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Author Topic: Anyone heard of 3D Studio  (Read 17541 times)

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« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2009, 15:35 »
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Another advantage we will have is that many photogs wont sell on micro-stock sites now because of the low payouts and forced price systems. With our system they have more freedom on pricing and thus we will end up with a lot of unique content that customers wont be able to get anywhere else.

Check our site again, we do show release information. Each author can upload a model or property release as required. If no release is added we show that as well so the customer knows that know release is on file and thus it may be restricted in use.

Hi Lisa,
I am finding it hard to see where you are going to fit in, as a buyer of microstock I have never had the need to use customer services on a well run website, so I do not think that this is a big selling point for me, maybe I have it wrong and you are a more traditional service like Photographers Direct, and will search and create lightboxes for requests on behalf of the customers, which is a good but sometimes costly service to provide for a valued customer.
  
This is the MicroStockGroup so most of the artists you pick up from your mailshot to the forum users will already be selling on credit based or subscription stocksites and will not fit into the 'wont sell on micro-stock sites' box, so it looks like you and your 'valued community customers' are comfortable with the same image for 12 being on sale as a subscription image.

I did revisit and maybe registered users get an advanced search for released or not, I found a photograph with a person zoomed the image and I did see the text 'Release Information N/A' under the prices but it is not that in your face as I would expect, to me N/A means 'Not Applicable' and not required which I would expect on an image of say a wild bird, but I know it is applicable to an image with a real person holding a camera, the image either has or does not have a model release and or a property release and 'for me as a buyer' the details should clearly state all relevent information so I can make a judgement.

I did look at about 20 shot-for-stock style images with people where I would have expected a model release, but they all said 'Release Information N/A' so maybe it is a functional deficit (sounds better than bug)

If we take 'The London Eye' if it is part of a cityscape then a property release is not required, if it is the primary subject then a property release is required for commercial use, N/A leaves everyone open, for me 'N/A Not Applicable', 'Does have Release', 'Does not have Release' are clearer statements with little room for error.  

Man with Camera

These are just my observations not meant to be all negative, I do wish you well and I like the other elements of your website, while you are here maybe check out the menu item 'Support the Site' and get an image posted with a link so contributors and buyers can find your website  ;)  

Regards

David  ;D
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 16:00 by Adeptris »


« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2009, 17:15 »
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Hi Phil,

I am not clear why you say it's "ironic" and that I was "complaining" about people hiding their email addresses. That implies that mine is not available, but yet it's been in my profile since the day I registered with this forum/web site. Now I am not a forum pro, so maybe I am the only one that can see it???

Also, I wasn't complaining about people hiding their email addresses, just saying that I don't understand it. Not just here but in any forum, blog, people's web sites, etc. where they have a product or service they are trying to sell. So many people either want to be invisible, or they make it very hard to get in touch with them by keeping their email secret or using contact forms.

My point was not to criticize or complain--it's each person's choice--but merely to express how mystified I am that someone wanting my business would make it difficult for me to find them.

I have gotten a lot of great info from this site and appreciate it a lot!

Lisa Anderson
[email protected] (in case I am the only one that can see it listed in my profile)

Hi,

sorry perhaps poor choice of words or the problem of not being able to see expressions etc.  I just thought it amusing that you had commented on hidden email details and then done a mail out. I really didnt mean any offensive, I think it is great when site owners (or reps) get involved here and often provides a different perspective etc. :)

personally I am suffering through someone using one of my email addresses as the bogus address on a spam mailout.  I've had over 700 undelivered or invalid address message emails returned to me in the past 2 weeks.  In amongst them there was 1 saying undeliverable that was extrememly important and very luckily I caught it. I have a old online account that used for signing up for sites and put in signatures etc, had to stop using it because of spam. I skim through it once a month to check anything got real got through (very rare), but it gets 30-40 spam emails a day :(

Phil
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 17:27 by Phil »

« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2009, 17:20 »
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I personally think customer service is very important, and while 9/10 customers may never have to contact a company about a purchase that still leaves a huge number that do. Many customers have questions before making a purchase or after and want to know that the company will stand behind that sale and respond quickly. It's a shame that most companies take days to reply but that is one area where The3dStudio.com is different (and thus better).

