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Does anyone else find that a lot of their images sold for "Personal use, Personal prints, cards and gifts, or reference for artists" are purchased and then refunded a few weeks later ?

 

I find it hard to believe that these very high resolution photos are regularly downloaded for small amounts of money, refunded and then never used.

 

What are other member's experiences ?

 

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I had one refunded a few days later. :angry:

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As it happened to me the same last year, finally, I decided to opt for removing Personal use sales from my account simply by asking Alamy. They did for me immediately. Nobody can guarantee a photographer that a refunded sale for personal use is not then used by the private purchaser which means is really difficult to track the abuse by Alamy (and ourselves). Last week, I had a Presentation or newsletters refunded sale for the first time. Also in this case it's quite difficult to be sure the refunded image is not used then by the private purchaser. If I get another similar refund in the future, definitely I will ask Alamy for removing also this kind of sales from my account. 

 

Stefano

Barcelona photographer

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I didn't realise we could ask these uses to be excluded ... It seems most of my "Personal Use Sales" get refunded ... I'd like Alamy to look into this further and if we can't police it I'll also ask for an exclusion ...

 

I actually see quite a few image uses "Slip Through The Net" and never get paid for via Alamy and other agencies, It's blatent theft from artists who don't ask for much in the first place and it makes me livid. This is my livelihood and it puts food on the table for my starving kids ...

 

 

Edited by Nitroman

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Due to my small portfolio I don't get many sales and very few personal use sales. Touch wood, I have no refunds to date but if I did notice a pattern of refunds I would leave the personal use scheme. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that there should be a no refund policy on personal use due to the difficulty with policing.

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Excellent idea Joe ... or perhaps i'll opt out if it's possible as Stipe suggests ...

 

The sales are for such small amounts anyways ... and you can't trust anyone these days ...

Edited by Nitroman

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No refunds, and no online infringements discovered yet.

A few people have suggested they're being abused but apparently not much actual evidence yet.

Alamy did say that there were some refunds due to people thinking they'd bought the object in the image.

Edit: losdemas has some. See "personal use licensing"

 

Edited by spacecadet

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Getty do allow personal use for websites etc for just 1 cent and a credit ... but they are web resolution not 50Mb + like Personal Use downloads. 

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34 minutes ago, Nitroman said:

Excellent idea Joe ... or perhaps i'll opt out if it's possible as Stipe suggests ...

 

The sales are for such small amounts anyways ... and you can't trust anyone these days ...

Well, I trust my agent, and I trust them to manage the risk of infringement.

I remember a business seminar where it was said that if you weren't getting refunds, you weren't selling hard enough. Of course it's a bit different when you don't control your own sales, as here, but it's still a point. Alamy sees a market and is trying to service it.

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34 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Well, I trust my agent, and I trust them to manage the risk of infringement.

<snip>

Alamy sees a market and is trying to service it.

 

I see and understand that point and perhaps some of us are more sensitive than others, (to our own business detriment at times?), but when abuses of any system are found and reported on, one would hope that those abuses are acted upon (and promptly) in order to both reassure the content providers (us) and deter abusers, both current and prospective.

 

Perhaps I should just concentrate more on providing sufficient quantity of quality material to ensure a degree of sales success which might go some length to lessening my upset? :unsure: What worries me is that this might only provide more material to those who choose to subvert the system in place.

 

I understand that Alamy have seen a market here and seek to take advantage of that in a difficult period in the industry.  I also understand that should they seek to deter the tiny minority stealing (I'm certain that this is always the case in society), they may deter the genuine avocado purchasers, who are happy to pay a premium for the product they require. Very tricky...

Edited by losdemas

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3 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Isn't that what Spacecadet has been asking for - some actual examples of misuse.

 

Surely, if that is happening on any sort of scale it should be relatively easy to find any infringements and take action, especially in the case of any online infringements.

Losdemas mentioned that he has had some misuse which he assumes Alamy are investigating. Since it's an abuse of the licence terms they get first dibsies.

I certainly GIS my PUs from time to time to see if anything naughty is going on. Not perfect but not too much bother. In fact I'll nip off and have a go now.

Edited by spacecadet

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I have only had a couple of personal use refunds. 

 

The first was for an image of the boat house in Central Park, which I found being used for advertising some sort of bridal services which operate there in New York.  Alamy got them to take it down, but never got me any fee for it, which was disappointing because presumably Alamy must have the details of the "buyer" who bought and abused it.

