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Messages - volk65

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1 / Re: I just cancelled my exclusivity
« on: May 15, 2011, 10:22 »
Completely of the topic, without googling it, can u name the film? I've taken out who says what.

    It can all end, right now. Peace. Bliss. Just say it. Cry out mercy.
    Cry out. Just say it. Mercy.
    Mercy lad, mercy.
    Jesus, mercy.
    The prisoner wishes to say a word.

Completely of the topic, without googling it, can u name the film? I've taken out who says what.

    It can all end, right now. Peace. Bliss. Just say it. Cry out mercy.
    Cry out. Just say it. Mercy.
    Mercy lad, mercy.
    Jesus, mercy.
    The prisoner wishes to say a word.

:) I googled. Well, relevant.

2 / Re: I just cancelled my exclusivity
« on: May 15, 2011, 10:07 »
You should post an image so we can see if the comments were justified.  Borderline images tend to get some rejected, some accepted.

Hi sjlocke,
To see "jagged lines" I guess I have to send the originals. I don't think it will be appropriate.

I accept that my images can be borderline. I think they are better than many similar ones on the site but let's say mine are borderline because of the elevated quality requirements in the recent years. With this thought in mind, I've found my rejections reasonable for some time. However, "jagged lines" is not a subjective issue. They are either jagged on both images or not.

On a different note, they also rejected some images composed of only 3d text, mentioning ONLY of "jagged lines". They were right, and on 3ds max, I selected the splines, divided them into 25 pieces to make them absolutely smooth, resubmitted them and this time they rejected for that "generic" "artistic reasons". If I knew that more than one problem exist, I wouldn't bother to re-render them for 4-5 hours each. Sometimes they reject for improper keywords, I resubmit them deleting the listed words, then they find another reason to reject. It's really very tiring.  

3 / Re: I just cancelled my exclusivity
« on: May 15, 2011, 09:51 »

I personally don't think it wise to go exclusive at any site, but regarding your images...
if you are submitting a bunch with only slight camera angles or minor changes, I can see why some might get rejected. If you have 10 images with only MINOR changes, you should choose the best one or two and only submit them. Before others jump in and start talking about similars being helpful for the designer, I agree, but the keyword you are mentioning is MINOR. If by different angle you mean front view, side view, back view, top view, etc., meaning totally different angles, then I share your disgust with the rejections, assuming all other technical aspects of the image are correct.

As far as your question "But let's assume it is true, so how the other two were accepted?" might as well not even worry about the answer. It is what it is. Either go exclusive, accept the rejections, learn from then, resubmit to scout, or as Sean says, post an image so others might help you understand, or give up exclusivity, submit to others sites where you might get some of the others accepted.

But my first paragraph above should be applied to all sites. Most are cracking down on MINOR CHANGE similars anyway.

Hi cclapper,
I know what you mean but; 

1) Sometimes minor changes make a totally different concept (thats why I gave the specific example). Just by changing the name on the building, it can be either e-gov, online banking, or e-learning concept.

2) If "minor" change is the problem, then they should say so, "jagged lines" cannot correct themselves from one image to other while I'm using the same settings and geometries.

4 / I just cancelled my exclusivity
« on: May 15, 2011, 05:11 »
The reasons to cancel excluvity are well listed here in different topics and I was thinking about it for some time. My acceptance rates was the last blow.

Irrationality behind rejections were beaten to death here but I'd like to share my own experience:

The same 3d scene, the same render and light settings, sometimes the same camera angle, just a different angle or minor change, some are accepted, some rejected for not artistic but quality reasons. For example, I designed a building with Ionic columns and wrote Bank, Government and University on it. With a connection to a laptop they became e-banking, e-government and e-learning concepts. Out of 6-7 combinations with these, only 2 are accepted, the rest are rejected for "jagged edges." There is no jagged edges of course, I always use optimum sampling settings and high polygon counts for the cost of long render times. But let's assume it is true, so how the other two were accepted?

