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Messages - yingyang0

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General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright question
« on: April 13, 2009, 00:09 »
Hey Adelaide,

Don't stress...  as long as you're selling the prints for "personal use only" there are no problems. 
For some reasons [sic], simple questions can't get simple answers on this site anymore.   ::)

Cheers,  JC
As for Adelaide's actual question: The closest to a "simple" answer I could find is in Brazil's copyright law, Lei no. 9610, Chapter IV, Article 48, that allows "works permanently situated in public areas [to be] represented freely, by means of paintings, audiovisuals, drawings, photographs and procedures." That's a more photographer friendly law than we have here in the US so I suspect you'd be ok Adelaide, but you'd still want to check with someone that actually speak the language about the laws of your country.

@JC-SL - I think it is strange that people are willing to criticize others that are actually researching the correct answers and trying to help. I'm sorry that giving off-the-cuff "simple" answers to questions about the laws of foreign countries isn't my style. I prefer to error on the side of caution. For instance, your answer would be wrong here in the US. I own a sailboat and my mainsail has a unique design by a local artist. He'd be within his rights to sue for infringement if someone were to sell photographs of my boat. Such is the world we live in.

For some reasons [sic], people can't give thoughtful, researched answers without others rolling their eyes on this site anymore.  ???

General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright question
« on: April 11, 2009, 21:41 »
Yeah it does because the rules vary from country to country.

And what if it was in the USA?

Which state and what exactly are you trying to do? Art prints, calendars, etc?

General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright question
« on: April 11, 2009, 20:30 »
I live in Brazil.  Does it matter?

Yeah it does because the rules vary from country to country. I'm not familiar with Brazil's laws, and I can't read Portuguese so I can't help. Sorry.

@Warren -  in the US the rules are different for art prints vs. commercial use (calendars), and when you're talking about releases from the riders you're not talking about copyright, instead you're talking about the right of publicity, a subset of the right of privacy, which can vary from state to state.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Copyright question
« on: April 11, 2009, 17:38 »
So, I understand such images may not be used commercially without a release.  Does it also mean that I can not sell them as prints myself?  If so, why?  It is an open event.


What country do you live in?

General - Top Sites / Re: Alexa traffic ranks
« on: April 08, 2009, 09:28 »
I have only been in this business since September 2008, so I have no idea why iStock had this decline - does anyone know?

Feel free to comment on any of this

Thomas Amby

Feel free to do a search on this forum for Alexa and you'll get all the answers you want, need, or could ever wish for. Short answer, they changed the way they measure traffic which had a large impact on iStock's data.

General Stock Discussion / Re: "Royalties" on 1099-Misc
« on: April 07, 2009, 09:43 »
Here's an interesting question, which he didn't have an answer to:  What about the portions of our portfolios that were created and uploaded before 2008 and are still earning income?  I calculate that only 44% of my income is on images uploaded in the last year.  The other 56% is from images uploaded prior to 2008. 

He felt that was something the IRS would have to rule on. 

There are tax court decisions on the subject, and even more applicable private letter rulings. While you can't legally rely on the private letter rulings of others, they are instructive as to how the IRS treats royalties. If it is really important to you then you can always hire a tax attorney and request a private letter ruling for yourself. Personally, I wouldn't go through the expense of a private letter ruling unless you're a full time photographer that is quitting the photography business outright, or retiring, and will still have substantial royalty income. Until then, I'd keep doing what your accountant is doing.

The same 230 disclaimer in my previous post should be applied to this one.

General Stock Discussion / Re: "Royalties" on 1099-Misc
« on: April 07, 2009, 09:14 »
Yes, but the discussion has come up that what kind of person exists that isn't a self-employed artist that would be claiming royalties there for works of music, art, etc....

Sean, the "typical" use for schedule E is for people that have inherited the royalty rights of a work and receive it after the artist's death. For instance, any child of a dead Beatle would be filing a schedule E for the large sums in royalties that their parents' songs still generate.

The typical use for those in microstock are the 'hobby' photographers, like myself, that upload vacation photos etc. I couldn't deduct any of my expenses related to my photos under IRS regs., and if I tried and was audited there would be penalties involved. For me and other hobby shooters it would be just as legitimate to report the royalty income as 'hobby income' (line 21) as to use Schedule E and report it as royalty income on line 17.

Keep in mind that the above only applies to those for which the royalty income could be classified as mainly passive income and typically derive the vast majority of their income from a different, and unrelated source. So for example, if your day job is a portrait photographer for graduating high schoolers then the microstock income would be included as an additional revenue stream to your main business and you wouldn't use schedule E.

