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alphaomega

Declining sales since marking all images 'Editorial Only'

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With the introduction of the optional 'editorial only' box I went for it across all images earlier this year. Since then I have seen a measurable reduction in sales. I suspect that images were previously sold for commercial purposes despite me showning no releases for people or property. Basically I do not want any problems with my images being sold for commercial purposes in case anyone objects and a court case or other claims are launched. I actually do not care what they are used for as long as I don't get into trouble as a result thereof. Although I am behind first the user and then Alamy I suspect they will try and pass the buck to me if the 'editorial use' box has not been ticked.

Anyone with the same issue and how are you handling it? I would be keen to know.

On the one hand I want to maximise sales, but not at the risk og being sued. I am an amateur without insurance for these kinds of problems.

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You can check your previous licence types in the sales summary. But you don't seem to have a lot of the sort of material that might be a problem if licensed commercially. My port isn't too different and I don't apply the restriction.

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I only check the 'editorial only' box when I think it's absolutely necessary, which isn't very often. Alamy has contacted me a couple of times and asked me if I would lift the editorial only restrictions on specific images, and I've complied.

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27 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Alamy has contacted me a couple of times and asked me if I would lift the editorial only restrictions on specific images, and I've complied.

Same here, and they reassure me that I wouldn't be held responsible for any fallout. Therefore it's really a 'no brainer'; that box remains empty.

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so my understanding and please correct me if wrong....as long as we post it with the release information (or none), we are in the clear? Afterall, we can't control what a buyer does with it, all we can do is convey the appropriate information with it. The buyer agreement would cover off that indemnity and liability to Alamy.

Edited by MandyD

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17 minutes ago, MandyD said:

so my understanding and please correct me if wrong....as long as we post it with the release information (or none), we are in the clear? Afterall, we can't control what a buyer does with it, all we can do is convey the appropriate information with it. The buyer agreement would cover off that indemnity and liability to Alamy.

So I understand. Annotate correctly, or at least diligently, and you're fine. If Alamy's worried about anything they can delete it as provided for in the contract.

Edited by spacecadet

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2 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

So I understand. Annotate correctly, or at least diligently, and you're fine. If Alamy's worried about anything they can delete it as provided for in the contract.

I work in contract law, so I am a stickler for this kind of stuff. I should read the buyer's agreement to put myself at ease I guess. It's the only thing that makes sense. All my boxes are correct, and there is no way I can control usage. Even if it was marked editorial, they can see do as they wish technically, but not legally.

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This is an interesting thread as I have also marked all my 5000+ images Editorial Only.   That followed on from an earlier thread where I was left with the impression that without marking my images Editorial Only  I could land in trouble.  All my boxes are correctly marked as none with releases.

 

Now I'm in a quandary ......

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5 minutes ago, John Walker said:

This is an interesting thread as I have also marked all my 5000+ images Editorial Only.   That followed on from an earlier thread where I was left with the impression that without marking my images Editorial Only  I could land in trouble.  All my boxes are correctly marked as none with releases.

 

Now I'm in a quandary ......

I wasn't left with that impression so I didn't. I'm not the publisher. The chances of comeback, to anyone, are vanishingly small anyway

 

Edited by spacecadet
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2 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

I wasn't left with that impression so I didn't. I'm not the publisher.

 

 

So, is the general consensus that I would be better removing the Editorial Only restriction?

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14 minutes ago, John Walker said:

 

So, is the general consensus that I would be better removing the Editorial Only restriction?

Well, the OP hasn't come back to say that he has lost commercial licences since changing over, and no-one else has said so, so the jury's out.

Though I don't have any advertising uses, I don't know how widely the restriction would apply. I certainly have plenty of marketing licences I wouldn't want to lose.

Edited by spacecadet

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30 minutes ago, MandyD said:

I work in contract law, so I am a stickler for this kind of stuff. I should read the buyer's agreement to put myself at ease I guess. It's the only thing that makes sense. All my boxes are correct, and there is no way I can control usage. Even if it was marked editorial, they can see do as they wish technically, but not legally.

 

You are correct. In addition the publisher is responsible for anything they publish anyway.

However, working in contract law, you would know that any fool can sue in order to pass the buck onto the agent or the photographer or the photographer’s cat.

There is no way around it. Any photograph containing people or property, released or not, editorial or not, captioned correctly or not, RM or RF, carries a very very very small legal risk to the photographer.

Think about that portrait of a model released real family used editorially to illustrate incest. That has happened.

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Thanks for your replies so far. I am toying with the idea of removing the restriction on 'editorial only', but I need to re-read the agreement with Alamy first to see what liability that puts on me in this context.

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2 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

You are correct. In addition the publisher is responsible for anything they publish anyway.

However, working in contract law, you would know that any fool can sue in order to pass the buck onto the agent or the photographer or the photographer’s cat.

There is no way around it. Any photograph containing people or property, released or not, editorial or not, captioned correctly or not, RM or RF, carries a very very very small legal risk to the photographer.

