30% discount on pixelrights image portfolio management for NUJ members

Pixelrights, a unique organisation created by photographers for photographers provides the most secure photographic portfolio management services on the market. The technology for image display is the best available. In addition to less obvious protection methods, it uses its own proprietary software to split the images into several pieces. Any thief would have to get through those protective methods, then recover each individual piece of the image displayed and then put them all back together again.

 

You have a choice in how you want your site to look and ways to customise it, it is easy to manage and set up, if you have a problem the team is always there to help, and through their partnership with ImageRights they offer Prime members a fingerprint of your image which is automatically registered. This is a permanent and irrevocable record that your image belongs to you, proof positive that your image is yours in any copyright, ownership or legal dispute. Even without the 30% NUJ discount the service is competitively priced and they are improving it all the time.

 

Gerry McCann of the NUJ Photographers’ Council says; “I’ve been using Pixelrights for a couple of months now and in that time I’ve dealt briefly with Shaun and Patrick, but mainly with Jillian Sanchez. I’ve found them all to be extremely helpful, and where there are bugs they get the techie side sorted out pretty quickly. Any of my queries, and there have been a few mainly in my getting my head round their system, have been resolved very quickly. I have also used the image file, and I find the pixelrights website building interface a lot more straightforward. So far I haven’t used the Image Rights system whichPixelrights seems to have a partnership with. Currently I have two sites with pixelrights and the most developed, though not quite finished is at http://www.weddingpictures.scot. I plan to develop another two sites also and today we discussed the possibility of having a site with unlimited video storage and that seems feasible. I would definitely recommend taking a trial.”

 

Andrew Wiard is also currently developing a pixelrights site at www.reportphotos.com.

 

Sign on for the trial 3 months at https://www.pixelrights.com?dcode=NUJ30 at the end of which you will be asked to prove NUJ membership to qualify for the NUJ discount.

A light in the Black

As you all probably know, I am not one to hide behind bushes or hold back criticism when I feel it has been earned – something which many thank me for and others curse me at great length.

I have also been very critical of Newspapers in general, and some in particular, over the past fifteen years, but I have just had a good experience which I felt it important to share.

I was commissioned by the Telegraph to cover the last airshow being done by the AVRO Vulcan on 4th October. I hadn’t had a commission from the Telegraph in some time, although in the past I was very much a Telegraph (Daily and Sunday) regular for well over twenty years – indeed my first Fleet Street break was via Ted Barratt of the Daily T, decades ago, but I digress.

The entire procedure was very easy, polite, and I was contacted the next day to ask about my mileage, for which I was paid 45p per mile – commensurate with the HM Revenue and Customs rate. The commission fee was £175.00, ten pound higher than my last half day commission rate nearly twenty years ago. (Not high enough granted, but better than any other newspaper I have worked for in the past ten years).

And the cream upon my bun, the money popped into my account ten working days after the job.

It is almost enough to make me want to go back to doing newspaper work full-time again.

Pete Jenkins

Alamy again – Act Now!

To: All NUJ Photographers

From: The NUJ Photographers’ Council

Alamy Image Library – Changes to terms and conditions.

As many members will be aware, Alamy.com, one of the world’s largest stock image libraries, intends to impose revised terms and conditions on its contributors from 1st April 2015.

NUJ members who license their images through Alamy have expressed a number of concerns about the company’s new contract, and the issues have been widely discussed by members of the Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK) email discussion group.

The Photographers’ Council has sought legal advice on the validity and enforceability of Alamy’s new terms, and the NUJ is seeking an urgent meeting with the company to discuss our misgivings.

The main points of concern are that Alamy’s new terms would effectively prevent contributors from enforcing their intellectual property rights against infringers who have used images downloaded directly, or indirectly from the Alamy servers, without payment. Crucially, the new Alamy terms appear to prohibit a photographer from contacting an infringer, even after he or she may have terminated their agreement with Alamy, and removed their images.

Additionally, the new terms appear to give Alamy the right to licence a re-use of any image, even if a photographer terminates his or her contract with the company, if, in Alamy’s ‘reasonable opinion’ the new use is ‘the same or closely similar’ to the original use. Effectively, this suggests that under the new contract, once an image has been licensed through Alamy, its creator can never again claim full control over future usage.

A detailed critique of the new Alamy terms can be found on the EPUK website at http://www.epuk.org/…/an-open-letter-from-epuk-to-alamy…

Alamy’s response can be seen at http://www.epuk.org/…/alamy-responds-to-epuk-s-open-letter

NUJ member David Hoffman, a longstanding Alamy contributor, and one of EPUK’s moderators, has offered his own critique of Alamy’s response athttp://www.epuk.org/…/alamy-s-defence-misleading-and… .

What can members do, if they are unhappy with the new terms?

