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Commission change - James West comments


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After sending an e-mail to James last night, I have already received a response from him, probably the same one most contributors got.

 

As others have said, it sounds as if Alamy is considering 50% for exclusive (on a per image basis, selling direct OK but not thru other agencies) and 40% for non-exclusive. 

 

Guess this isn't exactly breaking news but thought I'd post an update.

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4 hours ago, Alamy said:

 

For clarity, everyone who has images on Alamy was emailed this advanced notification of the upcoming 45 day notice period on the same day.

If you have unsubscribed from our emails then it does mean that the process is not as straight-forward, but the email was still sent to the same email address you registered with. The quote above refers to us looking at other ways to notify you in the future, perhaps through your dashboard, but for now we can confirm that everyone who has images with us was emailed.

 

This thread is for feedback on the commission change so if you have any concerns regarding email notifications from Alamy, please email contributors@alamy.com who will be happy to help.

 

Thanks,

 

Alamy

Right Alamy I have double checked, on 15th October, titled Changes to your contributor contract, this being the e-mail regarding changed to the contract which came via this Alamy e-mail;- Alamy [contributors@alamy-updates.com] which I didn't check the full info,

Then on 1st November the "Keep up to date with our latest contributor blogs" e-mail, same sender. Again I didn't bother checking the content,

Then on 22nd November the "Curate and share your Alamy image collection", which I did look at and replied to you via twitter, you liked my link, & I put it up on here, with other contributors.

 

The other Alamy e-mails I have received are replies to the Forum which come via Alamy [noreply@invisioncloudcommunity.com]

 

I haven't unsubscribed, as although I'm not a main contributor, I do like to check on what is happening with Alamy.

 

Therefore what date did James e-mail go out to everyone? The one in October I only read the changes link and the contract still says 50%?

 

Thanks

Chris

 

 

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57 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

After sending an e-mail to James last night, I have already received a response from him, probably the same one most contributors got.

 

As others have said, it sounds as if Alamy is considering 50% for exclusive (on a per image basis, selling direct OK but not thru other agencies) and 40% for non-exclusive. 

 

Guess this isn't exactly breaking news but thought I'd post an update.

We are all still waiting for a "Public Response" from Mr. West.

 

I will add that as far as I am concerned, the damage has been

done and I do not think it can be repaired.

 

Chuck Nacke

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6 minutes ago, Chuck Nacke said:

We are all still waiting for a "Public Response" from Mr. West.

 

I will add that as far as I am concerned, the damage has been

done and I do not think it can be repaired.

 

Chuck Nacke

 

Sounds as if that might be in the works as well. From James' e-mail:

 

"If we can make the numbers work I will communicate something along these lines shortly."

 

 

 

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I have another idea: I can understand that Alamy does not want to lend money from banks, but it could still lend money from us.

What if we got 40% and lend the remaining 10% to Alamy? Of course there would have to be a limit on how long the money is lent and there would have to be some interest for us. I would suggest a maximum lending time of two or three years and an interest rate between 2% and 3% to compensate inflation. So Alamy could invest those 10% now and those investments would have three years to pay off. At the same time Alamy promises to never ever lower our commission to less than 50%

The good thing about that idea is that the lenders would be people that are interested in the well-being of Alamy and not a greedy bank. And we photographers would get some return (plus interest) again three years after a sale. I could even imagine getting only 35% at the time of sale and the remaining 15% (plus interest) three years later.

At the same time it must be clear that photographers do not have to pay a share of the affiliate fees. If Alamy promises someone 10% just for sharing a link on his website, it's Alamy's duty to pay that fee, as this is a part of marketing and that's Alamy's job. I suggest to give only 5% to affiliates and those 5% will be paid by Alamy.

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30 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

 

What precise part of response evidences the phrase in RED ???

 

From the response I received:

 

"This might work, on a per image basis, as follows:

a. Exclusive with Alamy (you can sell elsewhere direct but not via other stock agencies) for 50%

b. Non-exclusive with Alamy (you can sell elsewhere direct and via other stock agencies) for 40%"

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13 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

 

Thanks.  All kinds of issues can arise, including:

a. contribs bending the rules

b. contribs ratting on each other

c. tremendous delays between requesting image removal from other agencies

& images actually disappearing, especially if subagents involved -- which will trigger (b)

d. contribs toeing the line see (a) & decide, what the hell, I'm doing it too...

e. tremendous hassle of determining which images are NOT at other agencies
for those who don't collect that kind of information

 

AND WHAT ABOUT THOSE TURNING NON-EXCLUSIVE FREE ART INTO STOCK INCOME???!!

(FAMOUS PORTRAITS, HISTORIC PHOTOS, FROM LIBRARY OF CONGRESS & ELSEWHERE)

 

GET READY FOR INTRA-CONTRIB EXCLUSIVITY WARS...

CONSTANT WARRING...

it all bloody takes time away from what a stock shooter should be doing = creating new salable images

 

Yup, the whole notion of "exclusivity" in the age of the Internet is fraught with problems.

