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Commission change - James West comments


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1 minute ago, John Mitchell said:

 

That doesn't surprise me. I wonder how many of Alamy's tens of thousands (I lost count) of contributors are even aware of the proposed change in commission? This forum is a tiny sampling.

I was just thinking exactly the same thing - think how many of us on the forum only found out about the contract change through reading the forum, because the email came from a different address and went to spam, or did not arrive at all.  There are probably an awful lot of people who do not come on the forum happily oblivious to what is going on - if the 45 days notice comes from that same address or is plagued by the same issues of total non-delivery the first thing they are going to know about is when they get a sale and only get 40%.  At which point they are going to contact Alamy - then it will get interesting.

I should think it would be best for Alamy to make the contract change require positive acknowledgement and suspend uploading for contributors that do not tick they have seen the change - but I bet that does not happen.

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

What really concerns me is that this Exclusivity 'fix' may be more about what is easiest to do rather than what is best to do. 

 

 

 

But most likely easier said than done given all the complexities involved -- Alamy could be trading in Pandora's box for a potential can of worms.

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1 hour ago, Starsphinx said:

I was just thinking exactly the same thing - think how many of us on the forum only found out about the contract change through reading the forum, because the email came from a different address and went to spam, or did not arrive at all.  There are probably an awful lot of people who do not come on the forum happily oblivious to what is going on - if the 45 days notice comes from that same address or is plagued by the same issues of total non-delivery the first thing they are going to know about is when they get a sale and only get 40%.  At which point they are going to contact Alamy - then it will get interesting.

I should think it would be best for Alamy to make the contract change require positive acknowledgement and suspend uploading for contributors that do not tick they have seen the change - but I bet that does not happen.

 

 

I wonder what the legal position is if the email was not received (and did not even go into spam) but there was a valid email on file albeit opted out of newsletters etc.

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16 hours ago, Skyscraperfan said:


Wouldn't it be a lot of work for a buyer to look if the image is elsewhere? Where should he start? There are no many agencies around. And the buyer usually is employed be a company who has to pay him by the hour. So such a search would make an image more expensive.

I am not sure if exclusivity really benefits the agencies, because it also stops them from getting many images that are exclusive at another agency.

Exclusivity was also something that I saw as a downside of Getty. Exclusivity meant that only Getty could sell your work. That is quite a restriction. So if they do not sell one of your images, it will not be sold at all. And that exclusivity does not even cover your image, but also all of your images that look similar to that image, even if those similar images were rejected because of minor quality flaws. That means that Getty forbids you to sell those rejected images ANYWHERE. Not at Getty and also nowhere outside of Getty. So you have a photo and are not allowed to sell it AT ALL.

I hope that Alamy exclusivity does not go that far. It should only cover the images that are actually online via Alamy. Such an exclusivity would be okay for me.

What I would reject though is an exclusivity on the customer side, which means that if somebody buys your image exclusive, you can never sell it again to some other customer - or at least not for a number of years. That might take some of your best selling images off the market.

Sorry to say that you do not understand the agency business.  There has always been an edge in negotiating by an agent when that agent knows that they are the

only one with that image,  I am not talking about "libraries" or the average "Stock Photograph" but images that are in the news and unique.   I do understand that

Alamy is not an agency and most contributing to Alamy will not make an image in this category, but that is what exclusivity is about.

 

Chuck Nacke

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9 hours ago, funkyworm said:

 

The cards may be in their hands, but they are our cards. All 150m. They are only in their hands because we let them.

NO, I hold ALL of the cards that I own the copyright to.

 

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11 hours ago, Duncan_Andison said:

With exclusivity you're tied to the way the one agency works and what they offer you. If they decided to change what is on offer, you are in no position to react quickly to protect your income. Basically, it would take months to build up work with other agencies again in order to get to the point you were at before the next 20% cut. Load the gun, spin the barrel and hope for the best is not the way I like to manage risk.

