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500px shuts down its online photo marketplace

In February the online photo sharing platform 500px was acquired by Visual China Group (VCG), the world's third-largest visual content provider and a company that has been called the 'Getty Images of China'.

As of July 1st 500px images will be licensed through Getty Images in most regions and VCG in China

Now the first important change to the 500px business model has been announced. The platform is closing down its online photo marketplace. As of July 1st 500px images will be licensed through Getty Images in most regions and VCG in China. There is no change to royalties but photographers will lose some control over how they share their images.

In an FAQ on the 500px website the company posted the following statement:

"This is part of a strategic repositioning of 500px's network of contributors and the licensable content they submit to 500px. These changes enable 500px to serve the needs of a broader cohort of visual media customers, and represent a significant revenue opportunity for the company and its contributors."

Gone is the option to upload images under a Creative Commons license, allowing for free-of-charge reuse of images under certain conditions. In the new system there won't be any way to search for or download existing CC-images either. According to 500px this is not a move to force photographers charge for their pictures but is an acknowledgement of the fact that not many people were using CC-images, many licenses were outdated and the search function was buggy.

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visualbrother
visualbrother

Put up a few pictures with my instagram and website in them and 500Px removed and blocked my account, thanks 500PX saved me a lot of work!

4 months ago
AaronsLyfe
AaronsLyfe

It's getting hard to post pictures to places now as a photographer. Most people are bailing on 500px for good reason but that platform had a ounce of promise before they sold it and not getting worse.
Just noticed FB will start blocking external apps from posting so no more posting directly from LR anymore. RIP 500px

4 months ago
matthiasbasler
matthiasbasler

When I discovered (mainly through DPReview's article) that viewers would not see the CC license I had set for my images once, I felt there was no alternative to shut down my account. I am not going into an argument whether suppressing the license info is legal at all for CC images.
It simply was inacceptable for me.

I will focus on my home page where I still have full control over my images and their CC licenses.

4 months ago
sceneIt

When I heard they were Chinese owned I immediately gave up on ever getting something out of the site. I just deleted my account after I had filled it up with pictures of myself making funny faces with different outfits on. Maybe I will show up in chinese advertising in the future.

4 months ago
hammarbytp

I did a IMHO formal review of photo sharing sites a few years ago, which probably needs updating

http://photographyformortals.blogspot.com/2015/09/every-thing-you-wanted-to-know-about.html

4 months ago
4 months ago
hammarbytp

As I said, a little out of date, but thanks, I'll check it out

4 months ago
Real Ramona
Real Ramona

While in my 500px account I decided to see if I was owed anything from sales. Yes, £30 so I though I would just claim that before I bailed.
Ah no....thats not going to happen unless you are a US citizen.
Because you have to have a USA tax number or a foreign tax identification number to get any money.
I really do not want to have to get involved in the US tax system, why the heck should they know anything about me? So I am not playing that game. Instead I asked them to donate that money to WaterAid.
I highly doubt that they have the mechanism or even motivation to do this. I would probably have to fill out some other form anyway just to enable this.

4 months ago
wildbild
wildbild

I started sending all my great pictures to Getty for free some years ago, anticipating they will rip me off completely at some point anyway. At least I know where I can buy them in case I want a print of one of my own pictures.

4 months ago
Bram de Mooij
Bram de Mooij

As if your images are safe anywhere on the internet. Submit them on any site and they are public domain. Be real. All these dramatic exits do not have any effect.

4 months ago
sirhawkeye64

With the sale of Flickr to Smugmug, I'm a bit puzzled why Smugmug didn't try to acquire 500px too at the time (months ago) when it was being sold to a Chinese company. I think it would have helped save it's (500px's) reputation, at least a little.... certainly better than Getty images in my opinion, which is like the Adobe of the image licensing world.

4 months ago*
MyReality
MyReality

Success breeds contempt, regardless if its Getty, Facebook, Google, Microsoft or Warren Buffet.

4 months ago
sh10453
sh10453

Anyone has experience with the YouPic site??
It looks (to me) like an Iranian site (the CEO and founder) with a Swedish team.
Don't want to start if the US is going to black-list/block the site down the road.

4 months ago
hammarbytp

Youpic......
is hosted in Sweden,
run by a Swedish development team.
the company is based in Sweden.
The CEO and creator, Navid Razazi is Swedish, but of Persian origin,

The only part of the world who may have a problem with that is the USA

4 months ago
sh10453
sh10453

"The only part of the world who may have a problem with that is the US"
That's my concern. I am in the USA :)
Thanks for the reply.

4 months ago
MyReality
MyReality

If you are more serious about photos than gear, try 1x.com. I belong to it and like it.

