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9 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

I hope they are having a redraft of Clause 4.1.6.  where the contributor warrants that:

4.1.6 any use or exploitation of the Content by Alamy, a Customer or a Distributor will not be, or be deemed to be indecent, obscene, defamatory, insulting, racist, offensive, indecent, vulgar or violate publicity rights anywhere in the world.

 

This one appears to have been forgotten in the concern about 5.1. Reading it literally it is asking the contributor to warrant something that nobody could possibly warrant. I have had the attitude that they cannot possibly mean it,  that somebody has made a mistake (there is a typo - indecent occurs twice) and that it will be corrected. While it may not be intended, in its current form It would be extremely alarming if left in.

From Ms Shelley:

"Regarding 4.1.6, this change is to alter the wording that said 'UK, USA and elsewhere' to 'anywhere in the world'. Although this doesn't alter the legal meaning, it has caused confusion and concern and we are reviewing it internally to see if it needs redrafting to address this. Customers do pick up the liability for ensuring the images are fit for purpose in their country. "

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Posted (edited)
On 21/05/2021 at 16:53, Alamy said:

Can you explain the changes to 4.1.5 and 4.1.6. Isn’t the contract now very one-sided?

4.1.6 – By submitting content to Alamy you agree that you will not use the system to upload content that could be considered as threatening, insulting, racist, offensive, vulgar and/or indecent. Clause 4.1.6 details that, as a result of the submission of the content, any use of the content by Alamy, its customers or distributors will therefore not be considered threatening, insulting, racist, offensive, vulgar and/or indecent. In simple terms, you have to decide that it isn’t offensive, but also a wider audience, including Alamy and its customers and distributors, will also need to consider that it isn’t offensive.

 

Alamy tells the licensors of its Content that they should not use the Content in such a way that it could be considered defamatory, racist, etc. to take into account where local customs might be different.

 

In terms of the contract reference to ‘anywhere in the world’, this used to say ‘the UK, USA and elsewhere’. The change has the same meaning but is designed to be clearer.

 

 

Just as a reminder the above was what Alamy said in their May21st post answering questions from contributors - my bold. It would be simply impossible to make such an assertion.  As a realistic example, a picture of two gay men kissing could be considered very offensive in some parts of the world (even in the UK - think Northern Ireland).

Edited by MDM
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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

From Ms Shelley:

"Regarding 4.1.6, this change is to alter the wording that said 'UK, USA and elsewhere' to 'anywhere in the world'. Although this doesn't alter the legal meaning, it has caused confusion and concern and we are reviewing it internally to see if it needs redrafting to address this. Customers do pick up the liability for ensuring the images are fit for purpose in their country. "

 

Thanks for that. I probably saw it before but I have ducked out of this thread for a while now as it was getting a little repetitive. The way 4.1.6 is phrased it is the contributor who is liable. That is truly ridiculous.

Edited by MDM
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The contract the dashboard points to has now reverted to the original 5.1. Yet no hints yet as to what else is staying or changing.

 

No updates on the pinned comment at the top of the thread, yet.

 

Ho hum.

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2 hours ago, wilkopix said:

f you read through Alamy's 'wants' list a lot of that can't be photographed on the hoof. It all comes at a quite a cost to the photographer. The 40-20% commission makes it impossible to recoup enough to warrant the effort and certainly not exclusively.

 

Some of what's on the wants list are things that only biological researchers would be able to get (rare Vietnamese ungulate, certain deep sea fish).   In some cases, Alamy's photo staff is trying to fill out what Alamy has to offer and there is nobody currently looking for a blob fish or a 18th Century sextant (or whatever).  Others are from people wanting cheap what would cost them quite a lot to have a photographer find and photograph.  Ask the British Museum if they have it and how much they'd charge for a photographer to come and photograph it.   Or see what National Geographic is charging for reprint rights. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

But you do not know this (except if you have a copy of Alamy's agreement with this specific distributor).

 Alamy has been using a standard 40% charge to us for distributor's portion of commission, Regardless of what their agreement with the distributor was. We have no idea what each individual agreement was in first place.  I wonder if there is a line in their results that shows if this was a fair average, a money maker or a loss leader?

 

 

As of July 1, Alamy is changing the rules, and from now on the distributor's specific commission will be charged back to us, and I have been speculating, since this is what Alamy has forced us to do with their silence, will possibly not be transparent- we will only be revealed what Alamy got, ie Net of Distributor's cut, as this is the way the contract now reads.

 

Okay, thanks. We'll see, or not as you say.

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Thanks for the update and the new 45-day period.

 

Would you consider allowing those who have sent in termination emails based on the original new contract to rescind those terminations? Or allowing those who have sent in terminations effective June 30 to make them effective at the end of the new 45-day period?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bill Kuta said:

Thanks for the update and the new 45-day period.

 

Would you consider allowing those who have sent in termination emails based on the original new contract to rescind those terminations? Or allowing those who have sent in terminations effective June 30 to make them effective at the end of the new 45-day period?

