Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stormy Seas Indeed...

On LinkedIn, I am a member of the professional group "Stock Photography, buy and sell images" and frequently find it useful for keeping up with what is happening in the stock photo industry. A couple of weeks ago a group member called 'Stormy Seas' (unusual as most LinkedIn users will provide their real name as it is a business network) posted a new discussion.

 The most relevant parts of his post are shown here: 

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Here's the thing......ABANDON THE MICROSTOCK AGENCIES.. even GETTY
Stock photo agencies are a complete rip off... 

...

 Photographer's .... you need to stop selling your works on these microstock agencies and take the marketing of your artwork onto your own shoulders. 

...

Before I started marketing my artwork online, I sold nothing. I'm not exaggerating. Zilch zero nada I applied online marketing strategies to my photography and that's what made the biggest difference. 

...

Take a look at one of my websites: www.walldecorprints.com. I have over 250 websites but take a look at this one. This site gets about 20 to 25 sales daily. Let me show you how to do this with your site. I don't split commissions or let someone else sell my work. I take on the responsibility to do this and that's why I sell. If you want to sell you have to learn to market online.

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Well, it is pretty well known that I share Stormy Seas sentiments on microstock, and I would agree that fine art photo sales have potential as a source of income for photographers, but the statement that his fine art website averaged "20 to 25 sales daily" really blew me away. Conservatively, that works out at 5,000 art prints sales a year. That is quite an achievement.

Taking a later figure that Stormy Seas gives of 79 dollars per print, and we are talking about 400,000 dollars a year. Unsurprisingly this got a lot of people in the LinkedIn Group to sit up and take notice.

Initially, Stormy Seas had some problems with the group moderators as they felt his 'discussion' was actually a well-disguised attempt at promoting services he was offering for sale, but he managed to persuade them to allow the 'discussion'.

I visited Stormy Seas' website walldecorprints.com and it looks pretty good, with the fine art prints PhotoShopped into interior shots so it appears as though they are hanging in very classy houses. I assumed the interior shots were probably microstock. Fair enough; I would say this is a good why to present your images in the best possible way and give buyers a good idea of how the images would look in their own homes.

Stormy Seas' impressive sales record intrigued me and I guessed his website must be very well optimised and marketed, so I used alexa.com and compete.com to check out traffic details for the website. The results I found really puzzled, me so I thought I would ask Stormy Seas on the discussion board:

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"Stormy Seas, I am intrigued by what you have been saying about your website.

I did some investigating and find on www.alexa.com that your website http://walldecorprints.com has a ranking of 3,150,688. This means there are around 3 million websites out there which get more traffic. The site is ranked so low that Alexa can give no info about possible visitor numbers.

I then tried www.compete.com and your site is given a ranking of 3,506,502 - pretty similar to the Alexa ranking. Compete estimates that your website gets about 84 visitors a month. Of course, this is so low it is hard to say how accurate this is, but the visitor numbers can certainly not be much more substantial than this.

I am having trouble working out how "Walldecorprints.com gets about 20 sales a day" when the website seems to get less than 100 unique visitors a month. You must be doing something extraordinary."

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Stormy Seas replied that the compete.com stats were inaccurate (which is certainly likely at that traffic level) and then posted stats details from the website for the past month:

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This is Wall Decor Prints traffic just for this month. Just pulled this info from Analytics. 

Visits: 726 
Unique Visitors: 618 
Pageviews: 4,501 
Pages / Visit: 6.20 
Avg. Visit Duration: 00:03:10 
Bounce Rate: 35.95% 
% New Visits: 84.02%


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Even with this increased number of about 600 visitors a month, to make a sale to pretty much every visitor to the site seems.... quite extraordinary, and I told him so.

While I had my reservations, a lot of other photographers on the discussion were impressed by what Stormy Seas had said he'd achieved and were clearly keen to see what he could do to help them improve the performance of their own websites and photo sales.


