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Legit sale not recognized by Alamy...finally appeared as distro sale


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Hello all,

I want to publicly expose a problem with Alamy not recognizing a legit sale of one of my images, and I would like to know if anyone has got a similar issue.

 

The facts:

- My image is used in this publication: https://www.codigounico.com/placeres/viajes/mejores-playas-de-surf-cantabrico.html 

- Direct link to the image: https://www.codigounico.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/07/las-13-mejores-playas-para-hacer-surf-en-el-norte-de-espana-6.jpg

- Date of publication: 02-August-2019
- Country of publication: Spain

- Image zoomed twice: in 28-July-2019 and 02-August-2019, search terms: “Salinas Asturias”. Additionally, other two of my images of the same session where zoomed in those two searches.

- The published image has got all the IPTC metadata that Alamy embed in our images when they are directly downloaded. The IPTC data can be checked downloading the image fron the direct link.

- The image hasn’t been ever uploaded, published, or used in any website, nor personal or social media. It resides solely and exclusively in Alamy’s database. It hasn’t been sold or zoomed before or after.

- I have to note that from the 13 images used in the publication, 11 (eleven) are from Alamy. All like mine, with their IPTC metadata embeded.

 

I contacted CR at the end of september’19 just to know the license details. They told me that they hadn’t got any download record so they ask me to fill an "Unathorized Use Form”, so I did. While filling the form, I found the direct link to the image, downloaded it and surprisingly, discover that it has got all the IPTC data, with all the Alamy’s information embeded. It is the first time that this happens to me. So, I informed Alamy again that the publisher has got an unwatermarked full resolution image with the Alamy’s IPTC data embeded in it.
And CR tells me that there is no download, and that they treat it as an infringement.  
So I hoped they would find the issue and waited. Contacted again with CR once every month from end of october to february (today). Every time the answer was similar, with no more information:

“Our infringement team have chased the infringer on the use.
They haven’t heard back from the infringer – as soon as we have an update on the below, we’ll let you know.”

Many of you now this kind of messages.

 

On today’s answer:
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had any luck chasing this particular usage for you. The team have been chasing this for some time now but have had no response from the infringer.
Therefore we’re closing this case at our end. Please feel free to try and chase this yourself.”

 

So, I’m very dissapointed. It is pretty clear to me that the publisher downloaded my image directy from Alamy. But Alamy does not recognize it, just tells it is and infringment, and ultimately, they close the case! 😠

 

Am I missing something? Does anyone has suffered a similar issue to mine?
Could this be a issue in Alamy’s system, with an unrecorded download?

 

I can’t get to believe that, in this business where licensing an image is harder and harder everyday, when you have a legitimate sale, it is not recognized by your agent. It is so discouraging. I know the price would be low, but it is the fact what bothers and worries me for the future 😨

 

Sorry for the length of the post. Thanks to anyone that reads it.
If anyone can give me any tip, I will be grateful.

 

Best regards from Spain

Edited by shearwater
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Hello spacecadet,

 

I'm afraid it hasn't been licensed nor zoomed any time before or after.

A reverse google search does not give any more result for this image.

Could you point your unreported sales from that site so we can compare our cases?

 

Thank you and regards

Edited by shearwater
misspelling
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Hola,

 

One of those images is mine, from Somo beach KNTPM5. The image was zoomed the 26th July last year.

 

Look like that those images were downloaded by a Spanish distributor and Alamy does  not have such noticed.

 

I have emailed Alamy about this and lets see if the distributor is identified.

 

Regards

 

Jorge

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1 minute ago, Abiyoyo said:

Hola,

 

One of those images is mine, from Somo beach KNTPM5. The image was zoomed the 26th July last year.

 

Look like that those images were downloaded by a Spanish distributor and Alamy does  not have such noticed.

 

I have emailed Alamy about this and lets see if the distributor is identified.

 

Regards

 

Jorge

 

Hola Jorge,

 

Great to know that one image is yours. Hope Alamy gives you more information than me.

They didn't point me to any distribution sale. 

Additionally I have got two more pending sales, published in two spanish online newspapers in May and July, and that they told me that where made through a distributor and that they will be billed at the end of february. I'm crossing my fingers... 🙄

 

Please, let us know if Alamy gives you any information.

