Embedding Getty Images

A few years ago the senior team at Getty Images asked me to attend a strategy session they were having. I came and talked about open platforms and how they create more reach, engagement, and ultimately value. They thanked me and asked me if there was an image in their library that I wanted a print of. I chose this image of Roy Hibbert and Steph Curry when they played against each other in the NCAA Midwest Finals in 2008.

roy steph

As an aside, the CEO of Getty, Jonathan Klein, who is a friend of mine, asked me “are you sure that’s the photo you want?” He mentioned that there are photos of Presidents, Generals, Movie Stars, and many major historical moments in their library. I told him I was sure. He got the photo signed by Roy and it hangs in my son’s bedroom. We love Roy and Steph. It’s a shared thing we have between us. This print remains my favorite gift I’ve ever gotten for a speaking gig.

Note that this photo is watermarked. I did a screenshot of the photo from Getty’s website. That’s what bloggers do when they want to showcase a photo they find on the web. But it is not what is ideal. What is ideal is to get some embed code from the website and post it legally and cleanly.

Well Getty Images has made exactly such a thing available for many of the photos in their library. Sadly not that one of Roy and Steph, yet.

But this one, from the same game, is now available for embedding.

All I did was find the image, click on the embed icon, grab the code, and place it here. Easy, simple, awesome.

Getty has done a big and important thing here. They have opened up their platform. This will lead to reach, engagement, and, I believe, more value for them in the future. Well done Getty.

#Photo of the Day#Weblogs

Comments (Archived):

  1. sid

    Will Getty pay the image makers a fair fee for every image used in this way or will they shaft their contributors? Without the image makers Getty has nothing so lets see them put their money where their mouth is.

  2. Farhan Lalji

    Great for Getty and the web. Think it’s kind of like Spotify and the music industry where Spotify has actually seen that people buy more if they listen more. This should enable sales to increase as people engage with more of Getty’s content.

    1. JamesHRH

      Where is Spotify on the profitability curve?

      1. Salt Shaker

        Exactly. Flawed model. Same with Pandora. Not enough conversion to pay and saddled w/ huge licensing fees on free model.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Show me the data.”Total users reached 20 million by December 2012, 5 million of whom pay a monthly subscription fee that varies based on locale.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…Those look like nice numbers to me.

          1. Salt Shaker

            I believe Spotify has a healthier free-to-pay conversion rate than Pandora, who posted annual revenue of $639M (+56%) in ’13 and a loss of $41M vs. $36M in 2012. Licensing fees are a killer and IMO there’s not a significant enough diff between their free and pay services to drive conversion, or maybe I’m just too cheap 🙂

          2. JimHirshfield

            A tough row to hoe, for sure. But music industry can embrace it or kill it, like they did to earlier innovators. Now that physical sales are down long-time big time, perhaps they’re taking a longer view.

  3. David Semeria

    From the post on The Verge I linked to on usv:Peters’ bet is that if web publishers have a legal, free path to use the images, they’ll take it, opening up a new revenue stream for Getty and photographers.That sounds like someone I know talking…

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Most people aren’t thinking about the how they’re going to do an action, they just want to get it done – they want the end result. Most people are reasonable too, at least with simple day-to-day things, and so attribution back isn’t generally a problem for most use cases.

    2. Guest

      took long enough

  4. awaldstein

    This is a big deal. Sharing it widely.

  5. LIAD

    i don’t think they’ve opened up their platform, i think they’ve given away the farm.people will hack the system to get watermark free images without the getty byline.1. embed the watermark free image using the new widget even though it comes with the getty byline.2. screenshot the watermark free image3. use the screenshot and delete the embedded version – before long all 38m images will be available watermark free on bittorrent. all will use them, no one has a direct connection to the infringement or to Getty = reach/engagement/value bet doesn’t pay off

    1. David Semeria

      People were doing that anyway. Read the post on The Verge.

    2. William Mougayar

      I use Google Images search typically.

