Last week news broke that Getty Images was making the majority of its collection available for editorial and acedemic embedding as long as they can append a footer at the bottom of the picture. The Verge reported that according to Craig Peters, a business development exec at Getty Images the ship sailed long ago as far as trying to prevent unauthorized use of their images online (story here) and their “content was everywhere already”.

Peter Krogh of The DAM Book has a different take on the situation. He speculates that the Carlyle Group, the private equity firm that has majority ownership of Getty is looking to cash out before a 1.2 billion dollar loan comes due in 2016 and given that Getty’s 2011 revenue was $900 million their profit is likely a small fraction of that and so they need to do something quickly to increase the value of the company.

Peter goes on to theorize that the whole embedding business is about gathering information which I agree can be more valuable than money to investors. You should read his entire post here:

You only have to look the Facebook purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp or the stock price of Twitter to understand that users are more valuable than revenue. So I think Getty is going to get on the user bandwagon by allowing free use of their images. What’s crazy about everyone getting on the user bandwagon is they all have the same plan to make money in the end: advertising. I think some simple math will prove that adding up all the minutes spent on an application times the current ad rates does not equal the valuation all these companies supposedly have. Getty is very late to a game of chicken with companies that have a tiny fraction of the overhead. All signs point to a writedown for the Carlyle Group in 2016.

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  1. So, then we should soon expect Canon, Nikon, etc., to start handing out camera’s free too?

    • They already do, to some people. If you’ve got the eyeballs on your social media site(s), they’ve got the free camera for you!

      • I’ve got my eyes on them, haven’t seen much free though! Unless one is Scott Kelby or the likes…

        I wonder how long could Canon & Co can survive giving stuff out for free!

  2. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the photographers (me included) whose images are being given away without any consultation. Do I feel used? Yes.

    I also think it lowers the perceived value of a library image to a big advertiser or corporate client. Why would they pay thousands of dollars for usage of an image which is free to some users.

    The erosion of the earning potential of stock for photographers has now reached its nadir (or maybe things can get worse!). The 3 and 4 cent royalties I’m getting from some images will now disappear, I suppose. This won’t make much difference to me, but it was always about the thousands of such payments that add up to nice income for the libraries when consolidated.

    My heart bleeds for the Carlyle Group, of course.

    • So let’s see if we got this straight:
      1. Photographer spends thousands of dollars on equipment, (cameras, lenses, desktops/laptops, tablets, phones, software), gas to get places to take those amazing photos, hotel accommodations in some cases, some food maybe, clothing, shoes etc…
      2. Photographer uploads to Getty
      3. Getty (& the likes) give their photos out for free (because they really have teams in place to define “editorial”! LOL This can be the joke of the year).
      4. Photographer gets no compensation for time, travel, post processing time spent to create X image!

      Sounds about right; we no longer have a “photography industry”! We can now Thank all the uneducated EGO’s out there for destroying the very industry they want to be part of so badly! Shameful. Fauxtographer’s win again!

      “What kind of photographer is one that can’t make a living out of his chosen job? The one that worked for free until nobody wanted to pay for photos anymore!”

    • Bleed for the Carlyle Group? With $170 billion in assets, I’m sure the top management isn’t losing about such a petty item such as Getty.

  3. There is no other way to put it but photographers allowing this… You have to be STUPID!

    Wake the F…K up!

    What is going to take for photographers to pull their images out of any company that intends to do this.

    If I am going to give my images for ¨free¨ at least the images will have to link back to my site, not the agency´s site! They are going to put advertising in a footer of my work, collect from the advertising and then… what´s in it for me??? Could you just imagine how much money they are going to get from this.

    The idea is great for Getty, but are they going to share the advertising revenue…. GOOD LUCK! And if you are a little bit smart, that is not editorial use, it is called COMMERCIAL! No matter how you slice it.

    I have been pulling out my images from all agencies, just not worth the effort!

    • I heartily concur. I am letting my Getty contract lapse, and then I am never looking back. Hello Gallery Stock and hello Image Source. Goodbye Getty.

      • It is really sad that organizations like ASMP, PPA, KelbyOne, etc, refuse to promote a heathy way to be in this business. They have THE audience, and are letting it go to waste. THAT is what is the saddest thing here.

      • We have our photographs with Gallery Stock. Gallery Stock can, and does, license images though Getty, so you would not be safe under Gallery Stock’s umbrella. Gallery Stock has sold our images for $4.00, at times. You are not safe there. The best thing that can happen is that all photographers leave all stock agencies and negotiate their stock directly. Or, assignments are created because buyers cannot find the images they need on stock sites.

