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Contract Change 2021 - Official thread


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3 minutes ago, RyanU said:

It's likely due to a change in the flow and organisation of the contract, which is why they've moved. You'd have to look at the contract as a whole to understand the context of the moved clauses.

So again, is it malice or incompetence which made them do it like this? (hypothetical). It doesn't engender much trust that they know what they're doing.

They seem to have a rather cavalier and slipshod attitude to crafting something as important as a contributor contract.

There is a real and present danger that they may be equally slipshod in any buyer contract they may produce. Or in any future dealings with contributors, who clearly are just a fly in their ointment.

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I only upload photos as a hobby so this doesn't bother me. It's happened here before and it will happen again. It's the same but in a different way in the music industry. That's called Streaming. And that does bother everyone.

 

Apart from 4 photos, the last time I uploaded anything was 3 years ago.

Edited by Gervais Montacute
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6 minutes ago, Gervais Montacute said:

I only upload photos as a hobby so this doesn't bother me. It's happened here before and it will happen again. It's the same but in a different way in the music industry. That's called Streaming. And that does bother everyone.

Hobbyist or professional or somewhere in between the new contact should bother you with the legal implications it alludes to. You'll need good insurance against claims whatever your status.

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15 minutes ago, RyanU said:

As noted above, the contract changes are all listed here: https://www.alamy.com/terms/contributor-contract-changes.aspx

 

 As I've noted two or three times, clause 8.3, which gives Alamy the right to promote by offering discounted Content to buyers or potential buyers, has been changed to add the phrase "or complimentary Content." This is not included in the list of contract changes.

 

I realize that in some ways there's not a lot of difference between giving a license discounted to pennies, vs. giving it for free. But that was a contract change and it was not noted.

 

I just happened to notice the new phrase. I was not trying to do my own comparison of old vs new contracts.

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20 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

I am not asking for a list of clauses. What is it exactly in those clauses that was not in previous versions that is causing you so much worry.

 

EDIT: This is a genuine question. What am I missing? I can panic just as well as the next guy or gal. Why am I not panicking. (IGNORING EXCLUSIVITY)

 

back from walk.  

 

my main concerns so far

 

1.I need clarification of the use of "anywhere in the world" in subsection 4.1.6.  Does it apply to only publicity rights are to all the elements.  If all, how it applies to editorial news- if i upload images of someone/something with content deemed "offensive anywhere in the world" (and let's be honest, this would apply at most protest) what is My exposure. 

 

2.I know you think the unilateral infringement pursuit is an exclusivity issue, i don't, so if i leave an image as exclusive which is a Punctual thing, nowhere do i warrant it was always exclusive, why am i on the hook for potential action against Alamy's decision to start procedures without checking with me.

 

2a. The Infringement team implementation. Two weeks ago we were asked to make an election, that was reversible with an email, now this election is nul and void?  What changed in these two weeks?

 

3. The lack of commission maximum that may be charged by a distributor.  The distributor contribution was part of our agreement before, it no longer is. Nothing would stop it from being 100% under current terms.

 

4. The reason presented in the blog for the change regarding the mislabelling  of exclusive, and how it was found as part of the infringement team work.  I quote an e-mail from Alamy 2 weeks ago "we now have a dedicated Infringements Team in place who will shortly start working with multiple Partners".  So the new commission was developed in less than 2 weeks.  This does not really seem possible.  

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1 hour ago, wilkopix said:

I'm certainly one of those :)

 

I'm going to wait to see how Alamy respond to the many points raised on this forum.

 

Mainly the rather worrying legal implications in the new contract especially for exclusive material which will almost certainly mean that those who choose to stay with Alamy will go totally non exclusive asap. There is no longer any royalty incentive to stay exclusive and with this cut to our earning potential there is every incentive to place our images with other agencies.

 

Much the same here. My stock and future archival could might stay here, but I would try to place my reportage as news elsewhere. I’m starting to carry a MBP again to see how quick I can have uploads ready. 

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1 minute ago, Bill Kuta said:

 As I've noted two or three times, clause 8.3, which gives Alamy the right to promote by offering discounted Content to buyers or potential buyers, has been changed to add the phrase "or complimentary Content." This is not included in the list of contract changes.

 

I realize that in some ways there's not a lot of difference between giving a license discounted to pennies, vs. giving it for free. But that was a contract change and it was not noted.

 

I just happened to notice the new phrase. I was not trying to do my own comparison of old vs new contracts.

It's possibly an oversight, but you're right to be concerned about an ulterior motive in their failure to mention the change.

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2 hours ago, wilkopix said:

It certainly isn't for the agencies as they won't be exclusive anyway. I'm guessing that agencies with large collections will have negotiated their own deals and contracts with Alamy.

For sure. The new contract at clause 12.4 says

 

12.4 If you are not an Agency Contributor and your total License Fees for Content sales via the Alamy Websites in any one Revenue Year (starting 1 July 2020), net of any refunds, are greater than or equal to $25,000 then the Alamy Commission for the following Revenue Year for Content that is Exclusive to Alamy will automatically switch to Alamy Platinum as outlined in the Alamy Commission Table.

