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Posted (edited)
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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Posted (edited)
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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Posted (edited)
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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Posted (edited)
On 20/05/2021 at 07:18, MizBrown said:

 

A lot of people who took a photo in Costa Rica dump every other Central American country into the keywords.  A fraction of birds of prey are mislabeled.  First page of cichlids has one photo of blueberries and no fish and one of a salt water butterfly fish labeled as a freshwater Lake Malawi cichlid, no species name given.   There's a Blue Tang on the  second page and that contributor has other mis-labeled salt water fish.   Page 2 also has multiples parrot fish tagged as cichlids, page three has a New World Ancistrus catfish labeled as an African catfish that lives in Malawi, and more parrot fish. 

 

 

 lago-malawi-cichlid-PBXATX.jpg

 

This doesn't help Alamy and there's apparently no mechanism for fixing it.   I think we remember the mis-labeled parrot. 

 

 

 

Poor keywording and deliberate false statements are a pet hate - ive never noticed Alamy take action on these.

 
Image ID: 2FNPEBF loaded today with title " European mediterranean beach" - keywords include Australia,Sydney,California,Spanish,Italy
 
these people are just a joke

 

 

 

Edited by Foreign Export
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4 hours ago, mwakeling said:

All of my images are RM. One was licensed in perpetuity for $1

 

It's a farce isn't it. What makes Alamy now think they deserve 60% of that dollar?

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2 minutes ago, hotbrightsky said:

 

It's a farce isn't it. What makes Alamy now think they deserve 60% of that dollar?

 

because 50% doesn't give them enough profit

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you everyone for making all the points against this new contract and I agree with them all.

 

There is just one little minor point that I wish to bring to your attention and that is I, and probably a lot of other contributors, will, because of the new tier payment system, be losing 60% of my annual earnings from PA/Alamy.

 

Allan

 

Edited by Allan Bell
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4 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

Thank you everyone for making all the points against this new contract and I agree with them all.

 

There is just one little minor point that I wish to bring to your attention and that is I, and probably a lot of other contributors, will, because of the new tier payment system, be losing 60% of my annual earnings from PA/Alamy.

 

Allan

 

Allan, I hope you're not saying you earn less than $250 gross - or even net - annually from Alamy?

If so, you have been missing out on a LOT of income over the years.

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2 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Allan, I hope you're not saying you earn less than $250 gross - or even net - annually from Alamy?

If so, you have been missing out on a LOT of income over the years.

 

Because of Alamy messing about with the algorithms of the search engine a few years ago my sales dropped dramatically. I cannot say I was ever a big earner with Alamy but was doing ok. It looks like my sales this year will be below $250 gross at the moment.

 

I could take the hit of 20% giving an income of 40% per image but anything lower??? Well that is MS territory and I never wanted to go there anyway. Also my images with Alamy are all RM and exclusive but in the light of an income cut would have to be made non-exclusive.

 

However it is not just about the money as I said above I am also seriously concerned about the terms of the new contract and if PA/Alamy persist with then I have no option other than to leave before the new contract starts.

 

Allan

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Because of Alamy messing about with the algorithms of the search engine a few years ago my sales dropped dramatically. I cannot say I was ever a big earner with Alamy but was doing ok. It looks like my sales this year will be below $250 gross at the moment.

 

I could take the hit of 20% giving an income of 40% per image but anything lower??? Well that is MS territory and I never wanted to go there anyway. Also my images with Alamy are all RM and exclusive but in the light of an income cut would have to be made non-exclusive.

 

However it is not just about the money as I said above I am also seriously concerned about the terms of the new contract and if PA/Alamy persist with then I have no option other than to leave before the new contract starts.

 

Allan

 

I'm pretty shocked about that, Allan.

I can say with great confidence that with your portfolio you'd have made many times more than that on micro/s over these years (things going downhill there too now) but you have every right to your choices.

I also am super concerned about the terms, and am too risk averse to continue here unless these are changed.

