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Contract Change 2021 - Official thread


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40 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Or just take it out of their 20%/60% clawback.

If we were to individually 'share', what would stop them making that another cash cow, which they could keep milking for more each year?

Them doing it would make it more likely they'd hold the other parties responsible for their actions, not harmless, to prevent their premiums going up too steeply.

 

I was thinking more like a bonified insurance company but small fee, eg. $5 pa, collected by Alamy but I agree that the extra commission charge could/should pay for it.

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2 hours ago, hotbrightsky said:

 

I do! If I was making more money I could afford to employ legal advisers to mitigate the others contractual issues!

LOL. Stock never pays that kind of money... 

 

By the way. You took my post out of context. What I said was, "I do not care about the payment cut at this point, the liabilities and no control over the licensing of our own work (that we own the copyright of!) are  way more serious issues." 

Of course I am against the payment cut. But the other issues are waaaay more serious and can cause waaaay more harm. 

 

I believe that the payment cut and the tier system were just a smokescreen to introduce clauses with more serious consequences. 

4.1.5. Gives Alamy free rights to license our images the way they want, overriding our designations. Other clauses shift the liabilities to the contributor while Alamy/distributors/customers escape any resposibility. These are the most serious issues that need to be fixed. 

 

 

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I have just carried out a financial exercise and found, to my horror, that although I would have been safe in staying with the 50% I was getting per image, if the earnings had stayed at that level, I cannot stand the 20% drop to the 40% earning per image that would apply come 1st July as this would take me down to the next tier in the near future.

 

I would therefore only be achieving 20% per image which makes my position untenable being in a continually downward spiral.

 

Unfortunately there does not appear to be any way out of this downward trend that I can see.

 

It certainly looks like I will be ending my time with PA/Alamy by refusing their offer of this new contract and having PA/Alamy delete my images on 30th June.😭

 

This is even if PA/Alamy do actually alter the contract to more favourable terms regarding the legal problems with it discussed above.

 

I will be sorry to leave and will miss my time posting on the forum, chatting with all the friends I have on here.😢

 

There is another thing that will be sorely missed and that, even though I was a founding member, is the Cambridge Alamy Group meetings. I will not be able to attend any future meetings due to not having an interest in PA/Alamy.😢  Others in that group are in a better position than I ever was and will probably stay with PA/Alamy.

 

I will miss our discussions and lunches with you my friends and hope you all continue to prosper by staying with PA/Alamy😃

 

Allan

 

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13 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

I cannot stand the 20% drop to the 40% earning per image that would apply come 1st July as this would take me down to the next tier in the near future.

Aren't the tiers based upon the gross licence fees paid to Alamy for the sale of your images?

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4 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Aren't the tiers based upon the gross licence fees paid to Alamy for the sale of your images?

That's right.

Allan may be taking the tier figures as being based on net which isn't correct

The only thing that can take you from the 40% net to 20% is if your gross drops below $250. The commission increase can't do it.

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

That's right.

Allan may be taking the tier figures as being based on net which isn't correct

The only thing that can take you from the 40% net to 20% is if your gross drops below $250. The commission increase can't do it.

Thanks, I was beginning to think I might have missed something in the 71 pages. Helpfully I see that should a contributor fall back to 'Silver' they'll gain re-entry immediately their sales hit $250 again for that year, i.e. not have to wait until the end of the year. Actually I don't have a problem with any of that personally. As to the rest of it...

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5 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

That's right.

Allan may be taking the tier figures as being based on net which isn't correct

The only thing that can take you from the 40% net to 20% is if your gross drops below $250. The commission increase can't do it.

 

though they still have not clarified for distro sales.   the contract seems to imply it's NET of distribution commission ("what Alamy receives ") 

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55 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

I have just carried out a financial exercise and found, to my horror, that although I would have been safe in staying with the 50% I was getting per image, if the earnings had stayed at that level, I cannot stand the 20% drop to the 40% earning per image that would apply come 1st July as this would take me down to the next tier in the near future.

