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Contract Change 2021 - Official thread


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1 hour ago, Cryptoprocta said:

This is the whole problem.

We shouldn't have a contract in which we are each interpreting the clauses in our own interests.

There really shouldn't be any room for one person saying, "It surely means this ..." and someone else saying, "But it could also mean that ..." - and maybe we have all missed what they really meant, or what their intentions really are.

All ambiguity does is sow mistrust and keep lawyers in clover.

If they mean something, make it clear in the contract, even if it means going back to basics and rewriting the whole thing. Then things would only appear in one place.

(And, en passant, formatting it in a way that makes it far more easily readable online. Just a thought.).

 

I don't think that I've ever read a "clear' contract -- i.e. one that I could easily understand.

 

Isn't the purpose of legalese to obscure, confuse, and confound?

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6 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I don't think that I've ever read a "clear' contract -- i.e. one that I could easily understand.

 

Isn't the purpose of legalese to obscure, confuse, and confound?

 

technically the purpose is to hold up in court.  

 

i remember business projects to make contracts in plain language, and legal reviews coming back with a bunch of legalese mumbo jumbo because they were afraid of the impact if we got sued. 

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9 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I don't think that I've ever read a "clear' contract -- i.e. one that I could easily understand.

 

Isn't the purpose of legalese to obscure, confuse, and confound?

 

Plain English and an accompanying explanation would be very helpful here. 

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2 hours ago, Cryptoprocta said:

And yet:

"Why did Alamy choose to sell to the PA Media Group?

It was important to Alamy to choose a business that shared its ethos of integrity and quality, but also shared its vision for continuing to connect a community of content creators and content users."

https://pamediagroup.com/faqs-pa-media-group-acquires-alamy

 

A significant fraction of the content users are the owners of PA Media Group.  This is like trusting your editor, who works for the publisher, to give you the best contract for a novel.

 

 

 

From the link above:  "The two businesses operate different models – for instance, PA Images’ relationships are mainly with agencies while Alamy works with a wider community of individual photographers." 

 

Edited by MizBrown
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1 hour ago, Richard Tadman said:

I cant be anymore specific than if Alamy intends to ride roughshod over existing contributors - I’m out.  I’ve no interest in future contributors.  

 

This has also seriously diminished my will to contribute. I haven't done much research but there must be a better platform out there. It will take time but gradually contributors and purchasers will migrate elsewhere and Alamy will fall into irrelevance if they insist on going down this path.

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A lot of contributors are not happy with Alamy's proposed new contract...that's a given!

I also am not happy and also disappointed that they treat us like sheep just to be farmed and show us that we have no real value except for the cash we can make them..

 

All we ask for is a fair deal..you don't have to squeeze us like lemons until we've got nothing left to give, or treat us like morons.I have since the beginning of shooting digital images chose Alamy as my sole image seller, and sure the Stock Image market does change and evolve and now the owners have changed..

 

I hope like many here that Alamy reconsiders it's new Contributor Contract..tones it down as to give us a fairer deal...You do have loyal contributors why alienate and destroy such long term contributors that are or were motivated to achieve a win win and equitable relationship, surely Alamy can be profitable and also respect its image suppliers better....

 

I will wait and see if things change...for the better....well hopefully 

Edited by William Caram
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The new clause 4.1.5. needs to go. 

It allows Alamy to license our content in any way (RM,RF, FREE) they see fit - against contributor's choice.

4.1.5. except for any rights that have previously been licensed or granted in relation to the Content, there is not and will not be during the term of this Contract, be any limitation or restriction on Alamy’s ability to license the Content;
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9 hours ago, MDM said:

I know but those obligation clauses have been there all along in one form or another

You're right.

 

Clause 4.1.6 in the new contract

 

Contributor warranties, representations & obligations

You warrant and represent that:

4.1.6 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.

 

Whereas

 

4.5 in the old contract

 

4.5 You hold all permissions needed for the exploitation by third parties of the rights, including, without limitation, from subjects or owners of products or property depicted in the Images and/or original clients for whom the Images may have been created. Any exercise by Alamy of the rights shall not violate the rights of any third party (including, without limitation, the rights of the subject of the Images), in particular with regard to laws relating to trade mark, copyright, indecency and obscenity, privacy, publicity and defamation within the UK, USA or elsewhere

 

In the old contact, the second half of the clause ie. "Any exercise by Alamy of the rights shall not violate the rights of any.."  etc. reads (to me anyway) as an obligation on Alamy in order to help us meet the first part of the clause. Which is fine.

