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Commission change - James West comments

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16 minutes ago, Panthera tigris said:

After reading this page I think a couple of you have really gone a bit too far. You are contributors, what business is it of yours if Alamy funds charities, none of you own or manage Alamy. If you don't like contributing to Alamy then just stop doing so but smearing them with such comments is too much. 

 

 

Alamy is changing the commission split because they want to invest rather than not.  OK, but many companies use their profits for such investment. As you suggest, I will stop contributing to Alamy when I see fit. By reducing the contributor's share they are asking contributors to fund investment, while they give away profits. It's their business, for sure, but one that gives away profit before necessary investments.

 

 

Edited by KevinS
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4 hours ago, Panthera tigris said:

After reading this page I think a couple of you have really gone a bit too far. You are contributors, what business is it of yours if Alamy funds charities, none of you own or manage Alamy. If you don't like contributing to Alamy then just stop doing so but smearing them with such comments is too much. 

+1

As much as we don't like it Alamy has made there decision and has informed us with suitable notice of the change in commission.

Realistically there is nothing we can do about it, except vent our thoughts here, smearing is not a good way to go about trying to get Alamy on our side.

 

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7 hours ago, KevinS said:

One of those people might be Mike Fischer, James' uncle, who provided the start-up money for Alamy. No idea how much he's paid by any charity (non-profit company, really?).

The directors remunerations are in the Companies House accounts for both (A and charity).

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If contributors really have to pay half the 10% of the affiliate costs, that would be a major scandal. We were promised 50% and we should get 50. The affiliate program is a part of selling our images, which should be financed 100% from the Alamy share of the sale price. It's like payments for advertising. While we pay for our cameras, our photo software and our journeys, Alamy should pay for all the rest. Where in our account balance are those affiliate costs hidden?

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In his video James made a comparison between stock agency royalty percentages and Alamy but did not make any comparison between celebrity or news focused agencies. The royalty percent that I currently get with these ranges from between 50% and 75%. By reducing its royalty rate to 40% Alamy now becomes the least attractive to me when I I am deciding where to put my images. Obviously at the end of the day I am concerned with total revenue which must also take into account sales volume and sales price, but I am not convinced that these will be sufficiently better in any event. 

Looking at the balance sheet of Alamy it appears to have a reasonable level of cash assets and I would recommend going here first. Also reduce payments to charity to nil and use this money for development if necessary, rather than corporate virtue signalling.

Creating what is effectively a 20% immediate reduction in revenue to contributors provides a big incentive to upload elsewhere. Also lets not forget that that is assuming a direct Alamy sale. If subagents are used does this now mean our royalty rate is reduced from 30% to 20%?

On the more positive side I must give some credit to James for his openness and I have found Alamy to generally be a very competent organisation with good systems and generally good treatment of photographers. However, please do not become complacent or take us for granted because if you lose the photographers you will be nothing and worth nothing. Any loss in images will affect your bottom line (profit) as other costs are likely to remain relatively fixed.

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10 hours ago, Paul J said:

 

It was a small sample to see what kind of thing sold. I have over 100k images, but wasn't going to upload them all,  just selected ones. Not any more, waste of time. 

My point is still valid, in your "small sample", if you had uploaded lots of different images but fewer similars, you might have received a better result. Buyers do not waste time wading through dozens of similar images.

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9 hours ago, DCSmith said:



Sounds suspiciously like a possible money laundering scheme.

Alamy is a legitimate British company with charitable objectives. Smearing it without a shred of evidence demeans you.

And you can red arrow me all you like.

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To be fair, it may be a cultural thing. "Charity" may have significantly different connotations in America, what with TV evangelists asking for donations to fund private jets, etc.

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15 hours ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

You restricted three of four possible choices?

Which choice did you leave unrestricted & why?

 

We're only permitted to select 3 restrictions. I chose to leave the option least likely to sell.

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14 hours ago, Duncan_Andison said:

 

Where do you apply these restrictions? and can it be done to your entire port in one go?!? Cheers

 

Restrictions are listed under the Optional tab in Image Manager. You can select the 500 most recently uploaded images using the check box at the top. The rest you will have to batch select by clicking first image, holding shift key, scrolling down and selecting last image. Restrictions can only apply to rights-managed images obviously. Took me 10 mins for 2K images.