 

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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10 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Because of Alamy messing about with the algorithms of the search engine a few years ago my sales dropped dramatically. I cannot say I was ever a big earner with Alamy but was doing ok. It looks like my sales this year will be below $250 gross at the moment.

 

I could take the hit of 20% giving an income of 40% per image but anything lower??? Well that is MS territory and I never wanted to go there anyway. Also my images with Alamy are all RM and exclusive but in the light of an income cut would have to be made non-exclusive.

 

However it is not just about the money as I said above I am also seriously concerned about the terms of the new contract and if PA/Alamy persist with then I have no option other than to leave before the new contract starts.

 

Allan

 

 

That was pretty much my experience, as a result I stopped submitting and that has compounded the problem. At 20% it would simply not be worh checking my dash board even quarterly.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Martin P Wilson said:

 

That was pretty much my experience, as a result I stopped submitting and that has compounded the problem. At 20% it would simply not be worh checking my dash board even quarterly.

 

Grief, I'm shocked all round.

That is the trouble, we're totally at the mercy of algorithms.

Although so far I'm still doing much better at my 'other place' than here, I have seen files which sold there almost every day, sometimes more than once, disappear way down below the top ten search pages in search overnight, never to recover. Which gives the lie to the oft-quoted adage 'cream rises to the top'.

 

Note also that it would theoretically be within the power of agencies with a tiered payment system to game the system to make sure no-one, or hardly anyone, got enough sales to get onto the next tier.

Not to mention, the amount of money we get for a sale has no bearing at all on the quality of our port, or the number of sales. My best Alamy sale, way back in the day, was $500 gross, $300 net. I'd never say it was an outstanding image, not even just in relation to the rest of my port.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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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.

 

Your comment is rightly getting upvotes. I too share your feelings about licences awarded in perpetuity for a dollar or two. If there are changes coming in a badly-thought out and unfair contract then photographers should have the option to stop sales in perpetuity. I recently had two photos sold in perpetuity for a couple of dollars and it had the same horrible impact you experienced. Anyone else who feels strongly about this practice might consider upvoting your post. This is also directly related to the suggestion in the new contract that photos might be handed freely to customers without our consent. Neither of these - in perpetuity or free "sales" which the photographer is not paid for - should happen without the photographer agreeing to it.

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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

 

Level heads required guys and I know Kumar is a very level-headed guy. But the Chicken Little effect is really taking off when Kumar is running with the mob. 😀

 

I am fully convinced that clause 4.1.5 is being seriously  misinterpreted which is not surprising as it is written in a very confusing way but to reiterate: THE CONTENT OF THIS CLAUSE IS NOT NEW. It has been in the contract at least since 2010.

 

 

2010: 4.4 You hold the rights to grant, market, license, sell or assign all rights in the Images, including but not limited to the rights to grant reproduction rights in the Images for print, motion picture, television, video, cable, computer, radio, cartoon, merchandising and/or Internet, to make the Images available on electronic equipment, CD-ROM, DVD and other similar media or via the Internet, and to include them in any catalogue, Internet sites or marketing in any form (“the Rights”); Except for the Prior Rights (if any) there is not and will not during the term of this contract be any fetter on Alamy licensing each Image to a Customer to the fullest extent possible.

 

2021: 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;

 

So I do think this must relate to previous licences elsewhere of the images and is not a declaration of Alamy's intent to ignore restrictions which are covered further down as 

 

 

2010: 4.7 You have detailed in the relevant fields of the System all Licence restrictions and all Prior Rights applicable to each Image

 

2021: 4.1.10 you have detailed in full in the relevant fields of the System any and all restrictions that you wish to apply to each item Content, such restrictions to include all rights that have previously been licensed or granted in respect of the Content. You acknowledge and agree that Alamy may set additional restrictions in relation to the Content.

 

 

So to reiterate this is not new and if you are worried about it now why have you not worried about it for the last 11 years at least?

