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Commission Change announced in email

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

That's my opinion.

 

Makes sense to me -- some clarification from above needed, though.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Posted (edited)

I note there's also no clarification on the topic of similars....

 

Here's a few examples

 

1) I take 2 shots of the same scene, one in landscape format the other in portrait. If I put one on Alamy and the other on another agency.

2) I take one shot and upload the "natural" version to Alamy. I then extensively photoshop the image to massively increase saturation, contrast etc. and upload that to another agency.

3) I take 2 shots at the same location a short time apart such that significant elements have changed (position of clouds, people etc.). I upload one to Alamy and the other to another agency

 

Can any any of the images uploaded to Alamy be deemed exclusive?

 

Sorry if that's a dumb question, but IMHO it needs stating explicitly in the contract.

 

What commission will be paid on Live News images? With the current system these images will not have been marked as exclusive or not when they enter the news stream. This is crucial for Alamy's news contributors.

 

It's disappointing IMHO, given all the discussion there's been on the forum thread about whether sales POD sites would be allowed for exclusive images, the discussions about similars, and news images, that the wording of the contract does not make these items absolutely clear.

 

As an aside - I still think Alamy is making a huge mistake with this change to contract. They have added significant complexity both for the contributor and themselves whilst reducing the fees payable. Sure Alamy will gain a bit extra cash themselves, but I believe the benefit will be short-lived and I suspect they have seriously damaged the relationship with some of their best contributors. I'm only a small contributor, but after 9 years with almost 100% exclusivity I've already started investigating other options.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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1 hour ago, MariaJ said:

I interpreted "print sales" to include POD sites, but wouldn't mind hearing alamys response to the inquires emailed to them.

 

Sounds as if POD images are fine to mark as exclusive as long as the POD website isn't licensing them as stock. I disabled that option on my FAA images.

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

 So a straight on shot -- i.e. with no context -- of an artwork could not be marked as exclusive? Otherwise, if there is some kind of surrounding context, it would be OK to deem the image exclusive?

 

This is the clause I'm referring to:

 

"The Contributor acknowledges and accepts that Images of artworks, or that are not protected by copyright, or that are in the public domain or for which copyright ownership is unknown must never be marked as “Only available on Alamy”

 

P.S. I agree that this statement needs rewording and further clarification.

 

 

 

 

That's what I would expect as that ties in with the present situation but I can't reconcile that with the way I interpret the new clause. ie. "The Contributor acknowledges and accepts that Images of artworks, or that are not protected by copyright, or that are in the public domain or for which copyright ownership is unknown must never be marked as “Only available on Alamy”.

 

The way I read that it seems to say the opposite but then again I'm not that clever when it comes to legal speak. :unsure:

 

Edited by Sultanpepa

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7 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Sorry if that's a dumb question, but IMHO it needs stating explicitly in the contract.

 

 

It's something you have to decide for yourself, but I have to say it's pretty clear to me.

IMO the different exposures can be exclusive if sent elsewhere but the altered one can't.

But that's IMO- see my earlier post about making up your mind and risk assessment. It could depend on what a court decided and "image" was- does extensive manipulation create a new image for the purposes of the contract, or not?

If I were considering doing any of the things you are, I don't think I would post my ideas on a public forum. I would come to my own conclusions in private.

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

It doesn't say "containing", it says "of".

I interpret that in the usual way- if the artwork is incidental, it doesn't apply.

It doesn't say "that are subject to copyright" either, it says "that are NOT protected by copyright". It's to exclude out of copyright images such as Bill was asking about. They can't be exclusive.

 

 

Quite that's why I didn't quote it. Regardless I find it rather clunky and confusing.

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

It's something you have to decide for yourself, but I have to say it's pretty clear to me.

IMO the different exposures can be exclusive if sent elsewhere but the altered one can't.

But that's IMO- see my earlier post about making up your mind and risk assessment. It could depend on what a court decided and "image" was- does extensive manipulation create a new image for the purposes of the contract, or not?