 

Now, if you're not reliant on the money (not main income) then exclusivity can work as it saves time and might boost your earnings..... provided the fees aren't slashed further. However, it feels like a delivery driver with one van, no breakdown cover and no income protection insurance..... just hoping each day his van keeps going but at the same time knowing at some point you're going to be saddled with a sizeable bill just to keep it going.

 

Edit.

Personally, over the last year I've been trying to spread the risk and become less reliant on one/two agencies. All it takes is for an unfavourable change to the search algorithm and, well, you're stuffed.

 

If it, which it seems, is IMAGE exclusivity, it can be mitigated by not keeping everything in one place - I can see many just wanting to perhaps do it for their more "editorial" offering for example.

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9 hours ago, geogphotos said:

What really concerns me is that this Exclusivity 'fix' may be more about what is easiest to do rather than what is best to do. 

 

In other words, yet again, all about the software options easily available rather than the the actual issues facing the business.

 

Absolutely - the "right" business decision might actually be the unpopular one, perhaps other means of funding has already been explored and would be an even worse scenario or a no go - Alamy doesn't have much of assets to secure against for example, a risky business at the mercy of it's contributors that can leave at any time, as well as heading for financial upheaval both nationally and globally in the near future (we're overdue another recession).

Edited by Martin Carlsson
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15 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Not all my expenses are deducted from Alamy income - that is one of the the points of being non-exclusive. Additional income streams from several sources including from outside photography and the costs also divided.

 

But I agree instantly losing 20% of that approx £4000 would make a big difference. 

 

I assume that the vast majority of Alamy contributors earn low amounts making the 20% cut unpleasant but not too damaging overall.

 

I don't think that anybody should lose more than, say, £200 from where they currently are. This could be calculated at the end of the year with a contributor dividend payment to compensate for any loss over that amount resulting from the 20% deduction. That would be 'fair' and continue to provide incentives.


People like you just try to devide us, if you are looking for reasons, why others should suffer a greater cut (at least percentage wise) than you. I also read suggestions that only new contributors should get a cut, but not the old ones. Some people suggest that only people, who also offer the same photos elsewhere, should get the cut. All those suggestions devide us and make it easier for Alamy.

PS: Of course I first press the red arrow and then reply. I wish I could give your post more than one red arrow.

Edited by Skyscraperfan
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53 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


People like you just try to devide us, if you are looking for reasons, why others should suffer a greater cut (at least percentage wise) than you. I also read suggestions that only new contributors should get a cut, but not the old ones. Some people suggest that only people, who also offer the same photos elsewhere, should get the cut. All those suggestions devide us and make it easier for Alamy.

PS: Of course I first press the red arrow and then reply. I wish I could give your post more than one red arrow.

 

absolutely nothing wrong with a principle of existing contribs  get a different rate to new ones - after all thats how the world works

 

as time moves on new contracts are formed - otherwise we would all be buying houses etc at 19th century  prices 

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1 minute ago, Foreign Export said:

they never do - they just hide


A red arrow just means that you do not agree with what was written. It does not have any negative effect the person who wrote a comment. We have one thing in common though: I think the names of those who clicked an arrow (red or green) should be visible like on Facebook.

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Just now, Foreign Export said:

they never do - they just hide

 

That’s not true - I use the full range of arrows, as well as posting. Certainly nothing evil behind its use. People are to hung up on likes and approvals now-a-days, it is ok to not agree or think differently. I much more enjoy discussing, as well as generally finding it more fruitful, to discuss with those that don’t agree with me, at the end of it either I learn something or they do, or both parties continue to disagree. 

 

 I don’t really look as to what I receive, but on occasion I do and getting a bunch of reds I interpret as nothing more than whatever I said didn’t fly with the majority, which can lead me to think again, try and see things from another perspective or just accept that we all have difference of opinions. 

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2 minutes ago, Foreign Export said:

 

absolutely nothing wrong with a principle of existing contribs  get a different rate to new ones - after all thats how the world works

 

as time moves on new contracts are formed - otherwise we would all be buying houses etc at 19th century  prices 


There is a difference. Of course houses now cost more than 200 years ago, but people suggest that people should get different percentages for the photos sold on the same day. That creates two classes of photographers. It's like the problem with two different tariffs for workers who do the same job in the same company. That is very bad for the company climate.