 

I would therefore only be achieving 20% per image which makes my position untenable being in a continually downward spiral.

 

Unfortunately there does not appear to be any way out of this downward trend that I can see.

 

It certainly looks like I will be ending my time with PA/Alamy by refusing their offer of this new contract and having PA/Alamy delete my images on 30th June.😭

 

This is even if PA/Alamy do actually alter the contract to more favourable terms regarding the legal problems with it discussed above.

 

I will be sorry to leave and will miss my time posting on the forum, chatting with all the friends I have on here.😢

 

There is another thing that will be sorely missed and that, even though I was a founding member, is the Cambridge Alamy Group meetings. I will not be able to attend any future meetings due to not having an interest in PA/Alamy.😢  Others in that group are in a better position than I ever was and will probably stay with PA/Alamy.

 

I will miss our discussions and lunches with you my friends and hope you all continue to prosper by staying with PA/Alamy😃

 

Allan

 

 

Nothing to stop us (the so-called Cambridge Alamy Group) meeting at some point Allan so don't get too down on that account. I don't recall the conversation ever being restricted to Alamy matters either. We covered a vast range of topics over those lunches. 

 

I would suggest not speculating too much about the intentions of others either. I have not made up my mind at all about what I am going to do as yet and am awaiting further input from Alamy about the contract in the light of their statement yesterday. If I leave, it will have nothing to do with commission rates either but all to do with the contract itself and particularly the issues around contributor liability. And I have never prospered through Alamy sales I hasten to add, partly because I have always tended to err on the side of caution. 

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I've tried keeping up with this topic, but 75 pages is a lot.

 

In short, Alamy have drafted an unfair and unenforceable contract: they (in a British Court) could not hold us accountable for mistakes/deliberate misuse by a third party when we have no control or even any contact with those parties. That said, I have no intention of putting it to the test. I make menial amounts from stock sales and certainly can't envisage going through the Courts to prove a point.

 

I can't imagine that any insurer will cover photographers for the risk of other people misusing an image that has been licensed to them via an agency.

 

If the contract isn't changed significantly I will be withdrawing my images before the contract deadline - no great loss to the company, I'm sure. Anyone know the email address to use to request Alamy to delete my images? (I know, I'm lazy and it's probably already covered elsewhere).

 

Thanks

 

Kevin

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2 minutes ago, K J Bennett said:

I've tried keeping up with this topic, but 75 pages is a lot.

 

In short, Alamy have drafted an unfair and unenforceable contract: they (in a British Court) could not hold us accountable for mistakes/deliberate misuse by a third party when we have no control or even any contact with those parties. That said, I have no intention of putting it to the test. I make menial amounts from stock sales and certainly can't envisage going through the Courts to prove a point.

 

I can't imagine that any insurer will cover photographers for the risk of other people misusing an image that has been licensed to them via an agency.

 

If the contract isn't changed significantly I will be withdrawing my images before the contract deadline - no great loss to the company, I'm sure. Anyone know the email address to use to request Alamy to delete my images? (I know, I'm lazy and it's probably already covered elsewhere).

 

Thanks

 

Kevin

Alamy Contributor Relations <contributors@alamy.com>

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3 minutes ago, K J Bennett said:

Anyone know the email address to use to request Alamy to delete my images?

contributors@alamy.com - to close your account which means your images will be deleted by 30th June

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4 hours ago, Bryan said:

In any event I can't afford to take the risk and, with my limited photo income, comprehensive liability insurance is unlikely to be financially viable. Unless this is resolved I will, very reluctantly, opt out.  Years of work down the pan........

You and me both!

 

I very much doubt that any liability insurance will cover those areas mentioned in the new contract.

I know mine doesn't.

 

It would appear that Alamy now want a bigger slice of the pie (well most of the pie at 80% for those on Silver!) absolving themselves of all responsibility while leaving the contributor liable for other peoples actions.

 

They have taken away any incentive to supply exclusive material, in fact it is now it is prudent to be non exclusive and spread your content to as many and varied agencies / libraries as possible to make up the loss in royalties.

