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RM vs RF usage...again!

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4 hours ago, Patrick Cooper said:

There's a particular photo of mine that I'm planning to license as RM. Not because the subject matter is rare (it isn't) and there certainly wasn't anything difficult or challenging about the shooting conditions. It's a photo of a landmark in my home city. I'm deciding to go with RM in this case because it was one of the top 27 photos in a photography competition that were selected for an exhibition and sold for over $700 in that exhibition. So that's my justification for choosing RM. Not sure if I'm right or wrong. 

 

 

 

I can understand your thinking but don't really accept that there is some aspect of image quality that should make an image RF or RM. Okay, I'll accept that all those infampus micro shots (tomato on white background and the like) are probably so well supplied that very few buyers can't find what they want very cheaply. But for most 'ordinary' illustrative subjects I simply don't buy the argument that they should be RF because they are somehow not exceptional in terms of either content of technique.. 

 

Logically, the appeal to buyers of RF is that they intend to re-use the image again and again - why would they deliberately choose a low quality image for such an investment?

 

Just last week I had a $238 sale for an image of a waterfall that I had come very close to deleting. So from my viewpoint, let the buyer decide, don't be too fussy about subjective assessments of quality, and again from my perspective stick 100% with RM .

 

Congratulations of your competition success - I too had some modest success recently for a very standard image. I'm sure that you will agree that stock is not about photo competition type photography. The habit of assessing each other's 'port' seems to me to have spilled over from micro-stock communities. It really and truly does not matter what other photographers think of our images. It is the buyer that matters!

 

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On 10/21/2017 at 10:30, Brasilnut said:

 

On here, a buyer can license an RF image as RM on a one-time use basis. So, making it RF gives the buyers more options / flexibility. Going RF instead of RM can be detrimental though as others have pointed out above.  

 

For better or worse, I foresee the stock photography industry moving towards predominately RF usage, even for editorials. The client is king!

 

Quite right. Traditional RM will probably become too niche, thus not not profitable enough, to be commonly available through larger agencies/libraries. Specialists yes, individuals yes, but overall it will continue to diminish. So if one is intent on sticking to RM will probably find themselves looking for new homes and new avenues. Adapt or die. The client is unfortunately king, whether we like it or not, whether we agree with the changes within the industry or not. IMHO of course.

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2 minutes ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Hmmm. Slightly tangential, but reading that the Muddle is now buying from Alamy again, I was curious to see whether it was solely RF (as they seemed to think that RM meant RF before), so I looked up one of the images mentioned on my phone. Looking from my phone, there was NO way of telling whether the file was RF or RM (I hadn't filtered on the search). Underneath the bit I photographed there is only the black bar with all the site info, no option for 'choose another RM use' or 'choose RF'. The same file on my desktop also doesn't clearly indicate RM/RF, but it's hinted at by the 'choose another rights-managed licence'. But the buyer would need to be well clued up to pick up on that. I don't think it's clear enough for a buyer who doesn't know the difference. Not knowing how Alamy targets and educates buyers, I'll make no further comment on that, other than we don't come out of the womb knowing that stuff!

 

So the answer is that they are buying RM and RF, as another I checked was an RF file, Live News as far as I could see. I hope that:

1. The price they pay for RF reflects the fact that they can (in my personal experience - I'm probably blacklisted by them now :P) use the same file >40 times over their group.

2. They have developed some way of indicating to all their staff which are RF and which are RM

 

I was also perplexed by the difference in pricing, and wondered why there was a mobile price hike; however I checked on my desktop in a different browser with all history/cookies/cache removed and the price is the same as on the mobile, so presumably (?) the price is automatically lowered for logged-in searchers.

FF-Ph.jpg

 

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21 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Surely if you wanted to shoot for RF you knew that releases were needed?

 

 

 

 

 

Of course I do and always have, but try to get releases from 100 people on a beach, or a corporate headquarters.

Ian I thought you would know that with the new Alamy Image Manager images containing unreleased property or people can be RF editorial only. You must have missed that point somehow.

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9 hours ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

Quite right. Traditional RM will probably become too niche, thus not not profitable enough, to be commonly available through larger agencies/libraries. Specialists yes, individuals yes, but overall it will continue to diminish. So if one is intent on sticking to RM will probably find themselves looking for new homes and new avenues. Adapt or die. The client is unfortunately king, whether we like it or not, whether we agree with the changes within the industry or not. IMHO of course.

