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Submitted on
October 18, 2012


20 (who?)
I don't know if discussing this here will help at all but I do hope at least some stock artists see this.

Ever since I started doing book covers for authors, I have had to consider one more thing to look for in the stock rules, available for commercial use or not. Some stock providers say it is OK, some say you have to ask them first and others don't say anything. In cases of background stock, there is always an option to look for other stock images. When it comes to models, the characters on the covers have to be very precise so finding the right model is very difficult. So once I find the right one, I try to work it with the model as much as I can. In my one year of doing this, I have had several instances where the stock artists never got back to me or did that very late (a month or more). Now you don't expect the client to wait for that long for you so these replies are really no good after so long. I have also had an instance with one of the biggest and best stock providers on dA where I wrote to her at least 10 times both on her dA and facebook and got a couple of replies saying I'll get back to you but she never did.

If you don't allow commercial usage, you can always respond with a no so the artist can start looking elsewhere and not hang around hoping you'll say yes 'soon'. And I'm not even talking about people not being active on dA, I am talking about those who show some or a lot of activity on their accounts. This kind of behavior leads to people not taking their rules seriously or in my case avoiding their stock even for personal work. I really hope dA includes some feature where stock images have a straight no or a straight yes mentioning whatever the stock providers conditions are for commercial use.

If stock providers are reading this, it will be a great help to the entire community of photo-manipulation if they keep a few things in mind:

1. Mention whether you do or don't allow commercial use of your work.
2. If it is 'ask before using' then respond as soon as you can.
3. Mention your terms instead of asking the artist. If you want payment, say it. I like how straightforward stock providers like jasonaaronbaca are about the terms. No confusing the artist, straight $20 and other conditions.
4. Check the artist's gallery before responding if you are skeptical about how your image is going to be used. The quality of their work will give you an idea of what your image is getting into.
5. Mention the fastest way to get in touch with you in your rules. If you check your email more often than your dA notes, mention that.
6. Thanks to Dani-Owergoor for mentioning this. The same thing applies to use outside dA as well. Either mention it is fine to display artwork on FB, personal websites with so and so places or if it is 'ask before uploading' then respond in a timely manner.

I really hope this helps both stock providers and other artists to grow in their fields and also to be a loving community.
  • Mood: Hope
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CathleenTarawhiti Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Professional Photographer
I've made mine very simple. Each stock image is free for personal use, or $20 (USD) for commercial use no matter what you are selling it as. Easy :)
la-chatte-noire Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I hated vague or crazy rules when I was doing manips, that's why my own stock rules cover everything I can think of. Good article, I came here from ~Amliel
TheDarkRayne Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional General Artist
That's brilliant! Glad to see it reaching more stock artists. :hug:
mirengraphics Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
My stock is totally free. If you use it for commercial use I'd like a brief note, because I like to see what artists are doing with my stuff. The interesting thing is technically, once an 'unrestricted' stock photo is used commercially, the artist who did the commercial work pretty much owns the copyright on future use of said stock. It probably wouldn't come to it, but on a bestselling artwork, the commercial artist could quite reasonably sue to prevent any further use of said stock...on the grounds that it infringes on the artist's 'concept'. Its a slippery slope, I know, but lately the copyright trolls with their TDN's have become quite obnoxious. Anyway, until someone drops a TDN on me, my photos are free to use!!!
TheDarkRayne Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
I just saw your stock and it is great. Definitely going to use some in near future.

Not sure how the law works here but doesn't the original image belong to you in any case unless it is modified to an extent in a photomanipulation or so?
mirengraphics Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
For the sake of argument, the photo is mine. A commercial calendar producer sells his/her calendar and the image is so popular it goes viral. I think to myself, hmmmm. A few bucks to be made here. I do my own calendar and it too does very well. Producer One issues a TDN to my ISP for Copyright infringement, and gets me blacklisted on Google et al. Legally, I have every right to produce my calendar, but PROVING the art is mine is expensive (could involve international legal systems), and that would be the only way to get Google to put you back in the good grace. Mind you, my photos are meta-tagged and I make sure I keep my cameras ect...but this issue has happened to others. I doubt I would concern myself about this too much. I tend to be generous and willing to turn the other cheek, but for some, this could be a tough row.
Hjoranna Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
Two simple solutions. You can look for unrestricted stock, there are several groups and providers here on DA. Or you can just buy stock from a site that offers clear terms so there will be no confusion.
TheDarkRayne Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
We're talking about a situation when we run out of both the options. There isn't a lot of liberty to use just any (esp. people) stock since it has to be very precise. And once you find something that is exactly what you were looking for, it sucks to not be able to use it due to a simple lack of communication.
Amliel Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your journal entry was pretty interesting and informative - I'll go and revise my stock rules as well. So be sure you changed something ;)

I do manips from time to time and just lately I requested a pic without a watermark. The artist said it would be fine and all but I never got the mail with the pic. Finally I chose another stock to finish my work but this was really annoying. So I pretty understand your "anger".

But I also have to agree with most stockers here: There are times you get a lot of requests from artists here and you answer them in the best way you can. But in the end in my case I can count on my two hands (!!!) how my artists gave me a last feedback if there work really released or what happened to it. And honestly, after some time this list of open requests really makes you tired. So I don't think you can blame stockers who just don't take requests serious any more becuase of this. We put a lot of afford in our photos and even if not all want to see money I think it's just respectful to tell the stock artist even if there will be no commercial use in the end because of I don't know what for reasons.

And there is one thing which may also contributes to this "laziness" to answer. I browse my name from time to time here on dA and - I don't know what was changed lately - but a few days ago I found more than 30 (!!!) artworks using my stock I was never told about. The oldest one being six years old. And those works where not only from artists you think they would never release a book cover or something but also early work from great artists with big audience and lots of commercial use. Honestly, if I see how careless people sometimes treat stock rules I don't wonder why we have this discussion at all. For a stocker it's the greatest payment to see the beautyful works their stocks are used for. And such a bad suprise is more than disencouraging - it makes you want to stop.
I know most people who answered here take stock rules seriously but I think artists should think about following stock rules as well. If stockers gets good feedback they will be more encouraged to answer and makes things possible.

Thank you Rayne for your time to mention this I hope it will make people - both stockers and artists think about a better way to communicate.
TheDarkRayne Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
I can understand your point. As it is frustrating for artists to not hear from stock artists, it must be the same other way around. As you said, both stockers and artists should think about a better way to communicate.
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