 

My resignation is still based on other things -- like seeing a released photo go for $1.00 and some change and the promise to lower the payout for those of us with sales under $250 a year.   I think anyone who has fewer than 1,000 photos needs to figure out how to change that to closer to 3,000 photos.   At least two different people have resigned and come back.   Some of it's me -- if I can't make $200 a month here fairly regularly, I'd be better doing something else, including moving back to the US (which my government has been encouraging so vigorously that it is allowing people to return to the US on expired passports if they're less than ten years expired for adults and less than five for children).   

 

I think it helps to think about what people want out of being a stock photographer and what time frame or what size portfolio it will take to get there.   I don't find wishful thinking to be pain free. 

 

This is everyone's individual decision.   Figure out what works for you.   If Alamy increases sales, those who have decent sized varied portfolios may make up in volume what they lose in the amounts individual photos earn, but this depends on whether Alamy gross per sale is $$ to $$$ or if the sales average $. 

 

For me,  attempting to motivate me by halving my potential income if I didn't sell more was more reason to resign for me than some of the other issues.  Depending on how things work out for those who stay (I'll probably keep an eye on the Forum even after I can't post to it), I may reapply when I have more than 1,000 new photos.  Or not.  Depends on my knee, what happens in Nicaragua, and whether or not the US raises Social Security payments to bring everyone up to the US poverty level. 

Edited by MizBrown
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Posted (edited)

Alamy Exclusive should be better promoted and marketed. Those are the photos attract would-be buyers to Alamy. Without them, Alamy is just another stock agency, has to compete against micros with the same collection, which I doubt you'll ever win in price. Cutting the Exclusive commission, stopping the flow of Exclusive makes absolutely no sense. 

Edited by Gabbro
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8 hours ago, Martin P Wilson said:

The indemnification clauses may be better but it will make no difference to my decision after the journey of the last few years and especially the last few weeks. I am pleased for those that have made a substantial time and finance commitment to Alamy and will be able continue some income. The steady degradation of the offer to the contributor over the last few years means my confidence and trust in Alamy is no longer what it once was; especially now it is owned and managed by many of its major customers, the conflict of interest is the end.

 

Fort me it is time to move on, I think, I have some ideas and plans are forming. It was good while it lasted but I do not need and am not inclined to chase the miniscule returns. After almost 20 years it would have been easy to just give it another year, or two. It is time to go, in reality I should have taken the decision when I started my sabbatical several years ago. After all I could see the imminent end of the generic stock industry as a viable income five years ago. It's a shame but I do not see it ever recovering, its time has passed.

 

All the best everyone. I may dip in and out occasionally over the rest of June but my efforts will be going elsewhere. I am not  happy to lose contact with online friends but it is time to move on.  Hopefully some of us who are leaving will stay in touch. My termination notice will be submitted in the next few days.

 

All the best

 

Martin

Good luck Martin, I'm sure plenty will follow

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25 minutes ago, Gabbro said:

Alamy Exclusive should be better promoted and marketed. Those are the photos attract would-be buyers to Alamy. Without them, Alamy is just another stock agency, has to compete against micros with the same collection, which I doubt you'll ever win in price. Cutting the Exclusive commission, stopping the flow of Exclusive makes absolutely no sense. 

 

The problem is that you can't really promote exclusive images to clients with any degree of confidence when declaring "exclusivity" is based on an honour system -- rather than a contract -- that can be easily abused by contributors.

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53 minutes ago, Gabbro said:

Alamy Exclusive should be better promoted and marketed. Those are the photos attract would-be buyers to Alamy. Without them, Alamy is just another stock agency, has to compete against micros with the same collection, which I doubt you'll ever win in price. Cutting the Exclusive commission, stopping the flow of Exclusive makes absolutely no sense. 

 

agreed.  Even if this means redefining Exclusive- always found odd that a street shot one second apart from another fits the definition. 

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22 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

The problem is that you can't really promote exclusive images to clients with any degree of confidence when declaring "exclusivity" is based on an honour system -- rather than a contract -- that can be easily abused by contributors.

 

I'm not convinced that there's a significant amount of cheating. The anecdotal "evidence" Alamy offered was that a significant minority of exclusive contributors refused to allow the company to chase infringements without checking with them first. The thing is, Alamy has been clear about the fact that you can license your images directly and still be 'exclusive' to Alamy as long as the images are not available through any other agency. Just because I do not want Alamy potentially hassling my direct customers is not a sign that I am cheating.

 

The images that I have on Alamy have never been available through any other agency. Over the years here, I have had one exclusive sale on Alamy. A customer wanted to ensure that nobody else could use the same image on the cover of a trade book. I have control over my library and I was able to guarantee that exclusivity within an hour of that request coming in to Alamy. In this case, exclusivity had substantial value.

 

To protect the part of my photography business that continues to grow, I do want to ensure that Alamy is not scaring customers I have nurtured. I don't understand how that request is a sign of cheating, nor do I understand how that position is unreasonable.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

The problem is that you can't really promote exclusive images to clients with any degree of confidence when declaring "exclusivity" is based on an honour system -- rather than a contract -- that can be easily abused by contributors.

