[STOCKPHOTO] Comp question to photographers in general.

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chumpyrules

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Dec 22, 2006, 8:06:01 AM12/22/06
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First, interesting and good news. Today at AI Fred instituted changes
in the way the comps are managed somewhat by altering the size,
watermark placement, and access to the photographers to information
of their downloads.

This is great for all of you who are still there and although there
is still a long ways to go with needed changes at AI but it really
shows that if enough of you respond and demand change, all of you
benefit. It also shows that if contributors leave because needed
alterations are not taken care of, perhaps someone will take notice
and make the necessary changes.

I have though, a question regarding comps in general at this site or
any other. My question is why do photographers and ultimately
agencies, need to allow comps especially for RM images and
specifically images of people? With the recent revelation about
comps, I have had many photographers express great concern over RM
images of especially children and family members or images without a
model release that have been downloaded.

I wonder why a RM image is even allowed to be comped casually with
little or no information other than the email address and a name,
real or fake... It may happen at all agencies but why?

Most customers at AI and perhaps some other small agencies, are
casual customers. They do not know (or look at the license) that comp
stands for composite and feel it stands for complimentary. I know
because I often followed up on them and the customer just thought it
was a comp....like a free hamburger or drink given to them.

I have suggested in the past at AI that comps, and by that I mean
actual composites for layout purposes, be allowed for account
customers. These would be customers who have actual verifiable
information on file. Not all customers need a comp. Some commercial
and editorial customers do but for the most part not everyone,
especially the customers at AI.

While some agencies cater to a different type of traffic and
clientele, other agencies such as AI, have a much higher percent of
casual traffic and I personally do not see the need for this type of
traffic to receive the 10,000 per month comps downloaded, and
especially of RM images. With the type of clientele and traffic AI
brings from Google, better control in my opinion, is imperative.

Sites can be set up so that customers with accounts that have been
verified could have the ability to download a comp for a specific
purpose and it could then be followed up on by the agency or
photographer. This privilege though would not be available to every
Tom, Dick, and Harry who has an email address.

Even if these images have a watermark, some blogs and websites don't
care that just want an image and many of them ignore a watermark if
the image is what they want for free. Especially if it is being used
on a site of a sensitive nature. In this case they are not going for
class, if you know what I mean.

So I am curious as to why photographers allow their images and
especially RM images of people, to even be comped casually by AI or
any other site? Is there an upside to not controlling these images
better that I as a lay person who is not a photographers fails to see?

I am just curious as to how and why anyone would expect to control
their RM images with everyone giving them out, although marked, like
free hotdogs. Marketing is one thing but free samples because you
vist a site is another IMO.

Like I said, I worked in this business for a time but am not a
photographer and I am a bit boggled by this curious practice.

Cindy Voetsch

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Chuck Goodenough

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Dec 22, 2006, 11:49:47 AM12/22/06
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Hi Cindy.
Re: Comps.
The theory is that if a designer is allowed to use a "comp" for a
layout then the odds are better that they will get that image
approved for that campaign or use....and then come back to purchase.

I've seen comps as drawings done by the art director as well as
Xeroxes of photos out of magazines etc. These are used to convey the
concept to be approved.
Comps of copyrighted material should be paid for but rarely are.

Suggestions:
I wonder if low rez and watermarked comps should be available for a
low fee to download or not be available without a manual Okay via
phone confirmation first.

Chuck



>
>I am just curious as to how and why anyone would expect to control
>their RM images with everyone giving them out, although marked, like
>free hotdogs. Marketing is one thing but free samples because you
>vist a site is another IMO.
>
>Like I said, I worked in this business for a time but am not a
>photographer and I am a bit boggled by this curious practice.
>
> Cindy Voetsch

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David Barr

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Dec 22, 2006, 12:07:14 PM12/22/06
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>Hi Cindy.
>Re: Comps.
>The theory is that if a designer is allowed to use a "comp" for a
>layout then the odds are better that they will get that image
>approved for that campaign or use....and then come back to purchase.
>
>I've seen comps as drawings done by the art director as well as
>Xeroxes of photos out of magazines etc. These are used to convey the
>concept to be approved.
>Comps of copyrighted material should be paid for but rarely are.
>
>Suggestions:
>I wonder if low rez and watermarked comps should be available for a
>low fee to download or not be available without a manual Okay via
>phone confirmation first.
>
>Chuck
>

I frequently have a PDF file sent to me when a client is ordering an
image and the PDF file with the watermarked screen grab shows me
size and placement of how a picture is going to be used.

