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Author Topic: LAWYERS, CLASS ACTION, NAOMI KLEIN  (Read 3953 times)

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« on: June 18, 2020, 18:51 »
+3
Hallo everybody.

  • Anyone contacted a lawyer? We are content-creators, don't pretend to be an expert in international trade, law, unions, contracts, rights.
  • Some months ago, maybe 1 year, our contracts, as usual one-sidedly changed stating we agree (there is no change to not-agree: everything is take or leave) to NOT participate in class action and any kind of diverse litigation ... but are we sure enough this is fair, possible, legal and couldn't be challenged court as a first point to go on with a CLASS ACTION? We are LOTS, and we are acting as a lot of flies, not as united mass with a great power. Let's let them see our "POTENTIAL" and earn 40% from the scratch as a basis or let them give a taste of their own medicine and pay back in kind.
    If we don't know if its legal and don't call a GREAT lawyer (money can buy it), we are only a naked-ass scimpanze shaking around against real warriors with bazookas.
  • Anyone in USA, talking plain current English, able to tell the whole story of the fall of microstock, content creation, gig economy (every kind of digital marketplace works like that, Microsoft Store, Apple Store, Google Play store) and the Shutterstock actual move, could contact NAOMI KLEIN to start an interesting ethic and moral move against people making great "fair" claims and making us struggle for cents? Of course there is someone upsetting if we call this slavery... but when you give me 0.10 cent and you earn 10$ you know that something is wrong with you. No one takes a someone forcefully making him or her work. They simply create a world in which they have the power to lower worker's earning in a way never permitted if it was a wage.

United we stand, divided we fall (cit).

Remember: lawyers, force them to TALK, no automated responses. No "chances to earn". ALternatives have to be "free crap" or "good content at fair price".

Everything found for free and good have to be erased from paid content as a kind of content: if we SPEND in creating, someone that gives for free have to be a fool to spend and giving away.

Of course, they spend for DSLR for having fun.  But there is a limit.
There are action that could be taken to protect commerce, and digital assets. But they simply don't care because assets are OURS. So when they earn it's ok, if they don't they'll simply close with money earnt so far.

LAWYERS, folks. Anyone called them? Anyone interested and seeing money with wich being paid as a lawyer in our interest?


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2020, 00:49 »
+6
What would you sue them for?

whtvr2

« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2020, 01:26 »
0
...
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 02:20 by whtvr2 »

« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2020, 08:08 »
+5
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages. 

Shelma1

« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2020, 08:20 »
+4
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

No damages? I'm unsure about the outcome of or basis for a class action, but damages are the easiest thing to show...your income decreased with the new royalty scheme, and if you didn't like it your only choice was to leave and make no money, which damaged your income even further.

« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2020, 08:23 »
+2
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

What about people working for SS being payed under minimal hour wage and SS selling their work in your market?

Do you see the damage now ?

« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2020, 08:59 »
+8
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

No damages? I'm unsure about the outcome of or basis for a class action, but damages are the easiest thing to show...your income decreased with the new royalty scheme, and if you didn't like it your only choice was to leave and make no money, which damaged your income even further.
I think you are confusing ethics and law. You should read again the contract you signed : its is take it or leave it, unfortunately.

« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2020, 09:03 »
+6
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

What about people working for SS being payed under minimal hour wage and SS selling their work in your market?

Do you see the damage now ?
If you are talking about us the contributors, we are not working for SS, we are working for us and using SS service to sell our work. Minimal hour wage has nothing to do here.

« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2020, 09:08 »
0
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

No damages? I'm unsure about the outcome of or basis for a class action, but damages are the easiest thing to show...your income decreased with the new royalty scheme, and if you didn't like it your only choice was to leave and make no money, which damaged your income even further.

How do you document decreased income with the new royalty scheme when many of us disabled our portfolios?

Shelma1

« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2020, 09:19 »
+1
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

No damages? I'm unsure about the outcome of or basis for a class action, but damages are the easiest thing to show...your income decreased with the new royalty scheme, and if you didn't like it your only choice was to leave and make no money, which damaged your income even further.

How do you document decreased income with the new royalty scheme when many of us disabled our portfolios?

Theres an entire thread here with people reporting decreased earnings.

Shelma1

« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2020, 09:22 »
+1
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

No damages? I'm unsure about the outcome of or basis for a class action, but damages are the easiest thing to show...your income decreased with the new royalty scheme, and if you didn't like it your only choice was to leave and make no money, which damaged your income even further.
I think you are confusing ethics and law. You should read again the contract you signed : its is take it or leave it, unfortunately.

That doesnt mean there arent damages. Having brought a wrongful death claim, sadly, I had to justify why someones death caused me damage, even though they werent financial, because the courts place monetary value on things like human life, enjoyment of property, emotional distress, etc. In this case actual monetary damage to income would be much easier to prove.

« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2020, 09:38 »
+2
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

What about people working for SS being payed under minimal hour wage and SS selling their work in your market?

Do you see the damage now ?
If you are talking about us the contributors, we are not working for SS, we are working for us and using SS service to sell our work. Minimal hour wage has nothing to do here.

I say it does.

If we would just use SS to sell our work we would be able to determine the prices of our work and yet the prices are determined by SS so they are clearly in charge here setting standards and defining rules.

One can then more accurately say  that SS is running a platform in which instead of employees they are using freelancers for their main product production which they pay in royalties in a way that freelancers are potentially earning less than  minimal hourly wage which makes clear damage for regular image creating employees and other companies in the industry.
If someone in NY wants employ people in the same niche and compete with SS he stand against unfair competition in which SS (or similar paying agencies) product providers potentially work for less than minimal wage.
If that someone can prove that,  he clearly has a legal case. And that one has all parameters to calculate that beside how many images can an average contributor produce, process, keyword, upload and categorize in an hour so I guess an union can be used to legally determine that standard.

Also you say you sell your work at SS. Even so, you can not legally offer your work under minimal wage. Again someone just has to prove you are not able to earn minimal wage at your work time and you are undercutting real worker illegally. Not only SS. You directly.

That is the law in almost every country that has minimal wage.

 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 10:00 by Lizard »

« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2020, 10:08 »
+7
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

What about people working for SS being payed under minimal hour wage and SS selling their work in your market?

Do you see the damage now ?
If you are talking about us the contributors, we are not working for SS, we are working for us and using SS service to sell our work. Minimal hour wage has nothing to do here.

I say it does.

If we would just use SS to sell our work we would be able to determine the prices of our work and yet the prices are determined by SS so they are clearly in charge here setting standards and defining rules.

One can then more accurately say  that SS is running a platform in which instead of employees they are using freelancers for their main product production which they pay in royalties in a way that freelancers are potentially earning less than  minimal hourly wage which makes clear damage for regular image creating employees and other companies in the industry.
If someone in NY wants employ people in the same niche and compete with SS he stand against unfair competition in which SS (or similar paying agencies) product providers potentially work for less than minimal wage.
If that someone can prove that,  he clearly has a legal case. And that one has all parameters to calculate that beside how many images can an average contributor produce, process, keyword, upload and categorize in an hour so I guess an union can be used to legally determine that standard.

Also you say you sell your work at SS. Even so, you can not legally offer your work under minimal wage. Again someone just has to prove you are not able to earn minimal wage at your work time and you are undercutting real worker illegally. Not only SS. You directly.

That is the law in almost every country that has minimal wage.

In the US, you have no case. There are plenty of prior decisions about mis-classifying as independent contractors workers who in essence are employees

That is not us. Shutterstock does not control when or how we do our work, or even if we do any work in a given week or month.

I can't speak for law elsewhere, but there is no case to bring in the US, so you don't even get to damages issues

« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2020, 10:13 »
+4
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

What about people working for SS being payed under minimal hour wage and SS selling their work in your market?

Do you see the damage now ?
If you are talking about us the contributors, we are not working for SS, we are working for us and using SS service to sell our work. Minimal hour wage has nothing to do here.

I say it does.

If we would just use SS to sell our work we would be able to determine the prices of our work and yet the prices are determined by SS so they are clearly in charge here setting standards and defining rules.

One can then more accurately say  that SS is running a platform in which instead of employees they are using freelancers for their main product production which they pay in royalties in a way that potentially decreases minimal wage in the industry.
If someone in NY wants employ people in the same niche and compete with SS he stand against unfair competition in which SS (or similar paying agencies) product providers potentially work for less than minimal wage.
If that someone can prove that,  he clearly has a legal case. And that one has all parameters to calculate that beside how many images can an average contributor produce, process, keyword, upload and categorize in an hour so I guess an union can be used to legally determine that standard.

Also you say you sell your work at SS. Even so, you can not legally offer your work under minimal wage. Again someone just has to prove you are not able to earn minimal wage at your work time and you are undercutting real worker illegally. Not only SS. You directly.

That is the law in almost every country that has minimal wage.

Nope. It doesn't. We are not employed by SS, nor by AS, nor by any other agency.

Just imagine what could happen if an agency is forced to pay a minimum wage to all contributors. Such an agency will be forced to "fire" probably more than 95% of the contributors, who are making less than ~$1,260/month on average.
In other words, only a selected few, elite contributors will earn enough to justify staying "employed".

Are you in this category? Because it's rather likely that you will also be part of the contributors NO agency will afford to work with anymore.

