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Mick from Oz

My photo is being used but I have not consented?

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Hi There.

 

Not sure where to post this so I’ll start here.  Can’t find anything else on this site advising on how to handle this.

 

I found some of my images on this site or sale under the photographer WENN. 

 

I was never approached about this or given any approval.  I had posted the images up on some Aquarium websites.

 

I’m curious to know what the rules are around this and how does someone (or some company) obtain rights to sell a photo that isn’t theirs.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction ?

 

Here is the link to one of the photos in question.  I can easily prove this is my image

 

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-tv-tank-the-perfect-solution-for-those-fed-up-with-being-polluted-34164612.html?pv=1&stamp=2&imageid=D99AEBAF-2605-4E96-9986-D5063E330B5A&p=215289&n=0&orientation=0&pn=1&searchtype=0&IsFromSearch=1&srch=foo%3dbar%26st%3d0%26pn%3d1%26ps%3d100%26sortby%3d2%26resultview%3dsortbyPopular%26npgs%3d0%26qt%3dTv%2520fish%2520tank%26qt_raw%3dTv%2520fish%2520tank%26lic%3d3%26mr%3d0%26pr%3d0%26ot%3d0%26creative%3d%26ag%3d0%26hc%3d0%26pc%3d%26blackwhite%3d%26cutout%3d%26tbar%3d1%26et%3d0x000000000000000000000%26vp%3d0%26loc%3d0%26imgt%3d0%26dtfr%3d%26dtto%3d%26size%3d0xFF%26archive%3d1%26groupid%3d%26pseudoid%3d%7b0D5221C1-497A-4FAB-8FB3-C704AC26A294%7d%26a%3d%26cdid%3d%26cdsrt%3d%26name%3d%26qn%3d%26apalib%3d%26apalic%3d%26lightbox%3d%26gname%3d%26gtype%3d%26xstx%3d0%26simid%3d%26saveQry%3d%26editorial%3d1%26nu%3d%26t%3d%26edoptin%3d%26customgeoip%3dAU%26cap%3d1%26cbstore%3d1%26vd%3d0%26lb%3d%26fi%3d2%26edrf%3d0%26ispremium%3d1%26flip%3d0%26pl%3d

 

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WENN appears to be a well established photo agency. I would also consider coming at this from the other direction and looking at the sites where you have posted the image(s) to see if any of them have agreed to make images on their site available to this agency. If you can find the source of the image you can then examine the legality of the transaction. 

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40 minutes ago, Mick from Oz said:

Do moderators review these threads.  I emailed info@alamy.com a few days back and have not had a response at all yet.

 

Alamy do lurk on these forums. I presume it was they who put the 'best answer' tick in my earlier post. However, the office is largely closed outside UK business hours and so nothing will have happened over the weekend. If they do decide to investigate it they would probably need to contact Wenn, which would add further delay, so a response may take a while.

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1 hour ago, Mick from Oz said:

Do moderators review these threads.  I emailed info@alamy.com a few days back and have not had a response at all yet.

Alamy have an email address specifically for copyright issues.  I'm sure they'll get back to you from the above address but it may be quicker if you email the address shown here

https://www.alamy.com/terms/general.asp#complaints

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That contributor has five million images here????? Whoa. What's up???

 

Paulette

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8 minutes ago, NYCat said:

That contributor has five million images here????? Whoa. What's up???

 

Paulette

 

Yes, I noticed that too.  It’s almost like they are just scanning sites for images and taking ownership of them.   All the images at the bottom of the link are mine.  

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

May I suggest an email to:

info@alamy.com

 

wim

Thanks.  I just did that.   Lets see if they respond.

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10 minutes ago, Joseph Clemson said:

WENN appears to be a well established photo agency. I would also consider coming at this from the other direction and looking at the sites where you have posted the image(s) to see if any of them have agreed to make images on their site available to this agency. If you can find the source of the image you can then examine the legality of the transaction. 

