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I'm a bit confused by this Duncan,

                                                      Alamy's own definition of the different licence types is very clear. "The customer pays a licence fee each time they use the image."

 

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/image-licences.asp

Yes, but: alamy have forgotten to amend their chart to include the new iQ licence model.

Edited by Reciprocity Images
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RF vs RM:  The point of RF is that it is a very simple and portable license type, and makes distribution very easy. The best agencies specialising in RF have deep penetration of the market and photographers with a few thousand images are earning professional salaries.

The point of RM is that if it is good enough, or rare enough, or has very high production values, it has the potential to sell for much higher fees than RF imagery is capable of, and a handful of sales will bring in a good income.

 

Whether Alamy is scoring on either of these fronts I have no idea.  But if they are, they are keeping very quiet about it.

 

At the end of the day the only figure that matters is RPI, and Alamy knows that it is up against competitors (high and low) offering photographers higher/much higher RPI (even factoring in editing and lower contributor commission rates) while being able to offer subscription pricing for run-of-the-mill jobs, so these agencies get the best photographers and the biggest client base.  Under these conditions I doubt anyone at Alamy is in a position to whack the table when cutting deals.

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I'm a bit confused by this Duncan,

                                                      Alamy's own definition of the different licence types is very clear. "The customer pays a licence fee each time they use the image."

A separate magazine within a group or a different issue of the same magazine is a separate use and it cannot be argued otherwise. To argue otherwise is to suggest that it is RF

 

I personally had the same issue 12 months ago and queried it with member services and got the same stock answer as you, to which I replied quoting the terms below. A few days later the repeat sale popped into my account. Admittedly the within a single issue was in the sale description, but I don't see that as of any relevance as the definition of an RM licence is clear.

 

This is an important issue, perhaps member service could take the opportunity to clarify what the position is.

 

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/image-licences.asp

 

If you take a look at the Chart above, basically the IQ licence type can be RF or RM.

 

I asked MS whether they could reuse the images and there answer was yes, but they are unlikely to? Why not. A walking magazine, a walking image, 5 years to use it time and time again. I've already seen it 3 times in the last 12 months! When I checked my records only one sale. Initially I thought it was just one of those, ah, they haven't included all the conditions on our sheets and contacted them to confirm that it would be one use as many times in one issue. Sadly not.

 

 

 

"Our sales teams work extremely hard to negotiate on deals with all forms of customers and always try to get the best market value possible for each licence.

 

As mentioned previously it’s very unlikely that the customer will use the image throughout this duration, they just want to be covered"

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I'm a bit confused by this Duncan,

                                                      Alamy's own definition of the different licence types is very clear. "The customer pays a licence fee each time they use the image."

A separate magazine within a group or a different issue of the same magazine is a separate use and it cannot be argued otherwise. To argue otherwise is to suggest that it is RF

 

I personally had the same issue 12 months ago and queried it with member services and got the same stock answer as you, to which I replied quoting the terms below. A few days later the repeat sale popped into my account. Admittedly the within a single issue was in the sale description, but I don't see that as of any relevance as the definition of an RM licence is clear.

 

This is an important issue, perhaps member service could take the opportunity to clarify what the position is.

 

http://www.alamy.com/contributor/help/image-licences.asp

 Where did you find this updated licence chart, do you have a link?

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I don't pretend to understand iQ, but my impression is that it's more or less a "write-it-yourself" licensing model. This can be good for the buyer but not necessarily for the seller, as this discussion shows. That said, I've had some very good iQ licenses and some real bummers.

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I understand Duncan.

 

Alamy is a great agency and i will keep it as a good source. But the "dark side" is growing very fast.

 

The biggest one paid ONLY in 2014 84 million to contributors. Few years ago it was 21 million. Last year 63 million. When the growth will stop? I expect next year 104 million from them. And i am talking only about one agency. There are many more. Amount of contributors is around 36 thousands there so the share can be very good. Duncan just feels it.

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The problem is - most of mine have people / celebrities etc in them and therefore cannot be RF.....

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Last week I had a sale from a US agency that sells both commercial and editorial (unreleased) RF.  Their cheapest price is £240 (or slightly less in packs).

 

Come to think of it - the very same agency under a different name, one of the three major players, also sells unreleased RF.

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Come to think of it, if I had heard what I currently have to say about RF, seven years ago, I would have whacked myself on the nose.

Edited by Robert Brook

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I got one of those $50 5-year iQ sales on one of my better-selling RM images Friday ($25 to me, less to me net than an EL on the micros). Nevertheless, I think I've learned to take the iQ sales in stride, but I get what the OP and others are agonizing over. I have tiny ports on a handful of the largest micros and my RPI on even the worst of the bunch is much better than here, but I still put most of my better work either only on here, or on here and on some on other small mid stock sites.

 

Since I license some RM work directly, I feel it's worth keeping the better stuff RM, although my stats from the past several years show me that if I had put my best stuff on the micros as RF, I'd probably have made a lot more from stock photo sales during that time. But giving it all to the "dark side" just doesn't sit well with me, and the occasional $200-400 licenses here and from direct sales make me feel better about RM licenses.

 

I think the suggestion to approach those magazines directly is a good one. I also think that spreading out the work on different outlets makes sense. I started with Alamy and feel a certain loyalty here, but I got into stock photography just as the micros were on the rise and learned a lot from having multiple sales daily there. Despite the drop from 60% to 50%, Alamy has kept their royalties reasonable and I feel better about having work here than on the micros but I've earned over $1,000 apiece (net) from some of my best-sellers on the micros - and hundreds from others - so I won't give up on them completely either. Alamy is still licensing images for good sums in a very tricky market, and IMHO the iQ sales are a much better way to stay competitive than the old novel use sales were. My iQ sales add up to a decent amount, so I wouldn't opt out of them in if I could. 

 

I think we all have to find what we're comfortable with and what works best for us. I entered stock photography in the current declining market, so my expectations are not the same as traditional stock photographers who've been doing this for years. That doesn't mean I don't value my work - I do - but I am also trying to be practical and find the markets that will help me maximize the potential for my work, recognizing that markets change. From my limited experience it seems that RM is on an upswing, so I wouldn't rush to put all my best-sellers out there as RF, but there are certain types of photographs that might do better as RF - and some that could be RF or RM - I wouldn't rush to make them all RF despite a few iQ sales, but I might experiment with a few as RF elsewhere and see how they do. 

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I think a 5 year unlimited reuse for a RM image, in the same publication, is a contradiction in the industry understood usage terms for RM and RF.

 

It should be an RF image. However if there are unreleased people walking through the image, according to Alamy's terms of business, it cannot be a RF image.

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I think a 5 year unlimited reuse for a RM image, in the same publication, is a contradiction in the industry understood usage terms for RM and RF.

 

It should be an RF image. However if there are unreleased people walking through the image, according to Alamy's terms of business, it cannot be a RF image.

 

RF is pricing based on file size. It is also based on perceived quality.  £400 and upwards maximum file size for images in premium collections, around £200 for midstock, much less for microstock.   Next to nothing for licenses from start-up micro sites. You can see it here where some agency collections are twice as expensive as work by individual contributors.

 

If the terms of usage for this particular sale are actually similar to RF minus consideration of file-size, then it's micro RF.  And cheap at that.

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Photography is a language, a way of communicating.  It has taken me years to discover this strange fact (or the fact that buyers don't want the wheres and the whats - plenty of those thanks - but they too are in the business of communicating).  Now that I have, I find the market is really opening up.  Not here though.  Too many millions of wheres and whats.

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