


Thank you for posting this.  So it is my money but just not for the reason they said.  Big relief. 

« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2014, 16:42 »
+2
Confidence in IS is not running high for me - but it is nice to get a 2 month income correction (so about a good SS day). I wonder what their screwup was this time and how long it has been going on.

shudderstok

« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2014, 18:06 »
+12
"LOBO ETA: The retroactive royalties are legitimate. However, the email sent is clearly incorrect. We will get the correct email out to you all early next week. We're sorry for the confusion."

When will IS get it right the first time?

« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2014, 08:19 »
+7
It would appear that iStock's accounting capability is mirrored in it's script writing capability. Ha! Ha!

« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2014, 20:03 »
0

Did I miss something? I thought independent vector folks were at a fixed 20% for a while now. How can I go up a level?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2014, 20:06 »
+1

Did I miss something? I thought independent vector folks were at a fixed 20% for a while now. How can I go up a level?
Yes, you missed replies #3, #6 and #9 above.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 06:12 by ShadySue »

« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2014, 21:59 »
+2
I've got a feeling we're all going to get another email telling us we were overpaid and they will take some back each month for 6 months. Why can't we get an all inclusive accounting system like my bank were every debt and credit has it's own entry. You should be able to see when they took money out and when they put a credit back in, etc.

Whatever!!!.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2014, 03:35 »
+1
I've got a feeling we're all going to get another email telling us we were overpaid and they will take some back each month for 6 months. Why can't we get an all inclusive accounting system like my bank were every debt and credit has it's own entry. You should be able to see when they took money out and when they put a credit back in, etc.

Whatever!!!.

As Lobo has assured us that the money is correct, just the reason is wrong, both on iS forum and a Fb forum, I think he'd really have to resign this time if iS have thrown him to the lions with more duff gen - he'd have no cred left whatsoever.

« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2014, 09:48 »
+1
I was away and just catching up on my email.

I got the letter too. I just didn't get the money.  :-[

"Hi there,
You reached the next redeemed credit level this year. Nice work!
Weve applied the new rate retroactively and added $0 to your account.

Please accept our apologies for the delay.

The iStock Team"

As my dear departed mother used to say "Well, that was a waste of a perfectly good stamp!"

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2014, 10:03 »
+1
I got 4 emails, ranging from $0 to $104.19.

« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2014, 12:39 »
0
I got 4 emails, ranging from $0 to $104.19.

Same here.   Three letters and one was fo $0.

« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2014, 13:56 »
+1
Got the 3 emails as well with various amounts.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2014, 21:14 »
+1
I feel neglected and left out. Is this only for people they care about? I never got anything.  :)

I think the answer is I didn't change levels.


Got the 3 emails as well with various amounts.

« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2014, 22:30 »
0
I feel neglected and left out. Is this only for people they care about? I never got anything.  :)

I think the answer is I didn't change levels.


Got the 3 emails as well with various amounts.

None of us changed levels.  Is still a mystery what happened.   Guess whatever screw up it was did not happen to you. :)

« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2014, 22:37 »
0

Did I miss something? I thought independent vector folks were at a fixed 20% for a while now. How can I go up a level?
Yes, you missed replies #3, #6 and #9 above.

Sorry but I still don't see anything here that answers my question. I don't understand how any sort of adjustment can be made for vector folks when we've been on a fixed royalty rate for well over a year now. There's nothing to adjust, no levels to go up or down, no royalties to change.

« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2014, 22:57 »
+2
It has nothing to do with a royalty rate change. IS realized they had made some sort of accounting mistake and then made another mistake in saying it had to do with royalty rates. Supposedly all will be revealed next week.

Since this meant they had to give us money it was probably something that happened years ago - so why they couldn't have crafted a proper e-mail is beyond me, but most of their actions are beyond me.

« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2014, 22:58 »
0

Did I miss something? I thought independent vector folks were at a fixed 20% for a while now. How can I go up a level?
Yes, you missed replies #3, #6 and #9 above.

Sorry but I still don't see anything here that answers my question. I don't understand how any sort of adjustment can be made for vector folks when we've been on a fixed royalty rate for well over a year now. There's nothing to adjust, no levels to go up or down, no royalties to change.

The answer is that the letters were wrong according to Lobo.  The money was not for moving up a level or changing royalties.  Some other mistake was being corrected and we won't know what until we get the new letters. 

« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2014, 15:51 »
+1
"LOBO ETA: The retroactive royalties are legitimate. However, the email sent is clearly incorrect. We will get the correct email out to you all early next week. We're sorry for the confusion."

Well it's already too late to be early next week.

« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2014, 16:27 »
0

This just in:

Quote
On October 10, 2014 we made the following royalty adjustments to your account but we mistakenly attributed the royalty payments to Redeemed Credit level rates. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

The following file(s) were recently licensed to an iStock customer in a transaction that did not occur through the website:

FileID XXXXXXXXX

We have made an adjustment to your account and added your royalty from the license(s), which totals:

FileID XXXXXXXXX = $X

« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2014, 16:37 »
0
Yes, I got the same. I wonder what the details were, and since it was IS - how much we got screwed. At least they fessed up eventually.

« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2014, 16:40 »
0
Another Google or Microsoft deal? Naaa. Can't be. I got too much money for one of those deals.

dbvirago

« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2014, 17:04 »
0
Here you go. This should make it completely clear to everyone:

"On October 10, 2014 we made the following royalty adjustments to your account but we mistakenly attributed the royalty payments to Redeemed Credit level rates. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

The following file(s) were recently licensed to an iStock customer in a transaction that did not occur through the website:


We have made an adjustment to your account and added your royalty from the license(s), which totals:"

« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2014, 17:13 »
+4
Well, I'd sure be interested to hear how my work was recently licensed by iStock, since I got an email.

Eta: but I received no correction email.

Etaa: I'd be very worried this is another shady deal.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 17:57 by Sean Locke Photography »

KB

« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2014, 17:42 »
0
Etaa: I'd be very worried this is another shady deal.
There can be NO doubt about that.

I had 3 files that sold for 65c, 6 files that sold for $3. One of the 65c sellers was an S+, several of the $3 ones were S+. So there was no difference in commission based on collection. Does that mean these sales happened after the changes mid-Sep? Or did they simply price ALL files the same even before then?

I assume the 65c sales were for either smaller sizes or more restricted uses. But we were given NO clarity whatsoever, so can only make worthless guesses.

Typical Getty shenanigans.

« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2014, 17:46 »
+5
I just contacted iStock support because three of the four files "recently" licensed to an iStock customer were ones I deactivated in February 2013 (over the refusing contributor opt outs for the Getty-Google deal and similar).

They had no right to license these images to anyone, through the website or any other way.

I'll post whatever reply I get.

Tossers!

« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2014, 18:00 »
+1
I just talked to IS, and it is money from previous licenses ( not recent ), where the buyer wanted an extended license or further permissions on an EL, like more items for resale.  That's how I understood it.

« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2014, 18:04 »
0
If what they told you is accurate, I don't know why the e-mail said "The following file(s) were recently licensed to an iStock customer in a transaction that did not occur through the website"

I also don't know if they're in a position to grant more permissions or anything else when a file has been deactivated just because the buyer licensed it originally while it was active.

I'm not going to hire a lawyer over 60-something dollars, but I find their high-handed approach pretty outrageous, particularly because it was over their high-handed approach that I had to deactivate the files in the first place.

KB

« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2014, 18:06 »
+1
I just talked to IS, and it is money from previous licenses ( not recent ), where the buyer wanted an extended license or further permissions on an EL, like more items for resale.  That's how I understood it.
Unless that answer was specific to your files, they are just making things up.

NONE of the files that they listed in my email have ever had ELs (and I find it difficult to believe that even Getty would give away an EL for an amount that would lead to a 65c or even $3 commission).

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2014, 18:07 »
0
Wonder why a proportion of these extra-website transactions came to $0.

« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2014, 18:14 »
0
Wonder why a proportion of these extra-website transactions came to $0.

I received three 3-mails on Friday. One for $62.52 which is 3 x 20.84 from the list of four licenses I received today. One e-mail was for 39 cents (the 4th license from today's e-mail) and one of Friday's was for $0 - no file number or other information in today's e-mail accounts for that. Weren't there some of the scammy deals that had licenses that rounded from fractional cents to 0?

« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2014, 18:15 »
+1
If what they told you is accurate, I don't know why the e-mail said "The following file(s) were recently licensed to an iStock customer in a transaction that did not occur through the website"

I also don't know if they're in a position to grant more permissions or anything else when a file has been deactivated just because the buyer licensed it originally while it was active.

I'm not going to hire a lawyer over 60-something dollars, but I find their high-handed approach pretty outrageous, particularly because it was over their high-handed approach that I had to deactivate the files in the first place.

