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Author Topic: money disappear  (Read 3776 times)

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« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2021, 12:40 »
+4
Let me try something for those who think we should get paid commission for image theft and fraud. You work in a store and someone steals a pair of shoes. You work on commission for the sales you make. ...

I don't think the analogy is apt. First, we have no clue why refunds are made and have no control over (a) the policies that allow refunds to customers or (b) the fraud prevention mechanisms in place to control payment issues.

In the case of refunds because the customer doesn't like the product, a certificate of destruction with zero follow-up on the agency's part to see if this is being abused is hardly reassuring to the agency's supplier (i.e. us). We can't even get the agencies to take thieves' portfolios down promptly, let alone pay the copyright holder what they were owed for any sales made. Bottom line is that our product has been transferred to the customer.

In the case of credit card fraud, if the agency issues refunds of royalties, what incentive do they have to implement any loss prevention mechanisms? The agency is in a volume business, so letting some digital goods out the door when the agency doesn't get paid hurts them minimally, as long as there's a decent volume of real sales. An unethical agency might decide to cut costs on fraud prevention and just ignore the loss to their suppliers (i.e. us) when those goods are usable by the "customer". In the case of retail goods, the store owes the supplier for a stolen item even if the sales rep doesn't get a commission...


When the agency takes upwards of 70% of the gross, I believe the agency should bear any losses their slipshod, lazy, inept or careless business practices bring about. That gives them an incentive to improve them, and it's their cost of doing business. If suppliers have to pay bandwidth fees (for the bandwidth for the customer to download the image), storage fees (for the length of time the file is at the agency), and on and on, then the agency should take no more than 30% of the gross. They can't have it both ways. They can try, and because they're now large and powerful they might get away with it (think of car dealers' "documentation fee" for sales paperwork), but it's a disgrace.

The other thing I would want, if there were an ethical agency "charter", would be a requirement for transparency on any chargebacks - what exactly was it for and somewhere on the web site to keep a history of such transactions. The "trust me" model of accounting only works if you actually trust the other party.


« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2021, 12:49 »
+1
Hmmm, I see the case a bit different:
A manufacturer produces shoes,  the shoes get stolen in a store. Does the store demand a refund from the manufacturer?

Also, does the thief stop wearing the shoes?


The images that we ended up not getting money for because Shutterstock let someone scam them will still be used, or, more likely, resold. Wouldn't even surprise me if the images ended right back for sale on Shutterstock.  :(
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 12:52 by Firn »

« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2021, 17:26 »
0
since the number of returns is small, why not do a reverse image search to uncover at least some types of fraud?

« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2021, 18:34 »
+2
since the number of returns is small, why not do a reverse image search to uncover at least some types of fraud?

Finding your image in use, when you license via multiple agencies, doesn't help you prove fraud, so short of calling every site you see with a use, how on earth could a reverse image search help?

« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2021, 21:26 »
0
Adding to that, a lot of images dont end up online to be found.
The only way you can get lucky to detect an image used illegally is if its never sold before (or very few times).

FWIW from my experience, misuse of a license is more common than outright theft.  And thats even harder to track.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 21:29 by gnirtS »

« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2021, 01:18 »
0
since the number of returns is small, why not do a reverse image search to uncover at least some types of fraud?

Finding your image in use, when you license via multiple agencies, doesn't help you prove fraud, so short of calling every site you see with a use, how on earth could a reverse image search help?

Excatly! I do reversed image seraches regularly, just because I like to know how my images are being used. In most cases I never find my sold images online and in the ones I do, how am I supposed to know whether the person who purchased the image has a licence or not?
It can still be useful, if you are lucky. Like this for example I found an image that was credited back to Alamy, but on Alamy that image had only sold once and the buyer got a refund for it. Had never found out that he was still using the image and complained to Alamy if I had not done that search.
But that's a rare case, as Alamy is the only agency that sells images so rarely that I would even notice this. On other agencies where I sell hudreds of images per month, it's impossible to trace an image online back to a specific sale.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2021, 11:07 »
0
Let me try something for those who think we should get paid commission for image theft and fraud. You work in a store and someone steals a pair of shoes. You work on commission for the sales you make. ...