        • THIS:
          ” The best thing that can happen is that all photographers leave all stock agencies and negotiate their stock directly. Or, assignments are created because buyers cannot find the images they need on stock sites.”

        • You are absolutely right Erica!

          The way to go is to pull out and let´s see what happens.

          Most stock agencies do not accept non professionals and they require commitment from you to “feed the monkey” regularly. I want to see them go Cold Turkey and see how long they can keep the interest in their company.

          We could all create an alliance, PhotoShelter tried this a long time ago and were paying great to photographers, only cave in from the pressure of Getty and Corbis. They still have the service to have your images in a cloud and all the sales platform for showcasing and selling your job and they charge you 10% commission.
          Any photographer can have an account here and photographers can join forces together in groups. When a sale is made is thru the photographers website and account, not thru the group.

          I am going to try to pull one of the main guys to participate in this chat so he can expalin better what they do.

          We should try webminars to organize groups of photographers and merge into action

        • Gallery Stock has been acquired by Trunk Archive which also picked up the B&A photographers agency.

    • Try telling that to the egotistic idiot that just bought a camera and is on his way to the first wedding he’ll be shooting now that he’s a pro thanks to his new DSLR.

      What will it take photographers? I don’t know…a lobotomy…big billboards listing our business costs? Those without educational credentials not be sold cameras? (Sounds preposterous), but I don’t think there is hope to ever expect to live off of Photography at this point.

      The lack of education that is even promoted by educational venues, and people all over: “Look how easy it is to be a photographer; click & poof”…a monkey can do it…” attitude is what ruined this industry coupled with massive ego’s to give out free photos to magazines who charge $20,000 for an ad! Can’t fight with STUPID! Magazines laugh at us, companies laugh at us…we are a JOKE.

      A billion websites listing ” ohh, I am so passionate about photography, look I shoot everything and its mother”…blah, blah, blah…”Look at me, look at me, my photos come straight out of the camera”! As if that is what pro’s do!

      There should be some sort of credential required to enter this business….associations have proved completely useless in defending this industry (ASMP, PPA etc)…, who’s left? nobody! If someone works as some sort of engineer, making 6 figures, he won’t care that he doesn’t get paid for his photos; he’s got a big ego to fill! He already has an income and enough LACK of care for this industry as a whole to not educate himself about licensing, business costs, a niche…none of that, so he will continue selfishly to destroy this industry….and together with the one guy “who just started out” and does “portfolio work” for free right and left….Good Luck making money with photography…

      The issue is not the opening of the door to photography to everyone, the issue is that along with that door, the education part about it was left out…and I am not referring to just how shutter speed works…business education, where people WOULD stop in their track and evaluate a situation before offering free work etc.

      • Credentials? Licensing? That’s just anti competition fascist thinking, not a good road to go down.

        I DO however understand the concept of barriers to entry being useful to those already operating in a particular industry. Here’s what you do: you make your own barriers to entry via the free market. I once read about a photographer who bailed out of stock about 6 years ago (the right time to do so, in my opinon) and then jumped into HD aerial video. Why? Barriers to entry. It was really expensive at the time to get into arial video – of course, those barriers are now much lower with quadro copters being able to carry Red Epics and stabilizer gear etc… Another possible barrier is classic and simply time honored in the arts: higher skill levels, better images, stronger more unique artistic vision. Those right there will do more for you than any attempt to use government forces to shut down people from entering the business. As for the cottage industry stuff, that’s always going to exist in many industries. Those types, the ones with the “high paying job” (I don’t know many in that position personally) – have a day job eating up their time. They can’t take on serious commercial clientel. They aren’t full time photographers who can shoot / process for days or weeks on end…. The “under-charging cottage industry problem” is more an issue for people working with consumer clients: family portraits, weddings, etc.. People who use those service providers are probably not in your market anyway. What makes you think a person who is looking for the $200 option is going to suddenly accept the $600 option should all the $200 options vanish? What really happens? They get uncle Vinny to shoot for free with his 40MP Nokia cell phone camera and call it a day.

        • Which makes ASMP the most “fascist” then!

          Don’t you love it when people who’ve never lived under another regime use it’s name so loosely to describe a default policy in Photography? Gotta love the ignorance!

          & we wonder “why” we’re going south!

    • Getty has stated in a PDN interview that the advertising revenue earned by placing ads on the free by embed images will be shared with the photographer of the image. There was no mention if the % split will stay as per that photographer’s contract with Getty. So in theory there could be a benefit to Getty photographers beyond the present $0.04 present royalties and $0.00 infringement royalties.The Spotify business model could be an example of how all these promises of riches for artists vs all the non earning infringing. However check out how that is working for artists through the Content Creators Coalition.

