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Liam Bunce

Street Art

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I think there will be a lot of images taken down from Alamy.

 

Just received this.

 

Hi Liam,

 

We’ve recently seen an increase in the number of complaints from street artists regarding images of their artwork for sale on Alamy.

 

Our lawyer has advised us to remove all images of murals that are solely of the artwork as this could be seen be seen as a copyright or trademark infringement of the original. This is to try to reduce the risk of potential legal issues.

 

We have removed the images below;

 

Alamy Ref / Contributor Ref

 

DA1MM9 / Bunce_HSI_199_D

 

We don’t want images solely of artwork, but if you upload images shot with wider context to the image (e.g. a street scene), then please make sure they’re restricted for editorial use only.

 

Thanks

 

Alamy Copyright Team

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I've had 21 removed.  Some of them aren't even what I would consider to be street art -- some are historical murals -- and have licensed in the  past.

 

Not very happy at all. :(

Edited by John Mitchell
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I would think a lot of these issues are now because Alamy offers prints of the images.  People can hang large prints if they want of the artwork and that would certainly be a copyright issue.

 

Jill

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At least we know which word to leave out of the tags in future.

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4 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

At least we know which word to leave out of the tags in future.

 

Yes, I'm now sorry I put it in on some images.

Edited by John Mitchell

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15 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

I would think a lot of these issues are now because Alamy offers prints of the images.  People can hang large prints if they want of the artwork and that would certainly be a copyright issue.

 

Jill

 

Consumer goods as well, which include Calendars, Credit Cards, t-shirts, Post Cards, key chains, mousepads, menus, CD Packages, posters, etc.

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18 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

I would think a lot of these issues are now because Alamy offers prints of the images.  People can hang large prints if they want of the artwork and that would certainly be a copyright issue.

 

Jill

 

If that's the case, then it's another reason why offering PU / prints might not have been such a hot idea.

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It would just be nice not to be chasing a moving target, or indeed, be one. It seems as if every few months Alamy comes up with something else and we lose work in which we've invested time and money. None of us has broken any terms of the contract IMHO so we can do absolutely nothing to insulate ourselves from the latest wheeze.

Alamy may be in a difficult position, but it's still collecting commissions. We're not, on deleted images.

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I may be wrong about this, but "mural" images that we have already marked for editorial use only appear to be immune to deletion.

Edited by John Mitchell

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38 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

I would think a lot of these issues are now because Alamy offers prints of the images.  People can hang large prints if they want of the artwork and that would certainly be a copyright issue.

 

Jill

 

I have also had some removed, but recently opted out of PU for all my images, so that's not the reason.

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23 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Closely followed by an Alamy email asking us to remove restrictions:)

 

This is a JOKE. By which I mean I am making a joke not that Alamy is a joke.....oh hell:wacko:

 

Fortunately, I didn't remove all of mine.

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48 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

It would just be nice not to be chasing a moving target, or indeed, be one. It seems as if every few months Alamy comes up with something else and we lose work in which we've invested time and money. None of us has broken any terms of the contract IMHO so we can do absolutely nothing to insulate ourselves from the latest wheeze.

Alamy may be in a difficult position, but it's still collecting commissions. We're not, on deleted images.

 

I suppose one could move on to a library that curates its collection and does the keywording. Then it is the library's responsibility and the contributor has done slightly less work.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Just now, geogphotos said:

 

Well yes, but if WE add restrictions the assumption seems to be that really we shouldn't have.

 

But if we don't add restrictions the assumption seems to be that we really should have ( despite donkeys years of requests from us for an easy to use Editorial Use button)

 

Again, just pointing out the ironies of life.

 

Alamy obviously have to respond as they see fit to legal threats. 

 

Maybe next time first send out an email suggesting that restrictions might be applied to all images with keywords containing 'xyz' or say that it now is the time to review all images with keywords contains 'xyz'? It might save Alamy a lot of work.

 

I agree, sending out an initial e-mail would have been the sensible thing to do. As it is, we and Alamy will be losing sales from many images that have been deleted unnecessarily -- i.e. that were most likely fine for editorial use.

