The British stock photo agency Alamy has created an independent team, whose task is to investigate unauthorized uses. Based on the feedback from the photographers, they do a great job.
A great initiative: automatic investigation of infringements in the case of exclusive photos
The British stock photo company Alamy saw a great business opportunity in investigating unauthorized uses of (i.e. stolen) photos. The income collected in this way is significant, and it was worthwhile to involve external companies in the work.
However, a very important condition for Alamy to initiate legal action is that the photos in question must only be listed for sale in Alamy's portfolio and nowhere else (exceptions to this are POD sites and the photographer's own, personal sites and blogs).
There is a simple reason for this: if you have uploaded your photos to other stock photography agencies, then a possible unauthorized use does not necessarily result from the illegal downloading of your photos from Alamy.
Favourable experiences from Alamy contributors
Posts regularly appear on Alamy's forum, according to which photographers receive large sums of money (even over $100) without any effort.
Exclusivity is therefore worth it, since there are unfortunately many infringements, and those who search for a photo for their website on the Internet are not always aware that just because the source is not indicated under a photo, the image may still be copyrighted.
What if your photos are not exclusive to Alamy?
If you do not set your photos to exclusive because you have also made your photos available on the websites of other stock photo agencies, it is practically impossible to find out from which agency the illegally used image came from.
In this case, Alamy does not undertake the research, so you have to do it yourself, and getting your money is much more difficult, if possible at all.
In the past, Alamy gave its photographers a larger share after licensing exclusive photos, but currently the benefit of exclusivity is "only" limited to the investigation of image theft, which, let's face it, is quite a bit.