 

The second was fairly recent, and was a rare weekend sale - and it was cancelled the following day!  I am very suspicious that this was simply a ruse to get the high res image for free (it was an image relevant to the recent royal wedding).  I occasionally do an image search for it and will report it to Alamy if it appears online (it is an image that has not been licensed for any other use and is only on Alamy), but no sign of it so far.

 

Graham

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I have quite a few Personal Use sales, but I can't recall any refunds.  Nevertheless I consider such sales as highly suspicious.  It is hard to figure out why some subjects would be wanted for "Personal Use".

 

The problem with opting out of the Personal Use sales category is that if you do so, your image is then considered "restricted" by Alamy and will no longer be made available to their network of sub-agents.  This could result in a loss of other sales for any other use, not just for Personal Use.  I queried Alamy about this in January when I was considering opting out of Personal Use.  Their reply of January 9, 2018 said "All restricted images are removed from our distribution pool so if you restrict your images for personal use then they won't be available via our distributors."

 

They also told me that "any image that has previously been downloaded by a distributor...can still be licensed up to 2 years after removal."

 

This means that opting out of Personal Use sales can result in more serious lost sales, making this a difficult decision for us photographers to make. 

 

Joe's suggestion that personal use sales should not be eligible for refunds is a sensible policy.  We should all press Alamy to adopt this policy.

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I get refunds on all kinds of sales, not just PU. I also get a number of resales and price adjustments. I once considered opting out of PU, when street mural artists objected to sales of any kind of their work. I decided to stay with PU.

 

I did opt out of Novel use. Is that a problem I am not aware of?

 

My general attitude towards sales and price is let Alamy make all the decisions; this is not a coop agency. I see myself as being in the image production business. Alamy is in the image sales business. 

 

Edo

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7 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

 

I did opt out of Novel use. Is that a problem I am not aware of?

 

 

 

Edo

Not really.

I've had exactly one NU sale, back in 2010 or 11, for 83¢.

Edited by spacecadet
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I agree with Alamy making all sales decisions and i'm happy with their service. They are on our side after all ...

 

However, the point of my forum post was to see what other member have experienced and when this data is available, we can feedback to Alamy directors and misuse department.

 

Keep the comments coming ... So far i think the best suggestion is to omit Personal Usage sales from refunds. The photos are still incredible value for money ...

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13 minutes ago, Nitroman said:

I agree with Alamy making all sales decisions and i'm happy with their service. They are on our side after all ...

 

However, the point of my forum post was to see what other member have experienced and when this data is available, we can feedback to Alamy directors and misuse department.

 

Keep the comments coming ... So far i think the best suggestion is to omit Personal Usage sales from refunds. The photos are still incredible value for money ...

 

Even though I opted out of PU scheme in the early days I am with you all the way in stating that PU sales should not be allowed to be refunded.

 

That is unless the buyer can prove that the image was paid for in the belief they where buying what was in the image and not the image itself. They would also have to prove that they had completely deleted the image from their system too, and were unable to use or access the image in any way.

 

Don't ask me how this would work, I'm just making the suggestion.

 

Allan

 

 

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I've never had a PU refund.

 

I think that Alamy would make a lot fewer PU sales if they had a no refund policy.

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12 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Yes definitely Alamy would make fewer sales if they had a no refund policy.

 

Just as with most businesses these days they allow refunds because it encourages purchases.

 

How many un-refunded sales are made because refunds are available?

 

Right. I wouldn't buy new camera equipment from a store that had a "no refunds" policy. That kind of store wouldn't be in business for very long either.

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Do Alamy ask for reasons for the refund? 

 

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In total 10 PU for me and only one refunds without further sale. Sometimes happen that an image is sold as  PU later refund and few days sold again as PU. One PU was refunded and sold afterwards for $40 with the right usage.

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

Does Marks and Spencer?

 

Most stores do have a stipulations, though. For instance if you spilled tomato sauce all over your lovely M&S shirt and then asked for your money back, the store might balk.Tough to think of a legitimate reason for returning a PU image other than poor technical quality. However, Alamy could have a "no questions asked" policy when it comes to refunds.

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With some airlines you have a 24-hour grace period in which you can cancel your ticket free of charge if you have made a mistake etc. Genuine mistakes happen, surely. But if you suddenly realise you don't want it after a fortnight, tough luck.

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13 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Does Marks and Spencer?

 

YES. But they seem to accept your reason readily.

 

Allan

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

YES. But they seem to accept your reason readily.

 

Allan

 

 

 

- at least Marks & Sparks probably won't face some sort of infringement or breach of copyright deriving from the returned goods, unless they have been through a scanner  for a 3D print.

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