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Request from distributor…..response


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This is quite common in my experience. I always ask how much and if its reasonable I say yes. What surprises me is that if the fee is not what I am looking and I say no, the sale does not go through i.e. the distributor or client does not buy it directly from Alamy (in my own experiences of this). I have pondered this and think its just that prices in general are getting lower between client and agent or agent only wishes to offer images when profit is maximised.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Panthera tigris said:

This is quite common in my experience. I always ask how much and if its reasonable I say yes. What surprises me is that if the fee is not what I am looking and I say no, the sale does not go through i.e. the distributor or client does not buy it directly from Alamy (in my own experiences of this). I have pondered this and think its just that prices in general are getting lower between client and agent or agent only wishes to offer images when profit is maximised.

 

Edited by MarkK
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Great to see someone standing up for prices rather than the "something is better than nothing" feeble attitude. To be fair to the French, the picture researchers, photographers and agencies used to have an agreed pricing structure which worked fairly well. I fear that may have been eroded.

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i like the idea of stating how much You receive minimum.  Now it puts the ball in their court regarding what is minimum they want to get.  

 

With current scheme, assuming no affiliate, the licence fee would need to be $833 to meet your requirement.  So if client offers $600 do the distributor and Alamy prefer 76% of nothing, or a split of $400. 

 

 

like you i am curious how  the image was available to distributor.  All i can think is this was a request to the distributor's sales team, who searched Alamy directly- Client directly would just buy without distro. but obviously this means rarity, and I agree with you that should warrant a fee, 

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Posted (edited)

I have deleted my response as it is not the time or place to try and make a point

Edited by MarkK
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Robert M Estall said:

Great to see someone standing up for prices rather than the "something is better than nothing" feeble attitude. To be fair to the French, the picture researchers, photographers and agencies used to have an agreed pricing structure which worked fairly well. I fear that may have been eroded.

I am standing up for prices but it should be between me and Alamy I suppose.  Sorry for the continuing discussion here and then deleting my post.

Edited by MarkK
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6 minutes ago, MarkK said:

Yes, that would mean they need to pay a minimum of 833 for the photo but that is basically their doing over the years.

 

The one thing we fail to talk about in the forums is the loss of our professional and personal agency in making decisions about our products.  Like you states, it put the ball in their court now and instead of them driving the entire transaction, I have been able to take back some of my agency.  I don't need to sell my work for x, or xx, or low xxx.  When they do this consistently I have zero control over it even though they are RM photos they are doing it with, photos that are opted out of distribution/novel usage/etc.  The point is that my photos are worth more than what they are selling them for and THEY are making more on the photos than I am with not having to bear any of the costs in producing the product (photos).

 

The 'better than nothing' attitude is exactly why they can thrive at the expense of the producers, us, the photographers.

 

 

my bigger problem is that Alamy considers all my images to be equal, that an Alamywhack, the ONLY IMAGE out of 290,000,000 images to met clients needs gets treated the same way as any image and got me $1.20. That my lowest fee this year was for a live news image used within hour of upload, and at time a rare image on subject. 

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9 minutes ago, Phil said:

Mark - hopefully you will share Alamy's response - if any - to your reply.

I am a pretty transparent guy and will definitely share if the email is replied to albeit I have an inkling it won't be.  There are multiple perspectives to everything and while you are reading mine, it is only fair to share those of Alamy whether I agree with them or not.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Robert M Estall said:

Great to see someone standing up for prices rather than the "something is better than nothing" feeble attitude. To be fair to the French, the picture researchers, photographers and agencies used to have an agreed pricing structure which worked fairly well. I fear that may have been eroded.

We shall see with Alamy's response to the price I proposed.

Edited by MarkK
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31 minutes ago, MarkK said:

It should be noted that the email to me did NOT include a price and since I have been with Alamy for 6 years I knew this was a red flag.  For those not familiar with the past few years they may just say yes and end up with a few pence/cents.  Any email that requests an RM be used by a distributor that is not agreed upon should include the price they are planning to pay, up front, instead of playing back and forth games. Its a waste of my time and Alamy could be using the time to better negotiate prices, track down stolen photos, etc.

 

not sure how this is a red flag per se.  The only time Alamy contacted me to remove restrictions the license ended up being in the mid $$$.  In fact Alamy spending resources contacting you may indicate that fee warrants the resources uses.  That said i do agree that resources may be better allocated by including more information in the request.  

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your $200 editorial fee would be doable in the US as a direct sale to a US publisher. Marginally possible to a French publisher only if more than French language rights required. The $833 suggested to get to your $200 nett is out of the question in the editorial market. So, rather than saying you require $200, you mights as well just have said NO thanks. I understand the argument about money spent travelling needing recouping, but the reality these days is; you can hardly justify crossing street to take a photograph to expect a profitable return.

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Posted (edited)

In terms of the fees, we all have a choice of whether to continue uploading or not based on the returns.

