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Boycott Fotolia as a Stock Agency

It is relatively rare for me to get annoyed with the antics of stock agencies, but Fotolia has gone too far, and, like a lot more stock contributors, I have decided to boycott them and remove my images from their library. Why, you may ask!

Fotolia was always one of those annoying sites that I stuck with because the earnings – $50 to $80 a month for me – were pretty regular. They were annoying because the upload process required selection of two separate categories from what seemed like thousands, they had a selection for country, they would never remember the settings for the price for an extended license and often defaulted to the wrong choice in terms of the license. On top of that, they would sometimes reject 50% of my images. As a result, I had 2900 images online versus around 5900 on other sites. It makes me wonder why I stuck with them, to be honest!

Earlier in the year, they launched (relatively separately as a new company and brand) Dollar Photo Club. All images were for sale at $1 – regardless of size or print run. We, as contributors would get 29c. The image use never expired – if you bought 10 credits for $10, you could use them whenever you wanted. Unlike other sites with requirements for Enhanced or Extended licenses for large print runs – which gives us $28 on Shutterstock for instance – there was no restriction. To make matters worse, they automatically included everyone’s images in the new product and so started with 28M images. A group of Russian stock photographers (Fotolia is more Europe focused) saw interviews with the CEO where it was clear that he was going to make a run to gain significant market share by pricing images at rock bottom – hoping that Shutterstock, iStock and the others wouldn’t follow. As a result, Fotolia would gain a lot of revenue at the expense of those bigger agencies, but the biggest losers – yes, you guessed it – the contributors who would lose those on-demand and enhanced licenses that make all the difference to monthly earnings. There was no way to opt out for contributors…. Last week, a Fotolia boycott site was established with the aim of getting major improvements in the product, but as each layer of this product is unpeeled, many photographers and illustrators have just decided to ditch the company altogether and make a stand for reasonable compensation for our work.

As a result of pressure, Fotolia introduced a way to remove your images from Dollar Photo Club. You do it as follows:

Go to your Contributor page.
Under My Account, select My Profile (https://us.fotolia.com/Member/Modify).
Select Contributor Parameters (https://us.fotolia.com/Member/Modify/Contributor).
Find Sell my files on DPC and click Modify.

Then check that where you ticked actually says, “do not share on DPC”. It’s one of those sneaky buttons that if you press it again it will revert to share. Finally save your settings.

That is the first step that most people have done. Others, including myself, are going through our portfolios deleting images and thinking about closing our accounts to show at least this one agency that these tactics of making a run for the bargain basement with our work is not something we are going to tolerate.

So, my link to Fotolia is gone from the sidebar, my images are no longer in Dollar Photo Club. I suggest you do the same.

11 comments to Boycott Fotolia as a Stock Agency

  • Good article. I’ve deleted some of my fotolia images today and delete more later. It’s good to see other contributor do the same.

  • Tim

    I’ve deleted my participation in the DPC, I do wonder if though if we are so few complaining that it won’t make much difference. It needs one of the really big players to speak up to make a big difference

  • Thanks Tim and Julie. There is a massively long thread on the Microstock Group forum where many large contributors are reporting that they are withdrawing their images from DPC and some also deleting images from Fotolia. Many of these are in the thousands and tens of thousands of images. So I think the word is getting out to the larger image contributors as well.

    Steve

  • I would recommend you Stocksubmitter (www.stocksubmitter.com) it’s normally for submitting but you can delete very easy your files in Fotolia, I deleted 2500 files from Fotolia with pretty much one-click. The program itself is free, deleting and keywording is also free only submitting does cost a reasonable price, I personally love it. But it’s worth downloading even just for deleting. It’s Windows-only btw.

  • I did try this yesterday but I have a Comodo firewall and it seemed to be interacting badly with that. I ought to retry it – although I may just ask Fotolia to close my account instead.

  • Asking for deletion of your account is probably the easiest way to get rid of them. I left about 30% from portfolio to watch the market first hand and of course optioned out from DPC for my remaining portfolio, this is the crucial part every contributor should option out from DPC so it’s great you spread the word already, thank you!

  • Thanks for the news! I just opted out and I have already begun to delete my photos from Fotolia portfolio too.
    I wrote an article in Italian on my blog to spread the idea of boycott them (http://luisafumi.com/blog/microstock-fotolia-bye-bye/)
    Luisa

  • Kevin Hellon

    I too have activated the removal from DPC and will no longer upload any photos. I dont have too many photos as I too suffered a very high rejection rate and entirely agree with your comments about uploading. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • […] previous post recommended that you remove your images from the Dollar Photo Club because this $1 for any size image for almost any use will destroy the market for single use images […]

  • Thanks for all your articles and your book – so helpful. I have got rid of Dollar Photo club – none of my images are there. Followed your instructions about modifying my Profile – thanks again. I have only 65 or so on Fotolia – and will sort these out in the next few weeks. Always follow the news in the Microstock Group Forum Newsletter – and appreciate the remarks of people like yourself who have a living to make in Stock Photography ( as I have, but only on a very small scale as yet) – for their time and insights. Best wishes.

  • joe thailand

    fotolia reviewer use thumb feet think instead their head.

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