    3. JimHirshfield

      Who’s got time for that recipe when there’s a ready-made-mix?

      1. LIAD

        people who care about design and dont want the byline cluttering their look and those who dont want the possibility of in the future Getty using the widget to pump video ads(?) into their page.

        1. JimHirshfield

          So, that’s at most 10% of the time? Maybe closer to 1%?The ads? That’s speculation, but I’m curious to see if it happens. Do you expect embedded Tweets to have ads some day? Truthfully, I haven’t heard of any speculation that they will, or uproar…but I dunno.

    4. bsoist

      Understand your argument, but I think this is a good bet for them. They are giving people a way to play by the rules, when they might otherwise just steal the images.

      1. LIAD

        thats my point.before you couldnt steal the images.they were all locked behind a watermark.now the ‘unlocked’ ones are all in the wild.

        1. bsoist

          all locked behind a watermark?Getty never licensed the images for use on websites before?

        2. Matt A. Myers

          it’s the same issue with people downloading music without paying. There still will be those who do it. Others will follow the rules the platform has set.

  6. matthewmclean

    This is exactly why I love this blog. Thanks Fred.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Real, long-tail stories. They’re great. (What our brains are designed for.)

  7. William Mougayar

    There is fierce competition in the images space. Sometimes competition makes you do things you wouldn’t have done on your own, even you’re the leader.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Good point. This model is being replicated in more and more different areas. YouTube is the obvious example of the value of embedding. It’s a bit surprising that images hasn’t really taken off sooner – perhaps because hot-linking or simply saving a photo and uploading it to whatever service works, is simple and quick.

  8. Donna Brewington White

    You do get around, Fred. And a lot of us benefit as a result.

  9. WA

    Outstanding. Thanks.

  10. pointsnfigures

    Interesting. Love Steph Curry too (My daughter went to Davidson and used to borrow pencils from him). I wonder about older images. For example, images Getty owns from points of history like the Civil War. Are they releasing them too? Or, are older images more valuable because time and space have passed-and in the new world where everyone has a smart phone, images are less valuable since so many photos are taken? (Too bad they couldn’t beat Kansas that year!)

    1. JamesHRH

      Hilarious.Can someone buy the pencils on eBay 😉 ???

      1. JimHirshfield

        Oh!!! That’s a sharp comment!

        1. pointsnfigures

          She is accepting Bitcoin for them. Paypal doesn’t take Bitcoin.

    2. ShanaC

      shouldn’t civil war images be out of copyright?

      1. pointsnfigures

        Clearly, I am not a lawyer.

  11. John Saddington

    So what happens when you get a front-bumper with an animated advertisement in your embed later on? Will you swap out all of the embedded images on your blog?These are thoughts that I’ve had and why I’m a bit hesitant to start linking up to it… just as Youtube videos can now add advertisements at will on any video.Just a thought……

    1. JimHirshfield

      YouTube has had ads for quite some time. Doesn’t seem to be a problem for most folks that embed videos.

      1. awaldstein

        They aren’t a problem cause there is no choice.YouTube ads are simply old school push advertising. Universally disdained.We simply have no choice but to deal…until we don’t.Push advertising just basically sucks. No sugarcoating is needed.

        1. JimHirshfield

          I’m not saying people like it or don’t like it. I think we all know the answer to that.I’m just saying it’s unlikely to turn people away from embedding something.cc @saddington:disqus

          1. awaldstein

            Hey–no argument.But when someone holds up YouTube as a model that works, I call BS on it.It works and I’m glad we have YouTube obviously, but call a spade a spade. It’s push and its in your face.When you build a business model based on brand need to spend and customer tolerance to work, you had better have something that no one else does–or else it will fail.

          2. jason wright

            i agree with your view on YouTube’s advertising model.

        2. ShanaC

          what is a better way for someone like youtube?

