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Alamy Infringement Team - any news?


geogphotos
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Anybody have experience of the new improved Alamy infringement team reporting payments? 

 

Have you reported any potential infringements - and if so have they been treated successfully?

 

What are the fees like - an improvement on the previous system which seems to be essentially retrospective licensing?

 

At the moment I have labelled all images as non-exclusive so as to pursue infringement myself but am open to persuasion if the Alamy team is making headway.

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Additional Infringement news.

 

I would recommend to not report potential infringements to the Contributor Support team, but only directly to the Infringement team- it does appear now that the Submission Form goes to them so you can use it if case fits those criteria.

 

 

I had a clear infringement which went to CS and they got the client to report normally, the Infringement team now tells me had it gone to them the licencing fee would have been about Four times higher, but what they see on file is "Client reported before UUQ", which is not even close.  

 

 

also of note, large clients have special infringement deal, so in the end licence would only have been low $$, but still better than $.

 

 

(i have also re-upped with Alamy with the promise to have official direct contact info for the Infringements @ alamy team, which has been highly supportive to date)

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Having belatedly got around to doing my 2021-22 accounts, I noticed a $96 'other income' amount back in March 2022 which had escaped me at the time. I finally found the detail by looking at the downloadable CSV of the Net Revenue Report. Lo and behold, it was an infringement payment for an unauthorised image usage which I'd spotted a month previously while searching for usages for my DACS submission. I reported it via Alamy's unathorised use web form and the infringment was settled in a little over a month. I don't think they actually told me it had been settled at the time, hence it came as a surprise to find it much later.

 

A belated thank you to Alamy for sorting the payment for this - it was probably a lot more than I would have got for selling a proper licence. Also demonstrates some kind of benefit for maintaining all my Alamy images as RM and keeping my images on Alamy as exclusive to Alamy.

 

On the debit side, a further unauthorised use I spotted at about the same time didn't bring any joy, though Alamy did tell me they did try.

 

All in all, I'm quite happy with the Alamy Infringement team this evening...

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How do you find out if any of your photos were infringed or payed for?

My dashboard says my total (lifetime) sales are $40 yet my Current Cleared Balance  is only $4. The latter amount hasn't changed for ages (can't remember how long) but maybe over a year. Anyway I emailed alamy contributors but I just got a generic reply and no help at all. I had several recent sales in last couple of months but the amount cleared should be more than $4. surely. 

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40 minutes ago, dunstun365 said:

How do you find out if any of your photos were infringed or payed for?

My dashboard says my total (lifetime) sales are $40 yet my Current Cleared Balance  is only $4. The latter amount hasn't changed for ages (can't remember how long) but maybe over a year. Anyway I emailed alamy contributors but I just got a generic reply and no help at all. I had several recent sales in last couple of months but the amount cleared should be more than $4. surely. 

 

You can use Google Images ( or similar) or subscribe to one of the Reverse Images search companies such as Pixsy. 

 

Work through your images that have been licensed and see what Google Images finds for you. If the license says 'UK national newspaper' and you find it used on a commercial site promoting a building company ( as an example) you quite likely have an infringement. If your images are Alamy exclusive it makes life much easier.

 

 

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6 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

You can use Google Images ( or similar) or subscribe to one of the Reverse Images search companies such as Pixsy. 

 

Work through your images that have been licensed and see what Google Images finds for you. If the license says 'UK national newspaper' and you find it used on a commercial site promoting a building company ( as an example) you quite likely have an infringement. If your images are Alamy exclusive it makes life much easier.

 

 

Thanks. I googled (uploaded) the images but there's nothing on google about them at all even my first sales on alamy. I'm with other stock sites but I never sold the same photos that were licensed on alamy anywhere else . 

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I'm not 100% sure on this but I thought you could have a few images searched for free on Pixsy and they only took there cut if found to be used without permission.

 

Allan

 

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20 hours ago, dunstun365 said:

Thanks. I googled (uploaded) the images but there's nothing on google about them at all even my first sales on alamy. I'm with other stock sites but I never sold the same photos that were licensed on alamy anywhere else . 

 

 

the issue is not only where they sold, I assume you would have to prove that they stole it from Alamy- wonder what the infringement team would do if the culprit said "we stole it from another place". 

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23 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

I'm not 100% sure on this but I thought you could have a few images searched for free on Pixsy and they only took there cut if found to be used without permission.

