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Author Topic: Dreamstime and Pixmac Investigation  (Read 29615 times)

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red

« on: July 19, 2011, 07:03 »
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FYI - DT just announced this regarding the Pixmac investigation -

Update:
Going back to the issue reported a few months ago:

Our contributors will receive their due earnings resulting from sales made by this former partner. Once the earnings balance is adjusted accordingly, the contributors will be notified by e-mail. Some of you will see changes in their balance so make sure you check the e-mail for such notifications.

Our action taking has been aimed at ensuring that the contributors' royalties are correctly awarded and the sales correctly reported. This has been achieved and as mentioned, many of you will see adjustments in their balances and sale reports.

At the same time, we will continue auditing and making sure there is no further infringement that can bring financial or image damage to our community. Our Alliance and partnership program has been launched to increase exposure and sales and has been thought as equitably beneficial for all parties involved: contributors, agency, partner. While we act fair, we expect the same response. At this point, we can only say that we are very disappointed by the unexpected outcome of one such partnership and consequently we'll do our best to prevent similar incidents in the future.


Original DT thread is here http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_25551
MSG discussion is here http://www.microstockgroup.com/pixmac/pixmac-no-longer-a-partner/
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 07:04 by cuppacoffee »


« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 07:14 »
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Well, that is good news for the contributors who were infringed upon. Glad to hear something was done to correct the wrongdoing.

So if agencies are willing to financially compensate, I take it that there was actual infringement going on, and it wasn't just a case of "politics", as Pixmac keeps saying.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 09:02 »
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Are they friends again?

I didn't understand anything in that response that stated the latest relationship between Pixmac and DT, did you?


« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011, 12:27 »
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I wonder if that is why I got this email today

Quote
$1.93 amount have been added to your account, resulting from Alliance and Partnership sales for the following images from your portfolio:

A shame there was a misunderstanding / errors ... nice to see that Dreamstime is double checking their accounts.

« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 13:57 »
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I wonder if that is why I got this email today

Quote
$1.93 amount have been added to your account, resulting from Alliance and Partnership sales for the following images from your portfolio:

A shame there was a misunderstanding / errors ... nice to see that Dreamstime is double checking their accounts.

Yeah, I got something similar this morning. Now I know why.

This is still a mess because we don't know (and most likely we will never know) who of the two companies made a "mistake". Whether it was Pixmac not reporting sales to DT or DT not paying us for sales occured at Pixmac.

This is not good for either reputation. I'm disappointed and afraid we will be just left with an icky gut feeling...

« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2011, 14:21 »
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This is not good for either reputation. I'm disappointed and afraid we will be just left with an icky gut feeling...

The thing is that everything is relative. People make mistakes every day. The difference is between those people that try to fix and learn from the mistakes and those that are silent to the issues or try to blame others. One example for all is this: "What if we as agency sell an image to a customer that uses the image in a wrong way?" It would be wrong, but do we have any chance to find it out if it's on the other side of the world? Or do we always have enough information about the scale of such misuses? Probably not. Should we cry or scream?

The only thing you can do towards agencies and we can do towards customers is "Watch and learn." The world is changing, technology is changing, culture is different in every country etc. We can either work together to become stronger together. Or fight with each other to make each of us weaker. Everybody has to choose the preferred approach to his/her live. At Pixmac we try to stick to fundamental rules of crowd-sourcing where the crowd has the power and Pixmac is only it's tool. Sure not all our steps were the right ones, but that's when one tries to innovate and push the product forward.

« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2011, 17:38 »
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This is not good for either reputation. I'm disappointed and afraid we will be just left with an icky gut feeling...

The thing is that everything is relative. People make mistakes every day. The difference is between those people that try to fix and learn from the mistakes and those that are silent to the issues or try to blame others. One example for all is this: "What if we as agency sell an image to a customer that uses the image in a wrong way?" It would be wrong, but do we have any chance to find it out if it's on the other side of the world? Or do we always have enough information about the scale of such misuses? Probably not. Should we cry or scream?

The only thing you can do towards agencies and we can do towards customers is "Watch and learn." The world is changing, technology is changing, culture is different in every country etc. We can either work together to become stronger together. Or fight with each other to make each of us weaker. Everybody has to choose the preferred approach to his/her live. At Pixmac we try to stick to fundamental rules of crowd-sourcing where the crowd has the power and Pixmac is only it's tool. Sure not all our steps were the right ones, but that's when one tries to innovate and push the product forward.

