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I'm not sure if I am allowed to speak about this here but it affects all of us, after all.

I just found this side with amazing HQ images and videos, all free for both personal and commercial use, not even attribution required.

Handpicked they say and I believe them. Look at all these "popular searches".
Most of these images are over Offset quality.


This phenomena is amplifying very fast, no wonder our sales are plummeting.

Your thoughts....??

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Its going to happen.

Everyone these days has a device with them that can put a lot of cameras to shame.  Just due to that more and more decent images are being taken.  A lot of people are happy to give away for "exposuer".

Stock is going to be more and more about getting the things and places that most people cant.  The common things available to everyone like flowers, food etc are likely to be free.

 

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13 minutes ago, Richard Whitcombe said:

Its going to happen.

Everyone these days has a device with them that can put a lot of cameras to shame.  Just due to that more and more decent images are being taken.  A lot of people are happy to give away for "exposuer".

Stock is going to be more and more about getting the things and places that most people cant.  The common things available to everyone like flowers, food etc are likely to be free.

 

I think so too. You are lucky to have such an unique portfolio, you don't have many competitors, I guess.

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When the lawsuits start flying from unreleased images, its going to get very messy very fast. These sites are manipulating photographers and buyers saying these images are free and wide open to gain massive web traffic and kill the paying market. Images with trademarks like disney, spalding or nike. Its crazy and suicidal. Thats why micro agencies are being super paranoid about copyright violations and releases for people and buildings right now. They see whats coming.
These free sites say they are trying to change or revolutionize the market. I think they are just trying to starve out and kill the existing agencies, so they can take over and start charging money themselves later.

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27 minutes ago, Jason Dudley said:

I think they are just trying to starve out and kill the existing agencies, so they can take over and start charging money themselves later.

That is possible, however, if there will be any lawsuits at all, the end users, those who used the images will pay for them, not the agencies. Not knowing the laws is not an excuse.

when I see what huge brands are their partners, I think there will not be a lawsuit ever.

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19 minutes ago, Jason Dudley said:

When the lawsuits start flying from unreleased images, its going to get very messy very fast. These sites are manipulating photographers and buyers saying these images are free and wide open to gain massive web traffic and kill the paying market. Images with trademarks like disney, spalding or nike. Its crazy and suicidal. Thats why micro agencies are being super paranoid about copyright violations and releases for people and buildings right now. They see whats coming.
These free sites say they are trying to change or revolutionize the market. I think they are just trying to starve out and kill the existing agencies, so they can take over and start charging money themselves later.

+100. Advertising and affiliate links for now, microstock all over again when their libraries reach a viable level. Seems like a brilliant strategy if they can attract enough contributors. I don't know how much direct impact they are having on sales just yet, but I think they definitely have the attention of all of the agencies. I'm seeing a lot more marketing cautioning buyers about the pitfalls of using these free sites.

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19 minutes ago, Jason Dudley said:

When the lawsuits start flying from unreleased images, its going to get very messy very fast. These sites are manipulating photographers and buyers saying these images are free and wide open to gain massive web traffic and kill the paying market. Images with trademarks like disney, spalding or nike. Its crazy and suicidal. Thats why micro agencies are being super paranoid about copyright violations and releases for people and buildings right now. They see whats coming.
These free sites say they are trying to change or revolutionize the market. I think they are just trying to starve out and kill the existing agencies, so they can take over and start charging money themselves later.

There will be some law suits for sure. However, I think that in the end it will be the legal system that would have to adjust to public pressure.  Things pertaining to copyright in imagery that are illegal today will become legal.  I envision the professions of photographer and model going away down the line.

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3 minutes ago, farbled said:

Their stuff is better than mine. Sigh...

Food images are different. If after looking at a few pages you go to the fridge, than nothing else matters. That's what is happening to me when I am looking at your port.

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14 minutes ago, farbled said:

So here is a question. If, as a stock shooter, you no longer made money at this (for whatever reason), would you upload to one of these sites?

Slightly different as I'm not a photographer so what I do is different, but - no. If the stock image market becomes no longer at all viable then I'll pull all the existing images and go back to only doing commissioned work. I would never make any of my images available on free sites.

