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Anna Shutterstock

Updates to our Similar Content Policy

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In order to improve the overall quality of the Shutterstock image collection, we are updating our policy for review of similar content. We avoid accepting Similar Content because it creates a poor user experience for customers and contributors by having large volumes of nearly identical images or clips. Browsing through large volumes of repetitive search results is time-consuming, and prevents customers from purchasing relevant content that fits their needs.

We are outlining tighter guidelines for what we consider to be similar content and this policy will now also apply to footage submissions. You can review the details of the policy changes and check out visual examples in the Contributor Support article Why was my content rejected for Similar Content?  This policy will go into effect starting on August 12, 2019.

As a result of these stricter guidelines, some of you may encounter rejections of some types of content that was previously accepted. Please take the time to review explanations and examples provided in the support article and contact us if you have additional questions.

And as always, thanks for your continued support and participation in our marketplace!

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1 hour ago, Anna Shutterstock said:

Browsing through large volumes of repetitive search results is time-consuming, and prevents customers from purchasing relevant content that fits their needs.

 

The question is why it wasn't obvious before? And what will happen to the tons of similar content that are already in the base?

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Good.

 

But how is it going to work in practice?  Is it going to just search that specific upload batch for similars or is it going to go through the entire user account?

Is it cross user (which might stop the huge numbers of stolen images being reuploaded) ?

 

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9 minutes ago, T R A V E L A R I U M said:

Great news! But explain to me these 2 examples in support article please.

1. All examples have the same background. Different objects describing the meaning of the photo - Acceptable

shutterstock_749710501-copy.thumb.jpg.4eb213bc69459f5c0fa2ea2a4ca8ad06.jpg

2. All examples have the same background. Different objects describing the meaning of the photo - Not Acceptable

iconoverlays.thumb.jpg.7655c542c0377da3938281115f4bbf4f.jpg

What is the difference?

+1. I guess, buyer can't create one of lower row images by himself, if he have one or two of them. That's what must be the main criteria, I think. Also, bottom row represents different concepts, while top row... I'm not so sure about it.

Good news, overall. But there will be too many questions.

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So if this is enforced rigorously we can see accepted images drop from 150,000,000 to below, probably, 75,000,000 as some of the new stuff accepted is pages and pages and pages of the same stuff but different colours, angle change of 1 degree, etc

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7 hours ago, Anna Shutterstock said:

we are updating our policy for review of similar content.

Should this be news ..???

I think you have had that policy for years but not enforced it. And look at the results ...!

Many contributors have for years complained about pages up and pages down with similars and absolutely NOTHING has been done about it. A disgrace - like all the thieves. Will we be banned in the future for pointing out this kind of similarities like you are trying to put a lid on the huge problem with stolen images?

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51 minutes ago, Phil Lowe said:

I guess that debate is forever settled, then.

I think not. But can only hope ...

I can't see how they can enforce the 'new' policy when you look at their lack of interest and indifference in tha past years.

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Quote

We Recommend

  • Choose quality over quantity when deciding what images or clips to submit.

I'm on board with that.  Please spread the word to your reviewers, who seem to have a problem recognizing quality when they see it.  

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6 hours ago, oleschwander said:

Should this be news ..???

I think you have had that policy for years but not enforced it. And look at the results ...!

Many contributors have for years complained about pages up and pages down with similars and absolutely NOTHING has been done about it. A disgrace - like all the thieves. Will we be banned in the future for pointing out this kind of similarities like you are trying to put a lid on the huge problem with stolen images?

The correct way to report any issues involving copyright or ownership is through a message to compliance@shutterstock.com. There is no punitive action taken with regards to reporting concerns like this, publicly or otherwise. Please review the forum TOS for any questions as to what is or is not acceptable to post. Happy to help with any clarification!

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1 hour ago, jeffde said:

The correct way to report any issues involving copyright or ownership is through a message to compliance@shutterstock.com. There is no punitive action taken with regards to reporting concerns like this, publicly or otherwise. Please review the forum TOS for any questions as to what is or is not acceptable to post. Happy to help with any clarification!

One clarification, does this apply literally as written:

 

 

Quote

 

When you post on the Forum, you agree to follow the Forums Terms of Service and to:

  • Refrain from using the forum to call out other contributors’ work in a negative light. Constructive criticism is welcome, when contributors have asked for feedback.

