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E-mail about changes to royalties and author license agreement

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I received the following e-mail:

Changes to the Author License Agreement

Hello *****,

In the past 12 years PantherMedia has managed to develop successfully within a very dynamic business environment. In recent years many owner managed agencies vanished in the consolidation wave that swept the industry or became increasingly irrelevant. We are glad that we have been able to maintain and even extend our position in the market during this time of major change.

A major challenge we are facing today, however, is that the ever increasing complexity of the products we offer and as well as our platform itself beginning to delay important technological developments. It is for this reason we have decided to reduce this complexity. New strategies and investments are required in order to ensure a positive long term development.

Having Tomas Speight join PantherMedia as a new CEO was the first step in the new direction we are taking at PantherMedia with the intention of raising the agency to a new level internationally. Nevertheless, this and keeping up with the competition from the industry giants requires new investments on our part in order to provide you with growth into the future.

That said, the introduction of new products and highly innovative services is imminent. The launch of these initiatives, however, require streamlining and simplifying the Author and Customer License Agreement and bringing it in line with international contractual standards and royalties.

Overview of key changes:

Changes to the Author License Agreement

A frequently discussed and clearly confusing concept is our “price exclusivity”. This will be discontinued with our new contracts. All images uploaded to PantherMedia will be non-exclusive from when the contract comes into force. That means that images you have previously uploaded as “price-exclusive” will now be offered as non-exclusive.

The royalty system will be updated at the same time. The current version with price exclusivity and an upload volume bonus will be replaced by a unified royalty rate which increases based on your success at PantherMedia (sales). This change also opens up to you the option of licensing your previously exclusive images through additional channels. The royalty rate will continue to be in the range of 30% to 40% for non-exclusive images. The bonus related to the number of uploaded images will be replaced with a bonus related to sales success. Your level of success will be calculated based on all your sales from your original registration onwards. Please click here ( for more details on the new royalty system.

The differing rights granted and licence fees charged for different pictures has been particularly confusing for customers and partners alike. This, too, we intend to simplify and harmonize with international standards by clarifying that now all uploaded images shall be available for extended licenses, special licenses, subscriptions and our distributor network. Our extended licenses have also been simplified and make for a more transparent offer. Social Media uses have become part of the standard license while Press and Corporate License have been combined into one, as have the Template and Merchandising License. Please note that the social media license usage rights are limited in such a way that the license automatically terminates, if a social media network is in breach of our license terms (e.g. sub licensing and selling continue to be excluded). The number of available file sizes will be reduced to 5 resolutions (Blog, Web, Print Small, Medium and XXL) and two pricing categories: standard and budget. Please click here ( to see the overview of future licenses, resolutions and prices.

Changes to the End User License Agreement

The above listed changes will also be implemented in the Customer License Agreement.

New to the customer license agreement are Rights Managed Licenses. These will initially be offered for editorial images. Additional content will follow.

Next Steps

You can already review the new A uthor License Agreement and the End User License Agreement here.

All changes will automatically become effective in 14 days, i.e. on the 15th of April 2016. No further action on your part is necessary. In the event that you do not agree with these new terms you have, in accordance with the author license agreement, a special termination right for your Contents or you Membership for the next 14 days.

In the next few months, beside the aforementioned product changes, we will be communicating a broad range of new services and partnerships which we are confident will contribute significantly to the growth of PantherMedia. In the near future we will also be launching an innovation which is unique in the global photo industry and which we believe will influence it significantly.

We are also starting a new exclusive collection in the premium segment based on truly creative and inspiring images and this will have a royalty rate of 50%.

Bear with us while we build the future. We look forward to continuing our good partnership.


Tomas Speight & Robert Walters
The Executive Team

Who cares about new Earnings structure of PM? Anyone?   And the new social media licenses? And the fact that there is no opt-in and opt-out option for subscriptions longer? I'm pissed off! Deleted all my pictures except one.  They have crossed the final frontier, the red line, exactly as YAY a few years before.

I just received the confirmation email from them that they will close my account as requested.
I will have to wait for my outstanding commissions though.
I haven't been able to contact Yay yet to shut that one down.

Stopped uploading ages ago. Not enough sales to bother with.

I deleted my Panther portfolio last year to escape their (no opt out-able) partner program.   


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