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I'm currently sifting through my images (for the umpteenth time) in AIM, and I'm discovering quite a number where I was unsure about whether or not they contained property. For instance, I have a lot of images of handicrafts (mainly in Latin America) taken in markets, etc. Handicrafts, especially traditional ones, are not copyrighted as far as I know, but would they still be considered "property" for Alamy's purposes? Should they be marked as such?

 

What, me confused? ūü•ī

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The way that new contract is written it either is somebody or belongs to somebody. Mark accordingly or rue the day you didn't ! ūüėČ

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2 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

What, me confused?

Well I don't have the definitive answer, but logically I would have thought that since the default is that there is no Property Release, and that will be displayed to the potential buyer clearly below the image, then that should go a long way towards protecting you. Don't forget that there is no mention below the image as to whether there is Property (or Models come to that) in your image, just that there are no releases, and then a link directs the buyer to this page:

 

https://www.alamy.com/help/what-is-model-release-property-release.aspx

 

I suppose it then also comes down to the distinction between an image that is stated as having no model or property releases and one to which you have given the extra protection of "Sell for Editorial only" which gives the added stipulation of:

 

Don't sell for advertising and promotion

Don't sell for consumer goods

 

As far as I know Alamy haven't given any practical or authoritative help on how and when to use (or when not to use) that 'Sell for Editorial Only'  check-box despite it coming up on the forum many times. If you do use it then your image will have a blue banner with the text 'Available for editorial use only'. Get in touch for any commercial  or personal uses .'

 

I was looking for an example amongst my own images of one marked for "Sell for Editorial only" and came upon this one. Now as it happens it's taken from a public place and I don't think anyone is identifiable anyway so I was being over-cautious I think. Also I think it's beholden on the buyer to know that they shouldn't use it to sell Champagne or River Cruises because it has no releases.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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i might ask the reverse question,  What images would you indicate "has No property" ?

 

i have only 10% of my portfolio identified as such,  mostly nature.  if there is physical goods i never note the No. Some were left blank, so Yes property figure out your own risk.

 

as for "editorial only", art work and in line with Alamy position to automatically but "editorial only " on image through news feed, most traditional stock news image, including performances. 

 

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11 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I'm currently sifting through my images (for the umpteenth time) in AIM, and I'm discovering quite a number where I was unsure about whether or not they contained property. For instance, I have a lot of images of handicrafts (mainly in Latin America) taken in markets, etc. Handicrafts, especially traditional ones, are not copyrighted as far as I know, but would they still be considered "property" for Alamy's purposes? Should they be marked as such?

 

What, me confused? ūü•ī

 

I mark these as property as they're for sale, owned by the vendor and the design can be property of the culture that created it (some lawsuits over fashion designers nicking indigenous clothing styles and ending up in court over it). 

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The problem with crafts is copyright. You can own a work of art/craft object (property), but not own the copyright to the property.

 

Here is an article about a book publisher who became embroiled in such a lawsuite. The publisher took the risk and defended the lawsuite. When the average stock sale was $350 with 50-60% to the photographer I would take the small risk to the photographer. However for a $2 sale with 60 cents to me I will not even sit on the sidelines of a mess like this.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/judge-rules-against-key-porter-over-artists-work/article1120353/

 

Here is the cover of the book.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Catchers-History-Julie-Black/dp/1552094391

 

There is a former Canadian stock photographer from the 1990s that now runs a high volume craft studio out of Merida Mexico. He designs the original craft/art object and then has a team of craft people turn out the objects by hand. He supplies authentic crafts all over Mexico to those ladies you see selling crafts in the marketplace. You can bet he knows the law when it comes to stock photography.

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 Thanks for the helpful replies. Checking out a certain big microstock site, I notice that Mexican handicraft images (of which I have a lot) are not marked as "editorial" -- i.e. they are available for commercial use. However, at another very biG agency, they are offered for standard editorial use with a note that buyers can contact the agency for commercial and promotional uses. I'm getting the idea from the answers to my initial question that I should take the most conservative approach on Alamy and mark handicraft images as both containing property and available for editorial use only. I've already done this with some but not all.