I was pretty much going to leave it there, until another group member, who apparently shared my reservations, emailed me privately to say that they believed the images on Stormy Seas' website were not his. I found this hard to believe, and took another look at the images. My gut feeling was that they were his images - they were consistent in quality and style, and didn't seem like the sort of images someone would steal and pass off as their own.

I then twigged that what the photographer actually meant was that the background images were not his. From the start I had not thought they were - they were high quality staged interiors, and quite different from the actual art images. I had just assumed they were licensed microstock images. But then, I began to wonder.....


Stormy Seas then said if I had any questions I should ask him privately, so I did. He then released a series of comments on the discussion board suggesting I was a 'HATER' and finished with the comment:

Why would Chris Barton a director at Photographers Direct a stock agency , try to discredit me ? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.......

Ironic, considering I started Photographers Direct due to my low opinion of many stock agencies. My response:


To which Stormy Seas added this extraordinary tirade:


The warning to 'back off' suggested to me that the only purpose of extending this 'olive branch' was to hit me round the head with it if I got too close. ...

I couldn't see what could cause such an angry and threatening response, so I thought I ought to get another opinion. I asked the group moderator to read through the discussion and let me know if he thought I had been in any way threatening towards Stormy Seas or done anything wrong which might warrant this response.

The moderator replied "I think you’re not threatening in your postings".

At this point it seemed pretty clear that Stormy Seas had something to hide, so I decided to investigate the background images. I used Google Search By Image to try to trace the sources of the images, and could find no matches on microstock sites. The images did seem to appear regularly on home design blogs and websites, and I soon recognised a pattern. The images tended to originate with furniture designers and manufacturers.


Here Stormy Seas has used an image which shows the Canape Tufty Time by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola.


Here Stormy Seas has used an image from the website of the Spanish design company BM2000.




To stage this photo, Stormy Seas has used an image from the wallpaper designer Rasch-Tapeten.


And the photo of the designer desk used by Stormy Seas here is from the website of the Polish company Worldlux (with the watermark missing, of course).


There seems to be some distortion in the images in terms of squishing or stretching, but they are the same images.

There are about 120 images like this on Stormy Seas' website, and they are probably all from similar sources. These photos will be copyright of either the product company or the photographer. It is possible that these companies allow their images to be used to promote their products, as long as they are properly credited and linked. 

Would they allow someone to take their images off their website, alter them in PhotoShop and use them to sell another product? I greatly doubt it, and Stormy Seas' angry response, and refusal to answer my question "Where were these images licensed from?" confirms this doubt.

One last entry from Stormy Seas made it pretty clear what he is up to:


After this 'sweet talk' from Stormy Seas (I am guessing he has sent equally flattering private messages to others who showed interest in his 'discussion'), the moderator fortunately saw what he was up to and terminated the discussion. Stormy Seas is trying to sell his 'marketing knowledge' to help photographers optimise their websites, increase traffic and make lots of photo/art print sales. However, potential clients should be aware:

- Stormy Seas' website gets very little traffic
- Stormy Seas has provided no evidence of the huge art print sales numbers he claims he makes
- the 100+ background images used to promote Stormy Seas' website do not seem to be licensed
- Stormy Seas does not use his real name, and uses at least 4 other names/aliases. Why?

To get some perspective, Stormy Seas is also involved in website 'flipping'. He has bought a large number of domains, and is heavily into promoting the value of  '.co' domain names. From my research the evidence suggests that .co domains are seen as largely worthless in the website promotion industry.

As an example, Stormy Seas has tried to sell the (clearly cybersquatting) domain name kaysjewelry.co - on April 23rd 2012, with 'claimed traffic' of '3000 page views a month' and the provided info:

"This store is currently recieving a great deal of targeted traffic.... This is a very very valuable domain to own, especially if you wanted to start a jewelry store"

However, for the website, alexa.com shows:

Reach Per Million0.00


Page Views Per Million0.00


Stormy Seas put the domain name and website up for auction (under the name 'walldecorprints' - his website name) valued at 299,999 dollars, and the highest bid it got was..... 20 dollars.