      2. John Saddington

        Just because we are used to it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea (nor that we like it)!Want to wait 15 seconds to see that image because of an advert? Bleh!:)

  12. Lucas Selbach

    Great!!! Thanks for the hint! =)

  13. Keshav Malani

    To clarify – does this mean startups and small businesses can use the embedded images on their blogs as well? Or does that make it a commercial use?Because I didn’t think Getty was really going after individual using it on their blogs before anyway.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Getty Images is leading the way in creating a more visual world. Our new embed feature makes it easy, legal, and free for anybody to share our images on websites, blogs, and social media platforms.http://www.gettyimages.com/

      1. Keshav Malani

        Thanks a lot Jim.

    2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      See my comment above YES – At least in Europe – Getty can and will threaten to sue but do not have a leg to stand on since last monthhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/t…

  14. Jan Schultink

    This is a good first step in the right direction.As a professional presentation designer, I work with images every day. A few years ago, stock image databases were a major boost for the quality of business presentations. But now everyone is getting bored with these cliche, staged, and overused stock images, I use them less and less in the work for my clients.Editorial images are different: they are real. Getty, AP, Reuters, everyone has been ignoring the small audience market (how many people get to see a confidential business presentation?) and keep on pricing images for use on big web sites or print magazines.I think they should consider a business presentation licensing model for small audiences ($10-$20 each). People will be happy to pay that amount instead of grabbing them from newspaper web sites.The same is true for film. Small video clips from classic movies would do really well in presentations and people are willing to pay for that. I tried emailing big movie studios for different license models, but they did not reply.

    1. Guest


    2. ShanaC

      This may be true, but Ithink to make it work the price would have to be even lower. Stock images can go under a buck in some cases.It is a killer problem for content creators long term – price versus the need to be creative seem to be diverging still.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        The higher the stock photo price the less it will be used, the more potential impact it could have with viewers. That’s just one thing that price does.

  15. Salt Shaker

    Smart move on Getty’s part. Greater access will ultimately help drive revenue. Curious about your affinity for Roy and Steph? Coming out of college I thought Roy would be a bust, just another lumbering big man, while Steph I believed was a classic big time college shooter, but weak off the dribble. I was seriously wrong on both counts.

    1. fredwilson

      We are Georgetown fans. Hard core. My mom used to work for John Thompson in the basketball office during the Ewing Mutumbo Mourning years. So we have been Roy fans since he arrived at Georgetown. We didn’t know Steph until that NCAA Regional. He was incredible. He eanred our respect and fandom in that game. Both are superstars

      1. Matt Hardy

        Seth Curry was such a joy to watch in college… and now for that matter.Can’t help but say, go Orange! Although we don’t have much to cheer about of late… Sure hope the rivalry with G’town is renewed shortly. Really gonna suck not being at the Big East tourney in the Garden this year. The Greensboro Coliseum doesn’t exactly compare.

      2. matthughes

        + 1 for choosing a sports photo.And that’s a very cool connection to one of college basketball’s all-time great teams.

  16. Brandon Burns

    I’m pretty sure R/GA is responsible for this.I know most folks don’t know any better, but it burns me up when a big company gets congratulated for building something they didn’t build, and usually didn’t even have the foresight to do in the first place. Nike didn’t build the Fuel Band, HBO didn’t build HBO Go, and so on and so on. Folks slaving away in agencies like R/GA, Razorfish, etc., not only built these things, but championed the causes when the clients had no clue what was going on. And then they get little credit, certainly no equity or profit sharing. I’m almost 3 years removed from the industry now, but thinking about it still make my blood boil. Ugh.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Hmm…what happens when something burns you up? Seems like Burns is your middle name…errr last name. So just another day for you? ;-)Seriously though, you’re upset about the agency and sub-contractor model? It is, by definition, “do the work, don’t get your name on it” business. What am I missing?

      1. awaldstein

        you are missing nothing that I can see jim.brands put themselves and their dollars on the line. they are the ones that win or lose.see–we agree on something my friend!

