4. Stop Microstock
For certain types of photography, microstock can be a good business model. Unfortunately, especially young, talented, but maybe not-yet-recognised photographers sign up with microstock agencies to make a few bucks on the side. If you don’t expect to make a 4-digit monthly income from your microstock activities, you may want to reconsider. Here is why:
With almost all microstock agencies, you lose control over who is licensing your photographs. That puts you into an awkward situation since you can’t know for sure if the use of your photograph is licensed or not.
Unfortunately, we cannot help with that either. We tried to get a list of licenses for one of our clients from Fotolia or at least let them confirm whether a certain use was licensed or not. Fotolia never even responded to us. Protect your photography!
Again: if you have thought of running a business through microstock, it can work! However, if you are just starting and you can afford it, resist the temptation of microstock and retain the value of your photographs for when you’re more recognized and can achieve higher prices.
And, by the way, this also includes the 500px marketplace.
Nevertheless, the best examples come from real life. It happened that one of our Clients while monitoring his portfolio on the Internet, found out that one of the platforms, a so-called bank of photos, was selling his videos without his permission. He contacted the platform immediately to request the removal of the content. However, despite the attempt, the content was still visible on the platform and in the offer. The lack of reaction from the infringing party was a green light for us to enforce our Client’s copyrights of his artistic works and fill the injunction.