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Author Topic: Shutterstock suspended my account and won't respond  (Read 2868 times)

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« on: May 06, 2024, 00:27 »
+7
Almost a month ago, I received a notification from Shutterstock that one of my images was flagged for a copyright violation and my account was being suspended. They offered a few methods to supply proof that I'm the copyright holder of the particular image. Very quickly I sent the evidence to them and received a response that my case would be escalated. Since that time I have received no further communication, and all of my images have been removed from the site, and I can't log in to my account. They have ignored the many e-mails I've sent. It should take no more than 10 minutes to look at the evidence I submitted and conclude my account should be reactivated.

Has anyone been through this process before and what was the outcome? There was also no indication from Shutterstock why they thought there was a copyright issue in the first place.


« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2024, 12:53 »
+2
Almost a month ago, I received a notification from Shutterstock that one of my images was flagged for a copyright violation and my account was being suspended. They offered a few methods to supply proof that I'm the copyright holder of the particular image. Very quickly I sent the evidence to them and received a response that my case would be escalated. Since that time I have received no further communication, and all of my images have been removed from the site, and I can't log in to my account. They have ignored the many e-mails I've sent. It should take no more than 10 minutes to look at the evidence I submitted and conclude my account should be reactivated.

Has anyone been through this process before and what was the outcome? There was also no indication from Shutterstock why they thought there was a copyright issue in the first place.

Can you show us the image?

And do you have the raw data?

« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2024, 16:18 »
0
Yes, I have the raw data.

« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2024, 16:51 »
0
Have you submitted the raw data to shutterstock or made it clear there that you have it? Then that should solve the problem in my view. Unless, of course, you have photographically recreated someone else's photo 1:1.

« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2024, 17:02 »
+2
I submitted a screenshot showing a series of raw files of similar angles of the same subject. My point is that there has been zero communication. Even if the proof I submitted was not satisfactory in some way, it would take  less than a minute or two to make that determination and respond. However, I believe I have demonstrated clearly that I'm the rightful copyright owner.

« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2024, 21:41 »
+2
Years ago Scott (SS VP) would've helped you super fast via this site. Sadly he passed away.  Now typically it could take one to six months before they do anything for us  :-\

« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2024, 10:45 »
+1
Almost a month ago, I received a notification from Shutterstock that one of my images was flagged for a copyright violation and my account was being suspended. They offered a few methods to supply proof that I'm the copyright holder of the particular image. Very quickly I sent the evidence to them and received a response that my case would be escalated. Since that time I have received no further communication, and all of my images have been removed from the site, and I can't log in to my account. They have ignored the many e-mails I've sent. It should take no more than 10 minutes to look at the evidence I submitted and conclude my account should be reactivated.

Has anyone been through this process before and what was the outcome? There was also no indication from Shutterstock why they thought there was a copyright issue in the first place.
I was hit by the same Shutterstock violation as you today, even though the work is my own. I have submitted the evidence as raw files today. I want to know if your portfolio has been reopened yet. I am very concerned about the timeframe. I have been a member since 2012 and have approximately 30,000 images. It's really sad

« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2024, 11:16 »
0
messed up irony is - what if it is a "stolen" portfolio doing a "copyright claim" against your stuff?

« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2024, 12:12 »
0
messed up irony is - what if it is a "stolen" portfolio doing a "copyright claim" against your stuff?
i think so.

« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2024, 22:05 »
+2
I was hit by the same Shutterstock violation as you today, even though the work is my own. I have submitted the evidence as raw files today. I want to know if your portfolio has been reopened yet. I am very concerned about the timeframe. I have been a member since 2012 and have approximately 30,000 images. It's really sad

I have heard same from few others too, they are banning people with violations which they never did. The worst part is they stop responding even you send the evidences.

« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2024, 11:38 »
+1
I was hit by the same Shutterstock violation as you today, even though the work is my own. I have submitted the evidence as raw files today. I want to know if your portfolio has been reopened yet. I am very concerned about the timeframe. I have been a member since 2012 and have approximately 30,000 images. It's really sad

I have heard same from few others too, they are banning people with violations which they never did. The worst part is they stop responding even you send the evidences.
Why, in this case, I took the photograph myself and never submitted the work to the website that Shutterstock sent me a link to. I have the original work and raw files that I have kept and sent to Shutterstock. I did nothing wrong. Why does my account get suspended when I am the owner of the work? I am very upset to encounter this. :'(

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2024, 11:36 »
+1
Why, in this case, I took the photograph myself and never submitted the work to the website that Shutterstock sent me a link to. I have the original work and raw files that I have kept and sent to Shutterstock. I did nothing wrong. Why does my account get suspended when I am the owner of the work? I am very upset to encounter this. :'(

SS sent you a link to a different website, which has your image, in use in some way, and that's why they suspended your account? Is that another stock site? Seems odd that SS would care, so I'll guess, someone filed a DMCA against you, for your own image?

I know none of us can answer, but why would anyone do that? Seems unusual and there's no gain, unless they were just out to cause trouble for you.

If you have the RAW files and know the site, file a DMCA against that person!

« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2024, 12:54 »
0
Why, in this case, I took the photograph myself and never submitted the work to the website that Shutterstock sent me a link to. I have the original work and raw files that I have kept and sent to Shutterstock. I did nothing wrong. Why does my account get suspended when I am the owner of the work? I am very upset to encounter this. :'(

SS sent you a link to a different website, which has your image, in use in some way, and that's why they suspended your account? Is that another stock site? Seems odd that SS would care, so I'll guess, someone filed a DMCA against you, for your own image?

I know none of us can answer, but why would anyone do that? Seems unusual and there's no gain, unless they were just out to cause trouble for you.

