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Hi all, quick question about refunds. 

 

I recently (May 16th) made my first sale here, single placement editorial website usage, through Alamy's distributor program. Using Google image search I quickly found the website using it. 

 

Even though it didn't sell for much (around $4 after Alamy and distributor cuts), I was annoyed to see it refunded more than a month later (July 31st). A quick search in this forum shows that refunds after the 30 day period are quite normal, but all the posts I found on the matter were regarding sales for print, while my image is currently still online on the buyers website.

 

I emailed membership services about the matter 8 days ago, and again last Thursday, but have yet to receive a reply aside from the automated "We’ve got your email" message. 

 

I don't have much experience with any of this, but I can't imagine that this is how things are supposed to work in the stock industry. 

 

Has anyone else experienced something like this before? How long does it usually take to get a response from membership services (automated response states within an hour)?

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Take a screen shot of the offending website with your image clearly shown. Then email MS again with the screen shot.  Point out that this is the second email as you didn't get a reply to the first.  Alamy really should be looking into this sort of thing even if only a small amount of money is involved.

 

Pearl

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I have dozens and dozens of copyright thefts - they copy and use a shot of mine sold by alamy initially - on the internet that alamy is not interested in persueing so go figure. They say it's all up to the photographer.

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I have dozens and dozens of copyright thefts - they copy and use a shot of mine sold by alamy initially - on the internet that alamy is not interested in persueing so go figure. They say it's all up to the photographer.

 

Maybe... but if they have bought a licence, got it refunded, but have used and are still using the image, is that not fraud against Alamy?

 

Alan

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Same thing just happened to me on July 30th. I wrote to Member Services to report it along with a screen shot proving they did indeed use the photo. but Member Services hasn't re-billed it yet.

 

D96Y4H

16 May 2014

Rights Managed       

Country: Norway

Usage: Editorial

Media: Editorial website

Placement: Single Placement

Image Size: up to full area

Start: 01 April 2014

End: 01 May 2014

$ 15.72

 

D96Y4H        

(30 July 2014)         

Rights Managed       

Sale Refunded          

$ -15.72

 

Screen+Shot+2014-05-16+at+5.08.29+PM.png

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I have dozens and dozens of copyright thefts - they copy and use a shot of mine sold by alamy initially - on the internet that alamy is not interested in persueing so go figure. They say it's all up to the photographer.

 

Maybe... but if they have bought a licence, got it refunded, but have used and are still using the image, is that not fraud against Alamy?

 

Alan

 

Yes, of course it is - and theft from the photographer of course. However, Alamy do not pursue these cases because they figure that it's uneconomic - for them of course.  Alamy, like all picture libraries get their 'stock' for free so choose to write off 'shoplifting' up to a certain limit. If a real shopkeeper had a box of chocs stolen worth a few pounds they have lost out because they had to pay for that stock from a supplier in advance of selling it. Those images that are used but not paid for cost the photographer to produce but Alamy nothing, so they write them off. This, in turn further encourages more theft and non-payment. A downward spiral. Imagine a high street shop with a sign in the window saying "We don't prosecute shoplifters". 

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Same thing just happened to me on July 30th. I wrote to Member Services to report it along with a screen shot proving they did indeed use the photo. but Member Services hasn't re-billed it yet.

 

...

 

Which website is that on? Mine is also being used on a Norwegian website in an article about drones.

 

I'm going to mail membership services again, this time with a screenshot as suggested.  

Edited by Jasper Stenger
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IMO it's poor business and ridiculous to refund for electronic use licenses after the image has been downloaded.  Doing so is just asking for abuse and fraud.   I suppose after a refund is received the buyer then sends Alamy the file back to ensure it's not being used?   :lol:

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Does that mean if you chase them, and they pay, then you keep the entire  bit $15.72?  Or would Alamy want their cut, and the distributor?  :)

 

Jill

 

In the past, when Alamy declined to persue unauthorized uses, and I was able to collect, I billed at my normal rate and kept 100%

 

But if this originated from Alamy they may be willing to chase up the sale.