What's "relative" about our image sales not being reported properly ??? You and DT were responsible for proper tracking. It certainly wasn't my job.

Imagine how you would feel if your bank told you: We're sorry to inform you that during the bank transfer of your last paycheck an unknown amount of money disappeared but we're doing everything possible to make sure it won't happen again.

So now you know that two banks that dealt with your funds were involved but you don't really know whose fault it is and all you get is a message stating that they're trying not to have that happen again. At first, no one even says anything about what's going to happen with the missing money, or if you will ever see it.

The ironic part is that since the banks (or agencies) have thousands and thousands of customers, the money keeps rolling in - for them. But you're still left in the rain with a stale message that doesn't really help you at all. Their business keeps flourishing while you're the one suffering consequences for actions that were out of your control.

I would have loved to open a stock image agency 4 to 5 years ago. No idea if I would have managed to get it off the ground but my only serious concern was the security of accounts and the tracking of sales along with the proper accounting. I knew back then, that it will break my backbone if I screwed up with contributor's money.

This has happened now and DT and Pixmac both lost a lot of my trust.

When it comes to money, mistakes can lead to very serious consequences and I think you cannot expect people to feel different about their hard earned money when you announce that you made mistakes in the past and learned from them.

The world keeps on turning no matter what and the amounts that have been paid out now are small (for me at least), so I could just "move on". But for some reason, I keep looking at the big picture and I know that if you add it up some tens of thousands if not hundred thousand dollars had originally been scammed.

I really wonder if either one of the parties involved would have come clean if the contributors wouldn't have caused "such a riot"...

Now the cat's out of the bag and there are not a lot of other options but to apologize and say it will change. If you or DT wouldn't have done that, they could have shut their doors for "accidents" like this.

As for Pixmac being the tool, I'd say this: Any agency is somewhat of a tool, it's supposed to make the distribution easier for the contributor and they get paid for this. But on the other hand that tool also has a lot of control. Starting with the way the content is being chosen, displayed, sold and credited. That's 100% up to the agent and the contributor has no control whatsoever besides being a part of it or not.

Not to mention the accounting and the transfer of funds and as we can see it appears that the agencies still have a lot to improve.

Pixmac and DT may have all the best intentions but they also have to understand that besides the fight between them and the blaming of who did what wrong there are thousands of contributors watching and in the end, sorry for repeating this, we won't know who did what wrong. According to the message in the OP, DT claims that Pixmac made the mistake and I'm sure Pixmac will call it the other way around.

At this point, I don't care anymore.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 17:45 by click_click »

« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2011, 01:27 »
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Ok, thank you click_click and pseudonymous. Both of you are right in describing the problem, none of you have a solution.

I'd like to ask you one thing. What would you do in our position? Close the business? So every time an agency does a mistake (intentional or not) it should be closed? Even big agency that made a mistake, or policy change? How many agencies would remain? Who will be selling the images to customers? Your neighbor would probably not kill you if you had explained what happened. He would probably tell you you're a looser, but after few years when you learned that doing that was not right, he would come back to you.

Running an agency is a complex thing. It would be amazing if the only thing we would care about was accounting. The reality is that the first thing you care about is where to find the money to feed the whole chain. The second thing is how to make the product better for the customer. I just want to say that it's easy to say "you did something wrong" but it's way more difficult to show us "your agency" that does everything right and still is effective. I'd buy you a bottle of your favorite drink at least, if you create "a perfect agency."

Some people need definitive solutions. I know that there's no definitive solution. There's no agency that will be "clean" forever as there are people in every agency and people are not perfect.

Btw. As for the bank example. We did a mistake. We explained what happened (2 blog posts, many forum comments here) and we returned the money to the contributors.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 15:54 by zager »

« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 03:00 »
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I'm confused. In baby language - was the problem that earnings were being unreported?

« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2011, 03:26 »
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Why is it so hard to be ethical?  You said 'There's no agency that will be "clean" forever as there are people in every agency and people are not perfect.'

Can you not implement a system of checks and balances to counteract this problem?  Or are you saying all agencies are inately corrupt and there's no solution for it?

