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Contract Change 2021 - Official thread


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Deleted apologies to all for any confusion. I misread the changes document. Time to to go back to bed.

 

Edited by MDM
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13 hours ago, Joe Gaul said:

I don't believe the myoptic bean counters at Alamy realize exactly what they have done by in one fell swoop destroying everything that made Alamy a unique place for image buyers. Instead of playing to their strengths of a rights manages exclusive collection to increase sales and sales value they are copying the micro model where SS and G hold all the aces. This may be an easy short-term option however I do not believe that Alamy can compete in that market. Sad times.

Very sad times. Reading all the posts and replies is very disheartening. The contract side of things is the most worrying.  We would have to be mad to agree to those T&Cs. It would appear that the only option is to delete all images and keywords to protect oneself against any future legal claims. Surely this is not what Alamy/PA intended, or was it?

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"By marking Content as Exclusive, you grant Alamy the right to chase third party infringements of the Content without Alamy having to consult you. Where pursuing such infringements if it is found that the Content has been licensed through another licensing platform, Alamy has the right to recoup any fees incurred in the pursuit of any action taken."

When I made my images exclusive to Alamy, it was on the understanding that it would not interfere with any sales I might make through my website or as direct requests from my clients. Has this now changed? Can they prevent me selling my own images directly?

 

Alex

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4 minutes ago, Alex Ramsay said:

"By marking Content as Exclusive, you grant Alamy the right to chase third party infringements of the Content without Alamy having to consult you. Where pursuing such infringements if it is found that the Content has been licensed through another licensing platform, Alamy has the right to recoup any fees incurred in the pursuit of any action taken."

When I made my images exclusive to Alamy, it was on the understanding that it would not interfere with any sales I might make through my website or as direct requests from my clients. Has this now changed? Can they prevent me selling my own images directly?

 

Alex

 

That is an important question as it was at the time of the previous contract. It was never built into the contract but James Allsworth assured us on the forum that it was ok to sell your own images directly as well as on POD sites. Also it was ok to use them on social media (where you are often giving the right to the host company to do whatever it wants with anything you upload). As it happens I never made any of my images exclusive to Alamy but this is something that really needs formal clarification - a legal definition of exclusive. 

Edited by MDM
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3 minutes ago, Jansos said:

Very sad times. Reading all the posts and replies is very disheartening. The contract side of things is the most worrying.  We would have to be mad to agree to those T&Cs. It would appear that the only option is to delete all images and keywords to protect oneself against any future legal claims. Surely this is not what Alamy/PA intended, or was it?

 

One of my phrases is " I wouldn't agree to that even if I'd had a lobotomy" - and that sums up Alamy's proposed contract terms 

Its clearly what they intend now - and they have stated the obligation on the contributor survives termination of the agreement.

Therefore to get out of it one would need to write to Alamy formally advising them that these contract terms are not accepted, you do not accept that they apply to any of your images, that all of your images must be made non saleable by 1st July 2021 and you expressly do not agree nor will be bound by this contract as I have given you reasonable notice of my objection

 

this will then override their 6 month period to delete your images and im pretty sure a Court would back you

 

 

 

 

 

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For balance, buyers have to agree to a clause that protects us from claims agains usage where a MR or PR is required but not available. As long as our images are annotated accurately then there should be no reason for legal claim against us.

 

8. Indemnity

You will indemnify and keep Alamy and its Contributors indemnified against any and all claims, damages, losses, expenses or costs, including reasonable legal costs, arising in any manner whatsoever from: (i) your unauthorised use of any Content; (ii) any third party claim in relation to your failure to secure any necessary Releases; and (iii) any other breach by you of any of your obligations under this Agreement. The terms of this Clause 8 will survive the expiration or earlier termination of this Agreement.

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6 minutes ago, Foreign Export said:

 

One of my phrases is " I wouldn't agree to that even if I'd had a lobotomy" - and that sums up Alamy's proposed contract terms 

Its clearly what they intend now - and they have stated the obligation on the contributor survives termination of the agreement.

