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Topics - sdeva

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Hi, I had been a contributor at shutterstock over many years.  As my company decided to close stock activity I requested shutterstock to close account in end-December 2020.  At that time there had been over a hundred remaining images many of which I had tried to delete manually but they kept re-appearing.  Anyway I was informed by one of their Expert responders that it can take up to 90 days for the account to be fully closed and I decided to wait out that period.  It is now over 90 days but my remaining images are still showing on sale at shutterstock, but without showing any contributor name.
Have written again to shutterstock (awaiting response) but meanwhile am wondering if someone here has similar experience with shutterstock?

General Stock Discussion / SS tax form for EU contributors
« on: January 01, 2017, 06:46 »
Hi, anyone know how to fill the latest W8BEN E (April 2016 version) for filing to Shutterstock?  It should apply if you are not US based and operate your account through a private limited company (called AB in Sweden).

Any guidance much appreciated, thanks!

And a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all !!

General Stock Discussion / StockPodium? anyone..
« on: April 13, 2015, 18:09 »
Surprised to find a whole bunch of my images selling on a site called StockPodium.

Have written to them twice to clarify what authority they have to sell my images - and waiting for reply!!  :-\

Wondering if anyone knows anything about this site .. or has any experience with them?

General Stock Discussion / ezMediArt
« on: September 03, 2014, 06:09 »
Just got an email invite to contribute to ezMediArt, 


Wondering if anyone knows this company?

General Stock Discussion / Canstock review time.
« on: July 06, 2014, 07:54 »
Canstockphoto claims to have review times from hour to few days on their website.  But I have images in pending there since almost a month onward !!

I even wrote to them and they said that the images were in queue - but I still have them in pending till today.

As this is unusual for Canstock, I've been wondering if its just me or are other contributors facing extremely long review times as well.. ???

Or should we call it - Getting better control of one's work.

As stock agencies have evolved there have been all different types of resellers, API, partners and suchlike - who resell content uploaded by a contributor to an agency.

This impacts a contributor in at least two ways:

Firstly, loss of control of the works. It is amazing how far and wide I have found my content.  At times in hands of shabby looking 'little' websites, which may or may not be a suitable representation of one's hard, professional work.

Secondly, the compensation per sales usually drops big time. There is suddenly yet another agency between the contributor and the first stock agency - who are also taking a nice and hefty portion of the cut.

And - thirdly, I am not sure how good is the sanctity (including the terms and conditions under which the sub agency resells the works), and whether it is even broadly at par with the contributors first stock agency.

So where does all this leave a contributor?

Except of course at loose ends with control of work, and a lesser share of revenue.

Over time and in some recent months I have therefore opted out from all partner/ reseller/ API sites wherever such option is possible.  There is few stock agencies that do not allow that!  In such case I have stopped uploads to some of them.  There is still one or two out there where the income generation did not warrant a fast decision. 

But in pretty much all cases I am now either opted out or in close monitoring.  My awakening :) in this regard came from the DP- Shotshop mess of course!! 

I know that most longstanding contributors are already well aware of this issue and make their decisions as they think best.  But I feel that many contributors (like me) are not aware enough or care enough about this issue - except till a time when some shotshop type 'deal' comes around to jolt them.

Maybe its time for all contributors to reawaken to this issue and and to raise better awareness about it!   


General Stock Discussion / API Partner sales pros and cons
« on: February 02, 2014, 03:55 »
Wondering if its worth it to be on API Partner sales?  I'm signed up for example at 123RF, but revenue there's been dragging in recent months and makes me re-evaluate some aspects. Apologies if this topic has been addressed multiple times before as I guess it might have been  :)

Your take much appreciated...

General Stock Discussion / Microstock: where more is less
« on: January 31, 2014, 04:03 »
Welcome to the world of microstock, where More is Less !!  ???

More content we upload = more power to stock agency = less in commission amount to contributor.