 

Thank you very much and regards

 

Jaime

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7 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

It wasn't necessarily downloaded from Alamy- it could have been copied from a legitimate use.

That said I have some unreported sales from that site and I'm a bit concerned now.

Mark, he stated it has never been downloaded, sold or whatever before or since. No opportunity for anyone to steal it from somewhere else. Only available on Alamy, with Alamy IPTC.
He’s being hung out to dry. I don’t care if it was a bulk deal, or for $1, he’s been cheated (by the user) and denied by Alamy. I realize mistakes happen, but Shearwater has laid out his case so clearly, I wonder if Alamy is only read/skimming what he’s saying without carefully taking it in.  
I am guilty of that very thing when following long threads in the forum. Then I may post something that clearly was touched upon earlier, but dumb me, I didn’t let it soak in.

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3 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Mark, he stated it has never been downloaded, sold or whatever before or since. No opportunity for anyone to steal it from somewhere else. Only available on Alamy, with Alamy IPTC.
He’s being hung out to dry. I don’t care if it was a bulk deal, or for $1, he’s been cheated (by the user) and denied by Alamy. I realize mistakes happen, but Shearwater has laid out his case so clearly, I wonder if Alamy is only read/skimming what he’s saying without carefully taking it in.  
I am guilty of that very thing when following long threads in the forum. Then I may post something that clearly was touched upon earlier, but dumb me, I didn’t let it soak in.

 

Diagonal reading is something that we all are guilty of ;)

So, no offense at all.

Thank you for your post Betty

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5 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Mark, he stated it has never been downloaded, sold or whatever before or since. No opportunity for anyone to steal it from somewhere else. Only available on Alamy, with Alamy IPTC.
He’s being hung out to dry. I don’t care if it was a bulk deal, or for $1, he’s been cheated (by the user) and denied by Alamy. I realize mistakes happen, but Shearwater has laid out his case so clearly, I wonder if Alamy is only read/skimming what he’s saying without carefully taking it in.  
I am guilty of that very thing when following long threads in the forum. Then I may post something that clearly was touched upon earlier, but dumb me, I didn’t let it soak in.

 

has he been denied by Alamy?  Alamy seem to have recognised the usage, did everything they feel the could to get paid and didn't.  What else are they to do if someone stole from them and refuses to pay?

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12 minutes ago, shearwater said:

Hello spacecadet,

 

I'm afraid it hasn't been licensed nor zoomed any time before or after.

A reverse google search does not give any more result for this image.

Could you point your unreported sales from that site so we can compare our cases?

 

Thank you and regards

 

Have you sent them the image from your second link? The website strips the metadata, but the upload folder doesn't. If you're certain it's never been licenced before then it must have come from Alamy- it has their metadata as you say. They must have made a mistake.

One of mine has a relevant download and is just late billing, the other I've just realised Alamy didn't mention, so I've asked about it again.

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Just now, meanderingemu said:

 

has he been denied by Alamy?  Alamy seem to have recognised the usage, did everything they feel the could to get paid and didn't.  What else are they to do if someone stole from them and refuses to pay?

Alamy have said there's no relevant download, but the image has Alamy's name in the metadata. Alamy must be wrong if it's never licensed before.

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

Alamy have said there's no relevant download, but the image has Alamy's name in the metadata. Alamy must be wrong if it's never licensed before.

 

 

their reply today 

 

On today’s answer:
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had any luck chasing this particular usage for you. The team have been chasing this for some time now but have had no response from the infringer.
Therefore we’re closing this case at our end. Please feel free to try and chase this yourself.”

 

 

doesn't use of term Infringer acknowledge the use?

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

their reply today 

 

On today’s answer:
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had any luck chasing this particular usage for you. The team have been chasing this for some time now but have had no response from the infringer.
Therefore we’re closing this case at our end. Please feel free to try and chase this yourself.”

 

 

doesn't use of term Infringer acknowledge the use?

No.

"relevant download" means from a paying customer.

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The other possibility in my case is that codigounico is copying from a legitimate buyer whom I just haven't found. But it doesn't help the OP, who says the image hasn't been licenced before.

Just a reminder that, in the case of distro sales, I don't think  Alamy can identify a particular publication as infringing or not. They don't have the information. They can only say whether there's been a download of the image we tell them about.

 

Edited by spacecadet
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I have found another one, and counting,  and I have emailed Alamy to ask if there is a "hole" in the system where somebody can download images, using them without being tracked and chased for the payment.