Circular 230 Disclaimer: To comply with IRS requirements, please be advised that, unless otherwise stated by the sender, any tax advice contained in this message is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient to avoid any federal tax penalty that may be imposed on the recipient, or to promote, market or recommend to another any referenced entity, investment plan or arrangement.

8 / Re: New Rules Concerning Alamy
« on: March 26, 2009, 10:58 »
Craig - this was brought up in the Yahoo thread. The answer given by IS was doesn't matter. If you have images on Alamy you can't be exclusive.
Sorry, but actual posts by actual employees on IS contradict the anonymous posting on a yahoo email group. Since a large group of exclusives sell images on Alamy, and I generally don't put much stock in unsubstantiated claims on yahoo groups, I'm going to stick with what iStock employees have actually said on iStock and what the contracts actually say.

9 / Re: New Rules Concerning Alamy
« on: March 26, 2009, 10:12 »
Exclusivity used to just apply to RF images. You could have RM images with Alamy and still be able to be exclusive. In another forum it has now been announced that this is no longer the case. If you have any images at Alamy you will not be eligible for exclusivity.

The original thread can be found on in the micropayment yahoo group.
Sorry, but I do not believe that to be correct and I doubt that the quote was actually an iStock employee. In the exclusive forum on iStock (only exclusives have access) this topic was again discussed on March 23 and no iStock employee said that you couldn't sell RM on other sites.

Think about it. Why would iStock make such a major policy change without saying so on iStock's site? Also, the change would require a change in the exclusive contract itself. Just because Alamy can change to RF within 45 days doesn't effect your exclusive contract on iStock as long as you take down the images when you receive the 45 days notice. There are a large number of exclusives that have images on Alamy as RM.

Does no one read USATODAY?
Nope, all the graphics and photos make it too much like a tabloid for my taste.

Congrats on the feature Monu!

General Stock Discussion / Re: Taxes
« on: March 04, 2009, 20:04 »
I change all my royalties into Monopoly money, which I use to extort funds from my children.  Tax free.
I suppose you're the bank when you play and you make your kids get adjustable rate mortgages on their properties when they land on boardwalk?  ;)

General Stock Discussion / Re: Taxes
« on: March 04, 2009, 16:37 »
Well, since you are asking for opinions, I personally didn't read GeoPappas' post as recommending anyone commit tax fraud.  I read it as informational, as in "this is how you are supposed to do it (report all income) but some people don't do that and this is how they justify it to themselves".  Which is perfectly true as you yourself admit.

I also found the wording of your reply (yinyang) accusing him of "suggesting people commit tax fraud" to be incendiary.  The same for your offering of information about paypal changes in 2011 to "all the tax cheats out there".  As though anyone who is interested in that information is automatically a tax cheat.

Perhaps your intentions are to be helpful, and as an expert on taxes you are certainly in a position to offer great advice and information, but inflammatory language like the above doesn't help the debate IMO.   

Then I do apologize to Mr. *, of *, because it's possible that your intent was not what I and others read into it, and I have no doubt you yourself have reported all your income.

Lisa, I did not mean the "suggesting" comment to be incendiary because I believed him to be advocating tax fraud and honestly thought it wasn't a good idea to suggest people not report income. But you're right that I did mean the "all tax cheats out there" to be incendiary. It wasn't directed toward you, who would obviously be interest in that information, but toward the ebay cheaters, money launders, etc. that commonly use Paypal to evade taxes as the statement says.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Taxes
« on: March 04, 2009, 14:56 »

Listen Mr. *,
I was curt but still polite when I said "suggesting people commit tax fraud isn't a good idea", whereas you have been exceptionally rude with your "high horse" comments and now your outright insults.

In your post you do state the law, but you qualified it with "technically". Then you tell him:
But the way it normally works in real-life is that you generally report income that the IRS knows about. 

How you cannot read that as telling him that he only has to report the income that the IRS knows about is beyond me. But that's not all. You go further and tell him: will receive a 1099-MISC form from a business if you have made over $600 ... So if you receive a 1099-MISC form from a business, then it needs to be reported (since the IRS also receives this information).

Are you really trying to claim that you weren't telling him that you receive a 1099 for income over $600 and that "in real-life" you don't report other income because the IRS doesn't know about it?

Tell you what, if others chime in and say that they didn't read your post in the same way I did (and the same way everyone I've shown your post to has) then I give you a half-hearted apology. Half-hearted because I don't respond kindly to people who aren't capable of discussion without resorting to insults.

Since I refuse to stoop to your level and return the outright insults, I'll await others replies and bid you a good day.

