Just got this in from APA. As many of you know, I love and admire many Getty editors, photographers and administrative staff. I mean no disrespect to them or their organization by posting this. However, I think a discussion on this policy on Jamie’s List would be really interesting and helpful for the industry. Feel free to comment but as usual, if you use any curse words or blatantly defamatory language or fail to put your name on your post, I will not approve your comment. Looking forward to hearing your comments and discussing this type of business move and what it means for the industry. -Jamie
April 2011 – Getty Images recently announced that it intends to make a number of significant changes to its standard contributor agreements. For instance, the new agreements will allow Getty Images to include all royalty free (RF) content in any subscription products and also will eliminate the ability of contributors to prevent their content from being licensed in multimedia products.
Following on the heels of its Premium Access subscription product—which has eroded significantly the licensing fees being achieved for rights managed (RM) content—these modifications clearly signal that Getty Images’ top priority is expanding its own market share by whatever means necessary, irrespective of the damage it causes to the rights and interests of contributing photographers and image partners.
It is APA’s position that these changes are unnecessary and that it is inappropriate for Getty Images to continue to leverage its position in the industry to force contributors to relinquish control over which licensing model shall apply to their creative works. Rights managed licensing has been in existence for decades and is the preferred method of licensing high-value content.
The erosion of the RM model also is concerning because it makes it more difficult for copyright owners to track usage of their creative works and protect their copyrights. Getty Images obviously realizes the importance of tracking third-party usage and monitoring copyrights because it does so vigorously for its wholly-owned content.
Because APA is very concerned by the changes being proposed by Getty Images, we have retained Nelson & McCulloch LLP, a New York-based law firm which focuses its practice on copyright law and litigation ( http://www.nelsonmcculloch.com), to help us develop a response to these changes and open a dialogue with Getty Images to address this issue.
Please send your concerns and individual situation comments on this subject to Nelson & McCulluch. They will use them to compile and frame dialog with Getty and for other stock issues in the future.