 

This seems to be getting close to Social Darwinism.

https://www.allaboutscience.org/what-is-social-darwinism-faq.htm

 

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40 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

Of course I do and always have, but try to get releases from 100 people on a beach, or a corporate headquarters.

Ian I thought you would know that with the new Alamy Image Manager images containing unreleased property or people can be RF editorial only. You must have missed that point somehow.

 

No I didn't miss it at all. In fact I explicitly referred to Editorial RF. 

 

The only other agencies that I know of that offer it are the micros. So assigning unreleased images as RF on Alamy effectively rules them out as being RM anywhere else. The only options you are left with is that of the micros. Fine if that is what a contributor wants but why limit future options?

Edited by geogphotos

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10 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

This seems to be getting close to Social Darwinism.

https://www.allaboutscience.org/what-is-social-darwinism-faq.htm

 

 

Let's not be overly dramatic. A lot of signs pointing towards an everly increasing RF market share and a diminishing RM market share. As I said, individuals and specialist libraries might continue with traditional RM, but I do foresee it being phased out by medium to large libraries pretty soon - do they even now check that the associated stipulations are even followed (ehh no that is us doing that IMHO or us paying for the services to do that).

 

Perhaps this potential shift will cause enough upheaval/demand/pressure to finally create the "new licensing form" - something fitting for the Web 2.0-3.0 etc. - we're still selling licenses like at Camden Market, at the dirty end, in the 80s. I said it before, there are impression based technology that is ready to be implemented into a licensing form - finally a RM 2.0 i.e. PAYG, pay for actual use, pay for actual exposure - making licensing images cheap as chips for the dedicated school kid doing his project, and way more expensive when used as a hero image by a multi-national behemoth company in worldwide campaign.

 

For the long term economic health and viability of the industry and for full time stock photography professionals the industry has to get with the times - we can't work against technology, against customer wishes. I don't put all my eggs in the same basket, mainly for creative stimulation purposes (besides the point), but I would like there to continue to be an opportunity for others to do so - the demand says it should be possible, the monies involved in the industry says it should be possible, but two things need to be addressed - oddly enough catered by the same technology - dependable image tracking, (1) tackling misuse/theft and (2) actual use/impression tracking built into new licensing form. It's not drastic or fantasy, a combination of Google Adsense (budget constraints) and Spotify (exposure remuneration).

 

As always, just verbalised HOs (Humble Opinions) and no need to drag Darwin and associated awful connotation into it all ;) 

 

PS.

Offering something as RM (here) doesn't safeguard its ability to be (proper) RM elsewhere - RM images evidently have been sold virtually on RF terms many a times - to the point that it is almost meaningless what we choose at the moment for such reasons (IMHO). Ian - you know that I'm no RF fan, but I'm also not a traditional RM license fan in 2017 - something need to change, at the moment we're losing control, losing revenue and losing out on opportunity. The stock industry as a whole need to change from this Wild West to something more sustainable. Preferably the change would be driven by artists, but let's face it - there are hardly a more unruly group of professionals (semi-professionals and amateurs a like) so I don't see that happen - instead the first library harnessing this new tech in a workable and appealing to both customers and artists fashion will become a dominant force for a long time. 

 

Anyway, I'm rambling - sorry.

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2 hours ago, Martin Carlsson said:

 

Let's not be overly dramatic. A lot of signs pointing towards an everly increasing RF market share and a diminishing RM market share. As I said, individuals and specialist libraries might continue with traditional RM, but I do foresee it being phased out by medium to large libraries pretty soon - do they even now check that the associated stipulations are even followed (ehh no that is us doing that IMHO or us paying for the services to do that).

 

Perhaps this potential shift will cause enough upheaval/demand/pressure to finally create the "new licensing form" - something fitting for the Web 2.0-3.0 etc. - we're still selling licenses like at Camden Market, at the dirty end, in the 80s. I said it before, there are impression based technology that is ready to be implemented into a licensing form - finally a RM 2.0 i.e. PAYG, pay for actual use, pay for actual exposure - making licensing images cheap as chips for the dedicated school kid doing his project, and way more expensive when used as a hero image by a multi-national behemoth company in worldwide campaign.

 

For the long term economic health and viability of the industry and for full time stock photography professionals the industry has to get with the times - we can't work against technology, against customer wishes. I don't put all my eggs in the same basket, mainly for creative stimulation purposes (besides the point), but I would like there to continue to be an opportunity for others to do so - the demand says it should be possible, the monies involved in the industry says it should be possible, but two things need to be addressed - oddly enough catered by the same technology - dependable image tracking, (1) tackling misuse/theft and (2) actual use/impression tracking built into new licensing form. It's not drastic or fantasy, a combination of Google Adsense (budget constraints) and Spotify (exposure remuneration).

