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When is "For Editorial Only" needed?


JSaunders
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Hi there. I joined Alamy in 2018. When the new contract recently came out I did my best to read all the relevant posts and to understand what it all meant. I took most of my photos off exclusive to Alamy and I also marked any that had any property or people for which I have no release as "for Editorial only," because I thought that I had to do that. I would prefer to not have to mark them that way as I believe it limits sales. Now I have been looking at other ports and it looks like many, if not most, have not marked "editorial only", even if there is property or people with no releases. Can someone explain to me if it would be best practice to mark them editorial only or if it doesn't matter? I thought with the new contract it was safest to do this?? Also, why do some mark their photos not for personal use?

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If you check "Sell for Editorial Use only" against an image in AIM then that is just a shortcut to checking both "Don't sell for advertising and promotion" and "Don't sell for consumer goods". As a result when a potential buyer finds your image there is a pale blue banner area saying "Available for editorial use only. Get in touch for any commercial uses" and then the '?' against commercial use defines it as:

 

"Commercial use includes advertising, marketing, promotion, packaging, advertorials, and consumer or merchandising products."

 

Similarly if you don't allow Personal Use this is added in the blue banner area and defined as:

"Personal prints, cards and gifts, or reference for artists. Non-commercial use only, not for resale."

 

There are lots of discussions as to the benefits and/or disadvantages to making images editorial only given that in any case unless you have declared that you have a model or property release it is clear to the buyer that there is No model release and No property release, that is the default. Many will use it to emphasise the fact with what might be deemed sensitive images because of perhaps recognisable people or the location even though photography was allowed. I think I tend to agree with you that it might adversely affect sales if used indiscriminately but the new contract has rather focused the mind on this area.

 

I've opted out of Personal Use sales but many on here seem to report a steady trickle of worthwhile though low value sales. There is always the suspicion that some people opting for this type of licence may not be strictly adhering to the terms and they do of course get a high resolution image to play with. Of course if you opt out of Personal Use then there is always Presentation Use available for a similarly low fee, you can't opt out of that.

 

That's how I see it anyway, but I'm relatively new here.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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40 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

I think I tend to agree with you that it might adversely affect sales if used indiscriminately but the new contract has rather focused the mind on this area.

 

 

I quite agree with this. I wouldn't say I use the editorial-only limitation indiscriminately but liberally. Basically if I have an image which clearly has property/IP in it and/or recognisable people I will most often just bite the bullet and mark it as editorial only, unless I feel that the content of the image (such as a panorama or skyline) can be used commercially under the likes freedom of panorama etc. I am aware that this isn't technically needed as the declaration from me that the image contains property and has no release should be enough, but we were also told not too long ago that Alamy wouldn't cut our royalties, so anything is possible. Part of me doesn't trust the process and so I'd rather potentially risk limiting my sales than get stuck right in it for not declaring an image full of property and people Ed-only.

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When people aren't recognizable, I generally don't check the "for editorial use only" box. One of my few half-decent licenses last month was for a marketing package. The image had people in it, but I photographed them from behind (i.e. they weren't recognizable). Had I had checked the editorial only box, I wouldn't have made the sale (I assume). This is something to consider IMO, especially since so many editorial use sales are tiny these days

Edited by John Mitchell
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38 minutes ago, Cal said:

I quite agree with this. I wouldn't say I use the editorial-only limitation indiscriminately but liberally.

Yes, I suppose we all have our own idea of risk and if I went through my images again (and I should) I'd use it more. I'm not one of those that believes a landscape that has someone's sheep in it or a  tractor warrants the same treatment but I may be wrong, and it will also depend to an extent what country you're in at the time. I didn't mention the fact that of course Alamy will contact a contributor to ask if that restriction could be released for a particular use, it's happened to me and I was happy to do so for that particular use. 

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Great to get your thoughts. So I think I will go back and unclick "For Editorial Only" on some images. I even have it on cows ATM since they belong to someone. But I think I over did. I had no sales at all last month, first time in a year. Hopefully if I untick that box on some photos sales will return.

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2 hours ago, JSaunders said:

Hi there. I joined Alamy in 2018. When the new contract recently came out I did my best to read all the relevant posts and to understand what it all meant. I took most of my photos off exclusive to Alamy and I also marked any that had any property or people for which I have no release as "for Editorial only," because I thought that I had to do that. I would prefer to not have to mark them that way as I believe it limits sales. 

 

 

as for limiting sales, we have plenty of examples of cases where the contributor was approached to remove the limitation.  My biggest licensed this year  was such a case, and it allowed me to have in writing the intent of the client to remove the obvious branding, get the Alamy CR to put in writing she had no concerns, so it was additional protection for me.  I guess the issue is i am not sure how long the client would have waited had I been on a 2 weeks back-country hike.   

 

 

personally i tend to put "editorial only" on images that have art work included, depicts clear identifiable people and some images i have no idea why anyone would want for commercial reason, though as I saw above that one can be borderline. 

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33 minutes ago, JSaunders said:

Great to get your thoughts. So I think I will go back and unclick "For Editorial Only" on some images. I even have it on cows ATM since they belong to someone. But I think I over did. I had no sales at all last month, first time in a year. Hopefully if I untick that box on some photos sales will return.

