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Contract Change 2021 - Official thread


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2 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

600 agencies if I'm remembering correctly, and around 60,000 individual photographers.  Someone pointed out early in this that Alamy probably has different contracts with some of the agencies.   And only the agencies can set minimum prices if I'm remembering the contract correctly.

 

I wonder how many of Alamy's individual contributors make $25,000 gross a year -- and, that's less than median wage in most industrialized countries before the 50% deduction.

 

Alamy must know how few individual contributors make $25K a year, so it behooves them to explain to us how they came up with this absurdly high threshold and what it is meant to accomplish other that turning their long-time contributors against them. As it is, the whole thing just stinks of intimidation. Stock agencies have gotten too big for their boots IMO.

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51 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

It's all just BS. It used to be that when you submitted images to a stock agency (a.k.a. photo library), it was a 50/50 deal between equal partners. There was no providing "incentives," setting thresholds, etc. All this stuff does is pit us against each other and turn us into drooling Pavlov dogs waiting for our next doggie biscuit. Just help us license our images, keep your 50%, give us our fair share, and everyone will be happy again. 🐶

 

I echo John's sentiments. Many of us turned to stock because we had had enough of all this nonsense in our life and career. 

 

Nobody likes to be taken for granted and treated like cr*p. 

 

I just don't need the money that much to be walked all over by yet another greedy company - especially a company that has spent two decades telling me  how caring and ethical they are. The 'photographer's friend'. LOL

 

I eventually swallowed the 40% for non-exclusive and believed everything I was told about how Alamy would reward me for exclusive images with 50% commission. Not again. 

 

  

Edited by geogphotos
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7 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

I echo John's sentiments. Many of us turned to stock because we had had enough of all this nonsense in our life and career. 

 

Nobody likes to be taken for granted and treated like cr*p. 

 

I just don't need the money that much to be walked all over by yet another greedy company - especially a company that has spent two decades telling me believe how caring and ethical they are. The 'photographer's friend'. LOL

 

I eventually swallowed the 40% for non-exclusive and believed everything I was told about how Alamy would reward me for exclusive images with 50% commission. Not again. 

 

  

 

All this reminds me of those pathetic "employee of the month" photos you see hanging on the walls of some businesses. Keep working your a** off and you too can be a poor schmuck in an ill-fitting suit making minimum wage.

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5 hours ago, Gorilla Dave said:

That's nonsense.  Perhaps they've got another job that pays better than stock photography.

I respect your views,  but, nonsense?  really?   think a bit,  Alamy's sorting the wheat from the chaff,  it'll be a sort of self-cull in a way, and it needs to happen.   

 

A few hundred images of exceptional work is one thing, a few hundred images of roadsigns and trees is just well, ...need i say anymore? 

 

Some of my portfolio needs culling I'll admit, but the good stuff outweighs  the bad.

 

I'm OK , I've got thousands of images with independent exclusive agents that are keeping my head above water, but it's a dying business. 

 

Get real folks,... hate me if you will, but i've been in this game since the days of Kodachrome 64, those who know what that means will know where I'm coming from. 

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12 minutes ago, GaryK said:

I respect your views,  but, nonsense?  really?   think a bit,  Alamy's sorting the wheat from the chaff,  it'll be a sort of self-cull in a way, and it needs to happen.   

 

 

 

is there any proof that this is the impact?  did dropping the commission to 20% stop the "chaff" contributing to the phone app segment of Alamy? 

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26 minutes ago, GaryK said:

I respect your views,  but, nonsense?  really?   think a bit,  Alamy's sorting the wheat from the chaff,  it'll be a sort of self-cull in a way, and it needs to happen.   

 

A few hundred images of exceptional work is one thing, a few hundred images of roadsigns and trees is just well, ...need i say anymore? 

 

Some of my portfolio needs culling I'll admit, but the good stuff outweighs  the bad.

 

I'm OK , I've got thousands of images with independent exclusive agents that are keeping my head above water, but it's a dying business. 

 

Get real folks,... hate me if you will, but i've been in this game since the days of Kodachrome 64, those who know what that means will know where I'm coming from. 

 

Alamy created the mess in the first place with its "open door" policy, so why don't they just tell contributors that they don't want/need more images of road signs, pubs, sheep, the Eiffel Tower, etc. rather than play games -- e.g. setting an unreachable threshold for 50%, establishing arbitrary "tiers," etc.  -- that push us off a cliff? I'd certainly be willing to do some self-culling of redundant images if asked.