On all the evidence, I would advise photographers to take anything that Stormy Seas tells them with a large pinch of (sea) salt.

46 comments:

  1. Well written and researched.

    Thanks for taking the time to clarify what really happened.

    I had my doubts about his claims and motives from the very beginning and would have banned him from the group, however it is not my group and so that descision was not up to me. I'm happy that in the end the group owner realized what was really going on and locked the discussion. It's unfortunate that it took so long.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, that was quite a bit of dogged research on your part. Thanks for sharing. I had seen his post but just frowned and left the page.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dawn - I am hopeful that the info will prove helpful to those who have been approached by him.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for that. I don"t mind Writing stuff on how it is. And this as many others that claim big sales and hope. As often said Watch those that seem to good to be true. So Thank very much. There is one other company in the photography Linked in offering marketing that have said the can guarantee sales in 90 days or your money back. They gave a letter much the same , Say my work is very good and they welcome me aboard. I keep getting e mails from them , So I just tell them , Im broke cannot afford to gamble the money, If what they say Why not just sign me in promote my work, And for what I sell take the subscription fee from that. Simple Right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're absolutely right Gary - if it seems too good to be true... it probably is.

      Delete
  4. Hi, it's PhotoBizCoach Beate and the owner of the Photography Business group.

    Stormy Seas acted very similar in my group. I invited him to join my group because I wanted to find out what he was about. He did nothing but offend people especially those who dared to challenge him.

    There is no established track record, I don't believe him a word. This looks like Munchhausen syndrome to me. I think his entire resume is made up. He reacts aggressive and confrontational when he realizes that other professionals question his claims.

    I warned him to tone it down and stop being offensive to other group members. He continued and I shut the discussion down. He proceeded to send me this email:

    You have some nerve offering me advice.
    I am an expert in my fields. I am offering free information and the fact that many ppl have message me with many thank you's and request for further information negates any advice you may have telling me to curtail my activity. Basically I'm telling you to go fly a kite.

    You've got to be kidding me. You don't get it. I'm offering freedom to many photographers. You don't like , stop reading, but we are not friends so your advice is unwarranted and unwanted.

    After your response you are the one that needs to tone it down sister.

    I'm not expecting to be hearing from you again right ?

    --------------------

    He's been banned and blocked from the Photography Business group. He'll disappear just as quickly as he showed up. Thank you Chris for your thorough research I'll link to this article in my group. For anyone else - stay away from this guy, he's bad news and most likely a fraud.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Beate - it is good to hear that other photographers are coming to the same conclusion about Stormy Seas' claims.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for sharing this info. It is much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is hilarious. If any of you believe any of this information you'd have to be insane. All images on my site have been paid for using some $1 stock and I've gotten many ppl who have thanked me for my advice.
    The fact that you ppl are trying to throw salt on my business shows me how shallow you really are. Yes I make sales daily , and all the images on my site have been paid for.

    Advice is advice. Take it for what its worth.

    Hi Chris...........I see you......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stormy Seas, I appreciate your response.

      Once again I would like to say that if you can provide evidence that you have licensed the photographs used as background images on your website, I am more than happy to publicly apologise, here on this blog, and on LinkedIn.

      Please provide links to the images on the microstock site/s where you licensed them from, or send me a copy of your license agreement.

      Everyone reading this blog would appreciate it, and it is clearly in your own interests.

      Delete
  7. LOL.

    Can you provide evidence to the contrary ? Where is your logic?
    I'm not going to pull out a reciept for your baseless claims.

    What makes you think the images are illegal ?
    What made you say hey this guy might be selling illegal images?
    If you are talking about the fair trade act and considering you went to my site and just downloaded images and posted them here. What made you come to these decisions especially since I have been giving away free info. Is the fact that i'm giving away free info a problem to you since you sell stock?
    You hate Getty but you set up that same kind of business and trying to tell ppl that i am illegitimate but an honest person would never stoop to this level. You are angry because I'm offering an alternative to using your services.