We do all make mistakes, but the kind of mistakes where our earnings go in your pocket requires something more concrete than an apology.

You think the solution is for us to forgive you fast - but it's up to you to prove we can trust you, isn't it?  What are doing to guarantee this doesn't happen again?

« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2011, 03:44 »
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Why is it so hard to be ethical?  You said 'There's no agency that will be "clean" forever as there are people in every agency and people are not perfect.'

We're trying every day.

Can you not implement a system of checks and balances to counteract this problem?  Or are you saying all agencies are inately corrupt and there's no solution for it?

It's there now. But as the system keeps changing (new features) new issues keeps entering our work. So we fix one issue, work a few months on the innovation of the product and once someone makes a mistake or just not realize that feature X influences feature Y another problem approaches us. It's in every agency, but not all of the problems get public.

We do all make mistakes, but the kind of mistakes where our earnings go in your pocket requires something more concrete than an apology.

I understand that. And that's why I try to explain everything. Talk to you guys here and work on a solution to prevent such issues in future. Be sure that the cost of the issue was high. Not only in money, but also in time and the most important thing: We lost trust. I know that there's no way we can take back time, so the only thing is to tell you as much information here as I can.

You think the solution is for us to forgive you fast - but it's up to you to prove we can trust you, isn't it?  What are doing to guarantee this doesn't happen again?

You're right. We've been investigating this internally. We've implemented several new control mechanisms. We've returned the money to contributors and I've launched the Fair Stock Agency initiative to clearly state the issues that might happen to any agency in future. I'll be working on this in the future and will try to avoid any such problems in the future.

As I told you guys before. I'm clever enough to realize that without each of you on our side we're lost. I'm not going to do any activity that would result in negative buzz or loose of trust. Sure I can't avoid new issues to approach us, but I'll definitely try to be open and honest.

« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 04:00 »
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You're right. We've been investigating this internally. We've implemented several new control mechanisms. We've returned the money to contributors and I've launched the Fair Stock Agency initiative to clearly state the issues that might happen to any agency in future. I'll be working on this in the future and will try to avoid any such problems in the future.

As I told you guys before. I'm clever enough to realize that without each of you on our side we're lost. I'm not going to do any activity that would result in negative buzz or loose of trust. Sure I can't avoid new issues to approach us, but I'll definitely try to be open and honest.

Nice response : ) 

The Fair Stock Agency initiative sounds really interesting. Will it help strengthen the rights of contributers?


« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 04:51 »
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The Fair Stock Agency initiative sounds really interesting. Will it help strengthen the rights of contributers?


I hope so. Here's more:
http://www.fairstockphotoagency.com/
http://www.microstockdiaries.com/can-a-voluntary-code-of-conduct-make-a-difference-in-microstock.html


it's a start : ) ... are you going to widen its scope in the future? 

For a start there are so many problems with account closures.  How about a statement that no account can be closed if it doesn't break the terms and conditions?  Closures can be so arbitrary, with no robust appeals process.

« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2011, 04:55 »
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it's a start : ) ... are you going to widen its scope in the future? 

For a start there are so many problems with account closures.  How about a statement that no account can be closed if it doesn't break the terms and conditions?  Closures can be so arbitrary, with no robust appeals process.

I'm watching the issues of other agencies. The Fairstock initiative is still in early stage, so for now I'm gathering information and adding people to the list so I know what we have and then I have some ideas in what direction would be the best with it...

« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2011, 05:33 »
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it's a start : ) ... are you going to widen its scope in the future? 

For a start there are so many problems with account closures.  How about a statement that no account can be closed if it doesn't break the terms and conditions?  Closures can be so arbitrary, with no robust appeals process.

I'm watching the issues of other agencies. The Fairstock initiative is still in early stage, so for now I'm gathering information and adding people to the list so I know what we have and then I have some ideas in what direction would be the best with it...

Sounds a bit faffy. The best direction is fairness, if the name of the initiative is anything to go by.  If it's going to be the kind of initiative that will only use its little finger, and tentatively at that, will it really get anywhere beyond a PR bonus?

« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2011, 05:40 »
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Sounds a bit faffy. The best direction is fairness, if the name of the initiative is anything to go by.  If it's going to be the kind of initiative that will only use its little finger, and tentatively at that, will it really get anywhere beyond a PR bonus?