 

Also the fact that Alamy actually contacted contributors to ask about removal of restrictions is surely a positive thing - they are actually asking and not riding roughshod over restrictions.

 

 

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It is difficult to believe Alamy/PA have made these changes in error, without thinking them through properly. If the latter is the case they are on even more of a shaky footing than I believed previously. One has to conclude that it is a deliberate attempt to encourage the smaller Alamy contributors to abandon ship. There can be no other explanation for it. In terms of PR it seems a total disaster but I'm sure they can ride out  bit of a PR storm if it keeps their shareholders happy. Perhaps the cost of hosting and managing such a diverse range of portfolios was simply too much in this day and age. Let's face it we are the 'gig economy' and they can, unfortunately, do pretty much what they please. 😞

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Just now, MDM said:

 

Level heads required guys and I know Kumar is a very level-headed guy. But the Chicken Little effect is really taking off when Kumar is running with the mob. 😀

 

I am fully convinced that clause 4.1.5 is being seriously  misinterpreted which is not surprising as it is written in a very confusing way but to reiterate: THE CONTENT OF THIS CLAUSE IS NOT NEW. It has been in the contract at least since 2010.

 

 

2010: 4.4 You hold the rights to grant, market, license, sell or assign all rights in the Images, including but not limited to the rights to grant reproduction rights in the Images for print, motion picture, television, video, cable, computer, radio, cartoon, merchandising and/or Internet, to make the Images available on electronic equipment, CD-ROM, DVD and other similar media or via the Internet, and to include them in any catalogue, Internet sites or marketing in any form (“the Rights”); Except for the Prior Rights (if any) there is not and will not during the term of this contract be any fetter on Alamy licensing each Image to a Customer to the fullest extent possible.

 

2021: 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;

 

So I do think this must relate to previous licences elsewhere of the images and is not a declaration of Alamy's intent to ignore restrictions which are covered further down as 

 

 

2010: 4.7 You have detailed in the relevant fields of the System all Licence restrictions and all Prior Rights applicable to each Image

 

2021: 4.1.10 you have detailed in full in the relevant fields of the System any and all restrictions that you wish to apply to each item Content, such restrictions to include all rights that have previously been licensed or granted in respect of the Content. You acknowledge and agree that Alamy may set additional restrictions in relation to the Content.

 

 

So to reiterate this is not new and if you are worried about it now why have you not worried about it for the last 11 years at least?

 

Also the fact that Alamy actually contacted contributors to ask about removal of restrictions is surely a positive thing - they are actually asking and not riding roughshod over restrictions.

 

 

 

The problem is not just the terms. The terms may not have changed but the company has, and as others have suggested there is not the same level of trust as once there was. As I have said previously copntracts only really matter when trust breaks down; and for many that is where we are.

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Just now, Martin P Wilson said:

 

The problem is not just the terms. The terms may not have changed but the company has, and as others have suggested there is not the same level of trust as once there was. As I have said previously copntracts only really matter when trust breaks down; and for many that is where we are.

 

I agree but this appears to be a standard clause that goes way back. People are really getting carried away in a wave of fear which is not surprising when trust breaks down. But if we are going to get a coherent explanation from Alamy we need to ask the right questions and we don't need to be misinterpreting the contract in a wave of paranoia. Chicken Little may actually be right but it is better to stand and ask the right questions. To me that would be please clarify what Clause 4.1.6 really means. I think it would be illegal of Alamy to override restrictions as is being mooted but I am not a lawyer nor a soothsayer. 

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1 minute ago, MDM said:

 

I agree but this appears to be a standard clause that goes way back. People are really getting carried away in a wave of fear which is not surprising when trust breaks down. But if we are going to get a coherent explanation from Alamy we need to ask the right questions and we don't need to be misinterpreting the contract in a wave of paranoia. Chicken Little may actually be right but it is better to stand and ask the right questions. To me that would be please clarify what Clause 4.1.6 really means. I think it would be illegal of Alamy to override restrictions as is being mooted but I am not a lawyer nor a soothsayer. 