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12 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Well I don't have the definitive answer, but logically I would have thought that since the default is that there is no Property Release, and that will be displayed to the potential buyer clearly below the image, then that should go a long way towards protecting you. Don't forget that there is no mention below the image as to whether there is Property (or Models come to that) in your image, just that there are no releases, and then a link directs the buyer to this page:

 

https://www.alamy.com/help/what-is-model-release-property-release.aspx

 

I suppose it then also comes down to the distinction between an image that is stated as having no model or property releases and one to which you have given the extra protection of "Sell for Editorial only" which gives the added stipulation of:

 

Don't sell for advertising and promotion

Don't sell for consumer goods

 

As far as I know Alamy haven't given any practical or authoritative help on how and when to use (or when not to use) that 'Sell for Editorial Only'  check-box despite it coming up on the forum many times. If you do use it then your image will have a blue banner with the text 'Available for editorial use only'. Get in touch for any commercial  or personal uses .'

 

I was looking for an example amongst my own images of one marked for "Sell for Editorial only" and came upon this one. Now as it happens it's taken from a public place and I don't think anyone is identifiable anyway so I was being over-cautious I think. Also I think it's beholden on the buyer to know that they shouldn't use it to sell Champagne or River Cruises because it has no releases.

 

 

 

 

 

That "practical or authoritative help" from Alamy about when to check the "editorial only" box would be very helpful (hint, hint). ūüėĀ

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41 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

The problem with crafts is copyright. You can own a work of art/craft object (property), but not own the copyright to the property.

 

Here is an article about a book publisher who became embroiled in such a lawsuite. The publisher took the risk and defended the lawsuite. When the average stock sale was $350 with 50-60% to the photographer I would take the small risk to the photographer. However for a $2 sale with 60 cents to me I will not even sit on the sidelines of a mess like this.

 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/judge-rules-against-key-porter-over-artists-work/article1120353/

 

Here is the cover of the book.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Catchers-History-Julie-Black/dp/1552094391

 

There is a former Canadian stock photographer from the 1990s that now runs a high volume craft studio out of Merida Mexico. He designs the original craft/art object and then has a team of craft people turn out the objects by hand. He supplies authentic crafts all over Mexico to those ladies you see selling crafts in the marketplace. You can bet he knows the law when it comes to stock photography.

 

Interesting. I've spent quite a bit of time in Merida and have a number of crafts images taken there. It's a big handicrafts "manufacturing" centre for sure. Lots of enterprising Canucks and Americans living there as well. Unfortunately, I don't subscribe to the Globe, so they won't let me read the article. I mark Canadian First Nation crafts as being property. I had better go back and check the 'editorial only' box as well. Now, what to do about totem poles -- old ones, new ones, there are so many kinds...ūüė¨

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3 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

I mark these as property as they're for sale, owned by the vendor and the design can be property of the culture that created it (some lawsuits over fashion designers nicking indigenous clothing styles and ending up in court over it). 

 

Do you check the "for editorial use only" box as well?

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31 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 Thanks for the helpful replies. Checking out a certain big microstock site, I notice that Mexican handicraft images (of which I have a lot) are not marked as "editorial" -- i.e. they are available for commercial use. However, at another very biG agency, they are offered for standard editorial use with a note that buyers can contact the agency for commercial and promotional uses. I'm getting the idea from the answers to my initial question that I should take the most conservative approach on Alamy and mark handicraft images as both containing property and available for editorial use only. I've already done this with some but not all.

 

 

i wouldn't take what they review process at all big microstock agencies as a gospel reference, yes the err on side of caution on many things, but you also get stories of infringements going through, when i was uploading I had images that were approved for commercial usage that I would worry now that i know better.  

 

also one is famous for hosting plenty of obviously misappropriated images, some actually hilarious, bringing to question the automated review process

 

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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

i wouldn't take what they review process at all big microstock agencies as a gospel reference, yes the err on side of caution on many things, but you also get stories of infringements going through, when i was uploading I had images that were approved for commercial usage that I would worry now that i know better.  

 

also one is famous for hosting plenty of obviously misappropriated images, some actually hilarious, bringing to question the automated review process

 

 

For sure, automated review of anything is highly suspect. Checking various agencies -- macro and micro -- is an interesting (and confusing) exercise, though. Using Mexican handicrafts images as an example again, most agencies I've looked at don't seem to have any issues with offering both the tacky mass-produced tourism junk and beautifully made traditional crafts (i.e. the real thing) as commercial RF. The biG agency is something of an exception, it seems, as they stick with editorial licensing for these types of images. Hate to say it, but they are probably doing the right thing by the sounds of it.