My impression that forcing someone to do something is not going to work. So the best approach would be to write down basic rules (done) and then make agencies and contributors get a bonus when they follow the rules. It's a positive motivation.

The actual form could be, for example:
1. Better revenue split for contributors who support/follow the Fairstock rules
2. Auditing agencies as independent entity and ranking them
3. Taking actions together in case there's a fraud or wrong behavior
4. Being implemented in the purchase process of each agency and reporting summarized data
5. Rejecting contributors from all agencies once he's stealing/copying images of others etc.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 05:42 by zager »

« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2011, 06:44 »
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Zager, in today's world you cannot put a muzzle over contributor's mouths for anything unless you make them sign a non disclosure agreement which I doubt anyone would sign.

People talk and they will let others know if things appear to be wrong with an agency.

Often I post agency related issues here before I report them to the agency directly, simply because I want to know if I discovered an account specific issue or a sitewide issue.

Can't you understand that if I discovered a sitewide issue, that all other contributors should be informed as well BEFORE the agency can react to make it look like it never happened? If money has been withheld for whatever reason and I know about it I think everyone should know.

After what happened with DT/Pixmac I have even more reason to inform others first before contacting the agency. Sorry but that's how it works these days.

Also, I'm not saying that you are not doing your best to do things right. I'm sure Pixmac stuff is working hard to get things right.
But don't forget that some people won't forget the past and will be more cautious and won't be trusting Pixmac ever again.

A solution you want? What am I supposed to do here? I'm not running Pixmac, nor do I get paid to advise Pixmac what to do in terms of business decisions.

One thing I can say is that big companies that had "accidents" happen, sometimes caused them to shut down because of them. Sometimes there is no solution to carry on the business.

For instance, sorry for using another analogy again, I won't ever be buying a Toyota for the rest of my life. Whether the faulty brakes fiasko was indeed their mistake or not, it's the way how that issue hit the news and Toyota's response that didn't create any confidence for me in the way they do their quality control.
Perhaps Toyota did learn from it and is maybe building the best cars in the world now but still, it scared . out of me since I was close to buying one and therefore switched to something else.

That was a serious incident for Toyota but like I said other companies didn't get so lucky and had to shut down.

I'm not saying Pixmac should shut down, I'm just trying to paint the picture for you how many of us feel towards Pixmac, regardless of how hard they/you work on improving things.

Same thing with iStock, they lost many of our trust (even years ago), so I'm not expecting a whole lot from them anymore. Fotolia is also on the black-list of a bunch of contributors so you're not alone...

« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2011, 06:44 »
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I'm inclined to believe it was an honest mistake and appreciate they are trying to correct it by giving us back what they owe us.
Isnt  it exactely that what istock is doing since the famous site revamp? "Accidentally pushed code early" so that EL bonusses got lost, glitches in the software causing contributors to get 0 royalties for months, etc etc.  They dont apologise about it but want us to thank them for the retro payments too.
I really hope that is what happened, and pixmac got pretty unlucky it was DT, an agency valued pretty high by many of us (or at least before the similars policy ;)) that outed the mistake.
If this is what happened they already payed a very high price for it, a tainted name is something that will haunt them for a good while.
At least they show good will and decent communications about it... i have yet to see that from the other ones i trust far less because of their superior and arrogant attitudes (FT and iS primarily).

If after this i find out you Pixmaccers are frauds im coming over to set your HQ on fire ;)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 06:46 by Artemis »

« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2011, 07:07 »
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Same thing with iStock, they lost many of our trust (even years ago), so I'm not expecting a whole lot from them anymore. Fotolia is also on the black-list of a bunch of contributors so you're not alone...

Thank you. I'm happy to hear all that. I'll do my best to make Pixmac better and safer. It might bring some of you guys back in a distant future.

« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2011, 07:11 »
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If after this i find out you Pixmaccers are frauds im coming over to set your HQ on fire ;)

Ok. Deal! :-)

« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2011, 01:33 »
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Oh come on -  this is not the way is it?  These things are easily misinterpretable. People don't want to be creeped out in the middle of a trust-building exercise.  Honestly... I'm sure you're intentions were  good but what kind of impression does this give? 

