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Keith Douglas

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Everything posted by Keith Douglas

  1. A London bus ride Downhill all the way... Safe landing
  2. Eee? Then what is RM licensing for? The reason I have chosen the RM is to keep better control over where and how my work is used. What am I missing in your post? The point I was making is that if you have an image that is particularly suitable for use in a product (prints, cards etc.) and maybe you are also using it in that way, it doesn't make sense to me to expose those images to the risk of someone else downloading the high resolution image for a small 'personal' fee and then doing what they want with it. Unfortunately there will be some people who will not be too concerned about the fine details of an RM licence, and it may not be possible or cost effective to pursue any infringement. I recently did a design for some table mats and coasters that has proved very successful, and I've made more from it in a couple of months than I've earned on Alamy in 6 months. I had a request for a copy of the high resolution image so that someone could produce a print for 'personal use'. I politely declined. We never got to the point of discussing a price but even if we had it would have been way more than I am sure they would have been willing to pay, and certainly many, many times more than £10.
  3. I think that the only way is to maintain a clear separation between images you are selling to others in electronic form and images you are using as the basis for your own products e.g.prints or cards. Once you make the high resolution image available you have lost control of how it is used.
  4. I have created a few images that fall into the manipulated or illustration category. Some have involved many hours of work. My aim is to sell products that incorporate those images - prints and other items. If I upload them to Alamy on the off chance that someone else might use them, it would not cost someone very much to download the full resolution image for 'personal use' (£10) and then get products made themselves.
  5. Notification can come months later and sometimes not at all. I had some images used in April 2014 that were eventually invoiced for in January 2015 after I chased them with Alamy. In fact it was Bryan who had spotted them in the newspaper when they were first used. My concern is that had I not been aware of those usages, and followed it up, would I have ever got paid? I don't buy all the newspapers and go through them each day after I have submitted images to LiveNews. I don't really think I should have to anyway. I'm just chasing up a use of one of my Live News images in a newspaper going back to mid November. I'm a little annoyed that Alamy are requesting me to provide the evidence of the usage. Fortunately, in this case, I do have a copy of the relevant newspaper page, although I don't have any evidence of web usage because it's behind a paywall. Again, in this instance, I only became aware of the newspaper using it because it had been reported on this forum on the "Have you found any images" thread.
  6. 5 sales for $130 gross. Slightly below January in $ and numbers.
  7. I followed that thread from November with great interest. Before that I'd gone through a "put everything on flickr" phase to a "put nothing on flickr or any social media" phase. As someone pointed out in the thread, the best way to protect your images is to not put them on social media or anywhere on the internet. But if you do, you are missing out on a powerful marketing channel. I think you just need to be careful about what you share and how you share it, particularly in relation to resolution and watermarking. If someone's going to pinch a low resolution image for a blog, well there's not much you can do about it, and the chances of them paying for it anyway are slim. What's the risk of the image getting stolen? What's the benefit to you of putting an image at risk? Over the last couple of months I've embraced Facebook as a marketing tool. It's been great in terms of results. I've had two photography related products that I have market tested and sold almost exclusively through Facebook. As well as generating sales, and profit in its own right, it has also generated more interest in my photography or related products such as prints. And that's just Facebook - I haven't had the time to get the other channels up and running! So, I'd say, be careful, but if you don't use social media you may be missing out on a powerful marketing channel (depending on what you are selling).
  8. I don't want to be picky, but I will! Specifying a 6MPixel minimum camera sensor size assumes that the image is not cropped or downsized in post-processing. Secondly, specifying a JPEG file size, uncompressed, of 17MBytes is the most confusing specification. In fact, a file of size 17MBytes is actually less than 6 million pixels! A 6 million pixel image is 17.17 Mbytes. Relating millions of pixels to MBytes of storage requires a good grasp of the way that pixels are stored and how MBytes are defined. Here's my definition, that I think would get rid of a lot of confusion: All images submitted to Alamy should have a minimum of 6 million pixels To determine whether the image is large enough multiply the width of the image in pixels by the height of the image in pixels. If the number you get is equal to or more than 6,000,000 then it meets the minimum size requirement.