4 months ago
sh10453
sh10453

Actually I like 1x ... I have been using it for quite some time.

4 months ago
Saaaaaaad

1x seems to be full of very heavily altered photos, to the point where i'd call it "digital art" rather than photography? Or am I wrong in that assessment?

4 months ago
hammarbytp

1.x is fine, but can be a little pretentious.

I did a IMHO formal review of photo sharing sites a few years ago, which probably needs updating

http://photographyformortals.blogspot.com/2015/09/every-thing-you-wanted-to-know-about.html

4 months ago
MyReality
MyReality

1x is a "fine art" photo site. You can do anything with your photo that you want or do not want to do. It is the largest "fine art" site in the world. 1x has photographers from over 144 countries. It has beginning amateurs to National Geographic" photographers.
They do not force anyone to process. My photography is mostly minimally processed(single software algorithm), but they could not care less.
You can tell that I like the site.

4 months ago
sh10453
sh10453

Already deleted my images then my account on 500px.
Some developers will sleep with the devil and will sell their souls for some more money.
It's a shame that original creators of 500px had sold the sight and its business when they didn't really need to.
Greed, greed, greed.

4 months ago
de2000

I also removed my images from there a long time ago because they limited my creativity by telling me that I can't do certain things like make an HDR image of otherwise unusable over-exposed shot...

4 months ago
kwa_photo
kwa_photo

Yes, last year when it was announced they were going to be Chinese owned, I closed my account and removed all images related to the licensing and how lax China is on intellectual property and figured it would be the same with creative.

4 months ago
Fsi

@ de2000 What do you mean? Did they not let you upload an image that was processed in hdr software or photoshop? or was it something else.

4 months ago
Fsi

@ de2000 What do you mean? Did they not let you upload an image that was processed in hdr software or photoshop? or was it something else.

4 months ago
Saaaaaaad

Oops, replied to the wrong post, disregard.

4 months ago*
renault5

Deleting may help but you have to assume there are backups of all accounts and images

4 months ago
Real Ramona
Real Ramona

I hate Getty Images with a passion, and the way they do business. Their attitude: (and i basically got told this by one of their staff)
"If you are not sure of the provenance of a photo that you might use thne assume that its ours"
As a half decent photographer I would like to make some money from my pictures but not if it means getting in bed with these guys. And of course when China is involved all bets are off.

Time to leave I think. I was very disappointed when Flickr was bought by Yahoo/Oath or whoever that other lumbering corporate behemoth is become, but maybe with the new Smugmug ownership things will start looking up there. Also I am experimenting with Youpic which looks interesting.

4 months ago*
MyReality
MyReality

If you are more serious about photos than gear. Look at 1x.com. I belong to it and like it.

4 months ago
mouzhik

@MyReality: I completely agree with you about 1x.com, it's on of the best places to show your work and also to learn.
However, due to it's character (curation system), it's like saying "If you are serious about tennis, then you have to play at Wimbledon"...
Not every one can do it, no matter what.

4 months ago
MyReality
MyReality

@mouzhik - You do not have to send any of your photos for curation to the curators. You can just use the site as a gallery. You can create your own albums and portfolio and link those your website.
Most people do not know enough about 1x or they are afraid of curation. 1x contains amateurs up to photographers that shoot for National Geographic.

4 months ago
mouzhik

@MyReality: it's true again, I don't have to send my pictures for curation... but using 1x only as a gallery, it's like using a swimming pool without water, it's only an illusion of swimming..;-))
More seriously, I think people are not afraid enough of curation: I vote as well there (pre-curation filter) and for every genuinely beautiful and original work there are a lot of pictures that I wouldn't even keep on my hard drive, much less show to someone...

4 months ago*
jnd

"not many people were using CC-images"

Really? Maybe not on 500px but Flickr has a lot of Creative Commons licensed images. All my photos are CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 by default from the camera.

4 months ago
cosinaphile

even a soul crushing powerhouse like china knows where real ....... never mind

4 months ago
ErikH

Too bad. I never used it personally but there were (are) some great images on the site.

4 months ago
capeminiol

Like your pics are safe on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, etc.

4 months ago
kobakokh

now 500px will make all for get money from chinese photographers... all others can delete own accounts, there is no reason to stay at web-site controlled by country without any possibility to secure own copyright...

4 months ago
Igor Karpov

I would call this the American-centric approach. Do you think that a foreign citizen can really win in a Canadian court? To do this, you need to have financial resources that far exceed the capabilities of the average photographer.
I had mixed feelings when a few years ago 500px asked me for the written approvement of the forest owner to put my photography to their Marketplace... Hell, I have no idea of who owns this forest. The state? The city? It's a public place after all...

