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Thread: What is Getty Images playing at?

  1. #1
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    What is Getty Images playing at?

    I always thought of Getty Images as being one of the stock photo sites which has the absolute top quality professional photos for sale. I'm having second thoughts now.

    I occasionally put some of my photos up for sale on another stock photo site. I have earlier photos, which are good enough photos but they don't meet the modern requirements of a stock photo site in terms of resolution etc. They were taken on an old Canon AE1 (a classic!). I was playing Empire Avenue and someone suggested creating Flickr and Instagram accounts. Naturally, I didn't want to post anything on there which might get pinched and spoil my chances of selling on the stock photo site. Therefore, I posted some of my ancient photos on Flickr. (None of them would be accepted by a stock photo site because they don't meet their strict technical requirements.)

    Now Getty Images has contacted me via my Flickr account to try to get me to join their stock photo site. I don't like the smell of this. My Flickr photos are not of a quality to be acceptable to a stock photo site. This makes me think that they're sending these unsolicited messages to all and sundry to go and set up an account with them. If seems like desperate business to me if Getty Images is sending messages to people saying their work has been noticed on Flickr and they've been specially selected to receive a personal invitation.

    Did anyone else here have their photos on Flickr personally noticed and as a result receive a special invitation to join Getty Images? Does anyone else think it sounds too good to be true? (Especially since I only posted my 'rejects' on Flickr.)

    Edit: here's a link to the relevant Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/help/gettyimages/
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    I doubt Getty is worried about standards, as their business model seems to be finding unlicensed use of their images and extracting large sums of money from whoever can't fight back. Search for Getty threats or Getty letters to get the full picture. I wouldn't want my images being used to hurt people. All they need is one developer to use one of your pictures, and they'll go after the website owner, blogger, or whatever for thousands in "damages." I'm sure they sell only good quality images on their website, but it would make a sinister sort of sense to simply have the rights to as many pictures as possible so they could pursue the less savoury side of their business.

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    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    According to Mashable, Getty Images has changed its business model now and is allowing people to use its images for free. Apparently this is so they can collect data and show adverts. I've not had time to check it out. Have a look and see what you make of it.

    http://mashable.com/2014/03/05/getty-free-photo-embeds/
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    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    Regarding the "Flickr approach" - a lot of people deliberately post only low resolution images on there, keeping back the high resolution versions for their own use.
    Apart from anything else, possession of a high resolution version of an image can be significant proof of originality if your pics get stolen.

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    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    According to Mashable, Getty Images has changed its business model now and is allowing people to use its images for free.
    My understanding is that this change does not allow you to simply copy a Getty image off a website and re-use it on your own site. So, in that respect, nothing has changed. What you can now do is to obtain some code from Getty that you can paste into your site. That code will automatically fetch the image and display it on your page (in much the same was that AdSense code works, for example).

    It's an important difference because it means that Getty has immediate control over what your visitors see. They can change the image at any time, or withdraw it completely. There would be nothing to stop them waiting until a given site has many images in key places on the site, and then saying to them that they (Getty) have withdrawn permission to use the photos unless you (the site owner) pays a fee. As far as I can see, that would be perfectly legal, and technically very easy.

    The Mashable article suggests that they could use the code to collect data for advertising purposes. Off-hand, I can't see why that would be an effective route for them, but it might well be something they in mind.

    Mike

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    An article in Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbe...tterstock-ceo/ explains two reasons why stock photo company Shutterstock is not worried about the new Getty policy. The Getty images cannot be used commercially and Getty reserves the right to display ads like YouTube does now. Those two restrictions are going to limit the use of Getty images in many cases.

    Still, I think that there are plenty of times where a casual blogger will find it convenient to use Getty images under the new policy. Knowing that you have a license to use the image and that you don't have to be afraid of getting slapped with a request for a hefty fee from a copyright holder will be a welcome change for many bloggers. For commercial webmasters, there are probably better choices.

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  12. #7
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Search Engine Watch has a pretty good article on the subject.

    http://searchenginewatch.com/article...ting-in-Return
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    I started to get into it last week about Getty on another forum. When I realized the guy defending Getty was most likely one of their attorneys, I backed off. Cowardly maybe, but I don't want some pissed off lawyer combing my websites for a Getty image. I think they're clean, but you never know.

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