OK, call me naive.
I hope the DA stock providers that I have come across so far can tell that I am really not trying to be sneaky or disrespectful; I am aware that (1) what they do is undoubtedly a form of art, is equal to any other genre, and (2) it is not very easy to create a stock photo with outstanding quality. I am aware of all this. So I am following their rules as much as I can. Honestly.
I have gotten to a a point when I am trying to avoid any kind of DA (model) resources in my manips, and here are the reasons.
Not a long time ago a reliable management company wanted to pick up some of my designs to offer them to their clients as 'ready-made' book covers, cd-covers, etc. I would have gotten paid IF and WHEN a design is sold (50% - the usual ratio). However, they can't do so legally of course until they get the model releases from the models I used in my designs. So I tried to get into contact with the stock providers - 99% of the cases the situation is totally hopeless and frustrating.
A lot of them haven't even replied to me - some of them evidently haven't touched their DA accounts for months or years. Now, that would not be a big problem, if
they did not create a very loud and aggressive list of what I should do to be able to use their stocks either commercially or outside DA. But of course they publish long "you can't..." lists, and when I try to follow their instructions and try to either buy a commercial licence or try to find out what they want me to do they are nowhere to be found.
Some of them asked so much money that it was much more than I would have gotten for the cover (we are talking about hundreds of dollars here - that's what they wanted). I tried to tell them that I couldn't pay as much and instead, offered them a fair price plus complete credits, but in vain - they all refused this.
Some of them have no clue where their model is - they cannot get in touch with them to ask for a model release (made me think whether in this case is it legal to offer these model pics as free resources...?)
Anyhow, by now I have bitterly realized that if I am looking for resources probably better to start with professional stock photo sites - there are quite a few that don't charge an arm and a leg for commercial use. Even better to use copyright free pictures and illustrations (which I am trying to do from now on and also, trying to avoid human figures in my pics - both of which are quite a challenge and mostly, just take away my fun from this genre).
Let me state something again: I would never
try to rip off any DA members. Never, ever. I was willing to offer a fair resolution to the stock providers. I don't want to make a fortune from my art; in fact I do not want to live on art as I like to keep my artistic integrity (i.e. choose what, when, with whom I work). What I do I do it for fun
and I don't care if I never make a penny on them. So here we are: I don't care that this contract with the management company just did not work out, big deal. But yes, there are young people here for whom an offer like this would be wonderful and a great starting point in their professional career; but judging from my experience it will never work out.
Yes, I am very bitter and frustrated. Because artistic integrity is one thing - but artistic responsibility is another.
P.S. There are of course refreshing exceptions from this phenomenon:
offered her work for digital manipulation with a fair deal (independently from the case above) and
was very, very generous with me. Thank you very much to them in the name of any artist.