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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Stokie said:

 

That's with Simply Business. If you mean Photoguard, i've checked with them and they don't do professional indemnity as an add on to the insurance policy i've got with them for equipment and public liability.

 

 

That's with Simply Business

 

 

Yes, insurance is tax deductible.

I just hopped onto Simply Business and their Professional Indemnity Insurance is specifically "For if you make mistakes that cost a client money." That's possible I guess if we mis-label an image, but it's not most of what the worry Alamy is currently causing us is about. It's mostly not about us making mistakes, it's about "Alamy and its affiliates, Customers, Distributors, sub-licensees and assigns" doing something wrong. That wouldn't even cover us for the well-rehearsed blip in Alamy search which can link any word in the caption or caption with any other word to make an irrelevant phrase.

Further into the getting a quote process, it says "Cover if a customer claims compensation for something that's gone wrong, for example if you make a mistake that means you fail to provide their photos." I'm still not sure this is the right product, but I guess I could contact them to find out. Except there seems not to be an email address on their site* and a phone assurance has even less relevance in court than James telling us in a forum post what 'they' did or didn't intend.

*I've found their contact page.

 

Oh, that was lucky. I had drafted a query on Simply Business's contact page, sending a linkto the new contract and highlighting the worrying clauses. I hadn't hit 'send' before coming back here and seeing Alamy's response, which must have crossed as I was writing the above so I didn't see it. I'll wait until we get the new contract draft.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Alamy said:

Just a quick update for you here to confirm that we are reading all responses and it's clear to us that there is confusion around the wording of some of the specific clauses in the new contract. 

 

We're sorry for the confusion these have caused. More details to follow soon, but we are looking at the possibility of rewording some clauses to make them clearer as well as providing further info here as to how the clauses could be used.

 

Best regards

 

Alamy

At last - many thanks - the sooner the better. You may want to add this to your first update in this thread so it's not buried.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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4 minutes ago, BidC said:

 

Please excuse my ignorance but what is DACS ?

 

DACS (Design & Artist Copyright Society) ....... https://www.dacs.org.uk/

 

In a simple nutshell, your photographs that are published in UK books, magazines, and online editions I think now (?), that have ISBN/ISSN numbers (not newspapers or their supplements) and TV uses, are eligible for additional royalty payments each year.

 

Places like libraries & universities pay for a licence that allows their copies of books etc to be used.

I think it's a bit like the way in which business premises pay via a licence for playing recorded music in a place where the public can go (and the licence monies get distributed to the artists).

 

DACS stands up morally and financially for visual artists.

 

I'm sure someone can explain better than me if need be, but this isn't the thread topic here.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

i think it's more that their never was anything risk free, people are finally taking conscience of some these risks.

 

Many of these clauses are in the contract today.  What is changing for many of us, is our perception of how less paternalistic towards contributor Alamy is becoming. 

 

People have been submitting and licencing images for years with much more risk on other platforms, and not getting any financial repercussions. 

 

I submitted to an agency a while back where it came to light that employees were selling images 'abroad'( this was not a UK company - if there are any others). The company was sued, and the claimants won. However that whole issue put me off completely and I left. I believe it had happened a few years before I began submitting, but nonetheless I felt uneasy. Again, maybe naive, but I have much preferred Alamy's approach. Will probably continue (with some insurance) and see how things go.

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4 minutes ago, AlbertSnapper said:

 

DACS (Design & Artist Copyright Society) ....... https://www.dacs.org.uk/

 

In a simple nutshell, your photographs that are published in UK books, magazines, and online editions I think now (?), that have ISBN/ISSN numbers (not newspapers or their supplements) and TV uses, are eligible for additional royalty payments each year.

 

Places like libraries & universities pay for a licence that allows their copies of books etc to be used.

I think it's a bit like the way in which business premises pay via a licence for playing recorded music in a place where the public can go (and the licence monies get distributed to the artists).

 

DACS stands up morally and financially for visual artists.

 

I'm sure someone can explain better than me if need be, but this isn't the thread topic here.

 

 

 

 

Thank you very much. Thats very clear.

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8 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

You may want to add this to your first update in this thread so it's not buried.

 

Mark

 

This has already been done, all statement posts from us in this thread are included on page one for that very reason.

 

Thanks

 

Alamy

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, formerly snappyoncalifornia said:

Hey Ed,  I'm EHHS class of 68. Remember Rep Manny Cellars? Small world!

 

Sure, I remember Manny. Erasmus Hall. I went to Brooklyn Prep with the Jesuits and then to Saint Francis Prep before moving to DC. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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17 minutes ago, Alamy said:

Just a quick update for you here to confirm that we are reading all responses and it's clear to us that there is confusion around the wording of some of the specific clauses in the new contract. 