If you have the RAW files and know the site, file a DMCA against that person!
Thank you for the advice. I believe this might be a case of someone trying to sabotage me, as you mentioned, because my images have become very popular. This situation highlights a potential loophole in the DMCA policy that affects genuine content creators. :'(

« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2024, 13:14 »
+2
but why would anyone do that? Seems unusual and there's no gain, unless they were just out to cause trouble for you.

I've seen Freepik contributors complain about that quite often. Is it real? I think it's probably true. All kind of tactics are used when a platform are crowded with all kind of people from around the world and there are a lot of loopholes to exploit. I'm afraid selling photos/drawings/videos are not so much about being professional anymore.

« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2024, 00:40 »
+4
Why, in this case, I took the photograph myself and never submitted the work to the website that Shutterstock sent me a link to. I have the original work and raw files that I have kept and sent to Shutterstock. I did nothing wrong. Why does my account get suspended when I am the owner of the work? I am very upset to encounter this. :'(

SS sent you a link to a different website, which has your image, in use in some way, and that's why they suspended your account? Is that another stock site? Seems odd that SS would care, so I'll guess, someone filed a DMCA against you, for your own image?

I know none of us can answer, but why would anyone do that? Seems unusual and there's no gain, unless they were just out to cause trouble for you.

If you have the RAW files and know the site, file a DMCA against that person!
Thank you for the advice. I believe this might be a case of someone trying to sabotage me, as you mentioned, because my images have become very popular. This situation highlights a potential loophole in the DMCA policy that affects genuine content creators. :'(

This is pure exploitations of the policy. SS needs to understand the situation by first inquiring with the accused person and if the person is unable to provide evidences then they should ban them.
They should put a hold on the portfolio instead of banning them in first place.

What kindda joke is to bann people and then don't reply.

« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2024, 01:28 »
+6
I banned SSTK as a customer and as a contributor since the "happy new year reset button" was implemented.
I hope you can work it out but if not maybe this could be a good solution for you too. all the best!
« Last Edit: June 16, 2024, 01:41 by Evaristo tenscadisto »

« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2024, 20:22 »
+7
Update: Shutterstock reinstated my account in early June, after roughly 6 weeks. I finally received a response after sending countless e-mails asking for an update, which were ignored. Literally around 30 different e-mails. They didn't count my evidence as proof, because it was of the same subject but taken on a different day. I scoured my archives and made sure to find the exact image I submitted along with multiple exposures of the same subject, and submitted screenshots as evidence. A couple of weeks later my account was reinstated.

However, my sales have plummeted since reinstatment, as the images that were removed from the catalog over the 6 weeks lost their high placement in the results. Also, at the time my account was suspended, I had a significant balance of unpaid earnings in my account. Those earnings were wiped from my account when it was activated again and have not been paid to me. There is no record of them in my account, and as far as I can tell they are gone. I was directed to e-mail the generic support dept at submit shutterstock for answers, but they have not responded after several attempts. This could be theft of income.

Additionally, they did not respond when I inquired about what Shutterstock did with the royalties from the fraudulent accounts. Does anyone doubt they pocketed the proceeds?

Also, when I asked about the evidence they had for suspending my account, they replied that other accounts had the same image in their portfolio, and those accounts had been terminated. However, in the initial suspension e-mail, a link to the same image I have on istockphoto was shown. It's not clear to me what the image on Istockphoto has to do with the suspension.


« Last Edit: June 28, 2024, 20:26 by Stillsands »


« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2024, 14:04 »
0
Update: Shutterstock reinstated my account in early June, after roughly 6 weeks. I finally received a response after sending countless e-mails asking for an update, which were ignored. Literally around 30 different e-mails. They didn't count my evidence as proof, because it was of the same subject but taken on a different day. I scoured my archives and made sure to find the exact image I submitted along with multiple exposures of the same subject, and submitted screenshots as evidence. A couple of weeks later my account was reinstated.

However, my sales have plummeted since reinstatment, as the images that were removed from the catalog over the 6 weeks lost their high placement in the results. Also, at the time my account was suspended, I had a significant balance of unpaid earnings in my account. Those earnings were wiped from my account when it was activated again and have not been paid to me. There is no record of them in my account, and as far as I can tell they are gone. I was directed to e-mail the generic support dept at submit shutterstock for answers, but they have not responded after several attempts. This could be theft of income.

Additionally, they did not respond when I inquired about what Shutterstock did with the royalties from the fraudulent accounts. Does anyone doubt they pocketed the proceeds?

Also, when I asked about the evidence they had for suspending my account, they replied that other accounts had the same image in their portfolio, and those accounts had been terminated. However, in the initial suspension e-mail, a link to the same image I have on istockphoto was shown. It's not clear to me what the image on Istockphoto has to do with the suspension.
Thank you for updating me on your account situation. I'm glad to hear your account has been reinstated. It's unfortunate about the drop in sales after the suspension, but hopefully things will improve soon. I hope you receive a response from support soon regarding your missing earnings.

« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2024, 20:28 »
0
Zebra007, has Shutterstock's IP department responded to you after you submitted proof of ownership?

« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2024, 07:15 »
0
Zebra007, has Shutterstock's IP department responded to you after you submitted proof of ownership?
"Thanks for reaching out to Shutterstock Contributor Care. We understand your request and we'll be more than happy to assist you!

We appreciate you have sent the proof of this image. We are going to send this case to our compliance team. They will review the proof and will take the last decision on this matter. As soon as they have an answer, they will reply with this information.

Thanks for your time and have a great day.

Regards"
-------------

Shutterstock Contributor Care Team

After submitting the raw file, I have been waiting for two weeks with no response. Could you please provide an update on the status?


 

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