I do offer hi res files for comping - I am happy to give a high res
file because if a designer is going to manipulate a picture that they
want to include in a project having the high res file to work on
means they don't have to do the work on a low res version and then
recreate the same effect on a high res file after approval. Having
your high res file ready to go on approval means the designer has an
interest in seeing your picture be accepted for the project - they
will work that much harder to push the sale through.

David Barr
--
Photobar Agricultural Stock Photography
Simplify your Search <http://www.photobar.com>Photobar

<http://www.cama.org/>CAMA
<http://www.nama.org/>NAMA

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Jim Hargan

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Dec 22, 2006, 2:52:25 PM12/22/06
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My two cents, for what it's worth.

I assume that art directors and photo editors like comps for the same
reason that I print out a story I just wrote -- it doesn't look "real"
until it's printed.

You can't stop people from getting access to the images they see on the
screen. Their browser caches these images on their hard drives, and all
they need to know is how to open the cache with an image browser. They
can use these to compose a page. Or steal an image.

When you talk about "comping" (horrible word, as you point out), you are
actually talking about getting the user to agree to a composition usage
license, rather than just take the image out of their cache. This is
wholly in the photographer's interest, and wholly against the user's
interest. For the user, this removes the image from murky "fair use" law
and entangles them with an explicit, enforceable license with a possible
$100,000 per use penalty. And what do they get for it? They don't have
to drag and drop the image from their cache to another folder.

So it's a good thing to get users to digitally sign a formal agreement
before they use an image for composition. IMHO, you do this by making it
easier to get the image, and giving them a somewhat better copy. In
exchange for the small bump up in quality and convenience, you must
*make sure* that they have formally agreed that they have *no* usage
rights beyond an in-house sample. And you mark the image, so you can
track down scofflaws.

Jim Hargan
www.harganonline.com

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dietmar_scholtz

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Dec 22, 2006, 2:56:24 PM12/22/06
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Hi all out there,

first thing to say is that for some costumers the comps are really
needed for layouting. This is a fact of the business. On the other
hand no costumers exspects to get a full download without
registration, proofing his given data and also not without watermark.
This business will not work without comps, but this business also
doesn`t work without costumer registration and data proving.

I really closely checked again the agencys i am with over here in
europe and found out that on the marketplace i do the best sales the
costumers have a very difficult registration process, need to get a
special browser for searching images and so on. On the other hand
they have - once registered and all setup - a fantastic opportunity
to search and download.
I as a photographer get a really detailed monthly report which
costumer when downloaded what and i have the all-time-change to get
that given data checked if i would not trust my agent. In this case i
really must say i have NO, really NO problem with the handling of the
comps.

No need to mention that there are no ads of IStockPhoto.com placed on
the image-sites *hahaha*

Ok, the point is: Comps yes, but as save as possible. It is a
preview, not a give-away.

Thank you all and sorry for my english spelling ;)

Greetings from Germany
Dietmar Scholtz

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wrote:

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Ed Verkaik

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Dec 23, 2006, 12:17:33 PM12/23/06
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> Posted by: "Jim Hargan" li...@harganonline.com alkdjiwi

> You can't stop people from getting access to the images they see on the
> screen. Their browser caches these images on their hard drives, and all
> they need to know is how to open the cache with an image browser. They
> can use these to compose a page. Or steal an image.


I am getting a little tired of hearing this old line. You CAN do things to
stop image theft, IF it really matters to you. We just bought HTML Guardian
Enterprise, which has a number of protection schemes built in. Besides
disabling screen grabs, right clicks, and text copying, it breaks images up
into cryptically-named file bits so your cache becomes useless as a source
of usable material. There is no simple way to recombine the bits. Our site
will have iron-clad access prevention, and anyone who wants a watermarked
comp or a thumbnail will have to ask, and give us their company info.
Welcome to the 21st century, where your IP will only have value if you guard
access closely. To get an unwatermarked comp will require an invoice.

> So it's a good thing to get users to digitally sign a formal agreement
> before they use an image for composition. IMHO, you do this by making it
> easier to get the image, and giving them a somewhat better copy.

I agree with your intention but not your method. Everything comes down to
trust, and as far as I'm concerned you can't trust users to respect your IP
rights. They will have to prove they deserve to be trusted with our images!
The law provides no protection unless you are rich enough to hire lawyers to
fight court cases- an impractical solution to the vast majority of image
theft, And that only works when the abuser is within your jurisdiction. So
the only real protection is limiting access.

Anyone have the guts to join me in a race to the TOP for a change?

Ed Verkaik

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Joseph Pobereskin

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Dec 24, 2006, 9:58:34 AM12/24/06
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>Besides disabling screen grabs, right clicks, and text copying, it
breaks images up
>into cryptically-named file bits so your cache becomes useless as a
source
>of usable material. There is no simple way to recombine the bits.
Our site
>will have iron-clad access prevention, and anyone who wants a
watermarked

>comp or a thumbnail will have to ask.....