No offense. I just meet a lot of people so it was a bookmark for me to remember who's who. So I can collect the puzzle easily.

lagereek

« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2011, 01:51 »
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Anybody can make a mistake, so what? Ive done severall, so has GM and the Pres of the United States.

no big deal.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 02:11 by lagereek »

« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2011, 02:03 »
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Oh come on -  this is not the way is it?  These things are easily misinterpretable. People don't want to be creeped out in the middle of a trust-building exercise.  Honestly... I'm sure you're intentions were  good but what kind of impression does this give? 

No offense. I just meet a lot of people so it was a bookmark for me to remember who's who. So I can collect the puzzle easily.

I don't envy your position. Everyone makes mistakes.  It's nice that you're making an effort to do the right thing and help improve the integrity of industry - because that's fairly rare. 

RolMat

« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2011, 02:04 »
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So funny.... :D
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 02:22 by RolMat »

« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2011, 02:07 »
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I don't envy your position. Everyone makes mistakes.  It's nice that you're making an effort to do the right thing and help improve the integrity of industry - because that's fairly rare. 

Thank you.

« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2011, 04:22 »
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I first lost confidence with pixmac when they were selling extremely low priced subscriptions.  They did stop doing that but then several sites pulled out of their partnerships and with all the other sites available to me, I'm not spending time with one I'm unsure about.  I hope they can repair the damage to their reputation and I might upload again one day but for now, I have enough sites to keep me busy.

RT


« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2011, 04:55 »
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Once is a mistake, twice is incompetence and three times IMO looks very dubious. Personally I don't like my images appearing on any of the third party selling agreements the major microstocks have.

« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2011, 08:37 »
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Just to add a little more to the 123RF / Pixmac topic.
read here

« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2011, 08:39 »
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Anybody can make a mistake, so what? Ive done severall, so has GM and the Pres of the United States.

no big deal.

LOL, an both GM and the president have their "companies" engines running like a clockwork?

The financial situations of GM and the USA are disastrous.

Making mistakes is human, but the two entities you mentioned are a perfect example of not learning from the past.

« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2011, 08:45 »
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Ok, I haven't read everything but as far as I can see it involves an agency admitting that it has collected money from sales and not paid the commissions, explaining that this is OK because everybody makes mistakes and they're only human, and then announcing that it's whiter than white now because it had proclaimed the industry leading principles for Fair Trade Microstock which sound great, therefore everyone should rush to place their images with this agency.

Is that a fair summary? Because if it is, it is exactly the kind of behaviour I would expect from a company that I would not touch with a bargepole. I won't say anything more specific than that because I wouldn't want to involve Leaf in a libel action.

« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2011, 08:59 »
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Ok, I haven't read everything but as far as I can see it involves an agency admitting that it has collected money from sales and not paid the commissions, explaining that this is OK because everybody makes mistakes and they're only human, and then announcing that it's whiter than white now because it had proclaimed the industry leading principles for Fair Trade Microstock which sound great, therefore everyone should rush to place their images with this agency.

Is that a fair summary? Because if it is, it is exactly the kind of behaviour I would expect from a company that I would not touch with a bargepole. ...

Thank you! Since English isn't my native tongue having a hard time bringing my point across, I feel you summed it up quite nicely.

« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2011, 09:08 »
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Unfortunately, I now discover that I have more than 2,000 photos there. Is there any way of finding out where they have come from and how I can get them removed?

« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2011, 09:11 »
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Unfortunately, I now discover that I have more than 2,000 photos there. Is there any way of finding out where they have come from and how I can get them removed?

I think Zager is more than happy to make things right and will let you know where exactly your images are coming from. Contact him.

« Reply #35 on: July 21, 2011, 09:15 »
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Unfortunately, I now discover that I have more than 2,000 photos there. Is there any way of finding out where they have come from and how I can get them removed?

I think Zager is more than happy to make things right and will let you know where exactly your images are coming from. Contact him.

Since he is apparently in the habit of stalking people whose names he knows, I'm not particularly inclined to spell out who I am.

Does Canstock still have an agreement with them?



« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2011, 09:22 »
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Scanstock?


« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2011, 09:24 »
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Unfortunately, I now discover that I have more than 2,000 photos there. Is there any way of finding out where they have come from and how I can get them removed?