If I were considering doing any of the things you are, I don't think I would post my ideas on a public forum. I would come to my own conclusions in private.

 

I would say the opposite at least in terms of different format shots of the same scene. If you have landscape and portrait versions of what is essentially the same scene, then they are such close similars that the images should not be marked as exclusive. The only way they would not be similars is if there was some significant difference between the two due to something or somebody appearing in one and not the other which would effectively change the fundamental meaning of the image.

 

On the other hand if one was to do a really "arty" version of an image say, it is debatable as to whether it would be a similar or an entirely different if derivative image. I guess it depends on how different it is and whether it is recognisable as the "natural" image as Mike describes it. 

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10 minutes ago, Sultanpepa said:

 

That's what I would expect as that ties in with the present situation but I can't reconcile that with the way I interpret the new clause. ie. "The Contributor acknowledges and accepts that Images of artworks, or that are not protected by copyright, or that are in the public domain or for which copyright ownership is unknown must never be marked as “Only available on Alamy”.

 

The way I read that it seems to say the opposite but then again I'm not that clever when it comes to legal speak. :unsure:

 

 

I'm not sure that the sentence is 100% grammatically correct with all the modifying phrases and unclear antecedent.

 

I would perhaps have spelled things out more -- e.g.  "... images of artworks, or images that are not protected by copyright, or images that are not in the public domain or images for which...."

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16 minutes ago, Sultanpepa said:

 

That's what I would expect as that ties in with the present situation but I can't reconcile that with the way I interpret the new clause. ie. "The Contributor acknowledges and accepts that Images of artworks, or that are not protected by copyright, or that are in the public domain or for which copyright ownership is unknown must never be marked as “Only available on Alamy”.

 

The way I read that it seems to say the opposite but then again I'm not that clever when it comes to legal speak. :unsure:

 

Then Mark will have to go to (3) on my list- risk assessment.

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1 minute ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I'm not sure that the sentence is 100% grammatically correct with all the modifying phrases and unclear antecedent.

 

I would perhaps have spelled things out more -- e.g.  "... images of artworks, or images that are not protected by copyright, or images that are not in the public domain or images for which...."

That's how I was about to spell it out for Sultan, but I considered the grammar OK, so I didn't. "Images" is implied in the other clauses so it doesn't need repeating. IMO.

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

Then Mark will have to go to (3) on my list- risk assessment.

 

 You have missed one option there it seems and that is to ask Alamy for more clarity about the meaning of exclusive

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

That's how I was about to spell it out for Sultan, but I considered the grammar OK, so I didn't. "Images" is implied in the other clauses so it doesn't need repeating. IMO.

 

It is implied. However, when I first read the sentence, I thought that the descriptive phrases and clauses were referring back to "Images of artworks" only.

Edited by John Mitchell

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25 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

I would say the opposite at least in terms of different format shots of the same scene. If you have landscape and portrait versions of what is essentially the same scene, then they are such close similars that the images should not be marked as exclusive. The only way they would not be similars is if there was some significant difference between the two due to something or somebody appearing in one and not the other which would effectively change the fundamental meaning of the image.

 

On the other hand if one was to do a really "arty" version of an image say, it is debatable as to whether it would be a similar or an entirely different if derivative image. I guess it depends on how different it is and whether it is recognisable as the "natural" image as Mike describes it. 

 

How about colour and black & white versions of the same image? Would it be kosher to mark the colour version as "Only available on Alamy" if the b&w version was available at another agency?

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Keep in mind that a contract is only an agreement between people of good intentions as to how they will conduct their future business.

 

No one can predict the future with any accuracy. They can only guess. If they try to nail everything down to the nth degree the contract will be too restrictive. It will work against both Alamy and the photographer. In addition if there is a serious lack of trust, by either party, then no contract will ever suffice.