>
>Anyone have the guts to join me in a race to the TOP for a change?

Ed,

Please find attached all the images that displayed on your site.

Best regards,

Joe Pobereskin

--
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joseph@pobereskin.com
+1 (973) 762-1943

"Eat At Joe's"
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Jim Hargan

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Dec 24, 2006, 10:58:15 AM12/24/06
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Humm. I prefer to do business with people I trust, and to treat them as
trustworthy. And yes, this means that I won't do business with someone
whose honesty I suspect; it has saved me more than it has cost me.

As for casual stealing of web site thumbs, I think there is a point
where protecting yourself from minor thievery isn't worth the cost. HTML
Guardian Enterprise seems to be a case in point. I mean, they don't use
their own technology to protect their own website! I couldn't open their
FAQ page -- not very confidence building for a web site program peddler.
But I suspect that their solemn silence on the subject of searchability
is because a Guardianized page will remain invisible to Google as well
as to thieves. And what happens to alt tags when you Guardianize an
image? Search engines use alt tags very heavily.

I would also like to point out that disabling the right click will also
disable "Open in New Tab". This is the sort of interference with your
client's web experience that drives them from your site, into the far
more open arms of your competitors.

I am not happy with my current approach, so I have no recommendations of
my own. I am looking, however, at the following steps:
a. No images bigger than 400 pixels on the long dimensions;
b. Jpeg at 40
c. Copyright and contact info in IPTC and EXIF
d. Seganographic marking.
None of this should interfere with web access, searchability, or client
experience.


Jim Hargan

reimargaertner

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Dec 24, 2006, 10:57:49 AM12/24/06
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You may want to check that software, Ed. Most of your images on
your site are blank with a red X. That would certainly stop theft.
Not very enticing though.

Reimar Gaertner

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Sean Locke

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Dec 24, 2006, 10:58:12 AM12/24/06
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--- In STOCKPHOTO@yahoogroups.com, Joseph Pobereskin <joseph@...> wrote:
>
> >Besides disabling screen grabs, right clicks, and text copying, it
> breaks images up
> >into cryptically-named file bits so your cache becomes useless as a
> source
> >of usable material. There is no simple way to recombine the bits.
> Our site
> >will have iron-clad access prevention, and anyone who wants a
> watermarked
> >comp or a thumbnail will have to ask.....
> >
> >Anyone have the guts to join me in a race to the TOP for a change?
>
>
> Ed,
>
> Please find attached all the images that displayed on your site.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Joe Pobereskin
>
>
> --

I was going to try too, but the only site I found was:
http://www.skyartpro.com/
that didn't really seem to have anything besides icons and tiny
thumbs. Was there another site?

Sean L.

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Singh, Shangara

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Dec 24, 2006, 10:58:25 AM12/24/06
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On 23 Dec 2006, at 17:09, Ed Verkaik wrote:

> Besides disabling screen grabs,

This is something to die for. Can we see an example?

Just went to the developers site, first thing it did was to hide my
desktop by enlarging my browser window. You have to be dickhead to do
that. NEVER mess with the user's settings: ask first. Now I have to
resize my browser window or all new windows will open in full screen
mode! Dopes.

No examples of image protection that I can find on their site...

After a rummage, I found the following statement: HTML Guardian can
protect your entire website, with one exception - it can not fully
protect images.

Shangara.

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Shaughn Clements

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Dec 25, 2006, 11:02:09 AM12/25/06
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Jim

Showing my lack of computer knowledge but what is Seganographic
marking?

Shaughn

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Ed Verkaik

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Dec 25, 2006, 12:12:46 PM12/25/06
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I'm on digest so didn't see your replies until now,... but the site some of
you saw was our crappy old site which will be discontinued. The new ones are
still offline until testing is finished.

> Posted by: "Singh, Shangara" forum...@mpxstockimages.co.uk
photoshop_domain


> No examples of image protection that I can find on their site...

They don't need examples. The method is fully explained - each image is
broken up into small panes and given a new filename in the cache. The only
way to get a useable image would be to manually sort through the bits and
recombine them like a jigsaw puzzle. I think that's disincentive enough.

> After a rummage, I found the following statement: HTML Guardian can
> protect your entire website, with one exception - it can not fully
> protect images.

And that is partly because images *can* be recombined (with great effort)
and also because there may be ways to get a software screen grab to bypass
them. For that, we have watermarks.


