This Week on Microstock: The ‘Positives’ of Microstock, CRIB’s Stroll on Shutterstock Office, Shutterstock’s CEO Speech to Graduates, ArtsyStock, DACS Payback Scheme, Monkey Selfie and more


The ‘Positives’ of Being into Microstock

There has been a certain number of feedbacks recently from microstock contributors complaining that their sales are low or close to nothing at all. Some don’t even get accepted to microstock agencies right away. Photographers have doubts whether they can earn a living out of selling stock pictures or do they just waste their time and resources on shooting images that don’t sell at all.

A poll on MicrostockGroup has been recently opened for contributors to answer the question, “Do you feel there are positives than negatives in this business?” On a happy note, 70.7% answered Yes, while only 29.3% answered otherwise.

So then, what are the positives in this business? Some users answered that they can set their own working hours and not stuck in an office all day, be your own boss, getting paid when you aren’t working, travel anywhere in the world, more time with the family and meet new people all the time to name a few. The list is long and you just have to go to this page, to see what other positive reasons users have for staying in the microstock business.

TC CRIBS’ Stroll on Shutterstock Office in the Empire State Building


For the month of May, Cribs, TechCrunch’s episode tours of tech startup offices hosted by Colleen Taylor, headed to New York City to visit the new headquarters of online stock agency Shutterstock.

Shutterstock has found its way in the 21st floor of the Empire State Building, one of Manhattan’s most picture perfect places. The newly renovated two-floor office has its own clean and modern design yet preserving some of the building’s historic architecture.

The Shutterstock office is a workplace to 300 people and it houses a huge photo wall, the Alice in Wonderland game room, a Research Room, a Yoga Room, a “Steampunk Library” which is hidden and not known to most of Shutterstock staffers, and more. You’ve got to check out the video above to see more of Shutterstock’s cool office.

Shutterstock’s CEO Speech to New Graduates

Jon Oringer, Founder and CEO of Shutterstock, recently gave a very inspirational speech to Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science graduation last month.


During his speech, he recalled upon his own experiences at school where he graduated with a degree in Computer Science in 1998, explaining how his education shaped his entrepreneurial drive. He also shared how he started businesses of selling pop-up blockers, an online dating site, an advertising network and even an online will creator which were all failures. But that didn’t stop him from creating new things, and that’s when Shutterstock came to be.

All in all, Jon’s speech was about embracing failures, that each failure is a lesson and a chance to test another experiment. He advised students to dream big but should grow from failures along the way.

Watch the whole speech below and go here to read the entire manuscript. Something Different


ArtsyStock is a brand new niche stock site that sells art stock images. According to the site, what sets them apart from other sites selling prints is that creatives can:

  • Create a fine art print with their image file
  • Use the art stock image as a background for device
  • Incorporate the graphic into designs
  • Re-print a damaged print for personal use for no extra cost

Artists get majority of each sale whenever someone buys digital art stock images from ArtsyStock. The site also protects artists by limiting file usage, for example, a user cannot sell prints of downloaded art however a personal print for the home is fine.

Images in ArtsyStock come from artists on the art community. It is a free site that offers art galleries, community forums, art marketing tools and a lot more. Foundmyself runs on the Honor System, which means artists can sell their work commission free.

To know more about this new site, go to

DACS Payback at Alamy


Earlier this week, Alamy contributors got similar messages saying that they have a certain number of licenses they can claim which are available using the DACS payback scheme. The Design Artists Copyright Society collects and distributes royalties to visual artists and their estates through three rights management schemes: Payback, Artist’s Resale Right and Copyright Licensing. If your work has been used in a book, magazine or on TV, then you’re probably eligible for Payback royalties. That is because Payback covers secondary uses of your images, such as photocopying.

However, since some contributors are based outside of UK, they cannot claim directly. But the good news is DACS can claim in their behalf. DACS will cover their costs and will split the remaining funds with the contributors in a 50/50 basis. The funds are expected to be paid out in December and the contributors’ Alamy account will be credited in the usual way.

If you want to read more discussions about the DACS payback scheme at Alamy, head to

All kind of visual artists benefit from Payback including photographers, fine artists, illustrators, sculptors and a lot more. Head on to DACS Payback to know if you are eligible for payback royalties.

Who Owns the Copyright to that Monkey Selfie

You’ve probably already heard about the macaque selfie and the legal battle between British wildlife photographer David Slater and Wikipedia.


Here’s what happened: Slater’s camera was stolen by a macaque in Indonesia who then took hundreds of selfies before the camera was found. After looking through the images, Slater posted the macaque’s best selfies online which was then posted to Wikipedia by Tomasz Kozlowski. Kozlowski explained that, “This file is in the public domain, because as the work of a non-human animal, it has no human author in whom copyright is vested.”

It was now reported that Wikipedia refused Slater’s demand to remove the photo from its website and CCO Katherine Maher explained in a tweet:


Wikipedia’s legal defense outlined that the author of a photo owns copyright, not the camera owner;  that only people can own copyright, and monkeys aren’t people; therefore, the photo in question is ineligible for copyright by anyone, so it’s in the public domain. – PDN Pulse

Head on to PhotoShelter blog to see what legal experts have to say on this matter.

Other Microstock News


About Author

I write about the stock photo and microstock industry since 2006 on my several online-magazines. My goal for MyStockPhoto is to teach photographers and stock photographers how to sell more photos and earn money with their photography hobby.

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