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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sally R said:

 

 

Yes, it doesn't make sense on the face of it. But this is why I'm starting to suspect an ulterior motive. They would know full well that making Platinum 50% commission unattainable will lead to many contributors choosing to no longer being exclusive. As people submit their images elsewhere in droves, which will substantially be to microstock, Alamy can then justify reducing license fees further because their contributors' images can be licensed much cheaper elsewhere. Before long, microstock prices may be the norm on Alamy. We might even find we get more sales but for much less per image, just like microstock.

 

So in the end, I'm not sure all this is really primarily about the contributors who have done the wrong thing regarding Exclusivity, and thus Alamy are hitting us all with a big stick because of the transgressions of a few. That actually doesn't make sense. It seems they are actually trying to morph into a microstock company without directly stating it. I could be wrong, but that is what I'm sensing.

 

When they started directing contributors in Alamy Image Manager to the forum instead of the contributor relations email, I already had my suspicions. I was briefly with a microstock agency before joining Alamy where there is a much greater distance between individual contributors and the machine of the company. It was so nice to come to Alamy where it felt more personable. The few times I have contacted contributor relations they have been really helpful to deal with. They may, however, increasingly put us at arm's length.

 

However, what concerns me more than changes to commissions, as a few others have mentioned, are changes to how our images can be licensed and used, thus potentially reducing or removing protections for the photographer. That is my deeper concern and I would like them to spell out clearly for us what the new terms really mean.

 

Well that was a futile attempt at sleeping. It's 3.30 AM now and I am lying here just thinking about things after having a much more detailed look at the contract. I had only glanced at it before. It was reading what Bill Brooks said earlier as well as what Sally is saying that inspired me to check it out. As Bill Kuta surmises, many of us never got past the first bit. But it's the licensing terms that cause me concern. I am not sure it wants to become a micro stock agency but that would be a part of it. Perhaps various pricing tiers.

 

Anyway it is clear that there is a huge change afoot in terms of the licensing itself. It seems, from late night reading of the contract, that Alamy wants to use any image in any way it likes, including advertising, and no restrictions are allowed. If this includes Editorial only restrictions, then I guess there is nowhere to go here. This needs clarification as a priority but I can't see how the clauses relating to licensing can be interpreted in any other way. 

 

I am getting the feeling that my Alamy days may be numbered, as I don't need the worry  and I make very little here anyway. I can make far better money from my imagery in other ways. 

 

Edited by MDM
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45 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

i think the tier is there also for a reason, i don't see them backtracking on silver. 

 

Anyone want to bet against me that they're going to turn more and more to subcontractors who will be responsible for various sets of photographers and the individuals will be more and more encourged to get big or get lost.

 

I'm basically judgment proof since the only entity that can seize Social Security checks is the IRS.  Not keeping a strict boundary between editorial and released for commercial use is not understanding the huge range of rules in different countries.   And not realizing that there are hustlers out there who want to provide advertising photographs cheap is either to be another hustler or to be brutally naive.   I've had a couple people try to get me to sell movie rights (outright, of course) to a couple of my novels.  I always always pointed them to the agent of record for the book.  They always went away, sometimes after arguing that this was too early to get an agent involved.  I've even had a book editor try to get around my agent.  My agent nearly blew his top, but was calm enough to handle the deal.

 

Book agents and photo agencies do somewhat different things, and basically the book agent tends not to sell the project particularly but protects the author from being totally exploited.  Photo agencies take more of the money (last time I was in the game, book agents took 15%.  Don't know what it is now).  Unless the agency is actively selling the work (which probably only happens with a few photographers) and protecting the photographers from being exploited, I don't know why they're getting 80% of the money.  Not all of us are worth anything to them, but they don't have any money coming in without photographers who produce work that other people want to use.  That's not all Alamy's photographers, and not all the photographs even from people who do sell often.  But photographers are why PA/Alamy has a business.  And if we're truly all interchangeable, then you also don't have a business.   What sells fiction is strangers being able to lose themselves in verbal simulation of imaginary humans (or aliens, or rabbits) creating something the reader can experience vicariously.  People who can do that consistently and draw in a commercially viable audience are rare.  The really good photographers are also rare.  Good guess that zero of PA/Alamy's client ever look at Magnum, and for a lot of their uses, good enough is good enough.  So, someone came up with the idea of getting photographers to give away photographs, not that different from getting people to give away short stories "for the exposure."  If you can hand a file clerk a camera and tell him or her to center the subject on one of the grid intersections, then which customers need Alamy?   We're probably a few years away from cameras that have built-in composition algorithms.  

