Getty gives away 35 million photos and people don’t like it

Getty’s latest move in the stock photography market has been met with shock and horror. 35 million of Getty’s images are now free to embed, unwatermarked, for “noncommercial use,” which includes websites that run advertisements (see the image embedded above). In an interview with PDNPulse, Craig Peters, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Marketing at Content Images at Getty, says that while there is no current plan for this embed system to result in money going to photographers, at some future point, Getty might add advertising into the embedded images (as YouTube does) and photographers would get a cut of that. “This is their content, and if we generate any revenue from that content, we not only have the obligation, but we have every intent to share that revenue,” he said.

You can search the archive of embeddable images here at Getty’s site.

Here’s a collection of reactions to the news from around the photography world. Unsurprisingly, people are not excited about this development:

Regarding all of this, I’ve seen a few photographers on facebook saying they’re pulling their images from Getty’s collections. I don’t have any images available through Getty, but if the past is any indication (Hume be damned), other stock houses will likely follow Getty’s lead. Keep an eye on this. I think Todd Bigelow and John Harrington are correct that Getty’s interest in making these images out for free is the browsing data that surrounds the image. Licensing directly to blogs for small fees hasn’t really worked out, if you remember the Associated Press debacle a few years back, but getting (and selling) analytics relating to image usage is likely worth a lot.

In other Getty news, the Getty/Flickr licensing partnership started in 2008 will be terminated at the end of current content agreement. PetaPixel has the details, which makes it sound like this is just temporary as the Yahoo/Flickr and Getty work out details for a new agreement.

Getty moves further into Flickr

Getty’s got a new scheme to turn flickr into a revenue stream. Now, flickr users can set their pictures up to have a “Request to License” link underneath all of their photos. When someone clicks that link, they will be directed by Getty through the licensing process. The licensing fees, all royalty free, seem to range from $5 to $425. Getty will keep about 70% of the licensing fee. The BBC has good coverage of the deal. And Amateur Photographer outlines why both amateur and professional photographers should be worried about the Getty-Flickr scheme.

‘Amateurs are not necessarily au fait with the value of their images and could be persuaded to license them to Getty for low rates, thereby undermining the rate that professionals work so hard to achieve.’ -John Toner quoted by Amateur Photographer

The previous Call For Artists partnership between Getty and Flickr, launched two years ago, drew a fair share of criticism. See on flickr member’s experience, entitled “I feel like I got screwed by Getty,” as an example. In the first two months, the photographer made about $200, but the royalties soon dwindled to just a few dollars for each sale.

(via Slashdot, of all places)

Fire in Beijing

There is an incredible (and theatrical..) fire taking place right now in Beijing at the end of the Chinese Lunar New Year at the Rem Koolhaas designed Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which is part of the remarkable CCTV complex built for the Olympics. Link to New York Times’ story
(c) Reuters

I’ve started to peruse the images coming out, particularly from Getty Images Editorial (as of now you have to search ‘beijing fire’ to see), and they’re incredible and terrifying. Sounds like there weren’t many people in the building to be hurt, so there is some good news.

Keep your eye on this .. crazy event, insane visuals and plenty of interesting pictures to come. Hopefully too a big picture blog will pick this up .. cause I can’t find a decent sized image to see this anywhere! Looks like a Chinese lantern on its own, fireworks and all. Hell of a way the end the celebration… (pardon the joke..)