Ok, so let's say you shoot your kids on a white background for microstock and upload images to a few different microstock sites. Suppose the image above is included in your submissions.
Then, a few months down the road, you see this TIME magazine on a rack:
Your son, with t-shirt digitally removed and a needle placed menacingly near him, is essentially on every news stand in the world!
And what you'd get paid?
Well, ok, I doubt it happened exactly like this. TIME knows how important appropriate permissions are, so I guarantee they contacted owner of the baby shot (Sergei Chumakov) and negotiated appropriate terms. TIME knows it has to dot all the "i"s and cross all the "t"s -- otherwise they'll be sued nearly instantly. In this case, the credit for the photo was:
PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY ARTHUR HOCHSTEIN WITH PHOTOS FROM PENNY GENTIEU/BABYSTOCK.COM, SERGEI CHUMAKOV AND ISTOCKPHOTO.
In fact, the iStock page doesn't have the extended license option, so I'm sure TIME approached Chumakov to provide suitable payment. What's a Time cover worth, anyway? (I'd guess at least a few thousand).
Although the Dreamstime version does have extended licenses available -- can you imagine how upset the photographer would be if TIME had (legally) increased the maximum copies and paid only $20-$30 for the primary source image for their cover?
This stuff has been on my mind lately because I'm currently trying to convince (or decide if I want to convince) my wife to let me use images of my kids for microstock. I still need to sit down with her and find out what her big concerns are so I can do the research and see if there are any protections against them. My kid making TIME wouldn't bother me that much but it would likely bother my wife a lot. (Attention TIME: a suitcase full of cash might smooth things over with her... If you like any images on this site, I'm sure we can come to an agreement for the full-size image, RAW file, or lock of hair!).
Anybody heard of any similar microstock horror stories (or microstock success stories)?
Anyway, thanks to Steve at Microstock Insider for the post that led to my discovery of this image.
Also, guess what I have to do today? Get my kids their flu shots!