      I am sure that it will be Getty’s position that all data mining information will be a 100% Getty asset. That information is the valuable asset now days. The photographers work is the just the bait.

  4. We have been writing, lecturing and otherwise warning photographers and illustrators for decades about such rights grabs. Stock agencies, clients, ad agencies etc. have always relied on the naivete’ of their contributors and always will. They invoke that strategy because doing so, works.

    Can anyone really be surprised by this?

  5. Complaining about getting giving your images away for free? I left Getty stock a long time ago for reasons just like this… Why didn’t you?

    • Double post, sorry, thought my browser left the page before posting.

  6. Complaining about Getty giving away your images? I left Getty stock a long time ago for reasons just like this… Why didn’t you? They can’t give away what they don’t have.

  7. The significant thing in this post is that there is a bubble growing. All of these companies being acquired for gobs of money based on the number of users they have (or in this case business models being developed) and how valuable the data about those users is. These revenues are never going to really materialize. I only trust that it happens soon because we can only take so many business models based on hope.

  8. Just wondering if Getty is going to keep the same 65/35 split when paying photographers in users.

  9. Cinderella JPEGS for the rest of eternity.
    They all turn into pumpkins at midnight.

  10. A potential up side is depending on Getty handles the “Rights Managed” images, it could be push companies to commission more photo shoots rather than use stock. This is going to affect both buyers and photographers. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Some execs once thought that “New Coke” was a good idea too.

    • Even in the case that there is an upside, which of course there is. You as a photographer won´t see it and if you believe Getty is going to share their profits with their photographers…Keep on dreaming! Ah, but don´t forget while you dream to keep feeding the monkey! By the time you wake up, it´s not a monkey anymore, it´s a 2,000 pound Gorilla.

      The only thing missing from their contract is a clause that if somebody infringes your images, in print or electronic, you are responsible to indemnify Getty for their loss of income and don´t forget their attorney fees!

  11. Exactly! They didn’t ask photographers about that. I wonder what they really think about that…

    What about me, I only buy their content. But I don’t think they will really like idea of giving their work for free. That plus if you really want to embed pictures on your web site, try to use Pressfoto. At last, they give their pictures ti rent for at least some money :))

    I don’t think photographers are so upset there.

  12. if a photographer has their collection with Getty can they break the contract when ever they want? does the photographer have the right to leave? or does getty ‘own ‘ the photographer’s collection of images?

    • Of course you can break any contract Billy, you are not a slave! Might take some time but aren’t you willing to fight for what it is yours?

      Photographers should group and start legal action, if you are interested I know a very good law firm that could help you out.

  13. Peter is right. I’ve checked their terms and conditions and Getty can collect your data as well as place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer. That being said, I will keep using Their unlimited streaming service is just $9.90/month and you can also use it for commercial purposes. No other strings attached. It’s a pity that Getty is doing this…I was pretty excited about the news when I first heard it.

    •, a monthly fee streaming service for photos. Think that will be any better than Spotify has been for musical artists? No bloody way! Check out the Content Creators Coalition. Just another way to get photographers to provide content for basically free while prays for a big rich bear to write them a buy out cheque.

      • ALL this effort we are all putting into typing here and basically agree with each other, could have been used to unite, and make a union with our own rules and start defending our industry against these corporate thiefs!

  14. We’re living in the Wild West, when it comes to photography and image protection. Where the hell is Marshall Dillon when we need him? Must be out collecting and selling user profiles again.

    • Marshall Dillon is you!

      It is about time photographers realize the power we have and more if we group together.

      The internet is your weapon and we should all use it.

      If somebody you once trusted comes into your home and steals your stuff, will you let them?

      • OK, I get it now….

        then we all ride into the sunset.

        All kidding aside. It is easy to say stuff like “group together”… and take those guys down but it is another to successfully pull it off. Especially w/ a group of independently mined freelances w/ different agendas. Not to mention facing very, very strong corporate foes.

        If photographers were going to really get serious about this, the first step would be forming a union….along the lines of Local 600, The International Cinematographers Guild. Unless/until there is a bona fide union w/ a vested interest in protecting the rights of its members…nothing gonna change. I’d love to think that PPA or some other photographer’s organization would take this on but I’m not seeing it so far. Personally, I don’t contribute to stock houses…but that is a decision I can afford to make. It would be a lot more difficult if stock were a significant part of my income.

        • Seriously, a Union? Like Local 600 – the one for DP’s and camera department members that’s a part of IATSE, the same union that allows and turns a blind eye to 18+ hour work days and 6 day work weeks? The one crew people are currently fighting for 12 hour days? I’ve been on both sides of this fence before and I think I’ll pass.