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45 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Alamy is a legitimate British company with charitable objectives.

 

And...? It sounds like the Fischer Family Trust and it's associated organisations advances the professional interests of its owner. As such it may not be entirely altruistic. 'Charitable' status can often be used to gain an unfair advantage over commercial competitors. I question whether yet more quantitative targets in education are really what kids and teachers need. Nor are these services provided freely. The "generous benefits" available to FFT employees include a non-contributory pension scheme and private health insurance. These are not options easily available to Alamy contributors on our pathetic earnings.

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4 hours ago, Skyscraperfan said:

If contributors really have to pay half the 10% of the affiliate costs, that would be a major scandal. We were promised 50% and we should get 50. The affiliate program is a part of selling our images, which should be financed 100% from the Alamy share of the sale price. It's like payments for advertising. While we pay for our cameras, our photo software and our journeys, Alamy should pay for all the rest. Where in our account balance are those affiliate costs hidden?

Contributors have been receiving 38.5% of affiliate sales for many months now. It's in the current Alamy Commission Table, part of the contract. I've kept a sharp eye on the forums for any reports of affiliate sales, and have heard of less than 5 since the drop in commission (that date is found in the Record of Changes). For top affiliates to be earning $4500./month, they're probably responsible for sales mainly of non-forum member photos. To answer your question, affiliate sales are marked as such along with your other sales.

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1 hour ago, hotbrightsky said:

 

And...? It sounds like the Fischer Family Trust and it's associated organisations advances the professional interests of its owner. As such it may not be entirely altruistic. 'Charitable' status can often be used to gain an unfair advantage over commercial competitors. I question whether yet more quantitative targets in education are really what kids and teachers need. Nor are these services provided freely. The "generous benefits" available to FFT employees include a non-contributory pension scheme and private health insurance. These are not options easily available to Alamy contributors on our pathetic earnings.

...and suggesting it may be a money launderer, as the poster to whom I replied did, is out of order.

One may "question" those objectives, but just as it's your business which charities you approve of, it's Alamy's likewise. It's not a co-operative.

To the Red Arrows BTW, bring them on, I've got plenty of credit.

 

Edited by spacecadet
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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

...and calling it a money launderer, as the poster to whom I replied did, is out of order.

Agreed.

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Alamy is a legitimate British company with charitable objectives.

 

So is the N.T and R.H.S

 

regen

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11 hours ago, DCSmith said:



Sounds suspiciously like a possible money laundering scheme.

 

I am against the cut in commission as much as anyone and also agree that Charity contributions should be cut while investment is needed. However I really think this kind of comment is uncalled for.

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17 hours ago, Duncan_Andison said:

 

Where do you apply these restrictions? and can it be done to your entire port in one go?!? Cheers

 

Just email Alamy, they'll do it for you immediately

 

Alex

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14 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I think that contributors bear some responsibility here as well. Many have put their Alamy images on sites that pay much less (e.g. microstock), thereby potentially undermining both Alamy and themselves.

 

Just sayin'...

That wasn't my practice until the notification - at which point the discovery than a microstock I played around with a few years back was getting more sales at higher prices with fewer images than Alamy changed my mind.  I will probably try to focus on splitting my next few uploads - some on here, some elsewhere  to see what happens - and I will keep a close watch on the images I do now have duplicated.

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

Royal Horticultural Society? Eh?

 

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), founded in 1804 as the Horticultural Society of London, is the UK's leading gardening charity. ... It also supports training for professional and amateur gardeners. Charity no, 222879

 

Regen

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Have seen numerous reported instances of Alamy suppliers with unreported image use licenses and downloads that are not billed even after long extended periods of time or even never.  This results in significant income loss for both suppliers and Alamy.   We're talking reports of annual losses up to 20% over a significant period of time.

 

Does anyone have any inkling if this is a longterm widespread problem or likely only to specific circumstances such as Live News, a specific type license, or certain types of customers i.e. newspapers?