 

But in the new contract they've "elevated" (possibly by accident?) the second part of what was 4.5 into a new clause on it's own that now reads (to me anyway) as a restriction on the contributor.

 

I think we can both agree it's a badly drafted contract and the new one is worse than the old one. It needs some work, so that those who are supposed to agree and abide by its terms can actually understand it. Otherwise it protects nobody and may be counter-productive.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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6 minutes ago, yokochanie said:

A lot say they will leave. I can understand that. But leave to what? This morning I looked at other agencies, have not found one that pays more and everyone seems to pay less. So leaving if you are unhappy with 40% only to join another one at 30%....how does that work?

I didn't sign up with Alamy until I was over 60.  I wasn't a professional photographer though I took photos for a weekly paper I also wrote for.  I made around $40K long term from my first  novel published in 1988: I've made more than the 40K advance for my last two Harper Collins books (thanks to ebooks).  I can't see doing that with my first 1,000 stock photos.

 

I don't regret having tried, learned a lot, but for the percentage getting taken, I expect a bit more from an agency.  While I may have contributed to the flood of amateurish work, I don't see Alamy doing anything to stop people who don't know what they've photographed from posting misidentified photos, or deliberately tag every country in Central or Latin America for photos taken in one specific space.   Alamy prided itself on giving the photographers free rein in subject, not checking for anything other than being technically okay.  But the payments are getting lower, not just for me, but for others. 

 

Maybe all stock photography is like this?    Then I figure out something else to do to supplement my pension.  

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7 hours ago, Cryptoprocta said:

And yet:

"Why did Alamy choose to sell to the PA Media Group?

It was important to Alamy to choose a business that shared its ethos of integrity and quality, but also shared its vision for continuing to connect a community of content creators and content users."

https://pamediagroup.com/faqs-pa-media-group-acquires-alamy

 

What utter 'c**p' it was more like a resounding "YES! ...  time to ride off into the sunset with our big wad of cash!"

 

Show Me The Money GIF   

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9 hours ago, Richard Tadman said:

Hang on! If Alamy wishes to offer images at no charge then that is a strategic marketing decision on their behalf to generate additional sales for them. Please explain why I am party to your largesse? My images are submitted to secure a financial return. Alamy by all means can offer their services FOC but I still expect to receive an adequate compensation for my work.
I am not a registered charity

I agree completely. Hope my smiley wasn't misunderstood, it was just an expression of my disgust with Alamy's disregard for their contributors.

 

I expect a minimum of fair play in any business relationship I have. I feel these changes indicate that there is none. Alamy is now a business I cannot trust. They may not care about me, but how long until their clients feel the same? 

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In respect of alternates to Alamy for RM. They are out there but won't appear top of a Google search as do the microstocks and other business types that want to suck in newbies. 

 

You need to look around and do some research. Have a look at the BAPLA agency list for starters and equivalents in other parts of the world. 

 

I'd also suggest setting up your own website using Photoshelter, Zenfolio, Smugmug, or similar. Then during the 6 months deletion wait with Alamy ( I am deleting my vintage slide scans of other people's pictures) build your content as a shop window and invite potential agencies to have a look. Or alternatively see how it goes marketing direct. You will be able to offer your images ready to go and easy to be delivered complete with captions/keywords and ready for sale. 

 

And if that doesn't work out you could always press the FTP button and they would be back on sale at Alamy in a day or two. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Graham said:

If Alamy uses contributor images to promote itself or its business, Alamy should be compensating the contributors concerned. 

Honestly: Every agency I know takes the right to use images for self promoting for free.

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13 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

Those of you who are staying should really get that one cleared up, especially if companies claim to be able to get releases for unreleased people. 

This refers to Clause 4.1.5 - suggesting the possibility that it could Allow Alamy to use images marked "editorial only" for commercial or other reasons;

I agree 100% with this - John - there's little point going through all your images and ticking "Editorial use only" if that is then ignored by Alamy.