          • Yes, that would be the one. The same one that has guaranteed hourly, overtime and weekly rates for DPs, as well as other photographers. Not perfect by any stretch…but better than fighting corporate interests like Getty on your own. Either way, all this bolsters my initial feeling that getting a group of freelance photographers unified and working together would be about as hard as corralling a herd of wild cats.

            • We NEED a union now more than ever actually; look at how broken our industry has become thanks to this misplaced ego epidemic!

              You know what it worst though? to see billions of websites with about pages reading: “photography is my passion”, and all that ridiculous spill that is not even backed up with good photos, YET when it comes to unite so we are not taken advantage of as an industry, everyone runs away like cowards! If you have a REAL passion for photography, you wouldn’t UNDERMINE IT this way; and allow these corporate sharks to take advantage of you & your “passion”!

              Let me point something to you really quick: YOUR Photos become PRODUCTS that make money for other companies while you’re biting your nails for not making a dime out of your own work! Imagine what would happen if this was your day job! Would you go to work everyday for free? how about use some empathy and place yourself in the shoes of someone who’s job/career/business IS Photography, and who has to go to work and be asked to work for free! We’re not slaves!

              • I hope this is addressed to the “general” you and not specifically to me. But just in case…Photography is my business. I sell my work through commissioned sales and in galleries. The only one making money on my work is me. I have a great deal of empathy for other photographers, particularly those attempting to make a hard earned living in the commercial markets.

            • Are you aware of the $13,000 fee to work unristricted anywhere in the nation as a DP? How about all the inter union turf wars with regard to various locals? Yes, Local 600 is nationwide, but that doesn’t mean a photography union would be the same. There’s plenty of downsides. Bottom line, unions try to control YOU – the labor. It’s an attempt at monoplolizing people.

  15. I would expect nothing less from “Getty”

    When the kidnappers finally reduced their demands to $3 million, Getty senior agreed to pay no more than $2.2 million—the maximum that would be tax deductible. He lent his son the remaining $800,000 at 4% interest. Paul III was found alive in Southern Italy shortly after the ransom was paid. After his release Paul III called his grandfather to thank him for paying the ransom but Getty refused to come to the phone.

    D-bags..the lot!

  16. Allow me to let you all in on a little secret. When Getty, istock, shutter stock etc. sell images, only they get rich, none of their contributors do. They’ve spread out their supplier pool so that no single supplier can be important to their core value of making money. If one shooter bails or even a hundred, they could care less because they still have thousands of others sending them images every month. Photographers long ago lost any power over Getty when they first started lowering royalties and yet even though many suppliers made a bunch of noise and pounded their chests, very few actually quit contributing. Many say they will to look cool or tough but, photographers are the biggest liars around and all these companies know it.

    Shutterstock currently has a market capitalization of over $3billion (yes, BILLION) dollars and they pay photographers something like 20 cents an image. They had a Gross Profit for the year ending December 2013 of almost $150 Million dollars and compared to Getty, these guys are pikers. Getty is a cash machine that will not quit. It churns out money for it’s owners every month because they get their input for free, have an incredible operating margin that any other business would kill for and don’t even have any oversight. It’s a safe bet that 25% of their sales don’t even get reported to their suppliers. Why wouldn’t they offer to give something away for free? They don’t own what they’re giving away, paid nothing for it and are giving it to someone who wouldn’t buy it anyway. In exchange, they’re being handed valuable space and data at no cost to them that they can turn around and sell or use elsewhere.

    The bottom line is, as the article states, Carlyle know that data is now worth more than pictures so, you’re being used when you send them images in the hopes they will pay you some small pittance in the future. Even if you work like mad and manage to carve out $50K in sales (virtually impossible), Getty have made 5 times that off you and they still could not care less if you took your ball and went home, it’s not even a blip on their radar because they can replace you with 10 others in a second.

    Getty management laugh at your stupidity every time you send in an image for representation and they laugh harder when you threaten to quit. The only way to stop this is for EVERYONE to stop contributing to stock agencies. All of them!! Someone above commented that they are going to quit and just contribute to Image Source which illustrates just how stupid photographers are as a whole now. Image Source takes your images and puts them up on Getty!!! If Getty sells your image for $100, they pay Image Source $20 and Image Source pays you 40% of that which is $8!! Even worse than being with Getty direct. Blend is even worse at 30% of what they get from Getty so, they’re basically parasites on top of an even bigger parasite. The people taking all the risk and putting up all the production money and effort are the ones who are making the least amount of money off these efforts!!!