 

Leaving appears to be a bit like 'Hotel California' while still leaving you legally vulnerable.

 

I'm not sure that any lawyer/solicitor looking at the current wording would think it's sensible to continue.

 

Many of us are freelance photographers who have had a particularly tough time during the pandemic with no financial help from governments or grants so it feels pretty much like Alamy are giving us a good kicking while we are down. I would have hoped that Alamy (who have always claimed to be supporters of their contributors) would have been more thoughtful and supportive to those who supply the content that they sell.

 

As you rightly say .. years of work down the pan.

 

 

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

Nothing to stop us (the so-called Cambridge Alamy Group) meeting at some point Allan so don't get too down on that account. I don't recall the conversation ever being restricted to Alamy matters either. We covered a vast range of topics over those lunches. 

 

I would suggest not speculating too much about the intentions of others either. I have not made up my mind at all about what I am going to do as yet and am awaiting further input from Alamy about the contract in the light of their statement yesterday. If I leave, it will have nothing to do with commission rates either but all to do with the contract itself and particularly the issues around contributor liability. And I have never prospered through Alamy sales I hasten to add, partly because I have always tended to err on the side of caution. 

 

That's pretty much my thoughts as well as a past member of the Cambridge Alamy Group. I continue to hope to return to The Wrestlers or to Ely at some time and meet up with you all, including Allan, again.

 

For me, the reduction in commission rate is not something that will cause me to leave Alamy, but the contract changes will, unless they are changed significantly.

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4 hours ago, Jools Elliott said:

People have long held Alamy in high regard because of your fairness in terms of royalties. But you've now come along and wrecked that for many people. So I think that you need to start listening to the very people who supply you with imagery and at the bottom line pay your wages.

Most of PA/Alamy's images come from agencies, image banks from newspapers, images scrapped from public domain sources (one person has 400,000 such images up).   I suspect that the individual contributors who sell less than $500 a year gross are not all that useful to Alamy.   $25K a year gross is something that only a very few, if any, individuals can do, but is probably common with the larger agencies (and as someone else pointed out, they probably have different contracts with them).   Selling less than $250 a year -- shrug.  They won't miss us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This post is terribly constructed: random thoughts thrown at the page - apologies in advance!

 

I've only just completed page 27 of this thread (currently at 70 pages). I shall plough on, though it may be one of Hercules' tasks and I may never reach the end!

 

Seems to me that, besides the obvious increase in commission that Alamy is taking ('core', my rear end!), the most concerning aspect is summarised well in riccarbi's post (below).

 

It may be that Alamy have already replied to some concerns, I don't know. However, I do know that, given these (proposed) changes, I can no longer trust what Alamy are likely to do, now or in the future.

 

In common with Miz Brown, I have not received any $$$ licences since Feb '20. Given the pandemic and all the business & economic problems this has created, I wasn't overly surprised. But I have received some of the small licences ($2/3 gross) in the last month. It seems that Alamy are determined to make money, I have no problem with that! And it may be that these licences come to be balanced out with larger ones, I don't know. BUT, I seriously doubt if these tiny (+ the tinier MS licenses that some have reported) will ever add up to the volume that MS agencies are able to give and I don't envisage that the larger licences will balance these out - especially given my editorial port. Given the changes in licensing responsibility that Alamy seem determined to pass on to the contributor, it may well be the case that they are also attempting to cast their their nets for bigger fish (advertising), but don't want the admin/costs/responsibility involved in determining that all rights are cleared. They are trying to make it easier and cheaper for themselves - and their clients - by passing all the heavy load onto us.  It appears that despite anything that we say - no releases available; editorial use only; etc. - they will still demand to be able to licence an image for any use, then demand that we carry the can, should anyone, anywhere in the world decide to take legal action. No thanks. As others have said, we would unlikely be deemed to be held responsible in a British court, but elsewhere?!

