spacecadet

It's official- 50% for exclusive - (JW response video to commission change)

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All my images on Alamy are RM, Rights Managed. Years ago I was told here (by a former contributor) that Alamy does not actually manage rights. Does anyone know if Alamy has a mechanism to prevent selling the same rights to two different customers?

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2 minutes ago, KevinS said:

All my images on Alamy are RM, Rights Managed. Years ago I was told here (by a former contributor) that Alamy does not actually manage rights. Does anyone know if Alamy has a mechanism to prevent selling the same rights to two different customers?

 

Rights Managed does not mean exclusive. It just means that the rights are defined like "1/4 page, circulation up to 50,000, worldwide, 5 years ....."

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7 minutes ago, Skyscraperfan said:

 

Rights Managed does not mean exclusive. It just means that the rights are defined like "1/4 page, circulation up to 50,000, worldwide, 5 years ....."

I understand that. I'm asking if Alamy manages the rights that they license, which is what RM used to mean. Once certain rights are sold, they are not available should another customer come along seeking those same rights. Other rights would be still available. The best example would be calendar rights. I'm asked each year by a repeat customer if the calendar rights are available for certain images. After I say that they are, the customer knows that the images won't appear in a competitors calendar. But in reality, RM is nearly meaningless today. 

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2 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

The case now is clicking the exclusive button doesn't seem to do anything -  Alamy does not specifically push their exclusives, contributors don't get anything extra, it's been suggested that all it does achieve is making it slightly easier to press a misuse case.  Once the new contract comes in the images will be earning contributors more so theoretically to make up the difference in what they have to pay the contributor they are going to more aggressively market the images and possibly charge higher prices - and clients who are being asked to pay more are probably going to want some assurances that the exclusive they bought today won't be all over the place cheaper tomorrow just because someone unclicked a button (and if the button is that easy to unclick then it opens up another level of abuse - wait until an image sells for an acceptable price on Alamy untick the exclusive and put it on sale in more places to earn from the quantity as well as the quality.)

And it all comes back to we do not know any specifics and it is perfectly possible that the shiny new exclusive part of the contract is going to prove to less of a boon that people believe.

This is all speculation, surely. I really cannot see the point in speculating. Let's wait until we see what is actually in the contract.

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8 hours ago, Steve Valentia said:

I agree totally. I suggest you find a way to get such a good suggestion to those who can make it happen. 

Write james@alamy.com

Copy to alan@alamy.com

 

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3 hours ago, KevinS said:

I understand that. I'm asking if Alamy manages the rights that they license, which is what RM used to mean. Once certain rights are sold, they are not available should another customer come along seeking those same rights. Other rights would be still available. The best example would be calendar rights. I'm asked each year by a repeat customer if the calendar rights are available for certain images. After I say that they are, the customer knows that the images won't appear in a competitors calendar. But in reality, RM is nearly meaningless today. 

That's not correct.  Your statement would be true only if the licensee has requested and paid for exclusivity for that use.  If someone simply downloads your image for calendar use on a non-exclusive basis nothing prevents you from licensing it again to another user for the same use.  Only if the first licensee asks for exclusive use as a calendar image, and pays more for that exclusivity (since you are denying yourself other similar sales), only then would you be prevented from licensing the image to another customer for the same use.  To take another example, if a publisher licenses one of your images on a non-exclusive basis (which is the normal default case) for use half-page size in a book for worldwide distribution, nothing prevents you from licensing the same image again to another publisher for half-page use (or any inside use) in a different book also for worldwide distribution.  If you, or Alamy, are granting exclusive use of an image without obtaining something more than the normal price for non-exclusive use then you are not obtaining full value for the rights you are granting.  In addition it seems you are denying yourself the opportunity for additional sales of the same image.

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To all and in just my opinion,

 

I am once again in the 100% Alamy camp.  I did email James Alsworth and for the first

time James West,  I received a very well thought response from Mr. West. and hours

before the notice that Alamy would continue to do a 50 / 50 split on direct licenses.

on material exclusive to Alamy.  During this whole disaster I had contacted several

major libraries and agencies, and all of them told me that they could not match Alamy.

I do have material with other libraries, and I pay little or no attention to all but one of them.