    Wake up photographers, business schools are actually doing case studies about you right now and marvelling at how Getty and others have managed to turn suppliers into virtually free capital input

    • McBain is Right!

      Unless you stop altogether supplying images, the problem is not going to stop, so enough with the winning and start defending your property.

      Read about the Morel case against Getty and see what it takes to defeat the giant! if it is too complicated for you or involves an effort you are not willing to go thru with… Well, bend over, pull your pants down and wait for your turn, because there is a big line before you already with their pants down and waiting for their turn… to pick up the crums that is!

  17. How convenient for Getty to give for free something that doesn’t belong to them (photographer rights / revenues). Seriously, how can you still want to be represented by Getty ?!!!

  18. If every photographer pulled their images out of the libraries, and opened there own e commerce site such as photoshelter (Other web companies available) These parasitic companies would not have a business.
    As photographers its in your hands. Many have all ready done so, and with great effect. Sure its scary but what have you got to loose, It would appear nothing

    Time to take control of your own destiny.

  19. I bet Allen Murabayashi would be happy to show how photographers could immensely benefit from a Photoshelter account versus a Getty contract. A contract with Getty is like having a blood sucking leech attached directly to a sensitive bits of your body.

    I would love to see the stock industry go through a restructuring eliminating, Getty, iStock and the sorts. And those of you who said all photographers need to band together to make it happen, if you are a member of ASMP, APA, PPA, NPPA, and others — speak up! I am sure the membership will listen if there is a concerted effort. Yes an individual can change the world.

  20. You can all jump on the bandwagon and bash and insult photographers who contribute to Getty but i don’t think most of you have the fenitest idea what you are talking about.

    Picture this: you are a struggling PRO photographer trying to put food on the table for your family. You’ve gone through all the hoops and BS of marketing yourself. You’ve bid on jobs and you find yourself bidding with celebrity turned photographer’s like Brian Adams so you lose the bid. You even get the help of a consulting agency to bid on your behalf but that doesn’t help either. Your work is good because you get asked to bid. The bills start pilling up in the mailbox and you have to find ways to make ends meet. You have kids to feed and a roof to put over their heads. Then came the stock agency! They provided avenues for you to make some income (no matter how little it is) for images that no photo editor is buying or even looking at because all the the email campaigns you send each month only get about 1% open rate. You spend a lot of money you don’t have on phone calls and email/contact databases that seem to be outdated. When you finally get a meeting with a A.D. or P.E. you get asked questions/comments that you can only classify as racism. I DON’T even want to get into the racial biass in the industry.

    I’ve been contacted by Ad agencies who have seen my images on Getty/Image source to inquire if I have other images in different setup/scenario than they see online. I’ve been able to sell images for quite a lot of $$ and sometimes for little. All these were made possible because of my contribution to a stock agency. For some reason my contribution to a stock agency seem to be give me a little credibility I don’t receive from my face to face meetings.

    • Dear BJ:

      I urge you to make a paper copy of your comment, the article and all of the other comments. Re-read all of them say once a year as your career either moves forward, back and remains static. Then you can determine whether your views did in fact benefit you in the long run. Wait and see if you have disputes, issues or problems with your stock agency in the future.

      I am willing to wager – based on very extensive experience spanning 34 years with stock agencies – that if in fact your career progresses, your stock agent will have had little or nothing to do with it. I sincerely hope that your experience will buck the tide, is the exception to the rule and is counter to the experiences of thousands of photographers who have over the last 20 or so years regretted the day they signed a stock agency contract.

      As the cliche’ goes, “Only time will tell” if your decision works out for you. Best of luck.

  21. I think Getty should be sued for price fixing! If I had a lawyer, I would sue them myself! No joke!

    They(+the rest of stock agencies) have been/are FIXING the price of what an image should be worth without calculating the circulation that image will have, (without telling you what circulation that image will have), and pay shameful fees, so corporations that only need to feed one wallet “save” on image purchases!

    Excuse me BJ, but what do you buy with $4 to feed a family of 4? or $0.15 cents (per image? other than say a $0.99 BigMac??? (In which case you’re hurting them more than “feeding them”!)

    The problem everyone with a camera needs to “remember” and “underfreakinstand” is that your photos, as banal and menial you think they could be, can add a LOT of worth to a company. Your lunch photo can be used to advertise a restaurant hence making that restaurant more money by selling another meal! You made nothing, because you didn’t know anything about licensing.

    Licensing matters, because your photos become “content” that is used to advertise companies that are looking to make profits! “Content” is what you see published in magazines…magazines who charge advertisers 4 to 6 figures to print an ad, yet pay you nothing. What would magazines look like without photos? “picture” that!

