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  1. I've found finding and dealing with copyright violations challenging. Part of the reason is that my images on Alamy often get used without proper credits to me or Alamy, post late, and the end customer is never named in an Alamy sale. I had a recent episode where I found a couple of images of mine used to illustrate an article for a big British news outlet. I found them with a reverse image search. As is often the case, there was no credit to me, any of my pseudonyms or Alamy. This particular article was dated about three years ago and I had to cross reference the images and find them on Alamy, then check to see if they had ever been licensed. Those images in question hadn't ever been licensed. This type of searching takes me a long time to find copyright violations and make sure that they weren't legit. I contacted member services at Alamy and I now see the images in question in the "sold" list this month. Each license was for about US$7. So the couple hours I invested in chasing this violation will net me about US$2-3/hr after Alamy's split. What I'd really like to see is that there be a disincentive to "forgetting" to pay Alamy. And I think to help in catching copyright violations, there ought to also be a further cost to not crediting either Alamy or the photographer. Think about it..... you know when you go on the subway in areas with an "honour system". Every so often the transit police come by and make sure that you bought a ticket. If the punishment for being caught was exactly the cost of the ticket you were required to buy- why would anybody buy a ticket?! Similarly, if the punishment for a major UK news outlet was if ever caught to simply pay the minimal amount they would have had to anyway- they are going to "forget" regularly. Just an idea...
  2. Seems like there has to be a better way for Alamy and its contributors to find copyright infringements. Like many of you, I use Google's reverse image search to try and track down where my Alamy photos have been used. Though I often find plenty of results, they very rarely credit me, either by my name or my Alamy pseudonyms. Though Alamy is often the credit line, it is not at all uncommon to find that somebody else is- presumably another third party stock agency. And with each search, I seem to open a new can of worms that takes me hours to follow up. As examples, I go to my "zooms" for this month and reverse search here. My blogs pop up a couple times, and then there's a real result: a news story in a Slavic language. Three of my images are used, and they are all attributed to a "Profimedia". After some searching, it turns out Profimedia is another stock photo distributor. I can only assume that they are legit and working with Alamy. Another search came up with what appeared to be my photo, but I wasn't sure until I compared it detail for detail for several minutes. This is a photo of the "Apple Garage" in Silicon Valley and there are plenty of other similar photos. Seemed plausible at first that it could have been a very similar photo until I compared the little details. So this image of mine is being used by a German publication and my photo is attributed to another outfit I've never heard of, Mauritius Images. Again I’m assuming that they are on the level and working with Alamy. I’ve been tempted to just call them out and have them explain to me why their name is attributed to my image. Recently I had an experience directly with Alamy that seemed to make enforcing my copyright difficult as well. I knew an old photo of mine had been used for a book cover a couple times. The licenses I see on Alamy both state "Media: Retail book - print only". But I found the book for sale as an ebook and as a Kindle book and contacted Alamy. Their response was it was indeed licensed, but that licenses are issued with a price calculator and can't be 100% specific. I get that but I do find it strange that something that is explicitly excluded in a license would be "covered" by said license. And it makes it nearly impossible to then enforce copyright for contributors or? Again, I’m tempted to just confront the publisher and send them a bill for the extra usage. But if Alamy is making deals that we aren’t privy to, this could end up being embarrassing for all involved. Seems we're leaving a lot of money on the table, both contributors and Alamy. We should be chasing blatant image thieves and making them pay. I understand in licensing that there may be grey areas at times. But there must be better ways. For example: ·Require end users to credit Alamy, or the pseudonym or real name of the copyright holder, never just a third party ·Generate a code that can be used to verify the license that end users are required to display alongside the image ·Use a service like Licenstream that tracks content digitally and follow up on violations ·Generate licenses that are pretty close to the actual use ·Or???? Suggestions? Thoughts? Am I missing something I should be doing?
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