 

Allan

 

 

You can have 500 images monitored for free at Pixsy. 

 

$19 a month for 2000

$39 for 30,000

$89 for 100,000

 

What is good is that you can switch from one to another. So, for example, you could pay for a month and then revert to the free service until you are ready to 'switch it back on again'.

 

You can automatically 'import' images from various other sites such as Photoshelter, Flickr, SmugMug, Zenfolio - this is done effortlessly.

 

Once a match has been found it is down to you to know if it is an infringement or not. You start a 'Case' when you are sure.

 

There is a penalty if you start infringement claims and it turns out that the user has a licence. 

Edited by geogphotos
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I had an infringement fee pop in yesterday too. I didn't know it was an infringement. The image is still marked as exclusive to Alamy (all new uploads are non exclusive) so presumably that's why I knew noting about the infringement.

 

I wonder if it's worth making images exclusive again then Alamy can check for infringements? I don't think i've got the time and expertise to check for infringements myself.

 

John.

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21 hours ago, Mr Standfast said:

Fee for an unknown (to me) infringement, just popped up. $$! 👍😁

 

14 minutes ago, Stokie said:

I had an infringement fee pop in yesterday too. I didn't know it was an infringement. The image is still marked as exclusive to Alamy (all new uploads are non exclusive) so presumably that's why I knew noting about the infringement.

 

I wonder if it's worth making images exclusive again then Alamy can check for infringements? I don't think i've got the time and expertise to check for infringements myself.

 

John.

 

This is good news from an effort side, and good that these are still being processed, but it still doesn't excuse the fact that again Alamy is in breach of the contributor agreement, subsection 16.7.  As for marking all image as exclusive, we have not had report of negative monetary impact of a case where Alamy has pursued that wasn't infringement so that is still a consideration- the only case reported so far only had reputation damage for the photographer. 

 

 

16.7 Each party will promptly inform the other party of any actual or suspected third party infringement of copyright or any other intellectual property right or third party right, loss of Content, breach of moral rights or any other matter giving rise to threat of proceedings, claims or demands in respect of any of the Content.

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2 hours ago, Stokie said:

wonder if it's worth making images exclusive again then Alamy can check for infringements? I don't think i've got the time and expertise to check for infringements myself.

Be careful if you licence any directly yourself(which is allowed under the terms of exclusivity).

Yesterday I had an issue where the infringement team/company representing Alamy sent a mail to a good client of mine:

"seeking compensation from us for the potential infringement of copyright and unauthorised use of one of your photos"

When I pointed out to Alamy that they had promised on 29/4/21 in an email which gave contributors with exclusive images an option to be informed of any chasing

of possible infringements before contacting the client and this was not adhered to, I was informed that this was overwritten by the new contract in May 2021, a mere month later.

Legally correct, but professionally, ethically and morally wrong.

 

I have told them to remove the exclusive mark from all of my images.

How many more times will they shoot themselves in the foot? Probably until the last place they can shoot is the head!!!

 

Not a happy contributor!

 

Phil

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7 hours ago, Phil Crean said:

Be careful if you licence any directly yourself(which is allowed under the terms of exclusivity).

Yesterday I had an issue where the infringement team/company representing Alamy sent a mail to a good client of mine:

"seeking compensation from us for the potential infringement of copyright and unauthorised use of one of your photos"

When I pointed out to Alamy that they had promised on 29/4/21 in an email which gave contributors with exclusive images an option to be informed of any chasing

of possible infringements before contacting the client and this was not adhered to, I was informed that this was overwritten by the new contract in May 2021, a mere month later.

Legally correct, but professionally, ethically and morally wrong.

 

I have told them to remove the exclusive mark from all of my images.

How many more times will they shoot themselves in the foot? Probably until the last place they can shoot is the head!!!

 

Not a happy contributor!

 

Phil

Though they did have a clause on exclusive in contract, 16.7 always apply.  They did not promptly advise you  and are in breach of their own agreement.  So not legally correct 

Edited by meanderingemu
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2 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

Though they did have a clause on exclusive in contract, 16.7 always apply.  They did not promptly advise you  and are in breach of their own agreement.  So not legally correct 

 

Clause 2.10 (new in the last version of the contract) states "By marking Content as Exclusive, you grant Alamy the right to chase third party infringements of the Content without Alamy having to consult you." which does certainly seem to contradict Clause 16.7 "Each party will promptly inform the other party of any actual or suspected third party infringement of copyright or any other intellectual property right or third party right, loss of Content, breach of moral rights or any other matter giving rise to threat of proceedings, claims or demands in respect of any of the Content."