Yes, I specifically asked "So, these are not _recent_ licenses..." .  So, if they were previous license EL additions or EL modifications, at least it isn't a new shady deal.

You're right.  They aren't in a position to change the agreement.  I'm just not sure it's egregious or worthy enough to get all legal about it.

eta: I just got my email with the IDs, and the images were across the board, from 2012, back to 2005 - weird mix.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 18:27 by Sean Locke Photography »

« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2014, 18:31 »
0
The one file that isn't deactivated is one that only ever sold an extended license (in April 2010) - a multi-seat license (unlimited) where I netted $30.60. Friday's adjustment added $20.84 to that. If it's an unlimited number of seats, what's to add?

The other three files all sold unlimited multi-seat licenses - Jan 12, 2011, Jun 13, 2011 and Sep 21, 2011.

It's unclear why one of the four was 39 cents versus the other three $20.84...

« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2014, 18:34 »
0
I think it could be where there was a standard license, and an EL was added, possibly.

« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2014, 18:46 »
0
I'll post whatever contributor support supplies as an explanation, whenever that happens :)

« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2014, 19:24 »
+1
So maybe they found some people using a files outside the license terms and billed for an EL. That would make it outside the website and would account for what Sean was told and also to why Jo Ann was paid on an inactive file.

KB

« Reply #44 on: October 15, 2014, 19:39 »
0
So maybe they found some people using a files outside the license terms and billed for an EL. That would make it outside the website and would account for what Sean was told and also to why Jo Ann was paid on an inactive file.
But that wouldn't explain my 65c or $3 sales. So it seems like there were multiple issues here, suddenly discovered. Or the EL issue discovered, PLUS an off-site special deal made. Some of my sales were related and so clearly the same buyer (two subject groups, so probably two buyers, plus unrelated sales). From my POV, it feels like a special, off-site (below market) deal.

« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2014, 19:40 »
0
Same problem as Jo Ann Snover for me, I have deactivated all my files since march 2014 and I have 3 sales (from deactivated files of course) each for 0.35$...

« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2014, 22:45 »
+1
Am I the only one not unhappy about this?  I am very happy to have an extra $250 or so in my account. 

I complain when they DON'T pay me money owed, but I won't complain when they DO. 
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 22:50 by PixelBytes »

« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2014, 00:21 »
+4
I think for most people the lack of communication is the problem.

« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2014, 02:08 »
0
Same problem as Jo Ann Snover for me, I have deactivated all my files since march 2014 and I have 3 sales (from deactivated files of course) each for 0.35$...
Unfortunately "deactivating" is not working correctly. Numerous files are not removed after being deactivated, from partner sites like Thinkstock or Fotomore. The problem is very serious and old. Nothing has been done.
You have to contact CR and they remove "manually files. But sometimes files can "reborn" later.

« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2014, 03:36 »
0
"licensed to an iStock customer in a transaction that did not occur through the website"

How nice of iStock to word their lie so carefully. There is no such thing as a transaction not occurring through the website, the files are downloaded from the website. Ah, but the money that was paid didn't go through the website? Meaning the money wasn't accounted for and they "forgot" to pay out our share. Could someone remind me of the exact definition of corporate theft?

I wonder what prompted them to issue the correction at all. Did they get caught and were afraid of legal action?

And there was I, thinking this was actually our 100% royalty day payment. What happened to that?

U11


« Reply #50 on: October 16, 2014, 09:00 »
+8
I am wondering if there is a way to trigger some official (government?) audit of IS

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #51 on: October 16, 2014, 11:17 »
+1
How nice of iStock to word their lie so carefully. There is no such thing as a transaction not occurring through the website, the files are downloaded from the website.


You'll need to go onto the iS forum to argue your case with Lobo.
"As you know, from time to time, we enter in to license agreements with our corporate clients on different terms than are available on the website. In some cases, the license is more restrictive than the Content License Agreement. In other cases, it is a modification to an extended license. These manual adjustments reflect your royalty on those non-website transactions."
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=363577&messageid=7056059

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #52 on: October 16, 2014, 11:19 »
+1
And there was I, thinking this was actually our 100% royalty day payment. What happened to that?
It was paid out on the date they said they'd pay it out. Most people seemed to get the right amount. I was a bit 'out' and the CR rep hit the wrong button when I queried it, but if you didn't get it, you're the first I've heard of. (Presuming you're exclusive, as the 100% day was only for exclusives.).
You'll need to send the relevant facts and files to CR and hope for the best.

« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2014, 14:07 »
+4
Contributor relations replied this morning. They said the original licenses were purchased prior to deactivation and that the adjustments were "... specifically extended license adjustments."

Here is what I replied:

"(name),

Thanks for the reply. I understand that the original licensing occurred prior to deactivation, but you are not authorized to make any further licenses - adjustments, on or off the web site, after the time I deactivated the image.

You perhaps need to escalate this to a Getty legal team, but you have to direct clients who wish to purchase more/additional/adjusted rights elsewhere for images you no longer have the authorization to license.

The original licenses stand, but you must not make any adjustments for these customers.

I want written assurance that you will not continue to sell license "adjustments" on these (or any other deactivated files). It is a violation of my copyright to sell licenses when you're not authorized to do so.

regards,

Jo Ann"

It isn't that I want more money, I just want iStock's customers to be inconvenienced by iStock's shabby behavior, without which I would probably still be an iStock exclusive. I know iStock/Getty don't care about their suppliers, but I want their customers to be aware of the consequences of how badly Getty treats suppliers. I'd like those customers to have to go to a competitor to purchase the licenses they need (or they can buy them from me - anyone but iStock).

« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2014, 15:34 »
+3
I said somewhat the same, but specifically pointed out that the termination clause revokes any right they have to further license my content - their problem for terminating me.

Pretty shifty, the little side step about not calculating RCs.  The RC term description makes no dis-allowance for special purchases:
"Redeemed credits can refer both to the actual number of iStock credits used for each iStock Credit-based download on the site (based on file size, type, collection and any extended license options added), as well as to the equivalent credit cost of a file licensed using our Pay As You Go pricing."
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 15:43 by Sean Locke Photography »

« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2014, 16:56 »
-2
Quote
If you're licensing content with iStock Credits, you can purchase an Extended License when initially licensing content or anytime afterward by calling Support.


http://www.istockphoto.com/help/licenses

Terms of original sale. Seems to me that contributors implicitly accept those terms (and the responsibility to the client) irrespective of deleting their content or later leaving.

« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2014, 17:29 »
+2
Quote
If you're licensing content with iStock Credits, you can purchase an Extended License when initially licensing content or anytime afterward by calling Support.


http://www.istockphoto.com/help/licenses

Terms of original sale. Seems to me that contributors implicitly accept those terms (and the responsibility to the client) irrespective of deleting their content or later leaving.


The original license stands.  Any further license modification on files they no longer are allowed to license is infringement.  There is no responsibility to the client past the terms of the license purchased.

« Reply #57 on: October 16, 2014, 19:28 »
+3
Quote
If you're licensing content with iStock Credits, you can purchase an Extended License when initially licensing content or anytime afterward by calling Support.


http://www.istockphoto.com/help/licenses

Terms of original sale. Seems to me that contributors implicitly accept those terms (and the responsibility to the client) irrespective of deleting their content or later leaving.


The artist supply agreement clause on termination (section 12) states:

"(ii) notwithstanding termination, iStockphoto and its distribution partners shall have the right to continue licensing Accepted Content until it is removed from the Site or other sites where Accepted Content is distributed; "

That says to me that once the content is removed (and above that it talks about having 30 days to remove content) they no longer have that right.

The help text isn't part of the Content License Agreement which says "d) No terms or conditions may be added or deleted unless made in writing and either accepted in writing by an authorized representative of both parties or issued electronically by iStock and accepted in writing by your authorized representative." so you can't amend the agreement by what's written in the forums or the help or anywhere else.

« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2015, 16:01 »
+2
I know this is an old thread, but I received a reply from support this morning :)

They basically said that they shouldn't have sold the additional licenses because the files were deactivated at the point that happened. They said they do audit for this before doing deals, but somehow messed up this time. They did pay me and as long as it doesn't happen again, I'll just accept their apology for a mistake - if they would have argued that it was OK to do this and might do it again in the future, I'd continue the discussion.

Here's their words for the above:

"Thanks for your patience while we investigated. It does appear that the assets were in fact deactivated at the time of this invoice. I have confirmed that license adjustments should not occur for files that had been deactivated and that we do audit content prior to these negotiations to ensure that the files are still active. It seems that we did not catch your deactivated file(s) on the audit we did and for that we apologize. The royalties have have been deposited to your account. "


 

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