I think part of the problem now is that many don't like the idea of selling their image for a few "credits" but feel that they don't have many choices. So, it's not that their okay with it but rather they don't have a better place to go and they'd rather have pennies than nothing I guess. I don't expect many to jump ship with iStock and move to us but I know we will get many who will sell on both for a while, until we can show that they are making more from us than other sites at least.

Since our stock section is new, many features are as well. We do have a release upload function but many of the older photos we have don't have a release attached yet. We are going back through them and attaching them as we can and contacting those authors to upload them when possible. Not every photo of a person needs a release, as the requirement of a release depends on the use. It is perfectly legal to sell the image you linked to, but if you need to use it in an ad then the release is required. While we will, of course, encourage all authors to add releases at this point we won't require them to do so as there are many valid uses that don't require one (editorial, etc). The legal end is up to the customer as always (thats a constant from any site really).

This will likely be my last reply on this for now, but if anybody has any questions feel free to email us at [email protected] and wed be happy to answer them. Its hard to answer certain questions in a forum like this without it turning into a mess of information.

-Matt

« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2009, 18:07 »
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Don't worrry about the small stuff, Lisa.   This group is notoriously hostile toward any startup.  Concentrate on marketing your site to buyers.  

I appreciate the email but will be a "wait and see" contributor until I see a lot more than just words.

Good Luck



unfortunately there is a history of a lot of hype and promises but with some just plain bloody awful (for the artist) deals (selling copyright or $0.02 commission anyone?), a lot of one post wonders, a number of people starting sites that you can quickly see really dont have a clue what they are doing and havent put any research into it, obvious and glaring problems etc etc.

With the frequency of how often they come up and how many are bad for whatever reason, unfortunately I get very cynical :(

and although I dont really see what is really amazing with the this site (maybe I'm just missing it :)) it does seem "solid"? in the small amount I've looked. It has good commision and pricing is generous by micro standards with no subs and $4 small images.  I like the attitude towards contributors, family run doesnt mean a lot to me, but it does show that there are real people behind it that are hopefully :) less likely to say, hey lets cut the contributors earnigns a bit more to make our shareholders happy :) 

and for me as someone who does a lot of textures and backgrounds it sounds even more promising.  Already established for my main area so hopefully :) there is already sales happening in this area and if I am uploading I might as well throw in the photos too in case that takes off.

« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2009, 18:13 »
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"Many valid uses"?  So, you haven't even decided if you are offering a commercial or editorial license?  It doesn't sound like this has really been planned out.  How do you plan to cover credit card cost minimums on $4 images while paying out %60 (one advantage of credit packages, which, btw aren't a necessity, but do solve some issues).

« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2009, 19:22 »
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Thanks Phil, good info there. I understand the hesitation by most people...I too wouldn't just jump on board with any new site that posted here and I don't expect that from everyone reading this. I do like to think we get a bit more credibility since we have been in the "stock" biz for over 13 year now at least. I think it shows we aren't some fly by not operation. I hope a few of you will give us a try. At the very least keep an eye on us and you'll see that we have some big names in the biz already getting started with us.

As for sjlocke, the end use of any image is up to the customer. Of course we are selling a commercial license in most cases, but if the image is of a person and doesn't have a release then you would need there permission for an advertisement (for example) but wouldn't for editorial use. I don't care who you buy from, it's always up to the customer who buys to make sure the image is licensed correctly for their use which is why we show release information on each one. The vast majority (non-people for one example) wouldn't be an issue either way.