15 / Re: Istock down
« on: March 03, 2009, 23:33 »
2. For _any_ type of phishing attack - how can taking site down help?
That's what I was thinking too.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Taxes
« on: March 03, 2009, 23:26 »
Get off your high horse.  I wasn't suggesting anybody create tax fraud.  I was explaining how it normally works in the real world.
People are supposed to pay taxes on Internet purchases (from Amazon, eBay, etc), but most people don't normally do that either.

Give me a break, you were in fact advocating tax fraud and you're telling me to get off my high horse for saying that's not a good thing to tell people to do? Since when is telling people not to commit tax fraud considered such a lofty moral standard? It's like I'm having to teach my children basic life lessons again: "If everyone else jumps off a bridge, does that mean you should do it to?" My position of not committing blatant tax fraud isn't a 'high horse' position.

Every time I hear someone give your excuse it really pisses me off so I'm going to let this be my last post about the subject. I don't care if "everyone does it" (which isn't true), or the latest one "if Geithner got away with it, I should get away with it to." The voluntary compliance rate in the US is between 85% and 99.8% (depending on who's data you're using), so everyone isn't doing it. Knowingly leaving off income is a fraudulent filing, and people can and do go to federal prison for it. Even famous people can't get off when it comes to tax fraud.

Wesley Snipes, Richard Hatch (first winner of Survivor), Pete Rose, Annie Lebovitz (photographer), Joe Francis ("Girls Gone Wild" guy), and those are just the ones that come to mind...oh and of course Al Capone.

Oh, and for the tax cheats out there the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 contains reporting requirements for services like PayPal, which take effect in 2011. It only applies to people that make 200+ transfers or a total greater than $20,000, but at least it is good start to stopping the tax fraud being committed by the large ebay sellers (and others) that aren't fully reporting their income.

As you can tell I'm passionate about this subject because it's something I use to do. I'm no longer involved in tax law but I still prepare free returns for low-income people through the IRS's VITA program.

Canon / Re: Starting over
« on: March 03, 2009, 19:22 »
Not that I believe things just because "Yuri" said it, but on his website, he says the 24-105 isn't very sharp. (#8)  Do you find that to be true in your experience with the lens?

No. Here's the truth: Yuri is an absolute perfectionist. If you're like that you probably shouldn't own a zoom lens because prime lenses will almost always be sharper. That's said I own it and I love the 28-105L. It's a great all around lens that produces professional results as you would expect from an 'L' lens. If you're anal about absolute perfection then maybe the 28-70 f/2.8L and 70-200 f/2.8L combo would be better. I have owned all three, and though the 28-70 is somewhat sharper than the 28-105 wide open, it's not noticeable enough for me to care and the extra zoom on the 28-105 makes it my general use lens. I suppose if I was photographing a landscape shot of lions running across the plains in the early morning I'd want the extra f-stops, but I haven't encountered a situation where I regret switching to the 28-105. The only times I've needed/used a lens at f/2.8 has been with big glass photographing animals at dawn and dust.

I don't own the 100-400 L, but if I was buying new gear I'd probably go with the 28-105L and the 100-400L. It's a rare situation where I wish I had a lower f-stop, but for me it's relatively common to wish I had brought a lens with more reach (but big glass is so fing heavy to hike with).

General Stock Discussion / Re: Taxes
« on: March 03, 2009, 18:04 »
In the U.S., you are technically supposed to report ALL income (no matter how small).

But the way it normally works in real-life is that you generally report income that the IRS knows about.  This is why people work "off the books" (to avoid having to pay taxes on the income). 
Despite your disclaimer, suggesting people commit tax fraud isn't a good idea.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Taxes
« on: March 03, 2009, 17:55 »
Hi there!

I apologize if this has already been discussed - if so, please point me in the right direction.

I was wondering when/if you have to claim microstock earnings on your US federal taxes? I have heard that you have to make over $500 as well as $600 - not sure what to believe. Also, does that mean $500 or $600 for each site? or all together considering you are on multiple sites? With having to fill out a 1099 for SS, I was thinking maybe the rules have changed? I have not made $500 there yet but still had to do a 1099. I'd ask about state as well, but I'm sure it varies from state to state, so I won't bother.

Thanks everybody!

You  are required to report any and all income "from whatever source derived". That includes any microstock earnings no matter how small. There are technically suppose to be reported on Schedule E as royalty income if you're not claiming that microstock as a business. If it is a realatively small amount, like less than $1,000, then you can also report it as hobby income on line 21 without really increasing your chances of an audit, but again that is if you're not seeking business deductions for your expenses.  Schedule E is available on a major tax software or if you're doing it by hand, then it is available here:

For State: it is included in your gross income. Most states do not have a royalty specific entry and if you're using software it would automatically add it to your state gross income.