 

Mark

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Have I missed something?

In the old commission table, it clearly says:

"Alamy Distribution Commission For sales through our Distributors     70% (30% to Alamy, 40% to the Distributor)"

I the new commission table, it says:

"For Content sales via our Distributors after deduction of Distributor fee or commission     60%     40%     60%     40%     80%     20%"

But there is no indication of what the Distributor fee will be. We can't just assume it will remain as 40%. Where's the transparency?

   
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3 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Have I missed something?

In the old commission table, it clearly says:

"Alamy Distribution Commission For sales through our Distributors     70% (30% to Alamy, 40% to the Distributor)"

I the new commission table, it says:

"For Content sales via our Distributors after deduction of Distributor fee or commission     60%     40%     60%     40%     80%     20%"

But there is no indication of what the Distributor fee will be. We can't just assume it will remain as 40%. Where's the transparency?

   

 

you have not missed anything. (see my point 3. above to MDM's "what concerns you?"  😉)

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9 minutes ago, RyanU said:

It's possibly an oversight, but you're right to be concerned about an ulterior motive in their failure to mention the change.

Is this also an oversight?

" 9.1 In addition to the promotion rights set out in 8.3 above you grant Alamy permission to sell your Images at any price and by any method we feel appropriate and to supply Images to third parties without Alamy having to consult you, including but not limited to trials with new Customers, prototypes/proof of concept and high volume low unit price licences. Where Alamy does not make a charge to these third parties, you will not receive payment.

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Long story, short: 


Dear, 

I would like to advise you that the new contract terms are not accepted, I do not accept that they apply to any of my images and all of my images must be made non saleable by the start of the new contract date, 1st July 2021. I  expressly do not agree nor will be bound by this contract as I have given you reasonable notice of my objection.

Could you please confirm?

Thanks a lot!”


Hi Thomas

 

Sorry to hear you want to leave us. We’ll get the process started and your account will be closed on the 30th June. 

 

Thanks”

 

 

but one thing: if a lot of us leave Alamy, it could get better for the ones who stay. Less competition. I hope this works for you! 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cryptoprocta said:

The new contract clause expressly says: "You will ensure that all Metadata including, without limitation, any and all other information pertaining to the Content: (i) is *and will remain* accurate and factually correct; ",

 

The previous contract was quite similar - so the "remain accurate" isn't new.

 

Previous contract clause 4.10

You will ensure that all Metadata including without limitation captions, keywording, descriptions and Pseudonyms, rights management or other information pertaining to the Images is and will remain accurate and factually correct and does not infringe the copyright or other rights of any third party, and are not defamatory or pornographic.

 

Fortunately the customer can see the "Date taken field" when zooming the image. They can also restrict the date range when searching. It therefore seems unreasonable to expect contributors to keep updating the meta-data of all older images every time anything changes. How would we know? Even if the meta-data is correct the image itself will be from the past. Older images and their metadata are a historical record.

 

Mark

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39 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

Some of it is that it's a good time to stop imagining that sales would get better enough to make me $200 a month if I uploaded another thousand photos.     It's not the contract as much as the contract changes put certain thing in perspective.

 

I never believed that digital stock was a way to make real money, not without a Herculean effort and more work than I want to do. I've never thought I was building a career here; I've had my career. To me this was a game with sales being the way to keep score. 

 

But in fact, the amount I make per month has become important to my ongoing budget. Sadly, I don't control things here. The King of Siam said, "It is a puzzlement." I shall make my decision before the end of June. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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3 hours ago, Alan Gallery said:

 Sorry, which BETRAYAL is that?

 

This is the dirty, underhanded, slimesucking side of Disaster Capitalism.  I will bet the first excuse will be about how hard it was to keep the business going during Covid while they will have help from the government and moved more jobs off shore and we photographers got nothing.  But to these people any disaster is an opportunity to reset the economic landscape (literally in some cases) to grab power resources and advantage. 

 

 

Yes I would fully agree Alan, however, what Alamy have openly said in their recent YouTube video wholly contradicts what they are doing in this new contract, saying in the video that sales have been steady without making cuts to the business during the pandemic, to quote Emily  "We are budgeting for growth in 2021 and have no plans to change commission rates to achieve it", So for them to play 'Oh, we've had a tough time in the last year'  simply won't wash, it will be really interesting to see and hear how they try to wriggle out of this one.

 

I really hope for everyone's sake that Alamy step back,  have a long hard think what they are doing to the people that feed them images, and do the right thing! 

 

Biting the hand that feeds you is never a good long term plan! 

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5 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

The previous contract was quite similar - so the "remain accurate" isn't new.

 

Previous contract clause 4.10

You will ensure that all Metadata including without limitation captions, keywording, descriptions and Pseudonyms, rights management or other information pertaining to the Images is and will remain accurate and factually correct and does not infringe the copyright or other rights of any third party, and are not defamatory or pornographic.