As for how we plan to cover our merchant fees on a $4 sale, it's probably best that you let us worry about that :) After all, isn't that why you sell through an agency, so they can handle the business end and you can work on the creative end? Okay, I know that answer isn't good enough for you (ha!) so I will tell you that's a big reason behind our $4 minimum pricing. It let's us pay the merchant fees, pay you as the photog, and still have money left over to run the business. The other guys did the credit system where as we prefer the $4 min instead, we could get by on less than that but feel that $4 is a safer option all around.

« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2009, 23:46 »
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Since our stock section is new, many features are as well. We do have a release upload function but many of the older photos we have don't have a release attached yet. We are going back through them and attaching them as we can and contacting those authors to upload them when possible. Not every photo of a person needs a release, as the requirement of a release depends on the use. It is perfectly legal to sell the image you linked to, but if you need to use it in an ad then the release is required. While we will, of course, encourage all authors to add releases at this point we won't require them to do so as there are many valid uses that don't require one (editorial, etc). The legal end is up to the customer as always (thats a constant from any site really).

-Matt

Matt,
You talk as a company representative about being customer focused, then follow this with a bad attitude toward giving the customers all the information they need for a purchase, you are quite correct that it is the customers responsibility to use the image correctly, however I could be a small town camera store business and I have a friend or family member that is an art student, I ask them to create some advertising material, they search and find the image in the link on your website a couple of $4 RF downloads and loads of trouble later for wrong use.

You know the market so you might know Alamy they sell 78% editorial images from their 17 million images, as an artist when taking an image live you cannot set the licence on a people shot as RF, the system will not allow it, on the big microsites with 5 - 7 million images on average they will have the same customers that your website will be targetting, some will not allow people shots without a model release others for RF you have to clearly mark the image as 'Editorial Use Only' these are massive website that do thier customers a service by not putting them in a position where they do not clearly have knowledge of the restrictions, with alamy RM the usage selection is the key, with the microsites the Editorial Only flag is the key, that is good customers services as the buyer does not have to send an email to ask.    

My opinion is if an image where the model could recognise themselves or a body part in the image then you need a release to sell as non editorial RF, you can still sell the images for editorial use by placing restrictions on the licenced images to that effect, without a model release you should not really sell the image as RF without clearly stating editorial use if the people are recognisable, as RF allows all uses and you have not restricted to just editorial if you have not given the customer this information.

David  :o
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 23:49 by Adeptris »

« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2009, 06:05 »
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Thank you David, for spelling out the issues better than I can from my phone touchpad :)

bittersweet

« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2009, 09:16 »
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The restrictions on items for resale seem a little loose for my taste. In fact the whole licensing agreement seems a little loose. Maybe those stricter more explicit ones are also too goofy, but I like being able to read the license and know exactly what the purchaser is and isn't allowed to do. If I can read the fuzzy wording and not be entirely certain, how can I feel confident that my images will not be misused?

The overall impression is that the site is selling the images and it's up to the buyer to decide if they are allowed to do certain things with the images. If they do things that are not allowed, then oh well, the site is not liable at all, because they warned you that you should make sure first. I think I prefer for an agency to be a little more hands-on with taking care of my work.

Microbius

« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2009, 03:49 »
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I'm confused, any reason why your not getting sued by DC comics for copyright infringement or have they just not spotted the site yet?
http://www.the3dstudio.com/product_search.aspx?id_category_0=0&search=superman
or marvel:
http://www.the3dstudio.com/product_search.aspx?id_category_0=0&search=spiderman
 
etc. etc.

« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2009, 12:21 »
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Just so everybody is clear, any time a customer buys an image from any stock site it is that customer that is the one who must make sure they can legally use it the way they want. This applies to any customer buying from any stock site...while those other sites may not be as upfront about that, that is how the law is written and we just make a point of being more clear about it.

We are in the process of updating our current photos with licensing information that is more clear so we can list Editorial Only, etc. It's a slow process and will likely take us a few more days to do but that doesn't change the fact that the law still puts the burden on the customer as I mentioned above.