Therefore to get out of it one would need to write to Alamy formally advising them that these contract terms are not accepted, you do not accept that they apply to any of your images, that all of your images must be made non saleable by 1st July 2021 and you expressly do not agree nor will be bound by this contract as I have given you reasonable notice of my objection

 

this will then override their 6 month period to delete your images and im pretty sure a Court would back you

 

 

 

 

 

In my termination letter I intend to state that at the time of termination the contract in place was the one dated 21st February 2019. 

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3 minutes ago, Alex Ramsay said:

"By marking Content as Exclusive, you grant Alamy the right to chase third party infringements of the Content without Alamy having to consult you. Where pursuing such infringements if it is found that the Content has been licensed through another licensing platform, Alamy has the right to recoup any fees incurred in the pursuit of any action taken."

When I made my images exclusive to Alamy, it was on the understanding that it would not interfere with any sales I might make through my website or as direct requests from my clients. Has this now changed? Can they prevent me selling my own images directly?

 

Alex


I was concerned as you. Previously you could make sales from your own web site but not via another agency. This has been dropped now. No mention of another agency, and selling via your own web site is a licensing platform. I had just bought a domain, if short or long term I stay with Alamy I would likely use it for my news pics only and not duplicated on Alamy. Would be interesting to see how it could perform. This new contract is riddled with serious issues.

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10 minutes ago, Jansos said:

Very sad times. Reading all the posts and replies is very disheartening. The contract side of things is the most worrying.  We would have to be mad to agree to those T&Cs. It would appear that the only option is to delete all images and keywords to protect oneself against any future legal claims. Surely this is not what Alamy/PA intended, or was it?

 

It might be easier to e-mail contributor services and instruct them that as you don't agree to the terms of the new contract you wish to remove all images from the start of the new contract date. In that way it becomes their responsibility for any claims that may occur from that date for images that may remain on sale.

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3 minutes ago, AndrewP said:

For balance, buyers have to agree to a clause that protects us from claims agains usage where a MR or PR is required but not available. As long as our images are annotated accurately then there should be no reason for legal claim against us.

 

8. Indemnity

You will indemnify and keep Alamy and its Contributors indemnified against any and all claims, damages, losses, expenses or costs, including reasonable legal costs, arising in any manner whatsoever from: (i) your unauthorised use of any Content; (ii) any third party claim in relation to your failure to secure any necessary Releases; and (iii) any other breach by you of any of your obligations under this Agreement. The terms of this Clause 8 will survive the expiration or earlier termination of this Agreement.

 

Do you have. copy of the buyers contract? the current one as that may be changing to

Don't think correct annotation offers much risk management comfort to a claim, however spurious from anywhere on the planet - I wouldn't want to rely on that as a strategy

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Alex Ramsay said:

"By marking Content as Exclusive, you grant Alamy the right to chase third party infringements of the Content without Alamy having to consult you. Where pursuing such infringements if it is found that the Content has been licensed through another licensing platform, Alamy has the right to recoup any fees incurred in the pursuit of any action taken."

When I made my images exclusive to Alamy, it was on the understanding that it would not interfere with any sales I might make through my website or as direct requests from my clients. Has this now changed? Can they prevent me selling my own images directly?

 

Alex

 

In theory, no. In practice, yes. It would be enough for them to contact the clients you sold your images directly and threaten them with legal actions and the like. I bet those clients will be so scared that thay'll never buy photos from you again. 

Edited by riccarbi
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2 minutes ago, Sultanpepa said:

 

It might be easier to e-mail contributor services and instruct them that as you don't agree to the terms of the new contract you wish to remove all images from the start of the new contract date. In that way it becomes their responsibility for any claims that may occur from that date for images that may remain on sale.

I terminated my contract earlier today by email - just had a reply saying that they are sorry I'm going and my contract will be terminated on the 30th June...

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On 17/05/2021 at 10:38, spacecadet said:

So much for all the fuss about the extra for exclusive barely 18 months ago.

