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Keith Douglas

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Everything posted by Keith Douglas

  1. 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"?
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. Not true. They became subject to the FOI after 24 March 2015. http://www.networkrail.co.uk/FOI/
  8. 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.
  9. 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/
  10. 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.
  11. 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?!
  12. Alamy aren't going to fight that point for us. It is more about the terms and conditions of entry to the station. You're not bound by them unless they're fair and prominently displayed, but NR can't be bothered to police that so they just get rid of the "problem" further downstream, i.e. us. I've asked for my keywords back. They certainly don't belong to NR. True. The fact that Alamy have taken the action that they have would suggest that they have looked at it and have decided not to resist Network Rail. But it would be handy to know the facts just in case I find myself selling a photo taken at one of those stations through some other outlet.
  13. I see that the Alamy front page has an image today titled "Train passengers wave goodbye to friends and family"
  14. Would be a very good idea, but... the government is planning to sell NR back to the private sector as soon as it can so any victory would be short-lived anyway Alan From a commercial perspective, I should just let my 7 images go and move on to something else. But for me it's also about the principle - perhaps a dangerous thing!
  15. Does anybody know under what byelaws Network Rail are doing this? (Similar question to that relating to the National Trust). It can't be a contractual restriction (like say when you buy a ticket for a sporting event or concert) because some of my photos were taken from a position where I didn't need to have bought a ticket.
  16. From 1st September 2014 Network Rail became a public sector company, answerable to Parliament. I think I might write a letter to my MP about unreasonable restrictions on trade and Network Rail's attempt to create a monopoly in photography IPR at stations that they control.
  17. The Network Rail operated stations are: Birmingham New Street Cannon Street Bristol Temple Meads Charing Cross Edinburgh Waverley Euston Glasgow Central King's Cross Leeds London Bridge Liverpool Lime Street Liverpool Street Manchester Piccadilly Paddington Reading St Pancras International Victoria Waterloo So presumably this particular cull only affects photos taken at those stations.
  18. Me too. 7 of mine removed. Interestingly, I came across this on the Network Rail / National Rail website: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/55286.aspx I won't be contributing.
  19. I have the Sony RX100 Mk 1 and I love it. I've been using it for nearly 3 years and I haven't had any QC failures (touch wood). I downsize my images to a maximum dimension of 3600px. One thing I don't need to worry about with it is dust spots (one of my 2 failures using a DSLR in the early days). I do still use my DSLR for some work, such as sports action, but the RX100 is the preferred choice for the "camera I have with me".
  20. I agree with what you say Martin in this and in your previous post. I suspect though that the vast majority of people who head straight for stock photography without having some technical and industry knowledge will disappear in a relatively short time. Firstly they will struggle to get photos ready for submission and will suffer regular QC failures. Secondly, they will find that generating regular sales requires a lot of hard work over an extended period of time and there is no easy money to be made. And, as many people have said, taking the photographs is a small part of what is needed to be successful.
  21. Alamy only for me too! I am always looking for other outlets for my images, but microstock is not the direction I am looking.
  22. That explains things pretty well, but there are a couple of errors, I think. The most important one is that you should be able to submit images direct from a camera with a 6M pixels sensor. The most reliable way, I think, is to look at the properties of the image file in Windows or in a software application (I don't now about Macs). Multiply the width in pixels of the image by the height in pixels of the image. If the number you get is greater than or equal to 6,000,000 then the image will be large enough. [ignore this second one if you struggle with bits, bytes, file sizes, compression etc. or you will be confused even more! A sensor 1000 x 1000 pixels would have a million pixels. Because of the way that M bytes are defined it needs slightly less than 1Mbyte of data to store 1 million bytes at 1 byte per pixel. The minimum acceptable image size is 6M Pixels. Each pixel needs 3 bytes to store red, green and blue. So you need 18 million bytes to store a 6 M pixel image. But 18 million bytes is actually 17.2 Mbytes. Hence the 17Mb figure that is sometimes quoted.]
  23. 9 sales for £183 gross. Pleased with the number of sales, but 3 sub $6 sales dragged the average down
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