    If you ppl would like to stop sharing commissions , then learn to market your work online.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stormy Seas, regarding your accusations that I am violating your copyright, I will repeat here the reply I sent to you privately:

      [Using images from your website here on this blog] is not copyright violation.

      Under United States copyright law this is termed 'fair use'

      Quote:

      "Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary... criticism... news reporting"

      Before spending money on legal counsel I recommend you read this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

      Delete
  8. IT IS NOT MY INTEREST TO PROVIDE YOU OR ANYONE ANY INFORMATION ON BASELESS CLAIMS.

    HEY CHRIS PLEASE SEND ME THE RECIEPT FOR YOUR TOASTER. I FEEL YOU MAY OF OBTAINED IT ILLEGALLY.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You did exactly what you claimed I did.

    I didn't go to anyone's site and take images and then use them on my blog.

    You did. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOOLOLOL

    What kind of idiot claims you did something by doing the same thing he claim.
    Its an Oxymoron

    ReplyDelete
  10. Chris, you stole images from my website to try to prove I stole images. You have no proof and I've been on the horn with my lawyer and my web designer who has proved to me that the images are not illegal. At that point I don't need to prove this to you.

    But if they were stolen like how you stole my images , how is that different from what you've done?

    I'm not selling those images, so if I didn't buy them , which I did, then it falls under the Fair use clause.

    You've done nothing but be completely wrong in every way.

    You seem like a spineless person. Going around picking fights with other ppl because you feel bad about yourself.

    A few days ago I was angry about this, but today I realized what you are doing and the angst has faded. Really this is comical because you have no power other than to ask me to provide you proof and you don't have what it takes to make me capitulate to you.

    You don't care one way or the other about those images. You are jealous and intimidated by this Ghetto kid that is 10 times more knowledgable than you. I've run into it before with the domain name industry that thinks xyz.com is valuable.

    I have sold over 200 .co domains in the last year. And if you were smart you'd get on board because .com's are going to be gone in just a few short years.

    .co are short and can stand for community , corporations and company. Search engines view the.co domains equally compared to .com which means that .co domains rank.

    KayJewelry.co ranked and the only reason it doesn't is because I stopped marketing it because its about to be sold to Kay Jewelers smart guy. Again you exhibit your ignorance.
    See the funny thing is once a site ranks its 100 times more valuable. So I rank then sell. But you wouldn't know anything about that because you don't know about ranking a site or anything really about online marketing. You are a joke.

    If you don't remember our last encounter then that's on you. I don't go around making an ass of myself then forgetting about the incident.

    You should seriously get some professional medical help. I can forgive you for this because I truely think you are sick and I'm just realizing I should pity you instead of being angry. So I apologize for any remarks. I hope you can go get some professional help because you need it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stormy Seas, I will try to explain the difference.

      - It appears that you copied images from other businesses website (you claim they are licensed, but have failed to produce any evidence of this)
      - You then altered the images by adding your own images within them, and then used them to sell your own images.

      This means you are using someone else's copyrighted material to sell your own product. That is not only copyright infringement, you would also need a property release as you are selling a product on the back of these images.


      - I took screenshots of the pages on your website to demonstrate where you had taken your images from as part of a news story, which I feel is of value to other photographers (as demonstrated by all other comments on this blog post).

      By US law that is classified as 'fair use' under the category of "commentary... criticism... news reporting". I have done it multiple times, including with Istockphoto/Getty images:

      http://fairtradephotographer.blogspot.ca/2010/03/microstock-why-would-reputable-company.html

      (in this case it is 'parody' which is also protected by Us copyright law)

      With Google:

      http://fairtradephotographer.blogspot.ca/2011/06/googles-new-search-by-image-tineye-on.html

      and with Time Magazine:

      http://fairtradephotographer.blogspot.ca/2011/12/stefanie-gordons-15-minutes-of-fame.html

      in no case have I ever been challenged by any of these (fairly major!) companies, presumably because they recognise that it is fair use.