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10 minutes ago, farbled said:

So here is a question. If, as a stock shooter, you no longer made money at this (for whatever reason), would you upload to one of these sites?

Now don't shoot me but from what I read on the web, there are advantages, many, like buyers can contact you directly, new contracts, contacts......what do I know.

I think it is too early to answer this question but it it possible that it will be too late when we will understand why photographers do this.

It will be very hard to budge professional photographers, that is understandable. Amateurs on the other hand, especially if they have a web site, will be more willing. I am just guessing.

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5 minutes ago, Algol said:

Slightly different as I'm not a photographer so what I do is different, but - no. If the stock image market becomes no longer at all viable then I'll pull all the existing images and go back to only doing commissioned work. I would never make any of my images available on free sites.

Well, you are a very talented illustrator but how can an ex stock photographer with no other contacts have commissioned work?

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Hmmm, unless I'm being dim, their search engine is is a bit rubbish, especially if you put in more than one search term.

I did searches for some of my best sellers and nothing came up - lots of irrelevant images.

Until you get to the "sponsored images" from AS at the bottom, where one of mine came up in first place ?

A lot of clichéd stock shots too - we need more backlit, artificial sunflare shots like we need more ducks :)                            

I think my port is safe for, ooooh, a good few weeks yet... 

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1 minute ago, Gary Perkin said:

Hmmm, unless I'm being dim, their search engine is is a bit rubbish, especially if you put in more than one search term.

I did searches for some of my best sellers and nothing came up - lots of irrelevant images.

Until you get to the "sponsored images" from AS at the bottom, where one of mine came up in first place ?

A lot of clichéd stock shots too - we need more backlit, artificial sunflare shots like we need more ducks :)                            

I think my port is safe for, ooooh, a good few weeks yet... 

I don't understand, you searched for your images on these free sites?

These are not thieves, photographers are willingly offering their images for free. Did you do that?

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36 minutes ago, farbled said:

So here is a question. If, as a stock shooter, you no longer made money at this (for whatever reason), would you upload to one of these sites?

What a great question. LOL, you're not considering it are you?

If I had a larger portfolio AND I was young enough to be thinking about positioning myself for the future in terms of payed commercial gigs etc. then I might consider it. I would also consider going it alone, using social media, YouTube etc. to build a following (everybody loves free right?) to see how it panned out in terms of self promotion and traffic to my own niche site. Ultimately though it would need to translate into something more than ego stroking.

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8 minutes ago, Foodio said:

I think he's referring to the AS affiliate links at the bottom of the pages. Yes, you read that right. Unbelievable.

Not just AS but Adobe is shown as an "U" partner on  some page and there is a extension for Google Chrome that loads "U" photos in new tabs.

 

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11 minutes ago, Whiteaster said:

Not just AS but Adobe is shown as an "U" partner on  some page and there is a extension for Google Chrome that loads "U" photos in new tabs.

 

Makes me wonder (a) if they audit their affiliates at all, (b) what are they thinking?

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2 minutes ago, Foodio said:

Makes me wonder (a) if they audit their affiliates at all, (b) what are they thinking?

I don't know such details but if you have time, search on U site and there is an entire page with the most famous brands, shown as clients/ affiliates.

I can't find the page right now.

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13 minutes ago, farbled said:

Adobe virtually owns the photo and graphics market for artists. Its all good for them. Win-win-win. Back in the day, the rumour was that they put their own software on pirate sites, just to ensure everyone used PS and the like starting out. Then when a pirate went legit as a business, they had to buy a license. :) Smart, smart company, and they can afford for stock to be a loss leader for them. All is costs them is bandwidth, and they gain new customers for one product or another sooner or later. How many of us here use LR or PS? 

It is possible, A is a bully and other software developers are too soft to push their stuff forwards. On the other hand, we, the users are too lazy to learn other software workflow.

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What I don't get is that on that site, the most viewed contributor is rawpixeldotcom with 1100+ photos. Rawpixeldotcom is one of (if not) SS largest contributors with 1 million+ images here. What do they do? Post outtakes from shoots on Pexel free of charge as some sort of advertising for themselves? Would seem weird to us but it is something one unsplash food photographer does with success (posts free photo's of good quality in order to get commissions).

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