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16 minutes ago, Keith Douglas said:

Clause 5.1 was in the old contract, 

 

"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."

 

Not unreasonable. If I lie about releases, don't have the copyright, have taken photographs in breach of a contract, have taken photos of people when they could reasonably expect privacy etc. then I leave myself open to having to answer under this clause. Being truthful, careful and honest is part of doing a professional job. I can probably get insurance to cover any genuine mistakes as well. 

 

The new clause 5 is in four parts, one of which is, in effect the existing clause. the other three clauses concern me, and in particular clause  ii). Here's what that clause is. I have left out i), iii) and iv) for clarity (note that in the contract online ii) is effectively buried in a long string of text). 

 

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: 

...

(ii) any use, exploitation or distribution of the Content by the Indemnified Parties; 

...
 

I know what I think about it. 

 

Based on my own revenue history and the downward trend in licence fees, I estimate that my total revenue to the end of the decade from my current portfolio is about £2000 net. I am indemnifying a whole bunch of people who I have had no direct dealings with for any use of my content for that sum of money?

 

For somebody with 10x the images that I have the estimate will be different, and they might reach a different conclusion. But that doesn't change what the contract says.

 

 

 

One of the BIG difference in clause 5.1 is the expressly added (iii)

 

any claim against Alamy as a result of Alamy or its representatives pursuing an actual or suspected infringement of any Content; 

 

Which makes us liable for an action by Alamy which we do not control.  So if someone feels aggrieved by Alamy's representative claiming infringement in a case we do not believe they should have pursued- we do not control how aggressive they will be- why should we be held responsible?  

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7 minutes ago, Paul J said:

$100 sale appeared today, satisfying knowing Alamy won't be earning from me after July 1st.

 

Yes, that kind of sale would mean me earning £29 after July 1st, but means Alamy won't getting the majority share of £43.50 

 

Zero loyalty, 60% of nothing is ........ NOTHING. 

 

Your red number will be turning green very soon at this rate.

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2 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

Every new contributor would need to upload several thousand pictures in one go in order to achieve the $250 per annum from the get go. How long a probation period were you thinking of? It's a lot of work to put into an agency you've got no experience with.... Would certainly weed out those that aren't totally committed. I'd never have signed up for a start!!

 

 

would the average 1.5 years given to get to that level (this is the interpretation of the contract by their Twitter account) be sufficient?   I'm not sure.  I do think it would create a bunch of stagnant account after the 2nd July 1. 

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On 25/05/2021 at 10:14, Cryptoprocta said:

Remember, you need to give us 45 days notice after you change the wording, as that will be a new contract.

If they make significant changes - they will also need to withdraw the new contract before it comes into force.

 

Mark

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Paul J said:

Zero loyalty, 60% of nothing is ........ NOTHING. 

Absolutely ..

Doesn't seem like a good business decision for Alamy. I've now gone totally non exclusive and busily uploading elsewhere (several with 50% split or premium collections with high sales volume). I'll probably be earning a lot more than the 20% I'll lose from Alamy.

Seems a shame as I was very happy for Alamy be my main outlet and let me concentrate on my commissioned photography but 50% was my 'line in the sand' for exclusive material.

Bit depressing really as I've been with them a long time and liked the 'family' feel of Alamy. Just shows how naive and stupid I've been to believe them when they said they had no plans to change the royalty structure last year.

Edited by wilkopix
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21 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

My only regular income is from US Social Security.  The only entity that can claw money from that is the IRS.   My other money is a small annuity from my university.   I'm in Nicaragua, and my money is in the US except for the small amount of money that comes in from PA/Alamy.

 

If your money isn't in a country whose banking system would cooperate with a judgment in Alamy's favor for not showing up, then you're judgment proof.

 

Thanks. I'm doing some research on my situation as a Canadian.

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Posted (edited)

I do agree that this new contract is particularly, and foolishly, harsh on newbies. 

 

I also think that the forum ought to stop being so welcoming and helpful to new contributors. I say that on the basis that they are being led into a trap that many of us find ourselves in and that they should go and find something better to do with their photography.

 

Starting off they will get few sales and then be pushed down to 20% the next year.

Edited by geogphotos
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20 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

If they make significant changes - they will also need to withdraw the new contract before it comes into force.

 

Mark

...........and we will need 45 days' notice of the changes. So if they change a single word, the clock starts again.;)

A pretty good reason to hold fire?

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I do agree that this new contract is particularly, and foolishly, harsh on newbies. 

