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Messages - Rosco0101

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Below are two photos that I might consider submitting.  I'm 99% sure that both works are pre-1923 and therefore in the public domain (I'll have to check on that).  Comments on the two photos below?


Nice photos and interesting angles and colors.

You may be legally correct in all examples, but the agencies make their own rules. I just had one image from 1907 refused: "This file includes content that may be subject to copyright or trademark protection. Certain use of this file creates risk of copyright/trademark infringement and we regret that it cannot be accepted, unless this content is removed from the file."

Hello? 1907 steamboat?  :) Same for a shot dated to the 1880s. Fine it's their game, they make the rules.

As for the museum contents start thinking compilations, collections and private property. The means of acquisition has nothing to do with the current rights. You as an attorney should understand that part. Zoos are the same way. Many are privately funded and don't allow their animals to be used for commercial purposes. I believe the whole of the Giza plateau is protected.

As soon as they reject something for some CYA reason, I just leave it alone and move on. They may be incorrect about the legal grounds, go look at the farm buildings and cracker box homes they refuse for property release. None need a property release, but for some agencies, they have decided that they do. It would be nice to appeal with logic and the law, but they have made up their minds. You can't file a complaint or suit to have them use your photos. They can accept or refuse anything for any reason they wish.

"They" above can be any stock agency. This isn't directed at any one in particular.

Probably the best suggestion I got when I was starting to apply at IS was, a variety of lighting, styles, subjects and examples of your photographic diversity. I think I send in an isolation, outdoor natural light shot and a texture. Nothing fantastic or amazing, just nice plain basic, extremely sharp, high range of contrast, bright, photos. Save the fancy stuff for later. They want to know that someone new can handle different styles and materials.

This isn't about art shots, it's about marketable stock photos that will have a demand for multiple uses.

Thanks for the advice.  From the comments in this thread I've learned loads about the stock photography biz.  I realize that the agencies are free to make up their own rules regarding releases.  I'm already trying to think of new places to shoot that aren't subject to such restrictions.  Usually I just shoot photos of things that interest me; I really have to change gears to start thinking more about what is marketable.

These agencies alot of times make up the rules as they go.  Were you able to get to the BigStockPhoto site link I posted. They have a very long list of do's and don'ts where stock is concerned. You do have a good eye....but you have to think advertising as far as stock is concerned because those are the kind of buyers that are out  there

Thanks, I did read through the list.   I was amazed to see that photos of Uluru (Ayer's Rock) are prohibited for 'religious' reasons. 

I will definitely consider the audience for stock images when I submit my next batch. 

I tend to agree with you . Although cultural imperialism is a tricky issue. Given what happened to the museum pieces that were in Baghdad and some of the the remaining sculptures on the Parthenon, one might argue that the cultural imperialism has preserved things that otherwise might not have survived.  But that doesn't make it right in the first place.

Generally the only way to stay sane with intellectual property and stock is to  avoid obvious infringements, whether legally based or not, because the increase in blood pressure ranting about it isn't worth it. And neither is the risk of having a large legal bill in the even that you are close enough to being wrong to justify legal action being taken.  

I agree that it is not worth the increase in blood pressure.  I'm not too worried about the large legal bill as I am licensed to practice law in the U.S. and wouldn't mind going to court to litigate the matter myself :)  From now on I will be super-conscious of release issues when I shoot.  

Did you know that public opinion in the U.K. now overwhelmingly favors returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece?  I think it's only a matter of time now.    


Unfortunately a lot of my more interesting shots have copyright issues so I can't make money off of them.  

For example I would love to use this shot, but I would definitely need a release:

if this is just for the istock submission test, i'd use my most interesting photos, including this one above. for the test, pr will not be required. you can submit more pr friendly stuff after you pass.

Thanks, I thought that even the submission test photos had to meet all the release stuff.  I will definitely upload my more captivating photos the next time.


