The House Judiciary Committee has passed the amended “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act” (H.R. 1695) by an overwhelming majority of 27-1. Key provisions of the act makes the Copyright Office an independent agency under the Legislative Branch with no connection to the Library of Congress and creates a Small Claims Court System for pursuing infringements.
A writer for the Boston Globe asked me to discuss the role, if any, that stock photos plays in fake news. “Can or should the stock photo industry do anything to curb the use of its photos on fake news sites.” Stock photography is not “Fake.” This is not to say that there aren’t some photos that are designed to be outright distortions of the truth, but the vast majority of stock photos are taken with the hope of showing an actual event or something that illustrates real life.
may have decided the loading up of their collection with “Similar Content” may have gotten out of hand and may not be benefiting customers. They have recently changed their editing strategy and issued a notice to contributors
saying, “Submitting subtle variations of the same image can be considered content spamming and is not permitted. We continuously evaluate our collection and remove images that do not meet our policies.”
Given the declines in stock photo prices, it may be time for the industry to look for a new image pricing strategy. Yesterday I made an argument
for why the industry needs to price based on performance, or demand for certain images. There also needs to be a price floor for certain images that are in greater demand. Price should have little, if anything, to do with whether the image is exclusive or non-exclusive.
A professional stock photographer has pointed out to me that a long held tactic to price a premium brand of anything is that a higher price indicates higher quality. He argued this is why some photographers insist on selling their images as Rights Managed. They believe they are producing a higher quality product. They often go to a great deal of effort and expense to produce their images. As a result, they feel they are not only justified in charging more, but that it is the only way they can recover their production costs.
, specialists in the licensing and management of high-value media archives, has partnered with Profiles Television
, creator of The Amazing Race, to commercialize its enormous archive of stunning stock footage from the world-renowned TV series. Hundreds of hours of pristine footage covering more than 85 countries is now exclusively available for licensing by creative professionals via the RightSmith content licensing portal
I’ve been doing a little more thinking about some of the implication of the story
I wrote on Monday. As an American I had assumed that image creators who only earn a few thousand a year from their creative work couldn’t possibly be supporting themselves from the images or illustration they produce. Therefore, I had concluded that they must be amateurs. That may not be the case.
Stock photo sellers and producers should read the New York Times story “How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/learning/questions-for-how-the-internet-is-saving-culture-not-killing-it.html?_r=0
) The story makes the argument that increasingly Internet users are willing to pay for certain content and no longer expecting that everything they find on the Internet should be free.
, has announced the implementation of a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) system that uses sophisticated algorithms to screen submitted images. The machine learning tool is designed to examine how human editors at Dreamstime review images, and then adjust its parameters to best match the editors' various criteria
, Inc. has announced that it has signed an exclusive global distribution deal with World Surf League (WSL) to market and license imagery from WSL’s Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour Events. The deal also includes WSL’s extensive archive, showcasing thousands of pivotal moments from competitive surfing history.
There is a lot of noise about the demand for photos that are “natural,” “candid” and more “realistic shots of real people” rather than the carefully arranged, high production value photos that have been best sellers in the stock photo industry for many years.
Thanks to information supplied by microstock.top
concerning Shutterstock contributors and information from Nationmaster.com
regarding the average 2014 monthly salary from 162 countries, it is possible to get a better understanding of why more than 60% of the images in the Shutterstock collection are provided by Eastern European and Asian creators.
has announced the availability of a curated collection of images within Amazon's newly launched Posters & Prints program. A dedicated Shutterstock storefront on Amazon will give customers access to thousands of images that they can select to have printed and delivered - all without leaving Amazon.
The Mega Agency, a provider of news, sports and entertainment content, has announced the launch of a revolutionary payment system that allows content providers to ‘cash-out’ on their media sales the moment content has been licensed to select customers.
Dissolve has provided its contributors with information about a special marketing campaign - Dissolve for a Cause - it has launched. Under this program, agencies and studios working on pro bono projects may apply to receive up to $2,500 in royalty-free footage or photography.
In the next few months I intend spend a lot of time examining the question, “Can the stock photo industry raise prices on at least some of the images it offers?
” The possible answers to that question are either YES, NO or MAYBE.
Can the stock photo industry survive if it is only a business of amateur suppliers? It is certainly on road to becoming that business. Gross sale rates have declined so much that most photographers who need revenue from the images they produce to support themselves and their business can no longer justify continued production. (Check out stories here
Getty’s ESP system for supplying information about their sales to iStock contributors certainly offers much more information than was previously available. Unfortunately, this information may point to an overpayments problem. It all revolves around cancelled sales.
, one of the world's foremost nature photographers, is looking to hire a DIGITAL ASSET MANAGER. See this article for core responsibilities and contact information
In the article “Understanding Editorial At Shutterstock
” I reported on a London photographer had to find uses of his images and report the uses to Shutterstock in order to be paid. Shutterstock provided a clarification pointing out that they use the same procedures as other editorial agencies to track usages of their images.
It is worth looking at recent Shutterstock
statistics. In the conference call yesterday Shutterstock said they had over 190,000 contributors at the end of 2016. In 2016 Shutterstock paid out about $138.400,000 to contributors. If we divide the total number of images in the collection (116,200,000) into contributor royalties on average contributors received $1.19 per-image in the collection for the full year.
Recently, I was contacted by a Business School student who is developing an app that “will be used by internet publication firms, as well amateur and professional photographers.” He asked if I would provide some insight into the industry, specifically on topics such as photographer compensation, and the market share of "real photo’s" vs. stock photos. Here’s my response.
Back in February 2016 microstock.top
began using archive.org/web/ to search thousands of creator portfolio pages at www.shutterstock.com
and record the data. This is not hacking, fishing, use of an API or insider information. These pages are accessible to everyone.
has reported Q4 2016 revenue of $130.2 million and a total of $494.3 million in revenue for all of 2016. The full year revenue was up about 16% from $425.1 million in 2015. There were a total of 167.9 million downloads for the year up from 147.2 million in 2015. While revenue grew 16% the collection size grew 63% to 116.2 million up from 71.4 million at the end of 2015.
An editorial photographer in London pointed out to me today that he has to notify Shutterstock when his pictures are used in order to get paid. Evidently Shutterstock doesn’t know that it is standard practice of many publications in the UK not to notify the agency
when they use an image. Instead, they wait for the agency or the photographer to call them or send them an invoice.