Of course new people are free to sign up even for 40% or lower, but they might be very angry if they realize after a while, that others get more. At least that fact should be communicated to them when they sign up.

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1 minute ago, Skyscraperfan said:


There is a difference. Of course houses now cost more than 200 years ago, but people suggest that people should get different percentages for the photos sold on the same day. That creates two classes of photographers. It's like the problem with two different tariffs for workers who do the same job in the same company. That is very bad for the company climate.

Of course new people are free to sign up even for 40% or lower, but they might be very angry if they realize after a while, that others get more. At least that fact should be communicated to them when they sign up.

 

“Other places” have tiers whereby those that have generated more revenue are rewarded - I don’t see a problem with that, an incentive to do better?

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3 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

That’s not true - I use the full range of arrows, as well as posting. Certainly nothing evil behind its use. People are to hung up on likes and approvals now-a-days, it is ok to not agree or think differently. I much more enjoy discussing, as well as generally finding it more fruitful, to discuss with those that don’t agree with me, at the end of it either I learn something or they do, or both parties continue to disagree. 

 

 I don’t really look as to what I receive, but on occasion I do and getting a bunch of reds I interpret as nothing more than whatever I said didn’t fly with the majority, which can lead me to think again, try and see things from another perspective or just accept that we all have difference of opinions. 


Yes, people should not take arrows personally. Also it is much more productive to have a conversation with people who have different opinions. On Facebook or Twitter people should rather follow people with different views than their own to avoid the "filter bubble". In times of social media people prefer to read posts that are in line with their own opinion. That is a big mistake.

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3 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


There is a difference. Of course houses now cost more than 200 years ago, but people suggest that people should get different percentages for the photos sold on the same day. That creates two classes of photographers. It's like the problem with two different tariffs for workers who do the same job in the same company. That is very bad for the company climate.

Of course new people are free to sign up even for 40% or lower, but they might be very angry if they realize after a while, that others get more. At least that fact should be communicated to them when they sign up.

 

no it doesn't - it creates photographers who joined before feb 19 and those who joined after that date - its not a different class its just time

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Just now, Skyscraperfan said:


Yes, people should not take arrows personally. Also it is much more productive to have a conversation with people who have different opinions. On Facebook or Twitter people should rather follow people with different views than their own to avoid the "filter bubble". In times of social media people prefer to read posts that are in line with their own opinion. That is a big mistake.

 

Totes agree, and adding “don’t take everything so damn personal”. Discussions are fun, enlightening - should be able to disagree completely and still “get along”, be pleasant etc. otherwise a discussion forum might not be the best of places for one to frequent IMHO. 

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3 minutes ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

That’s not true - I use the full range of arrows, as well as posting. Certainly nothing evil behind its use. People are to hung up on likes and approvals now-a-days, it is ok to not agree or think differently. I much more enjoy discussing, as well as generally finding it more fruitful, to discuss with those that don’t agree with me, at the end of it either I learn something or they do, or both parties continue to disagree. 

 

 I don’t really look as to what I receive, but on occasion I do and getting a bunch of reds I interpret as nothing more than whatever I said didn’t fly with the majority, which can lead me to think again, try and see things from another perspective or just accept that we all have difference of opinions. 

You get a green for that ;)

1 minute ago, Skyscraperfan said:


There is a difference. Of course houses now cost more than 200 years ago, but people suggest that people should get different percentages for the photos sold on the same day. That creates two classes of photographers. It's like the problem with two different tariffs for workers who do the same job in the same company. That is very bad for the company climate.

Of course new people are free to sign up even for 40% or lower, but they might be very angry if they realize after a while, that others get more. At least that fact should be communicated to them when they sign up.

