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43 minutes ago, Sharon said:

I`ve been following this topic with a great deal of interest.  I`m fairly new to stock photography and joined just after the commission rates dropped from 60% to 50%.  Nevertheless, I thought Alamy was special and felt excited to upload to my portfolio.  I`ve always been very careful in ticking the "editorial only" box with images that contained people or subjects with any brand names or logos, even though I also ticked the box indicating I did not have a release.  Just to be on the safe side, I decided to check all my images for the ticks in all the right boxes.  I`m sure glad I did, as a number of images all the restrictions were gone!!!... no boxes ticked!!! and I know they were when I listed them.  Alamy can you please explain this? 

 

That's very odd. You should e-mail Alamy directly about it.

 

It's easy to accidentally erase those check marks when processing large batches of images.

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6 minutes ago, Richard Tadman said:

Maybe, it an attempt to draw a line under this miserable episode with Alamy and our grievances against them, we  should consider the fact that our photographic work has historically demonstrated the public demand for the quality and variety of the images that we have offered to potential buyers through Alamy. Otherwise Alamy wouldn't have existed or profited. 

It's Almay's 'train set' and therefore they can do what they want in terms of their business, but however dismayed we may be by their tactics, it in no way detracts from the professionalism and quality of the images that we as individuals continue (or continued) to submit and hence there remains a potential market that values our contributions and for the time being and foreseeable future  will continue to do so.

Pricing and remuneration continue as always to be a point of contention for all stock images, but that is determined by a global market and not by Alamy alone. I for one am not persuaded that Almay's stance in any way detracts from the marketability of my own images (or yours) and so will seek alternative outlets and sales opportunities that may well return better margins and opportunities.


Alamy has been a great outlet for stock photography, but life moves on and the trick is not to lament the passing of a former business partner but to engage our commercial brains and seek further opportunities to market our talents elsewhere.

 

The world moves on in commerce - just think of those who have departed the scene - Toys R Us; Woolworths; Thomas Cook; Kodak; BHS; Staples; Blockbuster;  Maplin; TieRack;  Phones 4U;  Poundworld; Compaq and so on.
Their suppliers, picked themselves up and dusted themselves, down and offered their products/services to others.

It is time for us to do likewise and while lamenting the passing of what has been a very happy working relationship - Alamy has made a strategic business decision as is their entitlement and we too have the freedom and talent to do likewise.

Good luck to all contributors in whatever path they choose to pursue - but don't ever doubt your talents and marketability. 
 

 

Alamy has given us the need , and opportunity, to accept the world is changing and get ahead of the game. There will always be a need for good photography, it will just be used differently, the customers will be different. Bill Brooks had some good thoughts earlier in the thread. But here is not the place to discuss them as Alamy is not part of that vision, at the moemnt at least. It seems to be turning into the Woolworths or Poundworld in your list above.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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11 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

That's very odd. You should e-mail Alamy directly about it.

 

It's easy to accidentally erase those check marks when processing large batches of images.

I`ll keep my eye on it and if I notice any further changes, I will e-mail Alamy directly.. as it is, I`ve edited them for now, but the changes will take 24 hours.  Also, I don`t submit huge batches at a time, so will be fairly easy to check back from time to time.

Thanks for your response, John.

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9 hours ago, Nathaniel Noir said:

Restricting usage on my images on here and getting two requests from Alamy to lift restrictions within a period of two days has really showed me that my images are valued by customers

 

In future tell Alamy you'll happily lift restrictions in return for 50%.

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11 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Alamy's annual reports can all be found here

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/03807789/filing-history

Sales in 2012 were reported as $15.2M (different to your number) from 34.1M images at the end of 2012 (same as your number)

Sales in 2013 were reported as $14.9M (different to your number) from 44.8M images at the end of 2013 (same as your number)

etc.

But overall picture is the same i.e. more than a three-fold decrease in sales revenue per image online over period 2012 to 2019. (NB. Alamy are far from alone in seeing this drop). This will have been caused by a combination of falling average revenue per image sold (market pressure) and because Alamy's portfolio of images has grown faster than unit sales (older images left online, more similars and lower quality images added, more competition). I don't think Alamy discloses data to allow the separate contribution of each to be calculated, but they will know the causes. Luckily the cost of data storage has fallen and processors have got faster which allows relatively efficient hosting of larger and less efficient portfolios. But an image cull might well be in order, to reduce storage costs, give faster search results, remove duplicates, remove poor quality images.


Mark

 

 

 

All figures from Companies House. They give figures in £. The figures I quoted are in $ (because the other data I was comparing it to was my own gross sales in $). £1 = $1.30. So £15.2m in 2012 = $19.5m

 

But the trend is clear. $ per image falling by 15% a year. So, all other things being equal, you'd have to increase your portfolio by 15% per year just to stand still. Which is roughly what my own sales figures show. 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Also what is baffling is the continuing pretence that they care about contributors.

 

Looking at it their prime business is piling up images from all over, wherever they can be found, from whatever source, and no questions asked.

 

Yet paradoxically they want to pretend that Alamy is something else - concerned with ethics, the photographers' friend and all that guff. 