 

As always, just verbalised HOs (Humble Opinions) and no need to drag Darwin and associated awful connotation into it all ;) 

 

PS.

Offering something as RM (here) doesn't safeguard its ability to be (proper) RM elsewhere - RM images evidently have been sold virtually on RF terms many a times - to the point that it is almost meaningless what we choose at the moment for such reasons (IMHO). Ian - you know that I'm no RF fan, but I'm also not a traditional RM license fan in 2017 - something need to change, at the moment we're losing control, losing revenue and losing out on opportunity. The stock industry as a whole need to change from this Wild West to something more sustainable. Preferably the change would be driven by artists, but let's face it - there are hardly a more unruly group of professionals (semi-professionals and amateurs a like) so I don't see that happen - instead the first library harnessing this new tech in a workable and appealing to both customers and artists fashion will become a dominant force for a long time. 

 

Anyway, I'm rambling - sorry.

 

 

Gulp.... have no way to answer all that! :)

 

Licences are already adapting and merging. Hopefully Alamy can take a lead, but much has already been done elsewhere eg) Betty editorial.

 

On this thread I have been advocating adaption. I have not simply been waving an RM flag.

 

Actually, if you scroll back through it has been the RF supporters doing the flag waving. I just don't like them to misinform newbies.:D

 

Brasilnut gave advice to newbies but then concedes that he doesn't follow it himself, and Bill has been an RF advocate since 2000 and has jumped at the chance to switch images on Alamy to Editorial RF. Yes his views are valid and interesting but I wouldn't say widely shared by Alamy contributors.

 

It's just that when I think about who is doing really well on Alamy, and read the Sales threads, it strikes me that it is still mainly those selling RM who are reporting success. So it is not all doom and gloom. And often it seems that those who switch to RF do so in hope that it will provide some sort of shortcut when they might be better to change what they are submitting.

 

And Darwin. How many times have you read that photographers have to adapt/evolve or die? Funnily enough Darwin never once mentioned stock photography in his Theory of Evolution, though he did point out that the theory did not apply to human society, politics, or economics but to change in the natural world over hundreds of millions of years.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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One last thought on this topic.  Alamy have made it clear that their clients want more, and more rights, apparently with more liberal terms.  Hence this statement on their on-line guide:  "Our customers are increasingly asking for broader rights so we’d recommend selling your images as RF but the decision is yours."  

 

Would Alamy make this recommendation if it were detrimental to their business model?  I don't think so.  I am no fan of RF.  I am totally against it, actually.  But, as in the music industry, times are changing.  It is happening right before our eyes.  When you license an image (RM) for worldwide, unlimited use, all media, in perpetuity, as has recently happened to me, the lines blur when it comes to types of licensing.

 

I get it.  I don't like it, but the genie is out of the bottle.  It will be impossible to put that genie back in it's place.  I do believe Alamy is trying hard to get us the best licensing terms, as it benefits them too, but the definition of "best" will undoubtedly change over time.

 

Rick

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3 hours ago, Rick Lewis said:

One last thought on this topic.  Alamy have made it clear that their clients want more, and more rights, apparently with more liberal terms.  Hence this statement on their on-line guide:  "Our customers are increasingly asking for broader rights so we’d recommend selling your images as RF but the decision is yours."  

 

Would Alamy make this recommendation if it were detrimental to their business model?  I don't think so.  I am no fan of RF.  I am totally against it, actually.  But, as in the music industry, times are changing.  It is happening right before our eyes.  When you license an image (RM) for worldwide, unlimited use, all media, in perpetuity, as has recently happened to me, the lines blur when it comes to types of licensing.

 

I get it.  I don't like it, but the genie is out of the bottle.  It will be impossible to put that genie back in it's place.  I do believe Alamy is trying hard to get us the best licensing terms, as it benefits them too, but the definition of "best" will undoubtedly change over time.

 

Rick

 

What Alamy need to do in order to achieve this is create a new flexible licence that is not called RF or RM, or has anything to do with them.. At the moment we have these outdated, unhelpful and inaccurate licence terms that do nobody any favours. And as you say Alamy already offers RF-like perpetual licences for so-called RM images. So much so that these licences are virtually the same as Editorial RF offered elsewhere.  Once I asked Contributors Service if I could submit my RM images to a competitor and quoted their RF licence - they saw no immediate problem. The problem is in the NAMES -Royalty Free ( when it isn't) and Rights Managed ( when Rights aren't managed).

