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Atomazul

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About Atomazul

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    Toronto
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  1. Atomazul

    California Flag, Trademarked or not?

    I hear ya, and it was after doing my own research and not finding any trademark/copyright restrictions I came to these forums to see if anyone had any insight into why specifically Shutterstock unilaterally believes there are restrictions.
  2. Atomazul

    California Flag, Trademarked or not?

    What you say makes sense. But a lack of reference to confirm or deny such a copyright exists, combined with the abundant commercial use that many companies and every other stock company recognizes brings me to the reasonable assumption that Shutterstock got this one wrong. It's an easily fixable mistake though.
  3. Atomazul

    California Flag, Trademarked or not?

    I realize that. Although, if there was a trademark problem, why wouldn't they go back and remove pre-existing content? I just cited the presence of those clips' availability among many reasons to show that there seems to be a misunderstanding here. My point being, any clause that was created was likely based off a misinterpreted law regarding the seal of California, not the flag. If you don't want to question such things and don't want to contribute to broadening the possibilities for us to submit our content accurately, that's fine. But "it is what it is" is not the defeatist philosophy I choose to live by and certainly does not helpfully address this situation. We are partners in this business and should have the ability to ask fair questions. It's either trademarked or it isn't trademarked. Not a complex issue. This forum is where we work these things out, right?
  4. Atomazul

    California Flag, Trademarked or not?

    There are existing California Flag videos for sale commercially in the Shutterstock marketplace, I won't post links but a quick search and unchecking editorial will reveal them. If there is such a problem with an imaginary potential trademark restriction, it's obviously not such a big deal that SS has chosen to leave up the existing clips. The flag is not listed among Shutterstock's known restricted trademark/copyright subjects. All other leading stock companies accept the California flag commercially. The flag is plastered on any printable souvenir item you can imagine, no commercial restrictions whatsoever. Companies have made their complete existence about selling clothing with the flag as the design. There isn't any trademark issue preventing them from doing so. The only rule/law that has been cited through the research that I have done is actually pertaining to the "seal of California", I believe someone at Shutterstock mistakenly interpreted that text as pertaining to the flag. They are indeed two wholly different things. I realize Shutterstock can accept or deny whatever they want, it's their company. But if the reason is based on a mistake, then there's no reason for them not to take 20 seconds and lift the unnecessary restriction and pass the word on to their reviewers.
  5. Atomazul

    California Flag, Trademarked or not?

    Thanks for the link to the blog, that is indeed a good place to start with these kinds of questions. However, the California flag is not included on that list.
  6. Atomazul

    California Flag, Trademarked or not?

    From my understanding, one cannot use the flag to misrepresent themselves as being an official state agency or officially endorsed by the state of California. Which really is more about the buyer's responsibility to not abuse California law, just like a buyer can't buy an image of any model and claim them to be something grossly offensive or illegal. There doesn't appear to be any reason someone can't slap the California flag on a t-shirt and sell it, or add the image to a piece of art and sell it, or include a waving flag in their film/TV show, as far as any actual government rules I've read are concerned. It appears to be an overly cautious wide berth around a misunderstood or non-existent rule. Hopefully someone from Shutterstock can elaborate.
  7. I keep getting rejections for submitted commercial videos featuring the California State Flag, for "potentially" being a trademark issue. I'm not finding many useful resources out there to verify or deny this, but what I have read is that that flag is not protected by any trademarks or copyrights. USA, Canadian, Mexican flags all get accepted commercially without issue, but the reviewers seem to think California is different for some reason. Anyone have any insight on this?
  8. Atomazul

    Thief

    I for one appreciate when these piece of crap criminals get exposed publicly in the forums, as well as the opportunity to check if my content is among their stolen portfolio. Shutterstock support lately has been slow, ineffective and unreliable, so causing a bit of a scene is sometimes the only way to get anything done in a timely matter. Every penny these jerks earn from our stolen content is a penny we lose due to lost sales we'll never get back, while Shutterstock gets their 70%+ either way. So expediency and thoroughness in exposure is crucial. Thanks for the post, Cat Design!
  9. Atomazul

    Question about model release

    Submitted a new image with my previously unacceptable model release, clearly altered poorly to somewhat conform to their new standards. Assumed I would be flagged and a Shutterstock staff would send me a message with a stern warning, thus forcing them to stop ignoring me and start a dialog so I can get my concerns addressed finally. It backfired, as it was inexplicably accepted. So I guess the message there is that when Shutterstock ignores us, I guess our only course of action is to ignore them. That's not the way I'd run a business, but that's how they want it. Moving on.
  10. Atomazul

    Question about model release

    After waiting the weekend with no response, another anonymous email this morning from Shutterstock staff with a cut/paste generic answer without addressing any of my specific questions. One staff member with a clear understanding of your own rules and 2 minutes of your time is all I ask. I've been with Shutterstock for 6+ years and never seen this much confusion and resistance to help over what should be a simple issue. Can someone PLEASE address my specific questions?!?!?? Do any fellow contributors have a direct email for any named staff that I may attempt to get someone to to help? submit@shutterstock seems to just be outsourced to people who have little to no understanding of Shutterstock and possibly don't have a grasp of the English language, as evident by the way they only cut/paste irrelevant, generic and incorrect answers.
  11. Atomazul