 

I also think that the forum ought to stop being so welcoming and helpful to new contributors. I say that on the basis that they are being led into a trap that many of us find ourselves in and that they should go and find something better to do with their photography.

 

Starting off they will get few sales and then be pushed down to 20% the next year.

 

Good idea, I'll start negatively critiquing all newbies asking for feedback.

Edited by Steve F
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2 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

Good idea, I'll start negatively critiquing all newbies asking for feedback.

 

having read many of your inputs, i am not sure if you are capable of that.  You have to be one of the most patient, trying to find positive angles, critique I have encountered. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I do agree that this new contract is particularly, and foolishly, harsh on newbies. 

 

I also think that the forum ought to stop being so welcoming and helpful to new contributors. I say that on the basis that they are being led into a trap that many of us find ourselves in and that they should go and find something better to do with their photography.

 

Starting off they will get few sales and then be pushed down to 20% the next year.

I fully agree that this will no longer be a place for newcomers who send a few photos, and after a year or two they will be surprised why they are without a sale. I don't think they could achieve anything here without knowledge and regular work. There will be here less room for amateurism.

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15 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I do agree that this new contract is particularly, and foolishly, harsh on newbies. 

 

I also think that the forum ought to stop being so welcoming and helpful to new contributors. I say that on the basis that they are being led into a trap that many of us find ourselves in and that they should go and find something better to do with their photography.

 

Starting off they will get few sales and then be pushed down to 20% the next year.

 

 

I once worked for Poets & Writers.   We had a form letter for people who sent manuscripts and asked for evaluations.  Basically, we said we didn't read the manuscripts, but suggested that the new poets get a copy of a book that had addresses of all small press magazines and submit to them.  I signed one of those form letters.  I got a letter back from the poet saying that she was grateful for my encouragement and was quitting her job and moving to NYC.   Some people will imagine encouragement when the cover letter very specifically states that we DID NOT READ the manuscript.  

 

My sense is the less likely anyone is to actually be successful, the more microscopic "wins" get exaggerated.   All anyone else can do is give honest criticism.  If the aspirant decides to make major life decisions based on a kind word among harsher criticism, that's really the aspirant's problem.

 

First time I asked for a critique here, I got what I think of as Guys Being Nice to Women.   Second one was honest, which was what I wanted. 

 

The worst the aspirant, the less realistic they are.   Alamy should not expect the photographers themselves necessarily know when being on Alamy is wasting Alamy's disk space and their own time. 

 

I don't regret having been on Alamy, but it's time for me to reevaluate what I'm doing. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Don't think it was through Alamy and he didn't come back to say what had happened.

 

So as far as I know the total is zero.

 

Considering how many images Alamy has licensed, how may contributors it has, that we have an active forum, I'd say that is not too much to worry about. But that is the old contract, it remains to be seen how much this new one is different. 

 

I completely understand why people want to terminate but personally I'd want to make a decision like that on facts not emotion and forum chit-chat. 

 

So do I so I'll give to the last possible moment.

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1 hour ago, wilkopix said:

Just shows how naive and stupid I've been to believe them when they said they had no plans to change the royalty structure last year.

 

They may not have planned to change the royalty structure last year.   Or might not have been in shape to make plans considering.  

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4 hours ago, spacecadet said:

It has no impact on copyright as such. If I smash through a fence to take a photograph, I may be prosecuted for criminal damage, but I still own the copyright.

The only possibility mught be that a court would refuse damages on public policy grounds- that it was unconscionable to reward criminal damage. But if that had come to court I'm sure we'd know about it

That wasn't my friends point, he was saying, how could I, as a photographer if I take a photo of some street art, how am I doing something illegal, when the graffiti artist himself has created and illegal work of art.

 

In other words how can the artist sue Alamy and then the Photographer if the graffiti work itself is illegal, when all we are doing is taking a photograph from the streets, capturing to for posterity, which doesn't have any restriction, we are not handling stolen goods, drugs or something in order to take the photo?

 

Also, as was mentioned in the thread, there doesn't seem to be anyone who has been sued for Alamy, so for those who are more legally minded than me, are we worrying for no reason, unless we do something that might be classed as defamation or something legal?

 

Again, this was aimed at people who have a legal mind, who can either reassure people, or not?

 

I do have liability insurance, but I'm waiting for the re-write before getting it checked

 

Chris

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44 minutes ago, Radim said:

I fully agree that this will no longer be a place for newcomers who send a few photos, and after a year or two they will be surprised why they are without a sale. I don't think they could achieve anything here without knowledge and regular work. There will be here less room for amateurism.