I think I'll have more chance on other sites and it will already balance the equation.

5 / Re: best match Shift towards older files?
« on: February 23, 2011, 14:44 »
I'm talking about how fast a successful file's download numbers were vs. now are growing. My best sold files used to reach >100 DLs within 5-6 months. Now, I'm checking last 5-6 months of uploads by top earners and I see just a few >10 DLs, rarely >100 DLs.

Have you opened these files? >10 in the search page mean 10 to 99 dls.

Yes, but if it's somebody else's file, it still shows >10. The point is, I haven't seen >100 in the last 5 months of portfolios I checked (I randomly selected 5-6 top earners). I assumed I missed it if there is any. My conclusion was it became very rare.

6 / Re: best match Shift towards older files?
« on: February 23, 2011, 09:10 »
I'm talking about how fast a successful file's download numbers were vs. now are growing. My best sold files used to reach >100 DLs within 5-6 months. Now, I'm checking last 5-6 months of uploads by top earners and I see just a few >10 DLs, rarely >100 DLs.

7 / Re: best match Shift towards older files?
« on: February 23, 2011, 07:34 »
I agree that new files are going down the hole quicker than in the past. Sales on my new files simply don't do justice to the effort I spent.

I decided to become exclusive a bit more than a year ago and now I'm thinking that it was a mistake. With better "exclusive" percentage and increased prices my income from istock remained the same, however I lost the others. I would accept 15-20% decrease in total income for the sake of minimized upload troubles, but my loss is far beyond that.

I guess the reason is a combination of recent istock troubles (mainly with search), continuously altered best match system, and the pricing policy which forced buyers to look for other alternatives. I will wait a couple of months and cancel my exclusivity if the situation doesn't improve. Istock says:

"If you get cold feet, you can cancel your Exclusive contract with 30 days notice, after providing us with a reason ("it's not you, it's me"). And we'll always take you back, with a 90 day reinstatement waiting period."

Adobe Stock / Re: Did It - Dumped Fotolia
« on: April 29, 2010, 22:50 »
I dumped FT 8-9 months ago. They deleted some of the pics in my portfolio (I don't discuss whether they had right in doing so) but they also cut all my past earnings from those pics. They were claiming that it was because of credit card frauds but the math didn't add up to justify such a big cut-back at a single time. When I calculated the total income I have earned through the years from the deleted files, this time the math worked. And of course FT had cashed its commision from those sales. crapty Help Desk didn't want to listen my explanation about deleted files. Then I understood that they can steal all your earnings, blame it on something irrelevant, and act like further inquiries are non-existent. There are too many fishes in the sea, why should they care?

Since then, I've been reading forum messages to learn about many examples of FT's abusiveness. There are always some contributors who defend FT on the grounds that it's a good earner - if you ask me, it is just not their turn to draw the short straw.

Are you sure you are not from FT?

I'm not from Fotolia unless I suffer from long and short term memory loss but thanks for asking.

Just as a reminder, IS has pulled off stunts that makes Fotolia look like a little midget. The list is endless. However enough people support IS no matter what they'll come up with next so will most people with Fotolia. Do you really believe that any given agency really cares about every single contributor that has a portfolio of up to 2000 or 3000 images?

I don't know how long you've been doing this but when I started in 2005 customer service wost mostly run by the CEOs of the agencies and they did care about contributor's concerns. Times have changed. Now, when I contact support, sometimes I don't even get a response anymore. So what do you suggest I should do? Go crying to daddy that they won't respond? Or just keep doing what I'm good at and make more money?

If you don't like their attitude, nobody is forcing you to be with them...

Fotolia is performing very well for me. The charge backs are annoying so is image theft and copyright infringement. Unfortunately we can not control everything. I take it for what it is, a minimal reduction of my monthly income. The income stream far outweighs the little charge-backs. Maybe my pictures suck so bad that barely anyone is using a stolen credit card on them. Well then, more power to me.

