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Potential changes to the image restriction structure – we want your view!

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The proposed changes are a good idea, especially consolidating to a single Commercial category, and leaving restriction for Personal Use.

 

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Personal Use Sales:I'd like to be able to restrict personal use sales (since these are supposed to be to art.com) on both RF and RM images since, when I joined Alamy back in 2008, Alamy was not cannibalizing my print sales by selling a license that earned me $10 for a print that I sell elsewhere earning me anywhere from $21 (for a very tiny 8" x 6" print) to over $400, with the average print sale earning me well over $100, and often far more. In fact, in the past two weeks on Fine Art America alone, I've earned more than I have made on Alamy all year, so Alamy's personal use license is a threat to what is a lucrative market for me and many others. People buy travel scenics as fine art all the time.  When Alamy suggested that we change old unsold files and upload new ones as RF rather than RM, I went ahead and did that, and now find that some of my best-selling prints are available here to be practically given away as cheap personal use files for fine art prints. I think that this whole "personal use" concept goes against the spirit of stock photography, which is for commercial or editorial use and is a separate market than the fine art one. If you are going to license images as personal use for fine art I think we should have the right to opt out.

 

And for images that are available for personal use, you need to set more realistic and fair prices. Even shutterstock, which sells a small number of fine art prints via Fine Art America (none of mine are in that scheme), sells them by size and charges as much as $252 for a large print, with the contributor getting a percentage of the sale based on their ranking (25-38% based on lifetime sales). That Alamy has decided to sell our work via art.com for a mere $10-20 no matter the size, and that they have made this unilateral change without asking, has rankled since its inception, so now that you are asking, I have to say that I think it would be more ethical if you allowed us to remove any image from the "personal use" category - RF or RM. The fact that Alamy is charging so much less for our work than the microstock agency known for its low prices should certainly give you pause. (here's a random example of shutterstock on FAA). 

 

Presentation Sales:

Giving away a full size image for $10-20 is problematic, when a presentation image doesn't need to be more than 1800 pixels on the long edge. Shouldn't an image that is 7900 pixels on the long side cost more than a tiny screen size image? 

 

Commercial Restrictions:

I liked the old system because I had some friends and family who would model for me but who, as professionals, could not have their images used for commercial use within their industries. When things changed, I had to delete their photos since I could no longer properly restrict RM files. What is the point of RM without being able to restrict them? The changes you recommend now don't make things worse so they are ok but I just thought I should let you know that the original changes you made resulted in my no longer uploading much in the way of photos of people, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I had a huge backlog of images of people when the initial change took place and they are now just sitting on my hard drive. It's too bad.

 

Why not have a *miscellaneous* restriction where an RM image is flagged and let us put in the restriction? What If I license an RM image exclusively for a period of time or for a particular industry on my own? Then I have to delete it rather than just noting that, say, it can't be used in one location or industry for a year. I just don't see the benefit of RM licensing if all RM images can be treated just like RF. The old system was cumbersome, but if you now have a fourth category for *other - and it says see restrictions on image - people can skip them if they want easy, but if they like the image they can take a look and see if it's okay for them to use. 

 

Exclusivity

Use this to your benefit. Alamy is supposed to be the place that is different. That is your USP for both customers and contributors. You don't need to give away the store to get customers. You need to provide something that the other sites don't. With Getty dropping RM, you are in a unique position to capture the market for those customers who are seeking images that haven't been plastered all over the web. Every RM image uploaded could potentially be exclusive to Alamy since it's now one of the few sites left for RM. Think about ways to capture that market and how to let customers know that they are getting something unique. Having an "Exclusively on Alamy" collection - RM and RF - could be a good marketing concept. 

 

I hope that you consider these concerns and suggestions. Thanks for seeking out our opinions. 

Edited by Marianne
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Simplicity makes sense to me.

 

However

 

I would like to see personal use and presentation use restricted to 2000 pixels on the long side. This is big enough for 99 % of the genuine users of these categories, but not big enough for the 99% of a subset of users who may be gaming the system by choosing the lowest price categories regardless of use.

 

Even if it is for personal use. If someone wants a 8000 pixel personal use image as wall decor in their castle, then they should pay a higher price for the higher resolution.