 

By the way, my writing pseudo is Rebecca Ore, in case anyone is curious. 

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Logistics clearing unreleased people without the photographer being involved are not plausible economically.  The people I've photographed are in Nicaragua, Mexico, and various parts of the US.  I don't even have their names in most cases.  You'd have to have someone on the ground asking who such and such person is, which means developing local sources in several dozens if not over a hundred countries.   So what you're most likely to get would be forgeries from people who assumed that nobody in Nicaragua or Tibet or Australia would ever see the ad or know that they should have agreed in writing to that type of usage.  The thing that bothers people about stock often is the fictionalizing of who and what the photograph represents.

 

There's a whole industry in forged legal residency papers in most US cities.  The guy off the bus goes out with one of his fellow countrymen who knows where to get papers, and comes back with papers that the landscaping service knows are phony but which covers the employer's butt.   I can't imagine any way for a entity in the US or UK to get releases from people whose names the photographer doesn't know or who've long since moved somewhere else.  It's going to be forged.

 

I'm sure I could get releases for some of what I've taken by handing someone a 100 cordoba note.  Not all of them.   I don't trust in the least any company that claims they could get releases for people in Nicaragua for less than I could get them of the people I know by name that still live nearby and who may be cooperative.   I doubt even English photographers in England could get releases of everyone they've photographed.  "We'll clear it" just tells me that they're going to fake for anyone in Nicaragua, probably for anyone else. 

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On 17/05/2021 at 14:52, BobD said:

 Make sure you don't get trampled on in the rush.

I just quit Alamy and will be removing my work. They just asked me to sell 2 photographs to a corporate client for $15. apiece, which amount to $7.50 each after Alamy removes their 50% commission, and less once it drops to 40%. While I hesitated before, as I’ve invested thousands of hours on the 4,621 photos I submitted, it was frankly a waste of my time. 

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On 17/05/2021 at 15:56, vpics said:

I disagree. Some photographer will set their price at $100 per image whilst others, that don't rely on photography income, will undercut this big time. You'll end up with microstock prices.

They are already selling our work at microstock prices.

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4 hours ago, Panthera tigris said:

I am so happy I don't have my good stuff with Alamy, just second and third tier average stuff. I pulled anything good a few years a go as the industry prices crashed for me. Photography has never been commercially viable for me, more of what to do with images I produce doing my "hobby". 

James may have backtracked in the past on the commission change but obviously the new owners and management are setting out their path, with the release of one of the most complicated and, purposely I believe, confusing commission models I have seen. Its time for a sojourn from this "industry" for me for a while. I liked the Alamy vibe but my time is worth more to me as I age. Nowhere else to go so putting my feet up is my only option at this stage.

I never submitted my most valuable work either, and I’m also removing my photos which are presently on Alamy. 

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3 hours ago, Colin Woods said:

Which does seem to have a ring of truth about it given the recent appearances of sub $1 licenses that have been discussed elsewhere on the forum.

 

Those micro-like sales are disturbing. However, I'm seeing some good prices this month -- average PPI is over $74 so far. I don't think that Alamy wants to become a microstock agency. The competition is overwhelming, and the existing micros are in the process of eating each other alive.

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Just sent my termination email notice to Emily Shelley - mainly because I had 5 sales last week via bulk distribution for a total of $0.67 - the total for me was a wacking 20 cents.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

I'm not sure yet John. I'm going to wait and see how Alamy responds to our concerns on the topic of the conditions of how our images might be licensed and what levels of protection we have (or don't have). I am RM too, but happy to also additionally mark more images than I have already as editorial if it seems wise. Already I have all artworks editorial and images of objects with logos. I haven't done so with shopfronts though.

