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14 hours 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?

My accountant gave me a piece of advice - which I'll pass along..... All of business is about relationships. Relationships with suppliers. Relationships with buyers. Relationships within the organization to add value to the product.

 

So I see all the business spreadsheet numbers to be just a measure of how all those strategic relationships are going. Good relationships drive good business numbers. But if the spreadsheets are driving the business decisions, then the relationships are very likely damaged and suffering. These contract changes appear to be the new boss pounding his fist on the table and yelling out how he is going to run the relationship. The new boss has not built his new relationships with the business partners. Pounding a fist can make a point on occasion, but is not generally useful to building a friendship, matching to a potential spouse, training a child, or running business relationships.

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On 17/05/2021 at 11:01, Alamy said:

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

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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. 

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EDIT - UPDATE 19th MAY:

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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

 

What I would like to see is what perceived problems these changes should remedy.

And: what is the business case?

Does the PA contract have the same terms? If not, why not?

 

wim

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5 minutes ago, StanRohrer said:

So I see all the business spreadsheet numbers to be just a measure of how all those strategic relationships are going. Good relationships drive good business numbers. But if the spreadsheets are driving the business decisions, then the relationships are very likely damaged and suffering. These contract changes appear to be the new boss pounding his fist on the table and yelling out how he is going to run the relationship. The new boss has not built his new relationships with the business partners. Pounding a fist can make a point on occasion, but is not generally useful to building a friendship, matching to a potential spouse, training a child, or running business relationships.

Basically, the new owners had the idea they'd keep the newspaper archives, the agencies, and the few individuals that sold significant numbers, and turn the rest of the operation into microstock or run us off. 

 

If I ran Alamy, I'd split the database into parts and have paid specialists checking some of them.  For botanical and biological photos, have to have the scientific name and the submissions are screened for accuracy.  All other pretty unnamed plants and animals go into general stock with a warning that captions and tags might be inaccurate.  News would only turn into stock if the photographer completed tags.  No waiving of releases for editorial only.  Newspaper exclusive archives?   Agencies?   Most of Alamy's promotions have come from those rather than mostly individual photographers.  Agencies can set minimums under this new contract.

 

And if they want to thin the numbers of photographers, they should just do that.  It may leave hurt feelings, but it might leave fewer hurt feelings in the long run. 

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1 hour ago, Sharon said:

The difference between $250. a year and $25,000. is a lot.. anyone here at the Platinum level? It will be a struggle for me to continue at the Gold level... sigh!

 

I think Kumar/Doc might have said that he is (deservedly, if so). I've never made even half of 25K in one year. It would be interesting to know how many do qualify.

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Could it be that the lawyers went ahead and made all these changes, and even Alamy doesn't really have a good handle on them? I encountered that with print publications when I was doing a lot of freelance writing -- i.e. some publications didn't even understand their own contracts.

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1 hour ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Which obviously conflicts with the new contract:

"4.1.7. where you have indicated that a Model Release is available: (i) the Release is legally binding; (ii) your representation that a Release is available is true and accurate; (iii) (except as otherwise notified to Alamy via the System) the Release allows the Content to be used for all uses anywhere in the world without restriction including without limitation uses in relation to sensitive issues; (iv) you hold all permissions needed for the exploitation by third parties of the Content, including, without limitation, from subjects, depicted in the Content and/or original clients for whom the Content may have been created. and (v) any use or exploitation of the Content by Alamy, a Customer or a Distributor will not violate the rights of any model depicted in the Content, including without limit, any privacy or publicity rights anywhere in the world."

Again, I have to wonder what Alamy is intending to use the content for, that they have to pre-pardon themselves.

This needs further clarification.  What does "except as otherwise notified to Alamy via the System" mean?  If the model release indicates the image cannot be used in sensitive ways, is that still binding?   If not, I'm removing all of my model released images of friends and family.

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10 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I think Kumar/Doc might have said that he is (deservedly, if so). I've never made even half of 25K in one year. It would be interesting to know how many do qualify.

I doubt that there's many.  And likely the prolific photographers and agencies aren't exclusive anyways, so that very very few will have to paid 50%.

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3 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Could it be that the lawyers went ahead and made all these changes, and even Alamy doesn't really have a good handle on them? I encountered that with print publications when I was doing a lot of freelance writing -- i.e. some publications didn't even understand their own contracts.

 

 

highly possible.  I encountered that in insurance also.  I remember having arguments with our contract team about content they wrote, where they would tell me once i pointed out weakness and gaps  in the clauses, "it doesn't matter, this is not the way we administer it".  They didn't understand that the judge wouldn't care in cases where the text could be interpreted in a more generous way as the "administered" - which are the only cases that would go to trial. 

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22 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Could it be that the lawyers went ahead and made all these changes, and even Alamy doesn't really have a good handle on them? I encountered that with print publications when I was doing a lot of freelance writing -- i.e. some publications didn't even understand their own contracts.

You mean, Alamy doesn't know what it's doing?

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1 minute ago, Cryptoprocta said:

You mean, Alamy doesn't know what it's doing?

 

More like the left hand doesn't know (or totally understand) what the right hand has done.

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1 minute ago, John Mitchell said:

 

More like the left hand doesn't know (or totally understand) what the right hand has done.

i think we saw example of this with the Infringement team launch.  