    If you want to use your “ego” in photography, you need to add 4, 5 zeros at the end of it first.

    Your images are very valuable, and can add a lot of value to a company if you’re any good! What stock sites are doing is simply deciding what an image “should” be worth, when in fact it should be YOU, the photographer, that should be choosing what your image is worth considering what your image shows, and how many people will see it.

    Is it a park? a national park? guess what, the Gov is using it to make money off of you by posting it on their site to attract PAYING visitors from all over the world; this would be considered an “international license” and should cost them some money in the lines of 4, 5 figures + the credit line to you who took it. (Credit line without zeros at the end is worthless! FYI & also not accepted by any retailer!)
    WHY? Well, because a lot of people will see that image of that national park. They charge admission, they advertise that park with your image; yet, even though it costs you to buy your equipment, and your ticket to access that park, you’re not seeing a dime out of your own time spent to make that image inside that park, or the extra costs you incurred to visit that park like travel & accommodations, food, etc! “Ohh, but I don’t photograph for money, I am just an amateur…” Guess what, you post that image online, someone sees it, likes it, steals it, and uses it in their ad and you don’t even know! Now you’re no longer an amateur, you’re a fool! The whole industry suffers now, because companies don’t Google for “food photographers in Atlanta”, they Google for a “photos of a steak”; right click=save=use=done!….bypassing a pro all together….They laugh at us, and how naive we’ve become to not know our own worth.

    If you’re not a full time photographer, and are coming into photography from another field of work, imagine what would happen if you were told that YOUR industry is not placing any worth on your product or service, hence you’re not getting paid anymore…how would you feel? would you continue to do your day job unpaid?

    “Just because” is not a reason…
    “Being new” is not a reason…
    “For portfolio” is not an excuse…what does a dentist do “for portfolio”? how many free teeth did you get last year?
    “Photography” is a visual art; we can see it, good or bad…
    “Free” is for a LEGITIMATE charity you support, and know is needed…A Fortune 100 to 500+ is NOT a charity! They can afford you JUST FINE!
    “.Inc, LLC” are not charities…

    Having more supply than demand means NOTHING in the world of photography, because we’re not selling bananas that go bad quickly…we document events, people’s memories, a company’s product or service, (that make THEM money in return), and our images are saved for decades to come. Our works don’t have expiration dates! Then, if the majority of the supply is crap, it is not worth being considered a “supply”, other than a “supply of mindless crap”…you wouldn’t buy a banana if it was rotted out would you? so why would you buy/use a photo that is crap? and will not promote your company’s image in a way that your company would make profits?

    Learn to license your photos based on your own costs calculated by photography industry standards, which include the cost of your equipment+living costs+profits+insurance etc, and not calculate what it would cost you to be a photographer on a 6 figure senator salary! Common sense. Common sense does not have a political status! Use IT!

    More on licensing here:

    No one should decide what your photos are worth but you, the one who took them. Evaluate how that photo can make you a profit, and don’t post it online or on stock websites if you know it could be really useful to a company. Go directly to that company and present it. PRESENT IT! It might seem like more work, but in the end hard work pays off. Let’s not forget that. Equipment is not cheap if you calculate by what we are paid in our own industry. $600 versus $0 is expensive.

    Don’t be fooled anymore. If you say “your passion is photography”, then don’t destroy it’s industry please!

  22. Why not looking for other alternatives? It’s interesting that Getty’s giving free access to stock photos. This could attract lots of users. At this point, I don’t really feel comfortable with this idea. My main concern is to get out of copyright complaints area. I’ll be more content to pay a few cents extra for getting great stock images using a special streaming service if it’s possible. I heard that is offering this possibility. What do you guys think?

    • The reason this sucks (and Getty knows this), is that most photographers cannot afford to go to Federal Court and defend their copyright.

      Most photographers don’t even bother to copyright their works, which makes this WORST for those if us who DO CARE enough about our work to copyright it.

      In reality, every serious photographer out there doesn’t have time to chase their own images online, Getty knows and counts on this. HOWEVER, this would be the PERFECT opportunity for IP attorneys to swing into action en masse and file law suit after law suit, because the photographer never allowed Getty to offer FREE access to everyone…….and if this was some HIDDEN clause in their contract to GETTY then GETTY should be sued to their ancestors for TRICKING photographers into giving away their works for free!

      My advice is to get a LAWYER and sure both GETTY, and everyone else using your images for free! IF you did not give access to your images in WRITING for FREE, then nobody should be using your images for free.

