Contributors Remove Millions of Images from Shutterstock and Jon Oringer Bursts Out

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We are getting back to work.. you don't have to.. Take your content and go. - Jon Oringer. Click To Tweet

If you don’t know what’s going on at Shutterstock yet, where have you been? Read here and here. Shutterstock is being abandoned by many photographers and artists due to their new royalty payment system, which is well.. let’s say not very popular with their contributors.

Now two microstock production houses have left them, Toluk which did have over 1.5 million images on shutterstock, and Africa Studio removed 1.3 million images. However, in a strange turn of events, a few days after Africa Images removed their entire 1+ million collection, their images started to appear again in their port and are now back. A deal struck maybe?

Nonetheless, the founder, former CEO and current Executive Chairman of the Board of Shutterstuck Jon Oringer is showing signs of pressure, the constant barrage of online criticism and of course with so many portfolios being deactivated on shutterstock, it must not be easy to see your baby being hurt. However, a responsible parent wouldn’t put their child in harm’s way. Last week on Twitter Jon O in almost Trumpesque fashion double downed in response to criticism. He seems rattled. But is Shutterstock rattled? Well they may now be with Jon after he told Shutterstock’s contributors to “..Take your content and go”.
jon oringer quote shutterstock twitter
The tweet has since disappeared. The thread originally started with Jon tweeting about how enthusiastic he is in helping new entrepreneurs. The irony is his company has just put into jeopardy the livelihoods off thousands of people, tens of thousands of people perhaps. God knows what Jon is teaching these entrepreneurs, but the future is bleak if they follow his steps, not for the entrepreneurs of course but for the people who they will rely on to get them to the top.
shutterstock twitter tweet jon oringer entrepreneur

The fact that Jon is unable to show calm or just simply not respond to criticism on Twitter, is likely because things are not going well. The boycott of Shutterstock by so many contributors has only been a month long. Contributors can disable their entire portfolios easily in their dashboard. Doing so will put more pressure on Shutterstock, they don’t want to lose good work as their buyers will shop elsewhere. I’m sure  a lot of buyers are wondering why they can’t download the images they saved in their lightboxes. Now is the time folks!
shutterstock disable images port protest royalties
For Jon Oringer it feels “like 2003 again”, but 2020 is a very tough year for pretty much everybody else. In the month that contributors are furious with Shutterstock for slashing their royalties, Jon Oringer the typically insensitive American entrepreneur is on Twitter rubbing salt into the wound. If your emotions are getting the better of you, Twitter is probably not the best place to spend your time. Shutterstock’s shareholders are probably hoping Jon stays away from social media altogether.

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9 thoughts on “Contributors Remove Millions of Images from Shutterstock and Jon Oringer Bursts Out

  1. Far as I know Oringer was NY’s first tech billionaire. I had images in stock sales for quite some time when his decision to sell through subscriptions brought prices tumbling and enriched him. He wrecked a competitive but decent industry. I don’t wish ill on anyone, but I do hope more and more and more contributors leave Shutterstock. I’m just one who’s hurt but the insult was a bridge too far. I may return if and when they Board comes to it’s senses…but that’s a maybe.

  2. Having spent four years building up a portfolio, and seeing sales steadily climb in unison, I was please when I passed the 12,000 images milestone in Spring 2020. By then I was getting sales of $100 – $200 a month, usually towards the higher side, a reasonable reward for all my time and effort. However, Shutterstock has now seen fit to bring in a new payment system that see’s my (and everyone else’s) earnings brutally slashed. June 2020 has seen earnings reduced to less than $50, but even worse, come 1st Jan 2021 when I am dropped from tear 4 down to tear 1 (as will be all contributors), it will be a slow climb back up the tears, but with earnings never expected to rise above $50 a month!

  3. I guess it was an epic fail of such a well-known person. It’s a bad taste and inappropriate behavior for any billionaire or chairholder. I thought such people have something like a PR manager, who teaches them, how to communicate with people and employees. But, who knows, maybe he is too greedy even to pay to professional of that kind. It also seems that all Shutterstock communication system is broken now because their admins are also silence, just keeping working Ctrl-C Ctrl-V. What’s up, guys? You have nothing to tell or ashamed?

  4. This is a great post, thanks for bringing light to this. It is incredibly disheartening to put so much effort uploading photos for years, for Shutterstock to just demolish commissions like that over night. Incredibly shameful behavior, especially during a pandemic no less!

  5. Thanks for another great and informative post. As for me, I’m just disgusted. After putting in the time and work for 11 years, working my way up to the top tier, they do this. Just unbelievable. I should have seen it coming when they suddenly threw all their standards for technical quality out the window. Remember when SS was the hardest one to get accepted by, and it was a feather in your cap?
    — alison1414

  6. Let’s hope, the whole agency industry will learn from this. Shutterstock is probably not the only one that will be targeted.
    Enough is enough. Without content they have no business.
    None of them. No one, in any other industry would work for that kind of low pay, and treatment.
    And another things is, the whole contract part of that industry, need a really good look through, and some serious corrections.
    There is no co-operations between agencies and contributors, the contributors wants that, but it seems the agencies are having a hard time letting go, and be reasonable. There are a few decent agencies in the market, but that is very! few.

  7. Hi All,

    Thanks for the great post. I would like to inform all stock contributors that a stock coalition has been formed that aims to represent contributors best interests with the agencies. Pond5 is the first agency to start discussion with the stock coalition and they are already offering lots of things that the coalition asks. Join the stock coalition now, raise your voice and be the change you want to see in the world. thanks

  8. These people at the so called top people in the tech industry have helped to devalue & effectively destroy any chance of my making a living in design, illustration & photography which I graduated in back in the mid 1980’s. Then the web came along & it became a slow but steady decline.

  9. Typical scrooge like american tech founder. He wants to try taking the photos that shutterstock needs (he was a photographer to begin with) with all the expenses it would incur for minimum payments. No he woulden’t do it so shouldn’t expect anyone else to. Why the contempt for contributors. He must have zero emotional intelligence or empathy towards others.

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