 

 

Edited by MarkK
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Posted (edited)

Yes, I just wish they were transparent other than stating it was an RM wanting to be sold as an RF by a distributor.  Give the terms so we can make a decision

Edited by MarkK
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Sadly, travelling solely with stock photography in mind is no longer financially viable. Best to go on the trip/holiday and have a good time, which may or may not involve taking a lot of pictures. Mark, did you ask Alamy what the usage terms would be -- e.g. size, circulation, duration, etc.? That might have helped determine a fair price. Of course you'd still be faced with hefty the distributor commission. It's tough to win these days.

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

Sadly, travelling solely with stock photography in mind is no longer financially viable. Best to go on the trip/holiday and have a good time, which may or may not involve taking a lot of pictures. Mark, did you ask Alamy what the usage terms would be -- e.g. size, circulation, duration, etc.? That might have helped determine a fair price. Of course you'd still be faced with hefty the distributor commission. It's tough to win these days.

 

 

 

 

I was lucky to be a professor of tourism so when i travelled the world it was a mix of business/academia and photography.  Over 80 countries I have either lived in, worked in, or travelled in so I invested a lot even if not directly just for the photos.  However, a lot of the photos I have were the result of my personal travel investment (investment in my career and in photography).  As for winning these days, I no longer count on the extra income so its of no loss to me other than some dignity when the photos sell for cents.  With my research I moved into the sharing economy/gig economy and the more that has been learned and the longer it continues the more I see exploitation whether it is photography, ridesharing, airbnb, etc.  So my perspective is a somewhat unique one that some may or may not agree with which is why we have the choice to be submit or not.  I really wish, and it won't happen, that we could put a minimum price on our photos.  We know our photos.  We know which ones should be marked higher, which ones are difficult to capture, which ones should be micro and which ones are just thrown online to see if they will sell. 

Edited by MarkK
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Response from Alamy:

 

Hi Mark

 

Thank you for your feedback.

 

The distribution scheme is only an ”additional revenue” opportunity, which (as you know) contributors can chose to opt in or out of. Distributors operate on markets where we don’t have direct sales, so they make their own prices, which are lower than via the website.

In some cases, contributors are happy to go with “one-off” clearances (like this example), which is why we thought we’d ask, in case you wanted to make this exception.

 

However, as you have made it clear that you are not interested in the distribution avenue, I will make a note in your account stating that you do not wish to be contacted for any future distribution sales.

 

Kind regards

S

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24 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Why does Alamy let their distributors "undercut" Alamy's own prices and also offer rather generous and in some cases poorly worded licences? Doesn't this just devalue their (our) product? Are there any controls in place that prevent distributors in other countries easily selling (via internet) to customers based in markets where Alamy already has a direct sales presence? Given the extra revenue that the infringement team is now generating, it's even more in Alamy's interest to prevent low cost sales. Hopefully Alamy is working on stopping distributors offering "penny sales" with sloppy licences.

 

Mark

 

 

Hear Hear !

 

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2 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Why does Alamy let their distributors "undercut" Alamy's own prices and also offer rather generous and in some cases poorly worded licences? Doesn't this just devalue their (our) product? Are there any controls in place that prevent distributors in other countries easily selling (via internet) to customers based in markets where Alamy already has a direct sales presence? Given the extra revenue that the infringement team is now generating, it's even more in Alamy's interest to prevent low cost sales. Hopefully Alamy is working on stopping distributors offering "penny sales" with sloppy licences.

 

Mark

 

 

 

the whole statement seems odd

 

"Distributors operate on markets where we don’t have direct sales, so they make their own prices, which are lower than via the website"

 

 

Alamy lists plenty of distributors in Countries where i've have direct sale, so why would they allow undercuting in these circumstances.  Like i always accepted Alamy's distro sales where the market seemed harder for them to get footing, but this seems to have evolved into "put your images on your website, charge whatever you want" with no consideration for overall impact and actual value of the deal- a bit like the affiliate push in past 10 months.  

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also, it's not only make their own price, it's also

  • make their own reporting schedule- mass China reporting in year end/quarter end,
  • making their own time line for potential infringement- 4 months instead of 3,
  • make their own licences- same RM image used over multiple different articles with different bylines 
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7 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

make their own licences- same RM image used over multiple different articles with different bylines

 

Yes, tightening up the wording/allowable clauses for RM images would help make it clearer when infringements are occurring. At the moment it sometimes reads like almost any usage is permissible.

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On 29/04/2022 at 02:37, M.Chapman said:

 

Why does Alamy let their distributors "undercut" Alamy's own prices and also offer rather generous and in some cases poorly worded licences? Doesn't this just devalue their (our) product? Are there any controls in place that prevent distributors in other countries easily selling (via internet) to customers based in markets where Alamy already has a direct sales presence? Given the extra revenue that the infringement team is now generating, it's even more in Alamy's interest to prevent low price sales. Hopefully Alamy is working on stopping distributors offering "penny sales" with sloppy licences.

 

Mark

 

 

"Hopefully Alamy is working on stopping distributors offering "penny sales" with sloppy licences."

I think most of us realize they are not stopping it but instead ramping it up.  Let the data be our guide, which in our case is the sales, and we have the answer.  When I began with Alamy in 2016 I really saw them as transparent and upfront.  Now I see the exact opposite. 

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