 

For every Vivian Maier or Emily Dickinson, there are at least ten million people who imagine they are also undiscovered geniuses.

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3 hours ago, ManfredG said:

But the situation is difficult in the other way too.
Here in Germany (usually) I am allowed to take pictures of buildings when I am on public territory and sell these pictures for whatever I want.
(Please beware that there are some pitfalls of course. And this rule does not apply to trademarks etc.)
What to do on Alamy? It certainly is private property, and of course I do not have a release. But the image may be used without restrictions. 😉

Thanks for your insight

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57 minutes ago, ChrisC said:

That wasn't my friends point, he was saying, how could I, as a photographer if I take a photo of some street art, how am I doing something illegal, when the graffiti artist himself has created and illegal work of art.

 

In other words how can the artist sue Alamy and then the Photographer if the graffiti work itself is illegal, when all we are doing is taking a photograph from the streets, capturing to for posterity, which doesn't have any restriction, we are not handling stolen goods, drugs or something in order to take the photo?

 

Also, as was mentioned in the thread, there doesn't seem to be anyone who has been sued for Alamy, so for those who are more legally minded than me, are we worrying for no reason, unless we do something that might be classed as defamation or something legal?

 

Again, this was aimed at people who have a legal mind, who can either reassure people, or not?

 

I do have liability insurance, but I'm waiting for the re-write before getting it checked

 

Chris

 

 

where i live i am free to take a picture of it and capture it for prosperity.   Where is this not allowed? 

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3 hours ago, Alan Beastall said:

Are we an endangered species like the Honey Bee? Not if we stop poisoning the land and give nature a hand.

No, we are more like the wild solitary or mason bees. The honeybee population is not at risk - it's population is almost entirely under human control. It is just one of over 250 bee species in the UK - the others don't produce honey, live in a hive or have a queen, and its these bees that are under risk, from a triple threat of loss of habitat, climate change and increased use of pesticides.  https://insidescience.org/news/how-bees-you-know-are-killing-bees-you-don't

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2 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

having read many of your inputs, i am not sure if you are capable of that.  You have to be one of the most patient, trying to find positive angles, critique I have encountered. 

 

 

+1  Genuinely nice person too.  I'd be happy to buy Steve a beer if I ever meet him in person

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ChrisC said:

That wasn't my friends point, he was saying, how could I, as a photographer if I take a photo of some street art, how am I doing something illegal, when the graffiti artist himself has created and illegal work of art.

 

In other words how can the artist sue Alamy and then the Photographer if the graffiti work itself is illegal, when all we are doing is taking a photograph from the streets, capturing to for posterity, which doesn't have any restriction, we are not handling stolen goods, drugs or something in order to take the photo?

 

Also, as was mentioned in the thread, there doesn't seem to be anyone who has been sued for Alamy, so for those who are more legally minded than me, are we worrying for no reason, unless we do something that might be classed as defamation or something legal?

 

Again, this was aimed at people who have a legal mind, who can either reassure people, or not?

 

I do have liability insurance, but I'm waiting for the re-write before getting it checked

 

Chris

 

Never assume that all grafitti is 'illegal' - some artwork is paid for and I doubt photographers shooting such images actually find out the legal situation.

 

The problem is not always being sued, it's also the treat of it. Legal advice costs.

 

One (in)famous case that did get to court  https://petapixel.com/2010/04/10/greek-man-sues-swedish-company-over-turkish-yogurt/

 

The stock agency involved is based in Spain and was also taken to court (or at least the owner was in court according to himself, on the agency forum) - never found out how far down the food chain the legal issues went. 

 

I suspect the new words in the agreement are either based on events or are a corporate 'norm' from the new owners - either way doesn't matter too much.

Edited by GeoffK
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Posted (edited)

When I first imagined stock photography, I read everything I could get my hands on. A certain MS agency had footprints everywhere, articles extolling it. 
I joined. Whooeee, I was a stock photographer! When I sold my first photo for a buck or so, I wanted to run down the street and shout it to my neighbors. I had an identity besides “housewife” since we’d moved and I’d given up my job.

I wasn’t on there long before I came to find out stock was about more than selling images for peanuts, and what MS was doing to the industry as a whole. I joined Alamy and settled in to try to be as good as I could be.