4 months ago
MyReality
MyReality

@Igor - You are talking about 3 different things. Foreign citizens have won in US courts., poor and rich. Your last paragraph is about property releases. Almost everyone wants those now.

4 months ago
Igor Karpov

I do not question the technical possibility of filing an action with the American court. And I do not question the objectivity of the court. I'm only saying that for third-world citizens this is almost impossible for purely financial reasons. Well, it is simply impossible to find local lawyers who are able to sue in a foreign court, or it is incredibly expensive.

4 months ago
LeicaBOSS
LeicaBOSS

Now I need to delete my... wait. Never had one. Niiiice!

4 months ago
ThatCamFan

I highly reccomend removing all your photos from 500px before they use them for whatever they want.

China has never respected copyright and they WILL use any photo from 500px for whatever they want with no possibility of lawsuits due to Chinese laws.

4 months ago
Team Yeti

+1. Sums it up nicely.

All of this does make you wonder if they kept copies on their servers anyway for potential future use.

4 months ago
RoyDing

what makes you think they are not using photos from any websites they want? digital contents are never safe online. original copies or not, photos can be downloaded / screen captured. it is no difference who owns 500px.

4 months ago
Mark Turney
Mark Turney

Deleted mine as soon as VCG bought it.

4 months ago
ImWorldsAway
ImWorldsAway

I did so as well, and after a brief few months with Adobe's My Portfolio, I decided to self host. I realized I no longer liked having my intellectual property hosted by a third party.

4 months ago
Mortal Lion
Mortal Lion

I wanted to delete my account for this, but I already had :p

4 months ago
Salah

Me too :D

4 months ago
SETI
SETI

Times ago it was quite an ambitious site!

4 months ago
Roland Karlsson

500px is a very cool name. Neither Getty nor VCG are cool names. Just a reflection.

4 months ago
capeminiol

500px is too small nowadays

4 months ago
knappe duivel
knappe duivel

640px ought to be enough for anybody

4 months ago
Matt_Anderson
Matt_Anderson

Time to delete the rest of my images. I purged a couple hundred image in the past year.

4 months ago
sirhawkeye64

Luckily I never used this service (had an account, but never used it, and thus deleted it right after they announced that it was being sold to a Chinese company back a few months ago).

4 months ago
D200_4me
D200_4me

I rarely used 500px but after the announcement that the communists were taking over, it was a good excuse to go ahead and remove the rest of my images and delete the account.

4 months ago
taruaS

Communists? I think you will find the Chinese are the best capitalists on the planet and will make the US its 'female dog' within the next 50 years.

4 months ago
Wye Photography
Wye Photography

@taruaS, 20.

4 months ago
sirhawkeye64

All the more for me to want to cancel my 500px account.

4 months ago
Ben Stonewall

@wyephotography: 20 years ago.

4 months ago
SwedishPhoto

@Ben Stonewall 20 years ago yesterday.

4 months ago
kobakokh

in China most communists was killed or arrested before 1991... Now China is a bigest capitalist country on planet and he beating others in every aspects... Just full stupids and uneducated people can say "China is a communist country"... That name the Party who managed China want for save own workers under illusion they building the socialism and get time for stay alone at country management and make chinese capitalists rich and rich...

4 months ago
D200_4me
D200_4me

Yes, communists government and very authoritative. Just ask the people who disappeared for simply questioning too much. I won't talk about all the stolen technology. Ok, just a little. ;-) I work for one of the world's largest companies (we have offices in China) and we've had people suspected of working for the government working for us that have stolen software from us (we're a software development division). I know most of the Chinese people just want to live in peace and have a good life like everyone else, but the government is another story. You can use the term communism or whatever you want, but it doesn't matter what word you use to label the type of government that runs the country. It's just bad/wrong in many ways.

4 months ago*
Wye Photography
Wye Photography

The Chinese government should look to its past to see its future.

4 months ago
Roland Karlsson

Nothing is clean and simple. China is a capitalist communist country. And it is big. Very big. It has nearly five times as many people as US. An enormous market. It is also a growing market, while the western world has stagnated.

4 months ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

Oh yeah, this fear of China.

Historically, China and Northern India have always been on top, in terms of population and at some time, culture. Still, it was Europe/North Africa (North America and Africa was not very populated yet) to drive progress.

The current situation in China isn't sustainable. Like it wasn't in Japan. 20 years from now, nobody will fear China anymore. They will still do relatively ok, but not driving progress. And China has to fear India in turn.