Unfortunately, these images were shared about 16 years ago when I built the tank.  I shared it on at least one site I remember, but there may have been others.  I noticed they have been used on many other sites since then (also without my express permission).   

 

I am not  concerned about it being shared, but I was surprised to find that Wenn has claimed ownership and is charging for use.

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Do moderators review these threads.  I emailed info@alamy.com a few days back and have not had a response at all yet.

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If possible I would try to investigate the terms and conditions where you shared your images, although there could be a problem accessing them after 16 years. Also if they are still going concerns their T&C may have changed since you uploaded to them. Like some photo competitions, their T&C may have specified that by uploading you gave them full rights. I'd also assume if WENN was challenged they would have to name their source and the terms of the acquisition. If WENN had gained your images by acquiring the libraries from other agencies (growth by acquisition) it gets more complicated and messy. Hopefully they have kept records.

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On 26/04/2019 at 03:59, NYCat said:

That contributor has five million images here????? Whoa. What's up???

 

Paulette

Over 5 million.  That must be an agency.

No wonder individual contributors can't sell anything.  How do you compete with few 1000 images (at best) against something like this

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4 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

Over 5 million.  That must be an agency.

No wonder individual contributors can't sell anything.  How do you compete with few 1000 images (at best) against something like this

 

Yeah.  I just checked their site and searched for "Fish Tank" . (it was my fish tank image that was used).   They have over 27k results under fish tank

 

I don't know if a site has licensed the photos to them or they have just stolen them....I fear that they may actually have some kind of legal right as somewhere I've uploaded them to has allowed it.

 

Alamy did respond today so we will see what happens

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Alamy just responded again and one of the key statements is below.

 

I have uploaded to some aquarium websites, so I suspect what they are doing is "ok"

 

4. You believe someone else is selling your images or images you own the rights to through Alamy.

 

  1. Alamy works with over 700 picture agencies, who by submitting to our platform have indicated they have permission to licence images on their contributor’s behalf. If someone else is submitting images you have taken, please check any agreement you may have with other agencies first. If you haven’t given them permission to do so, let us know and we’ll investigate and get back to you.

 

  1. If you or the organisation behind the images has released them into the public domain, which communicates that the images are free from known restrictions under copyright law and can be freely used by others, we will not be taking any further action.

 

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5 hours ago, Autumn Sky said:

Over 5 million.  That must be an agency.

No wonder individual contributors can't sell anything.  How do you compete with few 1000 images (at best) against something like this

 

It is an agency . . . one of the biggest in its particular niche.

 

And to be fair, an agency is simply a collection of individual contributors. Any of us can at least attempt to join any agency if we so desire.

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2 minutes ago, dustydingo said:

 

It is an agency . . . one of the biggest in its particular niche.

 

And to be fair, an agency is simply a collection of individual contributors. Any of us can at least attempt to join any agency if we so desire.

 

Yep...that's fair enough.  I've since gone straight to the Wenn site and used their "contact us" feature to ask the question.

 

I'm really only doing this on principle.  The images aren't that great and i could care less about any royalties IF they even sold any of them.   People have asked before if they can use my images and I've allowed it for free,  so it annoys me that someone else has claimed they are the photographer and charging for it.

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18 hours ago, Mick from Oz said:

 

Yep...that's fair enough.  I've since gone straight to the Wenn site and used their "contact us" feature to ask the question.

 

I'm really only doing this on principle.  The images aren't that great and i could care less about any royalties IF they even sold any of them.   People have asked before if they can use my images and I've allowed it for free,  so it annoys me that someone else has claimed they are the photographer and charging for it.


If you're a hobbyist (fish seems to be common to both of us), be cautious about giving away photos unless you know that the site is (a) non-commercial and (b) fully understands that you're NOT giving them the copyright.  If they have a commercial or subscription site, then they should be paying you.

 

My understanding is that anything you create, even if released under a Creative Commons license, must still be credited to you.

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