Uh actually it is more normal than you think - I have worked in a factory where some workers got paid more than others for packing a box - that was because they had managed to pack more boxes in a set time, and because some had time service premiums.  When my children got jobs with famous fast food vendors some people got more than others for cooking a burger - because their burger was made quicker or closer to the ideal, or because they did other jobs as well as cooking burgers.  When my children wait tables some waiting staff get more than others for bringing food - because they do it with a better smile, are more responsive or just have the fortune to be allocated the table with a high tipper.

To suggest that just because 2 photographs are sold at the same time means 2 photographers have done the same work is rubbish.  I drove 20 minutes got out of the car walked five minutes and pointed my camera at a ride in perfect light.  Someone else charged their dive tanks, got kitted for a dive, possibly took a boat (which is work in itself) dove underwater searched or hung around waiting for the fish or whatever to fall into the desired pose.   Who did more work to get their image?  Why should both images earn the same?  Then again there are many photographers here with decades of experience - who are going to position themselves better, frame things better, get the right settings on the camera quicker much better than someone who got their camera 6 months ago.  They have years of contributing to Alamy, and will have already made Alamy significant sums of money - why shouldn't Alamy reward with a higher rate of pay?

Maybe "contributors already here stay on 50 new arrivals get 40" isnt the way - but how about 5 years of consistently uploading X amount a year with y sales and CTR of Z gets 45% and 10 years of the same consistency gets 50% applying to everyone no matter when they joined

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

My point is that everybody SHOULD BE treated the same but that nobody should lose more than £200 ( or similar figure).

 

Nothing divisive about the. Everybody on the same percentage but a safety net to limit loses.


If you make £4000 per year and your loss is limited to £200, that's just 5% instead of 20%.

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25 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:


Yes, people should not take arrows personally. Also it is much more productive to have a conversation with people who have different opinions. On Facebook or Twitter people should rather follow people with different views than their own to avoid the "filter bubble". In times of social media people prefer to read posts that are in line with their own opinion. That is a big mistake.

My facebook and twitter friends include people everywhere on the political spectrum - pro's and anti's in most things - how can I challenge my perceptions if I don't listen to and evaluate all different perspectives.  Echo chambers are pointless.

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

Gross figure from direct sales = £4000

 

@ 50% =£2000

@ 40% = £1600

 

Safety net stop loss figure of £200 = end of year invoice to claim back £200

 

Gross figure from direct sales = £2000

@50% =£1000

@40% =£800

 

Safety net stop loss figure of £200 = no invoice claim as loss matches threshold

 

Nobody loses more than £200.

 

This rewards sales.

 

 


I understand the numbers (I even have a diploma in maths), but just imagine you work in a big company, that is near the edge of bankruptcy. So the boss decides that everybody will get paid £200 less per month from now on. The boss who earns £10000 per month as well as the low paid worker who earns £800 per month. Nobody will lose more than those £200  per month. Is that fair?

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What difference does it make for Alamy if 1000 images are sold by one photographer alone or by 50 photographers combined? Accounting costs would roughly be the same, because those are just some electronic transactions to PayPal or wherever without any humans involved. Would it be smarter to make those 50 photographers angry instead of the one, although they both have the same number of sales?

I see it as a kind of selling apples to Alamy. On a weekly market, Alamy would even get a rebate for many apples. Ten apples for the price of eight. So the seller (we) gets less money per apple the more apples he sells. Of course I do not suggest that model for Alamy.

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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

My point is that everybody SHOULD BE treated the same but that nobody should lose more than £200 ( or similar figure).

 

Nothing divisive about the. Everybody on the same percentage but a safety net to limit loses.

 

Think about it Ian - since when are there any guarantees offered in this "field"? I say nah - if offering rewards do it as incentives for those that do well what this field is about i.e. creating images that attract licensing and are in themselves a profit for Alamy. It would also work as an incentive for those that want to get better. In other words - reward those that work hard to create the right type of images that generate actual $. I don't want no guarantees, I want opportunities - the opportunity to earn more if I work harder and better if you know what I mean.

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