Several of them have been requested by me to remove all of my images and they have

not.

 

In My Own Opinion Alamy is a organization that I trust and look forward to continuing

to do business with.  Keep in mind that I currently have a very small number of images under

my main pseudonym and Mr. West took time to communicate with me.

 

Also keep in mind that I have just come in from a major corporate shoot, I make more

money on a day on a corporate shoot then I do on Alamy in six months.

 

I will continue to TRUST Alamy and am grateful to be a contributor to Alamy.

 

Now this month I've seen three licenses for less than $10.00 USD each, Please Mr. West

and Alamy "Can we get these fees up?"

 

Once I edit and rotate these corporate photos I really do need a very large Martini.....

 

I've been doing business with Photo Agencies and several libraries for decades and once

any agent loses my trust, I am gone and I've now been contributing to Alamy since

2003.  I will also add that I will not tolerate any agent or library that I need to call when

I am owed money,  Alamy is the first library that I have never needed to call about money.

 

Sincerely,

 

Chuck Nacke

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42 minutes ago, Ollie said:

That's not correct.  Your statement would be true only if the licensee has requested and paid for exclusivity for that use.  If someone simply downloads your image for calendar use on a non-exclusive basis nothing prevents you from licensing it again to another user for the same use.  Only if the first licensee asks for exclusive use as a calendar image, and pays more for that exclusivity (since you are denying yourself other similar sales), only then would you be prevented from licensing the image to another customer for the same use.  To take another example, if a publisher licenses one of your images on a non-exclusive basis (which is the normal default case) for use half-page size in a book for worldwide distribution, nothing prevents you from licensing the same image again to another publisher for half-page use (or any inside use) in a different book also for worldwide distribution.  If you, or Alamy, are granting exclusive use of an image without obtaining something more than the normal price for non-exclusive use then you are not obtaining full value for the rights you are granting.  In addition it seems you are denying yourself the opportunity for additional sales of the same image.

Ollie,

Your explanation sounds right. Thank you for correcting me. My experience pre-dates the digital era that enables automatic sales and downloads. Things were simpler then. For years I licensed images to publishers directly, and was careful to not sell the same rights twice by keeping track in my office. I was never so busy that this caused missed sales. Today I find it difficult to determine "full value", but keeping 100% of a decent fee is always my goal. The contract changes here have me thinking I need to do more to sell direct. I'm still undecided on Alamy, but look forward to seeing the details in January. 

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What's all this?.......Well there's quite a debate going on with venting and screaming and crying too...There's those that feel that they have been " thrown under the bus"...and accusations that others members here, have in particular been responsible for such horrid actions...indeed!...Some have said without pointing the finger that the culprits might be those grey haired retirees, who are taking pictures for a laugh!...and virtually stealing food off the table of hard working professional togs...unbelievable!...And some that aspire to The Jack system.."Well I'm alright Jack" as I'm a pensioner..Then there's those that have split the atom once again and with a million scenarios in how to get the Alamy bus back on the road.

 

Then there are those humble togs with gazillions of images saying...look at me i don't want to talk out LOUD....but something has to be done with those pesky grey haired nomads of the image world...they have the gall to think life owes them some pocket money!!!...Alamy gave togs two choices with their latest declaration...YES or NO....with i suggest a third option if you don't like it...wait for it....or GO!

 

Well this pensioner is back uploading his humble pics....don't be too hard on me with lots of RED ARROWS...Ha.....Now where was i ? OH yes buses.....The wheels on the bus go round and round....We're on the road to nowhere...The magical mystery tour....The long and winding road....and what about Hendrix..Crosstown traffic...well that sums it up....You gotta laugh!

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16 hours ago, BobD said:

 

I think he was just jumping on the Brexit bandwagon, they have an office in Germany which will circumvent any possible supply issues which may, or may not happen upon the UK leaving the EU. The rest of the world will be completely unaffected.

WTO rules don't cover trade in services, so we may find out the hard way.

BTW 24 red arrows in 3 posts must be something of a record- I'm honoured, but can I suggest that those who give them remember what they're for.

Only 17 net though- thanks for the greenies, greeners.