 

It would be most interesting to hear an explanation from Alamy. 

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

Clause 2.10 (new in the last version of the contract) states "By marking Content as Exclusive, you grant Alamy the right to chase third party infringements of the Content without Alamy having to consult you." which does certainly seem to contradict Clause 16.7 "Each party will promptly inform the other party of any actual or suspected third party infringement of copyright or any other intellectual property right or third party right, loss of Content, breach of moral rights or any other matter giving rise to threat of proceedings, claims or demands in respect of any of the Content."

 

It would be most interesting to hear an explanation from Alamy. 

 

 

They have the right to not Consult, but they must still Promptly inform which they failed to do.  if the intent of 2.10 was the remove the obligation of 16.7, it would have to be specified in the clause.  basic contract.  also since they are the party who wrote the contract the burden is on them in case of ambiguity 

 

I still don't understand why it is so hard for Alamy to respect the Agreement THEY wrote. 

 

last explanation we got from Alamy was that the were going to read the agreement (August 17, when similar situation occurred)

 

 

Edited by meanderingemu
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9 hours ago, MDM said:

 

Clause 2.10 (new in the last version of the contract) states "By marking Content as Exclusive, you grant Alamy the right to chase third party infringements of the Content without Alamy having to consult you." which does certainly seem to contradict Clause 16.7 "Each party will promptly inform the other party of any actual or suspected third party infringement of copyright or any other intellectual property right or third party right, loss of Content, breach of moral rights or any other matter giving rise to threat of proceedings, claims or demands in respect of any of the Content."

 

It would be most interesting to hear an explanation from Alamy. 

I will ask!

 

Phil

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4 hours ago, Phil Crean said:

Re the contradiction between Clause 2.10 and 16.7...

 

My question has been passed to their legal team...🤔

 

I'll be back when I hear more.

 

Phil

 

Thanks. Considering this was mentioned when they introduced the new contract (🙋‍♂️), and multiple time since then (most recently in August), it is interesting that this is the first time they are having their Legal team look at it. 

Edited by meanderingemu
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So here's the answer from the legal team...

 

"Hi Phil,

 

Response from the legal team is as follows:

 

To clarify, the intention behind clause 16.7 is that it applies to non exclusive arrangements, whereas 2.10 deals with infringements Alamy chases for exclusive content. We take your feedback onboard and we will look to address any ambiguity in a future update to the contributor terms.

 

Separately, please note that the email sent to the end user was a notification enquiring about the end users use of the content, given it had been identified by our systems as exclusive on the Alamy platform. This initial correspondence aims to establish the existence of a licence by the end user regarding the image in question and by no means does it accuse the end user of copyright infringement .

 

Typically, if we send notices out under 16.7 regarding non exclusive marked content, we ensure evidence has been gathered to suspect alleged or actual infringement i.e where the end user has been unable to provide an invoice or license for the usage in question.

 

I hope this clarifies the situation,"

 

Phil

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36 minutes ago, Phil Crean said:

So here's the answer from the legal team...

 

"Hi Phil,

 

Response from the legal team is as follows:

 

To clarify, the intention behind clause 16.7 is that it applies to non exclusive arrangements, whereas 2.10 deals with infringements Alamy chases for exclusive content. We take your feedback onboard and we will look to address any ambiguity in a future update to the contributor terms.

 

Separately, please note that the email sent to the end user was a notification enquiring about the end users use of the content, given it had been identified by our systems as exclusive on the Alamy platform. This initial correspondence aims to establish the existence of a licence by the end user regarding the image in question and by no means does it accuse the end user of copyright infringement .

 

Typically, if we send notices out under 16.7 regarding non exclusive marked content, we ensure evidence has been gathered to suspect alleged or actual infringement i.e where the end user has been unable to provide an invoice or license for the usage in question.

 

I hope this clarifies the situation,"

 

Phil

This is not how contracts work, a legal contract cannot be based on intentions,  except if said intention put better conditions to the secondary party. 

 

 

 

Edited by meanderingemu
removed the harsher words
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