The simple answer, is to terminate their agreements with Alamy, by 31st March 2015, and delete all images from the Alamy servers.

This is a serious step to take, not least because Alamy has, in the past, been a good source of income for so many NUJ photographers.

One suggestion that members may wish to consider, is to terminate their existing Alamy contract by 31st March, to maintain control over their existing body of work, but then to rejoin Alamy, under the new terms, but withholding their best selling and most precious images, and placing these with another agency offering more favourable and equitable terms.

A helpful guide on how to preserve metadata and key wording for images that you are removing from Alamy can be found, again from the EPUK website, at http://www.epuk.org/the-curve/alamy-finding-the-exit

At the very least, members who are currently Alamy contributors should read and digest the information on the EPUK website, and be aware that if they are unhappy with the new terms, they should act before the 31st March deadline.

If the Photographers’ Council gets any more information before 31st March, updates will be posted on the Union Photographers and Videographers Facebook Group, and on the Council’s blog at https://photographerscouncil.wordpress.com

ENDS

Alamy and its new contract changes

The Photographers’ Council of the National Union of Journalists has received reports from members expressing dismay at the proposed changes in contract that the UK Photographic portal ‘Alamy’ (Over 50 million high quality stock images, vectors and videos from Alamy, the world’s largest stock photo collection.) www.alamy.com is going to impose upon its contributors, many of whom are NUJ members, in April.

The new contract appears to give Alamy wide ranging rights over images even when a photographer has removed all images from the portal (for example). In most of the many changes it appears that almost exclusively the changes are to Alamy’s specific benefit, some to the positive detriment of the creator. NUJ members tell us they have protested to Alamy and asked for the Union to do the same on their behalf.

The council can only echo the dismay of NUJ members that such a well-known photographic aggregator that relies on creators for its very lifeblood of content, should wish to penalise its suppliers.

The editorial photographers’ forum ‘Editorial Photographers UK’ has made a comprehensive in depth analysis of the proposed changes http://www.epuk.org/news/an-open-letter-from-epuk-to-alamy-regarding-the-new-contributor-contract-terms

Alamy have made a detailed response to this analysis which can also be seen and EPUK have made a number of sensible suggestions. We believe that these are required reading for every supplier of the Alamy Portal.

The NUJ represents members who contribute their own work to the portal, and we ask that Alamy listen to the concerns being raised by creators and sit down and negotiate reasonable solutions with agreed representatives of creators before imposing any contract changes.

Posted on behalf of the NUJ Photographers Council

Battling for Photographers, deeply embedded within the NUJ – a guest blog from John Rogers, Chair of the NUJ’s London Photographers’ Branch

LPB Chairmans report to branch.

Chairman’s report to Branch AGM January 2015

I decided to take on the role as branch chairman of the LPB as a result of the declining factors in our industry, and wanted to understand photographers’ problems and work to improving as much as possible through the NUJ

There has been a declining number of staff photographers on both, regional and national publications. Lots of photographers have left the NUJ and the LPB branch for various reasons, but the reason that is of most concern was the offering of a training programme run by the NUJ to teach writers to use mobile devices for photography. Although this was not intended to undermine the professionalism of working press photographers the actuality was that it did and we now see the likes of the Press Association and many regional news publishers making photographers redundant with Journalists being asked to do their jobs.

This branch is committed to re-establishing the differentiation between press photographers and writers for the sake of professionalism on both sides, and will seek the commitment and support of the leadership in doing so.

There has been a massive increase in ‘Citizen journalism and photography’ the result being an increase in membership applications into the branch, while this may be good for the union and its finances, there is dubious proof on many applications for full membership. Also with the issuing of UKPCA cards based on that membership there are resulting problems in the activity of untrained and inexperienced operators for the profession.

Their needs to be an increase in training for photographers to fully understand the law concerning photography, your rights as a press photographer and limitations regarding privacy, legality, public interest and confrontational aspects when dealing with police. The rights and wrongs of what you can do and can’t do.
The professional way of confronting any wrong doing by a police officer.

There have been problems in the past I have no doubt in the future too and every time we face an increase in problems with policing when doing our jobs it is right to pursue them collectively in a professional manner and try and orchestrate change in the way they deal with the media.

This branch is actively involved with meeting with Metropolitan police officers and its bureaus’ to improve relations and working conditions when dealing with photographers holding a UKPCA press card.

Branch meetings could be better attended, and it has been noted that some new applicants don’t even bother to attend when applying to join the branch this has to be questioned reasons understood and dealt with. The branch is for your use, education, social gathering and problem solving. If you don’t bother we can’t bother. If you want to make changes get involved.

The committee has survived another year but we need help and more people to involve themselves with the branch and will be asking for people to step forward and help at the AGM

John Rogers
Chairman LPB 2014/15

Do you want a sweetie little photographer?