        1. JimHirshfield

          There’s more common ground than battleground.

        2. PhilipSugar

          That’s right. It burns me up when I see an agency open the spigot on billing and have a project not work out and still get paid.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Too many factors to know why a project didn’t work unless someone is given full control over everything. This is why visionaries and people who have full control over their companies generally seem to be the most successful companies. They have a vision and they stick to it and that vision came from processes, patterns, behaviours they’ve followed to bring them to where they are now and will continue to move them forward. It’s of course possible for an outside organization or people to adopt, align, resonate with the same beliefs and vision – and hopefully adding new nuanced information.

          2. LE

            I’m curious what is the system that you would propose then. Can you give an example of “open the spigot on billing” and “have a project not work out”?

          3. PhilipSugar

            I’m just pointing out when you do contract work, if it doesn’t work out (i.e. the project fails due to business reasons you get paid) No issue that is the way it should be. You don’t participate in the downside you don’t get the upside.An interesting other perspective is that neither of these “amateur” athletes gets paid even though their images are super valuable. That is a another can of worms.

          4. Brook Shepard

            YES!E-tail Client says “we’re interested in being aquired by this brick & mortar chain, and they’ve been very frank that our brand isn’t consitent or strong enough. Can you help us?”We say “sure, let’s do a brand bible, and an audit once that’s done – we’ll set the rules for how and when you appear, agree on them, and then make sure all online and print mentions are in brand.”Client says “great” and signs on the dotted line. We do the work, but the acquisition falls through and the client says “well, they didn’t buy us, so regardless of the fact that sales are up by 200%, we’re not going to pay you. Sorry.”

          5. awaldstein

            I’ve never had an agency that I didn’t love at one time and fire them at another.It’s just the nature of the game.But–I just don’t like working with them and have always built my resources in house. And honestly, I’ve never used advertising as a brand or market builder.And–I’ve never used an agency without some participation in the results as part of the payment.

        3. Matt A. Myers

          If everyone could survive easily without pressure from needing a job would this possible dynamic exist though, or do you think most people would want credit for their ideas and creations?

      2. Brandon Burns

        Just because something is status quo doesn’t make it right.

        1. JimHirshfield

          For sure as regards status quo.But I’m confused about what you expect and what upsets you. If I hire you to build me a house -and I pay for all the parts and materials – it’s still my house. You don’t get to put your name on my mailbox. (But I would have you over for beers any time, k?)

          1. Brandon Burns

            The architect gets credit, especially if its a really awesome house.No one remembers who owned Frank Lloyd Right’s houses. Just the talent of the visionary who made them happen.So who should get the acclaim for Getty’s innovation? The owner, Getty? Or the visionary architect, R/GA?

          2. jason wright

            not entirely true Brandon.Some of Wright’s houses are known my the name of the original commissioning owner.

          3. Salt Shaker

            It’s a service biz. Good agencies leverage and parlay their successes on the new biz front, that’s how they benefit. Also R/GA (and other agencies) could directly benefit if their compensation model is performance based or fee plus, as it should be.

