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The Alamy Copyright Team; we come in peace!

By now, I’m sure many of you reading this may have had an email from the Alamy Copyright Team. This blog post is to assure you that we’re not here to chastise and scold you, we’re here to help.

Over the years we’ve had an increasing volume of emails coming in centred around various copyright and legal issues. In April this year we decided to start a new team, and so the Alamy Copyright Team was born (our origin story in short!). Our main role is to deal with any external enquiries that come in regarding the legality of certain images on our site. Most of these fall under one of the following categories;

  • A person has seen themselves in an image
  • A person has seen their property in an image
  • An artist has seen their artwork in an image
  • A company/museum/gallery has seen their property (either physical or intellectual) in an image

Generally, you have every right to take any of these images, so long as you aren’t trespassing, or otherwise breaking the law (Photojojo, which is US based, has a great article on The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography, and Techradar has one for us on the other side of the pond). However, when you upload said images to be sold though, that is when trouble can potentially arise.

All enquiries we receive are carefully assessed. The majority of them, after review, are knocked back, so most of you won’t hear from us, but when you do, rest assured we have already properly looked into the claim, and have ensured we have all the facts before we proceed, because let’s face it, none of us want to delete any images, and we have your best interests as our main focus.

What else do we do?

The other side of our job is to perform regular “policing” tasks, to ensure that we’ve the most accurate search results. Although this is no easy feat with almost 100,000,000 images to look through, in the end it’s about our customers having the best experience, which hopefully results in our contributors having the best sales.

Some of the tasks we perform are;

  • Making sure Number of People is annotated correctly within an image
  • Making sure Photographs are actually annotated as Photographs, and Illustrations are Illustrations
  • Verifying Releases
  • Removing “Glamour” images

So what is the point of this blog I hear you ask? Basically we want to ensure you that we don’t remove images or amend any annotations willy-nilly, that there is always a valid reason, and that we’re on your side. We’re your cheerleaders, and we want you all to go out and be the best photographers you can be, but you know, without getting yourselves in legal hot water during the process.

For any questions of a legal or copyright nature feel free to email us on copyright@alamy.com