 

I think it started out that way with its rather patrician founders but that route was abandoned at least 10 years ago. 

 

 

 

The theme for #AlamyPOTM in May is 'Togetherness' LOL ;)

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1 minute ago, Keith Douglas said:

All figures from Companies House. They give figures in £. The figures I quoted are in $ (because the other data I was comparing it to was my own gross sales in $). £1 = $1.30. So £15.2m in 2012 = $19.5m

 

But the trend is clear. $ per image falling by 15% a year. So, all other things being equal, you'd have to increase your portfolio by 15% per year just to stand still. Which is roughly what my own sales figures show. 

 

And explains why my static portfolio fell like a stone while I took a multi-year sabbaticasl

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6 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

This is all a bit like staying on the Titanic

 

But the ship's crew are using your drowning body as their life raft.

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1 hour ago, Martin P Wilson said:

In my searches I have taken some slight comfort in that there appear to be some old school librraies out, some wwell established. They select their photograsphers, curate their collection and pay 50% - but that is a discussion for elsewhere. I must assume from what I see that there are some customers who choose to use full service 'artisan' suppliers rather than the mass market 'pile it high, sell it cheap' pound store operations.

 

Clearly not accessible to everbody with their holiday snaps, but for the many, entirely competent, photographers there may be an opportunity, especially if they want more than a modest hobby, or passive archive income.

Martin, this is very interesting, and something to think about.  Many thanks for mentioning.

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5 minutes ago, Keith Douglas said:

All figures from Companies House. They give figures in £. The figures I quoted are in $ (because the other data I was comparing it to was my own gross sales in $). £1 = $1.30. So £15.2m in 2012 = $19.5m

 

But the trend is clear. $ per image falling by 15% a year. So, all other things being equal, you'd have to increase your portfolio by 15% per year just to stand still. Which is roughly what my own sales figures show. 

Oops, thanks for spotting the reason for the difference. My mistake.

I'll correct my earlier post to avoid creating confusion.

 

Mark

 

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1 hour ago, Keith Douglas said:

Alamy will pursue infringers of exclusive content in preference to non-exclusive content because it is easier to do so

 

I think it's simply a veiled (and possibly idle) threat. Alamy are telling contributors that if we mark images as exclusive, when they're not, the all-seeing **Infringements Team** will find us out.

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30 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

It's easy to accidentally erase those check marks when processing large batches of images.

 

Maybe.   I just finished checking "editorial only" where appropriate, but didn't take screenshots today.   If they go missing again, I will take screenshots.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hotbrightsky said:

 

But the ship's crew are using your drowning body as their life raft.

 

Over the last 35 years I have been with 7 or 8 agencies ("ships"), all of them do not exist anymore....well all went down but the one I have been with the longest, Alamy.   Alamy is sinking and I will survive.  While I have enjoyed the extra income, I have come to not rely on it.  There was a time when I dreamed that I could retire on my stock photo income but it became quite clear, years ago, that wasn't happening.  What is happening at Alamy has been pretty predictable for a while but the optimist in me was hoping it wouldn't happen for a while more.  Micros have killed the traditional stock industry....too much crowd sourcing and too many people willing to give away their photos....you just can't compete with free or near free.

Edited by Michael Ventura
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Here are some ideas to ponder

 

Cost of a Toronto media lawyer (not a family lawyer) with extensive knowledge of the Media business, and international legal contacts. $750 per hour. Cost of rendering a written opinion with strategy, $10,000. Cost of multiple meeting with all parties, $30,000 plus expenses, AND UP.

 

One of my child models, who still refers to me as Uncle, is now a media lawyer in mid career. It is not worth bothering him with this contract for a pro bono hour, as I already know the answer.

 

Everyone is referring to this contract offer as applying to everyone. Maybe not.

 

Alamy can make any deal, at any price, with anyone they want. I think a large famous curated image collection like National Geographic could demand and get 70%, and also get top position in the sort order. Museums, national archives, The National Trust for example, have expertly curated image collections. However, in my opinion, they have been unsuccessful in reaping a financial benefit over the internet, and meeting their main mandate of being a museum without walls for the entire world. Alamy could solve both problems.

 

Alamy now has the business connections, expertise, and IT to bring these large collections onto the Alamy sales platform. However, if they do, I doubt that it will be under the new contract being presented to us.

 

Dealing with thousands of wild eyed suppliers is costly. Alamy is now a extension of the large corporate organizations that own Alamy. Large corporations prefer to deal with other large corporations.
 

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49 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

Cost of a Toronto media lawyer (not a family lawyer) with extensive knowledge of the Media business, and international legal contacts. $750 per hour. Cost of rendering a written opinion with strategy, $10,000. Cost of multiple meeting with all parties, $30,000 plus expenses, AND UP.

 

Okay.  So basically, almost zero of the individual contributors, and none outside the legal jurisdiction that Alamy is in, are in a position to negotiate with Alamy.  

 

 

 

 

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I just read Bill's last post. Yikes! No wonder lawyers love concocting contracts like the latest one. They are potentially real cash cows.

