Stealing Keywords From Other Contributors

In my keywords I include WISCONSINART. I started doing this because I wanted to make it easier to find my images. What I have found is when you sort by latest uploads, I would find images that were not mine but included WISCONSINART. It's then obvious a contributor copy-and-pasted my list of keywords into their image.

While this may be easy to get away with, it is still contrary against Dreamstime policies. If you can't keyword your images, then pay the 60 cents to have a keyword master create the list for you. That's why the service is there. Some contributors work hard to properly keyword their images and you're just stealing their work if you're one of the lazy ones.

Well, OK, junior has girlie magazines under his mattress and has been smoking cigarettes in the alley. Gee, what a shock and surprise.

Virtually every week I catch someone stealing my keywords which is becoming a chore to have WISCONSINART removed as needed. As a result, I have been noticing something else... EVERY contributor I have caught has very poor sales. My conclusion is this: Being lazy and taking short cuts is the path for being a failure. This is a truism for any endeavor you may undertake.

If you can't take the time to do a good job, then why are you here?

I have also discovered another thing: Even when the contributor is clever enough to remove WISCONSINART, I have found images where it was still obvious the keywords were stolen from other contributors. The result is the image will have many inappropriate keywords. An image of a young girl should not have WRINKLES as one of its keywords.

Inappropriate keywords is a great way to anger buyers and have them bypass your portfolio altogether. It is perhaps another reason why these portfolios have very poor sales.

So... if you're a person who copies-and-pastes (STEALING) keywords from other contributors, you might want to rethink what you're doing. First of all, when you're caught, you get on "The List." Secondly, it means you're not putting in the effort you need for getting sales. Lastly, being lazy in doing your job creates a sloppy list of keywords and angering buyers costs you sales.

And... you know what really should be done to contributors who steal keywords...?

Photo credits: Diomidov.

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Very insightful article! Thank you for sharing!!


Thanks for this interesting discussion, I found my keywords taken by other users, annoying but on the other hand, I think reading another user keywords especially the top sellers, is a good place to start. Keyworder, makes this stage surplus, as it seems the software gives me way more options then I could have imagine.


I have to say Wisconsinart, that I did not realise this underhand practice went on. In my mind contributors who do this should be expelled from DT for plagiarism. We dont allow our images to be stolen, and should not allow this either.. Thanks for the information!


It s just frikken amazing how many times you say it's not the WORDS but the WORK being stolen and people still don't get it.


As an Art Director (as well as a photographer) having the wrong keywords on an image is wasting my time (and annoys me) when I'm looking for a specific type of image. Good keywords will show me a whole selection of images that might be suitable, but then it's down to the quality of the image (and the price) that guides my selection.


I think that WISCONSINART should be careful in what he/she says because there could be people out there that think he/she might have stolen their keywords. Seriously do you think that your image only gets chosen because of specific keywords and NOT because of the strength of your image.
One very important thing I have learned after being in the graphics industry for over 30 years is that the licencee in the end is the one that makes the choice so rather getting caught up on people stealing what you think is yours when infact all of the words are out there for people to choose concentrate on the quality of your images so even if your image pops up next to the person whom has stolen YOUR keywords your image will stand out as a better image. That is what in the end will get you a sale.
And Heh the other thing is that the end users are a fical bunch, if you can work out what people want to license you are on a winner. Fish on a plate Ah but is it facing the right way and do they want Parsley in the background of Fennel and should it be on a white plate or a plate we decoration. Go figure!!


I found an instance where it was pretty obvious that my keywords had been copied word for word. I had included a couple of conceptual keywords that were often overlooked in similar concepts. But what made it really clear is that the contributor had also copied my image. Four major elements in the image and they had laid them out exactly the same, just flip-flopping two of them on opposite sides. It was a weak copy but salt in the wound nonetheless to have them not only copy my image but also the same keywords exactly.


It is really hard to find the correct keywords and it does take a lot of time. I keep a spreadsheet and it is time consuming to keep it up to date. So, I totally agree with you. People shouldn`t do that.


I agree to ClaireCphotographys comment since especially new contributors don`t have any idea how to use good keywords. They take for the title the name of their pet when it is seen on the picture... For those I think it is good to look how experienced contributors are doing it! Of course not taking all of the keywords - just picking those which fit their image!


I understand your frustration, however they are just words, how can someone steal keywords? Seems that its nit picking a little bit here.

But I must also ask how having your nickname is relevant to the image to begin with? Just saying... other stock sites i contribute to are pretty strict on the relevance of the keywords and in this example would likely be rejected or at least flagged if I included something like this.