 

Just as a quick reason. I can't sell my images as RM elsewhere if they are called RF anywhere else. If I was to set my images as RF on Alamy I would be limited to where else they could go and that would most likely mean micros and/or 20% commission or less.

 

Buyers and agencies have always wanted and pushed for RF. Nothing new there. But it doesn't mean that it is  necessarily 'best' for us as contributors. 

 

 

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My latest so-called RM licence:

 

Country: Worldwide
Usage: iQ sale: Single company - multiple use editorial only
Industry sector: Education
Start: 24 October 2017
Duration: Unlimited

 

 

Basically RF Editorial.

 

I'm not complaining just commenting. 

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29 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

But it doesn't mean that it is  necessarily 'best' for us as contributors. 

 

This is a little tricky....

 

Most important is best for buyers. They do the buying. If on Alamy is not the license that is best for buyers the buyers will go to the other agency that has the best for buyers. An Agency can create the best license for us contributors but if buyers dont want it it will not let us survive.

 

Mirco

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10 minutes ago, MircoV said:

 

This is a little tricky....

 

Most important is best for buyers. They do the buying. If on Alamy is not the license that is best for buyers the buyers will go to the other agency that has the best for buyers. An Agency can create the best license for us contributors but if buyers dont want it it will not let us survive.

 

Mirco

 

 

For me it is not tricky. It is making an individual assessment of what is good for ourselves. No agency can do that for us.

 

I notice that Alamy wants more RF and can understand why. But I can't offer my images as RF because they are RM elsewhere. If Alamy can unlock that problem I can offer them my images. In the meantime I would lose too much so can't provide what they and the buyers want.

 

The major place where I have my RM images has partially removed the term RM for editorial. They use the term 'Standard Editorial Licence' and if the buyer wants more they buy a 'Customised Licence'. 

 

Standard Editorial Rights
  • Worldwide editorial use for 15 years (does not include commercial use rights or print cover use).
  • Unlimited seats. No limits on impressions and print runs.
  • No monetary limits on indemnification

 

As you say any new licence must be based on what buyers want, and also must reward creators adequately. 

 

 

Edited by geogphotos

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24 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

For me it is not tricky. It is making an individual assessment of what is good for ourselves. No agency can do that for us.

 

I notice that Alamy wants more RF and can understand why. But I can't offer my images as RF because they are RM elsewhere. If Alamy can unlock that problem I can offer them my images. In the meantime I would lose too much so can't provide what they and the buyers want.

 

The major place where I have my RM images has partially removed the term RM for editorial. They use the term 'Standard Editorial Licence' and if the buyer wants more they buy a 'Customised Licence'. 

 

Standard Editorial Rights
  • Worldwide editorial use for 15 years (does not include commercial use rights or print cover use).
  • Unlimited seats. No limits on impressions and print runs.
  • No monetary limits on indemnification

 

As you say any new licence must be based on what buyers want, and also must reward creators adequately. 

 

 

Totally understand your point now. Sorry for misunderstanding. A new license in that case would make sense. Alamy comes often with new ideas... so who knows.

 

Mirco

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I wasn't aware that Alamy even offered traditional RM licenses any more - the current RM rate structure is no different than RF (except the rates are lower for RM than they are for RF).  I guess this is why my RM sales have dropped so much this year.

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I recently took a photograph which depicts a lightning storm over a habour at night. The habour area would likely be recognisable to locals and could be regarded as a landmark more or less (though it is a very distant view.) I doubt most people elsewhere would recognise the location The lightning strike itself is quite dramatic - it is clearly the most impressive strike that I captured from the entire evening. I'm trying to decide whether to submit this image as RM and have it exclusive to Alamy or choose RF and make it available on the micro sites too. I'm unsure which direction to take. 

 

If it happened to be a lightning strike over a really well known, visually identifiable landmark such the New York city skyline or the Sydney Opera House (or lightning striking a tree) I guess I would probably steer towards RM. 

Edited by Patrick Cooper

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I ask the advice of people more experienced than me on the macrostock market, and particularly Alamy's.
My images are mostly of contemporary art and architecture, plus some travels and some creatives.

