Archive for January 2009

20 Jan, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

Superstock Files for Bankruptcy
If, like some of our subscribers, you have images on file with Superstock, youíve probably already received an email alerting you to their bankruptcy status. The letter states, As a part of our reorganization process, we are returning all original materials to photographers. Sounds good, no? But wait. The next paragraph says you have to fill out a form and mail Superstock a check for fifty bucks! If they donít get your check by Jan, 31, 2009, ďWe will securely discard them.Ē Wow! And according to one of our Photosource subscribers, (See Stock Agency section), you will not be paid for any of your images they have licensed since July 2008. Further, their website ( is still functional and gives no mention of their pending doom. On the contrary, their website looks like business as usual! (Ed Note: Superstock is in the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy which gives a business entity a chance to start over, but much to the disadvantage of suppliers and others who are owed money. See news announcement below.) *

I Feel It Slipping Away!
Breaks for sales tax on the Internet, that is. As you know, typically, sales taxes are only collected on-line (as part of your order) if the merchant has a nexus in your state. As we reported last year, New York is trying to rewrite the rules so that all merchants shipping goods into New York would collect and remit sales taxes to the state, and big on-line retailers have sued. But there is a bigger picture. As the economy continues to falter, more and more states are losing tax revenues across the board and are keen to get whatever they can wherever they can. And collecting sales taxes from Internet sales is thus getting more attention. Sure, the amount collected would generally be small compared to most statesí budgets, but something is better than nothing, so the political reasoning goes.
There is a group called the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, set up to assist states in simplifying their tax codes to make it easier to tax Internet sales (itís really complicated as there are thousands of different taxing jurisdictions, with different rates and different definitions of what category an item is in for taxing purposes). Many states have joined this effort as have over 1,000 retailers that collect sales taxes for the states in the group, even if the retailers are not legally obligated to do so. That may explain why some of your favorite on-line retailers are now adding sales tax to your purchases where they didnít before. Itís notable that New York has not joined the Board since they feel it would require extensive revisions to their tax rules. Instead, New York changed their definition of a nexus.

The Great Firewall
Nope, weíre not talking about Chinaís efforts to restrict Internet access of its citizens. This is the Great Aussie Firewall, a proposed Internet filter for Australia. As one might expect, the Government says it is trying to protect the populace from child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use, and advocacy of terrorism. The list of sites to block so far is over 1,300. But, of course, the country isnít making the list public. And such a filter would not stop peer-to-peer networks, where much of the material is traded. A lab test of six different filtering techniques had this result: 3% to 12% of the material that should have been blocked was not, 1% to 8% was wrongly blocked, and browsing speeds decreased as much as 86%! Protection or Censorship?

Bill Hopkins
is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio ( ) (Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view, on your page on the PhotoSource website.)
and a regular contribu tor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -*PhotoDistrict News announcement: Bankrupt SuperStock Sold to Three Other Photo Agencies - Three photographer-owned stock agencies outbid Masterfile in an auction of the assets of bankrupt agency SuperStock. Blend, Glow Images and RubberBall, in a joint venture called RGB, won the auction with a bid of $2.825 million, Blend CEO Rick Becker-Leckrone says. There will be some changes but the new owners will keep SuperStock in business.

From the parent company website ( ):
-- Ingram Image Limited, a company incorporated in England and Wales, was the winning bidder for the shares of SuperStock, Ltd. Ingram Image Limited will pay $50,000 for the shares of SuperStock, Ltd.