  9. It's not clear to me why flagging an image as Editorial Only is necessary. It's down to the user of the image to understand the law as it applies to their proposed use. I take the view that I make my images for sale and it us up to the buyer to decide whether the image is suitable for their intended use. While I am happy to provide accurate information about what is available in the way of releases, I don't want anything to do with the buyer's decision about the image's suitability in their particular application. I fear that once we move away from providing the facts and providing opinions, however well intended, we open ourselves up to someone coming back later and using that opinion against us. If a legal claim did ever happen, it wouldn't be long before a lawyer was claiming that the photographer had said that the image could be used for Editorial Use, not that it might be suitable for Editorial Use.
  10. Daily Telegraph. Beautiful Universities around the world. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/expateducation/9480575/Beautiful-universities-around-the-world.html 16 Alamy images
  11. The term "sin bin" refers to the indeterminate time between submitting your images and being told that one or more has failed. During that period, any more images that you send in will not be looked at and will be just added to the reject pile. Once you are told that you have failed QC, any images that you submit after that will once again go through the normal QC process. Keith
  12. This set of pages touches on some of the issues relating to permissions: http://www.danheller.com/model-release-primer.html http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html It's US focused but it does provide a good framework for understanding what is a complex area. There is some coverage about property as well.
  13. The thread I was replying to has disappeared so I've started this new one on the specific issue that I was addressing. It relates to the automatic flagging of an image as Editorial Only if there are no property and model releases available. I have reservations about this approach. I take the view that I make my images for sale and it us up to the buyer to decide whether the image is suitable for their intended use. While I am happy to provide accurate information about what is available in the way of releases, I don't want anything to do with the buyer's decision about the image's suitability in their particular application. I fear that once we move away from providing the facts and automatically providing opinions, however well intended, we open ourselves up to someone coming back later and using that opinion against us. If a legal claim did ever happen, it wouldn't be long before a lawyer was claiming that the photographer had said that the image could be used for Editorial Use, not that it might be suitable for Editorial Use. What do others think?
  14. Sounds like back tracking to me. What's needed though is clarification of the term 'commercial'. I suspect that in the writers mind that means stock. Would use in textbooks or travel articles fall under "news and current affairs"?
  15. From a commercial perspective that may well be the best option for my 7 images, but I, and probably many others, want to try to get this reversed as it is just plain wrong and may not end here.
  16. Letter sent to my MP and Patrick McLoughlin Thanks for the initial template. I've done a bit of customisation! Begin ======== Dear Mr Djanogoly I would like to bring to your attention recent overbearing behaviour by Network Rail in respect of legitimate photography at major railway stations in the UK. There is an important UK industry based on the publication and sale of both stock and news images to broadcasting, newspapers and magazines, the advertising industry and many others. As a photographer I contribute regularly to Alamy, a stock and News Agency based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and my work has featured in the national and local press. Network Rail has contacted Alamy, requiring them to remove from sale any images taken in the railway stations that Network Rail manage. Their requirement applies to both current images, and those taken before Network Rail came into existence. As an example I include below one of my images that was on sale at Alamy, showing the impressive roof above the platforms at Kings Cross Station. This restriction, from what is a publicly owned organisation, is oppressive, restrictive, and entirely unacceptable. Taken to its logical extreme photographs of the Queen, members of the Government or celebrities at many mainline stations could no longer be offered for sale by photographers. Similarly, photographs of famous locomotives such as the Flying Scotsman, Mallard and Sir Nigel Gresley, all of which have passed through our constituency in recent years, could no longer be sold. Photographs relating to important news items would no longer be available to the press or other media. In my opinion, this move by Network Rail is a gross abuse of the monopoly power of a public organisation. It is retrospective, it threatens the present and future historic record, is a clear restraint of legitimate trade and a threat to press freedom. It is not something that is covered in the Railway byelaws so it is difficult to see what underpins this action from a legal standpoint. I would be pleased if you would investigate this matter with some urgency and find out why Network Rail have recently taken this action and whether their actions can be reversed. As a public organisation, Network Rail ultimately answers to Parliament. I am sure that they have far more important matters to focus on than preventing photographers making a living from their creative talents. Yours sincerely Keith Douglas cc: Rt Hon. Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary ======= End
  17. As I (merely) suggested, contract law might be a place to look. But unless Alamy changes its mind it's a bit academic as regards getting pix back on Alamy. It's hopefully not going to make anyone stop selling images elsewhere. Bear in mind that your ticket is a contract with the train operating company, not Network Fail. The operating company has a contract to run its trains on "Network Rail's" infrastructure and 'may' include some of NR's rules into its contract with you, the paying traveller. I hate these publically funded bodies denying the public, their paymasters after all, access and creating petty rules. That did cross my mind as well that the ticket won't directly be with Network Rail. However, it's far too complex (for me) to go down that route. My starting point is that if I have bought a ticket then I have accepted whatever terms Network Rail decide to impose, whether that's right or wrong. My questions relate to any situation where I find myself on the station without having purchased a ticket. So that could include being on the concourse at Kings Cross Station or being on the platform side of the barriers because the ticket gates were all open. So, I've found myself in that situation, taken a photo and sold it to the Daily Bugle. What do Network Rail do about it? Sorry Mark, I was a bit abrupt earlier. I do agree that additional restrictions beyond the bylaws can be imposed on what I can do in the station, and that could be the case if a contract is in place. But I don't see how just crossing the threshold of the station brings a contract into place. I do see how buying a ticket does though.
