The fifth installment of the "Baby Prints" collection brings a very important business implication for those who, like myself, sell Royalty Free licenses to the microstock market.
Unfortunately, once an image hits the microstock agencies, behind its sales hides an enormous number of irregular license uses. Honestly, I cannot put a number on it nor can I infer that the irregularities derive from lack of understanding of license terms or otherwise, but one thing I am absolutely positive of is that more often than not images purchased under private use terms get commercial use right and left.
I do understand that this may sound like a generic, biased accusation but, please, bear with me (and just to clarify matters, if you here reading this, it means that you are one of my respectful and faithful clients whom I nurture and care for). My allegations do have a solid base. All I need to do is visit a graphics recognition search engine such as Tineye and cross check the use of some of my most popular images or elements against the number of commercial licenses sold through microstock agencies. Well, let’s just say that if I were to be paid for all those commercial licenses Tineye finds floating on the web only (I am not even talking about Print media), my microstock monthly income would increase by a factor of 3 or 4. So take my word for it: if you are in microstock, your images will be abused, period.
But what all this has to do with the release of "Life in the Woods" – Baby Print? As a direct consequence of the license abuse discussed above, the longer I take on researching, conceptualizing, creating, trying and testing each print, the greater my losses when the final image gets improper commercial use, therefore I learned the hard way that I must take a few measures in order to minimize this issue, ergo the creation of prints mixing elements from previous prints.
If you have been following the release of this series, you will notice that "Life in the Woods" is a blend of "Queen of Dots" and "Breezy Meadows". To the untrained eye, it might look like a straight mix, but it is not. It does require a certain amount of work adjusting distribution, colors and hierarchy, but it obviously demands way less time than creating a new print from scratch. This way I manage to maximize the work I put into brand new prints while softening the impact of license abuse. The best thing of all is that the resulting prints are beautiful in their own right! Wouldn’t you agree? (Okay, I may be missing out on humbleness here, but come on…)
To wrap this up, since I talked so much about (im)proper copyright use, I investigated and found out to my utter surprise that "Bambi" wasn’t created by Walt Disney but by an Austrian gentleman named Felix Salten, published by Twin Books in Germany in 1923, as you can verify by the consequent Lawsuit here. There you go, Walt Disney Company infringing copyright so they can entertain children all over the world while claiming all the awards, recognition and profits from somebody else’s work… who knew? :-o (Of course, the Bambi copyright issue is more complex than that, allowing for several interpretations of the misused license terms acquired by Disney, but the whole thing is very emblematic all the same.)
[Click on the images to enlarge]
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