      • Approximately 96% of all photographers have never filed a single registration. Less than 1% of all photographers regularly file. As we have written and lectured many, many times over 3+ decades, the entertainment companies, publishers and stock agents are well aware of this statistic and are therefore incentivized to infringe. They simply play the odds because “crime pays”. Creators would prefer to complain about being ripped off, than to pay the single $35 fee and take 10 minutes to register thousands of images.

        Photographers who timely register their works are entitled to substantial monetary awards and – among other things – an award of their attorneys fees if they prevail in Court. There is no shortage of attorneys willing to take cases where the image was duly registered. This is now and always has been, a shortage of creators who bother to register their images. Photographers, illustrators and artists who don’t register have no one but themselves to blame when their remedies are limited as a result of not registering or registering many months or years after the infringement(s).

        This is not a lawyer issue. It is a creator issue. Register everything, all of the time, without exception and in the event of infringement you will have no problem finding lawyers to recover the substantial awards that may be due you via the Federal Courts. Well over 95% of these type claims are settled by payment to the photographer without the need to file suit and under confidential terms and conditions unknown to others.

        As far as as Getty and other stock agencies are concerned, few, very few photographers ever bothered to have such contracts reviewed by an attorney prior to signing them. Notwithstanding warnings that such contracts are blatant rights grabs and rarely, very rarely in the contributors interest, photographers signed away many of their rights. If you leave your car unlocked, give someone the keys and permission to drive it whenever and wherever they like, don’t be surprised by anything that happens to it. These are just new plot points to a story that has been on-going since 35mm film ruled the day. Stock agencies have always fed off contributors in an inherently unequal relationship made worse by the passive nature of photographers.

        • I know! It’s ridiculous! These days people go from B & H straight to the wedding! They have no clue what their camera can do….none what so ever! Forget about styles, and concepts etc…none of that. They think it’s all in the camera! When they don’t know what to call their “art”, they call it “their passion”, yet they are so “passionate” about their art that they are allowing these companies to get it for free! I am wondering what their IQ is! Because in the end this is really a matter of common sense. You want to step into a new industry, great, how about studying it first, and then waltz in and enjoy being a part of it. I ask someone about their insurance, and they look at me like I’m crazy! Can’t cure stupidity!

          Now let me point out that these stock companies don’t take just “anything”, so these people submit amazing works and get paid NOTHING compared to what they “should” be paid! No one that shoots for stock can pay a mortgage payment out of it….it REALLY makes you wonder what they’re thinking considering that their works are good enough to make 4, 5 figures easy on assignment work. How does this make any “BUSINESS” sense? you pay $3000+ for a camera body, $2000+ for a lens, another $1000+ on accessories which one can’t live without….filters, cards blah blah blah,…..and then get paid $0.15 cents for one stock image!??? I didn’t go to business school, but logically speaking, this makes no sense for anyone in their right mind! What people forget is that they are a BUSINESS- when in business your eyes are on the profit, not on how much can you loose, or make someone else loose!…I think these people just enjoy not making any money with photography and then claim “business loses” at tax time to get more money they didn’t deserve back! It’s like unconsciously shooting yourself in the foot.

          It is very wrong not to have any contract reviewed by an attorney, I know this from personal experience! Do you buy real estate on pretty eyes? or you have 45 pages to sign on??? why don’t they give houses for free! we have so many now thanks to all the rampant building…it would only make sense to create a stock house for homes! Here in Florida pastures are full of them! Let the builder spend some millions on construction equipment and then sell at the stock house for $10 for one bedroom, $20 for 2, and $30 for 3 etc! (I am being sarcastic).

          Just like Facebook stripping every single image of it’s metadata:

          NOBODY has bothered to read their terms! You know what? it does make you wonder how come Facebook has pages, and pages of terms one could be scrolling their t&c for a week, and still not get to the bottom of it, why do THEY need all that, and you (general you), can’t have a terms and conditions before a shoot? can’t register your copyright? YOUR OWN copyright? how is your time and money LESS valuable than theirs? They didn’t spend a dime going out on shoots, yet they gave themselves the right to take YOUR WORK away from you!!!!
          This is called: MISPLACED PRIORITY.

          A photographer is a creative person who documents an event, a product, a breaking news situation, etc., someone who creates CONTENT for someone else to use and promote themselves online or in print…or creates a memory to be passed down generation after generation, a photographer’s 1ST & #1 PRIORITY is to PROTECT THEIR WORK by copyrighting is BEFORE the work is delivered to a client! It’s a priority, it’s not an option. You have to understand that what you create has importance, and it is your work…your own work, if you want people to respect your work, you have to respect it FIRST cause it’s yours! If you don’t give a $hit, then don’t be in this industry. If you’re that lazy and can’t copyright your own work, then don’t be in this industry.