This would be a kick in the teeth at the best of times. With things as they are it's a kick in the teeth, then another one lower down for the gentlemen.

It nothing other than a strategy of divide and conquer after Alamy came under intense pressure last time they tried it. It worked. 

Edited by andremichel
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On 17/05/2021 at 10:40, Michael2020 said:

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???

We live in an Orwellian world of double speak. 

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"Plus if Alamy then states they will only go after all these newly arising infringements if images are exclusive, it gets ridiculous. If I decided to remain exclusive, I'd want to be consulted first if Alamy did indeed decide to chase uses found that were i.e. my own direct (non agency) sales, specifically allowed previously. I do not want any of my client relationships endangered by an Agency contacting them without my consent."

 

Exactly the point I wanted to make.

 

Alex

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For me something good has come out of all of this.

 

It is  making me really think hard about what my photography is about and who it is for, who my customers or audience might be. Initially at least I will be putting my archive images on a platform that will enable me to promote and sell them directly from my own web site. I realise that doing it oneself is more work but the sales process itself I am handing off to the platform;I just (just, ha!) have to find the cusatomers. Thinking about it I realised my photographic purpose was far too diffuse and unclear so rtestarting my photography as it was would have simply compounded my existing problem. I am actually going to have to do some serious market analysios, and ask myself some hard questions about what I want from my photography.

 

Actually my PhD work is helping because I am currently working through published interviews with successful photographers, autobiographies and asking whay, what, how, where etc questions about their work. As my main resdearch question I am taking a close look at how they are responding to the Internet and WWW; it is all looking rather interesting.

 

What is clear is that a generic stock approach is not going to work; as I have argued for several years. Going forward my photography will have to be clearly focussed, with real purpose and a strong USP based on real expertise or access.

 

Then I can ask the question how I reach those customers, and where, if at atl, Alamy or any library fits into those plans—commission apart the contract terms make it very difficult. I do not think any stock library is going to work for me (and most of us) going forward. A completely different approach is called for, fortunately I have the time to manage it myself as I am not fitting my photography alongside another full time career.

 

Unfortunately we cannot talk about it here except in the most general terms.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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The whole thing strikes me as confusing, aggressive and ill-timed. (not to mention the ridiculous Gold title.) It's not the first time it's been hard to understand announcements or contract changes. Alamy have messed up before but this time the changes seem sweeping and harsh on contributors. In particular what Mark Chapman refers to (4.1.5 and 4.1.6) need explaining because if the words mean what they say there is no way anyone should sign the contract. If I mark sth editorial only or PU only then that's what it should be. It would be appreciated if these was a clear statement in the contract that we have the right to stipulate the category as we can currently do. Likewise the exclusive or non-exclusive aspect of the contract is utterly confusing. Exclusivity has been badly handled since it was first introduced.

I think this may mark the end for a lot of people. Why would you leave images with an agency where the sales have dropped to 2 or 3 dollars a sale but downloads are few and far between. Or worse still when they hand your images to some customer in perpetuity for a few cents gain. Contributors deserve a fair, clearly-explained contract. Otherwise many will leave.

I wish I had more positive comments to make as I have always liked Alamy but this does seem ominous....

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Personally, I don't want to base my next move on angry and disappointment . . . although I feel both. And I've always felt that if Alamy were to sell the agency, the 'party' would be over. I want to see what happens in June with all this.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

Personally, I don't want to base my next move on angry and disappointment . . . although I feel both. And I've always felt that if Alamy were to sell the agency, the 'party' would be over. I want to see what happens in June with all this.

 

 

 

I agree Edo, I won't be acting in haste with hurt and anger. I will think and act in my best interests when the time is right and I know what I need to do.

 

I would just say the Alamy we joined, and knew for many years WAS SOLD to PA, so no if it were ...

 

Take care

 

Martin

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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I hope the long suffering people at Alamy headquarters in Abingdon are not being made to take a pay cut too, they always deal calmly and professionally with our queries and moans! Even if their answer isn’t always we want to hear! 

 

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