July 9th, 2013

New Look PhotoShelter Adds Portfolio Sites and Social Media Integration

The homepage of photographer Robin Moore's new PhotoShelter Beam portfolio site.

The homepage of photographer Robin Moore’s new PhotoShelter Beam portfolio site. Moore was among the photographers who beta tested Beam.

Today PhotoShelter launched Beam, its new portfolio website platform, which is connected to its e-commerce, cloud storage, image delivery, client proofing and marketing tools for professional photographers.

The launch also includes integration with popular social media, blogging and video tools like Instagram, Tumblr, Vimeo and WordPress, allowing users to add content from those platforms to their Beam site, and to easily share content from their site to other platforms.

Beam is available immediately, at no cost, to current PhotoShelter users with Standard and Pro accounts, and to non-users on a 14-day trial basis. After the 14-day trial, new PhotoShelter users can pay either $29.99 per month for a Standard account, which includes a Beam site, 60GB of storage and all of PhotoShelter’s other tools, or $49.99 for a Pro account with 1000GB of storage.

At launch, Beam offers four different portfolio website designs that were created using HTML5 and CSS3, which the company says will allow images to render on “virtually any” digital device.

The “Site Builder” tool allows photographers to quickly update the look of their site and requires no coding experience.

“The biggest upgrade is the user interface, which means that I now use Photoshelter as my primary online portfolio to showcase my images,” said Robin Moore, a DC-based conservation photographer, in an email interview with PDN. Moore was among the beta testers for Beam.

A longtime PhotoShelter user, Moore used to use PhotoShelter for storage and WordPress for his portfolio. “Now,” he says, “I don’t have to fuss with that integration, and I can display my images, blog and videos on one site that I would be happy to share with prospective clients.”

Though Moore says there were “some hiccups” in the beta testing process, he is pleased with how easily he can modify his new portfolio site. “For someone who gets goosebumps every time they see code, I have really enjoyed the user-friendly interface,” Moore adds.

For more information, visit the PhotoShelter Beam microsite.

May 4th, 2012

New Pinterest Credit Feature Does Little to Protect Pinterest Users

Several days ago, Pinterest announced a new feature that automatically credits and links back to content that Pinterest users re-post from Vimeo, YouTube, Behance and Flickr. The announcement was part of Pinterest’s campaign to counter perceptions that copyright infringement is part of its corporate DNA. But the announcement amounted to little more than window dressing, and could give Pinterest users a false sense of security.

Pinterest, as we pointed out in a recent story, puts all the liability for infringement squarely in the lap of its users. The service enables those users to “pin” content from anywhere on the web onto a virtual bulletin board. Average users don’t realize that what Pinterest encourages them to do–copy and re-publish digital content without permission–is a copyright violation. Not surprisingly, Pinterest doesn’t go out of its way to make that clear to its users.

The automatic credits and link-backs to Vimeo, YouTube, Behance and Flickr don’t give users any added protection. For one thing, content owners post videos and photos to those four sites expecting–no, encouraging–others to share their content. In other words, most people who use YouTube, etc. would sooner thank Pinterest users for re-posting (“pinning”) their digital files than sue them for infringement.

A real accomplishment on Pinterest’s part would be to add a feature that automatically credits and links back to every item re-posted by a Pinterest user. That might satisfy content owners who don’t mind others re-posting their photos, etc. as long as they credit the owners. And it might help people who object to having their content used without permission discover the unauthorized uses and put a stop to it: They could send a take-down notice to Pinterest, and demand payment from the Pinterest user who violated their copyright.

That would be bad for Pinterest’s business, of course. But Pinterest risks little by its very limited credit/link feature, which could ultimately hurt Pinterest users by sending them a dangerous message: that it’s OK to “pin” content without permission as long as you give the copyright owner credit.

That isn’t the case, as any copyright lawyer will tell you. Copyright law says you can’t re-publish a work without permission from the copyright holder. Giving the owner credit is no substitute for permission. Pinterest still has much work to inform its users of their legal risks, and help those users protect themselves.

Related:
Copyright Watch: The Liability-Proof World of Pinterest

October 11th, 2010

“Last Minutes With Oden” Documentary Wins $25,000 Vimeo Award

Eliot Rausch accepts $25,000 Best Video prize at Vimeo ceremony.

The online documentary “Last Minutes With Oden” won the award for Best Video and its director, Eliot Rausch, won a $25,000 filmmaking grant at the first Vimeo Festival + Awards.

The ceremony, held October 9 in New York City, ended a weekend of video workshops, lectures and slide shows sponsored by Vimeo, the online video sharing site.
“Last Minutes with Oden” also won the Best Documentary category. It documents a former drug addict, Jason, having to put his dog, Oden, to sleep. In accepting the award, Rausch said, “I think Jason’s transparency and brutal honesty in Oden’s last moments are what made [the film] so successful.” He noted that he had asked Jason, to attend the ceremony, but “he’s flat broke.” When he accepted the grant, Rausch said Jason had asked for help getting his teeth fixed if Rausch won the grant “because his teeth are rotting.” Rausch didn’t say how he responded, but said, “I feel this is as much his film as mine.”

Among the other winners in the nine categories was “Thrush,” a series of still photos edited together to depict a couple’s six-month relationship, which won for Best Narrative. In a videotaped acceptance speech, filmmaker Gabriel Bisset-Smith said, “People are disappointed when they find out [the man and woman] aren’t real.”

The awards ceremony, which honored video creators who use the web to reach a wide audience,  struck a poignant note when the award for Best Motion Graphics was given to the Turkish-born Onur Senturk. In accepting Senturk’s award, a friend and fellow Turk noted that the award was encouraging to video artists in Turkey, where Vimeo was banned two weeks ago. Three years ago, the Turkish government banned access to YouTube.

Two honorary awards were also given. The Digital Maverick Award was given to the Neistat Brothers, who have made hundreds of online videos since 2000 and recently launched a series for HBO. The Feature Presentation award went to “Star Wars Uncut,” a retelling of Star Wars made up of hundreds of short clips created by Star Wars fans –using everything from Claymation figures to amateur actors in costume —and then edited together.

Award winners were selected by judges in nine categories:
Best Remix: Breakdown, by Kasumi
Best Original Series: Break-Ups, The Series, by Ted Tremper
Best Music Video: Liars’ “Scissors” by Andy Brunel
Best Documentary: Last Minutes with Oden, by Eliot Rausch
Best Experimental Video: oops, by Chris Beckman
Best Captured (given to a video that documents a performance or work of art): Fluid Sculpture by Charlie Bucket
Best Motion Graphics: TRIANGLE, by Onur Senturk

The winning videos and all the finalists can be viewed on the Vimeo Festival +Awards page at vimeo.com/awards/finalists