But that's what we've been doing with all of these clauses.

We want Alamy to make their contract crystal clear, and not to try to abnegate all responsibility and push it onto us.

It doesn't matter if the badly written clauses were old or new. And note that Alamy themselves highlighted these clauses as being new. If they were not new, why have they specifically highlighted them? The cynical might say it was specifically so that they can say, "We warned you!"

Can you think of a reason why they'd indicate that some clauses are new, drawing our attention to them, when they are not new? Seems very odd - and at the very least shows negligence and inattention to detail. Is that what is needed in a company?

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We do really need a list of coherent and level-headed questions for Alamy. For starters mine would be:

 

1. Explain in plain English what Clause 4.1.6 really means as it is basically unrealistic and fundamentally nonsensical.

 

2. Explain in plain English what Clause 4.1.5 really means. 

 

3. In relation to exclusivity and the bombshell it dropped with the new payment structure, why has Alamy in a single fell swoop effectively destroyed the unique feeling of trust that had been generated between the company and the contributors over many years? 

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2 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

But that's what we've been doing with all of these clauses.

We want Alamy to make their contract crystal clear, and not to try to abnegate all responsibility and push it onto us.

It doesn't matter if the badly written clauses were old or new. And note that Alamy themselves highlighted these clauses as being new. If they were not new, why have they specifically highlighted them? The cynical might say it was specifically so that they can say, "We warned you!"

Can you think of a reason why they'd indicate that some clauses are new, drawing our attention to them, when they are not new? Seems very odd - and at the very least shows negligence and inattention to detail. Is that what is needed in a company?

 

I agree but the clauses are technically new as they explain: clauses 4.4 and 4.7 have been amended and renumbered. I am not arguing for Alamy. I am just trying to keep the thing in perspective. People are going over cliffs here and probably for no real reason. But yes Alamy - plain English explanations ASAP. I have spent far too much time in here the last few days. I need to get on with reviewing my images and making most of them Editorial Only. 

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Having not contributed many images for a couple of years, due to various home and work changes & of course Covid, I decided to switch my hard drive and laptop on, logged in and discovered there's a massive 46 page thread on Alamy's latest commission grab. Having read a number of pages and comments, I realise everyone has probably said or asked everything, but here my former 10 pence worth, I say former as with commission changes & low stock sales, combined with it being a personal view & the ever decreasing stock pricing, also considering I'm probably re-distributing the same point of view as others, means it is now a $0.01 worth!

 

First, I don't buy Alamy's excuse or reason, regarding the exclusivity & too many people haven't marked as exclusive correctly, it's just a decision they have made, because they, now with PA on board, have so many stock photos and bigger libraries to look after and have to store, so just like the "Greedy Six", as the Premiership football teams became known as, they believe the Contributor, like the football fan, doesn't really count for much, we are only photographers, like St@ckim@, anyone can take a photo.

 

As for, (trying to say, it's not a money grab) but saying its unsustainable to give out 50% commission for exclusive images, but if you do have exclusive images, then we can chase those with the infringement programme, & considering they then say, "our sales are up 45%", means it is clearly just a money grab and thanks to the agencies and acquisitions we have made over the last few years, means we don't need the smaller accounts, as we've made a load of money.

 

Why not just say this clearly, we don't need you, rather than pretending we care about the photographers who contribute and asking for blog ideas etc ? 

 

Prices are generally rubbish, I realise in my case I haven't been adding much,  but the highest commissions (to me) I have had since February 2019 (which was $93.72) has been two more images at double digits but less than $20 in 2019, but since the end of 2019 (and the exclusive commission changes) everything has been single digits.