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14 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Yes, but the photographer has to take responsibility for what they upload - the agency really can't know.

 

Yes, but the photographer cannot know how the image might be used (or licenced by a library), how it will be captioned or in which territory. At least the library has some control, or did when each sale was handled individually without automation.Yet we are asked to indemnify libraries against these nebulous risks, our IP lawyer would probably advise against submitting  at all on that basis :(

 

We could restrict it to the ultimate degree (only in a print newspaper, on a Sunday, in Scotland, without cropping and captioned as ...) but we would then never make a sale. That would be the only truly safe approach.

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"If the photographer does not know how the image might be used then the photographer ought to know how it might be used and rule out any uses that are not allowed."

 

True, but when we mark images as "editorial use only", we are putting limits on how images should be used -- i.e. we're ruling out inappropriate commercial uses.

 

The main problem I'm having is why Alamy suddenly switched from the "light-handed" approach (announced a few days ago) of simply putting editorial only restrictions on images containing the "m-word" to the new heavy-handed one of deleting them altogether. Seems a bit inconsistent to me. Some clarification of the flip-flop would be appreciated.

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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28 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Legal advice I suppose.

 

I had two sets of e-mails regarding mostly the same images.

First e-mail said 'legal advice is to add restriction', second e-mail said 'legal advice said to delete'. Go figure.

 

Gen

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Legal advice I suppose.

 

Probably. But I have to wonder how much lawyers know about the stock photography market. Are they really in a position to advise accurately on what should be deleted?

 

For instance, why would this one (below) have been deleted? It's a typical travel photo suitable for editorial use (travel guides, magazines, newspapers, etc.).  It isn't "street art" and there seems to be plenty of context.

 

Mural by Fernando Castro Pacheco in the Palacio de Gobierno or Municipal Palace, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico - Stock Image

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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I have posted a few images of murals taken in a town which advertises itself as a "mural town" - it's their tourism slant - and they refer to them as "public artworks". Even the public toilets have murals on the outside. Alamy have allowed them to remain, although editorial restriction were added to one mural which took up a tad over half the image. But I see that is still available for personal use (or misuse?). This is the place, if anyone is interested. http://www.huntervalleyvisitorcentre.com.au/businesses/detail/kurri-kurri-mural-guide/

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8 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

I had two sets of e-mails regarding mostly the same images.

First e-mail said 'legal advice is to add restriction', second e-mail said 'legal advice said to delete'. Go figure.

 

Gen

My two lists were both from the same country, taken on the same trip, but were actually very slightly different sets of images. The trip was recent, which makes me wonder how deep the trawl actually was.

I'm still in the dark about the criteria which were applied, of course. In one, a door frame is "context". In another, it isn't.

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Hi all

We haven't locked two threads for you to start a third to continue the discussion. We're working with a huge number of images here and this is an ongoing process so please bear with us. In the meantime, if you have any questions please direct them to copyright@alamy.com. 

We have (as you know):

  • deleted images that contain the word 'mural or 'murals' that have no or very little 'context' to the image
  • added editorial restrictions to images that contain the keyword 'mural' or 'murals' that have wider context to the image


We haven't done this based on exactly what the image is of, i.e. we haven't checked to see if what you're tagging as a mural is in fact classed as a mural.

 

This has been done at the advice of our lawyer as this seems to be a hot issue at the moment and we've seen an increase in queries from street artists around the world.  We certainly aren't bowing to pressure, this is something we've researched together with our lawyer. 

 

Please understand, we are doing this to help protect you from any third party issues. We are not against you in this and despite what you might think, we are trying to help. 

 

Our advice on our help pages about artwork in images is...Images of artwork/murals/graffiti must be taken with wider context to the image (i.e. as part of a street scene). They should also be marked as available for editorial use only. Images that are solely of artwork could be seen as a copyright or trademark infringement and shouldn’t be uploaded to Alamy as stock photography.


Thanks
Alamy

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