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Hello everyone. Back on the forums after several years of absence.

 

This has probably been asked dozens of times, but here goes. 100% of my images have been RM since 2008, and I've always been reluctant to offer anything as RF. Am I being too cautious? I understand that RF gives the buyer unlimited use of my images, but to be honest, some of my RM sales seem to have a very long rights period for the buyer, with very little revenue coming my way anyway.

 

I think we're all generally seeing sluggish zooms and sales, but I was wondering if they would improve if I offered at least some images as RF? Your thoughts and experiences would be appreciated.

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100% RF for me Gordon.

 

Therefore you have your question answered.

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Some of both. Mostly RM in the past, changing quite a few of generics to RF since the new AIM.

Betty

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Images: 95% RM, 5% RF

 

Sales: 100% RM, 0% RF

 

 

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I'm almost 100% RM.

Isn't RM better for making DACs claims? (Because Alamy's report for RF sales doesn't usually provide the necessary info?)

I note Alamy now recommend RF though.

 

Mark

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6 hours ago, GS-Images said:

........ the point of RF as I understood it was that you got a higher one-time fee for allowing unlimited use.......

Geoff.

And for that reason I've dipped my toe into RF waters this year. Having sold a couple and seen the price I wish I'd stayed dry!

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10 hours ago, GS-Images said:

I have some and some, but the huge majority are RM. Historically, the point of RF as I understood it was that you got a higher one-time fee for allowing unlimited use, but for a long time RM has been unlimited use for the same or similar fee anyway if the client requests it, and I haven't seen my RF sales go for higher fees. At least if you choose RM, you might be protecting yourself a little from free re-uses, but it doesn't seem to make much difference which license you choose. I generally stick to RM for most, but RF if it's not a particularly good image or one that I cannot imagine being used more than once. I do that because Alamy recommended that when the new IM was introduced, but I don't honestly know how much difference it makes to actual sales.

 

Geoff.

 

Judging from most comments on the forum so far, it doesn't sound as if switching to RF makes much difference to sales volume or revenue.

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Just now, arterra said:

 

Do customers actually care whether an image is RM or RF - especially when RM licenses aren't as strict as they used to be?

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

It's a difficult hypothesis to test, but I doubt that they do in most cases.

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4 minutes ago, arterra said:

 

Do customers actually care whether an image is RM or RF - especially when RM licenses aren't as strict as they used to be?

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

With 'personal use' sales and terms like "Usage: iQ sale: Magazine, Editorial print and digital use. Any size. Any Placement. Repeat use permitted" for poor amounts, why on Earth would they care? 

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24 minutes ago, arterra said:

 

Do customers actually care whether an image is RM or RF - especially when RM licenses aren't as strict as they used to be?

 

Cheers,

Philippe

Most customers; probably not. It's a shame we're in this situation. I believe the RF license was invented to allow customers' use of images on collections that they bought on CDs. Don't know if that is still done, but the model has long been applied to individual images and isn't going away. 

 

100% RM for now. Sales on the upswing.

Edited by KevinS

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I was 100% RM but about 6 months ago I switched to nearly 100% RF, for no particular reason other than that it what Alamy recommends and as I wasn't making

vast sums there wasn't a lot to lose.

So far I have sold slightly more in those 6 months than in the whole of the previous 12. The average price is slightly higher too. On the face of it I'm doing twice as well this year as RF than I did last year as RM.

Seems to have been a good move then, though it also coincided with all the changes to the new AIM, search engine etc, so that might have something to do with it.

I am a little concerned that most of the eminent people on the forum are mostly RM, but maybe as was suggested, the license type is not that important ?

 

Geoff

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1 hour ago, geoff s said:

I was 100% RM but about 6 months ago I switched to nearly 100% RF, for no particular reason other than that it what Alamy recommends and as I wasn't making

vast sums there wasn't a lot to lose.

So far I have sold slightly more in those 6 months than in the whole of the previous 12. The average price is slightly higher too. On the face of it I'm doing twice as well this year as RF than I did last year as RM.

Seems to have been a good move then, though it also coincided with all the changes to the new AIM, search engine etc, so that might have something to do with it.

I am a little concerned that most of the eminent people on the forum are mostly RM, but maybe as was suggested, the license type is not that important ?

 

Geoff

 

Interesting to hear about your experiences. Are you finding that different images are selling now that you are RF -- i.e. any noticeable changes or sales patterns since you switched?

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RM/RF contemplation causes cognitive dissonance.

Therefore advocates, to reduce their cognitive dissonance, adjust their beliefs to correspond with their actions.

Bill

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7 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

RM/RF contemplation causes cognitive dissonance.

Therefore advocates, to reduce their cognitive dissonance, adjust their beliefs to correspond with their actions.