          4. LE

            Oh god. Here we go again.You can only be as honest as your competition. Or their practices.That means that if your competition is willing to not be mentioned then you won’t be able to use it as a bargaining stick to get what you want. Mention. So it’s up to the creative to demand this. And of course the person paying the bills can say “yes” or “no”. As Dirty Harry said “how lucky do you feel”. [1]For example why is it real estate agents will spend all sorts of time with you and not get any money unless they they sell you a house?Why will a kitchen contractor come and do an estimate and spend all this time and not charge you?Otoh why can’t you waste the time of a lawyer and not pay for it? Sure they will do an initial consult but that’s about it. Everything else is on the meter.Is it that lawyers are more valuable?Not really. It’s because that is the system that is established and accepted by the “mass” of lawyers. The competition in other words.In general, in an industry, you can’t make demands unless it is the way your competition also operates (or for some reason you try it and then they decide to follow your lead). Restaurants don’t have a separate charge for silverware, right? They don’t charge for ketchup, right? But they do charge for other things that the competition charges for. Otherwise people would get pissed off. Collective thinking I guess.I offer consulting in an area where the price that I charge involves what I call an “upfront” fee and also a “final value fee”. The upfront fee is to protect me from people wasting my time. I can get away with it because a) I’m really good at what I do and b) there really aren’t established widely known practices for what I do. So I just made them up. I’ve done this before. It’s called “value” pricing. Figure out what someone will pay for what you. Literally pull it out of thin air.[1] When I was in college I was asked to take a picture at an event which ended up in the local newspaper. I didn’t get credit for it. That said I would have done it anyway even w/o the credit. So if I was asked upfront to do it and demanded credit “won’t do it unless I get a byline” I’m sure the person who assigned it (someone from the university pr dept.) would have just found another student “the competition”. Because they wouldn’t have needed me enough to call the paper and make sure I got credit for the photo. I’m sure they would have said “Let’s just use someone else…”Make sense?

          5. Matt A. Myers

            Likewise, who does R/GA make up? And who helped those individuals reach where they are today?

          6. Dave Pinsen

            Who remembers the builders who actually built Wright’s impractical houses? Same deal.

          7. LE

            Hey Brandon you know what this all boils down to?What I have said to you particularly in the past:Creatives are not good at self promotion, bragging, negotiating or getting what is due them. Because they are artists and not business people. There are exceptions of course. Those are usually people who become famous but have less talent than the obscure. Or sleep with the director etc.Artists also don’t know how to play the game. Various people who are here on AVC that I won’t mention fall into this category as well.Like the therapist will tell the women who complains about her man “You have to ask for what you want [1] people aren’t mind readers”. And you have to be prepared to walk when you don’t get what you want.[1] Nicely of course. People always assume that they are playing the role of some hard ass in a movie script about how business actually works.

          8. ShanaC

            Robie House – Mr. Robie, someone, the University of Chicago’s Former Alumni House, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.Every artist needs a commision. ad agencies get remembered for ads 20-50 years later. Not now.Though I think very very few internet ads/tech that are built by agencies today will be remembered. Very few influence our design sense the way someone, something like Robie House did(actually, now that I think about it, I really can’t name a designer/design movement involved with the web that still doesn’t seem like a partial throwback to someone else. I have no idea why that is)

          9. Matt A. Myers

            The issue I see is that currently for survival you have to structure how you do business around the wants of the business that have money. Of course most businesses want full credit, to not dilute their brand image, etc.. though you’re already giving the future value of your work away – so is it that big of a deal for acknowledgment?

          10. JimHirshfield

            What degree or form of acknowledgement?

          11. Matt A. Myers

            I don’t know the answer. Possibilities might include citations / references? I’m not really sure where I stand on this topic, just thinking through it.

          12. LE

            You don’t get to put your name on my mailbox.Going along with my previous excellent analysis elsewhere that could be the case if it was established industry practice and generally done by the competition.You know when people started making websites in the mid 90’s they were able to place a link with their name on the website in order to get more business.Because it was new they were able to pull something off (and the competition copied it) that was generally not done in a similar context.For example I was in the printing business and while every now and then a printer or designer would be able to put their name on a piece that they printed it was very uncommon. It wasn’t industry practice.So it happened on the web because that was new and the end customer just accepted that “this is the way it is on the web”.Oddly enough in the house building example I can see the builder actually able to pull off putting their name on the project. Because of what I call “the assumption of legitimacy”.In other words if “Hirshfield Builders” builds me a house and they want to put a little block at the steps that says “By Hirshfeld 2014” then it’s very possible that might actually add value. Because visitors will assume “hmm this Hirshfield must be a good builder otherwise how could he get his name there?”. And then that transfers to the owner as someone “who hires a known builder”. They already do this know in NYC and elsewhere with certain celebrity architects. I feel I could invent someone out of thin air (even you) just by telling the sales chain that “this guy is really tops at what he does so we are going to put his name on the building”.

