2017 Fall Seller Update & User Agreement Changes
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Watermarks

Watermarks

iart
Guide

We don't use watermarks so this doesn't affect us personally:

 

  • Effective March 1, 2018, eBay will prohibit watermarks on images and you should begin removing watermarks now to comply with the change

But this is a major change for people who do use them - like people who sell photographs or art or posters or other items that can be copied and duplicated instead of bought. I'm sure some sellers have thousands of items with watermarks and now they all need to be re-photographed? Like, wow.

 

I don't understand the reasoning for this. Does eBay realize how much work this will costs some sellers?

 

7,580 Views
Message 1 of 22
21 REPLIES

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 19, 2017 10:54:14 AM
pocomocomputing
Rockstar

@iart wrote:

We don't use watermarks so this doesn't affect us personally:

 

  • Effective March 1, 2018, eBay will prohibit watermarks on images and you should begin removing watermarks now to comply with the change

But this is a major change for people who do use them - like people who sell photographs or art or posters or other items that can be copied and duplicated instead of bought. I'm sure some sellers have thousands of items with watermarks and now they all need to be re-photographed? Like, wow.

 

I don't understand the reasoning for this. Does eBay realize how much work this will costs some sellers?


eBay never cared before that Seller Updates made a lot of work for sellers complying with their policy changes. So no different for this latest Seller Update.

 

When eBay made the last Photos requirements with minimum 500 pixels on the longest side, I never used watermarking after that. Just in case they changed the watermarking policy. I also kept my photos as backup on my computer clean without watermarking.

7,568 Views
Message 2 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 19, 2017 11:29:21 AM

If Ebay keeps pulling this **bleep** they are going to drive themselves completely out of the market place. 

In Ebay's own words regarding their picture policy :

Question "Why does Ebay have this policy?"

Answer:

"High quality images improve the buying experience.  Listings that follow these guidelines are more likely to result in a sale and show up in Google or other search engines."

I totally agree with that statement..... that is why I spend countless hours and untold money on equipment, programs and wages to create pictures that will stand out from most of the others on Ebay......so  why are they trying to make it impossible for the sellers with professional, high quality, photos who deal in quality products to stand out from their competition including other sellers with new products as well as part time yard sale and used goods sellers?

I have watermarked my photos for years in an attempt to protect them from being copied by  other sellers.  They still get copied but no where near as much as they will without the watermarks.  When Ebay's policy was that you were not allowed to copy pictures from other listings it made it very easy to prove it was my picture when it was copied.

Now they are saying you go ahead and spend all that time and money  to make your images stand out so we can share it with every other seller on the internet who has a simillar product to sell with a few quick clicks on their keyboard.  If they are not going to allow watermarks then they should protect the images from being copied.

They also need to get off our backs with all these changes they keep piling on one after another.  I just spent over a week recently editing all of my listings to remove the "active content" they wanted out.... even though it didn't seem to make any change in the listings at all... I clicked on every one of them and clicked their remove active content link. 

Now that is done I am having to go through every listing again to remove links to outside web sites.  We have already spent 3 days working on this and we are still just under half finished.  What really gets my blood boiling is that they are calling links to things like the Turbo Lister program they used to sponsor and the My Store Rewards Program they encouraged us to sign up for over 10 years ago links to outside web sites.... even though they were Ebay sponsored programs at the time.  Those are the only links in my listings but now I have to go through each listing one by one to remove them because some rocket scientist at Ebay has decided they are against policy now.

I was absolutely thrilled to get the latest update telling me that even after changing the size of over 3,000 photos not that long ago, I now have to go through and replace almost 4,000 pictures with watermarks with ones that are not watermarked so other sellers can have a free-for-all copying them.

I have already started selling on 2 other sites.  If this continues I will not be staying on Ebay.  I don't have enough time to keep up with all their ridiculous demands and still grow my business.  I am surprised that anyone does.

 

7,535 Views
Message 3 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 19, 2017 11:33:08 AM
rixstuff
Rockstar

High quality images improve the buying experience.

 

Well yes, but they also tempt other scumbag sellers to steal our photos instead of taking their own (see also theft and unauthorized use of stock photos). THAT is why we started putting watermarks on photos in the first place.

7,529 Views
Message 4 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 19, 2017 1:01:34 PM

Exactly.... so why is Ebay now saying we should be going to all that time and trouble just to make sure our competitors have high quality photos to steal from our listings???? 