More content we upload = more images go up on sale = less in sale for each of us.

Are contributors feeding way too much content to stock agencies that will eventually lead to our own demise?

Umm.. Guilty, your honor!!

General Stock Discussion / My BIG gripe with Bigstockphoto ..
« on: January 29, 2014, 04:09 »
.. is the ridiculous RPD that makes it worthless for me to upload to them anymore!

I honestly preferred the older days when you got fewer downloads but at rates that held a modicum of respectability. 

With the change I gained nothing.  My overall revenues did not go up year on year, and, to add insult to injury, the RPD has fallen flat on its face.  Cant understand, what kind of a strategy is that!!?!  >:(

General Stock Discussion / Setting the image price on Pond5 ?
« on: January 23, 2014, 06:04 »
Just starting with Pond5 and finding life somewhat confusing at the moment  ???

How (and HOW exactly) does one set the price of an image?  The Upload section has a Price box with a default $ 1 already featuring in it.  What exactly does that mean? What size is that for? How does it influence all other sizes/ licenses of the image?

Any help much appreciated  ;D

General Stock Discussion / http://art-profiles.com/
« on: January 17, 2014, 19:42 »
Anyone know about them? Or has used them?


General Stock Discussion / Question on copyright.
« on: December 21, 2013, 15:17 »
The Trevi fountain in Rome or a Town Hall on an island in Scandinavia - can these be commercially featured in a photographer's (non-editorial) stock port?  Or are there specific restrictions/ and copyright issues to clarify with regards to landmarks, monuments, buildings etc?

Shutterstock (most helpfully) posts a list of sites and locations where specific restrictions apply.  However I imagine that this list cant be fully exhaustive - thus bringing back the question - how does one know which locations may be copyright protected.  Are there any general guidelines one can follow?

General Stock Discussion / Its been so long that I forgot ...
« on: December 08, 2013, 09:15 »
Anyone know, when exactly does Alamy transfer payments?   ??? I have cleared funds over the 75 criteria that are showing as Paid 11/2013. But no money to Paypal yet. Its been so long since last payment that I forgot their transfer schedule...  my sales there plummeted some months ago and I more or less stopped new uploads there.

General Stock Discussion / Veer sales - am I the only one?
« on: November 26, 2013, 07:07 »
Am I the only one or is someone else seeing a drop (with a capital D) in sales at Veer?

While they've never been a high performer for me, however in recent months there seems to be a pretty noticeable slack off in downloads, and also the occasional better -rated downloads seem to have vanished.  Just wondering is it it just me.. or is this a trend that others have been noticing as well..  :-\

General Stock Discussion / Winter of our discontent
« on: September 11, 2013, 02:16 »
Winter is still some months away, but stock sales are falling like snowflakes, with falling RPDs or sales across multiple sites.

What does one do?

a.  Keep griping and keep uploading - business as usual !  ;)
b. Go exclusive to one agency of choice
c. Be non-exclusive and upload to as many agencies as physically possible to spread income effect
d. Say hasta la vista to microstock and commit effort elsewhere to substitute the income
e. Go independent such as own site or Symbiostock

The best option from the above .. or smthg else...?

General Stock Discussion / Do you contribute to Depositphotos?
« on: August 15, 2013, 19:25 »
Its one of the sites that came up fast in the last couple years and seems stably positioned now.  Am planning to contribute content there....

Wondering what the experience is like? Any guidance much appreciated.

General Stock Discussion / Brilliant move?
« on: August 10, 2013, 10:42 »
Lets sits back and appreciate some (at least one) brilliant move in the microstock world.

So lets imagine I'm a stock agency ( its imagination only - and I'M NOT a stock agency) facing
stifling competition.   And then there's new stock agencies arriving in the market pushing rates
down - including at least one that's cash rich and offers lower rates for the same or very
similar content.  My business is pressured more and more.