 

UPDATE: Whoops! I'm wrong about the biG agency. I just noticed that if you click on the "creative" tab in the search results, plenty of RF commercial images of handicrafts (and of just about everything else) come up. The "editorial" tab is selected by default, so all my searches there have been in vain. More confused than ever now... ūüôĀ

 

 

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49 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

For sure, automated review of anything is highly suspect. Checking various agencies -- macro and micro -- is an interesting (and confusing) exercise, though. Using Mexican handicrafts images as an example again, most agencies I've looked at don't seem to have any issues with offering both the tacky mass-produced tourism junk and beautifully made traditional crafts (i.e. the real thing) as commercial RF. The biG agency is something of an exception, it seems, as they stick with editorial licensing for these types of images. Hate to say it, but they are probably doing the right thing by the sounds of it.

 

in fairness they can do what they want, since they all put the onus on the contributor that they had the right to upload image.  In fact the heavy review process gives a false sense of security, saw quite a few Microstockers who were shocked when they saw the lawyer letter arrive- though the cases i remember where all editorials where people think they can upload anything as long as it goes through. 

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1 minute ago, meanderingemu said:

 

in fairness they can do what they want, since they all put the onus on the contributor that they had the right to upload image.  In fact the heavy review process gives a false sense of security, saw quite a few Microstockers who were shocked when they saw the lawyer letter arrive- though the cases i remember where all editorials where people think they can upload anything as long as it goes through. 

 

See my corrected post re G above. Thankfully, I closed all my MS accounts (I opened them mainly for video clips). Caveat emptor seems to be the phrase of the day, wherever you upload.

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4 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Do you check the "for editorial use only" box as well?

 

Yep, no releases, editorial only (belt and suspenders).   One of the realities of our time is that some traditional artists and cultures can find lawyers and appropriations very easily these days.   For me, all this goes away July 1st. 

 

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

 

Yep, no releases, editorial only (belt and suspenders).   One of the realities of our time is that some traditional artists and cultures can find lawyers and appropriations very easily these days.   For me, all this goes away July 1st. 

 

 

Thanks for the reply. I've been checking the editorial only box for higher quality crafts and folk art, etc. Guess I should be doing it for all handicrafts, even the souvenir variety.

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5 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

Yep, no releases, editorial only (belt and suspenders).   One of the realities of our time is that some traditional artists and cultures can find lawyers and appropriations very easily these days.   For me, all this goes away July 1st. 

 

 

Same here, when I started with Alamy in 2017 all I shot was live news, and it was news not stock passed off as news. Obviously no releases, so all uploaded images were marked as editorial. I could never envisage an Alamy client wanting to use an image of mine for marketing/commercial so no loss. Over the years I have shot some very interesting graffiti, but never uploaded to Alamy, even more so when it was signed. I have one such image framed in my office. Was shot in London after a contributor Meetup.

 

Hoping all goes well for you when you leave Alamy. You live in a very interesting country.

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12 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

That "practical or authoritative help" from Alamy about when to check the "editorial only" box would be very helpful (hint, hint).

Well, I didn't want to sound like a stuck record but I do wonder if part of this new website that we're going to be helping to pay for by donating 20% - 60% of our commissions might include some better information, let's hope so.

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13 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

Unfortunately, I don't subscribe to the Globe, so they won't let me read the article.

I was able to read that Globe article though the second time I tried I was blocked by the paywall, you could try opening it again from a different browser perhaps. I hope I was paying enough attention on that single read through because with all due respect to Bill Brooks I didn't think it was entirely relevant to your dilemma. This was a case of a direct agreement between an artist/creator/copyright holder and a publisher. The artist provided original artworks to be included in a book project but the publisher's side of the bargain wasn't honoured and the artist's requests for compensation went unanswered so it went to court and the judge found in the artist's favour. That's my recollection anyway Your Honour.

 

It's a salutary tale but in terms of stock photography it would perhaps be more applicable to you making out to have releases for the work of art when you didn't. You can see the photo on the cover, it seems to be a close-up studio shot, certainly not part of a general scene shown in context, I imagine you wouldn't be thinking of uploading an image like that to Alamy anyway, I wouldn't.

 

Could you upload a picture of a market stall showing a variety of such wares? Surely you could provided you clearly stated that you had no releases? Would you even need to say that there is property in the picture provided you clearly state that there are no releases (which is the default). My feeling is that the business of counting how many models or stating that there is  'property'  only really becomes relevant if you have releases so that you can marry the number of releases with the number of instances. Of course I'm thinking in terms of RM, RF is a different ball-game altogether I'm sure, and I'm in the UK, that might make a difference also.

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5 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

I was able to read that Globe article though the second time I tried I was blocked by the paywall, you could try opening it again from a different browser perhaps. 

 

If the article appears briefly before the paywall window is displayed, then revisit the site, and as soon as the article is in view, make a screenshot pronto, before the paywall window pops up !