 

fD

 

EDIT: The way I see it, if they wanted Alamy rates then they should've licensed the image from Alamy ;)

Edited by fotoDogue
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What I do is a google image search of shots that are only sold on alamy and shots that alamy sold. I compare to my sales records. I can easily see where somebody or company had lifted the shot from somebody that paid to use it. I was quite upset in the beginning but I got used to it. There are so many and some are used in Russia and China or other countries. Good luck getting anything from them. So I don't bother. A Canadian hospital stole one of my images and used it on their website. I considered going after them but hospitals do good work so I decided not to make a fuss. It's a donation.

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My drone photo has never sold before, and is only on sale at Alamy. That's why I contacted Member Services with my screen shot when the refund came in. They bought it, used it, then got a refund.

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With all the free publicity you drum up for Alamy on this forum I would have thought they would have recredited your account regardless of wether they had recovered the monies.

 

Regen

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I have dozens and dozens of copyright thefts - they copy and use a shot of mine sold by alamy initially - on the internet that alamy is not interested in persueing so go figure. They say it's all up to the photographer.

 

Maybe... but if they have bought a licence, got it refunded, but have used and are still using the image, is that not fraud against Alamy?

 

Alan

 

Yes, of course it is - and theft from the photographer of course. However, Alamy do not pursue these cases because they figure that it's uneconomic - for them of course.  Alamy, like all picture libraries get their 'stock' for free so choose to write off 'shoplifting' up to a certain limit. If a real shopkeeper had a box of chocs stolen worth a few pounds they have lost out because they had to pay for that stock from a supplier in advance of selling it. Those images that are used but not paid for cost the photographer to produce but Alamy nothing, so they write them off. This, in turn further encourages more theft and non-payment. A downward spiral. Imagine a high street shop with a sign in the window saying "We don't prosecute shoplifters". 

 

 

I wouldn't have a problem with Alamy writing their funds off that they consider to hard to chase but they should still pay the Photographer (unless the photographer agreed with Alamy).

 

It would also be like the shopkeeper telling Caburys that they aren't going to pay them for the box of cream eggs they received from them as they were stolen while on display in the shop and they couldn't be bothered to report it to the police  :D. I could only imagine the response from Cadbury's solicitors  :P  

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Does that mean if you chase them, and they pay, then you keep the entire  bit $15.72?  Or would Alamy want their cut, and the distributor?  :)

 

Jill

If you are collecting on your own (and OP certainly should if alamy won't!), you sure as hell better be asking for more than $15.72- at least ten times that, if not much more!!! Paying for infringement (which in this case seems willful) is NOT the same as paying for a license.

 

-Jason

Edited by Reciprocity Images
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Somewhere down the line someone needs to raise the question of the obligations of the entrusted Agency in the protection and use of our Intellectual Property and/or their failure to do so.

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Fortunately I do not seem to be in the situation of having images ripped off either through Alamy or anywhere else that I know of. (No wants my images, not even for free.) :(

 

I agree with ReeRay and it would appear, if Alamy reads this, that it has already been raised by him to which we would hope for a reply from James West on this matter.

 

Perhaps someone with a case of copyright theft might bring it to the attention of Alamy through a solicitors letter claiming damages for failure of the company's obligations.

 

Of course that could then jeopardise their position with the company. :huh:

 

Allan

Edited by Allan Bell
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If you are collecting on your own (and OP certainly should if alamy won't!), you sure as hell better be asking for more than $15.72- at least ten times that, if not much more!!! Paying for infringement (which in this case seems willful) is NOT the same as paying for a license.

 

 

That's why I can never understand why Alamy aren't interested. In this case the infringement appears to be against Alamy as much as the photographer so you would think they could use it to generate a bit more cash for both parties.

 

Alan

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  • 1 month later...

Update!

I received the following 3 days ago:

 

Hello Jasper

 

Just heard back from our distribution team and it was an error at their end. Don’t worry, your image will be re-billed within a month.

 

Sorry for the inconvenience caused and let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.

 

Thanks

 

Rehana

Member Services

 

I can't help but wonder how an error like this is made, and what happens if you don't find the image in use yourself.

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