 

Kumar

Edited by Doc
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2 hours ago, mwakeling said:

I have held off commenting, and really thank those that have commented before me. I am angry, somewhat depressed, and thoroughly disappointed in this company. Over the past year, sales have been poor; I understood that given that I work in a niche category dependent on travel and grant sponsored institutions like museums that have been closed, as well as educational publications. I considered that loss another blight from the pandemic. All of my images are RM. One was licensed in perpetuity for $1; that one got my attention as to the disrespect those in charge hold for us. I have spent a lot of energy on creating exclusive imagery for Alamy; I keep all of my submissions updated taxonomically as they are scientifically oriented. I have been unable to travel and therefore unable to create the images that I usually sell, but have branched out to some local imagery. I have recently found a publishing credit in a kid's book for which I did not receive notice of sale. In contacting Alamy, I basically received a brush off; too much bother to follow up. That makes me ponder how many sales are not credited? Alamy seems all too keen to pursue exclusivity issues but not their own accounting mishaps. So, I will await the likely insincere, platitude filled response from those that hold themselves above us. I really think that advice on any issue should be withheld in this forum. It is absurd that members of this forum are doing what the agent should be doing. Please do not enable them further. With that, I wish all a good night from Canada.

 

 

great images you have too 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Graham said:

I could not agree more strongly.  If Alamy uses contributor images to promote itself or its business, Alamy should be compensating the contributors concerned.  We do not contribute images to Alamy to use for its own commercial use, we contribute images to secure a return for the use of those images, including commercial use by Alamy for its own purposes.  
 

Graham

 

Indeed like for the 'exposure' scam; I bet their l;awyers, electricity company, banks are not working for free.

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4 hours ago, mwakeling said:

I have held off commenting, and really thank those that have commented before me. I am angry, somewhat depressed, and thoroughly disappointed in this company. Over the past year, sales have been poor; I understood that given that I work in a niche category dependent on travel and grant sponsored institutions like museums that have been closed, as well as educational publications. I considered that loss another blight from the pandemic. All of my images are RM. One was licensed in perpetuity for $1; that one got my attention as to the disrespect those in charge hold for us. I have spent a lot of energy on creating exclusive imagery for Alamy; I keep all of my submissions updated taxonomically as they are scientifically oriented. I have been unable to travel and therefore unable to create the images that I usually sell, but have branched out to some local imagery. I have recently found a publishing credit in a kid's book for which I did not receive notice of sale. In contacting Alamy, I basically received a brush off; too much bother to follow up. That makes me ponder how many sales are not credited? Alamy seems all too keen to pursue exclusivity issues but not their own accounting mishaps. So, I will await the likely insincere, platitude filled response from those that hold themselves above us. I really think that advice on any issue should be withheld in this forum. It is absurd that members of this forum are doing what the agent should be doing. Please do not enable them further. With that, I wish all a good night from Canada.

 

 

I've experienced ridiculously low sales licensed in perpetuity as well even though all my images are RM and find it extremely disrespectful. Let's say you're an Alamy employee and you signed a contract and expect to get paid a certain amount of money monthly/weekly/daily. These kind of sales are basically like going up to one of the employees saying actually we will pay you $1 for your work today, just because.

Edited by Nathaniel Noir
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2 hours ago, ManfredG said:

Honestly: Every agency I know takes the right to use images for self promoting for free.

 

I would say that self-promotion is not the same as giving away complimentary images to clients. And even if agencies do use contributor images to promote themselves it doesn't make it ok. If an agency had any sense of fairness or willingness to support their contributors I believe they would opt to pay for their self-promotional usage, even if it's a token sum to show appreciation. Of course it could be argued that the agency using contributor images for promotion of the business in places such as social media etc is for mutual benefit, but I still don't why they shouldn't offer some compensation if the business and sales are going well.

 

Although you have to ask yourself, is Alamy doing enough for us to justify free usage for self-promotion, from the look of this new contract and from the what everyone is saying that would be a resounding no.

Edited by Nathaniel Noir
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2 hours ago, Doc said:

This refers to Clause 4.1.5 - suggesting the possibility that it could Allow Alamy to use images marked "editorial only" for commercial or other reasons;

I agree 100% with this - John - there's little point going through all your images and ticking "Editorial use only" if that is then ignored by Alamy.

 

Kumar

 

This is my main cause for concern.

We seem to have lost control how our images will be used yet we have a perceived increase in liability. 

Whether that has always been in the contract or not is besides the point. The fact is that Alamy has lost the trust of their contributors which in turn has created a more robust look at the contract.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't want to be putting at risk what I have built up over my working life for the few pounds that I earn here.

We are not lawyers, and unlike SS and other microstock agencies Alamy doesn't check our uploads for content in the legal sense.

I honestly tag and disclose what is asked, but have no control how Alamy sell or the end customer uses my images.  I may be being paranoid, but unless there is some clarification of how our images are sold and the extent of our liabilities I will be closing my account on June 30th.

Edited by BobD
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