The stock photography industry and its ecosystem has changed constantly and dramatically in the past years, both in image creation and clients’ approach to licensing images.  Thanks to digital cameras, the internet and our favorite keyboard actions ‘copy & paste’, a whole new crime scene has risen: unauthorized digital image use, or image piracy.

While adapting to market demands, age fotostock is very much aware of the illegal use of images online and we are trying to protect both our photographers rights and the respectful use of images worldwide. With this at heart, we have recently contracted the services of Picscout to help us find unauthorized or non-legitimate uses of our photographers images online.  We are able to do this with images submitted by our exclusive photographers only, as we have secure knowledge about their sales history in our records.

PicScout Tracker EtE offers a service that crawls commercial web sites looking for visual matches to content.  The image matches that they find might be cropped, colorized, flipped or otherwise manipulated in any way.  Their crawler will still find them and does every day.  Once they mine the data, they create cases which age fotostock staff review to determine if it is a proper use (licensed) or an unauthorized use.  Once staff determine that it's unauthorized or "non-legit", the License Compliance Service team (LCS team) acts on our behalf to track down and collect penalty fees from these infringers, which age fotostock then pays back to our photographers.

Since beginning to crawl for our exclusive images in the USA last month, Picscout have already found hundreds of potential instances of infringement.

It’s a really interesting process for staff here. Very few of the cases Picscout are finding are actually valid licenses. Most of the cases have been found in the murky depths of low budget web trash. Some are only low res thumbnail size. Some look like illegitimate reuses – 5 years later and our images are still online, although we haven’t had a report since 2009. Other cases appear to be more valid, with large clear images on a respectable website, yet we have no sales history for that image. What will be fascinating is discovering exactly how these companies obtained our images, which thieving tactics did they apply?! All will be revealed in the next few months as we follow the cases through. Stay tuned for the next blog…


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age fotostock launched a new look on our website this week! The site, http://www.agefotostock.com, has been designed by in-house age fotostock web designers and programmers in direct response to customer demand for an attractive website where themes, categories, collections and offers are easy to find. Along with the new look, we're introducing two new curated collections, ‘SnapMobileFoto’ and ‘Unconventional’.

Alfonso Gutiérrez, CEO of age fotostock, comments, "We have researched the market and utilized the skills of our in house IT developers and designers to create a new look that is unique, smart and functional, presenting our great variety of content in an manner convenient for clients. We are pleased to offer two new creative and contemporary collections that embrace the growing changes in both visual culture and technology, Unconventional and SnapMobilePhoto. Both collections are increasingly rapidly with a wealth of fresh imagery."

Julieanne Eason, Content Manager, says, “The emphasis on showing our photographers work is an essential part of the age fotostock philosophy. The work of photographers is the basis of the visual culture that the Internet has introduced in our global society. New media has profoundly altered everything, from licensing models to rewarding creativity, and offers new possibilities that photographers need to assimilate. We are facilitating changes in order to present a world of possibilities in which visual creators continue to benefit.”

Some highlights of the new website are:

THE NEW HOME PAGE:

An organized and unique navigation layout, where clients can navigate vertically to search for images by style or themed categories, and navigate horizontally to search by photographer, collection and type of content: image, video, vector or low budget.

FOUR AGE FOTOSTOCK CURATED COLLECTIONS:

Inspiration - the simple produces the marvelous. More than 30.000 inspiring photos.

Unconventional - an offbeat perspective on everyday life. Over 28.000 creative images.

Snapmobilefoto - spontaneous, fresh and fast. More than 4.000 images in a rapidly growing new collection.

Premium - the best of the newest.

PHOTOGRAPHERS & COLLECTIONS GALLERIES:

All providers collections and photographers content are listed in visual galleries. Discover their work by browsing through their photos and reading their profiles.

We hope you like it!


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CEO Alfonso Gutierrez and Content Manager Julieanne Eason will be heading across the ditch to attend the PACA 19th annual conference in central New York this October. Joined by Head of Sales age fotostock USA, Susan Jones, they will be representing age fotostock in a three day bonanza of meetings, seminars and evening events.