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6 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Alamy created the mess in the first place with its "open door" policy, so why don't they just tell contributors that they don't want/need more images of road signs, pubs, sheep, the Eiffel Tower, etc. rather than play games -- e.g. setting an unreachable threshold for 50%, establishing arbitrary "tiers," etc.  -- that push us off a cliff? I'd certainly be willing to do some self-culling of redundant images if asked.

 

I think the individual photographers fill in the gaps in the collections.  And what will fill in those gaps is unpredictable.  We're probably not that expensive to have on the servers, but incur a bit of cost when we sell something, so using the independent photographers to prove that Alamy has everything isn't stupid on their part.  World-wide, the easy photos have been multiply duplicated. 

 

The threshold for 50% is quite reachable for agencies.

 

Thinning the contributors one by one would cost money, too.

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7 hours ago, Gorilla Dave said:

That's nonsense.  Perhaps they've got another job that pays better than stock photography.

 

If you're getting paid in being able to say you also do professional photography, then the cash doesn't need to be as much.

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58 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

is there any proof that this is the impact?  did dropping the commission to 20% stop the "chaff" contributing to the phone app segment of Alamy? 

 

People who want some money to pretend to be "real pros" are going to be happy.  If people will pay to be "published" by Vantage and some of the on-line e-book "publishers" who admit sales of their titles average around seven copies paid for, then don't imagine that people won't happily contribute to Alamy for be "developing a photography career."

 

I was thinking about the playwrights in Elizabethan England.  The only way to make serious money in 1580 and on was to own a significant share in a theater.  Several of Shakespeare's rivals died young and one went back for a medical degree.  There was no copy protection except by obscurity.  Shakespeare had a third share in the Globe and was able to help the College of Heralds (whatever it was) determine that he deserved the coat of arms they'd refused his dad.  People writing for money were up against landed gentry and nobility writing for fun.

 

Some things never change.

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26 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

People who want some money to pretend to be "real pros" are going to be happy.  If people will pay to be "published" by Vantage and some of the on-line e-book "publishers" who admit sales of their titles average around seven copies paid for, then don't imagine that people won't happily contribute to Alamy for be "developing a photography career."

 

 

 

not sure i understand.  How does that prove that reducing commission for some people make them leave?  Doesn't that actually demonstrate the opposite?

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59 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

the College of Heralds (whatever it was)

As you noted, the College of Arms, or Heraldic College, grants coats of arms- the plot of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" turns on James Bond impersonating a heraldic researcher into Blofeld's request for a grant of arms. It's also the British Commonwealth authority on the flying of flags, and does various ceremonial stuff.

Being English, it's really old, and was founded by Richard lll the year before he offered an extremely high price for a horse shortly before he was buried in a car park in Leicester. Before it was a car park obvs.

https://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/about-us

Edited by spacecadet
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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

not sure i understand.  How does that prove that reducing commission for some people make them leave?  Doesn't that actually demonstrate the opposite?

 

Yeah, it proves the opposite.  The individual photographers with small portfolios are cheap to keep and the people who want to be able to claim to be professionals will be happy with 20%.  I also think that Alamy considers most of the individual photographers to be quite easy to replace. 

 

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4 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

Yeah, it proves the opposite.  The individual photographers with small portfolios are cheap to keep and the people who want to be able to claim to be professionals will be happy with 20%.  I also think that Alamy considers most of the individual photographers to be quite easy to replace. 

 

 

 

thanks, i thought i was missing something.   To me the 20% is probably worse scenario because it will make  some competent non full-time leave, and keep the throw images everywhere hope someone licenses in. 

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39 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

As you noted, the College of Arms, or Heraldic College, grants coats of arms- the plot of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" turns on James Bond impersonating a heraldic researcher into Blofeld's request for a grant of arms. It's also the British Commonwealth authority on the flying of flags, and does various ceremonial stuff.

Being English, it's really old, and was founded by Richard lll the year before he offered an extremely high price for a horse shortly before he was buried in a car park in Leicester. Before it was a car park obvs.

https://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/about-us

So Shakespeare probably greased some palms or had a friend who could get things done, and was able to wear silk when he wasn't on stage (bet at least some of his actors teased him about that), and retired as a gentleman.   Helped to be an owner, not one of the hirelings competing with rich amateurs.   

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

thanks, i thought i was missing something.   To me the 20% is probably worse scenario because it will make  some competent non full-time leave, and keep the throw images everywhere hope someone licenses in. 

 

 

What they count on is more and more people giving it a try.  Some of them will be good stock photographers and most of them will forget they have collections up on Alamy. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

explain to us how they came up with this absurdly high threshold

You decide you want to take 20% more money from 98% of contributors while leaving 2% untouched to make it look less like a total cash grab. You look at the Gaussian distribution of earnings and see where that cut off falls.