Then paste the screenshot into a blank document, and then you can read at one's leisure ūüėĀ

(Although you can't scroll down if a long article. But you can get the gist of it).

 

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8 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

I was able to read that Globe article though the second time I tried I was blocked by the paywall, you could try opening it again from a different browser perhaps. I hope I was paying enough attention on that single read through because with all due respect to Bill Brooks I didn't think it was entirely relevant to your dilemma. This was a case of a direct agreement between an artist/creator/copyright holder and a publisher. The artist provided original artworks to be included in a book project but the publisher's side of the bargain wasn't honoured and the artist's requests for compensation went unanswered so it went to court and the judge found in the artist's favour. That's my recollection anyway Your Honour.

 

It's a salutary tale but in terms of stock photography it would perhaps be more applicable to you making out to have releases for the work of art when you didn't. You can see the photo on the cover, it seems to be a close-up studio shot, certainly not part of a general scene shown in context, I imagine you wouldn't be thinking of uploading an image like that to Alamy anyway, I wouldn't.

 

Could you upload a picture of a market stall showing a variety of such wares? Surely you could provided you clearly stated that you had no releases? Would you even need to say that there is property in the picture provided you clearly state that there are no releases (which is the default). My feeling is that the business of counting how many models or stating that there is  'property'  only really becomes relevant if you have releases so that you can marry the number of releases with the number of instances. Of course I'm thinking in terms of RM, RF is a different ball-game altogether I'm sure, and I'm in the UK, that might make a difference also.

 

Can't say I'm overly concerned. Most of my handicrafts images are of the market-stall variety. Contemporary folk art is another story, though. I make sure to check the "editorial only" box for those images. I make very few non-editorial sales anyway.

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8 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

Well, I didn't want to sound like a stuck record but I do wonder if part of this new website that we're going to be helping to pay for by donating 20% - 60% of our commissions might include some better information, let's hope so.

 

OK, I'll start holding my breath now. ūü§Ę

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I am starting to wonder what is the real negative impact of marking most borderline stuff as "Editorial Only".  I added a bunch a few weeks ago, and like clockwork I get an e-mail yesterday requesting to waive from Account Rep, who writes that she feels with steps taken by client to clone brand it is appropriate, so i agree conditionally "Based on her expert opinion".  

Nowhere did i mislead, and then they would have to argue they are not experts in court. 

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17 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

I am starting to wonder what is the real negative impact of marking most borderline stuff as "Editorial Only".  I added a bunch a few weeks ago, and like clockwork I get an e-mail yesterday requesting to waive from Account Rep, who writes that she feels with steps taken by client to clone brand it is appropriate, so i agree conditionally "Based on her expert opinion".  

Nowhere did i mislead, and then they would have to argue they are not experts in court. 

 

I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of this. I'm trying to be as selective as possible when checking the "editorial only" box, but it's often a tough call, especially when you see what is available for commercial use on other websites.

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On 13/06/2021 at 20:58, John Mitchell said:

UPDATE: Whoops! I'm wrong about the biG agency. I just noticed that if you click on the "creative" tab in the search results, plenty of RF commercial images of handicrafts (and of just about everything else) come up. The "editorial" tab is selected by default, so all my searches there have been in vain. More confused than ever now... ūüôĀ

How do you know these don't have releases?

Their contributers often go to great lengths to get releases, even when it might seem nigh-on impossible*.

I once had a file rejected there as a possible IP concern. The reviewer happened to highlight the extremely tiny area of concern, which doesn't always happen.

I easily cloned out the mark, but out of curiosity went back to the site and found there was a red mark/rough splodge, which could conceivably have been a logo or bit of artwork, but was where something had been stuck onto a grey-painted object, and pulled off revealing the red paint below.

 

*I've posted this before, but clearly I'm going about it the wrong way. I've emailled various people/entities asking for releases and usually don't get replies. One said "under no circumstances" would they permit a release on the interior of the building, as they wanted to control how such images are used, wanting to maintain a high-class perception. As there were several hundred of these on Alamy then (2011), I emailled OldAlamy to tell them. They weren't interested, I got nothing back other than the auto-reply, and there are still hundreds of interior pics on Alamy. There are signs forbidding photography on prominent show, but I got permission to photograph them for a course I was doing, but not for selling as stock.

 

The person who designed the interior has been dead for over 70 years, which probably makes the togs think the work is safe to upload.

Of course, I don't know if these photos were released, the togs having contacted someone else. I'd be really miffed if so - I emailled the person indicated as the contact person for enquiries when I got permission to photograph for my course.

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