 

All my images but one with Alamy are RM, Editorial only, no releases and Alamy exclusive other than 2. I cannot imagine any of my current images being considered for commercial use. I suspect most of us will be busy considering what options will bring in the most revenue from current and future photography after the Alamy contract change. 

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4 minutes ago, gardenbush said:

Just sent my termination email notice to Emily Shelley - mainly because I had 5 sales last week via bulk distribution for a total of $0.67 - the total for me was a wacking 20 cents.

You might feel better doing this.

But Alamy won't care. Plenty more images in their library.

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48 minutes ago, DawnOne said:

I just quit Alamy and will be removing my work. They just asked me to sell 2 photographs to a corporate client for $15. apiece, which amount to $7.50 each after Alamy removes their 50% commission, and less once it drops to 40%. While I hesitated before, as I’ve invested thousands of hours on the 4,621 photos I submitted, it was frankly a waste of my time. 

 

As it takes 6 months before images are deleted, will you be reverting any Alamy exclusive images to non exclusive so they can be marketed elsewhere.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I have a lot of images of storefronts, commercial signs, logos, etc. Generally I don't mark them for editorial use only; I simply indicate that no model releases are available

I have lots of images of similar. Surely the buyers have to agree that they will only publish the image in a way that is suitable when there's no MR or PR in place. We can't be expected to be liable for the actions of buyers who should know better if they publish a store front as commercial and not editorial.

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

I guess many here are focusing on the new commission scheme, but too few on other one-sided clauses in the new contract.
While I'm not happy at all with the new commissions, I could cope with them though I think that someone who takes 60% (or more) of your work value must give you a very valuable service in exchange, and I don't think this is the case with Alamy, currently. Yet, what really worries me are the new terms related to obligations, indemnities, and appointment of Alamy.
I report below some clauses from the new contract:

 

 

So, basically, you are granting Alamy permission to do whatever they want with your images, but YOU will are legally and financially responsible for what they'll do.
Nobody in his/her right mind would sign a contract like this and, if Alamy won't amend it, I'll certainly terminate my business relationship with them.

"By marking Content as Exclusive, you grant Alamy the right to chase third party infringements of the Content without Alamy having to consult you." Unless you are in the $25,000 tier, why would you mark your content as exclusive? There is no benefit for a contributor  having exclusive images at Alamy if you are in the lower tiers. 

Edited by Lynchpics
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Hi 

Personaly I Will not upload any more pictures under these conditions, if there are more cuts in income I will start deleting my images, When I find a New Agency, I will delete the images they want, so Alamy will be with the left overs, but I think no bonus for exclusivity will do this anyway. 

 

Yours Dylan B Garcia Art Photography 

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22 minutes ago, riccarbi said:

I guess many here are focusing on the new commission scheme, but too few on other one-sided clauses in the new contract.
While I'm not happy at all with the new commissions, I could cope with them (though I think that someone who takes 60% (or more) of your work's value must give you a very valuable service in exchange, and I don't think this is the case with Alamy, currently). Yet, what really worries me are the new terms related to obligations, indemnities, and appointment.
I report below some clauses from the new contract:

 

 

So, basically, you are granting Alamy permission to do whatever they want with your images, but YOU will are legally and financially responsible for what they'll do.
Nobody in his/her right mind would sign a contract like this and, if Alamy won't amend it, I'll certainly terminate my business collaboration with them.

You are quite right - these clauses are something of abuse of power.

The risk being transferred to the contributor is significant and the financial implications are considerable - for the contributor 

I need to consider these risks further - but I am very uncomfortable with them, and in the context of a typical business relationship they would never be agreed to by the party carrying the risk, and because we don't have to physically sign to execute this contract that is the reason I would say they are an abuse of power.

It would make an interesting test case if Alamy decided to pursue a contributor through the courts for financial recovery

 

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30 minutes ago, riccarbi said:

So, basically, you are granting Alamy permission to do whatever they want with your images, but YOU will are legally and financially responsible for what they'll do.
Nobody in his/her right mind would sign a contract like this and, if Alamy won't amend it, I'll certainly terminate my business collaboration with them.

