Karl Louis
500px is now Chinese

Time To Say Goodbye to 500px.com

500px banned my account after I uploaded a critical cover image. Obviously the new Chinese management/owners don’t appreciate criticism.

This week it was announced that VCG – the Getty Images of China – took over 100% of 500px shares for $17 million in cash. When I read that I asked myself if my photos should be with a Chinese stock photo company. I raised the question publicly (also on my cover image) and as a result in typical 500px manner I got banned.

During the last weeks they cleaned out their user base and banned lots of paying and free members. Many well-known photographers are gone and now the quality (especially in the nude channel) is rather poor. Their moderation double-standards lead to confusion. Some photographers with dozens of nudes showing genitalia are still there while others got banned without warning for showing just one.

Some examples only (embedded from 500px – still online?) which got reported several times and nothing happened …

die geisha by Rainer Matthias Gillessen on 500px.com

This photographer has dozens of reported pictures displaying genitals in his profile:

I have never had a paying membership and I did not participate in their marketplace. Now I am even more glad about my decision.

Have a look at this discussion:

Traffic has been going down for months with most visitors coming from USA and China:

The negative reports keep growing. There is an exodus of photographers. Ask yourself: Does it make sense to support a Chinese stock photo company?

2 thoughts on “Time To Say Goodbye to 500px.com

  1. In our current society many Corporations and individuals believe it is possible to legally steal.
    A few of my original images have been used without permission and published, by citing it was ‘Fair Use’ ?
    Just seems to me that the majority of Internet users have a twisted view of anything posted on the Internet is free to use or steal without justification or Legal Right.
    So I have embedded certain security features in my images and can prove they were stolen by these crooked people.
    You do have very gorgeous Images and I can see others wanting to make a profit off of them, without permission by ignoring the Copyright Laws.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Brian. I use copyright service providers to deal with thousand of infringements. Sometimes I get a compensation payment but the really bad guys sit e.g. in Panama or Cyprus and can’t be held responsible for their crimes.
      The 500px case though is a different story. It’s now about the “environment” where photos are displayed. The new owner of 500px is a stockphoto company and this does not really go well with the photos of many photographers who are still users there for now. Many will leave and we will see how their business will be. The traffic has been going down heavily according to Alexa and that’s not really a good sign for them 😉

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