 

We're sorry for the confusion these have caused. More details to follow soon, but we are looking at the possibility of rewording some clauses to make them clearer as well as providing further info here as to how the clauses could be used.

 

Best regards

 

Alamy

 

That's good news.

 

In my view the contract itself needs to be clear and not rely on other 'intentions' listed on a forum. If it's necessary to say how clauses will be used it should also say, in the contract, how they will not be used.

 

For each clause, the question should be asked by whoever is writing the contract "does the contributor have control of this item that we are asking them to be responsible for?"

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9 minutes ago, Alamy said:

 

This has already been done, all statement posts from us in this thread are included on page one for that very reason.

 

Thanks

 

Alamy

 

Great thanks. Hopefully that will help stop more contributors leaving or going non-exclusive before some of the concerning/confusing contract terms have been reviewed/reworded.

 

Mark

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I’m certainly no lawyer but just had a thought that maybe some of the revised/new contract conditions could be considered onerous and wouldn’t stand up in court.

 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Dave Richards said:

I’m certainly no lawyer but just had a thought that maybe some of the revised/new contract conditions could be considered onerous and wouldn’t stand up in court.

 

Could be, but I thought at the beginning that it was an unreasonable contract. I just didn't want to be the one testing it in a foreign legislature.

English Law:

https://www.wrighthassall.co.uk/knowledge-base/the-perils-of-unreasonable-contract-terms

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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I don’t want to continue after June 30 if I can’t agree to everything in the contract. It’s not like I can pick and choose what I like, don’t like, and what I think won’t stand up in a court of law. If I am to continue with Alamy, I’ll have to actually approve of, and understand, everything within the new contract. I certainly don’t think I can accept the new contract if some of the wording, appearing to put all the legal responsibility on the photographer, can’t be clarified within the contract. As it’s currently written, if I stay then I’m saying I agree to shouldering all the legal responsibility, no matter who makes the error.

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1 hour ago, Alamy said:

Just a quick update for you here to confirm that we are reading all responses and it's clear to us that there is confusion around the wording of some of the specific clauses in the new contract. 

 

We're sorry for the confusion these have caused. More details to follow soon, but we are looking at the possibility of rewording some clauses to make them clearer as well as providing further info here as to how the clauses could be used.

 

Best regards

 

Alamy

 

The only thing that matters is the wording of the contract.  For contributors who are making enough to stay and pay for legal coverage and liability coverage, they need to know very precisely what their legal obligations are in the contract. 

 

I have to worry about being deported if someone uses a photograph of me or one I took in a political campaign in Nicaragua.  You've got Reuters here, don't really need me, so I'm gone.  

 

I'm also allergic to people trying to use threats of less money to get me motivated to do more.   Other people may feel differently.   Fire anyone who is under-performing -- cleaner, quicker, and less messy and condescending.   Ask for a minimum size portfolio to be uploaded after acceptance so people have a chance to actually make sales sufficient to be in the Gold after that first year.    For everyone with a portfolio of 2,000 or more photos, I suspect you have several hundred with portfolios under 1,000. 

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On 20/05/2021 at 09:30, Allan Bell said:

 

If I were closer I would offer myself to you Edo. At least we would be a bit more evenly matched.🙂

 

Allan

 

1st Rule of Alamy Fight Club.... 🙂

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Posted (edited)
On 23/05/2021 at 16:18, Nodvandigtid said:

Will that was the week that was, although I still find it a tad ironic that the topic above this thread for the majority of the last six days is entitled "The importance of being accurate with marking images as “Exclusive to Alamy.”!

 

I logged in last Monday, 13 years to the day that I joined Alamy. Above the dashboard sat an ominous warning that a new contributor contract would be coming into force from July 2021. I read Emily Shelley's words about why the change to commission was, in her eyes, necessary along with the comments on exclusivity and the and the new infringement team.

 

In a former life, I worked for a company that derived its income through agents/intermediaries.30% of the agents supplied roughly 70% of the business and of course the other 70% of the agents only supplied 30% of the income. Filter in costs, upkeep etc and it was obvious what had to happen and it did,

 

It is a similar position that most contributors here on the forums now find themselves in. Whenever Alamy backtracked on the commission cut to 40% in return for being exclusive at 50%, one of the questions I asked James West, was that would he confirm that all contributors regardless of size would have their commission reduced to 40%. (the original proposal). For obvious reasons it was the only one of the questions he didn't answer when he replied to me.