4 months ago*
D200_4me
D200_4me

Lots of fear to go around ;-) It would be better if all governments just treat their citizens fairly and also all countries be nice to each other. However, we're dealing with humans and unfortunately there will always be people who crave power/control over other people, so we're always going to have this unnecessary competition since everyone is always worried the other guy/gal will grow too powerful and take over them as well. Personally, I'd prefer all dictators/tyrants and control-minded people disappear from the planet so the rest of us in all parts of the world can enjoy a nice quiet, peaceful and prosperous life.

4 months ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

@D200_4me
take the human nature away from humans and there is no animal left on planet Earth to create a civilization ...

4 months ago
Roland Karlsson

Except ants

4 months ago
Wye Photography
Wye Photography

I like ants. Good movie too!

4 months ago*
4 months ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

@Roland good joke, but you confused civilization with society. You are not the only one to confuse this in the context of swarm intelligence. Still, I choose my wording for a reason ...

BTW, these so-called ant super-colonies aren‘t exactly colonies. More like genetically close cousins refusing to fight each other. A sub race more than a colony. Some scientists can‘t resist dramatization for a glimpse of fame ...

4 months ago*
Roland Karlsson

I have, somewhere, read about examples of super colonies where the ants not are relatives. They have chosen to accept each other anyhow. The life of an ant is much about smell. So, I think they did smell similar.

Regarding civilization. Yes, no other animal on this planet would ever create a "Hello Kitty" bag or arrange "Mr Universe" competitions.

What other animals that have the potential has been discussed forever. I pass on that one, and only say that evolution needs time to do its thing. Lots of time.

4 months ago
kobakokh

I think we, people must not say something bad about chinese political structure. Its a business of chinese people, not others. Here we talk about 500px and a rights of possibilities for photographers. Please back to the theme. I don't think it a chinese government doing something with 500px.com. China is a true capitalist country, and there are a some world largest private companies, or middle companies in terms of chinese market, and they try to make money, most at inside market, which one is very large. Then I said now that chinese media group - enw owner of 500px - will do all for get money from chinese market, and its mean for photographers outside china there is nothing to do. If someone doesn't know, inside china even no real cost-free dating sites, and all foreign sites which one are free, are blocked. Chinese capitalists knows very good how to get money from chinese market, and thats all. Its not good and not bad, its a capitalism in china and its a fsct.

4 months ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

@Roland,
wrt evolution would take its time to deliver ...
Well, evolution had 4 billion years to deliver on earth and it produced one technical civilization. One! And with only maybe another 400 million years or 10% (before the oceans boil), that‘s very likely its only, and already very late and desparate attempt ;)

And the Fermi paradox may tell us that this may be true for the entire galaxy, if not even universe.

Human civilization is THE big miracle in our part of the universe. We are far from being perfect. Still the best being delivered. Who speaks bad about the human nature lacks a deeper understanding of reality. But trying harder to become a better species is a good thing of course.

But competition between different cultures is human and therefore, a good thing too. That was the point I was trying to make.

So, rather than complaining about, or fearing China, the west, and foremost the US, should work on its own cultural proposal. There is a lot of work to be done ...

4 months ago*
Roland Karlsson

Ah - 400 million years. Then we still have time to make a superior electronic intelligence :)

4 months ago
Roland Karlsson

This article gives us 1100 million years before we got no oceans. But - there will be no trees in 600 million years. And I assume we will be feeling kind of uncomfortable before that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_Earth#Solar_evolution

So - maybe our electronic offspring can fix it. They need no water or air.

Or maybe we can move earth a bit further from the sun. Or terraform mars.

4 months ago*
falconeyes
falconeyes

@Roland,
my point was that evolution just made it, at the almost very last moment where Earth did still provide a rather stable environment for complex evolution to happen.

This in itself is a strong indication (according to mathematician J. Richard Gott) that evolution of life all the way to a technical civilization is an extremely rare event. Even the evolution to human-like beings does not suffice. For the longest part our species with its big brain did just sit there and not change at all, for hundreds of thousands of years ...).

That's the rare Earth hypothesis. And by rare, I personally mean the technical civilization on it, not Earth itself.

Now that we came into existence, it is a relative easy game to shield our planet from the growing sun and to spring off a separate evolution of machine intelligence to colonize the galaxy.

The real miracle is that there was at least one planet in the galaxy which had just the right mixture of ingredients to just make us happen.

4 months ago
Roland Karlsson

Sure, but that was not the original question. It was rather - what happens if we disappear.

Now our planet has a myriad of different complex life forms that have taken hundreds of million years to evolve. Some of them rather intelligent. And .... as you say the last evolutionary steps to make a civilization was rather rapid comparable. So, maybe in 10 million years there might be another civilization if we disappear.