Imagine buying a photo from shutter and it said "release on file" and it turns out that release was forged or missing. Think shutter is on the hook for that? Think again. It's always the customer who is so we are simply trying to make that as clear to them as possible while still showing as much information as we can about each image. We could hide behind pages of lawyer speak like other sites but we prefer our simpler agreement that the average person can understand.

As for DC, if you read our agreement you will see that you can't just buy any old model and use it as it may required additional rights being purchased. This is a standard way of buying/selling in the world of 3d stock...sort of the 3d equivalent of "editorial only".
Again, if anyone has questions please email us ([email protected]) and we can answer any questions you have...but I just don't check here all that often to respond.

-Matt

Microbius

« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2009, 12:58 »
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I think you don't get my question, what I'm wondering is not who will get sued for using the models of copyright/ trademarked characters once they are bought from the site.

My question is why you aren't sued for making money by selling models of copyright/ trademarked characters.

Whether or not they are misused by your customers, you (and your contributors) are still making money by selling characters you do not own the copyright for. i.e. you have already breached copyright by selling the models, whether or not the customer also the misuses the models (?)

I think maybe your terms aren't all that clear because you don't really get how copyright, and therefore licensing, works.
I could be totally wrong, so please clear this up for me, maybe you have permission from these companies to distribute their trademarked characters (?) Maybe you bought a license from DC allowing the distribution (?)

« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2009, 13:01 »
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As I said, the easiest way to explain is to think of it like editorial use only. I can sell a photo of a pepsi can as long as it is used for ed use only. If the customer buying wanted to use that photo for anything beyond that then they would need to contact pepsi for additional licensing.

Seriously now, I am unsubscribing from the alerts on this post so if anyone has any other questions just email us or use the contact form on our site.

-Matt

« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2009, 15:02 »
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As I said, the easiest way to explain is to think of it like editorial use only. I can sell a photo of a pepsi can as long as it is used for ed use only. If the customer buying wanted to use that photo for anything beyond that then they would need to contact pepsi for additional licensing.

Seriously now, I am unsubscribing from the alerts on this post so if anyone has any other questions just email us or use the contact form on our site.

-Matt

Hi Matt,
Just to clear things up do a bit of research, pop over to Alamy who sell mainly 78% editorial images, and search their 17 million images with the keywords Pepsi Can, you will get 97 results many not direct Alamy images but from EU partner collections, about 4-6 images of these are what you might call product shots, now refine the search to RF and you get only 4 results from 17 million and the only Pepsi Can you will see is in a pile of rubbish.

The key here is primary and secondary focus of a copyrighted item, is the image of a can of pepsi, or is the can secondary in the composition.

Now as you know the Customers on Alamy are professional and will know about image use, they are not 'Joe public' paying $1 a pop with no idea about usage rights, so the risk of miss-use on Alamy is minimal compared to a microsite as the Alamy customers will have to state the sector and use for rights managed 'L', any images that are flagged as 'Property Release Required' and 'Do not Have Release', the system will stop the buyer from licensing the image for commercial use, as the options will just not be there.

You cannot have this level of control as microstock RF, which leaves all parties open to a letter from a legal eagle of behalf of a compensation culture vulture, looking to settle out of court.

There is a wealth of information out there, the guys in these forums are normally glad to help anyone that values thier knowledge, and the business models of both Micro and Macro sites are a good starting point in understanding this market, it is wise to follow the leaders as they would have top draw legal advice and would have discussed and maybe tested all these options, done a full risk assesment and if they have decided that this is not worth the risk, just like on twitter follow them for their knowledge.

David  ;)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 15:19 by Adeptris »

« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2009, 15:44 »
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It would seem that it would be sensible to avoid this, at least until they straighten out their licensing and content issues.

Microbius

« Reply #40 on: July 23, 2009, 03:45 »
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I think this is a really interesting topic. The difference is that by selling a photo of a Pepsi can as editorial you are not actually making a drink and selling it as "Pepsi".

