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Contract Change 2021 - Official thread


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Why did this Bonnie Tyler song come into my head?

"It's a heartache

Nothing but a heartache
Hits you when it's too late
Hits you when you're down
 
It's a fool's game
Nothing but a fool's game
Standing in the cold rain
Feeling like a clown"
Edited by Cryptoprocta
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15 minutes ago, NomisH said:

Kinda liberating.

I was totally exclusive to Alamy but obviously they don't give a s**t.

I'm off to investigate Shutterstock, etc :)

 

I'm in the process of deleting my (video) portfolio from Shutterstock because they imposed a new commission structure which makes even the new Alamy contract look positively benign. There may be a better world somewhere out there, but I doubt SS or any other microstock agency is part of it.

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5 hours ago, Stokie said:

At this rate it will be difficult to reach the $50 payout amount!!

 

How about Alamy pays what is owed at the end of the month even if it is below $50?

 

John.

My literary agency has deposited checks as small as $1.04 US, but to my US bank.  Alamy uses wire transfers to get money into my Nicaraguan bank, which takes $20 off the top for the wire transfer.  If I could get direct deposit to my US bank, this might be a good idea.

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3 hours ago, Doc said:

Appalling money grab tactics by Alamy. Shame on you. 

 

Having told us exclusive images will remain at 50% commission, there is now a U turn, and only those with an annual income of $25,000 gross  will retain the 50% commission.  I empathise with those who have spent months making their images exclusive for no good reason.

 

My income from 2014-2018 inclusive was over $25,000 gross, with around 20-23000 images. Now with cuts in image costs, and COVID on top, gross for 2019 was $23K, and 2020 $18.5K, so I will not make the platinum level and therefore will fall to 40% commission. 

 

Worse, most contributors will never be able to make the Platinum level with continuing downward pressure on image fees. 

 

Essentially, the majority of contributors will be on the Gold level at 40% commission - which appears to include everyone from $250-$25000 gross income annually - a 100x range! No incentive to try and send Alamy better images and certainly no incentive to supply exclusive images.

 

Alamy must treat its' contributors better.

 

 

Thanks Kumar, couldn't have said it better. Very disappointed for everyone although not much will change for me. 

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3 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

My literary agency has deposited checks as small as $1.04 US, but to my US bank.  Alamy uses wire transfers to get money into my Nicaraguan bank, which takes $20 off the top for the wire transfer.  If I could get direct deposit to my US bank, this might be a good idea.

I hadn't thought of that being the case for foreign accounts.

 

Perhaps if a minimum figure you were happy with could be agreed?

 

It's all hypothetical at the moment though.

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Just now, CarlMillerPhotos said:

So... best alternative to Alamy?

 

Highest sale I ever made was found via Flickr and licensed through my personal website (powered by PhotoShelter). Instantly eclipsed all Alamy sales for last 10 years combined. Google Image Search visibility is key here. When I finally terminate my Alamy account I will no longer be competing against (and undercut by) my own agent in this regard at least!

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6 minutes ago, CarlMillerPhotos said:

So... best alternative to Alamy? What say you all?

 

I think you should spend some time looking at what the other offers are.   Some only look at new photographers if they can put them in their microstock side if they don't qualify for the other side.  Some charge for disk space, which means a higher commission pays them for their servers.  Some appear to have bad relationships with the clients (free trial only involves watermarked images, sneaky clauses about renewal, etc.).  One only works with people who have Paypal accounts and has canceled a subscription from a Venezuelan photographer because of US sanctions.  I'm with Alamy because it isn't in the US and I'm in Nicaragua.  My sales so far this year $82.   I'm wondering if this is Alamy's way of thinning out the less productive photographers.   I have to ask myself if I should just continue to amuse myself with photographs and send the best ones in to Alamy without any real hope of a decent supplement to my living, or try writing another book. 

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23 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

I changed all my images to non-exclusive.  I too am off to check out other options.  And it isn't even about the money, I think the real thing that kicked me was getting people to mark exclusive then when all that work is done, take away the benefit.  If they found some were cheating (and I'm sure some marked exclusive that weren't were just human error) the contributor should have been notified.  If having to notify a second time, all their images would be marked non-exclusive no matter if they were or weren't.

