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Author Topic: Extended License : What am I missing ?  (Read 7552 times)

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« on: February 25, 2008, 17:27 »
Dear All,

I looked at the forum and did an extensive search but with no success. We are constantly asked by image buyers to create an Extended License option. They would like to have the option to purchase more usage rights.

Being a real midstock marketplace, our prices are, as expected, much higher than microstock. An extended license just increases the price, but that has not turned off anyone.

As we were doing more research, I noticed that most existing site offer an option to Opt In or not into their Extended License program.

My question to the Group is : Why would a contributor decide  NOT to Opt in  the possibility to be part of the Extended License option ? and thus make more money.

What am I missing ? Who has opted out and why ?


Paul Melcher

« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 17:44 »
As is mostly the case, it has to do with money.

When a person wants to purchase an extended license, it means that they want to resell the image on an item (like a t-shirt, mouse pad, coffee mug, etc) or that they want to increase usage (for web templates or publications with large subscription bases).

Many people feel that this sort of usage should command a much higher price.

For example, say that a company buys an image to use on a web templates and then sells the template for $100.  They then sell 100 templates and make $10,000.  Is it fair that the artist only received $25?

Or take another example, say that a company produces bedsheets and buys an image of flowers that they print on the sheets.  They then sell the sheet set for $100 and sell 1,000s of sets.  Is it fair that the artist only makes a small amount in comparison to what the company made?

Of course, the other side of the argument is that we are already selling our images royalty free and somebody could use an image over and over and we still only get $0.30 - $5.00.

It just depends where you draw the line.

I would suggest allowing an opt-in option (as opposed to an opt-in option).  This way, those that are interested could opt-in if they are interested.

« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 18:57 »
I agree with Geopappas this must be the reason, although it's a bit incoherent with the microstock concept.  I think that, once you jump into this system, you can only loose by not having ELs.  And in fact there is no guarantee someone will use your image only within the restrictions of the regular license, so not selling at EL only keep you from a decent buyer who is paying to do the right thing.

Another reason someone may prefer to opt-out is the price of EL.  Is Zymmetrical thinking of offering it at a price proportional to the price set by the photographer?


« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2008, 19:48 »
I would suggest allowing an opt-in option (as opposed to an opt-in option).  This way, those that are interested could opt-in if they are interested.
I think he means it's better to offer an opt-in option, rather than a default opt-in and optional opt-out.

I'm generally a fan of more options. Why not let people opt-in/opt-out? It's just one more variable in your contributor data table, and a little more programming.

More importantly, you should offer more and different extended licenses. For instance at iStock the extended licenses are for unlimited usages.  However, capturing consumer surplus using price discrimination should be a obvious thing to the people setting prices and deciding sales options. Instead of offering one unlimited reproduction license there should be the option to buy, say an extra 500,000 prints, at a time. Or a per-seat license, instead of an unlimited user multi-seat license like iStock has (this one actually made me think about opting out). Whoever the genius at iStock that though a fixed flat rate system was a good idea should have a negative bonus this year. Simplicity should not be valued over the bottom line.

« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2008, 01:58 »
The problem with an opt-in is some people will miss it and then find out later that they are opted out.  I would stick with opting everyone in and offering the opt out.

Some sites seem to do much better with EL's than others.  I get a few EL's each month, Fotolia do much better than other sites for me.  I would look at why they do well.  StockXpert and DT haven't sold a any EL's for me.  I find this strange, as I have lots of sales on these sites.

« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2008, 10:30 »
Great feedback !!

Thanks all. But what I am still missing is the comment of one or a few contributors that have decided to opt out and why ?

« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2008, 10:36 »
Because they don't want to see their work mass reproduced for a paltry 25 bucks.  Like someone mentioned... your daisy appearing on bed sheets that  are sold at Costco and Walmart for several million dollars, yet the photographer only gets the 25 bucks.

My biggest fear is that they will risk this anyway, proper license or not.

« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2008, 11:42 »

but isn't it better to license an image for $25 than nothing at all. If they do want that image of a Daisy for bedsheets, they will find one, and it will not be yours.

is that ok with you ?

« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2008, 11:56 »
Me?  I've opted into all EL's.  I don't necessarily think they are fair.  I am happy when the proper license is actually purchased because I am quite certain that in most cases it's not. 

And to be honest, I walked into a Walmart over Christmas and found one of my own photos on a fleece blanket.  It had recently sold EL at SS for $20 and at Istock for $12 and change.  It was exciting but it didn't really sit right with me.   It was mass produced in China and distributed from Montreal.  Hopefully it was one of those two licenses, but sadder still is the fact that some poor factory worker in China likely only made a couple pennies per blanket...  Walmart and the factory owners are the only ones benefitting from this deal.

I think the ELs should be highly restricted and if the end product is a success they must purchase another for second printings, etc.  None of this multi-seats, or unlimited copies.

Oh, and free sample for the photographer ;D

« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2008, 12:51 »
but isn't it better to license an image for $25 than nothing at all. If they do want that image of a Daisy for bedsheets, they will find one, and it will not be yours.

is that ok with you ?

Are you here to listen to people's opinions or to try and change their opinions (because it truly doesn't seem like your listening)?

« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2008, 12:54 »

It's a question. Not an order. No need to be aggressive.

Have you opted out of EL ?


« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2008, 13:04 »
You asked a question and you got an answer.

But then that answer didn't seem to be good enough for you, so we had to point it out to you again.

But then you still weren't satisfied, so now you are trying to convince us that it is better to opt-in.

It hardly seems like you are really looking for anyone's opinion, but rather extol your own.

« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2008, 14:03 »

Please. I am not here to argue. I am asking a question and would like some constructive answers that could help everyone in the forum.

Why would anyone choose to opt out of an EL option ?


« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2008, 17:12 »
Why would anyone choose to opt out of an EL option ?

The risk of "not making a US$25 sale" is a choice.  The risk of having an image "abused", being used outside its regular license, is inherent to having them online.

I don't sell at SS because I don't agree with their model, although people make a lot of money there. It's my choice.

I haven't yet opt-ed out any EL model, although the terms in LO make me dubious about this choice.  I think however that FT has the best model, as we choose prices according to our level, and these prices are reasonable.  ELs for US$25 indeed seem too little for me, if resale items are included.  BigStock has an interesting model, with prices according to use and quantity.



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