 

Fortunately the customer can see the "Date taken field" when zooming the image. They can also restrict the date range when searching. It therefore seems unreasonable to expect contributors to keep updating the meta-data of all older images every time anything changes. How would we know? Even if the meta-data is correct the image itself will be from the past. Older images and their metadata are a historical record.

 

Mark

I wish they had proof-read their contract better, to not label things as new which aren't.

But again, an unreasonable clause, so why is it there? They need to remove 'will remain'.

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27 minutes ago, Bill Kuta said:

 As I've noted two or three times, clause 8.3, which gives Alamy the right to promote by offering discounted Content to buyers or potential buyers, has been changed to add the phrase "or complimentary Content." This is not included in the list of contract changes.

 

I realize that in some ways there's not a lot of difference between giving a license discounted to pennies, vs. giving it for free. But that was a contract change and it was not noted.

 

I just happened to notice the new phrase. I was not trying to do my own comparison of old vs new contracts.

 

This statement is included in the link to the new contract changes:

 

"The key changes under this amendment are outlined below."

 

So Alamy has only listed what they consider to be key changes.  It doesn't mean there aren't others that they don't consider key.  I think giving away images is a key change.

 

Jill

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3 minutes ago, ChrisR Photo said:

... to quote Emily  "We are budgeting for growth in 2021 and have no plans to change commission rates to achieve it", So for them to play 'Oh, we've had a tough time in the last year'  simply won't wash, it will be really interesting to see and hear how they try to wriggle out of this one.

<Writes> We have no plans to change commission rates to achieve it

<Hits> Send

<Says> Now let's start planning ...

 

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4 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

I never believed that digital stock was a way to make real money, not without a Herculean effort and more work than I want to do. I've never thought I was building a career here; I've had my career. To me this was a game with sales being the way to keep score. 

 

But in fact, the amount I make per month has become important to my ongoing budget. Sadly, I don't control things here. The King of Siam said, "It is a puzzlement." I shall make my decision before the end of June. 

 

We should remember how stock started, it wasn't an end in itself but a place for assignment photogar[hers to get some income from outtakes and shots taken on the side of assignments. Perhaps also some passive incopme especially in retirement. Then in the late 1990s it took off and photographers started to see it as a "career" in itself, then came the 2008 crash and it has been downhill ever since.. The autyomated technology was another nail in the coffin but I recall professional photographers in the 1970s complaining about amateurs with automatic cmaeras back ion the 1970s.

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1 minute ago, Cryptoprocta said:

... to quote Emily  "We are budgeting for growth in 2021 and have no plans to change commission rates to achieve it",

So why implement what amounts to a 20% drop to your most loyal contributors?

I'm sure Emily would be kicking up a stink if she had a 20% pay cut.

Despicable shortsighted corporate behaviour especially during a pandemic.

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1 hour ago, Martin P Wilson said:

 

That is all to common for the creative professions, I have seen it with publishers treying for rights grabs from both writeing and photogarphy, and giving little back in return.  It is up there with wanting stuff for free for 'exposure'.

 

Just occurred to me that the thing I want in an agent is that he or she protects my interests and isn't working for the buyer.  If the relationship with the buyer (the newspapers who have stock in PA) is more significant than the relationship with the seller, then the agent isn't likely to protect the seller's interests.

 

PA/Alamy is the buyers running the agency at the expense of the sellers.

 

 

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Just now, MizBrown said:

 

Just occurred to me that the thing I want in an agent is that he or she protects my interests and isn't working for the buyer.  If the relationship with the buyer (the newspapers who have stock in PA) is more significant than the relationship with the seller, then the agent isn't likely to protect the seller's interests.

 

PA/Alamy is the buyers running the agency at the expense of the sellers.

 

 

 

What I have always argued is that phtographers need true agents, akin to theatrical, sports or writer's agents who actually act for their client, and usually take 15-20% commission for doing so. They often help shape. the client's career/ business direction. They do exist but they would not want to be working on small sales, that should be viable at scale and at similar margins; but the library wolves have cornered that market.

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2 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Has anybody thought about what is going on by Alamy in a psychological sense?

”We are taking this away from you. We are changing this clause, and several more, which will effect you negatively but maximize the company’s gains. We have added clauses that will open you up to legal ramifications.

 

Then they sit back and watch the firestorm in this forum.

Tomorrow, they might say...we have considered your concerns and have decided not to implement the clause opening you up to legal ramifications. Aren’t we special? We value you! We bowed to your wishes!

 

They expect we’ll jump for joy and grumble a bit, but accept all the other rotten changes including our percentages. After all, the benevolent company listened to us.

 

I quickly take the view in such circumstances that I need to take control of the situation, as far as I can, and especially my emotions. Act rather than React;; that is exactly what I am doing. Do what is best for me rather than waste energy on what I cannot control, or probably even influence.

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