I think Zager is more than happy to make things right and will let you know where exactly your images are coming from. Contact him.

Since he is apparently in the habit of stalking people whose names he knows, I'm not particularly inclined to spell out who I am.

Does Canstock still have an agreement with them?

It could be either 123RF or Yaymicro. With 123RF you can only opt out all resellers at once, though it was announced that that might become more granular in the future. But it seems that this opt out does not work fully, see the thread I linked above (where I'm still waiting for some reply from 123RF).


« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2011, 11:16 »
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I read that you said there are other blog posts and threads but would you mind either sharing direct links or re-explaining what happened. 


Our official statements and explanations:
http://blog.pixmac.com/2274/explanation-of-technical-error/
http://blog.pixmac.com/2394/explanation-of-single-purchase/

Has this happened with other sites you have been partnered with in the past? 


Just one.

« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2011, 11:35 »
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He's got ports everywhere. Look at his referral icons here. If PM is supposed to be so great, then why bother uploading to other sites? Is it for pocket change or just more spy tactics? As a site CEO one would think that a person of such lofty position would not be bothered with uploading.

What about just trying to put myself into your shoes? And thinking how you guys feel?


« Reply #45 on: July 21, 2011, 13:48 »
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OK Zager, if you are so above board and honest, why don't you just delete every 123 account image that you have there? We were given to understand this relationship ended, but it turns out that you are using my art from 123 to support your dodgy business operation and, no doubt, the art of thousands of other people, also.

It is my opinion that continuing to host work after the relationship with the sites representing that work has terminated is evidence of complete lack of moral standards.

It seems there is no need for me to tell you who I am to get my work deleted, all you have to do is delete all the work from the site you no longer have the right represent but from which you want to profit and my stuff will disappear along with all the rest.

Xalanx

« Reply #46 on: July 21, 2011, 14:36 »
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« Reply #47 on: July 21, 2011, 14:49 »
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So what's this thing about 123rf images still not being deleted?

« Reply #48 on: July 21, 2011, 17:36 »
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So what's this thing about 123rf images still not being deleted?


If you have a portfolio over at 123, then do a search on pixmac for a 123 image of yours that is at least six months old. Once you find one there, click on your name under the picture and you get however much of your portfolio they have there.

Or just click this http://www.pixmac.com/author/luceluceluce%40rf

« Reply #49 on: July 21, 2011, 18:09 »
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To the pixmac guy

Would also like to know why the term Shutterstock still returns search hits and now also iStockphoto. Don't give us that crap about the Submitter putting this in like the last time i questioned you on this - We're not that stupid.

Here's an example.

http://www.pixmac.com/picture/shutterstockdreamstime123rf/000063827799

It is a very poor business practice to the point of illegal when trading on the business names of others. So riding on the success of others, possibly lifted vectors for your own portfolio.. What next? A new scheme?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 18:15 by stormchaser »

« Reply #50 on: July 21, 2011, 18:19 »
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OK Zager, if you are so above board and honest, why don't you just delete every 123 account image that you have there? We were given to understand this relationship ended, but it turns out that you are using my art from 123 to support your dodgy business operation and, no doubt, the art of thousands of other people, also.
It is my opinion that continuing to host work after the relationship with the sites representing that work has terminated is evidence of complete lack of moral standards.

As well as you, Trousers, I found loads of my images on Pixmac, even on the first page after a some generic searches. As I went through my portfolio at several sites, the very probable conclusion is that they came from 123RF. As I read well, the partnership of Pixmac with 123RF ended last March, and it's almost August now. That means that they largely exceeded the grace period of 2 months. Hence, Pixmac is allegedly infringing on my copyright. What's more, they probably are still selling my images and keeping the money for themselves.

Some comparisons between the search results on Pixmac and on 123RF made me conclude that they are only offering images that have been cached larger size while actually downloaded by a buyer. This would explain why they only have the most appealing images. This is exactly what DT claims they found out about the practices of Pixmac. If so and if true, this isn't just a mistake * The scripts that accomplish such a thing don't generate themselves. Pixmac is very capable of doing it  since their site is, as far as I can see, state of the art programming.

