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Messages - PaulieWalnuts

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1
Also the announcement mentioned a steady decline of RM. I wonder how much of that came naturally vs the fact that they effectively hid RM images by making RF images the default in the search. They changed it to where there was no longer a mix of RM and RF. If you wanted RM you'd need to go into the filter and add RM to the search. Seems that this could cause the RM decline or at least accelerate it.

I get RM is clunky. When I've tried using it it's a pain navigating through all of the choices. That doesn't address the fact that there's a big difference in earnings of RM vs RF which mostly now seems to be subscriptions. Maybe there are certain contributors who have unique content that's still earning large amounts from RF. It just seems to be a big gamble to shoot for their content needs lists where production costs can be very high and the return may, or may not, be more than a few cents.

2
Of course Getty wants to migrate all their buyers on to the premium access model, because profit seems to matter more to them than total sum.

Of course. It's a win-win. Buyer wins and Getty wins. Contributors continue to lose more as always. But hey, it's contributors fault. These sites continue to make changes that don't benefit contributors. Existing contributors stick around and gazillions of new contributors join daily to submit gazillions of new images. No reason to improve things for contributors.

3
Of course buyers want cheap, unlimited and simple over expensive, limited and complex.

Maybe they should have come up with a simplified RM model. On my website RM is nearly as simple as RF but is single use.

Of all of the subscription models across movies, music, etc RF photos is the only one I can think of where it's nearly unlimited usage even after your subscription ends.

Plus even higher cost RF seems to be dying due to micro and subscription which shouldnt be a surprise to anyone.

Although I don't doubt it, what is your evidence for higher cost RF dying?

Personal experience and I've also seen other contributors commenting about it.  I used to get large royalties from the several hundred dollar RF sales. Over time these have been replaced with a few cents from their subscription model. I havent had a large sale in a long time.  Why would anyone spend $500 on an image that they can get either through a subscription model or find a similar "good enough" image on a micro site.

I keep wondering where the bottom is to where supply starts dropping and these sites are forced to reverse the downward trend on contributors. Given the record profits of the sites and the massive amount of new contributors who are okay earning peanuts, seems to be a long long way off. Or maybe there is no bottom and stock photography is replaced by something else like AI to where we're no longer needed.

4
Of course buyers want cheap, unlimited and simple over expensive, limited and complex.

Maybe they should have come up with a simplified RM model. On my website RM is nearly as simple as RF but is single use.

Of all of the subscription models across movies, music, etc RF photos is the only one I can think of where it's nearly unlimited usage even after your subscription ends.

Plus even higher cost RF seems to be dying due to micro and subscription which shouldnt be a surprise to anyone.


5
Also wonder what this means for agencies. This Icons8 company is giving images away for now. Once it's improved they will start monetizing it. So these AI companies could replace agencies. Or agencies will adopt AI and make their own images so there could be a mix of images created by AI where the agency keeps 100% and types of photos that only a person could create.

Interesting times.

6
This Company is Giving Away 100,000 AI-Generated Portraits for Free.

https://petapixel.com/2019/09/20/this-company-is-giving-away-100000-ai-generated-headshots-for-free/

As it's improved it will probably expand into landscapes, wildlife and quite a few other subjects in stock photography. Or even art, paintings and prints.

What's this mean for the future of stock photographers? Or even traditional camera sales which are already nose-diving as a whole.

7
How much do you need to grow your portfolio annually to maintain your current income with microstock? Just curious if much has changed with running on the hamster wheel and into the growth wall.

I was going to do a poll but there are too many variables. I'll start

Average Portfolio Size: 450 (down from about 2,500 a few years ago)
Years Doing Stock/Micro: 12
Photo/Video/Illustration/Other: Photo
Annual Portfolio Growth Needed: Around 25%

8
Must not have been exciting enough. Site doesn't load for me.

But it's a brilliant name. Exciting Stock. Take the word that has become synonymous with empty promises and pain and just create a stock site out of it. Imagine them posting it. "We have an exciting update for our contributors".  ;D

9
Off Topic / Re: What is your dream car?
« on: April 29, 2019, 23:44 »
Where do I start... I'd have a warehouse full of cars if I could

Porsche 911 Turbo/GT3, 356 or 550
Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing
Plymouth Hemi Cuda or Dodge Challenger Convertible
Dodge Charger 500 Hemi
Dodge Dart Hemi Super Stock
And on and on

If I could only have one, 911

10
I started in 2007 and have seen tons of these solidarity types of posts.

The challenge is unifying millions of contributors when everyone is decentralized. Is it possible? Sure. But so far, the ideas that have been proposed have had limited success. The reality is, it's everyone for themselves. We're all semi-friendly competitors. Thousands of new contributors join daily submitting millions of new images. It's classic supply and demand. Supply has been endlessly high since the beginning and doesn't seem to be slowing down. Because of this, the stock sites have leverage to do as they please. Until supply drops, or someone establishes a method of contributor leverage, little will change positively for contributors. I'd love someone to come up with disruptive innovation to drive prices back up.

