Photo agency takes controversial payment scheme global

Picture stock library Alamy has responded to photographers’ concerns that its controversial Limited Use scheme, offering cheaper pictures for some buyers, will lead to lower fees.

The UK-based company has started to sell pictures for as little as 60p to people who want to use images on blogs or social networking sites, as well as teachers and students who may want a one-off licence to use photos online.

However, photographers have complained that the rush to cut prices threatens to turn photography into a commodity market with the producers getting the smallest cut.

Alamy said today it was considering some changes to the model in response to feedback from contributors. Chief executive James West said: ‘The concerns that have been raised are valid and we are working on ways of addressing them.”

The company said it was looking at file sizes after worries that the larger sizes could be used outside the terms of the scheme. It is also considering allowing contributors to opt into the scheme using a pseudonym or on a per-image basis so that only parts of their collection were available.

Nevertheless, it said it would persist with the scheme and was introduced it worldwide following the UK trial.

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