Hi Everybody,

Since I'm fairly new to DT and I'm doing my best to figure out all the do's and don'ts. In general I want to understand all the things that effect sales and views of my portfolio. (But one step at a time, ;-) ) I didn't found the article itself very useful. Since this is something that upsets lot's of people, I understand the anger and frustration. But it might be a good idea for some of the experienced DT contributors to write a blog on good keywording methods. I've found a lot of blogs that mention the importance of good keywording but at the end of the day, honestly I'm still trying to figure out what this means exactly. My method, I keyword my pictures with all relevant words I can think of, than as others, I look at the keywords of similar pictures. If I think some words can help I'll add those to mine. Cheating? I don't believe so. At this point I'm just want to try and figure out what good keywording means.
A general suggestion on my behalf, if you notice something happening like this, take note and yes write a blog! But explain how you do your keywording and what the success of your method is, so people can learn from each other. It will not completely solve the problem, but I believe, it might encourage some to try a different method.
I like to say thank you to others for sharing their keywording method, this is information I believe unexperienced DT users can work with!
I know I've learned from it! ;-)


I agree with you Wisconsin art. As for me, I just look at my image and write down everything that comes to my mind. After a while, I select the best keywords.I guess that's the old-school way, but since I don't upload the 10 000 images I'm allowed per week (which is probably impossible for a normal human being!), I guess it's okay to take a little bit of time for keywording.


Obviously is not a nice situation. And any way key words more than ever need to be accurate to each specific image. As you said Wisconsinart there is no gain in copying and pasting keywords of other contributors ( even without speaking about the moral of it...).


Hi Yelo34,

We like to think that through the years we've built a strong community based on respect, in the first place.

We are here to help each other, to advice each other and to grow together in a very friendly place.

And second of all, it's the relevancy that differentiates us from the other stock photo agencies.

Please, reconsider your comments.

We love you all :)


What Wisconsinart want to say is that are a lot of contributors who don't care to make buyer's search work easier. This bad behavior drive buyers to other agencyes or make them quit and become photos thieves. To have images with irrelevant keywords is a bad thing for an agency on short and long terms. Please read not only the words he wrote, but understand the message.
If we want to make a better place here we must take a closer look to the ones who breaks the rules and report them. I did this often and I will continue to do. Howgh!


It's not the words being stolen. It's the WORK you did that's being stolen.


How can Keywords be stolen? They are words and no one owns them.


I hate fanatism. DT is excellent. That is it. There are more to see out there....


Keywords are not property of anybody if you have vocabulary you can do it but you are not "the author", use soft that is ok. Nice ad for I might try it and use it after all I am paying 10 a month for a keywording sofware...


People should not steal keywords! That's crazy things! Again remind you that there is a keyword generator program free that anyone can use and help:


Alvera, my respects. Big subscriptions users give the same money as DT subscription users.After a certain level, they pay more than DT. A search engine showing new content, relevant content and popular content helps new images. Your images will filter themselves with buys...if they are good they keep selling by conquering ranks. Keywords or exclusivity is no longer the issue. I sell the same images in 10 sites in the same day. In one site they pay 35 cents subscription and in other 45.00 dollars. Some people still buy the one that pays me 45.00 dollars. Bet I make more money that way but that is private...


Yelo34, how to buy by visual content if you have to browse hundred of pages? If the relevance is poor, your image will be never found, only by big subscription users who browse daily for new images.


EDITED BY ADMIN. Please keep your resonses relevant to topic, thank you.


What a poor reasoning! In sites like ********, keywords are public domain. You upload your image and use similar images to keyword your own for free. Of course, you leave out stupid keywords that don't have to do with the image. No buyer buys on the keyword but in the visual content. If an image is poor, nobody is going to buy it, even if it has the brilliant wiscosinarts keywords...hahaha...I love not being you all


MASTER, forgive them for they don't know what they do.


I found "wisconsinart" in the Oxford dictionary: "an exceptionally intelligent person or one with exceptional skill in a particular area of activity". So this word is free for use :)


Why would anyone copy keywords when there are good keywording sites that are free.

And these work by extracting keywords from similar pictures or "stealing keywords" in other words.


Wisconsinart, I would be angry too if someone took all of my keywords. As many have stated here, there are so many other legit (and easy) ways to gather your keywords.


Great article. I didn't know about the tool until now. I will be putting it to use, thank you.

thank you, gratitude, greeting, thanks, appreciation, thankful, response, helpful, thankfulness



Get inspired from other distributers but DON'T COPY! This advice is not only valid for the photos, it is also valid for the keywords!

Of course - as a non native speaker - it is not easy to find the correct keywors. Of course I do look at similar photos what keywords they are using - but I don't copy them. It costs you a few seconds to check keywords and their translations into your mother language by using an online dictionary. It's worth to take this time.

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