The Assyrian sculpture is I think in the British Museum - who do not allow commercial photography (I recently saw reference in the istock forums to a whole bunch  of British museum images being deactivated after the museum contacted istock.) While copyright/intellectual property over these ancient statues is dodgy, the museums etc can control what you do while you are on their premises - and if they don't allow commercial photography then you really need to abide by that, and most stock sites (if they recognise the images) will abide by the museum's wishes. Legally you might be able to argue that as they didn't have a large neon sign by the front door saying that commercial photography is not allowed, they can't imply it into the entry conditions as you can only find out by asking - but  it's going to be expensive to prove one way or another in court, as it's not cut and dried.  So istock generally won't allow statuary, obvious museum  shots etc unless the photographer provides a property release or some information that demonstrates it's in the public domain. (statuary in a public place over 100 years old is usually OK. Stuff obviously in a museum without a property release probably won't be, no matter how old it is).

Thanks.  What I find utterly ridiculous about the policies of places like the British Museum is that a good proportion of the items in the museum are the fruit of conquest.  Essentially, sculptures like the Assyrian bas-relief are stolen works and most likely belong in a museum in Baghdad.   Personally I think that such works belong to humanity as a whole.  I believe the 21st century will see the repatriation of a large number of objects to their places of origin.  The Elgin Marbles are a fine example:  there is a very very good chance that they will be leaving the British Museum within the next five years.

I find all of the legal issues surrounding antiquities to be really interesting.  My undergrad education is in Anthropology and History but I'm also an attorney, so I love to tear into issues like this.  However, I hate how litiiguous our society has become and the fact that I.P. law has arguably grown to be much more pervasive than the Framers of the Constitution envisioned when they established copyright laws 'to promote the useful arts and sciences.'

Thanks.  I think I definitely have a different 'eye' than most photographers whose work I have seen.  I have Asperger's Syndrome and they say that people with autism process visual information differently than other people.  I'd say that's true. 

I'd say these look like a lot of the travel "stock" shots I've seen.  Nicely done, but nothing breaking the mold.

Perhaps my difference is that I notice things that most people overlook, or find interesting angles that probably most people won't see.  In my selection of submission photos I aimed to provide photos with optimum clarity and noise levels that date from 1998-2008.  Unfortunately a lot of my more interesting shots have copyright issues so I can't make money off of them.  

For example I would love to use this shot, but I would definitely need a release:

Below are two photos that I might consider submitting.  I'm 99% sure that both works are pre-1923 and therefore in the public domain (I'll have to check on that).  Comments on the two photos below?


Here is what iStock has posted on their site concerning property releases:

"iStockphoto - Stock Photographer Training Manual
9.1 - Property Release:
The requirement for a property release isn't as clear-cut as for a model release, because there is no specific right of privacy that attaches to property, as it does to people. Having said that, there are at least two reasons for obtaining property releases: (i) on the theory that a person's identity might be connected to the property in question (such as where a person's property is used in a manner that might defame the person as owner); and (ii) on the basis that to use someone's property for commercial gain without their consent may amount to an offense called "conversion". Also, if you go on someone's private property to take a picture of them or their property, it could amount to trespass.
iStock recommends that a Property Release be obtained when the image contains identifiable property wherever possible (this isn't just for houses, it could apply to pets, cars and other personal property. The more recognizable and unique the property (and the more the owner's identity might be connected to or determined from the property) the greater the need for a property release.
The Property Release needs to signed by the legal and beneficial owner(s) of the property or their authorized agent. Many of the same formalities apply as for Model Releases.[/size][/size][/size]


I read over these rules when I went through the initial code of regulations, and to me this particular provision seemed about as clear as mud.  The reason is that istock policy restricts a lot of subject matter that U.S. law does not.  Now, I don't blame them for being paranoid about releases, especially when every country has it's own copyright laws (the E.U. has some particularly zany copyright laws).  I am an attorney familiar with United States intellectual property laws, so I didn't think that istock would go so far beyond what the law requires as far as releases. 