 

There is an old saying; “if it smells like b******* then it is b*******” and Emily Shelly's message made it clear to me that the new PA/Alamy outfit does not have a positive outcome for individual contributors going forward. To compare the initial trading period of this year with the start of the pandemic last year and and pronounce a wonderful 45% growth figure really is an insult to most people's intelligence.

 

To then rub further salt into the wound, when a great number of us spent hours and hours going through and checking that our images were in fact exclusive by saying that a “significant minority” (what exactly does that mean in real numbers?) had images which weren't exclusive shows a lack of leadership because the offenders could easily have been dealt with.

 

The smoke though began to thicken whenever it it became clear that the new “infringement team” would be chasing only exclusive images, and of course there was no detail on what ultimately you or I, the contributor, could expect to get. Many of you have pointed out that this is likely to be similarly cloaked as the “DACS” system administered by Alamy - where we have no idea of the true value of the payments that Alamy may collect on our behalf in relation to what is ultimately paid out to us.

 

I would say it's fair comment that this infringement team will be pushing hard to get as much as they can (the parties to the deal – the rights chasing company and Alamy will set an incentivised contract aiming for that) and a small residue, possibly no more than on a normal licence fee after commission, will be made available to contributors.

 

When you see, as revealed on this thread by PA/Alamy, the small proportion of overall images that are actually marked as “exclusive” with Alamy, any plans for exclusiveness to benefit both PA/Alamy and contributors is a long way off, meantime it's about squeezing as much money out of images marked as exclusive..

 

I joined Alamy in 2008, I struggled in the early years with software, but since 2015, I have put extensive hours time and resources into building up a portfolio of just over 17000 images. At that time I started keeping tabs on this forum, and watched the likes off Sally Anderson (well done Sally – a prodigious output with growing sales) and Andy Gibson (living in the wonderful world of West Cork, a man selling Live News in increasing volumes via Alamy) start pushing their work through Alamy.

 

And the reality as has been clearly said on these forums is you need to be uploading regularly to make sales. In the last few years, I have earned enough to mean my average over the full 13 years of contributing is safely above the $250 figure, however there is not a snowball in hell's chance of me getting anyone here $25,000.

 

Would my collection be missed? Well the answer to that in the context of PA/Alamy's plans would be an obvious “No” (although some buyers might wonder where I have gone before commercial amnesia would set it in).

 

You will all have seen that PA/Alamy has sucked in a huge range of images from PA Media, Thomson Reuters, the Independent, and others.

 

I often wondered what PA Media paid for Alamy - please don't go to the end just yet - and whether or not what PA Media was in fact a suitable suitor for Alamy. The answer as far as the individual contributor is concerned is probably going to be “no“ over the next few years, and in fairness if any of us were sitting as the managing director of PA/Alamy and had access to the relevant data then we might come up with a similar conclusion on the way forward. That of course depends as well on what your future strategy for the business is is, and clearly agencies, (despite a small few uploading some dross, low quality images, uploaded without relevant keywords and impunity), many of whom are “connected” to PA Media will rule the day.

 

It suits both PA/Alamy and PA Media partners to get the highest rate of commission, and for the rest of us to continue perhaps staying on at a lower 40%, until the next commission cut comes along.

 

The Chief Executive of PA Media Group Limited is Clive Marshall, you may want to write to him as well, but for example, included in the 27 shareholders that own PA Media, are Century Newspapers Limited, Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail, Daily Mail and General Holdings, Trinity Mirror PLC, The Irish Times, DC Thomson and Co Ltd, and Guardian Media Group PLC – a formidable bunch of businesses.

 

Can PA Media's purchase of Alamy mean that it can continue to pay the highest rate to many of its related or associated companies? I also suspect that the purchase was to enable PA Media etc to benefit the greatest from pushing out images to different international markets that they had not previously great access to.

 

I could live with 40% commission if push came to shove, but what I cannot live with are the onerous terms and conditions that will be part of the the contributor contract from July.

As many of you have pointed out there are inaccuracies in there, some of you have referred to “contra proferentem” where if there is a dispute between the contract parties regarding wording interpretation, that it goes against the party who drafted it.

 

However that is definitely something that none of us should rely on; any legal action is expensive, and you or I have to weigh up the risk of that happening and if it does the financial implications and other implications under the terms of the contract.

 

In that former life, I had some dealing with indemnity clauses and legal liabilities, and I am glad to see that Keith Douglas for one has highlighted the the indemnity clause number 5, Look at the amount of additional liabilities imposed on the contributor.

 

Hold harmless agreements are nothing new, but the extent of them can vary, I have always checked the contributor contract at each update to know what the risk to me is is. Before you get into all the other problems regarding licensing exclusivity, model releases, and everything else, I do feel you really need to look at clause 5 and see whether or not you are prepared to live with that.