 

That's my reading of the new clauses 4.15 and 4.16 in combination too. This concerns me even more than the commission rate changes.

 

Mark

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46 minutes ago, riccarbi said:

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."

 

This of courses applies worldwide and the way it is worded we are indemnifying Alamy and its cohort even against unreasonable or unproven claims, losses etc.

Basically any spurious claim against Alamy launched from wherever in the world - we carry the can.

And its a lifetime obligation on the contributor

Frankly I don't think its enforceable under English Law - but if Alamy wanted to purse a contributor they don't have to use English law to do so

THIS IS AN APPALLING CLAUSE - it has no balance , no reflection on which party is best able to manage or control the risk, and the burden is entirely disproportionate to the potential returns for the contributor - I would want to be clearing minimum 100k per annum from Alamy before I would even consider accepting this risk

 

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Posted (edited)

Obviously not happy with the commission changes but if the new clauses about liability are going to be enforced we’re out. 

 

Edited by Thyrsis
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6 hours ago, Bill Kuta said:

This has been an interesting thread for many reasons. I don't recall ever noticing so many forumites with tens of thousands of images.

 

I might be showing my observer bias here, but what with pensioners/day jobbers/hobbyists in it mostly for equipment money, and pro photographers who always say Alamy money is a very small part of their income, I think that Alamy might discover that they need a lot of the contributors more than the contributors need them. 

 

Personally, Alamy has kept me in equipment money plus a little net income (enough to satisfy the IRS), but I don't really need it. If my contract concerns are not addressed, I look forward to day trips and vacations where I don't feel the need to think stock photo opportunities, and just shooting for family and enjoyment.

 

Same here really, I don't remember the last time when I was on holiday and I wasn't working on stock at the same time, my mind is constantly on stock photography wherever I go

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Of course, each of us does not have to sign this agreement.

 

After reading the agreement, I think there are good reasons that the Alamy is abusing its position vis-à-vis contributors from a position of power.

 

This is not a good signal that Alymy is trying to build a mutually beneficial relationship with contributors.


I am disappointed

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1 minute ago, Radim said:

Of course, each of us does not have to sign this agreement.

 

After reading the agreement, I think there are good reasons that the Alamy is abusing its position vis-à-vis contributors from a position of power.

 

This is not a good signal that Alymy is trying to build a mutually beneficial relationship with contributors.


I am disappointed

 

I think they lost that intent re mutual relationship many years ago

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Foreign Export said:

 

This of courses applies worldwide and the way it is worded we are indemnifying Alamy and its cohort even against unreasonable or unproven claims, losses etc.

Basically any spurious claim against Alamy launched from wherever in the world - we carry the can.

And its a lifetime obligation on the contributor

Frankly I don't think its enforceable under English Law - but if Alamy wanted to purse a contributor they don't have to use English law to do so

THIS IS AN APPALLING CLAUSE - it has no balance , no reflection on which party is best able to manage or control the risk, and the burden is entirely disproportionate to the potential returns for the contributor - I would want to be clearing minimum 100k per annum from Alamy before I would even consider accepting this risk

 

 

Right. For example, in many countries there is no such thing as "editorial content" in the law. Therefore, if someone in one of those counties asks for an indemnity or, worse, takes Alamy to court because he thinks some kind of local rule has been breached, the contributor will have to pay all legal expenses and the like. Maybe, after having got pennies from Alamy for that picture. This is simply unacceptable.

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4 minutes ago, Foreign Export said:

 

Myslím, že tento záměr ztratili před mnoha lety

 

 

 

I'm not saying that's not the case, I'm just saying that the new contract is worse and worse for the contributor again

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6 minutes ago, Nathaniel Noir said:

 

Same here really, I don't remember the last time when I was on holiday and I wasn't working on stock at the same time, my mind is constantly on stock photography wherever I go

Uploading images from trips abroad to Alamy was a legit way of claiming travel expenses back through our business. But as we won’t be travelling much in the near future that won't be a problem! 

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