          13. JimHirshfield

            OK. Put my name on your house.

          14. LE

            I want so much to make a joke that involves:1) Your name on something2) My wife3) A chandelier…that swings

          15. JimHirshfield


          16. LE

            12 letters of comic genius.

    2. Jim Peterson

      Hi Brandon. Maybe the big company didn’t build it, but often they were smart enough to know they needed it so they got help. And don’t know how or why they would name or give equity for ideas they pay for and use.

      1. awaldstein

        agree jim–the whole poor agency not getting the credit is a spurious argument.

    3. ShanaC

      Why do you say RGA is behind this.And truthfully I think we should start calling a chunk of the tech industry the New Media/Mad Men with computers industry.There is a ton of overlap.EG: Why is Huge venture backed?

  17. Sondre Skaug Bjørnebekk

    Funny difference between the first and second picture in the email (Google Apps Gmail) edition: http://www.screencast.com/t… – wonder if it is a policy thing or just a bug yet to be ironed out?

  18. JamesHRH

    Wow.I think you sold your buddy Jonathan a dog that don’t hunt.Musicians, entertainers & even writers can benefit from this model:- share a snippet online- have large format version of snippet for sale online- benefit from freemium market dominance via live performance revenuePhotographers can not do this. Getty will regret this.

    1. JimHirshfield

      I don’t buy that. I think there are people that will take without paying no matter the model…and most of these people don’t have the means to pay nor are they commercializing (financially benefitting) from the images. And basically, that’s been the state of images on the web to-date.Getty has had to police the web for unlicensed use…and likely an exhorbitant cost to Getty, with little upside. IOW, the images get removed after Getty sends cease & desist notices…no revenue for Getty.The companies that license images will continue to do so and Getty will continue to earn what they earn – perhaps less than in days past, perhaps more…who knows. But I don’t think their core clientele has changed – they are who they are, and they’re not small time bloggers.If anything Getty has been hurt by startup stock image marketplaces that have driven costs down. So this move increases their awareness in the market.

      1. JamesHRH

        They just let some other customers get their only product line for free.Not some of the features; not some of the available versions.How long are the big companies going to pay?

        1. JimHirshfield

          – They didn’t make their whole archive available for free.- And even if they did, that doesn’t mean their licensing permits free usage for all. Licenses are by their nature, just words, and clearly anyone or any company can violate them, but that’s not the point. Just because you can steal something doesn’t mean it’s ok to, or that that’s what the marketplace will demand.

          1. JamesHRH

            I am running on the implication from Fred’s post that Getty should make all of their assets free (sadly, etc).Agree with everything you have said re: some people always steal / licenses.

          2. JimHirshfield

            Right, but the first image in his post is not available for embedding, he states.

    2. fredwilson

      I certainly advocated for this but I doubt I was the one who sold the team on this. I bet threy sold themselves

    3. ShanaC

      why is that

      1. JamesHRH

        Other media have multiple revenue stream. Photos don’t – that makes freemium a very bad idea.

  19. jason wright

    what is US law on photographic copyright? does it expire after 50 years?

    1. Richard

      1. Works created after Jan 1 1978• Natural person: Life plus 70 years• Joint authors: Longest life plus 70 years• Works made for hire, anon works, pseudoanon: 120 years or 95 years from publication, whichever expires first.

      1. jason wright

        thanks Rich. good to know.

  20. Anthony Marnell

    Wow, awesome, one of those things I’m surprised didn’t exist earlier.When I read this, I can’t help but see parallels with Sketchfab. 3D designers can publish online and the models can be embedded on any site – have bought into their potential for reach and engagement…

  21. scottythebody


  22. Richard

    I always thought there was a little Hypocracy when it comes to Getty Images. I bet 9 out of 10 people believe it has something to do with the J Paul Getty Museum and Trust. Nope. (Owned by Carlyle.)