 

There was a lawsuite in the USA where the art director of a large book publisher testified under oath that it was company policy to buy the lowest price category, and then subsequently use the stock image for any and all purposes, exceeding the license limits.

 

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca9/10-36010/10-36010-2014-03-18.html


See bottom of page 7

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The reasons for the change in the OP make sense to me.  Thank you for asking!

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8 hours ago, Marianne said:

Personal Use Sales:I'd like to be able to restrict personal use sales (since these are supposed to be to art.com) on both RF and RM images since, when I joined Alamy back in 2008, Alamy was not cannibalizing my print sales by selling a license that earned me $10 for a print that I sell elsewhere earning me anywhere from $21 (for a very tiny 8" x 6" print) to over $400, with the average print sale earning me well over $100, and often far more.

 

Yeeeaa.... spot on! Why should anyone have a full res file for just $10 and then they can make a print themselves or use it in other ways blown up? Does  not make sense when large prints sell for several times more. I've been on Alamy for less than a  year but only recently have I realized to restrict personal use on all my photos.

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On 13/12/2019 at 16:38, Alamy said:

 

  • A removal of the restriction “Don’t sell for editorial”
  • A combining of the advertising and consumer goods restriction to just be: “Don’t sell for commercial”.
  • Keeping the “Don’t sell for personal use” the way it is now.

 

 

Makes a lot of sense. When I restrict my images for "commercial" use, I always tick advertising AND consumer goods. 

Edited by vpics

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I am in favor of restricting specific distributors, not countries

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As many have already said, I too think simplicity makes a lot of sense - and thanks Alamy, for taking our views into consideration!

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What Marianne said! 😄

Betty

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Also for me What Marianne said. 

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Can someone give me a précis of What Marianne said?😉

 

Allan

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I don't mind some simplicity but I was very upset at the original removal of restricting for sensitive issues.  I have model released images of friends and family that I want to restrict for sensitive issues but no longer can.  As a result I no longer ask them for model releases in the hope that will provide some restriction.

 

I also agree with what Marianne said above.

 

Pearl

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On 14/12/2019 at 15:18, wiskerke said:

Anyway if the restrictions are getting too broad and too simple, we would need a kill switch on an image level, including those in the pipeline with clients. News agencies all have this, but like with Alamy now, it can only be set by the agency.

I would argue for some simple procedure: please restrict/kill my image xx. And a reasons tick box. So Alamy would still have their finger on the switch.

 

 

+1 for a kill switch.

I sometimes license images direct to magazines that still demand the same images are not used in rival magazines for 6 months or more. Personally I thought the current restrictions were too blunt an instrument but I've come to live with them. However, if Alamy remove the editorial block I'm stuck. Deleting the image completely isn't an option because takes 6 months.

A simple kill switch in addition to the proposed options seems like a reasonable compromise to me and would cover all eventualities.

 

Craig

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Please, give a discount of 50% over the PU for students.

 

$ 0.99  hurts my eyes everytime that one pop-up.

 

 

Usage: Student Projects, For non-commercial use in projects such as dissertations, presentations or essays.
Industry sector: Education
Image Size: Any size
Start: 05 December 2019
Duration: In perpetuity

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I restrict personal use for the reasons stated by others. I also don't sell RF because I can't restrict personal use if I do. I would sell some images RF, if I could restrict PU. I would consider selling PU if there were size restrictions and price increased with increased file size. I have sold at least one print on FAA to somebody who wanted to buy a PU license and contacted me directly because I don't allow it.

 

As for the simplification, I'm fine with distilling non-editorial down to commercial use. It's the way things were done back in film days when I worked at stock agency. We just billed according to the size, placement and print run for various types of uses.

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The changes seem OK to me.

 

Another vote for size restrictions on PU, and the price increased with increased file size.

 

John.

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4 hours ago, Craig Joiner said:

 

+1 for a kill switch.

I sometimes license images direct to magazines that still demand the same images are not used in rival magazines for 6 months or more. Personally I thought the current restrictions were too blunt an instrument but I've come to live with them. However, if Alamy remove the editorial block I'm stuck. Deleting the image completely isn't an option because takes 6 months.

