50 Year Licenses For Rights Managed

Posted on 7/13/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (3)

After reading my story on why usage fees will continue to decline Larry Minden wrote, “Is there no one among the thousands upon thousands represented by Alamy who will stand up to those idiots and tell them a 50-year license is unneeded and an absurd bastardization of an RM license?" This story explains why complaints from suppliers are unlikely to have much effect in the long term outcome.

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Copyright © 2011 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


  • Danita Delimont Posted Jul 13, 2011
    I too asked Alamy's NY office about the 50 year license and they told me it was because their drop-down pricing menu hadn't been adjusted to the longer terms being requested...thus it jumped to 50. "They were working on the back end of the pricing menu and would adjust it shortly". Clearly this hasn't happened and they've taken another position.

  • Charles Cecil Posted Jul 13, 2011
    About three years ago, when Alamy licensed one of my RM images to a publisher in a Middle Eastern country for $10.00 I protested. While not unique, it was an uncommon image and not likely to have many others competing against it. Alamy blew me off with a "competition requires it" and "volume buyer" response. However, they told me if I didn't like the sale I could prohibit the licensing of my images to that country in the future. They did not allow me to prohibit the licensing of images to that particular buyer; it had to be a country-wide ban. That was using a meat cleaver where a scapel was required, but I was so annoyed by the $10 sale that I requested such a prohibition. The result was that every image in my collection (probably over 4000 back then) was labeled in red with a "This image has restrictions" tag. Over the next six months there was a small decline in my weekly number of images licensed. I couldn't tell if this was a cause-and-effect relationship or not, but I speculated that most photo researchers are in a hurry and don't want to be bothered with having to check to see what the restrictions are, or simply don't want to have to worry about any complications any restriction might give rise to. After six months I lifted the restriction, fearing it was hurting my overall sales. The lesson for me was that while I could prevent future sales to low-paying countries while still leaving the image in the collection, there could be other, unintended consequences--but difficult to prove. I've been submitting fewer new images to Alamy this year as their prices continue to decline. Chuck Cecil/Cecil Images

  • Peter Dazeley Posted Jul 14, 2011
    what an amazing quote from Jonathan Klein. I cant think of another prestigious brand that sells its premium product at rock bottom prices.If you have the best search engine and the best content, surely you should be much braver.

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