      Delete
  11. How does it appear that way Chris?

    How does it appear that the images were stolen. What makes you ask such a question?
    Also in your online investigation of me , how do you know how much I've sold a domain name for lol $20 you say. Yeah man you are on top of things.
    Who cares about your legal issues and what you may or may not have as infringement.

    Who is going around saying hmmmm I think those pics are illegally downloaded. YOu are getting what you deserve for making such a baseless accusation with no proof.

    I MEAN YOU HAVE NO PROOF. NONE , ZILCH , ZERO.
    So if you make a baseless claim , then ppl get mad. You are getting what you deserve. If it was back in the day , I'd challenge you by smacking you across the face with a white glove because this is what you are virtually doing to me.
    I challenge you to prove your claims Chris Barton. It doesn't work the other way around man. You out of nowhere are making claims asking for proof and you haven't shown any proof. Nowhere does that work.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Replies
    1. Indeed, Stormy Seas. Now think about the independent comments from others on this blog post regarding you:

      "I had my doubts about his claims and motives from the very beginning and would have banned him from the group"

      "I had seen his post but just frowned and left the page."

      "As often said Watch those that seem to good to be true. So Thank very much."

      "There is no established track record, I don't believe him a word."

      "I think his entire resume is made up."

      "He's been banned and blocked from the Photography Business group."

      "...stay away from this guy, he's bad news and most likely a fraud"

      Delete
  13. No proof , yet you make a claim. Get some damn proof of your claims or apologize.

    That's it Chris. You've been sling blows across the internet and you ain't got no proof.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Doubts are not the same as proof.

    What claims am I making that are incorrect?

    Yes stay away from me if you want to learn how to market your own products online.
    Stay away from a guy who's not asked for any money.
    Stay away from a guy who's offer useful information.

    ReplyDelete
  15. FYI--Roger Stewart, aka Stormy Seas Photography, saw my rather innocuous post (above), and in his wisdom has begun harassing me via email. I have reported him to his domain host. If you find yourself in the same position, I would suggest you report him as well. From the looks of his posts, it seems Mr. Stewart is fond of tossing about threats of legal action. He should be very careful about what he wishes for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that Dawn - it does seem to be his 'modus operandi' - he has been sending a continuous stream of bizarre legal (and other) threats to me, both on this blog and privately.

      'PhotoBizCoach' Beate Chelette has had similar problems with him.

      It was funny at first, but has got rather tiresome now.

      Delete
    2. Just be sure you save everything. It might come in handy down the road.

      Delete
  16. Hi Guys,
    my name is Lucian and one of my websites is www.luciancoman.com so everybody knows where to find me .
    I saw also the discussion on linkedin and I have a single question.
    Why you Americans are so polite?
    If you see a Stormymoron you simply tell him to take few deep breaths, calm down, drink a hot cup of go and ...uck yourself and finnito la comedia.
    Is really worth the effort to do all the research? I do not think that was even a single user what didn't see the dodgy discussion shift. You could clearly see the low levels of serotonin, and the poor connection of the synapses, if any in good condition....so....?????
    Guys have fun with your fight,
    Ciao,
    Lucian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lucian - you will probably get a legal threat from Stormy Seas winging its way through the internet pretty soon.

      ;)

      Texans like to say 'An armed society is a polite society' but personally, I am English (though I live in Canada).

      Of the other commentators, at least one is Canadian, one is German, not sure about the others....

      Delete
    2. Hi Lucian,
      I am of New Jersey stock, and my initial reflex was to be less than polite. However, I thought better of it and put on my professional hat. Sometimes that's best.

      I for one appreciate the research that was done, not so much for my benefit, since I was suspicious at the get-go. Although, it was an interesting read. Nonetheless, there are people out there that don't have that natural b.s. filter and can be easily swindled. I have a number of friends like that. They are too trusting. It's hard to believe they're actually from NJ. LOL

      Anyway, FairTrade's research was very insightful, and it's up to each individual to take it from there and decide for themselves. If Mr. Stewart is legit, he's got nothing to worry about and is wasting his time harassing and threatening people.