In the case of the comic book characters it is the character itself that is the asset. I would not be allowed to produce an image with Superman and sell it as wallpaper without express permission from DC. Is a stock agency therefore allowed to sell models or renders of trademark characters?

Irrespective of how the final purchasers use the model, the agency is selling a product (the model) based on a trademarked character without a license from the owner to do so.
i.e. the agency itself doesn't have a license to sell the model in the first place.

« Reply #41 on: July 23, 2009, 05:40 »
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I think this is a really interesting topic. The difference is that by selling a photo of a Pepsi can as editorial you are not actually making a drink and selling it as "Pepsi".

In the case of the comic book characters it is the character itself that is the asset. I would not be allowed to produce an image with Superman and sell it as wallpaper without express permission from DC. Is a stock agency therefore allowed to sell models or renders of trademark characters?

Both the DC characters and the Pepsi brand and logos are all 'brand assets' and protected by IP and copyright.

With the rendering of the DC Characters then that would be an IP violation as well as copyright, as you are just copying the original artists IP work.
Quote
Intellectual Property
Copyright legislation is part of the wider body of law known as intellectual property. The term intellectual property refers broadly to the creations of the human mind. Intellectual property rights protect the interests of creators by giving them property rights over their creations.

As a photographer you do not necessarily have an unlimited right to take photos of commercial products like a Pepsi Can with the product being the primary subject, and then upload them as commercial stock images or even post them on your own website.  
Pepsi have certain rights to control the use of images of their products, it's highly unlikely that due to the cost of an action that a major company would take action regarding a blog or web photo that wasn't deflamatory!

If a downloaded image was used in a deflamatory way by a competitor then it could be a problem, there are lots of product that you should not use for stock.

I had serveral images rejected on Istock, a girl model with playing cards, on research about the violation I found out that the pattern on the back of the playing cards and the Aces are protected, but the numerals, Jack, King and Queen are not, look at Adidas they have a copyright on not just their name but 'three stripes' on sports goods, Nike on a specific style of a tick symbol.  

Many RF websites have different lists of some copyright content images they will not accept, there is not one resource where a photographer can get all the information, so it is up to everyone to do thier own research, maybe we can have a section on MicroStockGroup for copyright isues, here is one sites example

Quote
Superman and DC Comics
All characters, character names, logos, slogans, books, titles, and related indicia are protected by trademark and copyright by DC Comics and/or WildStorm Productions.

The stocksite do not sell the product but a license to use it, It will comes down to the customer who uses the image, but the bad publicity for the site that supplied it would not be good.

Many websites are small and have operated under the radar, with new tools that search webpages for content violations and can match the content of an image to thier copyrighted material, even if it is a derrivative work will bring this issue to the table again I am sure.  

A recent case saw a music file sharer who was asked to settle out of court which most offenders do, she refused and was fined 1 million at 50k a file, so it may become a market that other law companies will now take up.

We do not read about copyright violations much as the matter is often resolved without the courts, and we do not have the bigger picture only the spot size.  


David  ;)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 06:06 by Adeptris »

« Reply #42 on: July 23, 2009, 07:22 »
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Interestingly, Turbosquid (http://www.turbosquid.com), probably the market leader for 3d models, also lists several Superman and Spiderman models.

Moonb007

  • Architect, Photographer, Dreamer
« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2009, 13:57 »
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After getting the email I clicked on the site.  Two things turned me off right away, I didn't even look into all the requirements.  The front page is really cluttered, being in stock photography everything should be well designed as its designers that are looking for images.  Second 90% of the front page is 3D models, which I don't do.  I guess a third thing would be seeing a lot of poorly done images.  I am assuming there is no review process sense its a new sight, but this frustrates buys when they have to sift through junk to get to good images.  I am more open to new sights the most here, but I need to be wow to make it worth my time to try.  As of now, 3D studio is lacking in their welcome mat pers-a.

« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2009, 19:38 »
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Thanks to all who have posted here and sent emails and messages. I appreciate your willingness to "put it out there" for us to try to absorb as we get further into the stock photo world.

I think I finally got my email address unhidden in my profile; I have no clue what was wrong but it was never intentionally hidden. I prefer emails rather than the secret message system forums use, but I guess I am in the minority on that. I do now understand a bit more about why some prefer to stay hidden, though I still think it's weird if you are selling something. But I am interested in seeing what others think and if we disagree--no harm, no foul.  :)

When I read some of the comments about the look of our site or what we offer or how we offer it, I just want to make it clear that we have never purported to be only a stock site; therefore we probably don't look like other sites you may have seen. It works for us and we change what we need to as issues come up.

The3dStudio.com began as a 3D resource site; that's the backbone of our business yet it's not incompatible with stock photos and images. We have added other compatible products in the past and will continue to do so. There is value to our buyers for us to be a one stop shop.

We work diligently 7 days a week to grow all areas of the business while also responding personally to all our members. We added stock photos and images less than 2 months ago and yes, I agree we have room to improve, but we are doing so daily. It was the right time for us and in real life it's usually not possible to wait for perfect conditions--optimal is the best I can hope for--perfect may never come.

Re all the comments about releases, copyrights, etc., here and elsewhere on the internet, I am sure there is a lot correct and a lot that isn't. I recently saw something (YouTube I think) with attorney Ed Greenburg saying something to the effect that photographers don't ask lawyers about legal matters--they ask other photographers. Maybe it's a lawyer's humorous payback for all the lawyer jokes he's heard, but it's true to some extent.

I think he may be right when it comes to copyright and trademark discussions. There is the law, there is interpretation of the law, and there are rumors and forum posts.  People tend to use phrases and words in ways they understand and are comfortable with: editorial use, RF, commercial use, customer, buyer, publisher, or other terms.

Many misunderstandings and/or criticisms may get pushed along farther than they should because in some situations we may not all always use the same terms in the same way.

Or maybe some got advice from an attorney, some got it from someone who got it from an attorney, and some got it somewhere else.

So again, thanks for all the advice and information.

Lisa
[email protected]

« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2009, 21:42 »
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I think the problem has arisen because most microstock sites  provide an add-on service to customers as a matter of course, and customers might not realize that it is an add-on, thereby expecting it from any stock site. The service I'm referring to is doing the legal legwork with respect to images sold. While the onus is on the end user, most sites screen the images so that customers don't have to go to the trouble of determing legal usage themselves. This encourages buyers to engage in 'one-stop shopping' - buy image and get legal screening thrown in. The result is that most customers probably assume that every site is doing the same.

« Reply #46 on: July 25, 2009, 02:06 »
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I think the problem has arisen because most microstock sites  provide an add-on service to customers as a matter of course, and customers might not realize that it is an add-on, thereby expecting it from any stock site. The service I'm referring to is doing the legal legwork with respect to images sold. While the onus is on the end user, most sites screen the images so that customers don't have to go to the trouble of determing legal usage themselves. This encourages buyers to engage in 'one-stop shopping' - buy image and get legal screening thrown in. The result is that most customers probably assume that every site is doing the same.

Averil really good point,
I use Alamy as a reference point when talking about 'Editorial Images', many photographers and buyers think that the term editorial means that 'anything goes' and you can just upload any subject, but recently Alamy have taken down more images for The National Trust, Museums and Heritage properties, and images of London Transport assets as the organisations have contacted Alamy and asked for the images to be taken down for different copyright reasons, as no commercial rights had been given.

No stocksite, photographer or buyer knows all the image subjects that are protected, the big stock site will not just seek advice when there is a question, but they have active legal departments to protect them, what they do well is protect everyone as much as they can making the artist and buyer experience as safe as they can, all we can do with new businesses is suggest that they look at what the big stocksites are rejecting for copyright issues.

