Photocase, a well-established stock photo agency specializing in artsy imagery, has launched a new campaign against the promotion and usage of free media content and raising awareness on unpaid artists who create that free content.
Through a special collection of images, this agency, not unknown for its boldness and black-sheep-like status in the industry, is urging creatives all over the world to go for better, and fairly paid premium content.
#NotForFree Image Campaign Visibilizing Unpaid Artists
Photocase’s new #NotForFree campaign comes in the form of an image collection available on their site.
This collection features –for now– 30 modern, artsy portraits of photographers/graphic artists holding up different signs with the campaign’s hashtag #NotForFree. They're open for submissions for those artists wanting to contribute their photos to the collection, too.
The idea is to make it visible that behind every image there is an artist, a creator that spent their time, effort, and money in producing this work. Content creation isn’t free for them, and their resulting work shouldn’t be free, either.
So while the images in this collection are indeed free to download and use, they cannot be altered in any way, and are meant to be used solely within the context of the campaign – that is, to raise awareness about unpaid artistic work, and promote using paid content.
Read ahead to learn the why’s behind Photocase’s campaign for paid content and against free photo sites as a whole:
Because Free Images Impact Artists’ Livelihoods
When you download images for free, the artists who created them earn nothing. This is one of the key points that drive Dittmar Frohmann, managing director at Photocase, to impulse this campaign.
“We think only paid content is good content”, he says, because paid stock media means creatives can make a living from their art, and thus keep creating new content.
Free image sites do not pay artists a dime, but instead, promise them visibility and praise: views, likes, shares, hearts, comments, thumb ups… all very nice ego-boosters that yet cannot pay their rent or groceries.
At Photocase, they want to support artists being fairly paid for the content they produce and that means saying no to free downloads.
Because Free Images Only Benefit Website Owners
While free photos leave photographers empty-handed –or at the very best, with their hands full of accolades and their pockets empty clean–, they are a great resource for one thing: traffic.
Website operators can generate tons of traffic from the free images they offer, and make a profit from advertising, partnerships, site sales, and other monetizing methods. Usually, none of those earnings ever reach the contributing artists whose images brought in those visitors in the first place.
Dittmar, who has also served as manager at a dozen picture agencies over the years, with both good and bad experiences at them, points out how unfair it is to benefit from artists’ work but not fairly compensate them for it.
Because Fair Compensation for Artists is Part of a Greater, Ongoing Debate
Photocase’s stance regarding free image downloads isn’t isolated nor is it coming out of nowhere.
A debate surrounding copyright has been going on for years, and topics like compensation regulations for online content, and (un)fair payments to artists/content creators on YouTube or Spotify, are taking center stage within that debate.
Fair compensation for photographers that produce the stock images every Internaut wants, is interesting, and we dare say a long-overdue new branch in this discussion.
What do you think about Photocase’s #NotForFree campaign? Do you agree with their perspective?