StockXpert have caused a furore over the past week with changes they planned to make to their image sub licencing options, and despite the title of this post I'm sure they did not do it for the media attention!

There is nothing to panic about, after a lot of pressure from the microstock contributor community they have modified their planned changes.

Background: As I've written previously stockxpert is owned by jupiterimages who are a major player in the stock photography industry. Like getty acquiring istockphoto, stockxpert and their free site were acquired a few years back by Jupiter images.

The complaints flooded in after stockxpert announced that they planned to stop allowing photographers to opt-out of sub licensing images for subscription sales (previously photographers could opt out of this arrangement if they did not want to allow their photos to be offered via subscription services for 30c per download.)

Jupiter are launching a couple of new services one of which is called " plus" (more about / juputer images) I'm guessing that they wanted to advertise plus as "all the photos from plus all the fresh new images from" (and they could not do this if lots of photographers were opted out of subscription sales).

Stockxpert claim that many photographers are not aware of their subscription options and that they feel the default option should be 'opted-in', I find that a little hard to believe. Most of the major microstock sites offer some sort of enhanced licensing weather it be for resale products or for subscription sales and the default is always opted-out. Regardless of the default options, this something that all photographers should be aware of as they may be missing out on some types of image sales because they are not opted in. Personally I think the default should be opted out, but having said that I choose to opt in to almost all but 'unlimited' extended license and subscription options.

It's obvious (and slightly insulting) why they have chosen to allow you to opt out of all subscription services instead of giving you the option to opt out of stockxpert and other Jupiter sites separately (unless this is to be implemented - there is no option as today), or implement an istock like system where individual images can be opted in or out.

I, for one will be remain opted into subscription sales for now but watching the results closely. Some say that 30c for unlimited use is daylight robbery, I call it microstock.

I think that the way SX/Jupiter sent a site message (not an email) out on the 29th stating that as of 30th you would no longer be able to opt out could have been better handled to say the least! having worked for a multinational I can imagine the conversations that must have gone on round the meeting table, It's the only place on earth such a decision could have been conceived.

annoncement by stockxpert


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