Edited by spacecadet
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6 hours ago, William Caram said:

What's all this?.......Well there's quite a debate going on with venting and screaming and crying too...There's those that feel that they have been " thrown under the bus"...and accusations that others members here, have in particular been responsible for such horrid actions...indeed!...Some have said without pointing the finger that the culprits might be those grey haired retirees, who are taking pictures for a laugh!...and virtually stealing food off the table of hard working professional togs...unbelievable!...And some that aspire to The Jack system.."Well I'm alright Jack" as I'm a pensioner..Then there's those that have split the atom once again and with a million scenarios in how to get the Alamy bus back on the road.

 

Then there are those humble togs with gazillions of images saying...look at me i don't want to talk out LOUD....but something has to be done with those pesky grey haired nomads of the image world...they have the gall to think life owes them some pocket money!!!...Alamy gave togs two choices with their latest declaration...YES or NO....with i suggest a third option if you don't like it...wait for it....or GO!

 

Well this pensioner is back uploading his humble pics....don't be too hard on me with lots of RED ARROWS...Ha.....Now where was i ? OH yes buses.....The wheels on the bus go round and round....We're on the road to nowhere...The magical mystery tour....The long and winding road....and what about Hendrix..Crosstown traffic...well that sums it up....You gotta laugh!

 

You managed to encompass everyone in one post.:) 

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On 19/12/2018 at 15:34, Doc said:

As someone who has always sold his images exclusively on Alamy, I am obviously pleased with this result.

 

Three points I would make regarding this issue

 

1. If Alamy are going to do this then they must NOT alter the search engine to return non-exclusive images first to maximise their profits

 

2. They should make a new tab in the Search Engine specifically labelled "Alamy Exclusive" to make it easier for buyers to look for images they know are not available elsewhere

 

3. We as contributors must not game the system by labelling our images as exclusive when they are not, and Alamy needs to put in a mechanism to police this or the system will fall apart rapidly

 

Kumar

 

Ditto that with the exception that I do have a few non-exclusive images and I have marked everything as accurately as I can.

 

I must add that I do take exception to some of the derogatory comments that have been directed at retired contributors.  I am "retired" in that I receive a state pension but my Alamy income is still very important to me so I work very hard nearly every day to produce saleable, accurately captioned and tagged images on a regular basis.  Losing 20% of that income would be a serious blow to my standard of living and my ability to produce more saleable images.  

 

Those of you who think yourselves full time pros because you aren't retired are fortunate if you've managed to find good libraries to supply in addition to Alamy.  The only two other libraries that I supply are exclusive anyway so I have to send them different images to those here.  Another non-exclusive library that I supplied has recently closed. 

 

I'm not saying "I'm alright Jack" and gloating because I would much rather this situation hadn't arisen at all for any of us.  I really believe only new contributors, i.e. those joining after the revised contract comes out, should have to accept the lower rate.

 

Pearl

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Hear, hear, Pearl.  100% agree with every word. A greenie for you. I don’t care for...and never have...for ageism. Every single person contributing to Alamy will eventually wear those retiree shoes, unless they die young.

Betty

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To play devil's advocate here I don't think the remarks about retired are aimed so much at those who are retired but still serious and professional but at those who see photography as a hobby first that earns a little pin money second - maybe.  The people who are less likely to already have other libraries/agencies, the ones who are not actively market watching - and who are not necessarily retired at all but have some other source that supplies the majority of their income.

I can still see the exclusive thing causing more problems than it solves - and believe a time served adaptation would be better and fairer all round - so first 2 years 40% years 3 to 8 45% and 8+ years 50%.

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18 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

I can still see the exclusive thing causing more problems than it solves - and believe a time served adaptation would be better and fairer all round - so first 2 years 40% years 3 to 8 45% and 8+ years 50%.

 Time served is not a measure of worth.  Some contributors could easily achieve more in their first two years than others in their over 8 years.  Would you reward the rising stars or the time served mediocre?

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8 minutes ago, John Richmond said:

 Time served is not a measure of worth.  Some contributors could easily achieve more in their first two years than others in their over 8 years.  Would you reward the rising stars or the time served mediocre?

And many non-exclusives will achieve more than many exclusives - if anything a higher proportion of the quality shooters will be non-exclusive -  so Alamy rewards the exclusive mediocre over the non-exclusive stars.
Tiered commision is going to see some rewarded over others - and at times it will be mediocre over quality.  It is just a case of which way do you want to cut it.
 