 

Some years ago took me months after noticed the infringement to get the payment from El Periodico de Catalunya, at the end were peanuts, via distributor and Alamy did not noticed.

 

More news. The director of Código Único is  jjesteban@tallerdeeditores.com, and tallerdeeditores.com redirect to Vocento 🙂

 

Edited by Abiyoyo
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2 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

has he been denied by Alamy?  Alamy seem to have recognised the usage, did everything they feel the could to get paid and didn't.  What else are they to do if someone stole from them and refuses to pay?


As many others already pointed out; no customer might be able to download a full-res, un-watermarked picture from Alamy without paying it. The reason that publishers like to download as many full-res pictures as they want and, at a later time, choose which ones they'll buy and which ones they'll refuse makes no sense at all. To decide if a certain picture fits your needs, a watermarked one is more than enough. To allow customers to download how many full-res images by photographers you represent (you don't own those pictures, your photographers own them) without actually buying them is as if a car dealer would allow everyone to use a car for a couple months and then return it back without paying a single penny because "I realised it is not what I really need".
 

Edited by riccarbi
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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

has he been denied by Alamy?  Alamy seem to have recognised the usage, did everything they feel the could to get paid and didn't.  What else are they to do if someone stole from them and refuses to pay?

Yes, Alamy is treating it as a theft, which would be watermarked, rather than an image downloaded with no watermark. There is a difference. Something has gone awry with Alamy or their distributors.

How many more of our images are going down this rabbit hole? I’ve had many zooms with my image being the only one zoomed, with no resulting sales. There should be a percentage of those resulting in a sale. More than I have, compared to previous history.

Do we have a crooked distributor playing us?

Being paranoid doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. 😁

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Anybody noticed the invoice bit is missing from the metadata?

 

This doesn't look good at all. If you put the zoom image on top of the published image, the size is exactly the same. Moreover the jpg artifacts are exactly the same. Only the watermark is missing. This is with the OP's image and Abiyoyo's beach image.

 

The Madrid image however does have the invoice bit:

View your order summary at: https://www.alamy.com/Order-summary.asp?OrderID={C14226BB-7837-460B-9AAE-0F5B99168F0B}
 Your Ref: Código Único DY39833709 Downloaded: 04 February 2020 Image ID: R0XJDE

And the original on their server is a lot bigger.

 

wim

 

edit: do clients get zooms/comps without a watermark?

If so, that could be an easy mistake or an easy loophole.

 

Edited by wiskerke
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5 hours ago, wiskerke said:

Anybody noticed the invoice bit is missing from the metadata?

 

This doesn't look good at all. If you put the zoom image on top of the published image, the size is exactly the same. Moreover the jpg artifacts are exactly the same. Only the watermark is missing. This is with the OP's image and Abiyoyo's beach image.

 

The Madrid image however does have the invoice bit:

View your order summary at: https://www.alamy.com/Order-summary.asp?OrderID={C14226BB-7837-460B-9AAE-0F5B99168F0B}
 Your Ref: Código Único DY39833709 Downloaded: 04 February 2020 Image ID: R0XJDE

And the original on their server is a lot bigger.

 

wim

 

edit: do clients get zooms/comps without a watermark?

If so, that could be an easy mistake or an easy loophole.

 

The Madrid image however does have the invoice bit:

View your order summary at: https://www.alamy.com/Order-summary.asp?OrderID={C14226BB-7837-460B-9AAE-0F5B99168F0B}
 Your Ref: Código Único DY39833709 Downloaded: 04 February 2020 Image ID: R0XJDE

 

can somebody verify this image again, i don't see the alamy invoicing on the pic (it should be located in the iptc, special instructions box)

Edited by sooth
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Get exact confirmation from Alamy that it has never been licenced, remove (or hide it) from your Alamy port then give all the info to Pixsy.com.
If they take it on, and are successful. you will receive more than what Alamy would charge if they bothered to pursue it.
I had an unreported use a few years back, the 'team' couldn't find the infringers details so gave up and suggested I go after them... In reply, I gave them all the users (easily googled) details including the home address within minutes!

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15 hours ago, spacecadet said:

 

Have you sent them the image from your second link? The website strips the metadata, but the upload folder doesn't. If you're certain it's never been licenced before then it must have come from Alamy- it has their metadata as you say. They must have made a mistake.

