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The Alamy contract has been updated and we're writing to give you notice of these changes.

 

The new contract is here and the key changes are listed here. The changes will come into place on 1st July 2021.

 

You can read more about the contract changes over on the blog post written by the Managing Director, Emily Shelley.

 

This thread is the place to post any feedback or questions you may have regarding the changes. We'll be reading all responses and will respond where possible to clarify any questions as regularly as possible.

 

Any additional threads on the contract change will be removed in order to keep it simpler for people to keep up with the topic.

 

The usual forum rules apply so any posts or comments that go against those rules will be removed in the usual way. Contract changes involving the commission rates can obviously cause emotions to run high so we would ask everyone to remain professional and respectful whilst commenting. 

 

Thanks,

Alamy

 

EDIT - UPDATE 19th MAY:

 

Thanks for all the feedback so far everyone.

 

We will of course be publishing a formal response here very soon, certainly by the end of the week. 

 

With so many responses we have to do things in this way rather than post here addressing each point. Thanks for your pateince on this, we are reading every post.

 

There will be no more responses from us here until then where we will update page one of the thread and also the latest post here too.

 

Best regards

 

Alamy

 

EDIT - UPDATE 21st MAY:

 

Thank you to everyone who has emailed us or posted questions and comments in this forum thread about the changes to the contributor contract which come into effect on July 1. We have gathered the main topics and concerns that have come up and answered these below. These will also be posted on page one of this thread to make sure they are easily found.

 

If these contract changes do not have a significant impact on profits, why are you making them?

 

We are making these changes to ensure our core 40% commission rate is sustainable. They allow us to deal with some operational challenges around exclusivity and infringements, and around managing and growing distribution and affiliate partners. They simplify the rate structure and support fair growth of the contributor base, which has been exponential over the last 12 months. 

 

How can Alamy justify earning more from a sale than the photographer?

 

Our core rate for direct sales continues to be 40% for the vast majority of our contributors. We believe this is fair because we incur significant and rising costs bringing images to market – especially as competition increases. This allows Alamy to invest, as it is doing currently, in an improved website and platform, and in sales and marketing resource. It’s also one of the most generous rates available in a very competitive market.

 

Why have you removed the incentive to be exclusive for most contributors?

 

Around 17 million of the 260 million images for sale on Alamy are marked as exclusive to us. Our aim is to establish that these images really are exclusive and unlock infringements revenue, as exclusive images to Alamy will be given priority for infringement chasing. We will then review our plans to market a unique collection, and the value of this to customers. We’re aware that this changes the commission incentive for many contributors to sell exclusively with us, although there will be the benefit of potential infringements revenue. This will not stop you selling directly yourself.

 

Now you’ve removed the exclusive incentive for most contributors, won’t you be left with generic and poor-quality content?

 

Exclusivity is about which platforms the images are available on, not aesthetic uniqueness or quality. All kinds of images are sold exclusively on Alamy, and all kinds of images are sold non-exclusively on Alamy.

 

Why is the gap between the Silver commission tier at $250 gross sales and the Platinum tier at $25,000 sales so big? Isn’t the Platinum tier unachievable for most contributors?

 

We know that the majority of our contributors will be in the Gold tier and earn 40% commission for direct sales, including exclusive sales. We believe this to be a fair and sustainable rate. We have kept the 50% rate for exclusive images only for those earning above $25,000 gross, because these are the highest-selling collections. We’re aware that this changes the commission incentive for many contributors to sell exclusively with us, although there will be the benefit of potential infringements revenue as exclusive images will be given a higher priority in any work going on in this area. This will not stop you selling directly yourself.

 

If you chase infringements on my behalf for exclusive images, won’t this stop me selling directly myself?

 

No, that’s not the case. The same rules apply as before when marking images as exclusive – you can still sell your images directly and at the same time mark images as exclusive to Alamy. Our infringements chasing will not affect that and when identifying a potential infringement, we will always ask the user first whether or not they hold an existing licence before we pursue.

 

Why did you recently ask me if you could pursue potential infringements without informing me first, if you knew this contract change was coming?

 

The new contract does not come into force until the 1st of July. The infringements work has begun in earnest and this will help us secure infringement payments more quickly over the next 45 days prior to the new contract terms commencing.

 

Can you explain the changes to 4.1.5 and 4.1.6. Isn’t the contract now very one-sided?

 

4.1.5 –  This clause is intended to ensure that any prior restrictions and limitations that you place on the content are correctly disclosed and to ensure that these are accurate. It works in conjunction with the restrictions that you must supply under  4.1.10, which are automatically applied when Alamy licences Content through our website. When selling images Alamy will always respect any restrictions you place on your images and our customers are made aware of these restrictions and agree to abide by them in their terms of use. It is not in any way intended to grant Alamy the right to license content outside of those restrictions.

