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.) 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

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

3 thoughts on “Alamy and its new contract changes

  1. What isn’t emphasised in the statement is the most egregious trick that Alamy are playing on their contributors and to my mind the most important thing of all. The PC should warn contributors that, despite Alamy’s misleading denial, unless they get out by midnight 31st March they’re locked in forever regarding infringements and to a large extent on further sales of anything ever downloaded.

    I was surprised by this in the PC statement: “The council can only echo the dismay of NUJ members”. The PC can and should do rather more. For starters:

    The NUJ email list should be used to notify all those the NUJ knows to be photographers.

    The contract terms need looking at by a lawyer who is up to speed on contract law. There are several aspects – particularly the perpetual lock-in that may be unenforceable. This has to be done in time for members to make a decision on accepting or rejecting the new terms and the deadline for that is midnight 31st March.

    The PC should get a warning into an NUJ Active email ASAP. It should also get branches, particularly LFB & LPB to notify their members.

    EPUK will be responding to Alamy’s defence of their contract changes very shortly.


  2. Thanks for that David – very helpful, and I agree, that time is short. The PC has asked for an urgent legal opinion, and I have sent our servicing officer, Dominic, as much info as I could gather, the existing Alamy agreement, the changes, the EPUK response and Alamy’s response to EPUK. Do you want to copy any further EPUK response to Alamy here, and hopefully, that will also find its way onto a lawyer’s desk as soon as possible?

    John Jones


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