 

 

 

It took about six months to respond to the last commission change. In the meantime all my images were marked as non-exclusive and I slowly worked through on a massive spreadsheet until I was able to inform Alamy which should be Exclusive and which ones were Non-Exclusive. In that time many images sold which were actually exclusive but I only received the lower commission. I lost c $1000 ( have wiped the actual figure from my memory) and spent endless hours collating and working on spreadsheets. Completely withdrew all images from one agency.

 

Since then I have been offering images exclusively to keep the 50% on them. 

 

The original change was a knee-jerk reaction from James West the last time they planned to change our commission to 40%. 

 

I could kick myself for being honest and co-operative. I now fully realise that Alamy are not to be trusted and couldn't care less about its contributors. 

 

And all that for nothing, sweet FA.

Edited by geogphotos
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4 hours ago, Cryptoprocta said:

How is this clause even legal?

"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." That's a charter for abuse.

It's unenforceable. How can a contributor possibly ensure that? Surely liability is the publisher's.

Edited by spacecadet
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3 minutes ago, Stokie said:

Anybody willing to risk the wrath of Alamy by listing good alternative agencies?

I'm not sure there are any good agencies anymore (Alamy was one of the best options for general stock) .. they all have their positives and mainly a lot of negatives as far as contributors are concerned.

 

I hope Alamy actually read some of this forum and understand how betrayed many of us feel especially those who have been supplying them with exclusive material for many years.

The new contract no longer gives contributors any incentive to supply exclusive material and the low royalties doesn't give much incentive to shoot, supply, keyword and tag any new material for those starting out either.

 

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

I now fully realise that Alamy are not to be trusted and couldn't care less about its contributors. 

 

 

Thing is this is one of those things that made one man enough money for that mansion that's now on the market for serious millions of dollars.  There are so many ways to hustle people with ambitions in the arts.  Alamy set the barrier low and has in the past paid us the whole sale price for the pictures they sold or licensed regardless of whether we sold serious numbers or didn't sell or license for months or years.  Kinda nice.  But they're in a world where a lot of their competition isn't so nice. 

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Just come in from taking some pictures. My considered opinion is "Oh Bum!"

 

Read up to page 6. Can't read any more. Please take this as a collective Green Arrow for up to page 6 and onwards. Except for Paul who is still a twerp.

 

 

 

 

 

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As others have said, so much for "exclusivity." What a waste of effort that was, especially waiting six months or more to have images removed from other agencies so we could make them exclusive to Alamy. Mind you, it's liberating in a way. Now I feel freer to start sending images elsewhere. The question of course is where? There are now very few worthwhile options out there.

 

All that glitters is not...

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

I'm guessing your "Good Stock Sites" board is quite empty...

Gets fewer every day but there are still some decent ones so not all hope is lost yet.

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1 minute ago, wilkopix said:

I'm not sure there are any good agencies anymore (Alamy was one of the best options for general stock) .. they all have their positives and mainly a lot of negatives as far as contributors are concerned.

 

I hope Alamy actually read some of this forum and understand how betrayed many of us feel especially those who have been supplying them with exclusive material for many years.

The new contract no longer gives contributors any incentive to supply exclusive material and the low royalties doesn't give much incentive to shoot, supply, keyword and tag any new material for those starting out either.

 

 

We live in a world where people aspiring to be artists/content creators pay to have their work displayed or printed.  And where people who've sold one movie script can make more money from a months of one day seminars in script writing (limited to 200 people or 500 people, or something) than they can make writing scripts.  

 

I've got to decide whether I continue to give this a reasonable try and see what happens with 5,000 images or whether it's just unlikely to be worth it compared to what I'd get selling the two full frame cameras and the lighting gear.   Dunno.   I don't think this is an Alamy problem as much as it is a problem with the eagerness of people to find more interesting work than the typical office jobs, something creative, something expressive.

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Since joining alamy in 2008 and only using this agency commision has dropped from 60% at the start to 40% now soon they will be charging to upload to them, Alamy was always the best agency to be with, Not Any More.

My first and last post.

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