 

4.1.6 – By submitting content to Alamy you agree that you will not use the system to upload content that could be considered as threatening, insulting, racist, offensive, vulgar and/or indecent. Clause 4.1.6 details that, as a result of the submission of the content, any use of the content by Alamy, its customers or distributors will therefore not be considered threatening, insulting, racist, offensive, vulgar and/or indecent. In simple terms, you have to decide that it isn’t offensive, but also a wider audience, including Alamy and its customers and distributors, will also need to consider that it isn’t offensive.

 

Alamy tells the licensors of its Content that they should not use the Content in such a way that it could be considered defamatory, racist, etc. to take into account where local customs might be different.

 

In terms of the contract reference to ‘anywhere in the world’, this used to say ‘the UK, USA and elsewhere’. The change has the same meaning but is designed to be clearer.

 

What is the percentage split that is given to distribution partners, why are you not clear about this?

 

We work with around 80 different distributors and the rate varies per partner. We always negotiate for the best deal available with each opportunity. We cannot share details of these individual contracts. We are working to add more partners to ensure we can reach as many potential customers around the world as possible.

 

Isn’t the timing of these changes disrespectful given the global Covid pandemic?

 

We’re aware that some people are having a tough time at the moment, that’s true of our staff around the world too. This is likely to be the case for some time to come and business decisions still need to be taken. In terms of image sales for Alamy contributors, these were impacted during the first few months of the pandemic in 2020 - but since then we have seen a resurgence at Alamy and sales so far this year are significantly ahead overall. Every individual contributor’s account within those overall sales will be different.

 

By making these changes, aren’t you ending Alamy’s reputation for fairness completely, and becoming a corporation like any other?

 

Every business makes decisions that balance the needs of its suppliers, customers, staff, community, and shareholders – in the context of the global market. In Alamy’s case, decisions are taken with the goal of long-term growth and sustainability. Profits are reinvested into the business to support this, and we believe our rates to be fair and sustainable.

 

Best regards,

 

Alamy

 

EDIT: Update 24th May 

 

Just a quick update for you here to confirm that we are reading all responses and it's clear to us that there is confusion around the wording of some of the specific clauses in the new contract. 

 

We're sorry for the confusion these have caused. More details to follow soon, but we are looking at the possibility of rewording some clauses to make them clearer as well as providing further info here as to how the clauses could be used.

 

Best regards

 

Alamy

 

EDIT: Update 2nd June

 

Hi Everyone,

 

To frame expectations we just wanted to update you that we're aiming to get the ammendments confirmed for early next week. 

 

The 45 day notice period will start again from that point. The existing Alamy contract will remain in force until the end of that new notice period.

 

We'll be in touch with further information then and will update this thread accordingly.

 

Best regards,

 

Alamy

 

EDIT: Update 9th of June

 

Thanks for your patience whilst we make amendments to some of the new contract clauses. These amendments are confirmed below.

 

The 45 day notice period restarts from today, and this date will be reflected on your contributor dashboard.

 

 

Clause Change Listed 17 May 2021 Replacement
4.1.5. Amendment 4.1.5. except for any rights that have previously been licensed or granted in relation to the Content, there is not and will not be during the term of this Contract, be any limitation or restriction on Alamy’s ability to license the Content; 4.1.5. subject always to clause 4.1.10, except for any rights that have previously been licensed or granted in relation to the Content, there is not and will not be during the term of this Contract, any limitation or restriction on Alamy’s ability to license the Content;
4.1.6 Amendment 4.1.6. any use or exploitation of the Content by Alamy, a Customer or a Distributor will not be, or be deemed to be indecent, obscene, defamatory, insulting, racist, offensive, indecent, vulgar or violate publicity rights anywhere in the world. 4.1.6. the Content uploaded to the System will not be, or be deemed to be indecent, obscene, defamatory, insulting, racist, offensive, vulgar or violate publicity rights;
5.1. Amendment 5.1. You will indemnify, defend (at the request of Alamy) and hold Alamy and its affiliates, Customers, Distributors, sub-licensees and assigns (the “Indemnified Parties”) harmless against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, losses, costs and expenses (including reasonable legal expenses) which any of the Indemnified Parties incur arising from or in in relation to: (i) any claim that the Content infringes any third party’s rights including but not limited to any third party trademark, copyright, moral rights or other intellectual property rights, or any right of privacy or publicity; (ii) any use, exploitation or distribution of the Content by the Indemnified Parties; (iii) any claim against Alamy as a result of Alamy or its representatives pursuing an actual or suspected infringement of any Content; and (iv) any breach of any your representations, obligations and warranties under this Contract or the System. This clause will remain in force after the termination of this Contract. 5.1. You will indemnify, defend (at the request of Alamy) and hold Alamy and its affiliates, Customers, Distributors, sub-licensees and assigns (the “Indemnified Parties”) harmless against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, losses, costs and expenses (including reasonable legal expenses) which any of the Indemnified Parties incur arising from or in in relation to: (i) any claim that the Content infringes any third party’s copyright; (ii) any breach of any your representations, obligations and warranties under this Contract or the System. This clause will remain in force after the termination of this Contract.