PACA'S Mission Statement is: To promote and protect the interests of the media licensing community through advocacy, education and communication. A prime working example of this is the annual conference, which brings together people from all across the stock industry. We're looking forward to a schedule packed full of meetings with many of the agencies and providers that we work with on a daily basis, as well as discussing possible new business ventures.

Presentations on where search and visual recognition will be in the future, imbedded imagery, and how academia sees the future of the internet will be among the many technology sessions planned for the conference.

PACA will be followed by Visual Connections, the image forum for stock content buyers and providers. Our age fotostock USA team will be there representing the company - please feel welcome to drop in and visit us!

For more information about PACA, CEPIC and BAPLA click here to check out one of our previous posts.


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age fotostock HIGHLIGHTS - SPECIAL EDITION - NEW WEBSITE FEATURES

With lots of smashing new tools on our website, we provide you with more ways to achieve what you’re looking for. Check out the recent improvements:

COLUMN VIEW
Simpler and cleaner. Purely images, uncluttered by unnecessary information and blank spaces. This option displays the large thumbnails in a modern column layout, letting the vertical photos shine with a greater presence. The search results fill your screen with a contemporary work-board look. 
> See it in action

ROW VIEW
Like to see your images wide?  Here you can display the thumbnails in a row layout, giving more importance to those horizontal images. Responsive design measures your screen so that you view the images perfectly, no matter the platform you’re using.
> See it in action

FUNCTIONALITY ICONS
One picture paints a thousand words! However we know that you also need to know what the image is about, so just roll over the image with your mouse to see the image caption and icons.

SEARCH  BY COLOUR
Discover the new color filter feature
Explore inside the rainbow with this color picker. Specify your search’s color preference by choosing from an infinite array of hues and tones and all images with that color will fill your screen. Designers rejoice – you can also enter hex HTML codes to reveal all the images that match your color palette brief.
> Test it now

MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Enhanced Photographer Profiles

MEET THE ARTIST BEHIND THE IMAGES
Do you like an image? Do you admire the work of one of our photographers? Do you want to know more about him or her? Do you want to see all the photos from this artist?

Photographers whose images feature in age fotostock, pixtal or INSPIRATION collections have a “Photographer Profile” in our website. Use it to find more of those images you like! Their profile not only contains info on their bio, career and interests, but links to all of their images, a selection of their favorites, the last ones that have been uploaded, the most viewed, most sold, and our editor’s picks.

HOW TO ACCESS THE PHOTOGRAPHER PROFILE
Click on the photo you like to see the image’s Item Details. Under the Photographer’s name, click on “See profile”.
Alternatively, in the Keyword Search Box enter author: followed by the photographers name and surname separated by a space and enclosed in quotes, for example:
author:"firstname surname"


Discover this artist’s work and get inspired!
> See a sample


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Dear Photographers!

age fotostock has been developing a new image collection called SnapMobilefoto: fresh pictures shot with mobile devices.

As our CEO Alfonso Gutiérrez explained this last week in Yammer, the private social media platform for age photographers:

“It’s an opportunity to submit your Smartphone/tablet devices images, your photos made with the electronic tools that we all have at hand and use daily. The collection will be formally announced soon, but before making it public we wanted to share the concept with you, our photographers, so that you can take a part in developing it with us”.

Mobile device photography calls for a more conceptual and experimental photography rather than the descriptive and straightforward typical shooting style that is abundant. With mobile devices, you have at your fingertips hundreds of filters and shooting possibilities, you are free to be unpredictable and surprising in your personal interpretation of the reality that you have in front of your eyes. Imagine, experiment, change your style, get wild and shoot, shoot, shoot….  

Images submitted are currently internally tagged as coming from mobile devices. When this category becomes substantial and popular enough with both photographers and clients, we will launch it as a separated collection.

These images can be submitted as RF, and therefore need to have MR/PR´s, or as RM as "editorial use only" when MR/PR´s are not available.

We contemplated for months over whether to have an Android or iPhone submissions app that could be accessed by anyone with a smartphone, but as we are not expecting the category becoming an uncontrolled crowd sourced one, we decided to keep to the submission standards that are already in place.

When seen online, thumbnails of the images will display the SnapMobilefoto icon, a little camera, on the top right corner.

We hope that you will try it out soon. We’re looking forward to hear your constructive opinions, and to seeing your on-the fly pics!


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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