Tuesday, August 18, 2009

eBay Unreasonably Exploits Your Photos To Sell Other Auctions

Say a year ago you were selling an XBox, a Dynalite pack, or an image of jesus in your chewing gum. eBay has those images stored on their servers (still), and unless you opt out by the end of August, your photo could be used to sell someone elses' widget.

In other words, all of the trouble you went through evenly lighting a subject, choosing the right point of focus, and so on, can be co-opted by eBay to sell someone elses' product. At first, you can expect eBay to do this for free, but over time, as with "enhanced listings", and so on, you'll likely have to pay a fee "for the convenience eBay is giving you of not having to take the photo..." or some other silly reason.

What do you, the photographer get, in exchange for their co-opting of your photo?
(Continued after the Jump)

PHOTO CREDIT, OF COURSE! eBay writes in response to the faq "Is there an advantage for me if my photos are chosen for the eBay product catalog?", answering "If we choose your photos to represent a product in the eBay product catalog, you'll get an attribution including your user ID and a link to your profile page whenever your photo is used on a product details page. This can give you extra exposure to a larger audience of shoppers."


So, I am B&H photo, selling a Nikon D3 kit, and I've paid my employee to photograph it. Now, some schmuck in nowheresville can use that image to sell their own D3. As I said before, eventually, for a fee you can expect. Just what B&H wants, people they're competing with using their own photos to sell against them.


What's worse, is that this is an "opt-out" scenario, meaning that unless you take action and opt-out of this, eBay gets to use them. Further, if you opt-out AFTER September 1, anything that was already selected they get to use. In other words, you may not take away the permission your inactions granted, ever.
To learn more, read here, and to opt-out, click here.

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