Urgent Suggestions for System Improvements: A Call to Action for the Shutterstock/Envato Author

Dear Shutterstock/Envato Team,

As long-standing members of the author community, we have conducted extensive research and observed several areas within the existing system that require improvement. Our experiences have shown us the potential pitfalls and challenges that need to be addressed to enhance both author and buyer experiences on the platform. Below are our key suggestions:

  1. Item Reversal: While stopping item reversals entirely may not be feasible, we urge the implementation of stronger security measures to prevent misuse. This will ensure that our hard work is not accessed without due payment.
  2. Improved Review System: The current review system allows buyers to change their reviews multiple times, which some misuse to blackmail authors for support. We suggest limiting review edits to a one-time change and restricting the character count to prevent excessively long reviews.
  3. Item Disabled Warning: Authors are often blindsided when their items are disabled without prior warning. We recommend that Shutterstock provide a formal notification before disabling any item, giving authors a chance to address any issues. Additionally, the approval process for re-enabled items should be expedited to avoid lengthy delays.
  4. Comment Section: The existing comment section allows buyers to leave excessively long comments and post multiple comments in a short period. We propose limiting the length of comments and the frequency with which they can be posted to maintain a constructive and respectful dialogue.
  5. Obfuscated Code and Activation System: Authors should have the option to sell their software without exposing their code. We recommend that Shutterstock partner with a service like Freemius to implement an automatic code obfuscation and activation system, making it harder for unauthorized distribution and use.
  6. Action Against Illegal Websites: Shutterstock should take legal action against pirate websites that illegally distribute our work. This would protect authors’ intellectual property and discourage the proliferation of such sites.

Many authors joined Envato for its supportive environment, allowing us to focus on our creativity. However, the platform has lost its appeal due to the lack of meaningful improvements. We urge Shutterstock to heed these suggestions to restore confidence in the platform and foster a thriving creative community.

We call on our fellow authors to join this discussion and share their ideas for improvement. Together, we can drive positive change.

Thank you for your attention and support.