One of mine has a relevant download and is just late billing, the other I've just realised Alamy didn't mention, so I've asked about it again.

 

Hello spacecadet,

Yes, I did, twice. And I have attached the image and the IPTC data. They answer like always, standard message, like no one is reading the mails thoughtly :(

Please, let us know what Alamy responds you.

Than you

 

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15 hours ago, Abiyoyo said:

I have found another one, and counting,  and I have emailed Alamy to ask if there is a "hole" in the system where somebody can download images, using them without being tracked and chased for the payment.

 

Some years ago took me months after noticed the infringement to get the payment from El Periodico de Catalunya, at the end were peanuts, via distributor and Alamy did not noticed.

 

More news. The director of Código Único is  jjesteban@tallerdeeditores.com, and tallerdeeditores.com redirect to Vocento 🙂

 

 

Hello Jorge,

Yes, I sent the contact information of Taller de Editores to Alamy. I found, as you, that it belongs to Vocento, which is a serious publisher (or should be), not a crappy site. So I entrusted Alamy will easily found the issue and contact the client for billing if there was a mistake. But it didn't happened, which is why I'm so disapointed.

 

I have the same feeling as you. Like there is a hole in the system (direct or maybe through distribution) where a client can download an unwatermarked full-res image without being recorded or invoiced...and that scaries me a lot.

I expressed my concern to Alamy. Again, seemed to don't care.

Hope your sale is invoiced soon and at a good price.

Regards

 

Edited by shearwater
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14 hours ago, riccarbi said:


As many others already pointed out; no customer might be able to download a full-res, un-watermarked picture from Alamy without paying it. The reason that publishers like to download as many full-res pictures as they want and, at a later time, choose which ones they'll buy and which ones they'll refuse makes no sense at all. To decide if a certain picture fits your needs, a watermarked one is more than enough. To allow customers to download how many full-res images by photographers you represent (you don't own those pictures, your photographers own them) without actually buying them is as if a car dealer would allow everyone to use a car for a couple months and then return it back without paying a single penny because "I realised it is not what I really need".
 

 

I'm completely with you.

At least, I want to suppose that Alamy does not give download permissions of unwatermarked full-res images to clients of whom they don't have a correct billing information to invoice. 

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13 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Yes, Alamy is treating it as a theft, which would be watermarked, rather than an image downloaded with no watermark. There is a difference. Something has gone awry with Alamy or their distributors.

How many more of our images are going down this rabbit hole? I’ve had many zooms with my image being the only one zoomed, with no resulting sales. There should be a percentage of those resulting in a sale. More than I have, compared to previous history.

Do we have a crooked distributor playing us?

Being paranoid doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. 😁

 

Liked the "Rabbit Hole" term, but don't like what it could mean 🙄

I wouldn't like to think it has any possibility of being real.

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12 hours ago, wiskerke said:

Anybody noticed the invoice bit is missing from the metadata?

 

This doesn't look good at all. If you put the zoom image on top of the published image, the size is exactly the same. Moreover the jpg artifacts are exactly the same. Only the watermark is missing. This is with the OP's image and Abiyoyo's beach image.

 

The Madrid image however does have the invoice bit:

View your order summary at: https://www.alamy.com/Order-summary.asp?OrderID={C14226BB-7837-460B-9AAE-0F5B99168F0B}
 Your Ref: Código Único DY39833709 Downloaded: 04 February 2020 Image ID: R0XJDE

And the original on their server is a lot bigger.

 

wim

 

edit: do clients get zooms/comps without a watermark?

If so, that could be an easy mistake or an easy loophole.

 

 

Hello wiskerke,

 

I didn't notice the invoice field! But I had nothing to compare with. Now I can compare with Abiyoyo's Madrid photo.

In my image and Abiyoyo's beach image, using Preview app in Macos, I have see an additional field that the image from Madrid hasn't got: Digital creation date (26/07/2019 in both cases, the day of their zooms).

 

About the sizes of the zoomed and original image in the Codigo's website compared to the preview watermarked image that anyone can download from Alamy, all are different sizes to me. Not sure if I'm getting you.  

 

Thank you and regards

 

P.D. about your concern about images downloaded without watermark...I expressed it above, and I'm like you, the possibility worries me.

 

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