4 months ago
falconeyes
falconeyes

@Roland,
I think I got this question. And the answer is: nothing happens if we disappear.

Hundreds of million of years is not enough, even with all the complex life forms which do already exist. I thought I made that clear. There will just be another dominating life form which stagnates for hundreds of million of years. This seems to be the norm, look at the Dinosaurs. Evolution loves to be stuck in sub-optimal points and needs hundreds of million of years and lucky exterior events to get out. And even then, e.g., the Great Apes existed for 20 million years and except humans, haven't even evolved to become the 2nd-most intelligent species. Which may be Dolphins which in turn, didn't evolve much over the past 15 million years ...

Really: It is us or nothing. We are planet Earths only shot.

This is what the green movement misses: *WE* are the most precious part of Earth's nature.

4 months ago*
falconeyes
falconeyes

Interesting parallel ...

consciousness and technical civiliziation are both emerging properties from complex enough systems. But both seem to require a kind of spark which is difficult to induce and understand. And which maybe is rare to occur.

I.e., a complex enough neural net is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for consciousness. and evolution of complex life forms is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for technical civilizations. Which makes both phenomena rare and precious.

It is interesting how you seem to acknowledge one, but not the other ;)

One could even establish the notion that a technical civilization is nothing but a species which has produced a collective, or species' distributed consciousness. I.e., rare squared. And as a hive mind, certainly still is a child ;)

4 months ago*
Roland Karlsson

And suddenly - your parrot turns around. Looking at you for some time and then starts to talk. Like ... start a conversation. About trivial things ... but anyhow. How stunned you would be.

4 months ago
cybertec69

Yes the Chinese are Communists, run by the CCP. And what's with this anti-American garbage, if it wasn't for America you would be speaking German, heck America protects the entire planet, without America Europe and pretty much every other nation would already be taken over by the Chinese. America is last beacon of freedom left on this planet, look at Europe it has turned into a socialist crap hole, where speech on the Internet gets you locked up.

3 weeks ago*
kobakokh

cybertec69 - learn history at first, don't be such uneducated!!! 26 million Soviet Union people die against German fascism before distroy it. America and others helped him just by words and just at last 3 months goes to Europe just for not lost all there. And 300000 americars die there. Compare with 4 years of Soviet Union greatest war against fascism when 99% of european countries was under German nazi and in fact help them. Also please remain in your mind how USA and GB companies and banks gave a lot of money to German fascists. Don't read just fake historical books created in GB and USA... Also, about 26 million chinese people die under Japanese occupation in 1969-1945, and Japan was in coalition with German fascists at that time, as well as Italy and Finland.photography.

3 weeks ago
Wye Photography
Wye Photography

@cybertec69 You keep on taking the pills and believing that utter complete BS.

The UK had to basically beg and pay the US to help in WW2. Some bloody friends you are!

The world, is, in fact sick and tired of US meddling in the affairs of other nations that have NOTHING to do with the US.

You are so free in the US, poverty, homelessness, opioid epidemic, yet another mass shooting. Land of the Free! You are more enslaved to a corrupt system than the Soviets ever were! Not to mention how the US treats its black people. Totally despicable.

The US spreads its lies of the american dream like a cancer entrapping millions in a twisted system of exploitation with NO free healthcare. The world doesn't need you.

For all its ills, I much prefer being European than I would want to be american.

3 weeks ago
pensadenos

I just deleted my account with 500px!

4 months ago
Abergon

Thanks for the info. A good opportunity to delete an account I did not use any longer.

4 months ago
kevin_r
kevin_r

Wow, no one cares!!!!!

4 months ago
ThatCamFan

Every single photographer who has an account there cares and really really should care as they might be loosing control of all the images as china does not follow any copyright laws and allow everything.

And kevin sorry but nobody cares about you & your dickish uneducated attitude.

4 months ago
Ollie 2

Only if you yourself happen to be "no one".

4 months ago
miatamich
miatamich

ThatCamFan: if no one cares about him why are you taking the time to comment? I generally ignore things I don't care about. But, hey...it's your time.

4 months ago
ThatCamFan

I just wanted to let him know that nobody cares about him. Pretty sure he had not figured it out yet.

4 months ago
knappe duivel
knappe duivel

@thatcamfan: you don't speak for all of us.
'Every single photographer who has an account there cares' and 'nobody cares about you' are inappropriate generalisations. Speaking of 'dickish uneducated attitude' you may want to take a look in the mirror.

you don't know if anybody cares about kevin_r. Also it is not polite to

4 months ago