The contributors are a mass-less, shapeless and generally dispensible commodity - of no account
really because for each one that leaves there's ten more arriving in queue - with same or very similar

I know that I can drop contributor share or overall rates and there's no significant long-term
repercussion from the Contributors side that I need bother about.

So then I make a brilliant move.

I give away a whole bunch of images for free distribution.

So what happens -

1. Contributors lose money (who cares!).  In fact I reduce their share further while the going is good.

2.  All exisiting stock agencies start to lose market share.  The stronger 3 or 4 will likely ride it out. But
the smaller/ weaker/ newer agencies who are on the threshhold of survival will likely go under or get further
marginalized.  Leaving the marketplace open again for the few bigger/ stronger players - like me.

3.  Then, when all the fallout has taken place two things have happened.  Contributor shares have been
further reduced.  The weaker agencies have become even less significant. Leaving the market open for
strong players like me.

Then I can take profit and rake it in - over months and years - till the marketplace changes again -
and I come up with some other new, smart strategy.


General Stock Discussion / Mostphotos looking up
« on: May 30, 2013, 02:41 »
Saw the impressive new website at Mostphotos, looks very professional.   :) Also got an email from the CEO with an invitation to join.  Good stuff I think.  Had a couple of concerns with the licensing/ related info and terms of use as presented on the site and was promptly thanked by Lina from their office, for bringing to attention and assuring the matter was being addressed immediately.  If they do that I think I'm all set for joining the Contributor rank on this site esp. since they also act as storehouse letting you download your content free in case you lose it somehow.  Next comes the sales part.. maybe its a trickier one but one will have to wait and see.

123RF / Not understandable, refund on 123RF
« on: May 25, 2013, 11:30 »
On 21st Mat I got a EEL sale for 21.60 on 123RF.  Two days later it was reversed with explanation in small red letters (Refund for another download).  No further explanation.  I had not had another sale for similar amount so dont understand how it could be refund for another download!!

Sent them a request for clarification couple days back - still no response  ???

Anyone know how it works or had similar experience at 123RF?

General Stock Discussion / Any Ivantaggi contributors here?
« on: February 11, 2013, 06:13 »
Is there anyone here who contributes to the microstock agency Ivantaggi in Italy?  I was approached to be a contributor and am looking for whatever info I can find as don't them at all.

Any feedback appreciated, thanks in advance  :)

Off Topic / Twitter users pls read
« on: February 01, 2013, 20:29 »

General Stock Discussion / Who dun it?
« on: January 18, 2013, 13:23 »
Who dun it?

It behoves me little to preach on this forum being, as I am, just a stray entrant into this unfortunate business.  Into the business of microstock, I mean. However one cant help but notice, if one takes a step back, that theres some strange going ons - right here, in the microstock industry.

Firstly one cant help noticing that agency after agency has dropped royalties at their sole discretion. 

Agency costs are going up but so are the artists costs of production.  In every business that I know, increase in costs are normally passed on to the consumer (read Buyer) in almost full part.  That is how businesses survive and thrive in an inflationary world.  In any other business if supplier payments are to be reduced it would generally mean protracted negotiations and mutual agreement.   Not so in this business, as facts on the ground have repeatedly shown.

Then there is the business of treatment of copyright works. 

Copyright vests with the artist.  Obviously that appears to mean little if any representing agent has the contractual ability to give it away or sell it off without consulting the artist, for a small one-time return to the artist on a product that was designed for longevity based returns. 

Or to strip off artist identification data from any artwork.  (Lets erase the painters signature off the canvas, shall we).

So then .. who dun it?  What conditions could make anything like this possible?

To put things in perspective we have one group, the contributors.  These are many individuals who form a loose pool of people wielding cameras and suchlike.  While many are skilled in the craft, however our group would not appear to be anywhere as versed in ways of business.  To that end we may actually be a Low Occupational Understanding Team (lets just abbreviate that to LOUT sorry if the abbreviation sounds crass).   We have then on the one hand, us, the Lout.