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2 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

To play devil's advocate here I don't think the remarks about retired are aimed so much at those who are retired but still serious and professional but at those who see photography as a hobby first that earns a little pin money second - maybe.  The people who are less likely to already have other libraries/agencies, the ones who are not actively market watching - and who are not necessarily retired at all but have some other source that supplies the majority of their income.

I can still see the exclusive thing causing more problems than it solves - and believe a time served adaptation would be better and fairer all round - so first 2 years 40% years 3 to 8 45% and 8+ years 50%.

I don’t think your distinctions about retirees are particularly helpful. There are many variations that cut across the distinctions you are trying to make. As for time served, don’t agree either. Sorry. 

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1 minute ago, Starsphinx said:

And many non-exclusives will achieve more than many exclusives - if anything a higher proportion of the quality shooters will be non-exclusive -  so Alamy rewards the exclusive mediocre over the non-exclusive stars.
Tiered commision is going to see some rewarded over others - and at times it will be mediocre over quality.  It is just a case of which way do you want to cut it.
 

There is no good or right way to operate a tiered system.  However, rewarding contributors purely on time with Alamy irrespective of their actual performance is definitely not the way to go. 

 

I am also uncertain about Alamy exclusivity.  On the one hand I'm one of the retired greybeards (I prefer ash blonde) whose images are only on Alamy and thus am currently happy(ish) to have those images marked as exclusive.  On the other hand it is obvious that to make any sort of living at this game younger, professional stock photographers cannot afford to be exclusive.  They need to develop a diversity of income streams to even survive, let alone thrive, and if that means that their images are marked as non exclusive then that's the way they have to go.

 

Exclusivity can be a great marketing tool in a crowded and competitive market place.  But it has to be handled correctly, and I don't think the crowd sourced model that Alamy uses lends itself to the type of marketing that can raise prices and reward unique and exclusive imagery. An image may be exclusive to Alamy, it's subject or theme could be commonplace.  Where is the differentiation between an exclusive image of a commonplace subject and an exclusive image of a rare or unusual subject in Alamy's current pricing model?  It doesn't exist.

 

Tiered systems only work well if they reward actual performance.  The classic examples are piecework and sales bonuses.  The most productive get the most rewards.  Points mean prizes.  From a comment I've read on another thread it's obvious that Alamy operate a bonus scheme for their employees and, I would guess, this is based on performance targets and productivity.  Why not then follow that model.  Have a base royalty rate* and offer bonus additions based on actual performance (pro rata to portfolio size) over the previous 12 months.

 

*I refuse to comment on what that should be.

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4 minutes ago, JeffGreenberg said:

Proposal that is fair & unbiased:

from a random set of letters in a contributor's head:

B,E,G,N,R

if your legal last name contains all these letters...

50/50 for life...

How would you cope with the flood of photographers all surnamed Beginner?

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7 hours ago, John Richmond said:

There is no good or right way to operate a tiered system.  However, rewarding contributors purely on time with Alamy irrespective of their actual performance is definitely not the way to go. 

 

I am also uncertain about Alamy exclusivity.  On the one hand I'm one of the retired greybeards (I prefer ash blonde) whose images are only on Alamy and thus am currently happy(ish) to have those images marked as exclusive.  On the other hand it is obvious that to make any sort of living at this game younger, professional stock photographers cannot afford to be exclusive.  They need to develop a diversity of income streams to even survive, let alone thrive, and if that means that their images are marked as non exclusive then that's the way they have to go.

 

Exclusivity can be a great marketing tool in a crowded and competitive market place.  But it has to be handled correctly, and I don't think the crowd sourced model that Alamy uses lends itself to the type of marketing that can raise prices and reward unique and exclusive imagery. An image may be exclusive to Alamy, it's subject or theme could be commonplace.  Where is the differentiation between an exclusive image of a commonplace subject and an exclusive image of a rare or unusual subject in Alamy's current pricing model?  It doesn't exist.

