Company registers boycott-related domain names.
What is stock photo company Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK) so worried about?
The company recently made a number of defensive domain name registrations related to boycotts and three of its brands. All of the domains included the brands preceded by “boycott”, e.g. BoycottBigstock.com, BoycottBigStockPhoto.com, BoycottOffset.com and BoycottShutterstock.com.
A brief Google search didn’t pull up any discussion about boycotting the sites. In fact, Google’s search results are chock full of Shutterstock images related to boycotts available for purchase.
[Update: competitor GettyImages has also registered similar domains.]
There are two sides to stock photo sites: the buyers and the contributors. The latter are usually paid commissions.
As a stock photo buyer, I can say that prices have gone up significantly at many stock photo sites ever since Getty Images bought Shutterstock rival iStockPhoto. $1 photos are a thing of the past. That said, I imagine any boycott would come from the contributor side.
It’s possible Shutterstock is getting ready to make a change that will affect photographers. Or it could just be playing it safe by registering these domain names. [Update: apparently there’s a call by photographers for a boycott of stock photo site Fotolia, which may be the impetus for these registrations.]