Circular 230 Disclaimer: To comply with IRS requirements, please be advised that, unless otherwise stated by the sender, any tax advice contained in this message and its attachments is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient to avoid any federal tax penalty that may be imposed on the recipient, or to promote, market or recommend to another any referenced entity, investment plan or arrangement.

Canon / Re: Starting over
« on: March 03, 2009, 12:36 »
I personally love the 24-105 IS Lens as a carry everywhere lens.
I agree. I'd go with either the 24-105 IS L & 100-400 IS L combo, or the 24-70 f/2.8 L & 70-200 f/2.8 L combo.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Sheet music and copyright?
« on: March 02, 2009, 18:27 »
Go to an online sheet music generator and just make some music ... eg,

Great Find!

I'd admire your success on IS but just his sales alone on IS would cover his image production costs, and he submits to at least 15 other sites ....

So, thanks to you pulling up your quote, I can tell you his production costs do not cover his image production costs. :)  Well, eventually, they might.


Yuri has 3985 files on IS,
If each cost $20 to shoot thats $79,160,
He has 519139 dls
He would only have to make an average of 15c per download to cover the costs ...

That $40,000 was for just for 3 months shoot producing 2,000 images (likely not including amortized equipment costs), of which he has a max of 100 on iStock. Also read the part where he says his income hasn't increased even with his new uploads. He's spending $160,000 per year to SIMPLY MAINTAIN HIS EARNINGS (which are actually down 5% according to his post). I hope for his sake that it has more to do with the economic downturn, but I have a feeling he's hit diminishing marginal returns and then some. Your math appears to be way off because you can't use 40,000/2,000 to arrive at the actual cost per image on iStock. $160,000 per year for 3 1/2 years for a total of 3985 files on iStock does not equal $20 per photo, and even that can't be accurate because we don't know what his expenses were in previous years.

Yuri treats this as a business, and as a business person he is understandably worried about the negative ROI he is experiencing.

This thread wasn't meant to be an endless debate about Yuri was it? The thread was suppose to be about your views of your future right?

General Stock Discussion / Re: Sheet music and copyright?
« on: March 01, 2009, 16:28 »
I think copyright time limit does not count from the date of creation, but from the date of the death of the author, isn't it so?


It used to be from the date of creation (before 1978) and for sheet music published in 1913 I don't know of a country were that sheet music would still be covered by copyright.

For stock, editorial, travel etc photographers will do much better with professional representation at sites, agencies and libraries which designers, editors and other buyers regularly use  and trust with their payment details.
Now if the payment is made directly from the buyer to the artist/photographer at 100% minus the transaction fee, then what is there to trust?

The only real issue is the value of traffic. I'm willing to pursue the learning curve for generating serious traffic. I would say to receive an additional 80% of the purchase price is a mighty fine incentive!
The buyer has to trust that the person running the site is the one that actually owns the rights to the art they are selling, and they're not just illegally reselling art they downloaded from other sites. That's a very big thing.

Generating traffic isn't the only real issue here, there are many others, but we don't have the room here. Also, most people would rather have 20%-40% of something rather than 100% of nothing, and that 100% doesn't account for advertising and transactional costs.

The truth is that most independent sellers fail. By fail I mean generate less revenue than they would have by selling through the agencies even after the agencies take 80%. With the exception of a few top photographers, buyers prefer going to the agencies where they can search a large database of art rather than go to individual artist's websites. If it is true that the art on this site can't be indexed by google images then it will be a 1000 times harder.

With that said, I wish you well with your new adventure and hope you're able to overcome the odds. Good luck!

25 / Re: a rant
« on: February 26, 2009, 16:18 »
I guess you don't mean that it is virtually impossible for everybody?

There are few things which might be considered:
1. I am not professional
2. I do not have very "stockish" photographs, I do mostly landscapes and occasionally I take pictures of my family. I guess it's easier for commercial photographers to get in especially when they got access to studio equipment. Still I sold couple thousand photographs on other sites. If IS does not want to sell them they got right to do that.
3. I almost do not perform any post processing. Try to shoot at ISO 100 and maybe sometimes do some corrections of exposure. I only use Lightroom  for editing so there is no way to make isolations and any more complicated image manipulations.

The above basically applies to me, except I don't use Lightroom. I prefer nature, animals, plants, etc. I have done isolations, but not using any special equipment. I have a 75% acceptance rate (and when I went exclusive it went down a little), so if I had actually put some effort in and uploaded a lot I could have easily built a large portfolio.

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