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Yesterday BigStock released information on their site called “Submission Infringement Guidelines – Problem Keywords and Subjects“.

Sounds serious and it is, because BigStock will reject images that contain problem keywords or subjects, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any harder to get your photos online.

The use of the following keywords will trigger off sirens at BigStock’s Head Quarters and a cage will be dropped over the reviewer who is examining your image. The reviewer will not be released until the suspect keyword or image in question is fully screened, using the latest NASA technology. Once verified the reviewer is released and allowed a 15 minute break, where he/she will be served tea and biscuits and have an opportunity to talk to the in-house counsellor.

  1. Apple – Apparently a computer company decided to name itself after a popular fruit, that’s a silly idea if you ask me, it will never take off! I’m not exactly sure what would happen if you keyword a photo of an apple with the keyword ‘apple’, hopefully good sense would prevail and the reviewer won’t be detained.
  2. Ayer’s Rock – “Religious – not allowed”. Therefore, images of the Earth are not allowed as it is also a rock.
  3. Car freshener –  Little Trees air freshener was invented in 1952 by a man called Julius Samann who “spent five cold years…in the Canadian wilderness”, chasing bears and extracting pine needle oils. “He came up with the shape, the name and the fragrance….It should come as no surprise, then, that we are so vigilant in protecting our trademarks.” They go on to say, “So whether you’re calling your new car-seat cushion-fluffing business “Car-Freshner”, or you’re using our Tree in your pet store ads, don’t be surprised if you get a letter (or more) from our legal team.” You can just feel the love, can’t you! I’m kidding about the bears by the way and stay away from car fresheners.
  4. Eiffel Tower – “Daytime shots are OK. Night shots not allowed as a standalone commercial use shot (lights are protected).” I’ve never understood the French!
  5. Granny – Well this is getting silly now, you mean to say shots of your Granny will be rejected because they infringe copyright laws? Oh hang on, I read it wrong, it says Grammy.
  6. An expletive – Which I often repeat in quick succession, with increased volume on each repetition, when I receive notifications of image rejections, is “Not allowed as a keyword.” It’s there in the list, in between Frank Lloyd Wright and Garmin. Just in case you haven’t got it yet, it rhymes with pluck!

These are a few of the examples from the list that BigStock has kindly provided. These subjects can be accepted if submitted as editorial images, so long as they are considered to be newsworthy. I’m sure the list will continue to grow until one day there will not be enough memory on all those apples to store the information, and you won’t even be able to send photos of your dog sporting his new perm, because the breed is now the emblem for a new software company. Hehe ‘apple’, there’s hope for me yet.

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2 thoughts on “Keywords and Images to Avoid

  1. lol, has anything changed?

    I also read that release yesterday, I don’t think the plan is to reject the images because of the keywords, just to provide an automated warning before you submit that your images might contain a protected logo/subject. Your images of apples (fruit) won’t get rejected – I haven’t tried it yet, and I’d hope the warning only appears if you include the keyword computer too!

    avoid the subjects not the keywords 🙂

    1. Oh, so no cages then? Thanks for the info Steve. Everyone, visit Steve’s blog for a more a factually accurate blog and then come back here when you’re done.

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