      Delete
    3. Very well put Dawn.

      If Stormy Seas AKA Mr. Stewart is legit, why does he absolutely refuse to tell us where the background images on his website were licensed?

      It should be a really simple question to answer, and would only increase his credibility.

      Delete
  17. It funny that all the ppl reporting on this thread were the ppl that had issue with me posting free info on linkedin.
    Yes this is getting fun because I see you ppl are seriously threatened the info I've provided.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The only legal action that I am able to take is to get my images removed from site. You see these images are post on this site without my consent.

    I am asking to cease and desist the using of my images on this site.

    I dont' need linkedin to teach photographers to market without these middle men.
    I've not threatened anyone but Chris Barton with legal action because he is the one that has appropriated my images and posted them here. You know and would be upset if someone went to your website and stole images without your approval. Get a life you are doing this because you are scared. If photographers started marketing for themselves then companies like Photographers Direct would be out of business. This is why all of this but I'm getting alot of support where you are only 8 or 9 , I've gotten at least 50 emails on linked thanking me. Oh yeah, my style may not be great but you can't deny the information because it works lol , you are all threatened. Me and many other photographers in the group see it. I just wished they of started emailing me with support earlier.

    Also I asked Mr. Barton to show up here to go to court because I'd win if he shows.

    I've gotten no response.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Usually I don't participate in this kind of discussions; you just manage to get me of my work with your no so articulate private emails.
    As I said I have nothing against you, do whatever you want.
    If is somebody what I should talk rubbish about, is the uncle from Photographers Direct because if I remember well some years back he didn't let me sell my stuff trough his portal.
    I don't, simply because he got a business model what he believes in, and I didn't fit within his requirements, is a private entity, and frankly because he actually got a brain.
    Yes I sell stock, I do it through the agencies, I market it on my own website, I sell also prints if somebody wants to, I do assignments, and boring government jobs, corporate events, etc.
    I do whatever I can to survive.
    On the other hand, you offer absolutely no valuable information to any of the users, and you continuously put some useless figures out about how many users thanked you, and you are the bee's knees.
    Get over it, you are like any other .....part of the crowd, have nothing special in your sack, and in top of everything is obvious that smartness is not your forte point.
    I am not a native English speaker...but when I see....Oh yeah, stay away from me, and I will register whatever domain in your name, white gloves challenges, etc......."oh yeah, o yeah"...I swag type of 17 year old boy, makes me think that God gathered in his garden all sorts of people, but to some not so fortunate he gives a free pass, to go express themselves on the internet.
    Trust me on this, nobody wants to hurt you in any way, people just want you to go away, and close the garden gate behind you.
    Ciao,
    Lucian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lucian - am I correct in thinking from the above that Stormy Seas has started sending threatening private emails to you as well?

      Delete
  20. See here's the thing with you people. What you are doing is called Cyberbullying.
    Chris has stolen images from my site and insinuated that I've stolen my images. YOu have been able to gather these ppl against me under false pretenses and the one's that have listened to you are so ignorant that its funny , because they only saw one part me getting upset.

    CyberBullying is not a synonym for argument, disagreement or pejorative reactions. CyberBullying is not a synonym for disliking someone, or for thinking their work is rubbish. CyberBullying is not even a synonym for saying so, publicly and repeatedly, in a place where that person can hear it – although that’s certainly unpleasant. Bullying is when someone with a greater position of power and/or possessed of greater strength repeatedly and purposefully attacks, harasses, belittles and/or otherwise undermines someone in a position of lesser power and/or possessed of lesser strength.

    This is all you've done and these are the ppl that agree with you are blind to what you've done. Completely spineless but I'm stupid for letting you get to me which was your intention. You still are incorrect in every statement you've made here. YOu don't like that LOL
    This is a crime to defame me and my business. I am saying cease and dissist the usage of my images. Its so dumb too because you have done what you are claiming i've done.