 

The new Alamy contract is the fairest and most generous contract in the stock photo industry. It is very clear and easy to understand, but only if you read the entire contract a couple of times, not just the amendments.

 

If the contract does not work for either party, then it can be terminated by either party with 45 days notice.

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26 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

How about colour and black & white versions of the same image? Would it be kosher to mark the colour version as "Only available on Alamy" if the b&w version was available at another agency?

I would say definitely not unless the bw image was totally different. I do a lot of mono stuff (not on Alamy) and they are not simple bw conversions but they are clearly very similar as well. I certainly would not upload them as exclusives in different places. 

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3 minutes ago, MDM said:

I would say definitely not unless the bw image was totally different. I do a lot of mono stuff (not on Alamy) and they are not simple bw conversions but they are clearly very similar as well. I certainly would not upload them as exclusives in different places. 

 

Thanks. That's my thinking as well.

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1 minute ago, MDM said:

I would say definitely not unless the bw image was totally different. I do a lot of mono stuff (not on Alamy) and they are not simple bw conversions but they are clearly very similar as well. I certainly would not upload them as exclusives in different places. 

 

Agreed, if it's straightforward to produce one image from the other (e.g. convert to black and white, or to crop for example) then exclusivity can't be claimed, at least one way around. The colour or full frame original could perhaps be still made available exclusively, but the black and white or cropped derivative could not? 

 

I agree with Bill's point that it might be wise not to make the contract too prescriptive. Maybe Alamy need to produce some "guidance" documents on how they expect contributors to interpret exclusivity, similars and availability on POD sites.  But the current lack of clarity is open to abuse (potentially inadvertently), especially as Alamy is keen to attract new contributors who may not have the experience of industry terminology and practice to make the correct decisions. The range of questions and views expressed on this matter on the forum (some from long-standing contributors) suggests clarification is absolutely required and ad-hoc emails to Alamy CS is not the answer.

 

Mark

 

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

It doesn't say "containing", it says "of".

I interpret that in the usual way- if the artwork is incidental, it doesn't apply.

It doesn't say "that are subject to copyright" either, it says "that are NOT protected by copyright". It's to exclude out of copyright images such as Bill was asking about. They can't be exclusive.

 

 

I guess the question now becomes how much context do you need for an image to be considered exclusive. For instance, would a mural framed by an archway (where the arch is visible) have enough context? I'm thinking that it wouldn't because the main subject is still the mural. However, an image that includes a couple of tourists looking at the mural would probably (?) be eligible for exclusive status. It all gets a bit fuzzy, though.

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Similars are pictures with only small differences, expressions, composition around main subject, angle of view etc. Sisters are pictures from the same shooting session and may be more fundamentally different, yet still connected to the original shot - same model, different background or vice versa. Its hard to be precise. Both will be prohibited from sale elsewhere if one of a set is marked exclusive to alamy. Derivative images with different exposure, processing etc would definitely be sisters if not similars i believe. If in doubt, dont submit elsewhereor mark as exclusive. I have a sizeable folder of similars and sisters which are unwanted by an edited agency i supply but i cant supply them to anywhere else as i have always been under exclusive contract with that agency.

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Posted (edited)

The meaning of EXCLUSIVE is different to how James West described it on the video before xmas, he said ‘sell those yourselves through your own direct sales channels, website and existing customers to retain the 50%’ 

 

No mention of Direct sales or existing customers in the fine print today, only mentions your personal website and print sales. I have emailed him for clarification. 

 

Labeling something as Exclusive when it is not could result in the contract being terminated. 

Edited by Paul J

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Posted (edited)

I want a definitive answer about POD sites. In the beginning, I submitted straight photographs. Then I began using filters, textures, altering colors, etc. A lot of those are original to the POD site, but a few are here, but changed greatly on POD. Then there are the few straight photos here and there. 

I’ve disabled any licensing on the POD. I would think it would be ok to have in both places, but we all know what assuming gets us. My assumptions may not agree with yours, or with what Alamy has cloaked in ambiguity.

