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Author Topic: iRockStock?  (Read 19750 times)

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« on: October 12, 2011, 09:54 »
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I saw the ad on this site, so I clicked on it (because that's how I roll). Anyway, I was confused because it looks like iStock, but obviously it isn't. What's the story?


« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 10:08 »
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I'd say in a few weeks iStock will make sure that this site won't be around anymore.

Not only is the name a cheap rip off but also the site design and layout as well. No idea if iStock has an easy case there but I think they have a bigger financial punch to keep such fuddy duddies out of their way.

« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 10:18 »
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No idea if iStock has an easy case there but I think they have a bigger financial punch to keep such fuddy duddies out of their way.
The fluid scarce design is very popular now since it's compatible with mobile devices. 123RF has it, FT has it. You start to see it all over the net. Their name seems to be registered and they are a British site. Of course they won't make it (no USP, more of the same) but iStock would have no point.

« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 10:33 »
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I browsed their site last night. Looks like an illustrator who is a bit fed up with how the big guys are behaving. Might not amount to anything but maybe a site with a illustration bias, reasonable prices, and commissions is something to give a chance. Looks like vectors sell for about $10 with a 40% commission.

« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 10:45 »
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...maybe a site with a illustration bias, reasonable prices, and commissions is something to give a chance. Looks like vectors sell for about $10 with a 40% commission.

That's what I thought too. Some definite positives, but I'm still not sure about the iStock design emulation.

« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 10:46 »
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No idea if iStock has an easy case there but I think they have a bigger financial punch to keep such fuddy duddies out of their way.
The fluid scarce design is very popular now since it's compatible with mobile devices. 123RF has it, FT has it. You start to see it all over the net. Their name seems to be registered and they are a British site. Of course they won't make it (no USP, more of the same) but iStock would have no point.

Its not the fluid design that's the problem, its the name, and similarity to the iStock design - same fonts, "Best Match" etc. that all potentially create confusion over iStock's trademarks. Hope they paid up in advance for the advertising!

« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 10:53 »
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I'd say in a few weeks iStock will make sure that this site won't be around anymore.

Not only is the name a cheap rip off but also the site design and layout as well. No idea if iStock has an easy case there but I think they have a bigger financial punch to keep such fuddy duddies out of their way.

it is open since June or before, I dont belive IS will close it down, not that I would be worried but hey at least they pay 40% even if there arent any sales, perhaps we should all contribute to this "new" agencies trying to pull buyers into better royalties, they were 30% a while ago and they have increased to 40% and also the price of the content, I am sure the owner will show up and talk about it

« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 11:09 »
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Its not the fluid design that's the problem, its the name, and similarity to the iStock design - same fonts, "Best Match" etc. that all potentially create confusion over iStock's trademarks. Hope they paid up in advance for the advertising!

Right, that's what I meant. They even stick to the same color scheme as iStock - that's just lame. Same text link colors etc.

An agency doesn't have to have a super fancy interface to do a good job at selling images but at least distinguish yourself from the rest, especially from the leader... unless you're trying to manipulate people into believing they're buying at IS...

« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 11:15 »
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I've seen this site before. I think the founder is a member of MSG.
Indeed, the site looks like a clone of istock.

« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 11:29 »
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it is open since June or before, I dont belive IS will close it down, not that I would be worried but hey at least they pay 40% even if there arent any sales, perhaps we should all contribute to this "new" agencies trying to pull buyers into better royalties, they were 30% a while ago and they have increased to 40% and also the price of the content, I am sure the owner will show up and talk about it

Thanks for the info, Luis.

« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2011, 11:44 »
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I've seen this site before. I think the founder is a member of MSG.
Yes, halfshag, a former iStock exclusive illustrator.

"Best Match" is not a trademark of iStock, it has (quoted) 74 million hits on Google. Bigstock for instance uses it too.

The fonts and color scheme aren't patented : there are not that many fonts for a clear web design and they are rendered by the browser.

Many features of iStock aren't there : price slider, disambiguation, categories.

http://www.photokore.com/ was a clone from the start of iStock, included the disambiguation and the TOS (they copied literally) and they apparently never got harassed. Maybe because they are in Korea?

iStockPhoto is a Canadian company and iRockStock is British. They would have to combat legally on enemy terrain since the EU (or EU states) successfully obtained several convictions of Google about privacy and IP. So I wouldn't be too sure.

As to the name, they only have "stock" in common and the front lower case "i" which is an Apple Computer thing. Apple won't object since they "stole" their name from the Beatles' company.