Ok, let's assume that IS - or any other agency - is as bad as FT or IS.

What I don't understand is why you are defending them?

Saying that "nothing can be done, nobody is forcing you" is one thing, and defending an agency's injustice is another thing.

Have you heard the idiom "to be more royalist than the king"?

1. It was not happening at this extend. Since 3 months there is a drastic increase in complaints about credit card issue. It is incomperable.
2. You can't explain this with honest mistakes or "iron fists". Taking money back from submitters' account but not paying back the commission to the buyers is, in my book, is stealing. A microstock website can rule with as hard an iron fist as they wish but they must pay utmost importance not playing games with submitters' money. It takes time, effort, expensive equipment to take those pictures.

Are you sure you are not from FT?

Wait wait wait,

I brought this up before as well:

Fotolia is MAYBE using a cheaper system to "process" credit card payments.

It appears that they do NOT verify the CC data right away when the buyer purchases credit packages.

What I mean is that they quickly run the number, expiration date and security code through a piece of software that ONLY determines if this particular card COULD be real. But then once Fotolia is actually processing the payments (I don't know, maybe once a week) - then they will find out in some cases that cards are fraudulent.

I could see this happen.

This may be a cheaper way for Fotolia rather than having a merchant account that verifies funds at the time of purchase but the fees for that are significantly higher. That's a guess. Otherwise I don't understand how so many stolen credit cards get through the system successfully as our images are being downloaded AND used and that's a bugger since it's not a real loss for Fotolia but for us.

Probably. But don't miss two points:

1. It was not happening until 3 months ago. At least not at this level, it was not even close to 1/10th of it. It happend just after FT changed management.

2. My case is a good example that FT can not be trusted. It's not a credit card fraud case and it shows, without any doubt, that FT pocketed my money.

volk, are you implying that such frauds did not happen and FT is ismply taking our money?


I told my story (it's a different one) here before but let me repeat. 2 months ago, about 40$ was removed from my account. When I look through the details, I discovered about 40 credit removal instances and only about 10 of it were for credit card fraud. The remaining were for intellectual property rights. I also discovered that FT removed one of my photos (a Paris metro sign), which they approved a year ago, and took back all the money I earned from that photo. That photo was downloaded more than 30 times. This is a first that they took back earned credits for a reason other than credit card fraud. Furthermore, I don't think FT returned all their commission too to the relevant buyers. So they just pocketed their share. Morever, they rejected to give me an explanation other than for the credit fraud ones. So I cancelled my account.

Many readers here wanted to hear their side of the story but no explanation came. I'm sure they follow here.

Isn't it very clear?

Even if some submitters accept to undertake the full burden of credit card fraud, I just don't buy it that Fotolia is experiencing so many credit card frauds. I send pictures to 7 other microstock agencies, I never personally experienced such a thing with others. I heard that it happened to some Istock users, but they were rare occasions. Moreover, declined credit card problem sky-rocketed only within the last 3 months at Fotolia. It went out of proportions. I am not blind: It's obvious that Fotolia is trying to solve its cash flow problems by putting its hand to submitters' pockets. I quitted last month and I am happy.

i sell on different microstocks, but on fotolia you see credits disappear so easily...
i can accept credit card issue but not after a lot of month a client download the image.
the problem is you don't see the detail of why and who, you have only to thrust about fotolia...

Don't trust Fotolia. They took back money from my account, and not for credit card denial problem. They just deleted one of my photos without any understandable reason, and took back 1 year of earnings from that photo. They didn't even care to give an explanation.

And because of Fotolia's reluctance to pay for a reliable credit card verification system, credit card fraud is more frequent on Fotolia, which means that your photos are probably being distributed freely on the Net by pirates now.

Fotolia took back only 40 USD from me, noting to sweat over. However I cannot work with an agency which not only rejects to build a good relationship with me as its partner, but  also risk my future earnings by making things easier for pirates.