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

I want a definitive answer about POD sites. In the beginning, I submitted straight photographs. Then I began using filters, textures, altering colors, etc. A lot of those are original to the POD site, but a few are here, but changed greatly on POD. Then there are the few straight photos here and there. 

I’ve disabled any licensing on the POD. I would think it would be ok to have in both places, but we all know what assuming gets us. My assumptions may not agree with yours, or with what Alamy has cloaked in ambiguity.

Betty

 

What we need is a precise definition of the term "image site" as in the following: "... including without limitation another stock agency or image site..."  (quoted from the definition of "Exclusive" in the contract changes).

 

P.S. I too have disabled licensing on that POD site. I've also deleted almost 3000 images -- one at a time --  from a "grey area"  image request website that appears to have bitten the dust.

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5 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I suggest doing the following in order when needing advice:

1/ Make up your own mind; if you can't,

2/ Ask the forum; if you're unsure about that advice

3/ Carry out a risk assessment of the consequences of 1 or 2 being incorrect

4/ pay for professional advice.

As one might expect, I think the contract is very clear, so I stopped at (1). I've been as far as (4) once, on legal aid, although it was then (3) as there was no internet.

I don't think "my interpretation of the legalese" (making up my own mind), or that of my peers on the forum, would stand up in a court of law, so I'd rather contact CS. There are plenty of legal contracts which are deliberately written to provide unexpected wiggle room on one side, and unexpected restrictions on the other. G is famous for it.

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4 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

I note there's also no clarification on the topic of similars....

 

Here's a few examples

 

1) I take 2 shots of the same scene, one in landscape format the other in portrait. If I put one on Alamy and the other on another agency.

2) I take one shot and upload the "natural" version to Alamy. I then extensively photoshop the image to massively increase saturation, contrast etc. and upload that to another agency.

3) I take 2 shots at the same location a short time apart such that significant elements have changed (position of clouds, people etc.). I upload one to Alamy and the other to another agency

 

Can any any of the images uploaded to Alamy be deemed exclusive?

 

Sorry if that's a dumb question, but IMHO it needs stating explicitly in the contract.

 

What commission will be paid on Live News images? With the current system these images will not have been marked as exclusive or not when they enter the news stream. This is crucial for Alamy's news contributors.

 

It's disappointing IMHO, given all the discussion there's been on the forum thread about whether sales POD sites would be allowed for exclusive images, the discussions about similars, and news images, that the wording of the contract does not make these items absolutely clear.

 

As an aside - I still think Alamy is making a huge mistake with this change to contract. They have added significant complexity both for the contributor and themselves whilst reducing the fees payable. Sure Alamy will gain a bit extra cash themselves, but I believe the benefit will be short-lived and I suspect they have seriously damaged the relationship with some of their best contributors. I'm only a small contributor, but after 9 years with almost 100% exclusivity I've already started investigating other options.

 

Mark

 

33 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

What we need is a precise definition of the term "image site" as in the following: "... including without limitation another stock agency or image site..."  (quoted from the definition of "Exclusive" in the contract changes).

 

P.S. I too have disabled licensing on that POD site. I've also deleted almost 3000 images -- one at a time --  from a "grey area"  image request website that appears to have bitten the dust.

I think these 2 posts put much better what was going though my mind when I made my first post - thank you both

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here is the body of an email I just sent to:  Alamy <contributors@alamy.com>

 

Please mark all of my images "only available on Alamy”. That is all images in my account XXXXXXX@XXXXXX.com, including all pseudonyms.

 

There are no similars to my Alamy images for sale at any other stock photo agency.

 

There are a very small number of copy images of historic paintings that are in the public domain. I will revert the “only available on Alamy” designation for those copy images, as soon as you make it.

 

Bill Brooks

Check it out !!! https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/billbrooks/favourites.html
 

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