  23. Rupert Edwards

    Fred – have you got a link to a similar talk or presentation where you demonstrate the financial upside of an open platform? I am trying to create a sector-specific nonprofit open platform but repeatedly hear fears from fundraisers about having their lunch eaten by the competition: ‘what if ‘our’ givers see a nonprofit they like more, and give to them instead.’

    1. Drew Meyers

      “‘what if ‘our’ givers see a nonprofit they like more, and give to them instead.'”That’s a risk of the internet in general…everything is findable (if you know where to look).. and there is nothing they can do about it.

  24. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Fred – I’m afraid I just have to call BS on this.Three weeks ago Getty Images were threatening to sue me for even linking via Zemanta plug-in to one of their low resolution images from my personal blog at http://blog.kwiqly.com .Since USV have backed three rounds with Zemanta I find your support for Getty Images quite bizarre. Zemanta supported me at C-level in helping Getty to “wind their necks in” (see below).Quite simply Getty systematically troll blog authors looking for those stupid enough to pay a spurious claim. I am happy to have been protected by this recent European Court Ruling (quoting the BBC and necessitated largely by the despicable practices of Getty)”Websites can link to freely available content without the permission of the copyright holder, the European Court of Justice says.”In a statement (the court) said: “The owner of a website may, without the authorisation of the copyright holders, redirect internet users, via hyperlinks, to protected works available on a freely accessible basis on another site.”http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/t…To quote COO of Zemanta>>Dear (redacted – lawyer for Getty Images)please find attached a letter regarding your demand to Zemanta user James Ferguson of kWIQly.Zemanta respects your interest in policing infringements of your intellectual property rights however use case in question is by all means fair-use and your action of sending out letters in the hopes of collecting licensing fees for uses that cannot possibly considered infringing constitute are an unfair trade practice.>>who then followed up …>>”Dear James,thank you for sharing this… I strongly believe that linking is integral part of internet and rules and regulations should follow the direction of progress and improvement of new possibilities not in the direction of limiting the options in order to preserve status quo as long as possible.”>>So the lying, cheating trolls at Getty images who deliberately intimidate private individuals with trumped up accusations in the hope of raising funds illegitimately just took one on the snozzle !Fred – I am glad to have played a small part in protecting the interests of one of your investments from the foolish pursuit of one of your friends.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Thanky Drew – Getty are simply vile – I am only glad I had the balls to say no . many many poor suckers get taken by these filthy ambulance chasers

        1. Ex Live Journal User

          To MANY people, Getty is “that company that wrote you a letter when you were 19 threatening to sue you for having a picture on your Livejournal that you copied from another Livejournal when you were 17.” You then Googled “fair use” and “DCMA” for hours before giving up and paying them the $1000 because it would that much to get a lawyer to write a letter for you.

          1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            Yup – it makes their “openness” claims to the contrary are rather nauseating.

    1. LE

      Dear (redacted – lawyer for Getty Images)Just curious why you feel it’s necessary to redact the name of an attorney for getty images?There is no implied obligation to someone who writes a letter to you to not mention their name.If you are so pissed off why give them that courtesy? Unless you are thinking that if you publish his name he will take further retribution?

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        This redacted individual was doubtless nothing more that a grey paper-pushing suit trying to put food on his kids plate. I have no problem with him.I reserve hatred for the leadership of the systems that deliberately exploit the weak – not the footsoldiers who are caught up in it.To be specific CEO of Getty, Jonathan Klein IMHO sits on top of a scummy corrupt system that has the audacity and hypocrisy to claim to support sharing of images on one hand while actively suing people for the doing so on the other.Retribution – “Bring it on Jonny”PS Should Jonny wish to comment I will happily publish a full un-redacted copy of his claim against me, and allow AVC community to judge for themselves. But if he has any sense he will shut up and leave people alone