          I think people need to see this en masse (Tv, Radio, Billboards etc), we have to put this information where MOST people see & can hear it. Over and over and over until people get it! If this information is only available at Photoshop World, then it’s not going to make a dent in the 96% because those who go there are only those who are serious enough about it to care to LEARN MORE. Those who destroy this industry have no desire to learn how to use their equipment let alone how to properly run a photography business. They bought a camera because they think (thanks to manufacturers advertisements) that is ALL they need to call themselves “photographers”. “Buy this camera, shoot like pro” garbage…THAT is the problem.

          The #1 reason this is happening is literally manufacturers fault IMO; they want to sell their products, (which is understandable), but in doing so they “forget” to mention that photography, just like dentistry and culinary arts etc., is not all about the “tools”! I have a cool stove too, but that doesn’t mean I can cook! This has to stop at manufacturer level; promote the products, but promote the learning curve with it too; have them come packed with & memberships so people UNDERSTAND that “creativity” is born with, and is not packed in a camera sensor! Pack pamphlets about copyright & licensing, all this can be done if there’s a will! New generations will never know that they should license their photos if they are not told & taught how to do it. Someone has to teach this to those 2 year old acting masses who only care about how many lenses they can buy out of their regular Target and the likes salary & not out of photography work, and how many pixels they can get! It’s embarrassing, it is really really embarrassing to make a MOCKERY out of an art as important as photography is.

          Writers don’t allow for this kind of crap to happen to them…Hollywood is in the “visual” business too, and they have their FBI warnings all over everything….why they understand that INTELLECTUAL property matters and photographer can’t understand that! I could answer this too….but we’re going right back to EDUCATION! The TABU word that everyone avoids thanks to manufacturers ads sounding “shoot like a pro with this camera or that one!” etc.

          It really sucks when an industry is invaded by uneducated people! & also by people who place NO value on education. REALLY SUCKS!

          • @ Alexandra,

            And you are forgetting what happens if you dare try to complain… They treat you like shit, try to lowball you and make you feel inferior than the next guy with an iphone…

            I know this by personal experience when I complained to AGE Fotostock in Spain, who were handling my stock for a few years. At the beginning, everything was great, prices were fine considering I was getting only 50% of the cake, yet they started signing this agreements with all the bigger boys and the royalties dropped to the ridiculously prices we are right now.

            When I sent them a letter complaining for receiving royalties of 1,75 dlls for an image rental. The owner himself replied to me with a very nasty email, stating that my work was not worth more than they paid me!! Of course that was the end of them for me, I pulled out every image, cancel my contract and been doing much better on my own.

            I am fortunate not to have to live out of stock royalties, not that I think anyone can. But I´d rather sell from time to time on my own and keep all the money, than taking peanuts from this greedy corporations and on top take their insults.

            Photographers as a whole are really stupid and sorry if the word offends some, but whoever out there is willing to take these prices over their work, don´t deserve any other adjective.

            WAKE UP! The internet is here in case you haven´t heard! and just as you post your cat images on social media for your aunt to see immediately on the other side of the world, with the same ease, you can deliver your images in a matter of seconds directly to a buyer in Botswana, who by the way, does not care where are you located as long as you can deliver the goods!

            • Why are you trying to make money with stock? Hire a graphic DeGeneres, create a brand, and advertise where it matters!!! You’re wasting your own time. Actually everyone who posts to stock sites are wasting they time & money.

              Creative directors like pieces that they can hold, and are differ t than the mass of pixels available online! You’re not taking yourself seriously! If photography is what you want to do, then do it right. Make a brand for yourself, and advertise yourself; if this is too much work then quit.

              Stick agencies thrive on people UNFAMILIAR with Copyright & Licensing! Those who are aware of those never post on stock sites because those people want to make money working as photographers. You want 50% out of $0.15??? That makes a lot of business sense. NOT.

              Look I hear it everyday here too and I don’t shoot for stock! “How come you’re not free, Joe fart face was!” I am not him, my gas is not free.

              In photography right now it is exactly like in politics: a lot of people love to complain, but nobody is willing to make a change. You get what you give! Don’t complain your images are handed over for free, if you sat there and never bothered to read their terms. Or register your copyright!

              I bet you the financial loses for these stock photographers are in 6 to 7 figures at this point.

              • I meant DESIGNER! Stupid autocorrect!

  23. ………..and remember: WHILE you’re posting your images everywhere…someone who downloads them uses them to make money! Your images BECOME CONTENT for those using them! So, they make money of off your works and you’re not making a dime=FOOL!
    Don’t be fooled!

    IF your camera was not free, your images should NOT be free either!

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