Smaller agencies, like DT, 123RF, DP will most likely disappear, since they will not be able to afford any contributors paid at minimum wage.

This also means that, after "firing" 95% of the contributors, the database will shrink down to virtually nothing, the price per download will go through the roof since the image offering and competition will be hugely reduced.

Many small businesses relying on microstock for their blogs, advertisement, etc, will not be able to afford those prices anymore and many will go bankrupt, generating a ripple effect way beyond the microstock ecosystem.

The law of unintended consequences will strike you back harder than you can imagine.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 10:45 by Zero Talent »

« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2020, 10:32 »
+2
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

No damages? I'm unsure about the outcome of or basis for a class action, but damages are the easiest thing to show...your income decreased with the new royalty scheme, and if you didn't like it your only choice was to leave and make no money, which damaged your income even further.
I think you are confusing ethics and law. You should read again the contract you signed : its is take it or leave it, unfortunately.

That doesnt mean there arent damages. Having brought a wrongful death claim, sadly, I had to justify why someones death caused me damage, even though they werent financial, because the courts place monetary value on things like human life, enjoyment of property, emotional distress, etc. In this case actual monetary damage to income would be much easier to prove.
We could be talking of damages if there was a relation of subordination between SS and a contributor. But SS, as all the MS agencies, is only a service provider, of which we are not even clients (as contributors). They wright the rules and we accept them or not.

The only power we have is the power to choose the service provider which corresponds to our expectations, individually or collectively like the Stock Coalition is trying to do.

Shelma1

« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2020, 10:35 »
0
We could be talking of damages if there was a relation of subordination between SS and a contributor. But SS, as all the MS agencies, is only a service provider, of which we are not even clients (as contributors). They wright the rules and we accept them or not.

The only power we have is the power to choose the service provider which corresponds to our expectations, individually or collectively like the Stock Coalition is trying to do.

Are you an attorney in the U.S.? Is anyone here? I'd be curious to hear from an attorney. Otherwise we're all just speculating.

« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2020, 10:39 »
+1
If we would just use SS to sell our work we would be able to determine the prices of our work and yet the prices are determined by SS so they are clearly in charge here setting standards and defining rules.

Some agencies let you fix your selling price (I don't remember which ones) so you should choose one of these instead of suing SS.


« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2020, 10:49 »
0
To sue you would have to show damages. SS gave you fair warning they were dropping payment to you the seller . Yes they drooped payment to almost zero. No one forced you to stay and get almost no money. I see no damages. I do see a company that is bad...but no damages.

What about people working for SS being payed under minimal hour wage and SS selling their work in your market?

Do you see the damage now ?
If you are talking about us the contributors, we are not working for SS, we are working for us and using SS service to sell our work. Minimal hour wage has nothing to do here.

I say it does.

If we would just use SS to sell our work we would be able to determine the prices of our work and yet the prices are determined by SS so they are clearly in charge here setting standards and defining rules.

One can then more accurately say  that SS is running a platform in which instead of employees they are using freelancers for their main product production which they pay in royalties in a way that freelancers are potentially earning less than  minimal hourly wage which makes clear damage for regular image creating employees and other companies in the industry.
If someone in NY wants employ people in the same niche and compete with SS he stand against unfair competition in which SS (or similar paying agencies) product providers potentially work for less than minimal wage.
If that someone can prove that,  he clearly has a legal case. And that one has all parameters to calculate that beside how many images can an average contributor produce, process, keyword, upload and categorize in an hour so I guess an union can be used to legally determine that standard.

Also you say you sell your work at SS. Even so, you can not legally offer your work under minimal wage. Again someone just has to prove you are not able to earn minimal wage at your work time and you are undercutting real worker illegally. Not only SS. You directly.

That is the law in almost every country that has minimal wage.

In the US, you have no case. There are plenty of prior decisions about mis-classifying as independent contractors workers who in essence are employees

That is not us. Shutterstock does not control when or how we do our work, or even if we do any work in a given week or month.

I can't speak for law elsewhere, but there is no case to bring in the US, so you don't even get to damages issues

Im not questioning the status of a contributor here.


I say that SS control the price and its theoretically possible to prove that that in certain amount of time an average photographer can not produce enough photos to earn minimal hourly wage in the industry with such low royalties. So SS  is offering a platform that is used to offer products that regular photographer employee on minimal wage can not compete with.




« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2020, 10:54 »
+1
If we would just use SS to sell our work we would be able to determine the prices of our work and yet the prices are determined by SS so they are clearly in charge here setting standards and defining rules.

Some agencies let you fix your selling price (I don't remember which ones) so you should choose one of these instead of suing SS.

The nature of your answer shows that you dont understand the concept Im talking about.

