Online digital galleries/printers - scams or useful?

2D digital artists have a number of options available for image printing and sales. We can print at home and have total control over the output, we can use a local business to reduce initial costs, or we can use an online printer, some of which will market our images for a cut. It is this last option that I have been thinking about. Aside from maintaining image and textual data on yet another website, choosing the right online gallery/printer(s) may be the right marketing move for many artists.

Sites such as serve as my model, but is similar: you get an account, upload high-resolution pictures, maybe order a print or two to see if their quality is good, and then add some metadata. I recall carefully reading the contract for many of these sites, and I avoid the ones that do not allow the artist to recall their images and rights at will. What experiences have people had with sites like these? Are there any to avoid?

What concerns me now is a site called the Digital Fine Arts Museum ( which, despite the .org top-level-domain and "museum" name, seems to be a commercial site. They want exclusive reproduction rights (no other 3rd party may reproduce images, though the artists themselves may), and they do not pay royalties for small-size reproductions. The contract is missing a bunch of boilerplate clauses as well, like termination and copyright, making the site seem amateur and to be avoided. Does anybody know more about this organization? Am I off base here?

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I had a talk with them last year. I think that they called me, but I can't remember. They seem well-meaning and sincere - but the contract was complicated enough for me to back-off, and I could not find the advantage for myself in working with them, since selling is not my primary focus

(not that I don't like to sell - every one likes little bits of money - but I do not see selling as ever being significant enough to bring in real money and therefore to be worth the enormous effort of thinking commercially)
I have the same feeling about selling.

On second read, I did notice that DFA Museum actually is a non-profit, but the contract still doesn't look good.

PS. Thanks for all the effort you are putting into the site! The Events listings are my primary resource for shows now.


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