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NUJ urges Alamy to rethink commission cut

7 December 2018

The NUJ Photographers' Council has urged Alamy to reverse a decision to cut to the commission photographers will receive for images sold through the stock photo agency.

The commission for photographers will be cut from 50 per cent to 40 per cent in February. This follows a cut from 60 per cent to 50 per cent in 2010 and changes to terms and conditions in 2015 that were detrimental to creators.

James West, Alamy chief executive, took to YouTube to justify the drop in commission, arguing the need to invest to protect the company from the financial instability of Brexit, stating: "I don't think this is something we're going to need to do again – famous last words. I think I've probably said that before. [But] I'm probably less naive than I was when we started out."

Natasha Hirst, chair of the NUJ Photographers' Council said:

"Many photographers rely on stock images as a form of pension and to supplement income in an increasingly precarious industry. It is already hard for our members to gain a fair price for their work and this latest move from Alamy is making creators rethink whether producing stock remains viable. It seems unsustainable to cut commissions each time the company wants to invest and we urge Alamy to reconsider this approach."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

“Photographers are already having a tough time making a living and this is yet another hit they will have to take. The union is very disappointed that Alamy has made this decision. James West has blamed Brexit and the present economic situation and said he hopes to “return to a higher revenue to contributors”. For the sake of our photographer members this needs to be sooner rather than later.”

Tags: , photographers' council, photographers, alamy, cuts, commission, james west, photographers' rights, photography