A guest post today from Mallard, a member of our awesome keywording team
Are your keywords legal?
When we talk about microstock photography some topics come to our minds immediately: equipment, subjects, models, creativity… We all know some photographers made really good money with already classical pictures: smiling woman holding a bottle of water while jogging, happy young man talking on the phone, perfect family walking outdoors or woman with shopping bags…
They might not seem spectacular but take a look at the objects! Do you see any brand on the bottle or can you recognize the design of the telephone? What about labels on their clothes?
What about keywords and descriptions? Can you find “Evian”, “Gucci”, “H&M”, “Levis”, “iPhone”, “Samsung”? If we’re talking about a successful photographer, I doubt it.
In order to make money from microstock, it’s important to understand the process is more than shooting great pictures. Keywords and captions are also important! If it’s true that good keywords make your pictures show up in front of the others’ it’s also true that wrong keywords can make great pictures be rejected at review. Or even worse, they can bring you a trial for using a protected trademark!
Not just a rejections problem
Usually pictures with brand names in captions or keywords are rejected from the start, unless the reviewer is sleepy. Maybe nobody will ever notice you put “iphone” as a keyword, but… why take the chance? Better safe than sorry.
So, under no circumstances are you allowed to use brand names as keywords or part of description. And even more, the biggest microstock agencies avoid now even the keyword “logo” itself!
Let’s see a short list of the most common mistakes regarding illegal keywords or descriptions: iphone, ipad, twitter, facebook, wifi, Bluetooth, martini, coke, coca-cola, rubik, lego and not only that… Avoid any popular brand name or image.
Many agencies provide a lot of useful information regarding legal requirements and they are also very supportive if you have questions. Even if it might seem a waste of time, reading and knowing all this information is what makes the difference between success and rejection.
Make sure your keywords (and your images) are not infringing on copyright or trademarks, check out these sites for more information:
The Getty Intellectual Property Wiki, Shutterstock’s huge restricted images list and their Trademark Rejection Reasons Post, Fotolia’s brief trademarks list and even a perspective from the outside asking Is Getty Guilty of Trademark Infringement?
Are you mindful of your keywords? Ever used any of the restricted words and been rejected for it? Or even not and had other troubles? Tell us.