Scam Alert: It has come to my attention that Alamy Photos has been stealing free photos that are posted on Wikipedia, slapping them with watermarks and selling the rights to them which they do not own. I called Alamy on it, and I did get a reply.
Because Alamy is a scam, they claimed that “certain people” uploaded these photos and that those “other people” and not Alamy are the scammers. However, the so called person who they are blaming proved to be a fake person. I was able to find him on Facebook with that name, but I believe this person did not actually upload the photos. I did not hear from that Facebook account when I asked them if they were for real.
Even if it was the case that the person is really responsible, Alamy is in fact providing a platform for this scam. It is very easy to attribute something to a real photographer’s name without it really belong to that person. I did not see that person’s name listed on the scam photo page or anywhere else on the listing. Furthermore, Fast People Search failed to yield that person because the fake person was reported to live in a remote area of Wales and not in the USA. They must use the Fake Man from “Remote Wales” who can not be tracked down, and therefore can not held accountable. Their lawyers think they are very smart, but their lawyers can not save them from negative public opinion and free information. Maybe they should instead hire a media rep to help them, but it’s too late.
Each time someone complains they simply past the buck upon a fake person with a fake name or defunct email. Maybe that person was once real but has died or never existed at all. The confused consumer emails the fake address and naturally receives no reply. Alamy Scammers simply claim that is not their problem, but legally they do profit so can be held accountable in court.
How much are they selling the free photos for? The cost varies. If a school buys them, they can cost several hundred dollars for the fake right to free photos. This has been discussed on the Alamy Talk Page. Wikipedia Users suggested that Alamy is hurting their own credibility by stealing photos from Wiki Commons.
They are cheating and stealing money from schools and private individuals. If some of their licenses are fake it is possible that all of their licenses may be rendered null and void by the courts when legal action falls into place. Public Schools in the USA are funded by tax dollars, so they are also scamming the government and the tax payers.