  18. You say "The link that was supplied to the bylaws stating that images taken on "their" property cannot be used for selling/commercial purposes is fair enough" It's a very important point though that the link you are referring to are not bylaws. As far as I can see there is no bylaw that specifically relates to photography - either taking photos or selling them. If that is correct then we need to look elsewhere for what underpins that statement from a legal perspective. There has been further discussion about it on this thread.
  19. I haven't bought a ticket so I haven't entered into a contract. You may have agreed to the conditions of entry. The consideration is the value you derive from being in the station. Nonsense!
  20. Not true. They became subject to the FOI after 24 March 2015. http://www.networkrail.co.uk/FOI/
  21. Railway property is covered by the Railway Byelaws https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/4202/railway-byelaws.pdf When you buy a ticket you agree to the terms and conditions defined by the National Rail Conditions of Carriage http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/NRCOC.pdf As far as I can tell, neither has anything to say about photography. However, the byelaws prohibit loitering and the Railways Regulation Act of 1840 prohibits trespassing. My guess is that Network Rail can set conditions for enthusiasts who wish to hang around at the ends of platforms photographing trains as they are giving them permission to loiter. Whether they can apply those conditions to photographs taken by ticket-holding passengers while making a journey might be a different matter. For example, the one photograph of mine that is to be removed is a grab shot of a steam locomotive which happened to pass through Bristol Temple Meads while I was waiting for a connecting train. I did not delay my journey to take the photograph so I was not loitering and had a valid ticket so was not trespassing. Yes, I found that too and posted above. They have byelaws that they can apply while you are there to restrict your activity (quite rightly if used reasonably), but there is no byelaw that I can see that would restrict the use of photographs that you have already taken. (I'm just trying to eliminate various possible angles that they might take). And when I am on the concourse at Kings Cross I haven't bought a ticket so I haven't entered into a contract.
  22. I might also submit a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to Network Rail asking for a breakdown of licences issued to photographers by station. I might also ask for details of the photography related IPR that they hold. http://www.networkrail.co.uk/FOI/
  23. Railway byelaws: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/4202/railway-byelaws.pdf I can't find any mention of photography. They could apply some of the byelaws when you are on site to restrict your photographic activity (health and safety in particular) but I can't see any restrictions relating to photographs that would apply after you have left the site.
  24. Although I don't like it, I respect Alamy's response to this and I am sure that there are very good reasons why they, as a stock agency, have taken this action whereas as individual photographers we might have taken a different stance. Putting that to one side, it's not clear to me what penalties an organisation might actually be able to enforce once the picture has been taken. As Mark alluded to if they don't want photographs taken they should either stop people taking them in the first place (an impossible task in these days of smartphones) or get people to enter a contractual agreement (i.e. buy a ticket) that includes clauses that restrict the taking or use of photographs. If I've wandered into the station without buying a ticket (e.g the concourse at Kings Cross), taken a photo and then sold it, on what legal basis can Network Rail claim against me? Or against the party that uses the photograph if it's for editorial use? What makes things even less clear is the fact that Network Rail's assets are, in fact, publicly owned, so in entering the station are you on private or public land?!
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