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Member Since 19 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Jan 23 2015 09:08 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: New Website to share and feedback sought

23 January 2015 - 09:10 AM

Simon, Can you tell me how to see embedded metadata in a photo online?  How do you check for that?  I am working on loading up a new set with this in it. I thought I had this turned on to be included, but apparently it was not.  


Thanks - Pam 


Sure. I use this site to view what meta data an image file carries:-




Its a great tool. Your site may decide to strip meta data - heaven only knows why sites do this for any legitimate reason - but it can happen.

In Topic: New Website to share and feedback sought

22 January 2015 - 06:34 AM

It was only a small sample, but none of the images have any embedded meta data?


Why is this important? It can be used by others to help find you when your images walk from your site.

In Topic: Flickr selling Creative Commons photos?

03 December 2014 - 12:08 PM

Yeah, but it will probably come as no surprise to find my views less than positive...


As far as I can tell, Flickr are using the Creative Commons CC-ND-CA-BY material for commercial gain via print sales, with no revenue share being handed back to the creator. That's the nutshell...here's a longer view.


Creative Commons has at its heart a series of tags that allow photographers (amongst others) certain use rights without asking permission first. So by tagging the image CC-BY-NC-ND means anyone can use an image as long as:-


BY - there is a byline or credit. 

NC - non-commercial.

ND - no derivatives


The credit bit is basically an assertion of moral rights. Generally these need to be asserted, and I charge double for anyone not crediting my work, but nevertheless BY makes it clear. Non-commercial is interesting as I charge for pretty much every single use with only prints (tangible objects/physical goods) generally being given away...bloggers, twitter users, corporations, charities - basically the rest of the world who functions with money - pays. Many who think their use is free fail to remember they are paid a salary, their employer has overheads with everything from the cost of the building to the tea/coffee fund etc, yet there is 'no budget for images' whilst at the same time issuing shareholder dividends...I digress...Finally the no derivatives means no on may alter the work as it stands.


As I understand it (feel free to chip in if you use CC... been a long time since I looked at it...) you cannot revoke a CC license. Its a one-way street and once published as such, there is no going back. So what I hear you cry? Well how about you find the Anti-Nazi/Nazi League using your images under CC and as your moral values are not aligned yet your name is associated you want it removed and them to stop using the image? No matter how much you object and find it objectionable there is nothing you can do.


So Flickr are using the work of their members and quite within the terms. The members are wondering why...and I am wondering why no one didn't see this coming? It is, after all, the new way of making money; free content and no sharing of the dosh. And no, there is nothing anyone can do - which is pretty much why I chose to give CC a very wide berth a long time ago.


Hope this helps?

In Topic: Facebook thoughts

29 November 2014 - 01:01 AM

In light of a couple of things, I'm going to reopen the debate.


Firstly, if you weren't giving away your work on FB now (and I will still argue you are - see below) then you may well be soon:-




And secondly, this conversation may well be relevant:-


1st phone call;

Me; I have just shot an image that would make a great DPS* for ****** magazine - can I send you a low res?

Editor; Sure, please do.


Follow-up call;

Me; Hi - what did you think of the image?

Editor; Great, yep...except the art director says he's seen it on Facebook...so we won't be using it.

Me; I'm offering FSBR** and can categorically state its never been posted by me on Facebook...can you ask them to check? I would love to know who posted it if its there...

Mufflled exchange off the phone while editor asks art chap to look...

Editor; Ah no, its not yours - similar subject but useless as a DPS...gutter goes right through the subject...we will run yours...can you get us the high res?....and how much?


In this world of everything is free, how can a commercial publication make money by showing its readers something they can see for free elsewhere?


Like I said, if giving your work away works for you then by all means carry on as its your property - at least until you upload it to FB and then share commercial rights with them, with no money in exchange. In a perverse way it means those who give stuff away undermine the market, but in certain cases allow others who don't to exploit a unique content gap and fill it at a higher rate.


Each to their own I guess.