11
Looking at my remittance email I just got, I noticed some data on the bottom.  At first, I assumed it was related to my overall payments from iStock over the years.  But when I looked closer, I noticed the total was over 5.6 million (I assume dollars) -- and that's not all mine.

Do you think that's how much money they're paying everyone this pay period?  Was this information on previous payment emails and I just never noticed it?
And they are keeping 70-85% of that, wow

If that's total monthly revenue then they're doing $60M a year in sales. If that's the 15%-ish royalty cut then they're doing over $400M a year in sales (?)

12
General Stock Discussion / Re: If you had six months...
« on: July 30, 2018, 13:08 »
Wow, blast from the past. So many greyed out names and even active ones that don't seem to post much anymore.

One thing that hasn't changed is I still haven't had six dedicated months in the past ten years to build my portfolio.  ;D

13
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Moving to Shutterstock and Adobe
« on: July 26, 2018, 00:22 »
Harplee!....most of your replies here are talking about when they left IS some years back and when the going was good, when it was worth breaking exclusivity and go Indie!....not so today. I think most people who joined micro back in 2005-2006 etc can verify that takings have dropped catastrophically during the last 4-5 years.

I am still independent at IS and still earn good money in spite of their lousy commission!

And what is good money? How many images and monthly earnings?

If he/she is making $100 - $200 per month as an IS Exclusive I can't imagine doing worse with SS and FT. Frankly if I was getting $100 per month with 1,500 images I'd either do something different to try and improve earnings or call it quits. That's 6 cents per image per month. That 1,500 images probably took a ton of time and cost to produce and the return is peanuts. If they drop IS and end up earning $50  or even $25 per month does it really matter? I dropped IS Exclusively when I was still doing a couple thousand per month.


14
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Moving to Shutterstock and Adobe
« on: July 24, 2018, 21:06 »
Im done with iStock. Ive been with them almost since the beginning and all the tech issues with ESP and the lack of respect from Getty is the last straw.

If I give up my exclusivity and start submitting to Shutterstock and Adobe, will my income be the same as what it was at iStock as an exclusive? Any other sites I should consider?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

My personal experience is I dropped IS Exclusive and submitted to Shutterstock, Adobe and Non-Ex IS. My income between those three dropped to about between a 1/2 to 1/3 then when I was IS exclusive. But I had other reasons to drop the crown. Mainly in that I found I could license my niche images for hundreds or thousands of dollars so overall I'm way ahead going indie.

In your case if you've dropped to $100 - $200 p/m, unless you'd lose your house, starve, or other problem, you don't seem to have much to lose going indie.  This was my problem a few years ago. My revenue growth was great for a few years and then after all the BS it plateaued and started dropping. The trend was clear. Going down and not coming back up so I bailed way early before I hit bottom.


15
VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 20, 2018, 08:19 »
I dont contribute to VB so I must be missing something here. 100% commission? How do they make money?

Unless they charge a membership fee, get advertising revenue, or make money somewhere else, this had to have been a temporary deal to grow their collection.

16
I wonder why people put photos on flickr and similar "show only" sites and then cry if image "borrowed"?

Uh well, because if the image is All Rights Reserved it's show-only. If it has one of the ridiculous Create Commons licenses then it may be okay to "borrow".

I wonder why people put cars in car shows and similar "show only" shows and then cry if car "borrowed"?

17
I never think its a good idea to ask for an opinion  if you are going to tell people they are wrong :o. What is actually the purpose of your question as you seem to have decided you are going to do it? I think  if you have exceptional images and are good at marketing it could work. For "run of the mill" stock photography nope

LOL, I just noticed the OPs responses.

I think the question's purpose was more looking for experiences. But when you throw in an open ended "what do you think?", you're inviting debate, then bickering, then arguing, and then of course all things lead to Trump.


18
Making my own website and Promoting my quality  works on Social Media?
What do you think of this? Would it be worth and give great money? I have 22k followers on instagram and I know how to get hundreds of organic reach in Facebook from different countries. Let say 500 different organic reach on Facebook daily.

What do you think? Have anyone here sold photos and videos from their own site?

THANKS A LOT IN ADVANCE

Depends on your approach.

What will you offer to cause buyers to want to use your site vs a microstock site? Lower price (if even possible), better service, unique images that don't exist on micro, etc?

Doing your own site using your micro portfolio would be a major challenge due to existing low prices and the need for huge volume.

Prices are already insanely low. So competing with lowe price may not attract buyers. Meaning if it's a dollar on micro do buyers really care if you offer it for 25 or 50 cents? Probably not.

If you can get a large percentage of your social network to become buyers then you may be onto something.You may need to get 50-100 sales a month just to cover the website hosting costs. Is anyone here doing over $50 per month in micro sales on their own site?

