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Alamy (registered as Alamy Limited) is a British privately owned stock photography agency launched in 1999. Its headquarters are in Milton Park, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. It has a development and operations centre at Techno park in Trivandrum, Kerala, India and a sales office in Brooklyn, New York, United States.[1][2]

IndustryPublishing, media, web design, Stock photography
FounderMike Fischer, James West
ProductsDigital images, video
ServicesRights-managed and royalty-free images and video


Photo from the USFWS Flickr stream that was made available free of charge with a PD-mark [3]
The same image, watermarked by Alamy and sold on their website without attribution to the photographer or source[4]

Alamy maintains an online archive of over 125 million still images[citation needed], illustrations and hundreds of thousands of videos contributed by agencies and independent photographers or collected from news archives, museums and national collections. Its suppliers include both professional and amateur photographers, stock agencies, news archives, museums, national collections and public domain content copied from Wikimedia Commons. Its clients are from the photography, publishing and advertising industries and the general public.


James West, a graduate of Edinburgh University, is the CEO of Alamy and co-founded the company with Mike Fischer in 1999. Fischer, the current chairman and co–founder of the firm, was also co-founder and CEO of RM plc.

  • In 2002, Alamy won an EMMA (Electronic Multimedia Awards) award for technical excellence. The purpose of the award is to recognize excellence in digital media content creation.[5] It also introduced a 24/7 high-resolution download tool for customers.[6] The technical innovation continued with virtual CDs becoming a replacement for RF image CDs.[7]
  • In 2003, the firm introduced an international distribution network. Based on the resulting increased sales, it increased the royalty payments for its contributors in 2006.[8][9] Since 2002 Alamy has paid out over $100 million to its contributors.[citation needed]
  • In March 2004 one million images were available on the site and by October 2007 there were 10 million images online.[10]
  • In 2010, the firm created an iPad app to showcase its images.[11]
  • In 2011, Alamy launched a live news service,[12] and in 2012 it started to accept live news images from mobile phones[13] which upgraded their collection to 25 million images.[14]
  • In the same year 2011, the company expanded its international sales unit with teams being introduced in Germany, Australia and The Middle East.
  • In 2012, Alamy introduced the Alamy iQ, video, and creative search results .[15]
  • In 2015, Alamy’s iPhone app Stockimo was shortlisted in The Drum's Marketing on Mobile Awards (MOMAs) for the Best Mobile/Tablet Consumer Facing App.[16][17]
  • In 2017, Alamy announced their new CEO, Andy Harding.
  • In December 2018, Alamy announced that they would be increasing their commission from 50% to 60% of the sales value, reducing their payments to their contributors to just 40% of the payment received from customers. This announcement was superseded a couple of weeks later by a further announcement that commission would remain at 50% on material that was exclusively available only on Alamy.


On 16 February 2015 Alamy informed its members of changes to the contributor contract.[18] These changes were condemned by the photography industry bodies, the National Union of Journalists[19] and Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK) who said "Alamy, it seems is trying to establish a perpetual and irrevocable contract with images that they have previously sold on our behalf at a time when this was not the case, which allows them to continue selling them even after the contract with the photographer has been terminated. ... The provision would last for the full term of copyright and we see it as unreasonably extensive."[20][21] Alamy responded by stating that the changes only reflect the company work style and do not represent a significant shift.[22][23] Their reply, in turn, was characterized by the documentary photographer and Alamy contributor David Hoffman as "misleading and evasive".[24]

Carol M. Highsmith sued Alamy in July 2016 for selling photographs without attribution she had donated to the Library of Congress.[25][26][27] License Compliance Services, part of Alamy, had also sent an e-mail to the "This is America!" foundation, a foundation that was founded by Highsmith herself. The e-mail stated "We have seen that an image or image(s) represented by Alamy has been used for online use by your company. According to Alamy’s records your company doesn’t have a valid license for use of the image(s)."[28] and demanded to pay a settlement fee of $120 for the infringement Highsmith was accused of. The photograph in question was not an infringement but an original work of authorship of Highsmith. Highsmith's claim was dismissed because she had signed away her copyrights, putting the photographs in the public domain.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Global Still Images Market 2015-2019". ReportLinker. December 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Alamy". TopTenReviews. Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Kendra Chan (left) and Karen Sinclair, fish and wildlife biologists. Photo by Robyn Gerstenslager/USFWS". United States Fish and Wildlife Service Flickr stream. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Kendra Chan (left) and Karen Sinclair, fish and wildlife biologists. Stock Photo: 178236349 - Alamy". Archived from the original on 4 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  5. ^ Limited, Alamy. "Alamy in the news".
  6. ^ "Image Search and Purchase Now Five Times Faster on". Graphics. 29 August 2002. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Alamy Launches Virtual Alternative to Royalty Free CDs". 2 September 2003. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Alamy 100% royalties" (PDF). Weareoca. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Alamy CEO: AlamyRank "not disadvantaging specialist contributors"". Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK). 16 November 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  10. ^ Jim Pickerell. "Alamy Reaches 10 Million Images, Reveals Financials".
  11. ^ Patrick Jordan (28 August 2010). "New iPad Apps: Alamy Photo Collection". iPad Insight. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Alamy launches Live News service". Stockphototalk. 18 October 2011. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  13. ^ Magezine Publishing Ltd. "Alamy Stock Photo Agency Now Allows Mobile Photos". ePHOTOzine.
  14. ^ "Email Marketing Software from AWeber - AWeber Email Marketing". Archived from the original on 24 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Alamy shakes it up with Alamy iQ". 16 November 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Alamy's iPhone app Stockimo has been shortlisted as a finalist in prestigious MOMA awards – In the best mobile/tablet consumer facing app category". Alamy. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  17. ^ "MOMAs – Marketing on Mobile Awards - 2016 - 2015 Winners". The Drum / Carnyx Group. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  18. ^ "Changes to the Agreement, Amendments - 16th February 2015". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  19. ^ Photographers’ council concerned by Alamy contracts
  20. ^ An open letter from EPUK to Alamy regarding the new contributor contract terms
  21. ^ David Hoffman (27 May 2015). "Alamy in the rear view mirror". Editorial Photographers UK (EPUK). Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Alamy responds to EPUK's open letter". EPUK. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  23. ^ "Alamy Makes a Change to its Commission Structure". Centre of the Picture Industry (CEPIC). 20 November 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  24. ^ "Why I'm leaving Alamy". EPUK. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  25. ^ Court Dismisses $1 Billion Copyright Claim Against Getty
  26. ^ Carol M. Highsmith v. Getty Images (US) Inc.
  27. ^ Carol M. Highsmith v. Getty Images (US) Inc. (
  28. ^ Unauthorized Use of Alamy Image(s) - Case Number 380913878 (Ref: 1031-7385-3953)

External linksEdit