A Fair, but Unnecessary Nasty Gram

If you're subscribed to the RSS feed or happened to see the site over the last two days, you'll likely have noticed a post about getting larger comping images for iStock. The point being this: it's easier to sell iStock's photos to clients when they can properly envision what the image might look like on, say, a 40-foot billboard.

Apparently, iStock noticed. (I'm flattered, by the way.) Earlier today I got a relatively friendly email from an iStock representative asking me to kindly remove the post and jQuery bookmarklet. It claimed that I was providing a tool to "allow viewers of the iStockphoto website to capture large sized, high resolution images" that were unavailable from iStock directly. (While this is partially true, these images are not "high resolution", just higher than the original comping image and still watermarked.)

The email continues, cliaiming that "such conduct violates our website’s terms of use which prohibits any conduct that manipulates iStock’s website and any content displayed on the website" and perpetuates the unapproved use of copyrighted images.

I understand where they are coming from, but disagree in evaluating intentions. Because iStock refuses to provide these higher resolution, but still watermarked, images, I was simply providing designers a better selling tool. My intention, and honestly the only thing you can do with a large-ish watermarked image, is simply to help designers sell iStock photos to clients.

Furthermore, simply browsing the iStock site does not make me obligated to iStock's Terms of Use. Otherwise, my site's terms might include forfeiting the right to send me nasty grams.

Despite all that, you may have noticed that I have removed the blog post from my website. I disagree with iStock's stance on allowing this tool, which was created (and can only really be used) to encourage sales of stock photography on their site, but have decided to play nice.

The representative concludes his email to me by saying "if you have any feedback on how we can provide you a better service to see larger comp files, we’re all ears." I'm sure I'll be testing that claim shortly.

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