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'Unlimited' licences


hotbrightsky
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Anyone else started seeing licence sales for both 'multiple' usage AND 'unlimited' duration?

This effectively means my image will never be sold to that customer ever again. If that customer is a large publisher this could be highly detrimental to my future income. It also has the effect of devaluing this image for all my other clients.

I have deliberately opted IN to 'rights-managed' and OUT of 'royalty free', but this makes a mockery of that distinction.

 

What is a fair price to charge a client for such usage terms in your opinion? (50% of $125 is not what I had in mind personally).

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Hey Dominic,

Yes, I got a $125 unlimited duration sale this month. Clients seem to want flexibility with licenses - many sales these days seem to be some sort of RM / RF hybrid. Companies need to supply what clients want in order to thrive. And if you're rigid about not doing it, there are plenty of competitors that will offer hybrid licenses.

 

Sorry, I don't think you're going to like my answer. The market doesn't care about being fair or what images used to sell for. The question is whether you think Alamy is getting the best price it can for your images, in the current market and economic climate. You can price images really high and watch all your competitors steal market share and leave you with crumbs. Alamy has to be competitive and images are not sold in a vacuum; there is a lot of competition out there that drives prices.

Steve

Edited by Steve F
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Yes, of course customers will push for whatever they can get at our expense. But I see no way to license images for unlimited, multiple use through the Alamy website, so who agrees to these sales on our behalf? I have not consented to these terms so where are they documented? Transparency is also essential here. If Alamy chooses to make exceptions to the publicly stated licensing terms they should tell us who they're giving them to, so that we can decide for ourselves whether that was a profitable decision.

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32 minutes ago, Steve F said:

Hey Dominic,

Yes, I got a $125 unlimited duration sale this month. Clients seem to want flexibility with licenses - many sales these days seem to be some sort of RM / RF hybrid. Companies need to supply what clients want in order to thrive. And if you're rigid about not doing it, there are plenty of competitors that will offer hybrid licenses.

 

Sorry, I don't think you're going to like my answer. The market doesn't care about being fair or what images used to sell for. The question is whether you think Alamy is getting the best price it can for your images, in the current market and economic climate. You can price images really high and watch all your competitors steal market share and leave you with crumbs. Alamy has to be competitive and images are not sold in a vacuum; there is a lot of competition out there that drives prices.

Steve

I received an email from Alamy saying that a distributor was interested in one of my photos, but I don't know how it works ... I had never received anything about it.

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20 minutes ago, hotbrightsky said:

Yes, of course customers will push for whatever they can get at our expense. But I see no way to license images for unlimited, multiple use through the Alamy website, so who agrees to these sales on our behalf? I have not consented to these terms so where are they documented? Transparency is also essential here. If Alamy chooses to make exceptions to the publicly stated licensing terms they should tell us who they're giving them to, so that we can decide for ourselves whether that was a profitable decision.

 

I agree with what you're saying. But again, it comes down to, do you trust Alamy to get the best price possible? I think we rarely sell images for actual officially listed prices these days. Presumably Alamy tries to charge as high as it reasonably can and there are many different license uses. The only way to be transparent would be to publish lists of the prices and uses pictures sell for. Then you would get clients pushing for the lowest quoted prices for future purchases.....

 

I understand the unlimited use is frustrating. But is that any different to a 20 or 30 year license? That's a whole lifetime away, I wouldn't care about the potential to potentially resell to a client in a few decades time. Where do you draw the line at license durations?

 

p.s. maybe you've got a longer time horizon than me!

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6 minutes ago, Jose Decio Molaro said:

I received an email from Alamy saying that a distributor was interested in one of my photos, but I don't know how it works ... I had never received anything about it.

Presumably if Alamy asked a question in that email and you responded, there's nothing more for you to do. Expressing interest in an image doesn't necessarily equate to buying it unfortunately.

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50 minutes ago, Steve F said:

it comes down to, do you trust Alamy to get the best price possible?

 

No! 😄

I don't recall any 20 or 30 year licences previously either. 5 years max I think, which reasonably covers the lifetime of a single textbook. But multiple usage across different publications in perpetuity gives that publisher carte blanche to exploit my image without recourse.

Perhaps they're a small company and likely use is restricted (Alamy's usual excuse) but more probably they're a large operation with increased negotiating power and publishing opportunities. We should be properly informed.

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1 hour ago, hotbrightsky said:

..... I have not consented to these terms so where are they documented?

 

Actually, you have consented - Section 6.4 of the Contributor Contract....

 

"Alamy has full authority to negotiate all terms of commissions, licences and reproduction rights in the Images including the fee, duration and scope of any licence."

 

 

Edited by Vincent Lowe
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There are legal disclaimers for any eventuality I'm sure. That doesn't make the practice ethical or indeed defensible. Why does Alamy allow contributors to choose between 'royalty free' and 'rights managed' options? There is a clear expectation that different usage terms will apply. Where are these increasingly frequent 'novel use' licences documented? Alamy seems to forget that they work for us, and in return we permit them to take 50% of our earnings.

Edited by hotbrightsky
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37 minutes ago, hotbrightsky said:

There are legal disclaimers for any eventuality I'm sure.

It's not a "legal disclaimer". It's a contract term that you agreed to years ago.

If an image licences under NU  it says so on your sales summary, but I haven't had one for many years so the details may have changed.

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It's an excuse for Alamy to troll contributors. Do you have anything meaningful to say about 'unlimited' licences or not?

 

"A disclaimer is an official statement that protects your business from legal liability"

It's a disclaimer. It may also be contractual.

Edited by hotbrightsky
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4 hours ago, Jose Decio Molaro said:

I received an email from Alamy saying that a distributor was interested in one of my photos, but I don't know how it works ... I had never received anything about it.

Hello Jose, if they are asking a question you are not sure about, we may be able to help. Start another thread.

🦔

 

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For many years, I submitted images to a small agency specializing in Latin America. They licensed a lot of images to textbook publishers, and the prices were always good. Typically, the duration was no more than five years, and I'd say that about half of my income was from the reuse of images. However, those days are gone. Rights managed ain't what it once was. That's for sure.

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