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7 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

 

I have to challenge the bursting at the seams bit for both here and other agencies including MS.  Take what strikes me as being a fairly common thing - a teacup ride - or tea cup ride if you prefer.  A common fairground ride seen at both high-end permanent parks, Disney has one, and highly mobile operators possibly leasing them singly for events.  They are bright.  They are colourful.  They usually involve happy children.  They are human interest.   I would expect there to be huge numbers of photos of them, like in the thousands - after all there are thousands of dragonfly pictures which are far more difficult to take.  There are 261 photos on here - and a big microstock agency (ss)  274 photos.  Both places have images badly captioned that are not of tea cup rides at all.  You cannot tell me the market is bursting at the scenes when something as common, as easy to photograph as a teacup ride has a tiny fraction of the images something like a dragonfly has.  I will give you dragonflies bursting at the seams - but not everything.

 

 

AFAIK,  Disney is very protective of their copyrights and very restrictive in the selling of images (commercial or editorial) from their properties.  That's probably why there are so few images of their parks etc.  

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7 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

After sending an e-mail to James last night, I have already received a response from him, probably the same one most contributors got.

 

As others have said, it sounds as if Alamy is considering 50% for exclusive (on a per image basis, selling direct OK but not thru other agencies) and 40% for non-exclusive. 

 

Guess this isn't exactly breaking news but thought I'd post an update.

I would accept this, as it would create a new purchase incentive for these images.  For many of you with large catalogs of de facto exclusives, it could make quite a positive difference.  

 

I hope they make this the change, if any change be made.  However, dropping below 40% for non-exclusives would probably not work for many of us.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Skyscraperfan said:

I have another idea: I can understand that Alamy does not want to lend money from banks, but it could still lend money from us.

What if we got 40% and lend the remaining 10% to Alamy? Of course there would have to be a limit on how long the money is lent and there would have to be some interest for us. I would suggest a maximum lending time of two or three years and an interest rate between 2% and 3% to compensate inflation. So Alamy could invest those 10% now and those investments would have three years to pay off. At the same time Alamy promises to never ever lower our commission to less than 50%

The good thing about that idea is that the lenders would be people that are interested in the well-being of Alamy and not a greedy bank. And we photographers would get some return (plus interest) again three years after a sale. I could even imagine getting only 35% at the time of sale and the remaining 15% (plus interest) three years later.

At the same time it must be clear that photographers do not have to pay a share of the affiliate fees. If Alamy promises someone 10% just for sharing a link on his website, it's Alamy's duty to pay that fee, as this is a part of marketing and that's Alamy's job. I suggest to give only 5% to affiliates and those 5% will be paid by Alamy.

This is a bad idea, if this was put forward before Mr. West's video my feelings would be different.  I would consider the idea of  50 / 50 on direct licenses on exclusive to Alamy

images,  CONSIDER being a keyword.  Time for my first martini...

 

Chuck Nacke

Edited by Chuck Nacke
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14 hours ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

Libraries have gone under with lower commissions - does long term matter are "we" happy with sharing the same pot with an ever increasing number of contributors amongst an ever increasing number of images? Am I alone in desiring some serious growth and attempts to grab market share - I prefer success at Alamy over so many other places, and YES I'm prepared to sacrifice the short term for the long term success given the choice if I believe that could be the case.

Oh! That makes it ok, then. I should have told my husband (rest his soul) that if ever he cheated on me, it’s ok because two husbands down the street did so and got away with it, although their wives went mad.

 

Edited by Betty LaRue
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10 hours ago, Olivier Parent said:

Alamy's strength is the diversity of images you can find in the collection. The "best" picture is not always the most aesthetically achieved (which is always a bit subjective anyway) but the one that fits the clients needs. Many clients are not looking for a beautiful picture but a picture that perfectly illustrates the story they are telling. So I think QC should keep concentrating on technical issues only. But too many similars affects everyone (the contributor's CTR, the client  who needs to search through dozens of nearly identical images to eventually find what he is looking for, Alamy managing all the data and in the end, all of us) so maybe, when too many similars are detected, Alamy could alert the contributor, asking him/her to delete some.

Very smart advice, there. I agree. I remember before Alamy broke up submissions over many pages, seeing a whole page full of the same image with minute differences I had to study hard to discern.

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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Oh! That makes it ok, then. I should have told my husband (rest his soul) that if ever he cheated on me, it’s ok because two husbands down the street did so and got away with it, although their wives went mad.

 

 

I'm sorry Betty, that analogy just doesn't work for me. I'm very sympathetic to you and your circumstances, but I fail to see the connection - actually feels wrong to even take it there....(btw I'm old-school, by the book, straight-laced, cheating never ok, married for 16 years+ kind of guy if that helps you understand me or my POV better)

 

I stated a fact (libraries gone bust with lower commission than A) and questioned how long "we" would be happy with diminishing returns (more contribs sharing the same pot), questioning the appetite for growth and whether that could be worth sacrifice.....

Edited by Martin Carlsson
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1 hour ago, Chuck Nacke said:

This is a bad idea, if this was put forward before Mr. West's video my feelings would be different.  I would consider the idea of  50 / 50 on direct licenses on exclusive to Alamy

images,  CONSIDER being a keyword.  Time for my first martini...

