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About geofk

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  • Joined Alamy
    01 Nov 2005

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  1. I was not too happy at the amounts we make with this Newspaper scheme. I have recorded around 30 odd uses for one particular image at around .$12 each. But the silver lining has come from chasing up all those who lifted this image from the newspaper involved. Earnings from this unexpected source - and that's without being greedy - are around 10 times the newspaper figure per infringement. There's over 650 unauthorised uses of this shot around the globe so a nice, albeit unexpected source of income, has found me.
  2. The main problem I have is in calculating what to demand. The 2 or 3 times book rate works for editorial stuff but will definitely be inaccurate for advertising/advertorial. The one question I think we need to ask ourselves is " what would I say if the judge asks us to justify our charges". I think the idea of adding a punitive element cannot be justified no matter how much we feel it should. No decent court would allow this as an undisguised charge as it would then be condoning vigilante action. We could call this an administrative fee for locating the offender or for handling the enforcement action. In some circumstances, a more lenient attitude - towards non-profits, charities etc - might be needed but I would always try to get some sort of token payment just to reinforce the idea that taking someone's intellectual property is wrong.
  3. I have an Alamy image with over 100 unauthorised uses. Alamy's client has been the sole licensee. Alamy uses Picscout and has notified me of about 6 or 7 unauthorised uses that they spotted. They have recovered on 4 uses and the amounts are around the $12 mark. Picscout's operational area is limited to the UK, France, USA and Canada - ie where the big money might come from. I have a use in Luxembourg that Picscout won't deal with. Picscout will only chase uses where a decent return is almost guaranteed and this does not include blogs, social media or things like Pinterest. Having said that, Picscout has acquired a fearsome reputation for chasing infringements that they take an interest in but as far as I know, they haven't even looked at a spreadsheet I sent (with completed forms) for some 60 or so infringements. As nearly all these unauthorised uses don't carry a credit, I generally double the Alamy's rate to compensate for the lack of a credit. If the use is more flagrant and / or veers towards advertising or advertorial, I will treble the book rate. Uses extending over a year also get higher rates. Biggest settlement I got for one use was $175.
  4. Just post your contact sheets to yourself. That's the most you can do in the UK. As copyright exists at the time of creation, the postal route just gives a confirmed date. Keep the envelope as proof. The US system also has copyright at the moment of creation but the registration system allows for statutory damages and legal fees. These UK registration systems are a joke and prey on the ignorant. Even better, shoot raw. The taking date is embedded in Nikon's NEF and, as far as I know, there's no way to change this. Most decent Nikon cameras have an authentication system in their firmware. JPGs also have this but as the EXIF can be easily accessed, is less trustworthy. Dunno about Canon's system.
  5. As Alamy doesn't demand exclusivity, there shouldn't be any problem. If there were no credit then you would probably have lost the print sales.
  6. @Jill, I disagree. You miss the point. It's not just about recognition, it's equally about telling others that a copyright exists and has to be respected. One of my images has been used extensively by a UK newspaper - about 25 licensed uses. Few uses, if any, carry a credit. It's been taken from their on-line publication many times and I now count about 100 unauthorised uses. On chasing these up, I often get the response that the image carried neither credit nor watermark to indicate ownershop. And that the users thought the image is in the public domain. Granted if users thought they might (heaven forbid) have to pay for an image, this usage would have dropped dramatically but I would still have earned from whatever uses. I think that this unfettered use, apart from giving me admin headaches, making me learn several languages etc could be avoided by insisting on appropriate credits. Otherwise we will be promoting the orphaning of our work and hence losing income.
  7. Has anyone had to deal with aggregation ? I have an unlicensed usage (in the Mediteranean region) and the newspaper involved claims it's only aggregating from another source (same country) in an iframe box . I've read extensively on aggregation issues but most of the decisions I've seen revolve around how much content is reproduced and whether there are pointers back to the original source. In the case of a picture, it's all or nothing - not possible to have a percentage reproduced. In my case, there were no pointers back to my image anywhere, nor was there a credit. The Med is outside Alamy's area for chasing up possible infringements. Would be interested in hearing what the forum's experience is. Thanks
  8. You might want to have a look at www.dcdirectactionnews.wordpress.com to see what sort of lengths people go to to encourage IP infringement. They seem to have it in for Getty and Picscout. Picscout act on Alamy's behalf.