 

  •  

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13 minutes ago, jean-francois.me said:

One clarification, does this apply literally as written:

 

 

  •  

Yes, keeping in mind that this is one of the most frequently ignored rules and thus one of the toughest to keep up with. 

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Maybe these similar images (like a man pointing to different objects) should be grouped into bundles. I agree that average user can't create such pictures, but I also agree that it does not make sense to allow flooding in the directory. Today average computer science student can create a program/script and generate 1000s of such images by just varying backgrounds and objects.

Just as an idea: maybe group similar results from one author as one thumbnail when returning a search?

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35 minutes ago, Musviz said:

Maybe these similar images (like a man pointing to different objects) should be grouped into bundles. I agree that average user can't create such pictures, but I also agree that it does not make sense to allow flooding in the directory. Today average computer science student can create a program/script and generate 1000s of such images by just varying backgrounds and objects.

Just as an idea: maybe group similar results from one author as one thumbnail when returning a search?

Agree... there is a market for them but it would be better to group together similars if they appear in the search together. If they're correctly keyworded there shouldn't be many appear at the same time. It would also be easier to apply/enforce rather than relying on all reviewers to sing from the same book at the same time. Similars policy has been applied as intended above already (to me anyway) but not to others who can submit 100's of thousands of the same without issue.

Edit

Also, what about 4k footage. Complex concept motion graphics clips cannot be recreated or text added by the client due to software/hardware requirements and expertise. Clarification is needed for motion graphics otherwise this will remove content from buyers with no alternative option for them 

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Imagine that a clothing store refuses to accept shirts of different colors, but the same model. Because they are "similar."

Moreover, they refuse to accept different sizes of shirts. Because they are "too obviously similar."

A buyer is then forced to buy a shirt that does not fit well on them, and at the same time, color that is incompatible with the rest of the wardrobe.

How can this be considered a care about the user experience?

I support Shutterstock’s desire to clear spam from search results. But maybe you should not identify the possibility of choice with spam?

"Browsing large volumes of nearly identical images or clips" is clearly a problem of the search algorithm. And not a necessary consequence of wealth of choice (sometimes related to similarity).

 

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Excellent ! Love this,some photographers was took shoots 500 or more with only ONE object.

But i have questions still after i read the link about smilar contents:

1.What about 360 degree shoot of the same product that most web sites using online shopping and wanting 360 degree several shoots.

2.And what about "how make or do it yourself" style shoots ? sometimes needed 4 or 5 shoots for example how cook!! of course them will not same frame but same subject.So we will show them on  "1" image like collage?

Thank you

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23 hours ago, Richard Whitcombe said:

Good.

 

But how is it going to work in practice?  Is it going to just search that specific upload batch for similars or is it going to go through the entire user account?

Is it cross user (which might stop the huge numbers of stolen images being reuploaded) ?

 

And spam too.I am wondering.

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27 minutes ago, mandritoiu said:

but they shouldn't decide on quality matters.

Yes, they should and were (and some still are) before the acceptance standards were changed.  If a buyer shouldn't have to wade through dozens of pages of similars, they shouldn't have to wade through dozens of pages of dreck, either.

23 hours ago, Phil Lowe said:

We Recommend

  • Choose quality over quantity when deciding what images or clips to submit.

Clearly, someone above and beyond a contributor should (and does) have the say in what goes into the database.  

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42 minutes ago, mandritoiu said:

Reviewers can clearly decide to reject similars, but they shouldn't decide on quality matters.

They always did once. Focus issues, noise issues, composition issues, colour balance issues, commercial value, amongst others were all up for judgement before images were accepted at SS. 

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20 hours ago, oleskalashnik said:

Anna, you did not say anything about removal a bad similar images that already accepted.  Is this action planned?

We do take down similars from portfolios on a case-by-case basis. We audit the collection regularly now, but this stricter policy will enable us to prevent new overly similar content from coming in.

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7 minutes ago, mandritoiu said:

reviewers who...have insufficient understanding of those needs and their fast paced evolution.

Technical issues are not subject to the winds of change or the whims of buyers. If a contributor can't get a subject in focus, properly lit and exposed, and with little or no noise and straight horizon, then that image shouldn't be in the database, period.

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