That's the excuse Alamy used to cut Exclusive commission. Out of 17 million exclusive pictures, I don't know how many belong to the "abused" category. But I believe overwhelming majority of contributors are honest and abide to the rules. For those who don't, find a way to fix the problem instead of scraping the whole system. Just my 8 cents, that's the net of my last sale. 🙄

Edited by Gabbro
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21 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

The problem is that you can't really promote exclusive images to clients with any degree of confidence when declaring "exclusivity" is based on an honour system -- rather than a contract -- that can be easily abused by contributors.

 

The contract is quite explicit on this though. It is the contributor's responsibility to accurately declare exclusivity and indemnify Alamy should they pursue infringements or presumably license images as exclusive when they are not. I don't think it will be an honour system if Alamy chase a potential infringement that turns out to be false assertion by a contributor and that is fair enough. The big difference coming is that they can chase infringements without consulting the contributor.  

 

I might be wrong but I think a major, if not the major, driver in relation to exclusivity is the chasing of infringements which is also behind Alamy's attempt to tighten up the contract, particularly in relation to any assertions made by contributors. If selling images as exclusive was the main driver, then I would expect they would be really promoting the exclusive images whereas that does not appear to be the case. Really exclusive collections of images in the broader meaning of exclusive (only available here and of excellent quality) might be promoted as such but that does not work easily here simply because of the Alamy model of not checking content.

 

I wonder how the automatic infringement chasing will work in the longer term if there is no incentive to mark images as exclusive. I guess there will be enough from the current 17 million to keep them busy for a while.

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10 minutes ago, SeaKevin said:

 

I'm not convinced that there's a significant amount of cheating. The anecdotal "evidence" Alamy offered was that a significant minority of exclusive contributors refused to allow the company to chase infringements without checking with them first. The thing is, Alamy has been clear about the fact that you can license your images directly and still be 'exclusive' to Alamy as long as the images are not available through any other agency. Just because I do not want Alamy potentially hassling my direct customers is not a sign that I am cheating.

 

 

 

A possible simple solution to this would be add a new field or two to the database where you declare that you have licensed the image yourself. They could just check that before chasing any infringements and contacting personal clients. Am I missing something?

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Just now, MDM said:

 

A possible simple solution to this would be add a new field or two to the database where you declare that you have licensed the image yourself. They could just check that before chasing any infringements and contacting personal clients. Am I missing something?

 

yourself, or elsewhere.  exclusive was defined as punctual, not historical. 

 

but yes i agree.   

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3 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

yourself, or elsewhere.  exclusive was defined as punctual, not historical. 

 

but yes i agree.   

 

Yes, a clickable "this image has licensed elsewhere" button in AIM sounds like an interesting idea.

 

By "punctual" do you mean "recent"?

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

A possible simple solution to this would be add a new field or two to the database where you declare that you have licensed the image yourself. They could just check that before chasing any infringements and contacting personal clients. Am I missing something?

 

To be honest, I wouldn't find it worth my time to update every sale here. Every year, Alamy becomes a smaller and smaller source of income, but it requires more and more of my labor.

 

What I'm missing is understanding what was wrong with the old infringement system. You'd get an automated email that described a potential infringement and you would reply CHASE if it was OK for Alamy to pursue. Why is that too onerous for Alamy?

 

 

Edited by SeaKevin
typo
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4 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Yes, a clickable "this image has licensed elsewhere" button in AIM sounds like an interesting idea.

 

By "punctual" do you mean "recent"?

 

 

 

it was defined as not being offered at time I declared it exclusive.  So as soon as it was no longer for sale at any other Agency i was told i could mark it as Exclusive. 

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Why is everyone talking about getting paid a commission? You get paid a royalty, the agency takes the commission. Think about it, you get 12% royalty and the agencies take 88% commission. 

 

A royalty is an amount paid by a third party to an owner of a product or patent for the use of that product or patent. 

 

Commission is an amount earned in exchange for transacting a sale of a product or providing a service.

 

Stop saying you get a commission, it is factually incorrect.

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4 hours ago, SeaKevin said:

 

To be honest, I wouldn't find it worth my time to update every sale here. Every year, Alamy becomes a smaller and smaller source of income, but it requires more and more of my labor.

 

What I'm missing is understanding what was wrong with the old infringement system. You'd get an automated email that described a potential infringement and you would reply CHASE if it was OK for Alamy to pursue. Why is that too onerous for Alamy?

 

 

Exactly.  I have about 32,000 images with Alamy.  I started selling stock through other agencies around 2000.  I did not terminate my relationships with all other agencies, withdrawing all images, until 2019, in order to preserve my 50% commission from Alamy.  Many licenses issued in and before 2019 are still valid and will be for years.  I can't review all my images in the Alamy collection so as to check some as "previously licensed."  But if Alamy would ask me before pursuing a supposed infringement, in many cases I can tell them quickly if the image has been previously licensed.  If I am in doubt because the records are old and hard to find then I would simply say "No, do not pursue that one."  If Alamy doesn't agree to ask me first then I will have to designate all of my images as non-exclusive and I will begin the search for other outlets for them, in addition to Alamy--if I decide to stay.

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