I cancelled my account at Fotolia. They rejected to give any explanation about why they chargebacked my earned credits.

Anyway, I don't think it's an isolated case, it's the way they decided to do business. Check this out:

from past users comments it appears that Dreamstime does the same as Fotolia, as well as Canstock and probably a few others.

iStock however, takes the hit themselves.

It's a subject that needs to be discussed and microstock agencies - and banks - should give us more information us about the precautions.

But let's not miss the point: My main complaint is not the credit card fraud refunds. My complaint is, Fotolia suddenly decided that one of my photos does not comply with their rules any more, and when deleting the photo, they also took back past earnings.

Fotolia replied me back. They still mention about "credit card denied" issue and try to explain it (not convincingly, IMO).  They don't even mention about the main issue - i.e. deduction of earned credits for intellectual property reasons. Not a single word about it. I gues they are trying to avoid what they can't answer.

Here is what they replied:

"Not all banks have the same refund / card rejection time period and we take action of course only after we find out a charge has been rejected. You don't "lose" credits, you simply do not receive the credits you would have gotten if the image license had been sold properly and thus the already paid credit earned by you is being pulled back. No loss, no gain. The person who downloaded the license does not have the right to use the image legally. Those dangers always persist, by the way. With each image license purchase. Do we "guarantee" that each person uses the image properly? Of course not. How could we? No library can. We have no guarantee over what people end up doing with the images! It is their breach of license law if they use the image in a way they should not. Does theft exist? Of course it does. We have no control over everything. No one does. If you want complete guarantee over your images then you have to keep them at home and not upload them to any server.

In any case, this is how it works and while I understand your frustration, there is no more I can say about this and ranting on any forums will not change this either. You may proceed as you wish. These are our rules.

Kind regards,

Fotolia Team U.K.
0208 816 72 84

Yes, they deducted money from the images I've already sold. That's why it is "minus" 37 now. First I have to earn 37 credits to close the deficit, then I can continue to  make money for myself.

I don't think it's a case of somebody accusing me of copyright infringement because they didn't warn me about it, they don't even say which picture it is. I have a good guess though: It's a Parisian metro sign. Paris has two types of metro signs: One modern, and one retro style. Almost a year ago, I took pictures of both of them and submitted to Fotolia. Fotolia rejected the modern one, and accepted the retro one. I wrote to Fotolia, asking the reason for the rejection. In my message, I also wrote that my other picture - of the retro metro sign - was accepted. Actually that was the reason why I was surprised: why modern one was rejected while the retro one was accepted?  They didn't replied me back at that time. But 5 days ago, after 11 months of submitting these pictures, I received a message that the retro one was also declined. In the message, they don't say it was deleted or cancelled, they say it was "not accepted", as if I submitted it recently. And although Fotolia still sells about 10 different pictures of the same retro metro sign, mine is deleted.

By the way, I also sell the same retro metro sign picture on other microstock agencies. Istock, for example, did the same: They rejected the modern one, accepted the retro one, which is still being sold on istock.  So there is clearly a problem with the modern one, but not with the retro one. If there is, then they should have told me so when I submitted them together; and I even reminded them 11 months ago that one was accepted, one was rejected.

And I believe that Fotolia pocketed its own share, only deducting from me. I dont even believe that they returned the money to the buyers, but if so, I request from Fotolia the receipts of repayments to 30+ buyers so that I can believe they are not thieves.

@madelaide: All images are mine and FT cannot even dare to imply otherwise and they didnt, of course.

I am warned by Fotolia, that my account will be cancelled, if I carry the issue that I will explain below, to microstock forums. I believe, however, that the only way to save my dignity after such a threat, is to explain the issue to you - risking 110 earned credits, amounting to about 110 USD.