  9. I had my D70 converted to shoot infra red and I haven't had any images rejected - despite being cropped and resized to above 30mb.
  10. I had a similar email a while back and when payment was made it was about $7. This was from an unauthorised use of an image used extensively by a UK newspaper over a 3 year period. The earnings haven't been massive although consistent. Just as a matter of interest I did a Google reverse image and Tineye search on this image and now have recorded over 60 unauthorised uses of this image around the world. I was shocked at the blatency of some of the uses, few of which carried any sort of credit. I've filled in the requested documentation on each of these uses and, as far as I know, either the Alamy infringement dept or an appointed agency is chasing them up. What has emerged from this is we need to supply image urls and the details of the web site owners. Alamy supply a form for this. They say they've limited their jurisdiction to the UK and N.America so I'll be chasing the Cypriot, Iranian, Kuwati, Russian, Mexican and Australian infringements :-( One of the things that I'm hearing from these infringers is that they thought as the image was on the 'net, it is free for use. We all know that's not true but when I look at the newspaper use, there is often no credit to even give a hint there is an owner. Sure the infringers could have done what I did. All roads would then lead back to Alamy as the only authorised seller of the image rights. When we sign the Alamy contract, we sign away our Moral Rights (esp. paternity) but, and I've raised with this Alamy, I think we should be working towards including credits as part of the sales contract. This problem of a lack of a credit gives internet users the belief that a work has no apparent owner. Of course, there will always be those who will take an image, credit or not, but at least with a visible credit innocent users will be warned and the wilful lose their excuses. From my point of view, the low income from the newspaper usage, whilst always welcome, hardly justifies the almost total loss in value caused by the widespread unauthorised uses - and I'm still counting.
  11. Not quite that simple. I have over 50 infringements across the world on one image - it was used in Mexico, USA, UK, Poland, Cyprus, Russia, Middle East, India and Australia. Alamy have been jacking up their vigilance and action of late but their enforcement teams can only work in parts of Europe and the USA. The others have to be chased up by the photographers themselves. Now I have to learn Spanish, Russian, Greek, Hindi and Arabic to read the replies I'm getting.
  12. It was nice to see a bit of additional sales revenue described as "Infringement; web use XXXXXXX" on my account this month . Well done Alamy for spotting this and following it up.
  13. I've just finished digitally duping over 5000 b & W infra red (HIE) negs using a Nikon D300 on Programme mode, a Nikkor 105mm macro + ring on a Beseler Dual Dichro duplicator set on tungsten. The key to getting this right was the Control My Nikon tethering software which is simply indispensible. Oh, and I had converted the old 3.5mm camera trigger socket at the back to a 2.5 mm one so that the camera can be fired from the duplicator. Each neg strip (6 frames) was dusted down, put in the holder and shot within 30 secs. My daily throughput was averaging about 350 frames. I only need to manually intervene where there was an obvious subject failure of the automated exposure. I didn't need to bracket exposures as negs are well within a D300's exposure capability. View NX2 took care of the exposure inversion and brightness, contrast and so on. My Coolscan 8000 can't hold a candle to that kind of workload and wasn't in the running anyway because it's too slow and digital ice doesn't work on silver based images. This dust problem and the sharpness issues are, I think, related to the light source used. In the darkroom days there were distinct differences between point light source and diffusion enlargers. A point light source created all sorts of dust problems but few disputed its ability to produce the sharpest images. The dust problems were more apparent because of the Callier Effect which produced a higher contrast thus exaggerating dust and scratches. My Beseler has a well diffused tungsten source so the Callier Effect is almost non-existent.
  14. The DACS registration form asks a lot of questions I can't answer so I think this time around I'll let Alamy deal with it. DACS mentions something about additional claims for work published in the Netherlands. Alamy didn't mention this. Has anyone tried to claim for these shots ? Then there was the brilliant suggestion that we approach our local collection societies. Perhaps it might work in some areas but in South Africa, you would grow very old before someone understood what you were talking about. And then another lifetime to trace the money.
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