 

It is also of concern that, going forward, they are determined to licence my images (all RM) under - what have been for some time - RF rights, for pennies, which are then stolen and reproduced in multiple other locations (some visible, many not). They want to find and recover infringements when such abuses occur. Judging by past experience, this will be at the presiding rate - so, pennies again? They will likely claim expenses from the infringer, so in their interests to do so - but we won't see any of that.

 

When I (eventually) got their recent email regarding exclusivity, I asked to be notified in advance of Alamy contacting anyone who might have infringed upon my copyright via any Alamy licences. I did this because even though only a very few images of mine (~4!) are non-exclusive, I was concerned that Alamy might take action on images which had been previously licensed via other agencies in past years. It seems that all exclusivity does now is to give them the right to chase infringements without notification.

 

I have begun to make changes. Today, I have opted out of all territories for distribution (I was previously opted in to ~50/75 selected territories).

 

Unless I see something to drastically change my mind, I will shortly change all my images to non-exclusive. For the bulk of the type of imagery which I have submitted to Alamy over a number of years now, I don't see where I could go to licence them at any kind of reasonable rate, TBH. So, in the short-term, I may well leave the bulk of my images here. I am in the 'Gold' 🙄 bracket and have been since 2013, but if the $2 sales become commonplace and are not balanced by larger sales, then I may well tumble into the 'silver' pit. That ain't gonna happen. I'll be outta here before then.

 

I really only have POD outlets (which I've been far too lazy with to achieve any kind of success) and one other decent outlet. But that single outlet has - and I believe will continue - to provide me with ~50% of what I get here. So I'll work at improving that.

 

A small port here, at 'silver' returns, just isn't worth it. I'm not prepared to take on the legal responsibility for misuse of my images by clients with very deep pockets, so I may very likely be gone soon. I've got a few weeks to decide.

 

Just in case I'm soon gone, then I'll take this opportunity to say: It's been a joy to be a part of this community of (mostly! 😉 🤣) lovely people for a number of years now. I am truly grateful for all the gracious and freely-given help I have received from many of you and hope that at some points I have been able to help others. Best of luck to all of you, however this pans out! So long and thanks for all the fish!

 

 

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38 minutes ago, K J Bennett said:

I've tried keeping up with this topic, but 75 pages is a lot.

 

In short, Alamy have drafted an unfair and unenforceable contract: they (in a British Court) could not hold us accountable for mistakes/deliberate misuse by a third party when we have no control or even any contact with those parties. That said, I have no intention of putting it to the test. I make menial amounts from stock sales and certainly can't envisage going through the Courts to prove a point.

 

I can't imagine that any insurer will cover photographers for the risk of other people misusing an image that has been licensed to them via an agency.

 

If the contract isn't changed significantly I will be withdrawing my images before the contract deadline - no great loss to the company, I'm sure. Anyone know the email address to use to request Alamy to delete my images? (I know, I'm lazy and it's probably already covered elsewhere).

 

Thanks

 

Kevin

 

 

to clarify, you need to request to "terminate your account".  Deleting your image is another process under the Current contract, which would make your images technically still available for 180 days, on licencable for longer , but more important deemed that you have accepted the new contract effective July  1. 

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2 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Aren't the tiers based upon the gross licence fees paid to Alamy for the sale of your images?

 

Yes that is what I was using in my analysis.

 

Allan

 

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

Nothing to stop us (the so-called Cambridge Alamy Group) meeting at some point Allan so don't get too down on that account. I don't recall the conversation ever being restricted to Alamy matters either. We covered a vast range of topics over those lunches. 

 

I would suggest not speculating too much about the intentions of others either. I have not made up my mind at all about what I am going to do as yet and am awaiting further input from Alamy about the contract in the light of their statement yesterday. If I leave, it will have nothing to do with commission rates either but all to do with the contract itself and particularly the issues around contributor liability. And I have never prospered through Alamy sales I hasten to add, partly because I have always tended to err on the side of caution. 

 

Thanks for that Mick.