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40 minutes ago, MariaJ said:

I doubt that there's many.  And likely the prolific photographers and agencies aren't exclusive anyways, so that very very few will have to paid 50%.

 

Some of the newspaper archives, including one recent acquired, are.  SA was created by a consortium of British newspapers.  History here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PA_Media

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The new contract changes this:

 

12.6. If any remittances made to you by Alamy shall not have been cashed in any 2 year period, Alamy may remit the balance in your account to a charity of our choice.

 

to this:

 

12.7. If any payment made to you by Alamy is not withdrawn from your Account within a period of two (2) years from the date on which such payment was made, you agree to forfeit that amount.

 

Um, withdrawn from what account? 

Edited by Bill Kuta
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22 minutes ago, Bill Kuta said:

The new contract changes this:

 

12.6. If any remittances made to you by Alamy shall not have been cashed in any 2 year period, Alamy may remit the balance in your account to a charity of our choice.

 

to this:

 

12.7. If any payment made to you by Alamy is not withdrawn from your Account within a period of two (2) years from the date on which such payment was made, you agree to forfeit that amount.

 

Um, withdrawn from what account? 

 

suspect it means if you have havent provided current bank details so Alamy is unable to make the payment to you

I note it used to go to charity - now it goes to Alamy and they dont say what they will do with it - i strongly suspect they will keep it

 

 

 

 

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In business when changing a contract it is standard practice to issue a contrast and compare document - to inform what clauses have been changed/amended/deleted or introduced.

As a minimum to that Alamy should and could have issued a spreadsheet so contributors can more readily see the changes

As they havent done this - it just creates added suspicion of their motives

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Foreign Export said:

In business when changing a contract it is standard practice to issue a contrast and compare document - to inform what clauses have been changed/amended/deleted or introduced.

As a minimum to that Alamy should and could have issued a spreadsheet so contributors can more readily see the changes

As they havent done this - it just creates added suspicion of their motives

 

https://www.alamy.com/terms/contributor-contract-changes.aspx

 

 

though as some have mentioned, some changes seem to be missing

Edited by meanderingemu
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5 minutes ago, Foreign Export said:

 

suspect it means if you have havent provided current bank details so Alamy is unable to make the payment to you

I note it used to go to charity - now it goes to Alamy and they dont say what they will do with it - i strongly suspect they will keep it

 

 

 

 

 

The new clause 12.7 says that Alamy has paid an amount to you. Banking details are covered in subsequent clauses. I suspect that new clause 12.7 was cut and pasted from the contract for a different organization that has a different payment/account arrangement.

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Just now, Bill Kuta said:

 

The new clause 12.7 says that Alamy has paid an amount to you. Banking details are covered in subsequent clauses. I suspect that new clause 12.7 was cut and pasted from the contract for a different organization that has a different payment/account arrangement.

 

do they ever pay anyone by cheques?

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I don't know, but "is not withdrawn from your account" is not the same thing as not cashing a check.

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2 minutes ago, Bill Kuta said:

I don't know, but "is not withdrawn from your account" is not the same thing as not cashing a check.

but i assume it would be one way it wasn't withdrawn from account from a legalise point of view

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2 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

What I would like to see is what perceived problems these changes should remedy.

And: what is the business case?

 

Wim, this is first thought that came to my mind as well.   Primary reason might be simple cost-cutting, and it's designed in such way to minimize # of contributors that might end pissed off & closing ports.  Big cats (>25K,  studios, I don't know who they are, they don't come to the Forum, are essential to the business) - so don't touch them.  Then majority of "average" contributors (i.e most of us on the forum) will stay the same, and even blog says something along these lines.  Largest impact is to "average", but exclusive contributors <25K as they take cut from 50% to 40%.   Those that sell <250 gross/year are deemed casual / sporadic i.e not really important.

 

It's a tricky subject.  I've been in stock ~4 yrs and have yet to see any agency raise contributor compensation (except for one I can't name, but nobody sells there anything anyways)

 

One bad thing this is doing is (de)motivation of new contributors.  Yes, they will start as "Gold" but everyone knows how hard it is to make Alamy sale, specially when your port is small.  So most of these guys, that might have super content, are likely to be dropped off after 12 months to 20% and lose interest.

 

 

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2 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I think Kumar/Doc might have said that he is (deservedly, if so). I've never made even half of 25K in one year. It would be interesting to know how many do qualify.

 

I checked his post from Monday on this thread.  He hasn't made $25K a year in recent years, close one year but not into the Platinum.

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Within all this hoopla theres a thing that is escaping us. The chasing of non-alamy usage for "exclusive images". Theres been no description of what this will entail but we have to assume from the past they are not going to go in hard on their own customers are they?.So what is the idea - do PA have software like Pixsy and copy track? Are they going to farm out to Pixsy or copy track and take a percentage on top of the contractors fee? If we don't have the details to sign up why would we choose their tracking service over doing it ourselves or using one of the services. What are their fees to users they catch with non-licensed usage? If they catch the sun do I get a percentage of a 5 dollar fee or is the fee structure going to be for higher values. Are self reporters the usages/mis-usages they want to track or do they intend to globally track our images?

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22 hours ago, sb photos said:

 

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.

 

All mine are presently exclusive to Alamy but come July I don’t believe that will even exist as there is no longer an incentive. 

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