I came across a Term I had not seen before.
Digital Share Cropping.
I found it in a post http://www.mediacrazed.com/digital-sharecropping/
From the post…”Basically what this means is that networks like Facebook give you all the tools to create all sorts of content for free while they get rich!
As Sonia Simone of Copyblogger put it, “Digital sharecropping is building your business on someone else’s land.”” (Reading her whole article is worth the time as well)
This is great…it explains my love/hate relationship with Facebook. Their focus is mainly on why you should have your own business website instead of relying on Facebook.
To me it also explains photographers relationships to the big Micro-stock stores, such as iStock and Shutter Stock. I make money from these sites. Not a lot, but enough to keep me interested and submitting.
They make a whole lot of money re-licening images from little producers like me, as well as some big image factories. The problem is ( from my point of view), these are corporations, so their main purpose in life is to produce income for their share holders. They really don’t care much about the little producers… there are many of us, and few of them ( Shutter Stock has +30% ? of the market).
I have been at this for a short time, but history shows how these Micro-stock stores will change the terms and agreements without much notice, and always in their favour. What can the small producer do about it… take it, or leave it.
Fair Trade Images
I have set up my own Micro-stock store to try and get some safety, control and hopefully stablity in the sale of my images.
I have been working with the fledgling Symbiostock network to allow the linking of my stie to other image producers ( photographer, Illustrators etc). In one of the discussion threads of the Micro Stock Group Forum someone coined the phrase Fair Trade Images.
Fair Trade images…. I really like this phrase and the images it invokes about what I am trying to achieve. I want to provide a good image, and a fair price, and after expenses make a fair amount for my self.
Fair Trade Images…. time to start rebranding my site.