 

If this is a fairly widespread problem for Alamy and it's suppliers it's inconceivable that Alamy is not aggressively addressing their internal systems to significantly reduce this income drain for both Alamy and suppliers.  For Alamy to slash supplier commissions without making a strong concerted effort internally to get it's own house in order and reduce this income loss is beyond the pale.   

Edited by Phil
typo
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12 minutes ago, Phil said:

...a strong concerted effort internally to get it's own house in order...

Not sure about a strong concerted effort, but currently Alamy has the option of pursuing infringements or passing that task on to the contributor.

 

16.2. Each party shall promptly inform the other of any actual or suspected infringement of copyright, loss of Images, breach of moral rights or other matter giving rise to threat of proceedings or claims or demands in respect of any of the Images. In the event of any alleged breach of any licence by a Customer or any Infringementof intellectual property or other rights in an Image by a third party, Alamy may either take action itself against the Customer or third party or alternatively inform you that it will not be taking action and you may then do so at your option. 

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6 minutes ago, Phil said:

Have seen numerous reported instances of Alamy suppliers with unreported image use licenses and downloads that are not billed even after long extended periods of time or even never.  This results in significant income loss for both suppliers and Alamy.   We're talking reports of annual losses up to 20% over a significant period of time.

 

Does anyone have any inkling if this is a longterm widespread problem or likely only to specific circumstances such as Live News, a specific type license, or certain types of customers i.e. newspapers?

 

If this is a fairly widespread problem for Alamy and it's suppliers it's inconceivable that Alamy is not aggressively addressing their internal systems to significantly reduce this income drain for both Alamy and suppliers.  For Alamy to slash supplier commissions without making a strong concerted effort internally to get it's own house in order and reduce this income loss is beyond the pale.   

Funny you should mention that.

Last night I found this from a year ago. Mine is the one of the girl taking a photo.

https://www.is.fi/ulkomaat/art-2000005509783.html

No invoice, so I emailed Contributor Relations concerning this. They replied quickly and are looking into it.

I'm getting the sinking feeling that this happens a lot more than we think.

Maybe Alamy can hire a fulltime accounts receivable employee now, with it's newfound wealth.

Disgusted

PS. I froze my butt off getting that photo, which doesn't help my mood at the moment.

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14 minutes ago, Phil said:

Have seen numerous reported instances of Alamy suppliers with unreported image use licenses and downloads that are not billed even after long extended periods of time or even never.  This results in significant income loss for both suppliers and Alamy.   We're talking reports of annual losses up to 20% over a significant period of time.

 

Does anyone have any inkling if this is a longterm widespread problem or likely only to specific circumstances such as Live News, a specific type license, or certain types of customers i.e. newspapers?

When I joined Alamy way back, I asked Alamy to publish the buyer in My Alamy. That way, when a sale is made, I can look out for the newspaper, book or website. I was told it was to stop photographers asking for tear sheets. Well, Alamy could easily put a provisor in your contract that would stop you pestering a publisher.

 

The anonymous buying gives licence to the buyer to infringe copyright. I know of at least one incident in which the publisher, the Daily Mail, published one of my images without paying. I brought it to Alamy's attention, who invoiced the Daily Mail, who paid. No penalty for infringing my copyright, nor any legal action threatened. Have they done it to other photographers, and to me again? I strongly suspect they have because there's no way I'm going to buy the Daily Mail, nor visit its website on the "off chance" they have bought one of my images so will never know how much revenue I've lost over the years not only to the Daily Mail but other buyers.

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Just having a quick look at Alamy's latest tweets and in particular the one where they've highlighted their blog article on how photographers can de-stress and improve their mental well-being. I wonder if James and him management team might be taking a look at it and reflecting what having 20% cut from one's income might do for a photographers stress levels? I'm sure we'd like to hear their thoughts on i.he matter 

 

Come to think of it, nearly ten days after their announcement of the forthcoming reductions, it would be quite nice to hear if the massive outpouring of deep concern and considered thinking on how Alamy's issues might be addressed, we might get some kind of response from them. If only to say S*d Off.

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