Do you feel like the stock photo/art/video space could use some disruption? If you’ve created or bought digital media before you may have encountered some frustration along the way. Up-and-coming vendor Open Source Photos has joined OpenBazaar with a lot of ideas about how our marketplace can be paired with another innovative blockchain tool to meet a need and change the world.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you make/sell?
My name is Tim and I want to share my photography and inspire the world. That is the idea behind Open Source Photos. It brings joy knowing my work inspires others to create/share/distribute/profit/feel emotion in some way. I also want to distribute my photography cheaper than any stock photo website & without the hassle. I’d love for people to be able to purchase a photo once and do what they want with it, no questions asked.
Why do you use OpenBazaar and how long have you had an OpenBazaar store?
I love the idea of decentralized services not controlled by single entities. Decentralization is foundation of the internet after all.
I have made a few purchases on OB and I just love the fact I can order something from someone across the globe, the money goes DIRECTLY to them, and I can experience things that I normally wouldn’t be able to.
For example, I ordered some Riceberry from Thailand. If I were to order this on Amazon it would cost me $35-50 depending on the source and I would likely still pay for shipping since most of them are not prime. On OpenBazaar I was able to get a brick of it, along with some extra swag the buyer threw in, for only $30–and that INCLUDED the shipping. Cutting out the middleman apparently saves money, who knew! Now I am able to experience a strain of rice and some culture from across the globe, from the comfort of my own home, all while helping someone who has the foresight to try to be an entrepreneur in this global marketplace.
So far the community has been very welcoming. I even had 1 purchase on one of my earlier stores before my history got erased because I didn’t yet know how to backup the GUID/STORE from my VPS (Virtual Private Server). I had one purchase later and was hoping/waiting on some feedback but it never came through. Thankfully I was able to use a moderator to get the funds moved from escrow to my wallet.
I’m grateful for the testing and experience I’ve gained using the platform at an early stage.
This will allow me to appreciate the more streamlined clients to come. I still am a relative OpenBazaar newb as I have only been in the community for about a month now.
Even if it doesn’t work out to where I can use this as a source of income, I’ve learned some networking/computing skills I didn’t have before. I hopefully can inspire a few people to go down the same route as me with their artwork and this can have a pay it forward mentality. I look forward to watching OpenBazaar and its community grow as bitcoin becomes more globally adopted and hopefully we can start a Digital Media Revolution!
Why did you start in this business?
For a stock image/video/art buyer, trying to use the current system of using the big name sites like Shutterstock can be a pain. There are various licensing options depending how the buyer wants to use the photo. Is it a one time use? Is it in a magazine? If so how big is their distribution? Do they want exclusive rights?
There are difficulties for creators as well. You have to apply to sell by submitting some work and having them judge the photo before selling. This is to create more quality images to sell the marketplace’s brand at a higher price than competitors. These websites also take a cut of the money from the photographer for offering this service and it just creates extra paperwork/red-tape.
Then there’s the internet itself. It is a great engine for sharing and reposting content and great communities try to give the original video/author credit, but does it work all the time or endure for the whole lifespan of the image? Can people take my creations and profit somewhere that I may never see a penny of it? Most definitely, but by applying the wisdom of crowds and hoping that by eliminating red-tape and licensing options with a buy-it-once approach I can spend more time doing what I want–which is taking photos/making images–and sell more images for less rather than just a few images for more than what they are worth.
The idea I have is to be able to sell your digital goods with an open source mindset, thus calling my store “Open Source Photos.” This means that creators can sell their work through their their own store by using a service like ascribe.io to claim ownership of the image and if it becomes frequently used or remixed that good fortune will trickle its way back to you.
What is ascribe.io? I’m quoting from their website:
- “Attribution for your creative work will stay with you forever.”
- “Create a permanent and unbreakable link between you and your creative work. That link – the record of ownership – can be forever verified and tracked.”
- “Each registered piece comes with a COA, a built in unique cryptographic ID and the complete ownership history. The COA can be verified anytime and printed out.”
- “Transfer, consign or loan your digital creations without losing attribution. Our easy-to-use platform comes equipped with clear legal framework and supports custom contracts.”
Basically think free, blockchain-based copyright service for artists. This sort of tracking creates a proof that each image a creator uploads is actually their image. Even if someone then buys an image and tries to re-upload it, the original artist’s date stamp will still be prior to theirs so the community can still see the original author. They can let their images go with the “Open Source License” – basically the MIT license but replace code/programs with digital files/images.
Copyright is dead – or rather should be drastically changed.
The idea behind copyright makes sense in terms of protecting an artists work and trying to get them the money they deserve for their work , however it has gone overboard in my opinion. If you think about it, many creations are created of the backs of another idea. It is hard to come up with an original song without subconsciously using a riff you may have heard. Using code from one program to implement it in another creating a new service that didn’t exist before. Sure there are the truly innovating who can come up with a unique concept, but most things are a remix already.
By applying copyright to everything it stifles innovation and creation. Just look at YouTube’s copyright policy which is now banning users and de-monetizing their videos all because of a 3 second sound clip that matched one in their database. Algorithms are now becoming judge, jury and executioner (of profits). What helped the growth of YouTube (the crazy remix videos) is now becoming banned, and I feel in the long term, YouTube is going to be the next MySpace if enough users jump ship to a platform that isn’t so riddled with legal paperwork.
What is your target market?
By offering my images at a low price it allows that kid who’s 16 who maybe wants some pictures to practice with in Photoshop or web design but he doesn’t have a credit card to purchase images offline and he doesn’t want to steal someone’s work. He can now using just a small amount of bitcoin to purchase a photo and do what he wants with it. I’m not going to track anyone down and demand royalties. Want an easy image for a blog post/forum/website/business header? Buy it once and re-use it remix it as much as you want!
If someone living in a real market city in, let’s say India, wants to buy a few of my images to make and sell physical prints on the other side of the world, why
should I get a percentage of every sale? They did all of the legwork to print this image and bring it to their local market that way. They aren’t saturating my local area with my own work and it won’t affect my profits here. It would be nice to get recondition for my work like with a CC license (this means they can re-mix re-use your work but they legally have to give you credit which again is more red tape) but I do not require it because if it works out and they want more images, they will come back. Also each image using ascribe.io will be date stamped to me being the author of the image.
If someone wants to purchase images and create OpenBazaar themes to then sell on OpenBazaar – please do it! I feel if you change the photo or are using it in a unique way that you thought of, I shouldn’t get any part of that. I simply gave you the blue paint and you used it to paint the ocean.
I am hoping others will go with this idea, letting their art go for cheap and allowing it to be remixed and resold, as this could create a feedback loop where the artists are not only making money off consumers and fans of their work, but the majority of their money will be coming from within the community because the money will flow from one artist to the other as they bounce images/ideas/themes/photo skills off each other.
How will you determine your prices?
I will do my best at keeping the costs as low as possible while still covering transaction cost/listing time. I ideally would like to sell images for around $1-2 a piece. Rather than try to take 1 amazing work and sell it for $1,000, I’d rather have so many images that people want to use because of the convenience that I’m selling 1,000 photos for $1. And because of the integration with cryptocurrency it makes selling for smaller amounts economically feasible.
Meet Tim & check out these examples of the kinds of photos you can expect from Open Source Photos, coming soon!
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