 

As much as the microstockers claim MS is a good thing, ultimately, the stock industry is where it is today (the race to the bottom) because of it. Not everyone woke up as I did, or if they did, they didn’t care about the industry as a whole. It was about instant gratification, which feels damned good..  But that’s water under the bridge and we can’t go back to the stock days before microstock ruined it. So if things fall apart (and they are) here at Alamy, nobody can blame any of us who do what we feel necessary to earn something for the images we’ve worked darned hard for for years, to earn something. The damage has already been done, never to be fixed.

So MizBrown, Rebecca, you are so right that a lot of people just want to feel the pride of calling themselves a money-making photographer, even if it’s pennies, who have images that wind up in print. They can casually drop into a conversation that they are a stock photographer and feel elevated.  Whoooeee. Glad I grew up, and kept seeking knowledge.

I’ll continue to watch and see what happens here before making a decision. If I need to end it, so be it. It’s the threat of legal ramifications that will do it. 

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Posted (edited)
On 25/05/2021 at 19:04, Cryptoprocta said:

Emily MD said - "This is not about punishing people, but a business decision based on the value of the 'exclusive' collection. Around 17 million of the 260 million images on Alamy are marked as exclusive to us and we do not see any particular commercial or marketing benefit from this collection, and it varies widely in genre and quality. Our aim is to establish which images are truly exclusive and at the same time unlock infringements revenue, we will then assess the value of this collection to customers. We are aware that this removes the commission incentive for contributors to be exclusive to us and that those who were previously exclusive will see the biggest impact from these changes".

So it's now clear. When Alamy originally tried to introduce the 40% commission rate for all images, they were forced into a reluctant climb-down by contributors and reinstated the 50% commission for exclusive images only. Unfortunately Alamy have, so far, been unable to extract additional revenue from these exclusive images, so it's back to 40% commission. Why not just say that instead of all the waffle? I think it's worth understanding why additional revenue couldn't be made. There would seem to be a number of factors.

  1. There aren't enough images left on Alamy that are exclusive to generate significant revenue (some will have gone as a result of the threat of a 40% commission last time, and I suspect more will go this time).
  2. The quality of the images that are Alamy exclusive isn't significantly higher than those in non-exclusive collection. Indeed, they may be worse. If a contributor has some really desirable images they would probably market them through multiple channels already.
  3. The infringement team identified that Alamy can't rely on the accuracy of the Alamy exclusive declaration by some contributors. Those contributors could be contacted by Alamy. Some may have made genuine mistakes, others perhaps don't care, and others may have struggled with Alamy's convoluted definition of what qualifies as "Exclusive"

I suggest that as a result of 1-3 Alamy never felt able to add an "Alamy exclusive" filter to the search page, and so were unable to access to any possible extra revenue. So "Exclusive" based on the existing "exclusive" image pool is now dead.

 

It's a shame it didn't work. Maybe a curated "Premium" collection of Exclusive (i.e. images that the photographer has never offered for sale anywhere else) and high quality images could command premium prices? But curation on a per image basis is expensive. Perhaps a "curated" collection of premium contributors might work (not just based on >$25,000). I don't have any illusions about being good enough to be included, but I do want to see Alamy try to stay "up market". If they try to compete against the "pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap" Microstock companies I fear they will fail because they aren't "efficient" enough. A major MS competitor generates 10x more gross revenue per image hosted than Alamy does. Payment for images is largely upfront (subscription) or automatic (pay on download) improving cash-flow and reducing admin costs. They share a smaller percentage of this with their contributors (but 10x more sales offsets this) and this gives them a more sustainable business and significant funds to invest/compete if needed.

 

One measure that might help tighten up Alamy's collection and improve efficiency would be to openly declare that image placement in search results will depend, in part, on a contributor's gross annual sales revenue / images in contributor's collection over last 12 months. New contributors would start on an average ranking for 12 months. The idea being to encourage the most cost effective portfolios and contributors.

 

CTR% was also supposed to be a way to encourage this, but I believe that's now fallen into disrepair and Alamy are reluctant to disclose how search ranking works. If Alamy openly declared that a contributor's CTR% is once again a contributory factor in image placement, that would also more actively discourage keyword spamming (as would disabling the discoverability indicator in AIM).

 

These measures would cost Alamy next to nothing, but could encourage better image submissions and a tidying up of existing portfolios.

 

Finally, to improve the customer offering, introduce random QC on keywording for a period and notify contributors where there are problems. This would cost, but would help ensure customers see more of what they are searching for more quickly.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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Always fascinating to read these expositions about what Alamy could and should be doing. 

 

I think that we all need to move on and get a life.

 

 

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