With this new policy on Ebay the only way to stand out from the crowd soon will be to have the worst pictures on Ebay so no one else will try to copy them.... unfortunately you may stand out but I am sure it will not help sales to post ugly pictures like a lot of the amateur ones that are on there now.

7,480 Views
Message 5 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 22, 2017 7:51:23 AM
imapaqrat
Trailblazer

Techincally, you don't have to remove the watermarks.  eBay, for now, won't cancel your listing; the listing will just be barred from search results. 

 

When I was talking to the eBay Customer Nonsupport person, I asked if eBay was going to higher 1,000s of people to look at photos and then flag the item if there was a watermark. I was joking of course, but here answer scared me more than the new policy.

 

She said eBay would have an automated tool that would search the photo for digital modifications and automatically flag the item.  So eBay is going to have a team of techies writing code to bar listings from search results, based on the quality of the photos.  Nothing bad could happne there! Right?

 

Personally I crop almost all of my photos, isn't that considered a digital modification?

 

I am dreading the 2018 Photo nightmare!!

 

I Hope You're Having A SUPER September!
Sincerely,
Bruce "ImaPaqRat" Fisher
Remember: People don't stop playing because they grow old; they grow old because they stop playing! So, NEVER STOP PLAYING!

4,718 Views
Message 6 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 22, 2017 12:30:50 PM
rixstuff
Rockstar

Also, without the watermark it is hard to report someone for using your photos AND proving that they are yours.

4,466 Views
Message 7 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 22, 2017 2:02:02 PM
7606dennis
Rockstar

While the change in eBay policy regarding watermarks is disturbing, quite a few of their other UA changes are, in my opinion, even more so.  The thing about charging fvf if they think a transaction was done off eBay is particularly troublesome.  Many of us sell on more than one platform so there is no way that eBay can definitely say that a sale was made because of the item having once been listed on eBay.  While I totally agree that if any of eBay's features are used to facilitate the transaction eBay deserves their cut, for them to have the right to be the sole deciding factor is not acceptable.

 

Another troubling change is their forcing sellers to utilize their catalog even though the information may not be accurate and/or appropriate for the listing of the item being offered.  Frankly, I'm thinking that their proposed changing listings without the seller's knowledge or consent while still holding the seller responsible for the listing's content, in my opinion, is something that will come back to bite them in their bottom line in the end.

 

While the watermark issue is, again in my opinion, a serious one, the fact is that a notice of copyright is not required to maintain copyright protection under current copyright law.  If the copyright owner has taken the trouble to register the copyright, even without the notice a case of infringement could be pursued.  At least according to the US Copyright Office.

 

I know that eBay has cleverly included language in the UA to give themselves the right to use material uploaded to their site, free of charge, as they see fit.  However, that language does not convey ownership of any copyright to them as this would require a specific transfer of ownership in writing signed by the copyright owner themselves.  (This again according to the US Copyright Office.)  So while they may have usurped the right to use this uploaded material, they do not have exclusive rights to its use.  And, of course, the issue of crediting the copyright owner when using the material is still a matter of contention.

 

The question of legal liability in event of the misuse of images including people for which a signed release is required is something else to consider.  For example, an image of a woman posing in a revealing outfit as an advertisement for that outfit may be fine if the woman signed a release.  However, if someone were to copy that same image and use it to illustrate an article about sexual promiscuity, the fact that a signed release exists may not be much help should the woman seek damages for what the courts have in the past, termed ridicule.

 

So there are quite a few things that the 2017 Fall Update seems to do that needs to be looked at before agreeing to it.

"It is an intelligent man that is aware of his own ignorance."
4,405 Views
Message 8 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 22, 2017 4:57:15 PM
itisvintage
Adventurer
How will their program know the difference from a watermarks and other digital modifications?
4,354 Views
Message 9 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 22, 2017 6:01:46 PM
imapaqrat
Trailblazer
My concern exactly itisvintage
4,317 Views
Message 10 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 23, 2017 2:26:50 AM
Last Edited 02:27:39 AM

In the above, the poster asked if eBay was aware of the cost of the watermark changes to the sellers.  I did some rough math.

 

Can you pull watermarked images up in Google shopping?  Appears so.  Based on this, and the fact that Google is considerably bigger than eBay, why not simply substitute images from ebay?  if an ebay seller has a upc code (example) #046014510500, why not simply (as Google) use the ebay link provided for the item, and just use the UPC code code and images Google already has to present the item in Google shopping?  It's literally a 10 minute job for one developer for instant consistency.  OR have perhaps 100million ebay listings (and lets say 400million images) adjusted by millions of frantic ebay users over the next 3 months?  And they still won't catch them all.