    Question about model release

    After asking for further clarification about the confusion of staff and requirements for dates through support, this is what I get as a second response: "Hi Adam, Thank you for contacting Shutterstock Contributor Care. Please note, the images that were approved with the model release were approved in error and needs to be deleted. Please delete the images and resubmit your images with the correct model release. Should you need any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thanks, Shutterstock Contributor Care Team" 1. They still provide no name for reference, like Pond5 and other reputable companies do in support emails. 2. They still haven't informed me what correct date format after their incorrect guidance on the first email, they clearly did not take the 20 seconds to read the email I sent. 3. They expect me to delete nearly 100 images and videos that have been online up to 5 years, some of my very best sellers, earning high rank through several search results over years and earning myself and Shutterstock thousands of dollars. And then spend hours to "resubmit" every one?? All this because either the rules changed without notice and/or the reviewers made the same mistake nearly 100 times? And not even offering the option of just submitting a new release with whatever new rules (still not clear) and having it attached to the the existing images? I have no problem complying with the new requirements moving forward, as soon as Shutterstock agrees with itself on those requirements. But deleting existing content and resubmitting from scratch just for the sake of the attached model release is asinine. Kate, somebody from Shutterstock, anybody, can someone please step in and tell me what it is you want and maybe offer a solution that doesn't involve gutting my profile, destroying my earnings and search ranks and spending tons of valuable time doing something wholly unnecessary???? Please!?!?
  12. Atomazul

    Question about model release

    Thanks for the reply, Kate. There's still some confusion on your guys side though, my dates were "alpha-numeric" and I was told that was no longer valid. However, the "new article" you linked to before states "Dates must be specific, not a range (e.g. 15 March 2017 not March - May 2017 or “various dates”)" Mine were specific, and alpha-numeric, just as this article suggests they should be. So you guys are definitely not on the same page about this. Also, if I date in your suggested format above such as 07/04/2017 on my model release, how do you know if am I talking about April or July? Here in Canada that means April 7th, in the US it would mean July 4th. Alpha-numeric is clear and absolute to any English speaker from anywhere. Maybe that is something that should be discussed among you guys and a clear decision added to that new requirements list. And again, am I the only one that think it's fairly insane to have any need to have a "witness" to a contract between someone and themself? Who's being protected from who? Can someone explain the logical reason for it? "Is the photographer and the model the same person? Yes = A witness obviously is not necessary since the model is the photographer. No = A witness is necessary, because there is a logical reason for it." Doesn't that make sense? I realize the need to model release, myself included, for Shutterstocks protection, but the "witness" aspect makes absolutely zero sense in self-shoot cases.
  13. Atomazul

    Question about model release

    Have had a model release for myself up for 5+ years, with 70+ images and videos accepted based on that release. Without any explanation, I started getting rejections like the one above. Instead of notifying us about what specifically has changed about the requirements, a long list of "possible" reasons is provided with the rejections. Virtually useless without specifics. So instead of shooting content and keywording, I write support, and I'm told that "alpha-numeric" dates are now suddenly "unacceptable", which I cannot find listed anywhere under this "new article" Kate linked to above. And this mystery support person, who neglected to provide a name themselves, also neglected to inform me of whatever the new "correct" format is required. So for one, you guys might want to communicate with each other a bit and get on the same page with these requirements. And two, assuming the mystery support person means I should have fully numeric dates (or possibly fully alpha dates, since they declined to tell me which) that they don't realize how dates that read like 07-04-17 have different meanings depending on where you're from. In the USA, 07-04-17 reads July 4, 2017. In Canada, 07-04-17 reads April 7, 2017. Whereas July 4, 2017 is unmistakable everywhere. So what is it you want? Additionally, I was told that the "witness" date needs to match the other dates on the form. Of course, needing a "witness" to sign onto what's essentially a contract between a photographer and model who are the same person is ridiculous to begin with. But apparently if I shoot on July 1 and fill out my part of the form on July 1, and if my wife doesn't get a chance to sign her name and date til the next day and if I don't ask her to lie, the release will be rejected, because obviously there's some sort of collusion there, right? So here I wait for clarification of lackluster guidance on fixing a ridiculous thing that didn't need fixing. Sure would rather be working on creating and selling content than playing this stupid game.
  14. Atomazul

    Graffiti in Images

    Allow me to clarify. Urban landscape. I hear ya Mr. Rinder, and appreciate your responses. Interesting about the Cuba shots, I found Havana to be about the most photogenic city I've ever been to and was able to capture what turned out to be a few great sellers, I imagine your shots are incredible. And I completely agree with your points on the reviewing here these days. But as a 7 year contributor myself, I must give in to the compulsion to make an occasional suggestion on "flaws" of this nature, however insignificant my opinion may be. Havana is good example of plenty of incidental wall art that could render many great saleable shots DOA, my town Toronto has a lot as well. "Shoot something else" sure does brush aside a whole lot of potentially great images of urban landscapes and severely handicaps our ability to capture and sell many interesting subjects. An image could have corporate logos, sports franchise logos, children, sick and elderly, homeless folks, celebrities, politicians, sculpture art, architectural art, be taken with a drone clearly breaking every drone law on the books, dozens of human being's actual faces that have neither been given prior warning nor their consent, and all this is cool with Shutterstock (or anywhere else for that matter) as long as you just add "editorial" to the item. But a 15 year old vandalizes a wall that appears in the bottom corner of a frame of a submitted shot, and of all things, that is what's unacceptable under just about any circumstances. Odd place to draw a firm line. It is what it is, but it blows my mind.
  15. Atomazul

    Graffiti in Images

    The rule in what seems to be it's intended form is understandable and obviously Shutterstock's choice to make and enforce, and I don't disagree with it. I'm talking about the execution of the rule in the review process. Everything you said is all fine and good, but whether it's a vandal or Banksy that created it, a small amount of incidental graffiti that is not the primary or secondary focus of a scene should not deem an entire otherwise fine editorial landscape unsaleable 100% of the time. The execution of this rule has been on overkill, that's my point. Just want any thoughtful Shutterstock staff forum readers to consider the suggestion.
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