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1 hour ago, Colin Woods said:

You decide you want to take 20% more money from 98% of contributors while leaving 2% untouched to make it look less like a total cash grab. You look at the Gaussian distribution of earnings and see where that cut off falls.

Or you just pull a crazy number out of your hat. 

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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

Or you just pull a crazy number out of your hat. 

I think its more finely calculated than that. Its low enough to appear attainable so as to not put people off but high enough to ensure that very few people will actually get to it. This is big business and big business doesn't make decisions randomly.

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7 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

is there any proof that this is the impact?  did dropping the commission to 20% stop the "chaff" contributing to the phone app segment of Alamy? 

 

Nope.

 

And at least there they gave old time Alamy contributors their then 50% split and newbies got 20%. Not the other way around (20/40)

 

I remember the days when we needed $250 net and cleared just to reach payout. Despite lower prices, I'd hope most contributors could reach $250 gross in a year, but giving new contributors a higher share of royalties than old ones doesn't jive with the idea of "getting rid of the chaff" and only serves to further anger current contributors who they've already upset with the other contract changes. 

 

It seems more like a ploy to attract new contributors with a promise of higher commissions than at the micros and a carrot to the many unemployed folks with a camera who need some extra cash. It is just further proof that a larger and larger library is more important to all these agencies than a library with the best or most interesting/diverse images. And if they can pay less and less to contributors for the images they license, all the better.  Achieving Gold at $250 will keep people uploading until they realize how much more it will take to reach Platinum. 

 

Re: Copyright Infringements Clause:

Hoping the clause regarding collecting on infringements gets straightened out. I have various editorial images exclusively with Alamy but some are in use elsewhere via direct licenses to my assignment clients or licensed via my personal site. Like many have said, we don't want our clients bothered when Alamy can simply ask us and save their contractors the time, effort and cost of chasing down a losing infringement case. 

Edited by Marianne
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13 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

is there any proof that this is the impact?  did dropping the commission to 20% stop the "chaff" contributing to the phone app segment of Alamy? 

 

I very much suspect that the 20% has nothing to do with getting rid of the 'chaff'. I would expect the owners of vast majority of portfolios not reaching $250 (or the $50 payout threshold frequently) have long since walked away. Disappointed by not achieving the wealth, or even the modert income, they were led to expect many contributors will have walked away after their first (few) siubmissions. Consider the occasional visit to these forums by prople complaining they have been with Alamy for x months and have xx images and have not made a single sale. Also, Alamy is probably sitting on a good chunk of cash from accounts that have not reached payment threshold or erven have become completely orphaned with no bank account or other details; not making much from it with the current low interest rates though.

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35 minutes ago, Martin P Wilson said:

 

I very much suspect that the 20% has nothing to do with getting rid of the 'chaff'. I would expect the owners of vast majority of portfolios not reaching $250 (or the $50 payout threshold frequently) have long since walked away. Disappointed by not achieving the wealth, or even the modert income, they were led to expect many contributors will have walked away after their first (few) siubmissions. Consider the occasional visit to these forums by prople complaining they have been with Alamy for x months and have xx images and have not made a single sale. Also, Alamy is probably sitting on a good chunk of cash from accounts that have not reached payment threshold or erven have become completely orphaned with no bank account or other details; not making much from it with the current low interest rates though.

 

I suspect that a pot of money doesn't exist. It will be like the pension system, The current workers (sales) pay for the retired (payouts).

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"Also, Alamy is probably sitting on a good chunk of cash from accounts that have not reached payment threshold or erven have become completely orphaned with no bank account or other details; not making much from it with the current low interest rates though."

 

Indeed. And now giving these contributors just 20%, it'll be come even more likely that they'll file a few hundred, not see returns, give up filing, leave the account dormant, not reach payment threshold and thereby increase the chunk of cash sitting around. Hmm.

Edited by imageplotter
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42 minutes ago, sb photos said:

I just noted an article in the Oxford Mail on-line listing food from supermarkets that has been withdrawn due to incorrectly labelling contents that may cause allergies, and that may contain glass, metal, plastic and a hepatitis risk.  A stock photo of a supermarket basket illustrates the article, captioned 'Aldi, Asda and Tesco urgently recall food items and issue health warnings. (PA)'. If Alamy had licensed such an image from an Alamy contributor for a similar article, and companies recognised their products in the basket and didn't request a  correction that their products weren't affected and it went legal, under the currently proposed new contract, we would be financially responsible for all costs. This example is likely just one of many potential horrendous implications. The sooner conflicting reports from Alamy are resolved and we know exactly where we stand the better.

None of the recalled products is in that image. I don't think that's a matter of luck.

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