 

I've not heard of anyone being sued by a cow, but I guess there's always a first time. 🐄

 

P.S. Due to the recent contract kerfuffle, I've probably overdone it myself on some images. I'll most likely go back and do some unclicking as well. Check out a few other big agencies with curated collections and see what kind of images they have marked for editorial use. I often do that.

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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6 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

as for limiting sales, we have plenty of examples of cases where the contributor was approached to remove the limitation. 

True enough, all things are possible. But if I was buying an image and I had two possibilities in mind and I liked one a little more but it was marked editorial only and I knew I was going to have to write an email or make a phone call, and not 100% sure of the result, and I had another one all ready to purchase, I think I might opt for the second choice, unless the first one was really unique and outstanding. Just saying.

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The editorial question has been answered so I'll chime in with my 'not for personal use' reason.  I'm opted out of PU because of the awful prices I used to get when I was opted in.  Additionally, companies buy an image which is marked as PU so they don't have to pay full price for marketing packages.

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So, along the lines of recognizable people in the photo, if there are people but either the backs or they are very tiny and not recognizable, do you still tick the box indicating how many people, or put none?

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Good question, it's a tedious process and I'm not at all sure at what stage, or if at all, a buyer is made aware that you might have done this. My feeling is that this business of how many people, disembodied hands etc. only becomes relevant if you have releases and therefore need to match them with the number of instances but I've not read anything clear on this from Alamy or anyone else.

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28 minutes ago, JSaunders said:

So, along the lines of recognizable people in the photo, if there are people but either the backs or they are very tiny and not recognizable, do you still tick the box indicating how many people, or put none?

 

Alamy is very strict on this criteria, any part of a person visible, counts as a person for the 'number of people' tab:

 

https://www.alamy.com/contributor/how-to-sell-images/model-property-releases-stock-images/?section=7

 

"If the person in your image can recognise themselves in any way, you’ll need a model release to sell for commercial use. This includes crowd scenes, parts of the body or silhouettes."

 

 

'Editorial only', if you correctly fill out whether or not there are people/property in your images, and whether you have a model release if you do confirm that there are people/property in your picture, you don't need to mark the 'editorial only' box. Anyone doing this is basically just emphasising the same thing again - being extra cautious, or trying to preempt a speculative possible future rule change from Alamy.

Edited by Steve F
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39 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

The editorial question has been answered so I'll chime in with my 'not for personal use' reason.  I'm opted out of PU because of the awful prices I used to get when I was opted in.  Additionally, companies buy an image which is marked as PU so they don't have to pay full price for marketing packages.

 

I never saw the point of opting out of PU. If a company is going to be dishonest about the end use, they can buy a presentation license for the same price.

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1 minute ago, Harry Harrison said:

Yes Steve, so would you agree that if you don't have releases then it's not necessary to do so?

 

If you mark no releases, you don't need to mark the editorial only button. Alamy confirmed the same (again) recently.

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3 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Sorry, I agree with that, I meant with respect to counting how many people etc.?

 

Oh, I see. I don't know about necessary. However, if you don't mark at least 1 person in an image, the model release question doesn't appear.

 

I try to give as much accurate information as I can for the licenser so always add (what I think!) is the right number of people - although I wouldn't imagine that marking 2 people when there's actually 3 is going to be a biggie.

Edited by Steve F
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1 minute ago, Steve F said:

I try to give as much accurate information as I can for the licenser so always add (what I think!) is the right number of people

Yes, well I've always done so but now I'm wondering if counting how many people you haven't got releases for is really a waste of time, and would the licensor even know that you've done this?

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Just now, Harry Harrison said:

Yes, well I've always done so but now I'm wondering if counting how many people you haven't got releases for is really a waste of time, and would the licensor even know that you've done this?

 

It may well be a waste of time, although I'm aware that it's possible to search images based on the number of people present. I think for the time taken, you may as well do it.

 

Not sure if the same argument holds for marking everything editorial only if you don't have releases. See John's post about a sale above.

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26 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

I never saw the point of opting out of PU. If a company is going to be dishonest about the end use, they can buy a presentation license for the same price.

Prices. 

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1 hour ago, Steve F said:

 

It may well be a waste of time, although I'm aware that it's possible to search images based on the number of people present.

Yes, I suppose the possibility of someone searching using the 'People' filter is all it's got going for it, I'm pretty dubious as to whether they would though. I have quite a few pictures of Henley Regatta on here since it's on my doorstep, along with zillions of others from other photographers obviously. I see that if I use the 1 person filter quite a lot of my images come up in the first few pages as I've been diligently filling it in, I'd be surprised if anyone does do that though, I guess it depends upon the subject. Curiously a lot of rowing 'eights' come up as well.

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2 hours ago, JSaunders said:

So, along the lines of recognizable people in the photo, if there are people but either the backs or they are very tiny and not recognizable, do you still tick the box indicating how many people, or put none?

i put what is in the image.  if there are people in the image i indicate it. 

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2 hours ago, Steve F said:

 

 

 

 

'Editorial only', if you correctly fill out whether or not there are people/property in your images, and whether you have a model release if you do confirm that there are people/property in your picture, you don't need to mark the 'editorial only' box. Anyone doing this is basically just emphasising the same thing again - being extra cautious, or trying to preempt a speculative possible future rule change from Alamy.

 

if it's an indication for Live News Alamy does it automatically, so this seems to be a type of image they feel should have the notice "editorial only"

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