Or you need to come up with something unique that people are willing to pay more money for and branch outside of micro into higher-money lower-volume such as macro RM and/or prints. This is what I've done and it has worked well.

19
From infringement to mobile carriers to debating the definition of facts. Well played Rinder. Well played.

20
Now that I read the quoted parts of the decision, I can see that one judge doesn't understand copyrights or photography and creative images. I can understand that the image was not displayed with any copyright notice on various sites over time. Still, and a great point...


Because Apple and other companies have implemented copy protection that prevents misuse. Plus high profile Napster and other situations made the general public aware that copying music is illegal. Getty tried doing this and they had infringers take to social media with widespread shaming campaigns about "Getty blackmail letters". Getty backed off when they should have stood their ground.


Even without the outrageous "blackmail" letters and the mistakes, like writing to the original authors in some cases, they could have kept up the program with a little less of a storm trooper attitude.

The DMCA was written by lobbyists for the big internet providers, with the intention of shielding them from responsibility and, naturally, liability for copyright infringement.  It works well.

Yes, correct, but does nothing for us.  :(

I used to put a on photos, simple enough there's notice, but also as pointed out here, once used, purchased, anyone can right click and copy from a paid use and steal them. In fact if you can see an image in your browser, it's already in the cache on your computer, or a thief's computer. There's no protection except law. That works for music and other works, I don't know why drawings or photos aren't protected the same?

ps the judge also saw this as a non-commercial use.

The judge needs their vision checked. On their website there are things like sponsors and also paid admission tickets. Regardless of all of the philanthropy listed on the website that shouldn't give them a free pass on infringement.

21
who submitted your photos under an rf licence?

Yes I know, me. I learned a while ago that was a bad decision. Now a ton of my work submitted as RF is being infringed and theres nothing I can do about. All of my new work starting a few years ago is RM so I have complete control over it. That is unless courts start deciding infringement is fair use then copyright and all licenses are meaningless.

22
The article claims it was used in "good faith" and that the defendant didn't know it was copyrighted. I can take a photo of my big toe and it's immediately copyrighted and a judge should know that copyright automatically applies to all photos. Just because it doesn't say in large letters "COPYRIGHT PROTECTED" doesn't mean it isn't and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Google puts in small print under the images in an image search: Images may be subject to copyright, which should be enough but if even judges are going to overlook this little fact then I guess big ugly watermarks are the future of photos on the web.

Watermarks aren't the answer. First, they can easily be removed. Second, once your image is legally licensed and put on the web without the watermark by your client, it is wide open to infringement. I have one image that was sold in microstock a couple dozen times but is used on hundreds of websites. Which ones are clients vs infringers? Thanks to RF, I have no idea.

And yes ignorance is no excuse. Imagine if ignorance applied to everything. "Oh well the keys were in the ignition so I figured I could take the car.". "The bike was on the sidewalk so I figured they didn't want it anymore". "The door on the house was unlocked so I figured I could take everything". Ohhhh, well in that case if you were ignorant then the court feels you were totally right in taking these things..

23
If you find music on the radio or internet you automatically think "it's copyrighted".  Why would anyone think photos are any different.  The mind set needs to be everything is copyrighted by someone somewhere.  Even creative commons has a (foolish) copyright holder... who may demand attribute if nothing else.

Because Apple and other companies have implemented copy protection that prevents misuse. Plus high profile Napster and other situations made the general public aware that copying music is illegal. Getty tried doing this and they had infringers take to social media with widespread shaming campaigns about "Getty blackmail letters". Getty backed off when they should have stood their ground.

Imagine thieves who steal from major stores shaming them when the stores ask them to pay for what they took. And then having the general public side with the thieves to where the stores have to stop asking thieves to pay for what they took. This is where we're at in 2018. The year common sense went away and the logical thinking majority gives in to small vocal social media mobs.

24
The company . . . ."responded by immediately taking the photo down." Why did he still have to sue?

We as copyright holders shouldn't need to waste uncompensated time asking every infringer to stop infringing. I have found thousands of infringements of my work where these people should be paying for use. My single-use RM license ranges from $20 to $1,000. That's at minimum over $20,000 in ingringed revenue. Should I just ignore this? Should I spend waste months or years full time contacting all of them just requesting take-downs?

When a store finds someone has stolen from them is their response "good sir/madam, could I kindly ask you to please bring back the items you removed from our store?". No, there is usually a consequence that deters people from doing bad or illegal things. This ruling sets the tone that there is no legal consequence for infringing on our work and as a result effectively encourages infringement.  I hope this ruling causes a sh*tstorm otherwise this is just another nail in the coffin for a profession that is already on life support.

25
123RF / Re: Do you make $100/month at 123RF?
« on: June 27, 2018, 21:17 »
It would take me about 100 years to make $100 total there.

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