Today, I checked my Credit details on Fotolia to see 43 notes, dated today, of earned credit cancellations. Suddenly my account balance dropped down to -37 (minus 37) credits- with pending request for 110 credits payment. About 10-15 out of these 43 notes are the infamous "Credit card denied" issue. That is, a credit card fraud bought my pictures, and because of Fotalia's insufficient credit card validation process, Fotolia cancelled my "earned credits" on pictures already sold, used, and most probably distributed freely on some pirate's website. I know this issue was discussed before and Fotolia rejects to solve the issue, to the frustration of the members, but this is not my only complaint because the money I lost to credit card issue is only about $5 compared to $35 I lost for "intellectual property" reasons.

Yes, you heard it right. Those are the pictures Fotolia accepted in the past, through their supposedly rigorous selection process, and suddenly they decided that they are not acceptable anymore. Allright, it's OK by me, (new) rules are rules. I understand that there is reason to delete those pictures which don't fit to new rules. But how they dare to cancel already earned money from those pictures? When those pictures were acceptable to Fotolia, some buyers bought them, used them on magazines, billboards, websites etc. Fotolia pocketed its own commission, now, all of a sudden, they decided to take back my share of the profit - oh, no, not their own commission, of course!

So, beware: Fotolia can invent a new rule every day, to take back what youve already earned in the past months. How much did you earn from Fotolia until now? Well, by staying at Fotolia, you are risking every penny of them!

By the way, when I filed a complaint to Fotolia about the subject, and said that I will carry the subject to Fotolias and microstock communities forums if a solution is not proposed, this is the kind of reply I get from Fotolia: I do not appreciate your tone nor that you threaten us. If I see any kind of trashing information on any forum from you, I will close your account, end of story!

Ok, go ahead! Close my account. I would consider myself spineless if I stay after you insult me just because I was trying to defend my rights for the money stolen from me.

I'm not sure how you know that they didn't get a model release?

I have something in the queue now with 3 people, back to the camera, in a shot out in public. I have a model release for all 3. Just because a picture is accepted with a shot of someone's back, doesn't mean no model release was provided.

Simple: It's a national guard, a soldier in his uniform. He cannot provide a model release even if he wants to.

And appearently they still accept people's backsides if the submitter is an exclusive on IS. I saw some examples (ie. a marching national guard in Athens with his back turned to the camera). It draw my attention because a very similar shot of mine was rejected - of course not because of technical/quality reasons but because of model release requirement.

General - Top Sites / Re: Traffic rankings of Big 5
« on: December 21, 2007, 19:49 »
I'm only talking about number of DLs, not the earnings. Let's say that less buyers buy more pics on SS. Even the page views are higher on IS.

General - Top Sites / Re: Traffic rankings of Big 5
« on: December 21, 2007, 12:03 »
I mean, SS is a "feed the beast" site and even photographers with big portfolios may hit some wall, in terms of increase in their sales in years. On the other hand your sales on IS continues to grow (again, if you keep sending, but IS is not so much "feed the beast"). There are even some top sellers at IS who reached 100,000 DLs per year.

General - Top Sites / Traffic rankings of Big 5
« on: December 21, 2007, 09:22 »
According to and, IS is #1 in traffic rankings, almost more than the total of the rest of the crew. Although it's known that IS is the market leader, I think SS's position is something unexpected here. If you ask multistock members, most of them will say that they sell more images on SS than any other microstock site (ie. number of DLs, not the income). So, why it doesn't have any impact on SS's traffic? It's sometimes not even #2 in traffic rankings.

If you think that the number of sales at IS increase in time and surpass SS, what is your estimate of the treshold (in terms of number of DLs at IS)?

IS. It's a better investment for the long term. "Feed the beast" analogy is true for SS.

OK, here is my ideal microstock site:
* IS for consistency, detailed Web interface and market(ing) power
* SS for the number of sales
* Bigstock for per DL prices (it may change with IS's 2008 price policy)
* LO for the behaviour and kind responses of the reviewers
* All major ones except IS for unlimited (almost) ULs

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