The one that is potentially suing here doesn't even contribute to stock agency and doesnt even want to. He is selling his work alone, he is on minimal wage and he cannot compete in his industry cause his competition is ready to work under minimal wage and microstock platforms with royalties so low allows them that and he can prove it with numbers. 


« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2020, 11:02 »
+1
We could be talking of damages if there was a relation of subordination between SS and a contributor. But SS, as all the MS agencies, is only a service provider, of which we are not even clients (as contributors). They wright the rules and we accept them or not.

The only power we have is the power to choose the service provider which corresponds to our expectations, individually or collectively like the Stock Coalition is trying to do.

Are you an attorney in the U.S.? Is anyone here? I'd be curious to hear from an attorney. Otherwise we're all just speculating.

No Ma'am. Just a bit of common sense, objectivity and reading  8)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_contract#Terminology

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2020, 11:04 »
0
Quote
Are you an attorney in the U.S.? Is anyone here? I'd be curious to hear from an attorney. Otherwise we're all just speculating.

I know, but it is so much fun and much better than actually creating some new images... Keep it up!

« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2020, 11:35 »
+1
If we would just use SS to sell our work we would be able to determine the prices of our work and yet the prices are determined by SS so they are clearly in charge here setting standards and defining rules.

Some agencies let you fix your selling price (I don't remember which ones) so you should choose one of these instead of suing SS.

The nature of your answer shows that you dont understand the concept Im talking about.

The one that is potentially suing here doesn't even contribute to stock agency and doesnt even want to. He is selling his work alone, he is on minimal wage and he cannot compete in his industry cause his competition is ready to work under minimal wage and microstock platforms with royalties so low allows them that and he can prove it with numbers.

What you're talking about is  "Disloyal competition" (or Unfair competition).
But I'm not sure it's applicable here.

Shutterstock does not ask for exclusivity from its contributors, so they are free to run their business as they see fit and find other sources of income elsewhere.They can't blame Shutterstock if they can't find enough work to make a living.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 11:40 by Chichikov »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2020, 12:55 »
+4
Surely you could only sue them on or after the day of your death... as only then would you know whether you've made minimum wage for the content you created. Otherwise, how would it work? Could somebody who has been selling their images on Shutterstock for a week sue, as they've not yet made minimum wage? What would be the cut off point... a year, five years, ten years?

How would you account for economies of scale? Should the rule be the same if you upload 100 images a month and I upload 1? What about equipment... if you use a Canon 700D and I use a Hasselblad, should that be reflected in the calculation? What if the calculation reveals that two people who have the same number of items and person A makes $5 less than minimum wage and person B makes $5 more than minimum wage... does person B receive nothing for being more successful and person A receive extra money for being less successful? Surely the ends don't justify the means? But 'the means' allow for somebody to earn more than minimum wage, so are the means at fault? 

And even if you could sue for this, the perfect defences by the agencies would be to present a bunch of people who do make minimum wage on Shutterstock. The question for those who don't would then be... all things being equal, why do they make minimum wage and you don't? And if this did become a thing, then it would open up the floodgates for similar cases at every stock marketplace. Not just those, but Etsy, iTunes, eBay, Spotify, Youtube. Could farmers sue the farmers market if they don't earn enough in a day? When does it end?

Say that happens and everyone wins their cases... what happens then? You get your cheque in the mail and then the majority of these places would go bankrupt... those that don't would kick out anybody that wasn't making minimum wage, just keeping the top sellers onboard. And if we can sue them for not paying minimum wage then I'm guessing you feel we should be able to sue them for unfair dismissal? Congratulations... every single one of them has now gone bankrupt... there's not a single site platform left for content creators to distribute on other than creating their own.

We're not employees. We're not independent contractors. We're not freelancers that have been commissioned by the agencies. Shutterstock is a platform that we choose to use, or we choose not to use... and they are under no obligation to ensure we receive a minimum wage.

I'm sorry, but it's never going to happen and it's ridiculous to think it ever would. 

« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2020, 16:14 »
+5

Are you an attorney in the U.S.? Is anyone here? I'd be curious to hear from an attorney. Otherwise we're all just speculating.

this discussion probably becomes moot because of the cost of suing and the time to work thru the system -- better to spend time & discussion on things that might actually work

whtvr2

« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2020, 06:33 »
+1

Are you an attorney in the U.S.? Is anyone here? I'd be curious to hear from an attorney. Otherwise we're all just speculating.

this discussion probably becomes moot because of the cost of suing and the time to work thru the system -- better to spend time & discussion on things that might actually work

C'mon this discussion was a dead end by post one. "Has anyone asked a lawyer?". No, and if i decide to pay for consultation i will not share this for free with the whole globe. Remember that some people in agency that closed few months ago filled papers or acted somehow and got a confirmation for payouts if any money left.


 

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