So, Mr. Vitezslav Valka, I have to urge you to take all those presumably cached images down that you are selling probably illegally. Not only for me, but for everybody that is in a similar position. That's why I don't give you my name for now. First of all I don't like to be "followed" in a creepy way like you did with "pseudonymous", and secondly, you would get away with all this far too easily by just removing the images of one contributor while most don't probably know what is going on. It's also of no use asking the Site Admin of MSG for my IP number since I'm posting far from home and I'm moving out here in a week.

As it happens, I'm not that much into microstock any more but I work with a (European) modeling agency that is centered on RM and assignments. We have an insurance for this kind of things and legal assistance. Of course, they won't sue you for free on my behalf, since all those images were made during my microstock period and not in connection with this agency. Nevertheless, they offered me some free advice.

First, I have to make sure with all the agencies I upload to that you aren't their partner (any more). That should be a quickie since the old images of me that you sell are only on one agency more than DT, FT and 123RF. After that, we will download some of my own pictures large size in the presence of a notary public. This will in fact prove (or not) that you kept the large sizes and not just the thumbs by a "mistake". It will also prove (or not) that you are actually selling these images, not just displaying them. Maybe we have already a dormant account on your site, or maybe we haven't. Maybe we will wait for a while, or we won't. After this mini-audit, I will carefully watch on all my regular sites if I got a sale for those images. After all, there is a tiny chance that they made a mistake.

I have to be honest in that I can't afford to sue you, if wrongdoing should be proven. I won't come to Prague to see you in court. But I certainly will let deliver registered letters to your Ambassador, his Commercial Attach and your trade organizations in Czech Republic, like the Czech Association for Business Excellence, and some joint Chambers of Commerce. You also might enjoy some exposure on the Net. Of course, none of this before having decisive proof. In that case I'm sure we can come to an agreement about indemnities for my time, the cost of my mini-audit and smart-money. I will also not sign any NDA unless properly compensated.

If this would all be one big mistake (which I doubt), of course, please accept my apologies. In the other case, you'd probably better off to remove those images ASAP.
An alternative might also be to reveal all your partners so we don't have to play detective ourselves.

Thank you.

* admin edit: libelous statement taken out
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 00:02 by admin »

« Reply #51 on: July 21, 2011, 18:41 »
0


To dirkr, cclapper, trek, sharpshot: Currently there are only two partners no longer distributed via Pixmac. In each case the reason was different. We don't have hi-res files until the file is sold. It is based on API connection, therefor the source agency is tracking all downloads.
[/quote]

Zager, my 780 photos on Pixmac show an account name I only use at 123RF.  Is Pixmac a 123RF partner at this time? 

« Reply #52 on: July 21, 2011, 19:12 »
0
Update: I have about 800 pictures on Pixmac. Those are with a "partner program". The date of my signing up corresponds with the date signing up at 123RF.
Later, I used another nick, and my new shots are also on Pixmac with the mentioning of "Featurepics".
I think I will have to call Elena... I didn't mind a payout 1-2 per year since she seemed to be a nice lady, but I do mind she sold our soul to Pixmac behind our back.
Time to cancel my account there at Featurepics.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 19:15 by Infringed »

« Reply #53 on: July 21, 2011, 19:58 »
0
Also all my eps-files from 123rf are still on the pixmac-site.
But in January 123rf  sent a Termination Notice to Pixmac as an API Partner.
So where is the money from my sold files ?
Why are all my 123rf-pictures still on pixmac ?



 

« Reply #54 on: July 21, 2011, 21:06 »
0
DepositPhotos and YayMicro are both in bed with Pixmac too it looks like. If you care about your images being protected and not thieved, I'd contact them too and tell them that you don't want your work given to Pixmac. Given that FT, 123RF, and DT have all dropped Pixmac for good reason, they should know better.

I have some confidence that Dreamstime has the resources and ability to protect my images, as they clearly have done - but I question YayMicro or DepositPhoto's ability or incentive to do this.

It seems like such a sham that Pixmac got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, and then proceeds to cast it off as a simple accident. An accident is deleting an email or dropping a beer. But "accidentally" selling our images and pocketing all the money? I call BS. No doubt they are trying to back-pedal hard now, but they've already shown their true colors. It's absolutely ridiculous that anyone would trust them now. And why did Fotolia and 123RF drop them? Yeah, exactly.

Now DepositPhotos and YayMicro needs to do the right thing and protect our work!

