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Misattributed/Misidentified photos at Alamy: what to do?


MegBurns
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A picture I took about 30 years ago seems to be listed by Alamy in another photographer's vast portfolio. I no longer have the negative and I sold the one good print in 1993. However, the misidentification of the picture (it's listed as having been taken in 2019, an impossibility) suggests that it was a "found object" the photographer liked and added to his voluminous list of images. 

 

I suppose this sort of thing happens often, but I'm wondering how professional stock photographers deal with it.

 

 

 

 

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I think the first thing you should do is write to the photographer and affirm your moral rights to be identified as the creator of the work. That has a very specific meaning for the 1988 copyright act. You might also ask if the photographer has made a diligent search to establish who owns the copyright. Again, this has a specific meaning as regards "Orphan Works" This sort of thing should not happen often. If you do not find his/her details, it would be reasonable to ask Alamy for direction.

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On 19/10/2021 at 00:16, MegBurns said:

A picture I took about 30 years ago seems to be listed by Alamy in another photographer's vast portfolio. I no longer have the negative and I sold the one good print in 1993. However, the misidentification of the picture (it's listed as having been taken in 2019, an impossibility) suggests that it was a "found object" the photographer liked and added to his voluminous list of images. 

 

I suppose this sort of thing happens often, but I'm wondering how professional stock photographers deal with it.

 

 

 

 


Just wondering if long ago you might have uploaded in the image in question to a photo sharing site and the Alamy copy could have been downloaded from there. Also images that have Creative Commons licensing are often hoovered up, mainly by agencies, and then uploaded to Alamy for sale. Could the missing negative have been used to create the image you found?  If so the scan date would show as the photograph taken date. 
 

If none of the above try to contact whoever uploaded the image to Alamy. Hope all goes well.

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On 19/10/2021 at 00:16, MegBurns said:

A picture I took about 30 years ago seems to be listed by Alamy in another photographer's vast portfolio. I no longer have the negative and I sold the one good print in 1993. However, the misidentification of the picture (it's listed as having been taken in 2019, an impossibility) suggests that it was a "found object" the photographer liked and added to his voluminous list of images. 

 

I suppose this sort of thing happens often, but I'm wondering how professional stock photographers deal with it.

 

 

 

 

We're assuming you're in the UK with this advice, have found the image by chance. Have you also joined the forum specifically to ask about it?

I don't know how common it is, but what doesn't "happen often" is for a professional photographer to get rid of negatives. Original transparencies may well have gone to clients, but I think it would be less common for negs. I certainly still have all mine, not a huge number admittedly, back to the late 70s.

5 minutes ago, sb photos said:

Just wondering if long ago you might have uploaded in the image in question to a photo sharing site and the Alamy copy could have been downloaded from there.

I think OP parting with the last print in 1993 probably precludes that.

 

OP, the date on the image would probably come from the metadata of the camera used to copy the print, if that's what happened.

If you can prove you are the copyright owner, Alamy will remove the image, but I doubt they will identify the photographer, on data protection grounds. I assume you have done a Google image search to see if it has been licensed or appears anywhere else. This may provide some clues.

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On 18/10/2021 at 19:16, MegBurns said:

A picture I took about 30 years ago seems to be listed by Alamy in another photographer's vast portfolio. I no longer have the negative and I sold the one good print in 1993. However, the misidentification of the picture (it's listed as having been taken in 2019, an impossibility) suggests that it was a "found object" the photographer liked and added to his voluminous list of images. 

 

I suppose this sort of thing happens often, but I'm wondering how professional stock photographers deal with it.

 

 

 

 

Meg,

 

I have had to deal with this a number of times over the years. That is why I rarely sell prints and on the ones that I do sell I only do "Signed Limited Edition Prints" that are

clearly marked on the back "NO REPRODUCTION."  I also make the buyer know that the only way they can copy the image or post it on the web is to advertise "The sale of

the print" and that is clearly stated on the invoice delivered with the print.  (assuming that the image in question was copied from a print?)

 

I do often let groups or organizations have access to images that I make of events or demonstrations they organize, but I never release any of the images that I upload to 

Alamy or any other agency that I contribute to.

 

I also never discard complete negatives or slides.  Yea, over the years I have lost a few.....

 

Finally I would agree that you would need to contact the person or agency that uploaded the image to Alamy, but again without the original negative it is not easy to prove your authorship or right to the image. 

 

Chuck

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