*Double page spread - one image across two pages

**FSBR - First British Serial Rights

In Topic: Facebook thoughts

14 November 2014 - 01:57 AM



​Since when does posting on social media amount to "giving work away?" I don't think I did.

The terms of social media use give broad use rights to the publisher and others. This can mean simple sharing amongst others or for full-blown commercial advertising. That's part of the deal. You get to showcase your work and in exchange give away very broad rights indeed. 




I should point out that if your costs of obtaining a great image are exceeding that image's earning potential in the market...... That is also capitalism.

Well yes, capitalism has indeed. Funny thing is I have never seen other photographers as direct competition really...and actively welcome competition as it raises all of our collective abilities...But my main point is those who espouse capitalism and derive significant profits or benefits have decided to put the cost of overheads for things like website content at zero. Or to put it another way those who publish my work have unilaterally set the fee at precisely nothing without asking me, even when there is a huge spoiler of a watermark running through the image that visibly asserts my rights and my phone number is embedded in the meta data...its just ignored. I really am at a loss to understand this...equally I am at a loss to understand why anyone would pay for stuff they can just help themselves to when there are no apparent or obvious consequences - that is until I show up and ask them to do the decent thing and pay only to be told "we don't pay for images..." and then the process of asserting ones rights commences...


This is not capitalism, its theft. This is not a definition of a functioning market between willing buyer and seller. This is what I mean by not being able to compete with free.




I am also not suggesting that anyone should allow people to use images for free. However art and picture editors will increasingly look at social media as a source for obtaining images as supposed to the "old way" of sourcing images which was contacting people that they knew. Perhaps reductions in image sales volumes is due to people not engaging with this process? 


Always made more sales by knowing who would most likely use the image before I created it, rather than using a scattergun approach. But even when I used social media to push my work, the volume of infringements did not slow down, nor did anyone make contact asking to use before publication. It became apparent that I was adding more material to a conveyer belt that eventually ended in infringing publication.




What I am suggesting is that we should use Facebook and other media creatively as advertising outlets for our images. 

It can be a great tool. Its just not worked for me. I'm taking a very long view on the image market and right now I am actively choosing not to participate in the electronic world. That does not mean I have stopped creating, nor does it mean I have stopped selling my work, its just not online. 




Your court case raised around £1400. I have been lucky enough to have made considerably more than that on single image sales where the purchasers originally found the images on Facebook! And I didn't need to go to court! Sure there is some unlicensed use, but the licensed use more than recompenses me for this.

Couple of points;


Luck is like hope - its great when an unforeseen sale happens but I don't see hope/luck as good strategy for business. When creating an image I usually have an end publication or use in mind. It is, if you like, stacking the odds of a successful outcome rather than relying on the chance of someone finding the image.



As for the court case, don't look at the headline figure. The judge "only" awarded £350 for two months online use - or £175 per month. The rest was further damages for ignoring a watermark and first british serial rights. The balance was costs. I was happy with the original valuation for what was quite a low traffic site and for the additional damages. I would have rather sold the rights, but that didn't happen and once published the infringer took away any chance of selling an exclusive license.


And whilst selling an image for a lot more than the court case achieved might seem like a good deal, without knowing the use rights that were sold its pretty much impossible to make any form of sensible comparison. Like I said, don't always take the headline figure at face value.


And sometimes its worth going to court to assert your rights, to stand up for fellow creators and help set guidelines as to why ignoring a watermark is a bad thing. I really wish other creators would stand up for themselves and in doing so help others, but I do recognise its a personal decision.


Finally I will add this; I have been known to refuse very lucrative use rights because the intended purpose of publication was not in keeping with my own values, or was misrepresentative of the subject in question. This right - the right to say "no, not at any price" is often overlooked by the masses - until something goes wrong that is. But by then its too late...right now I have an uncredited image doing the rounds, acting as a non-attributed advert you might say. Of the 3000 or so infringing uses there are political agendas, religious bias and other disagreeable uses I would not allow at any price. And all of this from an image someone else decided to share on my behalf...