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The text below was sent today by Getty Images to iStock contributors. The email outlines plans to place severe restrictions on contributors from removing their work from iStock, and editing keywords, titles and descriptions after submission. Contributors are still freely able to remove work themselves until August 20, 2016. For contributors wishing to know how to remove work before the changes take effect, please read the notes at the bottom of this post.

“Starting August 20th (or shortly thereafter), and after Unification, you will need to submit a request to deactivate a file. Please note that we will only consider deactivating files for legal or similar justifiable reasons as it provides a negative experience for customers when files are suddenly unavailable for license.”

“One part of the Unification project is to move contributor tools from iStock.com to shared back office systems across Getty Images and iStock. Once Unification is complete towards the end of the year, you will have new tools available to you to view sales, download and account information, and upload content (DeepMeta and qHero will still be available as well).
In the meantime, between August 20th (or shortly thereafter) and until contributor tools are fully unified, there are some important changes to let you know about:

When you visit the ADP for one of your files, you will no longer see the “Manage File” toolbar. Instead, you will be able to view your download history, number of views and number of downloads on your My Uploads page, located under Contributor Tools, as well as third-party applications where supported.

You will also be able to edit titles and descriptions from your My Uploads page (by selecting the file ID), as well as third-party applications where supported. Please note that select files may be “locked” for editing due to various SEO initiatives.

You will no longer be able to edit your keywords via iStock.com or other third-party applications once submitted. Please ensure that your files are properly prepared and edited prior to uploading them to iStock.com and note that the option to edit keywords after submission will be removed from third-party applications shortly, prior to August 20th. (The functionality for editing keywords may still appear on the file edit page, but it no longer supports updates to iStock.com. In fact, you may have already noticed that keyword updates are not being reflected on the ADP and/or do not surface in search results.)

Starting August 20th (or shortly thereafter), and after Unification, you will need to submit a request to deactivate a file. Please note that we will only consider deactivating files for legal or similar justifiable reasons as it provides a negative experience for customers when files are suddenly unavailable for license.

Once our systems are fully unified, you will not be able to edit your metadata (keywords, titles, descriptions) after submission. You can request metadata changes via the ticketing system, but these will be made at our discretion and only where the metadata could not reasonably have been entered correctly at the point of submission. We strongly encourage you to ensure your files are properly prepared and edited prior to uploading them to iStock.com…”

How to remove work yourself (Only possible before August 20, 2016)

For Images

Open the file in customer’s view and use the “Maintenance” button  in the upper right corner.

For Videos

my uploads > click on the video > file maintenance > deactivate file

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4 thoughts on “Getty/iStock Tightens the Noose on Artists Work

  1. This is why I’m glad I’m not on IStock. I never had a good feeling about them even before Getty came along. And good riddance to Veer too. “… a negative experience for customers”?? Too bad! The creator/copyright owner gets to control his own work. Or did I wake up in the Soviet Union? And the “justifiable reasons” don’t include “the creator wants it taken down”?? If I were on IStock now, I’d leave while I still could. Get your work out of there before they give it away for 12 cents again and don’t regard that as a “justifiable reason.” Outrageous.

    1. Yes exactly. Of course a justifiable reason should simply be that the creators of the work want their work taken down. This is a desperate act by Getty in my opinion. iStock was once a place where contributors wouldn’t consider taking down their work. A sign of success is that people in high numbers are willing to stay with a company, out of their own free will. A sign of failure is where a company introduces conditions in which they make it very difficult for you to leave.

  2. When istock writes, “Please note that we will only consider deactivating files for legal or similar justifiable reasons as it provides a negative experience for customers when files are suddenly unavailable for license.” i can only agree with Leslie. TOO BAD!

    The ONLY LEGAL reason an artist needs to give to istock to remove their files is that they, and not istock, own the copyright to those files. From the 1978 Copyright Act “a copyrighted work may not be duplicated, disseminated, or APPROPRIATED by others without the creator’s permission. AND…the unauthorized use of a copyrighted work is copyright infringement, and may subject the infringer to civil and criminal penalties under federal law.”

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