My bet is that "halfshag" will be here soon.  :P
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 11:55 by AttilaTheNun »

« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2011, 12:15 »
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Its the http://www.irockstock.com/halfshag profile page on irockstock that's more illustrative. There's more than a passing resemblance to the istock site - many terms are lifted straight fromit & in case anyone wonders where the ideas came from he says: "My name is Richard Simpkins, I'm the CEO of iRockStock LTD. I'm also a former exclusive vector / photo / Flash contributor at iStock."

There doesn't have to be a direct trademark infringement for there to be a cause of action - take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_dress for examples.


« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2011, 15:44 »
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I've made a site that works OK for me. It's only a starting point and yes we did pay for the ad upfront, just like we will next month.

Thanks for stepping in to clarify. I would say that as a potential contributor the similar site design to iStock gives me a lot of apprehension as far as signing up. It just raises a giant red flag for me. Which is a shame because it looks like the site is actually pretty good.

« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2011, 16:34 »
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My view is that the differences far outweigh any similarities and those similarities you mention are superficial, widely used elsewhere and don't lead anyone into thinking that they are buying from or contributing to anyone other than iRockStock Ltd.

Half, admirable as the effort is, it definitely comes across as a carbon copy of IS.  The profile page, the forum, etc. - it is all a duplicate of the iStock style.

« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2011, 17:07 »
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My view is that the differences far outweigh any similarities and those similarities you mention are superficial, widely used elsewhere and don't lead anyone into thinking that they are buying from or contributing to anyone other than iRockStock Ltd.

Half, admirable as the effort is, it definitely comes across as a carbon copy of IS.  The profile page, the forum, etc. - it is all a duplicate of the iStock style.

We've been working so closely to the project for so long the big miss-match between what we think we've created and how it's being perceived is very interesting. We don't want this, of course. Thanks everyone.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 17:14 by halfshag »

« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2011, 17:24 »
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I registered, will try and upload some when I get time.  Was a bit put off by having to upload some ID but I suppose that's a sensible request.  It looks similar to istock but the commission is different :)  Perhaps having a site that looks a bit like istock isn't such a bad idea.  It used to be a very popular site.  I remember Windows 95 looked very much like the Mac operating system but I think Bill Gates did OK with it.

« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2011, 17:26 »
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Half, admirable as the effort is, it definitely comes across as a carbon copy of IS.  The profile page, the forum, etc. - it is all a duplicate of the iStock style.

My thinking as well. I'm sure the agency terms of "irockstock.com" are fair but the similarity to iStock is uncanny.

It may not be a problem to most buyers, contributors and maybe even to iStock but I perceive it as a sister company of iStock. I actually looked twice to see if irockstock was affiliated with iStock in any way because the look was so similar.

Call me paranoid, still, best of luck.

CD123

« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2011, 19:05 »
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Halfshag, if I understand the initial poster correctly you are advertising here to get contributors, how do do intend on getting customers?

« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2011, 19:34 »
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Halfshag, if I understand the initial poster correctly you are advertising here to get contributors, how do do intend on getting customers?
I looked thru his messages and he never advertised the site to be fair.

Edit: I was wrong: I missed the advertisement because I have adblock on in FF.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 20:49 by AttilaTheNun »

« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2011, 19:48 »
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I remember Windows 95 looked very much like the Mac operating system but I think Bill Gates did OK with it.
They had legal issues over the similar "look and feel" for a very long time but finally Apple lost. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corporation

« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2011, 19:53 »
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Halfshag, if I understand the initial poster correctly you are advertising here to get contributors, how do do intend on getting customers?

Yes that's true, we're supporting MSG too. That's an easy question to answer but getting and retaining customers is the question most agencies ask themselves frequently I would think, not just start-ups like us. It's not going to be easy. It wasn't easy getting this far.

Value for money, useful content, ease of use, funds for advertising, referral system, good SEO, good customer service, extensive transparent stats are all things worth having. A unique selling point is a good thing - we've made no mention of that yet.

« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2011, 20:12 »
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Yes that's true, we're supporting MSG too. That's an easy question to answer but getting and retaining customers is the question most agencies ask themselves frequently I would think, not just start-ups like us. It's not going to be easy. It wasn't easy getting this far.

Value for money, useful content, ease of use, funds for advertising, referral system, good SEO, good customer service, extensive transparent stats are all things worth having. A unique selling point is a good thing - we've made no mention of that yet.

Congrats on the site. I've bookmarked it. I opened a shop for my own work last year (link in my signature), and it's definitely been an interesting experience to see it from the other side. Good luck!

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2011, 11:34 »
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I had a look and it looks like a nice site.

Is FTP available? Or do you plan to add it?

« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2011, 16:09 »
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I had a look and it looks like a nice site.

Is FTP available? Or do you plan to add it?

Thanks. We've had a system on test for quite a long time and plan to add it eventually.


 

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