New business owners can choose to ignore the artists comments and forum 'Chinese Whispers', it is true artist can not offer legal advice, only the artists own experiences or information gained from the other businesses models in the same market, and the asset library is the new businesses responsibility not the artists, however they should look at any advice with an 'open mind' and take some points onboard, as any changes are better now rather than later, once they are seen on the copyright radar there will be a very big cost in searching through millions of assets to remove the offending items, there will be no point in asking the artist to do it, as many with low or no sales will just not bother.

None of these comments should stop anyone from uploading to 3DStudio, all I would say is to upload images the artist knows are safe until 3DStudio have everything in place, the safe assets would be the ones already accepted by any of the big stocksites.

David  ;)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 02:14 by Adeptris »

« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2009, 03:37 »
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Interestingly, Turbosquid (http://www.turbosquid.com), probably the market leader for 3d models, also lists several Superman and Spiderman models.


Also Swarzenegger, Angelina jolie and many more.   Dont think we can compare 3d modeling rf with Big 6 photo agencies at this point.  As they said, Its up to the buyer to make sure anything is legal.        Buying a gun is the same thing, right ???   

bittersweet

« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2009, 12:14 »
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I think the problem has arisen because most microstock sites  provide an add-on service to customers as a matter of course, and customers might not realize that it is an add-on, thereby expecting it from any stock site. The service I'm referring to is doing the legal legwork with respect to images sold. While the onus is on the end user, most sites screen the images so that customers don't have to go to the trouble of determing legal usage themselves. This encourages buyers to engage in 'one-stop shopping' - buy image and get legal screening thrown in. The result is that most customers probably assume that every site is doing the same.

This is exactly on point. It's nice that our opinions can be dismissed as hearsay, ignorance, or whatever other euphemism might be used. However, the bottom line is, if I have a client spending $20k on a print job, they want to be damned certain that the licensed artwork I select is legally sound. I don't have the time or expertise to research that. I'm going to purchase images from a site where I feel some attempt has been made to be sure that the copyrights are held by the artists offering them for license, and that the images can be legally licensed royalty-free for commercial use.

The majority of my clients can't afford macro stock. If you think that it's reasonable to say "Consult your attorney to make sure it's okay to use this $12 image on your brochure," then I believe you are a bit misinformed about your customer.

« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2009, 13:16 »
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Good info, David and Averil, and nicely presented. Thanks!

David, Im sure are probably correct in your observation that big agencies have legal departments to protect them. I personally cant make a conclusion from that observation that agencies legal departments therefore protect everyone.

Each party (agency, photographer, publisher) has their own agenda and their own legal rights and liabilities, as well as potential rewards and risks. Therefore I dont believe the attorney for one party would be able to--or would agree to--serve or represent the interests of all the parties at the same time, nor would they really be protecting anyone other than their own client.

I know guidelines set by an agency have to be followed by those submitting to that agency. And that someone may choose to adopt those guidelines for themselves, and that other agencies might copy other agencies guidelines.

Some agencies could find it expedient to promote the belief that their guidelines are the only correct legal option or that the guidelines are an industry standard. This would level the playing field for them and like-minded agencies. But if people werent willing to question things and reinvent the wheel, wed all be driving in wooden carts with stone wheels instead of on rubber tires!

I must have missed a post--I dont remember seeing anyones opinion described as hearsay or ignorance.  ???

Personally, if I am spending $20,000 for something, I do my utmost to ensure I have all the facts before buying, direct from a competent source! I might go to an attorney armed with notes about things I had heard or read, to ask their opinion regarding the relevance to MY situation, but I would not operate my business based solely on things I read on the internet.

I find it very interesting that someone wants to be damned certain something is legally sound yet they dont consult an attorney! One wonders where they get their medical advice.  :)

Lisa
@The3dStudio.com


 

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