 

Allan

 

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Like others have commented on, it's not so much the commission reduction but the onerous terms and clauses that potentially "throw us under the bus".

 

I can't risk losing my home via lawyers fees and unless Alamy puts my mind at ease in their promised response I will have no option but to bow out. Sad and angry after 13 years of effort, now looking likely to go down the drain.

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44 minutes ago, Keith Douglas said:

 

That's pretty much my thoughts as well as a past member of the Cambridge Alamy Group. I continue to hope to return to The Wrestlers or to Ely at some time and meet up with you all, including Allan, again.

 

For me, the reduction in commission rate is not something that will cause me to leave Alamy, but the contract changes will, unless they are changed significantly.

 

Thank you Keith.

 

Allan

 

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I don't think enough of us are worried about that Silver tier.  Yes, those with decent sized ports are unlikely to end up there, but I am sure there are thousands of contributors that have 5,000 and under images such as Allan and myself.

 

I think Alamy will use the Silver tier as a way to lower prices way down, that way more and more contributors will sink into the Silver tier.  With Alamy getting twice the money for those in Silver, then super lower prices is where I think they are heading.  They will follow the S******** model, which has always been 80/20 for those that joined after it's inception. Alamy may even move Silver tiered contributors higher in the placement and move the gold tiered down.  Easy to do. This way your gold tiered contributors will get less sales and possibly fall into Silver, and the Silver people will get such low prices that it would be impossible to make it up to gold.  Don't think they aren't figuring out how to manipulate as many contributors as they can into Silver.

 

Jill

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

That's right.

Allan may be taking the tier figures as being based on net which isn't correct

The only thing that can take you from the 40% net to 20% is if your gross drops below $250. The commission increase can't do it.

 

I was using GROSS. It has to be said that I was not earning that much and the from limited sales in the year and with the £250/year gross tier being very close to my earnings over the last 5 years and the drop to silver I would never have achieved the target. I do not see any improvement for the future.

 

Allan

 

Of course the legalese element concerns me too and I would still have to consider my position and options very carefully even if the financial side was in a better state. But it is not.  I cannot see me continuing to fork out £120/yr for software and take a hit as has already been expressed.

 

ITMA

 

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2 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

I have just carried out a financial exercise and found, to my horror, that although I would have been safe in staying with the 50% I was getting per image, if the earnings had stayed at that level, I cannot stand the 20% drop to the 40% earning per image that would apply come 1st July as this would take me down to the next tier in the near future.

 

I would therefore only be achieving 20% per image which makes my position untenable being in a continually downward spiral.

 

Unfortunately there does not appear to be any way out of this downward trend that I can see.

 

It certainly looks like I will be ending my time with PA/Alamy by refusing their offer of this new contract and having PA/Alamy delete my images on 30th June.😭

 

This is even if PA/Alamy do actually alter the contract to more favourable terms regarding the legal problems with it discussed above.

 

I will be sorry to leave and will miss my time posting on the forum, chatting with all the friends I have on here.😢

 

There is another thing that will be sorely missed and that, even though I was a founding member, is the Cambridge Alamy Group meetings. I will not be able to attend any future meetings due to not having an interest in PA/Alamy.😢  Others in that group are in a better position than I ever was and will probably stay with PA/Alamy.

 

I will miss our discussions and lunches with you my friends and hope you all continue to prosper by staying with PA/Alamy😃

 

Allan

 

Allan I would be sad if you left the forum.  You were very helpful to me a few years ago helping me spend my money on a Sony RX100 so I need to buy you a drink for that.  Also you have some good images in your port though I do understand your concerns of course....  20% per image really sucks and I do think the tier system is grossly unfair but you never know you could sell a lot of images in a short space of time and rise above the crazy tier system.  I'm trying to be optimistic 😏  So many companies changing their system lately, i.e., Ebay - I think I am allowed to mention them - have just changed their paying out system from Paypal to payments going straight into your bank two days later.  With PayPal it was of course immediate.  Nothing to do with Alamy of course, it just another nuisance....

 

Carol

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