    I am just one while you have marshalled all the ppl in these little groups behind you but what you've done is clear to see Chris.

    I got mad as anyone would and while that may have been aggressive I stand by it. You and you cohorts are running scared at the idea that photographers could market for themselves and you started by trying to insinuate that I stole images.... btw how's is that proof coming?
    I have been advised to just tell you were the images are from but I still say screw that. You were just picking and I'm not playing that game. So while many may of seen me get upset upon closer inspection of you post , it clearly shows that you started making claims that I stole something without any sort of proof. I played right into your hands and its worked for you in the interrum. But Chris , I've shown your post to many and I'm helping you spread this page around becuase insunuating someone did something before you even get proof really shows you come off as a jerk.

    To use the image of my child ... my copyrighted images that you've posted here is an even greater offense. You remind me of the guy going around giving ppl the finger because he is safe in his car, but that same guy would never do that in a bar because he knows he'd have alot more trouble on his hands. What you've done is a spineless act. I mean when you went to my site what made you say hey I think these images are stolen?
    I think you were intimidated by what I was offering for free and needed a way to make my info no good to the readers. Then you went to Alexa and looked my site up. What's so funny about that is most online marketers will right out tell you that no one rely's on Alexa's info or compete. I seen sites that get 100k hits a day for years show nothing on Alexa idiot. Alexa is virtually useless. Go ask any online marketer. Alexa is so 2004 LOL. Also I pasted my traffic right in the post. I'm amazed that you got anyone to listen you and the only way they did is because I got upset well but Chris I will be vindicated and all I have to do is show ppl the beginning.

    Its such a lie that someone tipped you that they thought my pics were stolen. You just wanted to find anything ... absolutely anything would do. Right? and that's why I won't tell you. Its spineless for all of you to accept stupid lie and you've made my arguement for me. Photographers should completely dump all stock and microstock agencies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stormy Seas, you seem to believe that if you repeat something often enough, and loudly enough, eventually it becomes the truth.

      Regarding CyberBullying, I have tried to be nothing but honest, professional and polite throughout this issue. Considering the multiple people who have complained that you have threatened them privately (often over the most innocuous comments here) I think maybe you need to take a good look in the mirror.

      All I have asked is that you produce evidence that you have licensed the photos used as background images on your website. you will then be vindicated, and you can hold your head high.

      If you have nothing to hide, why do you refuse to take this simple route?

      Delete
  21. You are a bully in the purest sense. You haven't been honest. You claimed I was thief with no proof. BTW how is that proof coming. Its been a couple weeks. You stole images from my site after claiming I did the same thing. You are a walking contradiction. You said here on this post that my site gets no traffic after I posted stats directly from my Google Analytics.
    And yes you have been professional and even polite. Sry I'm not made of the same stuff. I get pissed when called a liar. I don't put on a mask of professionalism and use it to lie about ppl with no proof. Yes you have been professional and polite but in no way have you been honest. I have not been professional and polite but everything I've said has been HONEST. Absolutely everything and thats how I know I will come thru this unbothered. You on the other hand are showing your true colors and it shows thru your haze of professionalism and politeness. Like spraying perfume over crap. Can't cover crap with professionalism.
    The only person I've threathened with legal action is you and if you were a citizen here I could sue for defamation of character. You live in a fantasy world Chris Barton , just like those childrens books you've authored. If anyone reads this they will see. I don't have to be angry, its very obvious what you've done. You aren't even posting all the things I've written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stormy Seas, where did you licence the photos you are using as background images on your website?

      Delete
  22. You know Chris there is a such a thing as how to lie with statistics. And while the statistics maybe sort of right how you've cobbled them together is wrong. I've used many Avatars and Aliases online. I don't know many ppl that don't. The internet is an unknown element and I think to put your name out there is actually quite stupid. People are strange so I've used Avatars for safety. Many honest ppl online use Avatars. It doesn't mean they are hiding.
    If I'm doing things the hard way then you need to understand that's how I do. You don't know me. You need a time out kid.

