Around 2,000 photos have escaped being axed from a stock photography website after photographers claimed they did not breach the National Trust’s rules on image use.

However, around 8,000 images have been pulled from the Alamy site following a review of the pictures by the photographers concerned.

Earlier this year the National Trust sent Alamy bosses a list of 10,000 pictures the Trust believed may have breached its policy banning commercial use of photos taken at its properties.

Alamy then emailed the photographers to clarify the circumstances of image capture and removed pictures that breached the rules. Alamy also removed pictures taken by photographers who had not responded to the email.

Images taken from a public highway or where the photographer had the Trust’s permission were not deemed to have broken the regulations.

‘We gave them [the photographers] a decent amount of time to come back,’ said Alamy’s head of content Alan Capel. ‘Quite a few got in touch to say they should not have taken the picture,’ he added.

Though 8,000 photos have been removed from the site, Capel said Alamy still holds the image files – along with the metadata – and any images subsequently deemed to have been legitimate will be reinstated.

Chris Lacey, photographic manager at the National Trust Photo Library (NTPL) said he was not aware of the latest situation regarding Alamy but confirmed that the two organisations have been speaking to each other.

Lacey repeated that any pictures taken on publicly accessible land do not break the Trust’s rules, but those taken on private land do.

‘95% of photographers affected have been absolutely fine with this,’ said Lacey.

However, he added that there has been ‘some confusion’ among press photographers over their right to use images that the Trust has only given permission to shoot as part of a ‘press story’.

Lacey told us that images taken for this specific purpose should not subsequently go on sale via the Alamy website.


National Trust and Alamy in rights controversy

National Trust: Photographers free to post on Flickr