 

Tiered systems only work well if they reward actual performance.  The classic examples are piecework and sales bonuses.  The most productive get the most rewards.  Points mean prizes.  From a comment I've read on another thread it's obvious that Alamy operate a bonus scheme for their employees and, I would guess, this is based on performance targets and productivity.  Why not then follow that model.  Have a base royalty rate* and offer bonus additions based on actual performance (pro rata to portfolio size) over the previous 12 months.

 

*I refuse to comment on what that should be.

John,

 

In a perfect world, which is not where we are, commissions would be equal across the board for all, but...

 

For me it has always been about the image and I do believe that Alamy has never understood that.

Fortunately or unfortunately  I've not had a major news photo, global page one, since I've been contributing

to Alamy.  I did have one that Alamy did not do a good job dealing with the photographer that I had tried to

steer into Alamy.

 

Even though Alamy is one of the largest libraries in the business, I don't believe that they really understand

what they have.

 

Chuck Nacke

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20 hours ago, BobD said:

 

You managed to encompass everyone in one post.:) 

 

Thanks Bob, yes we can get a little too serious sometimes so i thought i'd counter that with a bit of humour :D My dad used say often " You gotta laugh " Hope others were not offended.

Cheers Bill

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 Duplicate by mistake again  :rolleyes:

Edited by William Caram

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14 hours ago, Pearl said:

I must add that I do take exception to some of the derogatory comments that have been directed at retired contributors.  I am "retired" in that I receive a state pension but my Alamy income is still very important to me so I work very hard nearly every day to produce saleable, accurately captioned and tagged images on a regular basis.  Losing 20% of that income would be a serious blow to my standard of living and my ability to produce more saleable images.  

 

Those of you who think yourselves full time pros because you aren't retired are fortunate if you've managed to find good libraries to supply in addition to Alamy.  The only two other libraries that I supply are exclusive anyway so I have to send them different images to those here.  Another non-exclusive library that I supplied has recently closed. 

 

I'm not saying "I'm alright Jack" and gloating because I would much rather this situation hadn't arisen at all for any of us.  I really believe only new contributors, i.e. those joining after the revised contract comes out, should have to accept the lower rate.

 

Pearl

+1

 

Kumar

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11 hours ago, John Richmond said:

There is no good or right way to operate a tiered system.  However, rewarding contributors purely on time with Alamy irrespective of their actual performance is definitely not the way to go. 

 

I am also uncertain about Alamy exclusivity.  On the one hand I'm one of the retired greybeards (I prefer ash blonde) whose images are only on Alamy and thus am currently happy(ish) to have those images marked as exclusive.  On the other hand it is obvious that to make any sort of living at this game younger, professional stock photographers cannot afford to be exclusive.  They need to develop a diversity of income streams to even survive, let alone thrive, and if that means that their images are marked as non exclusive then that's the way they have to go.

 

Exclusivity can be a great marketing tool in a crowded and competitive market place.  But it has to be handled correctly, and I don't think the crowd sourced model that Alamy uses lends itself to the type of marketing that can raise prices and reward unique and exclusive imagery. An image may be exclusive to Alamy, it's subject or theme could be commonplace.  Where is the differentiation between an exclusive image of a commonplace subject and an exclusive image of a rare or unusual subject in Alamy's current pricing model?  It doesn't exist.

 

Tiered systems only work well if they reward actual performance.  The classic examples are piecework and sales bonuses.  The most productive get the most rewards.  Points mean prizes.  From a comment I've read on another thread it's obvious that Alamy operate a bonus scheme for their employees and, I would guess, this is based on performance targets and productivity.  Why not then follow that model.  Have a base royalty rate* and offer bonus additions based on actual performance (pro rata to portfolio size) over the previous 12 months.

 

*I refuse to comment on what that should be.

I argued for piecework type systems when the 60/40 announcement was first made - and was given short shrift.
Several places I have worked have operated a combined time+piecework bonus system - the time served being because even the laziest idiot with 10 years experience was more consistent than the average newbie with 6 months experience - often a consistency that was difficult to pin down in numbers but one that operated on overall output.
Like you I believe the fairest most effective system would take account of previous activity including uploads and sales as percentages of a whole.  I do not think the exclusivity thing is going to be effective - I think it is going to cause more problems than it solves.

In the meantime, my focus is on how I can get the best returns for me,  and until it is up and running for me to assess I cannot say how Alamy exclusives fit into that. 

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