 

I didn't sign up to do Microstock sales, like a lot of people, it probably is a bit of a hobby and enables you to continue to take photos, which we obviously all like doing, but when I did sign up originally, I did receive calls off James and other members of staff, if I'd done something wrong, for example, I'd been to a gig photographed it, uploaded the images after getting home after midnight and hadn't filled in the caption  correctly, or something daft, for the live images & it was James who rang and said I'd mad an error, "I can adjust it here" and he did. Also sending e-mails about events in your area, that could be covered, so the feeling then was this was a good company, who cared and if maybe, I did the right things and learnt a but more about keyboarding etc I could earn a bit of extra income, that would continue to do so, almost as a small pension and keep me active in later years.

 

However, it does just now seem that it is now largely pointless with Alamy, & with stock photography in general, as I can't see any incentive? If I go out taking photographs, storing them, buying new hard drives, equipment, captioning & keyboarding them, it all takes a lot of time and effort, but like Alamy, I'm not a charity.

 

Over the years with digital Photography, it has become very hard to make money, as someone always either does it for less, or does it for free, or someone has a phone, Alamy seems to have been taking this low sale route for a while, of giving images away, for lower & lower prices & competing with Microstock prices, also giving images to large agencies, newspapers, who use them several times, then there is the large files for personal sales, presentations, etc.

 

Add in the removal of live news shooting, the changing commissions to exclusive & now this, I realise stock is obviously very cut throat, but try and be honest about the reasons for the changes and maybe just tell people they aren't required?

 

20% commission isn't worth anyone doing anything for Alamy under $250 earning and is no incentive for anyone starting stock photography? Cutting it a further 20% for those who have better sales and looked at their images and who have marked them all as exclusive is just a pay cut, & again no incentive for those in the majority group.

 

If anyone can see any good points or alternatives, apart from taking down my photos, I'd like to know?

 

Good Luck everyone!

Chris

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10 minutes ago, ChrisC said:

 

 

If anyone can see any good points or alternatives, apart from taking down my photos, I'd like to know?

 

Good Luck everyone!

Chris

 

A very good reason for not taking down images is the amount of work it has taken to get them up for sale in the first place. As long as we can trust Alamy that they will abide by any restrictions we put on our images and we ensure that our images are in line with Alamy's requirements, we might as well leave them in place. Otherwise we are in danger of cutting noses to spite faces. Leaving is understandable and I have not made my mind up yet while awaiting a response from Alamy. 

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, MDM said:

We do really need a list of coherent and level-headed questions for Alamy. For starters mine would be:

 

1. Explain in plain English what Clause 4.1.6 really means as it is basically unrealistic and fundamentally nonsensical.

 

2. Explain in plain English what Clause 4.1.5 really means. 

 

3. In relation to exclusivity and the bombshell it dropped with the new payment structure, why has Alamy in a single fell swoop effectively destroyed the unique feeling of trust that had been generated between the company and the contributors over many years? 

Agreed! In addition to the suggestions of Cryptoprocta and others, we should see these answers from Alamy.

 

Your headless mate!

Edited by Doc
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Just now, Doc said:

Your headless mate.

 

🤣🤣 🤣

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jansos said:

 One has to conclude that it is a deliberate attempt to encourage the smaller Alamy contributors to abandon ship. There can be no other explanation for it. In terms of PR it seems a total disaster but I'm sure they can ride out  bit of a PR storm if it keeps their shareholders happy. Perhaps the cost of hosting and managing such a diverse range of portfolios was simply too much in this day and age. Let's face it we are the 'gig economy' and they can, unfortunately, do pretty much what they please. 😞

 

Or perhaps a lack of understanding of the uniqueness of Alamy and what they bought into. The Alamy model,  a vast unedited collection managed by the contributors whose competence in photography is measured by an initial hard QC followed by occasional random sampling, is probably unique. The heavy handed way it was announced didn't help and the some of you have been misbehaving but you are all going to be punished approach really does not go down well at all.

 

But as for PR - PA is most of the British press media. Are they going to flog themselves?  I somehow doubt that this is in line with the ethos of the Guardian (minor shareholder I believe) and if they don't already know what is happening then perhaps someone should tell them. The Guardian is currently priding itself on 200 years of standing up for the little guy. This would make good reading. 

Edited by MDM
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