A simple kill switch in addition to the proposed options seems like a reasonable compromise to me and would cover all eventualities.

 

Craig

 

Even a kill switch won't guarantee that an image can't be used by a rival magazine because they may have already downloaded the image, be preparing copy and they will only declare use to Alamy when they go to print (or some time after in the case of Newspaper magazines). Restrictions don't help much in this respect either.

 

Mark

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On 13/12/2019 at 12:19, LawrensonPhoto said:

I would like to see a

Large

Medium

Small size RF section

and an

RM

Personal with restrictions on size 1200px wide

Editorial

Commercial section

Anyone?

 

Sounds good to me, particularly the suggestion to restrict file size for Personal and Presentation uses. For the low price, you get low res download, fair and square.

 

The Presentation and Newsletter license should also be included in the Personal category. Otherwise, someone can just pick Presentation and newsletter instead Personal for the same low price.

 

Edited by Gabbro

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54 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Even a kill switch won't guarantee that an image can't be used by a rival magazine because they may have already downloaded the image, be preparing copy and they will only declare use to Alamy when they go to print (or some time after in the case of Newspaper magazines). Restrictions don't help much in this respect either.

 

Mark

 

The current system doesn't do this either. It does, however, minimise the risk to an acceptable level as the image is immediately removed from sale and not subject to further downloads/sales until it is removed from public view. Waiting months for a deletion while still visibly on sale is asking for trouble, not to mention difficult to explain should the publisher stumble across it. In any case, Wim was suggesting the kill switch should kill anything in the pipeline too & I agree.

 

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54 minutes ago, Craig Joiner said:

Wim was suggesting the kill switch should kill anything in the pipeline too & I agree.

 

I feel sure Alamy will never agree to that. Some of Alamy's major customers download first, prepare their copy and then declare usage later (typically on publication or soon after). If there's the threat that an image a customer has spent time choosing and incorporating into their layouts could be withdrawn at anytime, then this part of their business model collapses. That being said, other very successful stock libraries operate a more sensible and efficient model with charges being levied immediately at the point of download of a non-watermarked image (EXCELLENT!!). Not only does the contributor's account get credited at that moment, the contributor can also withdraw images quickly. As licence fees fall, if Alamy wants to carry on competing it will have to shift to this type of model as their current system (delayed invoicing) is too inefficient and relies on manual intervention (IMHO). Alternatively, Alamy has to try to move back up-market and stop participating in the race to the bottom (easier said than done).

 

Mark

 

Edited by M.Chapman
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Not sure if this has already been asked but will this mean that we will have to go back and re-classify all of our existing submissions? Otherwise, seems quite sensible to me! 🙂

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I agreed that the proposed changes are a good idea making submitting images easier for contributors. Thank you Alamy for asking our opinion.

Edited by Tsado
add a word

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6 hours ago, Gabbro said:

 

Sounds good to me, particularly the suggestion to restrict file size for Personal and Presentation uses. For the low price, you get low res download, fair and square.

 

The Presentation and Newsletter license should also be included in the Personal category. Otherwise, someone can just pick Presentation and newsletter instead Personal for the same low price.

 

I guess you know Alamy has done it the way they have to make us restricting PU a non-issue for their pocketbook, don’t you? ..wink..wink..then the usages are ignored. Why else can we not opt out for Presentation and Newsletter too? That’s like us closing the front door and someone else opening the back door. I guarantee the opportunity for us to be able to restrict those ain’t gonna happen.

It would be a non-issue if size limits were implemented as suggested above.

Hey, y’all, I spent a lot of time and money making this apple pie, and will sell you the whole pie for the usual price of a small slice! 

Betty

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Fine with me, to the proposed changes....             In regards to the Personal Use Licence i am still in with 5 P.U sales and 1 Presentation sale this year....( these extra low value sales have topped up a modest sales tally for me this year )    I agree with others suggesting a restriction of file size..

 

RM Licence

Personal Use with restrictions on size 1200px wide...... Look after your contributors Alamy, as photographers we value our images and if you stop / moderate  the loop holes where buyers are ripping us off....and value the product that you market more then we all will be better $$ off..

Edited by William Caram
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