And on the other part there is the agency or agencies that represent us. 

If youre a painter you might expect your agency to charge a commission of (estimations) 10 or 20 or 25 percent.  In our business it starts at 50% and rapidly escalates to 85%.  Eighty-five percent!  Commission! What kind of idiots are we?

And then, on top of that, we sign up agreements of agencies that allows the agency to operate (seemingly, looking at facts on the ground), fairly at will.  Their will.

So then, who dun it?

The correct answer to that question is us, the Lout.  We did it, to ourselves and to this industry, that today might be standing on the brink of collapse.

Cardinal rule no. 1 -  Business needs checks and balances.

Cardinal rule no. 2 Business needs checks and balances.

Cardinal rule no. 3 Business needs checks and balances.

We forgot all these three rules.

If there are inadequate checks and balances in a business, then one party or the other is relatively free to do as they please, even to take disproportionate advantage if it helps to further their specific business goals.

By not imposing checks and balances from our side, it is us, the lout, who dun it!  We are ultimately responsible if this business will run to ground.  Or at least as responsible as we think any agency might be. 

* We have simply not enforced adequate checks and balances into the business from our side.

* Nothing can meaningfully change till that is done.

The role of the agency cannot be stressed enough.  The agency is our reach to the marketplace.  Without the agency there is no business.  Lets respect that.  But we need a format to ensure that the artist agent relationship is grounded in good and fair principals for all concerned.   Like any other business, we need checks and balances in place.

Practical situation on the ground makes it difficult for us, as an individual contributor, to enforce check or balance.  That is the truth of it.  But we are not alone.  We are a multitude of people who have however, refused to come together for common cause. Up to now that is.  Perhaps its time to change that.  Perhaps its time to do what should have been done a long time ago.  All it might need is a simple association a worldwide association that represents microstock artists.  An association that is funded by annual fee paid by artists; perhaps 50 $ or so per year per artist may do it looking at the thousands that we are.  An elected board could even come from some of the smart, savvy people we see on these forums; some of the people who understand this business and who have the capability to be watchdog on all our behalf.  And a hired lawyer as needed.  Checks and balances could quickly get instituted.  And the business may thrive in a free and fair manner for all parties concerned.

Am I way off track?  Have I missed critical issues that make all this unviable?  As I said Im a stray entrant into this very likeable industry: microstock.  But there are many smart and industry-knowledgeable people on these forums, as one can clearly see when scanning through the posts.  Isnt it time for some of them to come forward on all our behalf and assume a leadership stance for a common platform.   Isnt it also time for the heavy-hitters, the ones with 20000 and 50000 etc images in their portfolios and top-end presence in the business, to come out and join hands with us lesser mortals.  If an industry as a whole becomes unhealthy, the individual businesses will eventually not be healthy either, right!

Proactivity is the call of the hour.  What are you waiting for?

(Opinions expressed are my own and the content is neither intended to be malicious nor to malign anyone). 


General Stock Discussion / Cant figure out GL stock!
« on: January 06, 2013, 04:14 »
I decided to sign up with GL stock images few months back and just cant figure out this agency.  On the one hand they reject my images a lot - the same images that are accepted at almost all other agencies.  This includes some images that have been accepted even at Istock and are good sellers there.  Does this mean that GL stock has tougher standards than everyone else including Istock, Shutterstock and others?  But worse still is the fact that they manage to sell very little from my images that they have accepted after all those rejections.

Net result for me as a contributor - lots of time wasted uploading and getting images rejected - and then - there's little in sales to show for it.  Cant understand what's with this agency?  I'm doing things same as with all the other 10 agencies I contribute to, so seriously dont think that I'm doing smthng wrong. Am seriously wondering if I should hang in a while longer or pull out instead of squandering my time with these guys.

ANyone else with any experience with this agency?

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