I don’t get it. It’s Monday, I don’t get it. People in this industry used to be really upset with Flickr and Creative Commons. Mostly because creatives and editors worldwide could get free images in exchange of a credit, or an electronic pat in the back. Scores of ad campaigns or magazines started to use unbelievably cheap images instead of “professional” images from Stock houses.
At the end of last week, Flickr and Getty announced a joint tool that allows Flickr members to call upon Getty to license images for them. Isn’t that what we all wanted ? Well, maybe not via Getty ? But to give uneducated photographers a way to get a proper license fee for their images and for ignorance to stop devaluating our industry?
Weren’t some of us looking for a way to counter the useless and dangerous spread of Creative Commons in our trade ? Well, the “license via Getty” tool is allowing just that.But, from all the thread in the Blogsphere, no one seems happy. Sure, Getty Images is taking an unbelievable 70% commission on every sale. However, they made the initial investment to create the technology, they are the ones supplying the billing and knowledge network. Furthermore, according to the press release, they have no intention of selling those images at microstock levels, but rather at accepted Right Managed price.
This can only be good for the dying commercial stock industry : Less free or ultra cheap images on the market. Yet, everyone complains. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see any other company offering such a service to Flickr users. Corbis, who had struck a deal with Webshot in afailed attempt to provide content for their defunct microstock start up Snapvillage, has certainly not offer the same deal to its users. Maybe they should. Maybe all Commercial stock agencies should offer the same to any and all photo sharing site, instead of complaining.
Sure, this is a great deal for Getty who now, more than ever, doesn’t have to rely so much on professional photographers to offer valuable commercial stock . Those who are solely shooting for stock are, once again, being blown a huge hit. But then again, they had their golden years and should have by now realized that their business model is obsolete. No one will miss them.
It is also a huge blow to the Creative Commons lovers and other “images should be free” prophets. It will only help the widening market to know and understand that usages of images should be compensated for, and for a reasonable price.
So, although we might not be huge fans of Getty on this blog, we reasonably give them a big Kudos for advancing the cause of our industry with this move.