 

This is a kind of clause I would have seen many years ago where basically all the onus is put on to to the party signing up to the contract, There are other more acceptable versions used, where, for example, PA/Alamy would be responsible for the problems it causes, and you are I would be responsible for what we caused as contributors, and that is something which would be more amenable to most people.

 

I feel the new clauses shift a huge burden (including things well beyond the control of the contributor) onto the contributor. I suspect the practical reason for this is simply down to whoever reviewed the contract doing what I would term as “a belt and braces job” to make sure that they are protecting PA/Alamy to the fullest extent.

 

You will have seen in at least one of the PA/Alamy replies about what the intention of some clauses are (from a PA/Alamy perspective). The intention is irrelevant; unless you have personally got a written agreement or side contract making it clear that you are not responsible for certain things, then if a case goes to court you are bound by the terms of the contract and the way that they will be interpreted by a judge.

 

Quite simply the the financial implications of that are hugely worrying. PA/Alamy having paid their legal team to to devise these “new” terms and revise the contract, will not be back tracking on it,

 

The agencies, or most of them, will be able to pay for the relevant level of risk mitigation via insurance (professional Indemnity or legal expenses) and in some cases the agency will have the financial resources to more than easily cover it.

 

I cannot see the contract being changed so it looks like I am heading out an exit door soon, I would like to thank everyone for their contributions on the forum of the last number of years. Although I haven't posted, I have been on several times daily and I've got to know a great deal about many of you and found your experience and information provided helpful, I wish all of you well in the future.

 

In relation to my earlier question about how much PA Media paid for Alamy, here's an extract from the PA Media Group accounts up to the 31 December 2019.

 

In February 2020, the Group purchased 100% of the share capital in Alamy Limited, a provider of stock images. Cash consideration paid on acquisition was £32.6m. Deferred consideration of £9.2m to be paid in February 2021 and £4.6m to be paid in February 2022”

 

Sleep well Messrs West and Fischer.



 

Best Post of the thread so far

Thanks

Chris

Edited by ChrisC
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13 hours ago, Gary Cook said:

Hi,

I don't suppose it will make any difference but I would like to add my comments to express my disappointment and opposition to the proposed contract changes.

I am an Alamy member from the very early days, joining in Feb 2001, and always felt it to be the most photographer friendly and fairest agency - even though the work required to keyword and categorise my images is greater than any other agency. I was disappointed in the past when the photographers share of the revenue was cut from the original 75% or 80% down to 50%, but to now cut it to 40% is a step too far. I believe that it is totally unfair to expect the creator of the images to receive less than half the sale fees.

This, together with the increasingly small fees received, and giving away full size files and wide ranging rights for single digit fees, means that it is becoming increasingly pointless in submitting images to Alamy. Sales and revenue peaked for me in 2008 with over 300 sales and $40k but have spiralled downwards ever since and are now just a fraction of those glory days.

I have submitted to various agencies in the past, both exclusive and non-exclusive, and have always stop contributing when they made similar steps to reduce the photographers share. I will now have to consider whether I wish to continue to submit images to alamy - I have another large batch almost ready to submit but will not now do so until the situation becomes clear. I am even considering cancelling my contract with Alamy and withdrawing my images completely. This is particularly disappointing as all my images with Alamy are exclusive, other than the sales I make myself direct to clients, and I withdrew the few which were nonexclusive from the other agencies so as to be exclusive with Alamy.

Can Alamy please reconsider, and maintain a minimum of 50% share for the photographer.

I must also say I am concerned about some of the other contract clause changes but haven't yet got my head around them.

Great photos, I'm sure if you go to some specialist agencies or sell prints, you would do well, hopefully better!

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4 hours ago, Nodvandigtid said:

 

 

I understand your thinking in relation to the images you describe but clause 5.1 could still cause issues.

 

For those remaining with PA/Alamy and thinking off removing images to leave only “flowers and bugs” or similar, don't forget about another new clause – clause 3.3 (it is self-explanatory).

 

3.3. Where an item of Content is deleted whether by you or by Alamy, you will continue to indemnify Alamy as outlined in clause 5 after the date of deletion for any claims, damages, liabilities, losses, costs or related to the Content.

 

Once you stay on beyond 30/06/21 you will have “accepted” the new contract (including clause 3.3)

 

The length of this thread and all the comments show just the depth of feelings about the proposed changes announced by PA/Alamy.