Signed,
- A member who does not want to be added to Facebook/Twitter/Etc.

« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2011, 21:11 »
0
http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/reporting.php [nofollow]

The more claims they have the more likely they'll be investigated.

« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2011, 00:08 »
0
it's nice to hear people's opinion and kind of Zager to jump into this firepit trying to answer some of the questions.. so this thread will be left open a little longer but if people keep making libelous statements it will be locked

« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2011, 02:06 »
0
So what's this thing about 123rf images still not being deleted?


If you have a portfolio over at 123, then do a search on pixmac for a 123 image of yours that is at least six months old. Once you find one there, click on your name under the picture and you get however much of your portfolio they have there.

Or just click this http://www.pixmac.com/author/luceluceluce%40rf


I think i'm opted in on bigstock resellers option. Is there any way of injecting our images with radiactive ink so we can track them? Or some kind of design with a really hot poker... urgh no, bad, we'd have to deal with a whole new set of image rights issues
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 02:10 by luceluceluce »

« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2011, 02:42 »
0
it's nice to hear people's opinion and kind of Zager to jump into this firepit trying to answer some of the questions.. so this thread will be left open a little longer but if people keep making libelous statements it will be locked

That sounds a bit like Zager can spout anything he likes but if anyone disputes his version of events it will be deemed 'libelous'. Personally I'm inclined to believe DT's explanation and actions.


« Reply #60 on: July 22, 2011, 08:05 »
0
Can anyone definitively say whether 123RF terminated their contract with Pixmac or not?  I found my images there and contacted Pixmac support.  They told me in their reply to me that "Pixmac has a partnership with 123rf and features also their collections.  This partnership was not terminated and that is why you have your images at Pixmac."

So which is it??!!?  >:(  

Editing to add that I also contacted 123RF support asking them.  I'll report back when I get a reply.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 08:28 by pixelbrat »

eggshell

« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2011, 08:44 »
0
Quote
I'd like the chance to listen to the explanations of both sides. I don't feel I understand the situation fully yet. It's important that the issues are well understood by all of us.

It's a murky situation . It's really suspicious how little information both sides dared to disclose considering the scale of the accusations

Quote
Can anyone definitively say whether 123RF terminated their contract with Pixmac or not?  I found my images there and contacted Pixmac support.  They told me in their reply to me that "Pixmac has a partnership with 123rf and features also their collections.  This partnership was not terminated and that is why you have your images at Pixmac."

So which is it??!!?  Angry 

Editing to add that I also contacted 123RF support asking them.  I'll report back when I get a reply.

I asked 123rf to remove my portfolio from pixmac couple of months ago . They proposed either to stick with them till the end of their partnership ( didn't specify a date ) or remove my portfolio from all the partners of 123rf . I chose to wait

« Reply #62 on: July 22, 2011, 08:51 »
0
If i remember well - time ago it was said  that one of two partners of PM that canceled contract has changed the decision and will stay with PM. I don't think that Dreamstime has changed their decision so it looks like that 123 is still or again PM's partner. Anyway portfolios from 123 on PM are not updated for a long time and contain many images that no longer exist as they were removed from 123.

« Reply #63 on: July 22, 2011, 10:10 »
0
I can't find an original message when this was mentioned and I don't want to start rumours. Could have been hallucination but I hope that someone deleted it.

« Reply #64 on: July 22, 2011, 11:07 »
0
it's nice to hear people's opinion and kind of Zager to jump into this firepit trying to answer some of the questions.. so this thread will be left open a little longer but if people keep making libelous statements it will be locked

That sounds a bit like Zager can spout anything he likes but if anyone disputes his version of events it will be deemed 'libelous'. Personally I'm inclined to believe DT's explanation and actions.

I think this thread should be witness to the exact opposite.  People have been very free to say their thoughts on Pixmac here.  I tried very hard to remove as little as possible anywhere there was an edit (always noted with a *)  It was always just a word or two or short statement with libelous content (stating factually that an entity (person or business) is a criminal or similar when such hasn't been proven by a court of law)

update: one member requested their posts be removed from this thread.  I have removed their posts as requested (the posts are still kept, but in a hidden area)... this thread is but a skeleton of what it used to be, so if a conversation doesn't make sense, you know why.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 10:22 by leaf »


 

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