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Photocrowd and Alamy - in our best interest?

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I expect all Alamy contributors received the email announcing the partnership with "Photocrowd" to sponsor a photo competition with the topic of "circles" for prize galore. All too often we have seen similar competions where photographers relinquish their rights for the glory of "winning" thus allowing the sponsor to glean free images and literally steal from photographers who for the sake of glory act against their own best self interest. Given these types of practices, I would assume that Alamy would take special heed against any organization that could financially damage a photographer or lead to the illegal distribution of his/her images.
 With that in mind I looked at the Photocrowd site to examine their privacy and term and conditions to see how far they go to protect the rights of the content creator - keep in mind contests such as this are asking for our "crown jewels" our best work to be posted up on a public site. It took a little digging but I was finally able to find the small print that outlines their terms - for those hunting for that page here is a link: Here is the core of the terms Photcrowd offers - (with emphasis added)

Photocrowd.com seeks no ownership of the content submitted to the website and respects and supports the rights of the creator and/or owner. However, by submitting content to our website you are granting Photocrowd.com a non-exclusive licence to use the content, and are representing and warranting to Photocrowd.com that the content is owned or duly licensed by you and that Photocrowd.com is free to publish, distribute and use the content as provided in these Terms without obtaining permission or a licence from any third party. In return for Photocrowd.com agreeing to allow you to post your content on our website and publishing such content, you agree with Photocrowd.com that:

By uploading your content to the Photocrowd.com website you retain all rights to that content as previously enjoyed before uploading

By posting your content to the Photocrowd.com website you agree to grant to Photocrowd.com a non-exclusive, transferrable, fully paid, worldwide licence (with the right to sub-licence) to use, distribute, reproduce and publicly display such content in connection with the Photocrowd.com services. This licence will last for the period during which the content is posted on the Photocrowd.com website and will automatically terminate upon the removal of the content from the website.

  The licence granted to Photocrowd.com includes the right to use your content fully or partially for promotional reasons and to distribute and redistribute your content to other parties, websites, applications, and other entities, provided such content is attributed to you in accordance with the information submitted to Photocrowd.com by you.

 Photocrowd.com agrees not to make direct monetary gain from the sale of your content, or allow a third party to do the same, unless the terms of such a sale have been agreed previously with you, and to include an acceptable share of revenue to be paid to you.

 that we can attach reasonable, non-offensive comments and critiques of the content, both from other users and judging experts, without your prior consent.

 Photocrowd.com can make no representation and warranty that content posted on our website will not be unlawfully copied without your or our consent; subject to the terms of the licence granted to us above, you retain full ownership and other rights in your content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your content.

 at any time and without reason Photocrowd.com has the right to remove or disallow content that has been submitted. Any content that is submitted to an image feed is limited to that image feed only and is not valid for entry into any other Photocrowd.com image feed, unless indicated otherwise save as provided in these Terms, you shall not have the right to terminate the licence granted, nor to seek, obtain or enforce any injunctive or other equitable relief against Photocrowd.com.


So friends, are you comfortable with these terms? Will you submit your images? Should Alamy be partnering with Photcrowd? I expect folks will find these terms inoquous and will submit imagers, others will be outraged. Certainly Alamy has every confidence our rights and financial interests are well secured before they chose to participate... or? 


Let the games begin!

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Already being discussed on the original thread, Snappy.



  • Personally, I would not dream of entering such a competition, as I disagree with the T&Cs
  • More than likely, I wouldn't stand a cat's chance of getting a result anyhow!
  • Alamy can partner with whoever they choose.  Our personal view of their promotional efforts is just that.
  • All entrants make their own minds up as to what competitions to enter, and as to what benefit they might gain from entry.
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I've never been a fan of crowds or photo contests in general. Consequently, I won't be participating in this one (wouldn't have a chance anyway). Long before crowdsourcing elbowed its way onto the scene, print publications that sponsored photo contests often used to have questionable/objectionable terms (including claims of outright ownership of submissions) hidden in the fine print. Things really do go around in circles (ironically).

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Quite apart from any issues regarding terms and conditions, it gives the Unscrupulous Individual an easy opportunity to download unwatermarked images. Right clicking on a couple of random examples on the site enabled me to download the images  at 1630 x 1080 resolution - quite good enough for web use and some print uses too. I'm not sure I want my images so readily available to all and sundry. Or am I being paranoid?

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Hi everyone - rest assured we wouldn't have partnered with these guys without being sure they were trustworthy. 


Mike Betts (co-founder of Photocrowd) has just published this blog post that will hopefully ease your concerns:







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Thanks for the two 'green arrows'  awarded in the few minutes before the Alamy 'Blue Pencil' removed my posting - shall I word it in a more politically correct manner......


In my opinion, Alamy should concentrate on its core business more and protect the interests of its contributors before - not instead - of entering into promotions of this sort.


I did win a major contest (the only one that I have entered) a couple of years ago and that image went viral on the webimagenetthingy with more than a thousand unassociated infringements in just a couple of months - so the danger IS there and censorship of opinions will not remove it........I am delighted to see a thoughtful and constructive response from anyone on the forum - especially the Administrators.....


5-4-3-2-1 !!!

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Thanks for the update, Alamy and for the link to the blog post.  The sentiments of Mike Betts certainly seem very sound.


As Mike Betts says in his blog post:


"Some photographers embrace this approach, gain large followings online, and profit from it financially and in other ways. Others choose to maintain a tighter grip on their imagery and use more traditional means to get themselves known and engage with fellow photographers."


I probably stab myself in the foot by not 'embracing the approach'.  I believe that if you follow this route, then you have to do it wholeheartedly, 100%, and be prepared to let others use your images pretty much as they will (I'm not talking about the organisers of competitions here, but those who will lift the images from the Website), accepting this as a necessary by-product of the benefits brought by the marketing gains.


I wish all the entrants well, and hope that they all benefit more from the exposure, than are disadvantaged by it.

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I know that I'm sticking my head up above the burrow and am probably going to get shot down, but as a pro snapper who hasn't entered any competitions for years, for the reasons you've all stated above, I just fancied a bit of fun and have (gasp! :o) contributed a couple of images to Photocrowd (although I know I'm nowhere near winning anything with this Circles theme).  I feel quite wicked doing such a "rash" thing, because like you guys, I have actually won some good prizes in the past but decided I didn't want to risk my photos going global without my say so.  However, I have sorely missed the inspiration (and occasional desperation) of looking at other peoples images (without feeling obliged to spend time commenting), so the Photocrowd setup to me has an enormous amount of educational value!  If a few of my photos go astray, it isn't the end of the world (not at current prices) :(


You can't win as a photographer.  You need to put your images on the web for people to see to make sales, but at the same time, you are at the risk of image theft.  Dare I say, maybe we all need to lighten up a bit... :P


p.s. I shall be expecting your votes :D

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^^ Can't really give you a vote as I ain't gonna diss ya, and while I agree with your sentiment ("You need to put your images on the web for people to see to make sales, but at the same time, you are at the risk of image theft."), I ain't giving any greenies to folk who muscle in on my burrow.  Now geddout, I'm sleeping 'till March. :)

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