 

To keep things in perspective;

a) there are obligations on buyers – I can't find a copy of that contract even though I have bought images from Alamy in the past

b) Edo has pointed out his experiences over many decades – no issues. There will be others like him.

c) it would bad business and potential reputational damage for PA/Alamy if their revised business procedures/contract saw them open to claims and counter claims in either the buying or selling camps. PA Media is a leading brand after all.

 

But as things still stand my “former life” tells me, the risks as the new contract is written are too onerous and outweigh my small financial gains (for an awful lot of work).

 

Even though it has only taken some 60 odd pages of posts, I take some solace in PA/Alamy announcing they will perhaps review the proposed contract wording etc.

 

It is though perplexing that PA/Alamy knowing what their announcement on 17/05/21 was going to be, don't appear to have thought this through. For example; when you make changes to a contract you weigh up the implications, your check the wording (does it accurately reflect what you want it to do from both perspectives?), and you plan for the next stages (including contributor reaction and challenges).

 

I could write more but it's late, I am tired, and that can keep for another day (if needs be).

 

In the meantime, let's all watch this space and see how PA/Alamy respond, and I will be very interested in the response that Mr Standfast gets from his indemnity provider on the wording sent to them.

 

Correct.  No topics are 100% safe under the new contract.

It is nice to hear that they are going to consider some rewording and revisions, but knowing how much is wrong with the contract, are they ready to make enough changes? 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.

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Another factor in all of this I have thought of, is the way QC works at Alamy. The microstock agency I was briefly with beforehand scrutinise every image uploaded and immediately reject anything that they consider any kind of liability risk. Also, anything not marked editorial can be rejected when it might not seem obvious at first why. I remember a contributor there posting his image on their forum that had been rejected wondering why it was considered to be a problem. It did seem a puzzle as there was no apparent property or subjects of concern in the image. The forum moderator responded with a close-up of part of the image showing that when really zoomed in, there was some tiny, tiny writing on something obscure in the image that meant there was in fact a need for it to be marked editorial.

 

Given that Alamy do not see all images that go through QC, they are probably trying to have measures in place to cover themselves should any issues arise with an image. I feel Alamy's QC approach has more flexibility and in many ways makes more sense, but then there is also easily room for images to go through that Alamy are not seeing that may not comply with the restrictions designated for the image or might be considered potentially problematic. As their QC process is less tightly controlled, perhaps they are trying to cover any risks they perceive associated with this. The RM/RF distinction also makes things a bit more complex, and then that distinction is becoming less clear now in the way images are licensed anyway.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Nodvandigtid said:

For those remaining with PA/Alamy and thinking off removing images to leave only “flowers and bugs” or similar, don't forget about another new clause – clause 3.3 (it is self-explanatory).

 

3.3. Where an item of Content is deleted whether by you or by Alamy, you will continue to indemnify Alamy as outlined in clause 5 after the date of deletion for any claims, damages, liabilities, losses, costs or related to the Content.

 

This raises a specific legal question. If I accept the new contract, will I be deemed to accepting these broader indemnity terms can be applied to any new claims, damages, liabilities, losses and costs arising after 30th June 2021 but which relate to use of an image which Alamy licenced on or before 30th June 2021 ? My initial thought was that it wouldn't as this would be a retrospective change in liability. But if the claim arises after 30-06-2021 on an image licenced previously and I have left this image on Alamy, could I be deemed to be accepting this additional liability for that content?

 

Obviously the significance of this will depend on whether Alamy revise Clause 5 or not.

 

Mark

 

 

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4 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

This raises a specific legal question. If I accept the new contract, will I be deemed to accepting these broader indemnity terms can be applied to any new claims, damages, liabilities, losses and costs arising after 30th June 2021 but which relate to use of an image which Alamy licenced on or before 30th June 2021 ? My initial thought was that it wouldn't as this would be a retrospective change in liability. But if the claim arises after 30-06-2021 on an image licenced previously and I have left this image on Alamy, could I be deemed to be accepting this additional liability for that content?

 

Obviously the significance of this will depend on whether Alamy revise Clause 5 or not.

 

Mark

 

 

I would like clarification on this point also - YOU THERE ALAMY?

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Sally R said:

As their QC process is less tightly controlled, perhaps they are trying to cover any risks they perceive associated with this. The RM/RF distinction also makes things a bit more complex, and then that distinction is becoming less clear now in the way images are licensed anyway.

I'd be quite happy with this if I'm only liable for errors I might make (when setting restrictions etc.) providing Alamy and/or the distributor is liable if they don't comply with the restrictions I've set or fail to communicate them to their customer in the issued licence terms. At the moment the new contract attempts to pass all liability back to the contributor under all circumstances. I don't think this "passing the buck" would stand up in court, but I wouldn't want to risk the potential legal costs of having to prove it.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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