Friday, January 21, 2011

Fotolia Cuts Contributor's Commission

Like IStockPhotoFotolia will be cutting contributor's commission by about 20% next week. To be frank, I feel that contributor's are being bullied and no longer a precious to stock agencies. There are too many contributors. And when supply is more than demand, stock agency will take the opportunity to exploit the contributor's effort for their own benefits. This is wrong, but it is a reality.

According to Fotolia, the increment for their own royalty is a must to expand their marketing coverage to country like China. If what they speak is the truth, then I must say this is for everyone's good. I do not mind if Fotolia will take my 20% royalty to market more. Afterall, without marketing, a business will not work. It is OK to get a little less on the royalty if they are able to increase the volume of downloads.

But how true is the above statement? My 20% commissions may not be fully gone into development and marketing. 15% of my cut may go into the upper management's salary so that they can go for a vacation on a cruise to see Alaskan's melting ice. We are the minority. We work hard, but we don't get our share back, and we are not able to see the truth. There is no transparency in this.

The only solution for all these problem is to have a revolution. Is like how Google suddenly takeover the search industry, and how Apple iPhone change the communication devices. We love Google and Apple more and more each days, and that has never happen in microstock industry. I wish that one day, a revolution will come and takeover the whole industry to a new height where it will benefit everyone (contributors, the agency, and buyers). Adobe should create a microstock site. But they don't have Steve Job or Bill Gates.

Revolution must come. Now the only savior is Shutterstock. If it offers exclusivity, I will definitely join them. I believe 90% of the independent contributors will join Shutterstock if it offers exclusivity and increase the pricing. Shutterstock earning is about 30-100 times more than other agencies. With move like this, competitors such as Fotolia and Dreamstime will really go down.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to write a DMCA

DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In case you found someone took your vector and sell it at certain agency, you can write a DMCA to the agency to request for the removal of the infringed item. Recently, someone took my artwork, modified it, and sell it at a specific agency. I have contacted the Support about it, but they have requested me to write them a DMCA. Below is a sample on how to write a DMCA.

My copyrighted work: [state your URL item here] 
The infinging item: [state the URL of the item that used your work]  
This is a copyright for the following reasons:
1. [state your reason on why/how you think he steals your work]
2. [state your reason on why/how you think he steals your work]
3. [state your reason on why/how you think he steals your work]
My info:
Name: [your name]
Address: [your full address]
Tel: [your telephone number]
Email: [your email address]
I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegelly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
I swear, under penalty or perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
[your signature here]

Once you have write the above, print it out, and then put your signature on it. After that, scan it into an image file (JPEG) and send it to agency by email.

I hope the above will help those in need of a DMCA sample.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adobe and Stock Vectors

There are many new companies who fail to become a prominent stock agencies. There are not without reasons why they fail. They do not have technology, marketing, commitment, and people. And to cut it short, they simply don't have the money to do it.

Apple is great. Steve Job is one in a billion. Just look at Apple, they are not just a computer or mobile manufacturers. They make money from various type of businesses. They sell music, games, and softwares as well. They don't develop games and software applications themselves, they let people like us to do it. They take royalties from iPhone App Stores and Mac App Stores. This is exactly the same scenario as what we have at ShutterstockIStockPhotoFotoliaDreamstime, and GraphicRiver.

Now why Adobe don't want to do this type of business? Why Adobe don't want to become a stock agencies for vector and photo? They have the money and already have the brand name. If Adobe cannot do it, no one else can. The market for stock vectors and agencies is still very big. Simply ask any of your friends who are a graphic designers about Shutterstock and IStockPhoto, they probably have not heard about them. This is not a saturated market.

Adobe is the most well known graphic technology in the world. I suggest Adobe to have a store for contributors like us to submit our vectors and photos there. Is just easy for them to market this. Can you imagine for every Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshops that we are using will have a small button on top of the tool bar that says "Sell this artwork?".

I truly believe Adobe can takeover the whole market of stock agencies easily. The world is changing. If Adobe just want to brand themselves as a Software Companies forever, then I must say they are retro.

Adobe, please become our stock agencies.

I have write an enhancement request to Adobe at to suggest them to become a stock agencies for us. Below is how it sounds like.

Hello Adobe, 
I have a suggestion. Can you please become a stock agency like,, or
I have write a blog entry about this at to request Adobe to become a Stock Agency.
Hope you will consider my suggestion.

If you want Adobe to become a stock agency, please write a suggestion to them as well :)


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

DepositPhotos Review

I felt that I need to maximize my gain with the vectors I have created in the past 8 months. One will say it is obvious that you should upload all your vectors to every agencies you can find to maximize your gain. However, I must say this is NOT TRUE.

There are about 30-40 agencies out there, and the one that are truly making money are ShutterstockIStockPhotoFotoliaDreamstime, and GraphicRiver. You might be thinking that it is good enough to make $5 dollar a month from unpopular stock agencies, but to be honest, you might not be making a single dollar at all. Yes, the performance is that bad.

I have recently uploaded my 200 vectors to DepositPhotos and I hope it can at least makes $10.00/month. I I do not have high hope on DepositPhotos but I must try to see if I am lucky enough to make it through. I will let you guys know my earning on DepositPhotos 6 months later.

For those who have not joined DepositPhotos, let me give you a bit of review on the features inside. The upload features is good and it did not demand you for too many information. Reviewing process is super fast (less than an hour), and  I have a 100% acceptance rate with it. The contributor page contains a lot of useful features and it allows you to see the number of views, and other important statistic.

Although the site is not that active compared to the top 4 agencies, but I must say the viewing rate of my file is still in the acceptable range. I have a few views for every files that I have uploaded in just a few days time. This is a sign of life. And best of all, I already have 5 downloads in less than a week. 5 downloads in a few days is consider OK, but my target is to have at least $10.00 a month (that is equivalent to 34 download a month) . If it does not have such result in 6 months time, I must say this stock agency is a failure and is not worth uploading to.

Apart from having nice features for the contributors, DepositPhotos also have very good features for buyers. The search engine is good because it provides enough filtering features. I believe buyers have a good time browsing files and finding the things they want. For example, a buyer can filter by Best Match, Downloads, Newest, Oldest, Most Popular, and many more. You see, the more filtering features we have, the higher possibilities of our files being viewed.

The one thing I really dislike about DepositPhotos is the web design. It is rather ugly and it doesn't look professional at all. You feel like you are in a Web2.0 wannabe website. Just look at the gradient bar on top. That gradient bar color is a sign of noobish. Either the designer do not have good taste, or the CEO feels that such gradient looks interesting. I dare to comment on this because I am a web designer myself. Clients that are not internet savvy will always force me to use that kind of gradient and they will tell me it is the color for Web2.0 website.

Ugly gradient.

All and all, I do hope DepositPhotos will emerge to become a top agency in the future. If not, I hope it can at least make a payout every 2-3 months. I know DepositPhotos has been doing a lot of marketing recently, but it might all go down to drain if the website still looks like that. The performances and features are awesome, but the web design is suck.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Resolutions

So, we have finally step into 2011. I like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year and a better days ahead in everything. My resolutions for 2011 are simple. I will...

1. Take care of my health.
2. Making baby.
3. Be a little more hardworking and creative in microstock. I hope to reach an income of $4000 a month by the end of 2011.
4. Continue blogging and to have more readers.
5. Enjoy my life a little more than usual.

Yes, only 5 simple things I want to achieve in 2011. What about you? Have you got a resolution yet?