I don't think the analogy is apt. First, we have no clue why refunds are made and have no control over (a) the policies that allow refunds to customers or (b) the fraud prevention mechanisms in place to control payment issues.

In the case of refunds because the customer doesn't like the product, a certificate of destruction with zero follow-up on the agency's part to see if this is being abused is hardly reassuring to the agency's supplier (i.e. us). We can't even get the agencies to take thieves' portfolios down promptly, let alone pay the copyright holder what they were owed for any sales made. Bottom line is that our product has been transferred to the customer.

In the case of credit card fraud, if the agency issues refunds of royalties, what incentive do they have to implement any loss prevention mechanisms? The agency is in a volume business, so letting some digital goods out the door when the agency doesn't get paid hurts them minimally, as long as there's a decent volume of real sales. An unethical agency might decide to cut costs on fraud prevention and just ignore the loss to their suppliers (i.e. us) when those goods are usable by the "customer". In the case of retail goods, the store owes the supplier for a stolen item even if the sales rep doesn't get a commission...


When the agency takes upwards of 70% of the gross, I believe the agency should bear any losses their slipshod, lazy, inept or careless business practices bring about. That gives them an incentive to improve them, and it's their cost of doing business. If suppliers have to pay bandwidth fees (for the bandwidth for the customer to download the image), storage fees (for the length of time the file is at the agency), and on and on, then the agency should take no more than 30% of the gross. They can't have it both ways. They can try, and because they're now large and powerful they might get away with it (think of car dealers' "documentation fee" for sales paperwork), but it's a disgrace.

The other thing I would want, if there were an ethical agency "charter", would be a requirement for transparency on any chargebacks - what exactly was it for and somewhere on the web site to keep a history of such transactions. The "trust me" model of accounting only works if you actually trust the other party.

Yes of course a pair of shoes is not perfect. The point is, the store lost the money, and they shouldn't pay a salesperson for the commission, just because something is gone from stock. Digital goods are an interesting problem, because we can't be protected from theft (I'm saying stolen and illegal use) because it's not a tangible good. Hard to prosecute. Kind of stinks.

Yes of course, the reasons for the deductions, refunds or whatever anyone calls them, should be included. If it's CC theft they should say, Fraud or what happened.

If it's a returned download, sure, same thing.

But in no case should someone be paid for something that's stolen from the agency.

Returns, maybe they can absorb that. If people want accounting for returns and the issue is image quality, they should also get ready for images to be removed, when they have been returned. After a close inspection for a valid reason.

Maybe we'll get an answer why a new batch of returns was dropped on the contributors? I'd agree that it seems unusual for start of the year, that someone in accounting just found all these issues and problems, and made the corrections. Hey, wait, when's the annual report. None of those losses will be in the fourth quarter of 2020 will they?

I'm still going to side with reasonable and standard business practices. A person who works on commission, doesn't get credit for selling something, if the customer doesn't pay. I sell some tools to a company, they are delivered, and then returned, I get the commission reversed. I sell some chemicals to a manufacturing plant, and they never pay, but everything is gone. The commission is reversed.

Since you brought up a completely different issue from what I had written, yes we should be notified why there was a deduction or reversal.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2021, 11:13 »
0

Also, does the thief stop wearing the shoes?

The images that we ended up not getting money for because Shutterstock let someone scam them will still be used, or, more likely, resold. Wouldn't even surprise me if the images ended right back for sale on Shutterstock.  :(

Yes that too. Once someone has a digital download, there's no giving it back. Or no proof that they honestly deleted it and didn't use that download. That's always been a problem, and as others have pointed out, misuse as well, beyond the license terms or for outside of the license terms.

Maybe SS should get some theft insurance?

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2021, 17:21 »
0
Maybe SS should get some theft insurance?