I have recently completed my application for the 2014 Design and Artists Copyright Society’s ‘Payback’. Something I do every year during the summer. Indeed, something I have done for many years, since the scheme was first made available to photographers.

But this year it has not been the same and many photographers have queried the extended mandate that we have been asked to sign – BEFORE we are able to collect that money that has already been collected on our behalf.

What is ‘Payback’
Best explanation is the one that DACS themselves give:

‘Payback is an annual scheme run by DACS to distribute the money owed to visual artists by various collective licensing schemes.

These licensing schemes cover situations where it would be impractical for you to license your rights on an individual basis. For example, when a student in a library wants to photocopy pages from a book which features your work. As the creator of the work being photocopied, you are entitled to a royalty, but rather than ask the student to contact you every time they photocopy your work, the library pays an annual licence fee that covers their students photocopying copyright protected books.

It’s not just libraries and universities that do this. Many different types of businesses and organisations buy a similar licence too.

The money is then shared out among the creators whose work has been featured. Authors and publishers receive a share of this money through Authors’ Licensing Collecting Society (ALCS) and Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) respectively. As a visual artist you can claim your royalties through Payback.’

Photographers all over the UK look forward to what is seen by many as their ‘Christmas Box’, as the payment which for many can be a thousand pounds or more usually arrives in early December, having been collected during the previous financial year.

However in 2014 something changed.

DACS has previously collected under the following licensing schemes:

Publications:
• Photocopying (by central, local government departments, universities and other business).
• Slide collection Licensing Scheme (in educational establishments)

Television:
• Cable re-transmission of UK Broadcasts
• BBC prime and BBC World
• Off-air recording of programmes (by educational establishments)

This year instead of simply acknowledging monies already collected, which photographers had always done as part of the application process, artists now had to sign a cleverly worded document including the following:

• I grant to DACS an exclusive licence and a mandate to negotiate, claim and administer the secondary rights in my artistic works, or the secondary rights in the artistic works of those individuals to the extent we are authorised to represent them (the ‘Authorisation’). I warrant that I have full right and title to grant this Authorisation. In consideration for granting this exclusive licence I will become a Payback Member of DACS.
This gives DACS the mandate to act on the behalf of photographers in licensing that currently doesn’t take place. It gives licence to DACS to expand PAYBACK in any way it sees fit without recourse to the very people it purports to represent.

• Is this good?
• Is this fair?
• Is it correct?
Let us be clear what is being done here. DACS is holding to ransom the money it has already collected on behalf of its members, and which is already there to be distributed. In order to get this money – legitimately belonging to the creators (not DACS) creators are obliged to sign away unspecified new secondary rights, giving DACS carte blanche to represent photographers without any further recourse to those same creators.

Regardless of how good DACS are, or how efficient they might be, why do they need to give the impression that they are holding their members money to ransom in this way, (at least that is how it feels to me, and I find it difficult to interpret their action in any other way)?

DACS tell me that they don’t mean to hold us to ransom. Yet having told me this they continued in the form it is (which still seems to me to be saying sign up or you don’t get your money we have already collected) regardless of the future?

Both the UK government and the European equivalent are keen on extended collective licensing, but not just for what has already been described. (see the DACS FAQ page) DACS want to be in a position to be THE collecting society granting licences on behalf of photographers, and our blanket permission means that they can claim to represent us, without any of that laborious having to consult us rigmarole. This actually will be very useful as DACS goes into battle with the big guns of secondary licensing The Copyright Licensing Agency.

DACS say that they will consult us before doing anything. But will they though, now that they don’t have to anymore?

Extended Collective Licencing, by its very nature removes control of licensing from the creator. If the image licensing market becomes one run through ECL then control of works removed from the creator, and even opting out of the ECL scheme will do little to regain that control (work will be used regardless and the creator will not get paid at all).

Q. Why do government and large organisations like ECL?
A. Because it is cheap.

Cheap to run and brings in blanket licensing which will of course be tailored to the low end product (and costings), but encompassing high end superior quality, heavily maintained collections of work.

Granting DACS this right to negotiate on our behalf and to be our representative in the Copyright Licensing Arena is a two-edged sword.

An astute observer might ask whether by signing the DACS authorisation as it now stands are photographers not implicitly condoning Extended Collective Licencing, not just of the things that we know about and approve but of ECL in much wider fields that we might not be so happy with?

The same observer might ask the question ‘What do DACS know that they are not telling us?’

What makes this all the more difficult is that I actually want DACS to represent me in the collecting of Secondary licensing, as currently they are the only option we have. As other options make themselves available then I may wish to move my allegiance. But what I do want to be sure is that DACS are truly representing my wishes and that they ask me BEFORE they undertake new activities and not simply present me with ‘fait accompli’.

 

… written by Pete Jenkins

Pete Jenkins

Pete Jenkins