 

The full contract can be found here: https://www.alamy.com/terms/contributor.aspx

 

Best regards,

 

Alamy

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Posted (edited)

Where do we find information on what "Commission Model" we are subject to?

The new contract makes a big difference to what contributors get if they are on the Silver model.

 

 

JUST FOUND THE INFO IN THE BLOG

Edited by AllTorque
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Posted (edited)

Honestly, I do not fully understand the new commission scheme. What the requirements to be in the "platinum" model are, exactly? Marking all photos as "exclusive" would be enough or not? If a contributor has all images marked as "exclusive" and his/her total yearly license fees fall under $250, his/her Alamy Commission model will revert to silver?
I'm quite confused....

 

Edited by riccarbi
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, riccarbi said:

Honestly, I do not fully understeand the new commission scheme. What the requirements to be in the "platinum" model are, exactly? Marking all photos as "exclusive" would be enough or not? If a contributor has all images marked as "exclusive" and his/her total yearly license fees fall under $250, his/her Alamy Commission model will revert to silver?
I'm quite confused....


Your commissions are going down to <40% (this gets the euphemistic name of "Gold", as if it was a good thing?) unless you sell over 25K per year. And if you sell less than 250 dollars/year, you'll be downgraded to silver so Alamy can earn even more commissions from your photographs.

Edited by German
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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, riccarbi said:

Honestly, I do not fully understand the new commission scheme. What the requirements to be in the "platinum" model are, exactly? Marking all photos as "exclusive" would be enough or not? If a contributor has all images marked as "exclusive" and his/her total yearly license fees fall under $250, his/her Alamy Commission model will revert to silver?
I'm quite confused....

 

 

 

Platinum ( 50%) is accessed if you gross $25,000 per annum and the images are exclusive

Edited by geogphotos
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I was just getting back into my photography after a three year sabbatical. I have had a better tricle of sales this year and although the fees were dire I was going to start submitting to Alamy again. Not now, I will take a different route to making my photography support itself.

 

I won't be pulling my images from Alamy. I am not arrogant enouigh to think they would notice. After all, I am well aware that my photographs are not unique (except maybe the odd one) or believe that Alamy would lose a sale without my pictures, the client will no doubt find a suitable alternative amongst the 100's of million others on Alamy.

 

Martin

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1 minute ago, Avpics said:

So, the incentive to sell exclusively through Alamy is now an incentive to sell all of a contributor's images additionally via other agencies. I'm not sure how that makes business sense for Alamy.

Yes, that was what I was thinking.

 

There is now no disincentive to sell your images eleswhere.

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1 minute ago, Phil Robinson said:

No, marking images as exclusive - as some of us have been diligently doing for the last six months - has been a complete waste of time and effort.

 

That's what's annoying me more than anything right now - what a waste of time that all was.  But at the end of the day I guess they can change their minds about exclusivity and reduce commission as often as they want . . .

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Posted (edited)

I'm getting very confused by the word "commission".  It used to be that the photographer earned the money and the agent took commission; e.g. magazine pays £50, agent takes 20% commission, I get £40.  But now it seems that in many but not all places in Alamy commission is what the photographer gets?  Is that right???

Edited by Michael2020
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Posted (edited)

Without my planned new submissions I will probably drop to Silver sooner rather than later; if that happens I will remove most of my images but leave the account active to maintain grandfather rights.

 

At least it will force me to think about what I am going to do rather than simply taking the easy option.

 

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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6 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Divide and rule.

 

How many of you lay down your protests when the 2019 change only affected non-exclusives like me? 

 

Did you now think that Alamy would ventrally come back and bite you too?

 

I stopped uploading new material altogether back then. With these new terms, it's just further motivation to actively move everything I have in Alamy to another agency which isn't threatening/changing commissions on a yearly basis.

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As a fairly new contributor with a small portfolio on here that's slowly getting larger I've resisted putting images anywhere else, sticking with Alamy for the 50%, despite utterly awful sales during the lockdowns over the past 12 months. My thinking was that I'll stay exclusive & sales will get better - they have improved a lot since the end of March, but this new commission structure now feels like a kick in the teeth, with no incentive to remain exclusive anymore. 

 

How many contributors actually earn over 25k? I'd imagine it's a pretty small minority?

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Posted (edited)

Very disappointing. I chose Alamy based on its good reputation relative to other stock agencies. All my images are exclusive to Alamy. That will change!

Edited by bmacleod
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