My idea is that:

 

Clearly editorial images (which will published presumably on books, magazines, and newspapers) should be RF editorial (since they arguably won't be republished often by the same publisher, and due to the marginally better prices and easier licensing system of RFs)

 

Creative images which don't need releases (for example, a particular view of a French Riviera village), arguably editorial but also suitable for advertising, posters, t-shirts and so on, should be RM

 

More ordinary images of a subject publishers can find easily elsewhere, could be RF

Edited by riccarbi

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10 hours ago, riccarbi said:

Clearly editorial images (which will published presumably on books, magazines, and newspapers) should be RF editorial (since they arguably won't be republished often by the same publisher, and due to the marginally better prices and easier licensing system of RFs)

As you wish, but I've several times had images reused by the same buyer*, even on the same day (including one pic yesterday bought with two uses by the same buyer). I've had over 40 uses of one file by the same newspaper publishing group (though I had to chase up over 20 of them) and 14 uses of another. That is arguably the BEST thing about RM, RF wouldn't have earned much, if any more (anecdotally from the forum, we all know that files seldom garner the amount suggested on the calculator), then they have permission to reuse. If the price was a lot higher for RF, it might make sense.

 

*Once I had two near-identical sales of a file used for 'educational book' - someone on  the group suggested that might have been a use on a pupil textbook and a use in the Teacher's Handbook. Again, one sale on RF.

 

Choose RF if you like (e.g. if you are selling the same content on RF-only sites), but make sure you are clear about your reasons. RF is best for the buyer, and there are almost certainly buyers who check to search through RF files only (so RM providers would lose these sales); but not for the photographers.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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1 hour ago, Cryptoprocta said:

Choose RF if you like (e.g. if you are selling the same content on RF-only sites), but make sure you are clear about your reasons. RF is best for the buyer, and there are almost certainly buyers who check to sarch through RF files only (so RM providers would lose these sales); but not for the photographers.

 

That's makes sense, definitely. So your suggestion is to always choose RM for valuable editorial images because it's not known if and why a publisher will re-use them multiple times (i.e. in different books). Let's make an example, this is one of my best-selling editorial images, do you suggest to change it from RF editorial to RM, am I right?

 

Messner-Museum-Corones-Zaha-Hadid-Inexhi

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, riccarbi said:

 

That's makes sense, definitely. So your suggestion is to always choose RM for valuable editorial images because it's not known if and why a publisher will re-use them multiple times (i.e. in different books). Let's make an example, this is one of my best-selling editorial images, do you suggest to change it from RF editorial to RM, am I right?

 

Messner-Museum-Corones-Zaha-Hadid-Inexhi

 

 

 

 

 

I would definitely make that RM.

 

I sold an image of a train in the Alps with someone leaning out of the carriage window taking a photo of the snow covered mountains. It has been sold 29 times to the same company for use in a brochure, which I found by accident! It was a couple of years ago now and some months they would buy the same image 3 or 4 times for different amounts. This went on for the life of the brochure, about 9 months, and I made a total of $1550. If it had been RF, I might have got one fee of, at most, $100.

 

John.

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On 10/27/2017 at 12:11, Images West said:

I wasn't aware that Alamy even offered traditional RM licenses any more - the current RM rate structure is no different than RF (except the rates are lower for RM than they are for RF).  I guess this is why my RM sales have dropped so much this year.

Only one of my last 24 sales was what I would call editorial RF, but sold as RM. I do agree that the old models are not working; they haven't since suppliers started  marketing CDs full of photos, which required the invention of RF so those images would be useful to the buyers of the CDs. 

Edited by KevinS
Clarify what was a poor sentence

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53 minutes ago, KevinS said:

Only one of my last 24 sales was what I would call RF, but sold as RM. I do agree that the old models are not working; they haven't since the advent of the CD which required the invention of RF. 

 

Eh? 

 

The invention of RF was a business opportunity not a requirement of technology. 

 

Honestly when I read these threads I do wonder about what people's heads get filled with at micro stock sites.

 

Let's see how many 'reds' that deserves :D

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On 1/10/2018 at 12:46, geogphotos said:

 

Eh? 

 

The invention of RF was a business opportunity not a requirement of technology. 

 

Honestly when I read these threads I do wonder about what people's heads get filled with at micro stock sites.

 

Let's see how many 'reds' that deserves :D

No reds from me. Perhaps I misunderstood you some years ago when you kindly explained the history of micro stock to me on the forum where our websites are hosted. You explained the photo sharing that was started by designers and morphed into istockphoto. Then I thought you went on to say that the CDs being marketed at the time required something new in the way of licensing so the buyers could use the photos on them over and over. Seems I misunderstood. Where did RF license come from?

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