Think about that portrait of a model released real family used editorially to illustrate incest. That has happened.

oh yes, which is why I think if I were to start using model released photos, my release would be airtight in my favor...I however have no plans to do this. AND a good understanding of the privacy laws within the country you are shooting is needed for both public and private spaces. I always err on the side of caution as it is. Thankfully, we live in Canada...it's pretty easy, but I do look up alot for when I travel. I look up every venue I plan on visiting, and the country's laws as well.

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Bill is right, you can't stop anyone suing, you can only increase your chances of being able to tell them to get lost. Here the risk is practically zero, his side of the Atlantic it's probably higher, but nothing like as high as in the country he lives to the north of.

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Had a quick look at the Contract before reading through the whole thing (28 pages).

1.5 clearly states

" You accept that you are solely and exclusively responsible for all Images that you submit and for all data that you store on Alamy’s servers. You acknowledge that Alamy does not and cannot review all Images uploaded and is not responsible for the Images. Where Alamy makes available Images this should be considered only as a courtesy and does not limit your responsibility for the Images."

So, essentially they will pass any legal approach received straight to the photographer. It would be interesting to know if there are instances of contributors having been sued by the publisher trying to pass on the buck.

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I accept being solely responsible for my images - but if I list them accurately and honestly with no property/model releases for editorial use only and a purchaser misuses them how can I be responsible for that?  Its like if I lend my neighbour a carving knife when they say they want to carve their meat can I be held responsible if they then use the knife to kill someone?

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1 hour ago, alphaomega said:

Had a quick look at the Contract before reading through the whole thing (28 pages).

1.5 clearly states

" You accept that you are solely and exclusively responsible for all Images that you submit and for all data that you store on Alamy’s servers. You acknowledge that Alamy does not and cannot review all Images uploaded and is not responsible for the Images. Where Alamy makes available Images this should be considered only as a courtesy and does not limit your responsibility for the Images."

So, essentially they will pass any legal approach received straight to the photographer. It would be interesting to know if there are instances of contributors having been sued by the publisher trying to pass on the buck.

how can a photographer be sued when they sell the image and state the releases that go with it? the publisher would have a hard time claiming anything...ignorance isn't an excuse. Now if I give false info, then that's on me. How can I control what anyone does with a download? how could I? no one would ever sell anything if they had to be responsible for where it ended up. This clause is correct, I am responsible for making sure the images are mine and the data (and releases) that goes with it is correct, but I'm not responsible for how it is used.

Edited by MandyD

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I would think that making all your images "editorial use only" couldn't help but result in fewer sales in the long run.

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14 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

I would think that making all your images "editorial use only" couldn't help but result in fewer sales in the long run.

That is what I surmised was  happening to my sales when I started this particular thread. I am evaluating the risks of simply removing this restriction. I think I will ask Alamy if they have any cases of contributors being pursued for images with no model and property releases indicated, but without the 'editorial use only' box ticked.

It is encouraging to learn that some of you are carrying on with that format.

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20 minutes ago, funkyworm said:

I haven't seen a commercial sale on Alamy since about 2011. Editorial restriction or not.

 

 

 

 

I'm seeing "commercial electronic" ones lately. In fact another one showed up today for an unmentionable price, similar to three that I had last month, all theatres and museums.

 

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35 minutes ago, funkyworm said:

I haven't seen a commercial sale on Alamy since about 2011. Editorial restriction or not.

 

I marked many (but not all) of my images editorial only as necessary as I decided it wasn't worth the risk. It may be a case which relates to naivity of the past but I know one of my non-released commercial sales did go legal, but not to me fortunately. I did loose sleep. Certain factors made it especially annoying. I have also had to reply to emails asking whether I had a model release for people who earn more in my shutter speed time than I do in a year. I have in the past had accreditation problems which I have the suspicion was due to one of my agents selling non-released sports images for commercial usage. I now no longer work with that agent.

 

As others have mentioned, could you be sued? Maybe, probably not, but maybe. Can you afford to be sued? That's another question. A celebrity shooter who no longer hangs around this forum would sometimes chip in to these discussions to mention stories of colleagues who had been ruined after they started selling their images of celebrities commercially... prints etc.

 

 

Very good to know, but very unlikely for me.

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Alamy rang me to ask if one marked editorial only could be used for a calendar, so I think people might lose sales by restricting their images.

 

 

Edited by Robert Convery

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I now tend to use the "editorial only" restriction only for artwork (e.g. street murals, paintings, etc.) and for a few images where I've agreed that they would only be used editorially. I used to make logos and storefronts 'editorial only' but not any longer. Don't have any images of celebs or other famous types to fret about.

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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1 hour ago, alphaomega said:

I think I will ask Alamy if they have any cases of contributors being pursued for images with no model and property releases indicated, but without the 'editorial use only' box ticked.

 

 

I feel fairly confident the answer would be zero.

 

If this had happened I'm damn sure we would have heard about it.

 

Alan

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