Bill

 

I've always felt that beliefs of any kind are a waste of good brain cells. ^_^

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Late to the party as usual!

 

Most of my images are RM, but, initially, and without a proper understanding of the concept, I also had quite a few RF. One of those did well for a while, but recent sales have been for peanuts, while my most lucrative sales have been RM. Still not entirely sure that I understand all of the ramifications, but remaining with RM at present.

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I had an RM (magazine) Estonia distributor sale show up today. My share is a whopping $1.67. Would I have done better if I had offered the image as RF?

 

P.S. Not complaining. I went into distribution with my eyes open. Just curious...

Edited by John Mitchell

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Ian, your point here is an excellent one. A standard broad rights licence has the right feel about it and can simplify the mess our industry pricing structure has been in for way too long. 

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On 7/11/2017 at 09:01, M.Chapman said:

 

I'm almost 100% RM.

Isn't RM better for making DACs claims? (Because Alamy's report for RF sales doesn't usually provide the necessary info?)

I note Alamy now recommend RF though.

 

Mark

 

Good point Mark.

 

So how do the likes of Alamy manage RF in relation to DACS? Do they simply not count them in which case their move towards RF means that there will be little increase in DACS returns in the future.

Do they always issue a RF licence which stipulates either book or magazine sale and allow the customer to do what they want.?

 

In any event,without the title/ISBN/ISSN they will not be able to claim under the new CLA rules- or will they?

 

Regen

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On-going struggle for everyone - from small to big, newbie to old-timer.

 

"The next question is what to do with the image...still struggling with whether to put it in as a Royalty Free image or a Rights Managed one. My heart is always with RM because I started out as an RM photographer and I believe my images are worth more money that the prices generally charge for RF…but the audience for RM images has dropped in size to a mere fraction of the audience for RF images…and X (agency starting with G) now routinely licenses RM images at microstock prices." - (John Lund, www.johnlund.com and part-owner of significant agency).

 

Full blog post can be found here http://blog.johnlund.com/2016/12/a-rooster-crowing-dawn-stock-photo.html 

 

So he's on both sides of the fence, obviously have access to a lot more data than most and still struggling with convictions vs revenue...

Edited by Martin Carlsson
Added link to blog post

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All of my images are RM and I just had a sale through a German distributor with a quantity discount. I got a microstock price. So discouraging.

 

Paulette

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Yep. And I just added to your post about it. Why would Germany be a bad place to sell? If I was choosing to opt out of some countries I would have thought Germany would be reasonably good prices.

 

Paulette

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41 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

It's true that many if not the majority of editorial RM sales at G are now micro priced. But will G even accept non-exclusive images as RF elsewhere for its editorial collection ( they will for RM images)? And aren't Creative RF sales just as poorly paid but with only 20% commission? 

 

I certainly don't want to rehash all the old arguments. That would be pointless. But, just speaking personally, deciding early on to go RM and stay that way has certainly avoided the agonising and turmoil that others seem to experience.

 

Alamy have also made it clear that many of its customers favour RF. That is certainly a consideration - providing what customers prefer - but it is not the only one. In any case Alamy seems able to offer the flexibility in its RM licences to meet most needs. I don't have the evidence but my hunch would be that most Alamy buyers care about getting the right image more than any other single factor.  And that for most Alamy buyers reuse rights are useful to avoid complications but that primarily they are not planning reuse as the major motivation. For example, they might want to know that any print-run increases, or new editions will be covered in the original licence and fee.

 

If a photographer is producing saleable images they will get sales, and if they are not producing saleable images they won't. I can't see that fiddling around switching licences will make much difference.

 

Finally, I have found increasing pressure from agencies to supply RF but have not complied. As Brian Y has remarked previoulsy perhaps I am an RM fundamentalist!

 

Skipping a few points. The sheer amount of supply today I would logically think decrease the chance of something being unique. Unique might not even be the criteria, just needing something that works, illustrates a point well or recent as possible of a certain location. Then, given everything "similar/same/equal" would a customer prefer RF over RM - I think so. Just simpler, less admin (ensuring not breaking the scope of the licensing agreement), less chance of screwing it up, perhaps better economics, even if priced higher, if used again etc.

Edited by Martin Carlsson
little addition

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

Finally, I have found increasing pressure from agencies to supply RF but have not complied. As Brian Y has remarked previoulsy perhaps I am an RM fundamentalist!

Ian, you are very much THE RM fundamentalist!

 

There have been times when I've served as your loyal opposition, but it won't be now. My own experiences are really different and I don't believe that RM vs RF is the main reason for this.

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Looks like my question invoked some great discussion. Based on this, I think I can safely stay nearly or completely 100% RM, but might experiment with a few images on RF. Overall, because the market is so competitive and prices are depressed, it probably doesn't matter what form of license we choose.

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