    I believe if we were in a photography club and not an online group. A club that we'd be able to see each other face to face ... I know you would of never pulled this crap.
    I'd never do the things you did here. I threatened you to get you to back off but it was only a threat. You automatically entered that linkedin post looking for anything to catch me on. You basically used your research skills to skew things with ppl you knew would listen to you. You must be some catch to your significant other. I would never claim you stole images .. I would never do what you've done here. You got ppl emailing me calling me a fraud , photographers who've never met me. Nothing I've explained is inaccurate , a lie ,or a fraud .... nothing. My business pays my mortgage. I don't have another job. This is what I do and you are saying my house , my car basically everything physical i have is a lie an only after I wanted to help photographers. Chris I will be vindicated in this and I don't need have to get angry at what you are doing. You are going out of your way and I don't have to. I don't know who taught you how to behave but this isn't the way. All I've shown is that I'm just as human as the next guy. I got upset just like the next guy. A simple response to stimuli. What is your reason for being an jerk here ?

    Online my competition is websites like ART.com not photographers and let me tell you , they sell quite alot more than 20 prints a day. I know where and for what keywords they are ranked and those keywords are my target keywords, this is where my sales come from. I'm not top ranked for all of my target keywords but my site is indexed for them. The keyword art prints and other related keywords. My sales are a drop in the bucket compared to all the keywords art.com is ranked for. I think my sales numbers are incredibly weak. 50 sales a day is this years goal Chris. You picked a fight out of jealousy or fear or whatever and I'm still not telling you what you want to hear. The only FRAUD here is you Chris Barton. Again this has not impacted my business. LOL , this has only impacted the opinion of my business from a small group of people(your people). I don't know if I have the energy but I'm going to do my best to get rid of the stock industry. I think you are running scared because photographers won't submit to you if they know how to sell for themselves. You think I'm here to take your bread basket. I am and you just gave me a bit more focus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stormy Seas, you seem to be putting a huge amount of time and effort into writing these responses. Why not just answer the question?

      Stormy Seas, where did you licence the photos you are using as background images on your website?

      Delete
  23. I simply do not need vindication from you or your crew.

    What you've done is wrong on several levels.

    Here is a question , what initially made you think to ask if my pic were licensed ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stormy Seas, you already know the answer:

      On LinkedIn "another group member... emailed me privately to say that they believed the images on Stormy Seas' website were not his."

      Delete
  24. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

    ReplyDelete
  25. I know a way to prove whether or not the images are licensed....send them to the companies from which they were sourced. Ask them whether or not they have sold them to anyone else, and point them in the direction of Stormy Seas website.

    Is that OK with you, Stormy?

    It should be great fun explaining to them about "fair use".

    ReplyDelete
  26. Who contacted you? what is that person's name and contact info. Why would that person not email me to ask? Why would they need to go thru you? Nevermind, don't answer, its irrelevant. You are hiding behind some good samaritan that contacted you, yeah that's real believable. Please no need to answer just
    Listen BOY.... you been scratching at this thread for 2 weeks. My email is clearly on my site. I've gotten nothing legally. No know why because ..... you can fill in the blank.
    If you have any information that I am doing something wrong, then I will suggest it again that you need to contact the proper authorities. Its been some time now. More than 2 weeks since you post this crude. I've not gotten any type of emails or cease and desist letters. I mean tons of ppl have seen this post.
    Not many have believed your claims. A few have.. no doubt. There are always a few but not everyone. If anyone out there does think I stole the images on my site based on the cobbled together information on this post then please contact the police, the national guard , the fbi, cia somebody because this post is no authority and I'd be damned if I have to explain where I get my pictures from to some wet behind the ear jerk who got a fur up his ass about me.

    Last response , I'm done with this.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I know a way to prove whether or not the images are licensed....send them to the companies from which they were sourced. Ask them whether or not they have sold them to anyone else, and point them in the direction of Stormy Seas website.

    ReplyDelete