The thing with insurance is that, on average, it always costs more than it pays out. And as SS are unlikely to cover the cost of that, it's going to be passed on to contributors, or split with them at the very least. At the end of the day, you'd lose more money than if they didn't have insurance.

« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2021, 23:29 »
0
since the number of returns is small, why not do a reverse image search to uncover at least some types of fraud?

Finding your image in use, when you license via multiple agencies, doesn't help you prove fraud, so short of calling every site you see with a use, how on earth could a reverse image search help?
i was referring only to images that were marked as returned by an agency - not ironclad but at least a start for those who really care - not aimed at you, but better than just whining here

mostly this sort of thing isn't worth worrying about

« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2021, 02:08 »
+1

 i was referring only to images that were marked as returned by an agency - not ironclad but at least a start for those who really care - not aimed at you, but better than just whining here


Why would this make any difference?  That only works if the image that was returned was only sold on one agency and only sold once. If the image sold 100+ times, but was returned once, that poses the exact same problem people described.

« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2021, 07:55 »
0
New way to make money in microstock, have a friend use stolen credit card to download EL

then complain on forum how SS stole your money.

« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2021, 08:32 »
0
Someone actually did complain about this?

« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2021, 10:03 »
0
Adjustments tab appeared a few years ago. Circa 2018. There's very few of it, usually. But if you never had a refund, you don't see this tab. Once you have first, it will appear. End of story.

What is weird is that a lot of people had adjustments for January. And it's mostly a singles/extended. Like they wanted to cheer up people for the earnings cut and dropped a few big sales for us to show the bigger numbers. But then took it away, because this sales was fake. Can't say it's a truth, but it really looks like this.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2021, 10:52 »
0
Adjustments tab appeared a few years ago. Circa 2018. There's very few of it, usually. But if you never had a refund, you don't see this tab. Once you have first, it will appear. End of story.

What is weird is that a lot of people had adjustments for January. And it's mostly a singles/extended. Like they wanted to cheer up people for the earnings cut and dropped a few big sales for us to show the bigger numbers. But then took it away, because this sales was fake. Can't say it's a truth, but it really looks like this.

I was thinking that subscriptions are either not worth the effort to claim (or process) a refund or the fraud is less often, because the credit cards are checked more carefully. So yes, we will see more of the ELs, SO or ODs. Has anyone ever got a subscription adjustment?

I'm still wondering why this is apparently January accounting thing? Or maybe some discussion on the SS forum encouraged people to look. But if they are all just now and in January, that's odd? I just saw mine for the first time that I remember.

I have one and it's a big one. Why would someone take the top level, expensive download to cheat the agency, and me? Sold 6/15/17 refunded 9/20/18 -$53.39 (a year and a half later?) When they, according to some people here, can get these all for free? It just seems wrong to waste the time paying with bad credit cards, the potential risk and all, when the images are free? And why an EL? The single is less expensive and the same size.

I mean, why would they care about the license for the image they are stealing illegally?  :o

New way to make money in microstock, have a friend use stolen credit card to download EL

then complain on forum how SS stole your money.


Yes that would sure look suspicious to me if I was SS. I can see all kinds of possibilities and speculation about how that happened.



« Reply #40 on: February 06, 2021, 13:56 »
0
Doesn't have to be stolen credit cards.
It could be a hack/fraudulent use of an existing buyer account.

Certain seem to be a lot more people noticing it for much bigger amounts than normal last month.

https://forums.submit.shutterstock.com/topic/101647-i-lost200/
https://forums.submit.shutterstock.com/topic/101652-massive-refunds-in-january-total-320-less/
 and so on.

Still not certain it isnt their own internal systems screwing up a reset or similar.

« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2021, 11:33 »
0
Well, when you try to scam SS with a stolen card, is it an attempt to fraud the fraudsters?


Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2021, 10:54 »
+1
Well, when you try to scam SS with a stolen card, is it an attempt to fraud the fraudsters?

Good thinking.


 

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