Thursday, March 6, 2014

Getty fights copyright infringement by making 35 million stock images free

Getty Images is redefining the stock photography business model, by changing how 35 million of their (or your!) images can be licensed; making them free for non-commercial use. So I guess this is primarily aimed at bloggers, so hopefully we can expect to see our images legitimately popping up on WordPress, BlogSpot and whatever the next one will be!

When you find the image on Getty you have the embed option as below.

I suppose Getty are adapting to how the internet works. Are they too late to make this change? If the music industry had brought out digital business models quicker, would they have combatted piracy and the pretty much death of the CD, were the likes of Spotify too late? While not giving stuff away for free Netflix is probably the best example of a business model in the movie/TV area that are trying to keep up with the internet and digital age, they are one of the most successful online companies out there and their user count grows constantly. All digital offerings need to change and adapt to the times.

My photographs can be found on Flickr and if wanted licensed through Getty, or found on Getty directly. Now as has had happened many times before, people/companies have pulled the image directly off Flickr or done a reverse search on the Getty image and found the other source on Flickr. No money to Getty, no money to me. Now obviously this wont stop companies from stealing them as they wont embed and the embed license isn't offered to them anyway, but maybe bloggers will use the embed method rather than steal, that way its kind of advertising for Getty/your image.

How an embedded image looks.
I don't sell many images through Getty, as the title says, there are 35 million images in their collection, so its highly unlikely (unless you manage a one off!) someone will license my image when theres hundreds, if not thousands of similar ones, so usually its down to luck. Like my previous point, this could result in a potential sale when your image is seen on the blog that links out to the source on Getty.

I do see many photographers being outraged and cancelling their contract with Getty, but is this such a bad idea? Isn't an officially embedded image better than a stolen one where you wouldn't have gotten a sale anyway? 

I guess the real question is will this take on, will bloggers embed rather than steal, will other stock sources look at using the same or similar model.....the coming months will be interesting.

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