Friday, June 23, 2006

Spam. You Gotta Love It!

The way I see it, being in the Internet biz you gotta love spam. Spam. You know, junk e-mail, it fills your In box and there’s not much you can do about it.

Well... actually there is and I’ve done it. I use a remarkable software product called SpamSieve to keep my e-mail In box squeaky clean. Just the same, a couple of pieces sneak in under the radar anyway.

Tuesday, for example, I received well over 800 spam messages and all but 3 were automatically shunted to a special mailbox for spam, leaving my In box available for legitimate messages. One of those three was from a company called and they wanted me to upload my images, all of them, to their server so they could sell them for pennies and promising to make me a rich man.

I’d have paid them no mind except for two things: 1) the sender cc’d about three dozen of my friends (they failed to hide the addresses, not too savvy for Internet pros) as well as another eighty or so addresses I didn’t recognize and; 2) they were using the name which is very similar to who, even though I’m no fan of micro-payment stock photography, is the leader in the field and which was recently acquired by Getty Images for some ridiculous amount of money, I think it was $50 million.

Anyway, these guys have real nerve and it made me reply to their e-mail. I wasn’t really very worried about my friends on their list submitting images, most are way too smart for that, but there were 80+ addresses I didn’t recognize and I wanted to let those 80+ know (especially if they’re inexperienced) that micro-payment stock is the most destructive business model to emerge in our business ever.

“I do not support Royalty Free licensing,” I wrote, “and I absolutely do not allow my images to be distributed so inexpensively and I especially hope that the other photographers to whom you also sent your solicitation will join me in declining your offer.”

Anyway, the site has a grand total of 239 images on it as of this writing, not very impressive. Needless to say, they can’t count on me to help them fatten-up their offering... unless they’re willing to take my images of Souvenirs (I don’t buy ‘em, just shoot pictures of ‘em).

Hopefully, I can count on you to stay away from them as well.


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