 

So to put that into perspective, let's just say 400 million images at 1 hour each and lets say $24 an hour for studio and photoshop time.  That's 400,000,000 hours of ebay seller labor at an expense of 9.6 billion dollars (potentially more than ebay gross sales annually). OR 10 minutes of a code writers time to simply have Google use the UPC code presented by ebay to pull up the exact image they want that matches the UPC codes?  UPC codes already submitted by google shopping users.  VIOLA, perfect match.

4,183 Views
Message 11 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 25, 2017 5:05:50 AM

You pretty much covered it ! FED UP !  I too have had a problem with other sellers stealing my photos.  

3,920 Views
Message 12 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 25, 2017 6:49:25 AM
imapaqrat
Trailblazer

Over the last week of thinking about it, I now believe there is NO WAY that eBay will be able to implement their No Watermark policy.  Personally, I know believe their intent is to intimidate as many sellers as they can to remove their watermarks.

 

As far as Google . . . same with them.  I am one of the only sellers that still have old stock NEW Akuma Helmets.  When I do a google search (Shopping) for Akuma Helmet, all my listing pop up; watermarks and all.  So I have an easy test to see if either of them implement their new policy.

3,897 Views
Message 13 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 29, 2017 8:21:10 AM
portablewealth
Adventurer

This is so sad what ebay high ups are doing no connection to the work these changes take.

oppostie of what was shared at ebay open 2016-2017. 

They said how much they want to support the sellers. 

ebay created watermarks as a option in listings tools.  Now they removed them without a tool to fix it. 

ebay also they told us we could use small water marks and suggested that watermarks be smaller than 5% of your listing, and less transparent than 50%. Now they removed these proofs from the ebay agreements and act like they never said it was ok.  Really sad such a great market place.

 

 

PortableWealth
3,473 Views
Message 14 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 29, 2017 8:36:49 AM
sharingtheland
Rockstar

Answer:

"High quality images improve the buying experience.  Listings that follow these guidelines are more likely to result in a sale and show up in Google or other search engines."

 

It's all about the ebay catalog.  Ebay can weaselword it all they want but it's about the catalog.

 

There is no proof that a watermarked image can't be high quality.  And note the sentence arrangement; "more likely to result in a sale" appears before "show up in Google..."   And double note the use of "more likely."

 

B+ in Weasel.

Sherry

=^.^= =^.^=
( ) ( )
" " =^.^= " "
3,465 Views
Message 15 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Sep 30, 2017 10:20:01 PM
portablewealth
Adventurer

SICK!

PortableWealth
3,362 Views
Message 16 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Oct 1, 2017 7:08:21 AM

Hi,

it seems I am not the only one to be VERY desperate after the new watermark rule. I have been spending hours (months!) to scan each item one by one (almost 5500 now), front and back, and watermark each one in order to prevent photos to be stolen... and now?? Do I have to spend other months to scan again all my item one by one?! That's a work I did in almost 1 year and a half... and who list new items instead of me? I work on my own, no employees, there are 2 solutions: or I work during night and don't sleep, or I stop listing new items for a while... and not listing new products means no sales, so not only no money for me, but also no money for ebay... probably they still do not understand that money are given them by us seller, and not by customers ....

 

VERY worried!

Federico

3,339 Views
Message 17 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Oct 5, 2017 3:31:53 PM
teaisfortoys
Adventurer

 

As far as stock photogrphy goes, maybe eBay wants to be more like Amazon.

 

It's made up of less-than-exciting stock photos and Amazon is doing just fine.

 

3,183 Views
Message 18 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Oct 5, 2017 7:13:09 PM
itisvintage
Adventurer

Hello, 

Could you elaborate on the images appearing in Google comment?  I am not sure I understand.

3,162 Views
Message 19 of 22

Re: Watermarks

Re: Watermarks

in reply to Oct 6, 2017 5:54:39 PM
oem-xcellence
Adventurer

They're doing it so they can sell your pictures to make money.  At the same time they said that we no longer own the images that we upload to Ebay.  In July of 2017 their gross profits were down 94% so they're in a panic for money.  When you panic you tend to make bad decsions which this is certainly one of them.  Ebay's growth has been flat for years and I know that this redecorating won't help the business grow.  Most people that I know Ebay businesses have been down dramatically in 2017.  It's simply not worth complying with in my opinion and mathmatically, they can do what they want something will pop up and take it's place if they keep impliminting policies like this.

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Message 20 of 22