 

Chuck Nacke

 Turn off the computer first before pouring the first one ;)

 

Don't know if this is a real offer by Alamy. I might be alone in thinking this, but think 10% difference is too little, however many existing contributors will de facto get their desired status quo. For the more "active" bunch it will feel like "why are we singled out to take the punishment all alone"? Hmm

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On 12/13/2018 at 04:45, spacecadet said:

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.


Just pointing out the possibility of abuse.

I used to photograph charity events, before they started using amateurs from craigslist for free, and the amount of graft and skimming was astonishing. A lot of c suite execs. are routinely able to write off $1000 meals, airline travel, hotel stays, etc under the guise of soliciting donations. It would be much easier if the "donations" came from a source that you control and not able to exercise any oversight. Most charities that have large outside donors get audited regularly also.

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If 50% cut is offered for Alamy exclusive images, then 45 days notice is not enough. Many (most) of us have our images elsewhere as well, and it will take months to get them removed. And even then, we can't be 100% sure they have been due to distributor schemes. When I joined Alamy, there was no incentive to keep images exclusive, nor any way of even notifying Alamy that they were. If the goalposts are going to move, we all should be given the courtesy of time needed to organise our images should we want them to be Alamy exclusive.

 

I would also be looking at some kind of guarantee that exclusive images were not disadvantaged in the searches, because non exclusive images would make more $$ for Alamy.

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35 minutes ago, DCSmith said:


Just pointing out the possibility of abuse.

I used to photograph charity events, before they started using amateurs from craigslist for free, and the amount of graft and skimming was astonishing. A lot of c suite execs. are routinely able to write off $1000 meals, airline travel, hotel stays, etc under the guise of soliciting donations. It would be much easier if the "donations" came from a source that you control and not able to exercise any oversight. Most charities that have large outside donors get audited regularly also.

 

Unfortunately I think you're absolutely right - if there is a possibility of abuse/misuse, there will be. Impression I get is that most/many/a lot of people seem to think that it is ok to do "stuff" not by the book using excuses such as "Because they can" and "They (being stock libraries) "abuse/use" us". Irritates me greatly as I stick to my word/contract regardless of the behaviour of the other party.

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39 minutes ago, cbimages said:

If 50% cut is offered for Alamy exclusive images, then 45 days notice is not enough. Many (most) of us have our images elsewhere as well, and it will take months to get them removed. And even then, we can't be 100% sure they have been due to distributor schemes. When I joined Alamy, there was no incentive to keep images exclusive, nor any way of even notifying Alamy that they were. If the goalposts are going to move, we all should be given the courtesy of time needed to organise our images should we want them to be Alamy exclusive.

 

I would also be looking at some kind of guarantee that exclusive images were not disadvantaged in the searches, because non exclusive images would make more $$ for Alamy.

 

IME it takes at least six months to get images removed from agencies. Plus, as you say, who knows if they ever get taken down from distribution networks. Then there are images on POD sites, some of which also operate (unsuccessfully AFAIK) as stock outlets of sorts. There would have to be some clarification about their status as well. Lots of busy work ahead if this plan goes through, especially for those with very large collections.

Edited by John Mitchell
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56 minutes ago, cbimages said:

If 50% cut is offered for Alamy exclusive images, then 45 days notice is not enough. Many (most) of us have our images elsewhere as well, and it will take months to get them removed. And even then, we can't be 100% sure they have been due to distributor schemes. When I joined Alamy, there was no incentive to keep images exclusive, nor any way of even notifying Alamy that they were. If the goalposts are going to move, we all should be given the courtesy of time needed to organise our images should we want them to be Alamy exclusive.

 

I would also be looking at some kind of guarantee that exclusive images were not disadvantaged in the searches, because non exclusive images would make more $$ for Alamy.

Now that prices are so low everywhere is it really worth the hassle and time to remove images just to prevent a 20% reduction at Alamy. 

I guess that all I would even consider is going through my files at Alamy and ticking those which are exclusive.

 

The point you make about guarantees re search position is a very good one and the real question is wether  could trust Alamy enough to make it worth the effort. After all 20% of not very much and falling is --not very much going forward and a couple of days stacking shelves for Tesco may be a more profitable use of my time.

 

Regen

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18 minutes ago, regen said:

The point you make about guarantees re search position is a very good one and the real question is wether  could trust Alamy enough to make it worth the effort. After all 20% of not very much and falling is --not very much going forward and a couple of days stacking shelves for Tesco may be a more profitable use of my time.

 

Regen

 

One argument for giving a higher commission rate for exclusive images is that if the customer finds an image that is exclusive to Alamy they can't then search for that specific image in other sources and Alamy then loses a sale. So why would Alamy give preference in the searches to images that can be bought elsewhere, just because they pay less commission to the photographer? If anything, they should give preference in the search to images exclusive to Alamy.

 

Anyway, I think it would be something that would be fairly easy to monitor by changing around exclusivity on a few images and then seeing where they moved to in the search results.

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