> Posted by: "Jim Hargan" li...@harganonline.com alkdjiwi

> As for casual stealing of web site thumbs, I think there is a point
> where protecting yourself from minor thievery isn't worth the cost.

A fool's paradise... the increasing importance of web advertising combined
with the difficulty and expense of fighting infringement cases means
stealing thumbs will become both more common and more valuable to many
websites. Even your thumbs spread all over the web will be enough to
undermine your RM marketing efforts. A "low res" thumb is just fine for spot
web ads.

> But I suspect that their solemn silence on the subject of searchability
> is because a Guardianized page will remain invisible to Google as well

You really shouldn't speculate about something you know nothing about on a
public forum. Asking them by email would have gotten you an answer... that
the site is 100% indexed by Google with their software installed. They say
nothing because it is taken for granted.

> the sort of interference with your client's web experience that drives
them
> from your site, into the far more open arms of your competitors.

Acceptable losses. The only clients I want are those that respect what I
have and do, and see the value of my images as greater than their minor
inconveniences.

Ed Verkaik

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Jim Hargan

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Dec 25, 2006, 4:16:56 PM12/25/06
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Shaughn Clements wrote:
>
> Showing my lack of computer knowledge but what is Seganographic
> marking?
>

> Jim Hargan <lists@...> wrote:
>>
>> I am looking, however, at the following steps:
>> a. No images bigger than 400 pixels on the long dimensions;
>> b. Jpeg at 40
>> c. Copyright and contact info in IPTC and EXIF
>> d. Seganographic marking.

I meant "steganographic marking". David Riecks talked about this in his
Dec 21st posting. Software from Digimarc or Signum embeds a unique
digital signature hidden within the bits and bytes of your image, and
you can then pay them to search the web for images with this signature.
They call this "digital watermarking", but it is more properly a type of
cryptography involving hiding the message, called "steganography".

The signature cannot be removed directly, but it can be removed by
recompressing the jpeg image (or so I've been told). My thought is
this: if you start with a 400 x 280 pixel image that has a 40
compression, anyone who tries to remove its steganographic signature
through additional compressing will end up with a useless image. And
anyone who tries to use it without recompression will be caught. Legit
clients will never know it's there. I don't know enough about this to
know if this will work, but it sounds good.

Jim Hargan
Images of North Carolina
nc.HarganOnline.com
www.HarganOnline.com

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Jim Hargan

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Dec 25, 2006, 4:17:32 PM12/25/06
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Ed Verkaik wrote:
>
>> Posted by: "Jim Hargan" li...@harganonline.com alkdjiwi
>>But I suspect that their solemn silence on the subject of searchability
>>is because a Guardianized page will remain invisible to Google as well
>
> You really shouldn't speculate about something you know nothing about on a
> public forum. Asking them by email would have gotten you an answer... that
> the site is 100% indexed by Google with their software installed. They say
> nothing because it is taken for granted.

No, I shouldn't speculate without clearly labeling it as such -- which I
did, as your quotation shows.

It is not up to me, as a prospective customer, to dig out important
points that are missing from a sales pitch. If the salesperson wants me
to consider a point, he should include it.

Major points missing from the Guardian site's sales pitch:
- No example of an image
- No mention of search (and Google isn't the only engine)
- Doesn't use its own technology

(BTW, I have similar complaints about thin sales pitches from other
product web sites, most recently ACDSee 9 and Delorme XMap 5. In all of
these cases, I make no extraordinary effort to fill in the blanks they
left in their pitch. I simply move on.)

Jim Hargan
Images of North Carolina
nc.HarganOnline.com
www.HarganOnline.com

Sean Locke

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Dec 26, 2006, 8:57:07 AM12/26/06
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--- In STOCKPHOTO@yahoogroups.com, Jim Hargan <lists@...> wrote:
>

I believe you can also just resize the image.

Sean L.



>
> Jim Hargan
> Images of North Carolina
> nc.HarganOnline.com
> www.HarganOnline.com
>

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Brian Yarvin

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Dec 27, 2006, 5:10:24 AM12/27/06
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> You CAN do things to stop image theft, IF it really matters to you. We
> just bought HTML Guardian Enterprise, which has a number of protection
> schemes built in. Besides disabling screen grabs, right clicks, and
> text copying, it breaks images up into cryptically-named file bits so
> your cache becomes useless as a source of usable material.

Ed:

Thank you for this great reccomendation. Guardian Enterprise sounds
like it's just what I'm looking for too.

It always saddens me when people just resign themselves to failure
instead of seeking out solutions or offering alternatives.

Happy holidays and best of luck in the new year.

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Rubens Abboud

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Dec 27, 2006, 7:21:38 AM12/27/06