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Posted (edited)

After what has been a very busy week on this board it would be easy to forget that Alamy has set the May POTM as  "Togetherness" Isn't that lovely!! 

Edited by Shergar
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5 hours ago, Bill Kuta said:

I'm enjoying the posts by forum members who have rarely posted--I see it wasn't due to a lack of articulateness. And I've enjoyed the forum in general, especially in its current form and membership. (Does anyone recall when the forum began? I don't.) 

This forum started in April 2013 I think. It took over from the very successful AlamyPro forum on Yahoo which was run independently from Alamy. That’s where the ‘images found’ thread originally started and the ‘BHZ’ game. Quite a lot of folk here were on that forum. There was another forum before that too but I can't remember the name! 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Keith Douglas said:

There was a mention of Clause 5.1 in the new contract on page 40 of this thread, but it didn't seem to get taken any further. There is certainly nothing in Alamy's reply about this.

 

Existing 5.1. You will indemnify, defend (at the request of Alamy) and hold Alamy and its sub-licensees and assigns harmless against any prejudice, damage, liability or costs (including reasonable lawyers' fees) which any of the indemnified parties incur arising from or in respect of any claim that there has been a breach of your representations, obligations and warranties in this contract. This paragraph will remain in force after the termination of this contract.

 

New 5.1. You will indemnify, defend (at the request of Alamy) and hold Alamy and its affiliates, Customers, Distributors, sub-licensees and assigns (the “Indemnified Parties”) harmless against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, losses, costs and expenses (including reasonable legal expenses) which any of the Indemnified Parties incur arising from or in in relation to: (i) any claim that the Content infringes any third party’s rights including but not limited to any third party trademark, copyright, moral rights or other intellectual property rights, or any right of privacy or publicity; (ii) any use, exploitation or distribution of the Content by the Indemnified Parties; (iii) any claim against Alamy as a result of Alamy or its representatives pursuing an actual or suspected infringement of any Content; and (iv) any breach of any your representations, obligations and warranties under this Contract or the System. This clause will remain in force after the termination of this Contract.  

 

The way I read it the Existing 5.1 comes into play if the contributor has failed to do something that they should have done. The New 5.1 extends this further to include a number of things that are completely out of the control of the contributor. 

 

I wonder if the changes have been prompted by this:

 

https://petapixel.com/2019/07/10/magazine-says-its-stolen-cover-photo-was-a-stock-photo-of-the-photo/

 

 

 

This is the clause that really worries me.

It may be that it has always been there, but I like many others have not looked at the contract in enough depth before.  

 

From what I understand of the given example of what can go wrong, it was fortunate the the magazine was what it was, had it been a more commercial magazine things could have got nasty.

Alamy accepted this image for sale, the magazine cropped it so that the image was out of context and yet under the above clause the contributor would be liable. 

This example is fairly clear cut and understandable but what is to stop anyone making a frivolous claim if for instance a property they own is featured on a magazine cover. The law maybe on the contributors side if the image was tagged correctly, but who wants to risk thousands defending a legal case.

 

I fall in the wonderful gold tier under the new conditions, which is no real change for me, but I was thinking of those that will be the new Silver contributors. If for instance your sales come in a few cents under $250, commission @ 20% = $50, convert to pounds @1.35 dollars to the pound works out at 71 pence per week. Silver? more like rusty old iron.  You would need to have your head examined to accept the new contract ( or be desperate beyond belief). 

 

The more this contract gets examined here the more I am leaning towards closing my account.

Edited by BobD
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9 minutes ago, BobD said:

 

This is the clause that really worries me.

It may be that it has always been there, but I like many others have not looked at the contract in enough depth before.  

 

From what I understand of the given example of what can go wrong, it was fortunate the the magazine was what it was, had it been a more commercial magazine things could have got nasty.

Alamy accepted this image for sale, the magazine cropped it so that the image was out of context and yet under the above clause the contributor would be liable. 

This example is fairly clear cut and understandable but what is to stop anyone making a frivolous claim if for instance a property they own is featured on a magazine cover. The law maybe on the contributors side if the image was tagged correctly, but who wants to risk thousands defending a legal case.

 

I fall in the wonderful gold tier under the new conditions, which is no real change for me, but I was thinking of those that will be the new Silver contributors. If for instance your sales come in a few cents under $250, commission @ 20% = $50, convert to pounds @1.35 dollars to the pound works out at 71 pence per week. Silver? more like rusty old iron.  You would need to have your head examined to accept the new contract ( or be desperate beyond belief). 

 

The more this contract gets examined here the more I am leaning towards closing my account.

 

The clause has always been there but its scope has been expanded. As I see it, it now includes areas over which I have no control.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Keith Douglas said:

 

The clause has always been there but its scope has been expanded. As I see it, it now includes areas over which I have no control.

 

 

 

 

 

I have always had an issue with Alamy expecting photographers to make judgements as to what releases etc are required for any and all usages anywhere in the world;matters that are properly the responsibility of the image user/pub;lisher. Now they have upped the consequiences, they can take the easy way out and expect the photograp=her to pick up the bill, It seems to me Alamy have always tended to side with the customer, note how they just let copyright infringers licence the image at the discounted rate.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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