One thing I could not find on their website was: which legal jurisdiction is iStock in?  I know they are based in Canada, so do they apply the I.P. laws of Canada, or does the law of the situs govern (the location where the photo was taken)?   For example the first of my six photos is a 14th-century Franciscan Monastery in Croatia.  I can't for the life of me think of any reason why any intellectual property right would last 600 years...  Or am I mistaken?

Even if you fixed the problems they say, they will more than likey be refused because of the required property release on these buildings and art work. The stock sites are really getting pretty strict with these type of photos.

A few questions regarding releases:  The Assyrian sculpture is about 4,000 years old so it is in the public domain. Is there any reason why I would still need a release for that?

Regarding the Carcassonne fortress:  I just checked and there are another 200+ photos from Carcassonne, and I'm sure that few, if any, of the photographers obtained releases.  Do I need a release for buildings that are clearly in the public domain?  

Thanks for your help

Those are nice travel photos, you have a good eye.  I'm not sure what their appeal as stock photos might be.  If a photo really documents a landmark or local cultural feature, you get into all this stuff about releases, which is becoming quite a mess.  If it's just a beautiful shot of a nameless piece of history, I guess you have to wonder how it might be used or who might buy it.

If that insect is something a bit rare, it may not matter so much that he wouldn't wait for you to set up studio lights and reflectors to work out the shadows; but as in initial submission, it's not a very strong image.

You obviously can take pictures, and you'll get 'in' evenutally as you zero in on some more stock-ish subjects. 

Thanks.  I think I definitely have a different 'eye' than most photographers whose work I have seen.  I have Asperger's Syndrome and they say that people with autism process visual information differently than other people.  I'd say that's true. 

I definitely need to work on some more 'stock-ish' subjects.  I have a bunch of close-up and macro photos that might work well for that purpose.

Thanks for the advice.

I'll take a stab at some of these.

The insect: Looks like on board flash was used. Bad/harsh behind the bug. Hot spots from the flash on the insect itself.

The narrow ally: Blown out sky, no detail. Legible writing on the lamp and archway. Possible copyright problems.

Night lit street scene: Recognizable automobiles. A real no, no in RF stock.

Thanks for the advice.  I didn't worry too much about lighting in the second set of photos because the original critique was for composition or subject matter.  Therefore I didn't worry about highlights.

Regarding the alley, the version I submitted did not have the hotel name in view.  I PS'd that out, so no copyright problems.  The other writing 'zur traube' is generic German and not a proper name.  

I didn't think about the car in the night scene at all.  That's definitely something I need to remember in the future.  I was worried more on the buildings in view (most of which are U.S. Government buildings and do not require a release).  

Is it preferable to use horizontally-oriented images in stock?  


I am completely new to stock photography, although I have been shooting photos for quite some time now.  About a month ago I decided to get in the stock photography game and applied to be a contributor on iStock.  Recently I got a reply that my application was rejected and all three photos were found unsuitable due to 'composition or subject matter.'   Okay, so today I submit another three photos, and within about an hour I get a reply that these three photos have been rejected as well, also for 'composition or subject matter' reasons. 

At this point I am getting a bit frustrated because I tend to think that my composition skills are quite good.  Perhaps I am submitting the wrong type of photos.

I have resized all of the images below.  The post-processing on the photos I submitted might vary slightly from these versions, but keep in mind that they were all rejected to due composition or subject matter:

The next three rejected photos were these:

Could you please please give me some suggestions or advice as to what changes I need to make?  Thanks in advice for your comments and remarks.


Newbie Discussion / Re: why can't I start a new thread?
« on: February 02, 2010, 19:40 »
Members who are 'lurkers' (those who have less than one post) are not able to start new threads.  This is an effort to cut down on spambots.

Once you have made one post, your status is upgraded to 'Newbie' and you can start your own threads.

Also:  when you do start a new thread, please give the thread a descriptive subject.  If you are going to ask a question, put the question in the subject.  A thread that is titled 'a question for you' or 'I am having problems' is not helpful and will probably not get a very good response.  Instead try 'I am having problems with my ftp program Filezilla' or 'What is the best FTP software?'

Thanks for the head's-up.  I was wondering why I couldn't post a new topic.

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