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Commission change - James West comments

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I don't believe Alamy are capable of exploiting exclusivity  (or their scale) effectively with significantly increased prices and so with Alamy's smaller commission (than non-exc) they are more likely to find it most profitable to push non-exclusive images. Exclusivity does not really matter for basic editorial images.

 

My images are effectively exclusive in that I am no longer represented elsewhere. I am not going to make them exclusive either, I have thought about pulling them, I would not notice the tiny income loss, but I suspect it would not be worth the effort toput them elsewhere (or doing any work on them at Alamy). So I could just leave them but it does not make my views clear to Alamy and possibly contributes to Alamy feeling they have got away with it and that would hurt those that have to stay (at least for the moment) because it is a major part of their income.

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3 minutes ago, Martin P Wilson said:

 Exclusivity does not really matter for basic editorial images.

 

 

Thats an interesting and rather profound assertion.   Especially since Alamy is usually perceived as mostly an editorial image portal.

 

it would make the case for exclusivity even weaker.

 

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10 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Hate to say it, but I think that Alamy might just grasping at straws with the 50% for exclusivity idea. They have opened a Pandora's box and are now looking for an easy way to close it. Hopefully Alamy is now thinking through all the possible complications. There's no simple way out of this mess now.

 

Agree 100%..... sort of confirms they just took it for granted that they could take money off contributors and that they'd just roll over.

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I got the impression that the cut came from a position of power. Alamy knows that each photographer here has his own goals. So there might not be a united front against the cut.

That reminds me of the Brexit negotiations. The EU is in the position of power and knows that Britain at some point has to sign a treaty it does not really want, because the alternative is even worse for Britain. As a German I feel really bad about how the EU treats Britain. I do not want to treat others like that just because I can.

Edited by Skyscraperfan

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11 minutes ago, Duncan_Andison said:

 

Agree 100%..... sort of confirms they just took it for granted that they could take money off contributors and that they'd just roll over.

 

Come to think of it, there is one easy way out after all -- keep the current fair 50/50 split and rethink the funding plan.

 

But someone might have already mentioned that... B)

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5 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Come to think of it, there is one easy way out after all -- keep the current fair 50/50 split and rethink the funding plan.

 

But someone might have already mentioned that... B)

They very well might have John , But I for one will not get fed up of hearing it! If James can figure a way to come out of all this publicity smelling of roses he just might end up having a tier one company on his hands. 

 

Edited by Shergar

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6 minutes ago, Shergar said:

They very well might have John , But I for one will not get fed up of hearing it! If James can figure a way to come out of all this publicity smelling of roses he just might end up having a tier one company on his hands. 

 

 

And I'm sure we'll all stop and smell the roses if he does. :D

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10 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

And I'm sure we'll all stop and smell the roses if he does. :D

 

Nope, not me.

 

I have finished submitting, the only decision is whether I pull my account. But as I say it is not a big issue for me but I am conscious of a collective purpose (rare for me), see my earlier post at top of page 34.

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6 hours ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

Don't worry about the arrows, regardless of the colour or let them prevent you from speaking your mind. We all get it wrong sometimes and right at other times.

 

5 hours ago, BobD said:

 

I just wish people would state their (presumably opposing position) and add to the debate rather than red arrow. 

Gents don't worry about me and arrows - if there is one thing I do better than photography it is full on no holds barred debating up to and including being the owner and admin of a successful free debate forum several years back.  I have been an active political campaigner doing both doorstep and stalls in town centres  (and had a Labour candidate complain I was intimidating him when I was in the audience at a public meeting).  I live in a Lib Dem town, worked for the Leave campaign am pro Brexit (obviously) and pro hunting.   Trust me when I say that this place is a peaceful well-mannered haven with a generally polite exchange of views.

1 hour ago, MarkK said:

I think that is easier to say when you haven't been uploading photos to the database for many years to Alamy like many in this forum have (I only have been doing this a couple years but sure have a lot of empathy for those who have been doing it for much longer as well as for those just starting out).  There are some on here who have consistently been uploading to Alamy almost 20 years.  That is a LOT of investment on many levels.  To suggest that all images currently uploaded be at the 40% is likely based on your longevity and portfolio size and not taking into account the collective whole of contributors.  I have only been with Alamy for two years and have done it full time expecting that in the future the time/energy will pay off.  I presume a lot of others have been uploading for years under this same framework. I have been awestruck by the non-contributor informed decision to make the cuts and have yet to determine how I will react but it is based a lot on the transparent response by James on what I consider a crisis.   I think that solutions/strategies forward must keep into context that we are all individuals with our own levels of investment and longevity with Alamy and that solutions need to be viewed from the many different contributor vantagepoints.  I don't see how the suggestion of 40% for all currently uploaded content is fair, ethical, or in the best interest of Alamy.  On the contrary, I see that content contributed under the 50/50 framework be grandfathered in and shielded from the proposed 20% cut.

Again, in case you missed my subsequent post, - this is not a suggestion this is me imagining what a company proposing a 20% cut might do to try and make an equally unattractive outcome look nicer.   If they did try it I would object - I am just trying to get people alert before it happens so they can greet the idea with a response it deserves.

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People should not take red arrows too personally. If I agree to a post, I might click the green arrow, and if I disagree, I might click the red arrow. That's what those arrows are for. They make opinions more visible. Of course I will still write my opinion down.

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1 hour ago, JeffGreenberg said:

Am hearing reports that rate of uploading new images is NOT slowing.

That's a reason for Alamy to ignore 40/60 outrage.

 

 

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.

Edited by John Mitchell
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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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replied to wrong post

Edited by John Mitchell

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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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11 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Exclusivity does not make any sense for me. We have been encouraged by Alamy not to be exclusive, individual sales fees are falling, revenue is falling. Alamy alone is not enough to make a decent stock income. It hasn't been enough for five or six years ( lack of market penetration that James West admits to) 

 

My view is that any tiered commission system should be based on performance, particularly actual Sales, so that it acts as an incentive. 

 

I have just passed $200,000 gross sales after actively contributing since December 2002. Not spectacular I know but steady commitment and loyalty and an individual achievement for a former teacher without professional training in photography.

 

As a reward ......why such a brutal kick in the teeth Alamy?

 

I00007ypqvCqgJ8I.jpg

 

 

I'll take a guess and say your $13,937 has made you around £4,000 this year. Work out your travelling costs - 45p per mile, camera upkeep and upgrades plus insurance (your earning money from photography so need to have Public Liability). A drop in 20% may make your uploads not worth it, next year could be as low as £2500 for you. 

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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.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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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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54 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Please explain the red arrow kind person so that we can have an open discussion. 

 

You disagree with my points - why not explain your reasons?

they never do - they just hide

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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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