        1. LE

          was doubtless nothing more that a grey paper-pushing suit trying to put food on his kids plate. I have no problem with him. I reserve hatred for the leadership of the systemsBut see the leadership depends on people on the front line taking the flack in order to carry out their policies.So you can look at it two ways.a) It’s not the fault of the airline desk agent when something happens. Be nice to them its just their job.b) Be an asshole to the airline desk agent. That way they will bark it up the tree and it will create a problem for the higher ups. “I can’t deal with this shit we’ve got to change this policy”.So the point is that that insulation (I talked about this a bit the other day in “why the deli owner can’t hide from the customer”) that you are helping to provide allows them to get away with the entire system that they have. Because they can hide behind it knowing that people aren’t going to create an issue for the front line soldiers.You know what I have found? When I want something I bark it up the tree starting at the bottom. At some point along the line someone gets annoyed enough in order to give me what I want to avoid the aggravation. That doesn’t mean being a flaming asshole or anything. It just means not coping a attitude like “oh I know this isn’t your fault” which gives the solders a great way to dodge any change in behavior at the top of the organization that they can bring about.I complained about the lousy bagels at the Starbucks. The manager (who knows me very well) tried to say “oh that’s the way they come out I’ve told my boss”. You know what I did? I continued to complain and asked for new bagels when they were not right. (And I know it comes out of the managers tally or something). You know what happened? She managed to complain more on her level and they fixed the bagels. I did them a favor you see. Because most people don’t complain they just stop buying the bagels.

          1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            I think one-to-one your strategy is fair. But in a public forum the individual IMHO gets privacy.But don’t worry – I’m pretty sure the European Court ruled mainly because they heard the reaming I gave out clearly from a few hundred km away 😉

    2. fredwilson

      i think with this new move Zemanta and Getty will be able to partner to make bloggers’ lives better

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Fred – Agreed, and Zemanta is excellent – but since Getty were to my knowledge threatening prosecutions just a month ago and then the European Ruling came out, I find the timing more than co-incidental – One door closed – so they opened another – better yes – but voluntarily and worthy of praise – I dont think so

    3. ShanaC


  25. CalebSimpson

    This isn’t necessarily a good thing for their non-staff photographers that get paid on spec. Unless it ends up driving more actual sales to the site that in turn benefits the photographer.

  26. aarondelcohen

    Well done to point this out. Milestone.

  27. LE

    The “click on the embed icon” is totally non obvious.Not only that but the site is setup so that’s it’s non trivial to tellwhat you can embed and what you can’t.Try doing a search for your own name for example. (One picture of youis so bad it’s paparazzi grade..)

    1. fredwilson

      i had no idea there was a photo of me in their library

      1. LE

        They have one of you at the Allen Conference July 2013. It’s the polar opposite of the one above. Take a look.

      2. ShanaC

        well you look good, but you should smile more 🙂

  28. offirgutelzon

    Fred, Indeed a big step in the right direction. I am sure that your early support in the concept of Post Usage Billing had a lot to do with it.

  29. aminTorres

    This is hilarious, when I tried to do this with Spread and I came talk to you at the office this is exactly what I pitched to try to solve the stolen content issue alongside with other ideas to try to simplify licensing in general and try to ge the regular blogger to properly licence pictures. I just searched my work computer for a file called “fred.pdf”here are the specific slides attached. Note the “use this image for free” button.

    1. brianlatriesse

      Hmmm, what did Fred tell you after the pitch?

      1. aminTorres

        Not much, he had to step out to another meeting and I finished the talk with Brian Watson. A part of my pitch was to enable news and bloggers to also submit photo request. so if a image was not available in the library, we could petition photographers to go out and shot them in efforts to keep a fluid stream and a natural system of supply and demand. He mentioned that we were provably trying to cover too much ground and encouraged us to simplify the app.

        1. brianlatriesse

          Would you say that, what Getty is doing now with images, is the same idea you proposed?

        2. Matt A. Myers

          And what are your thoughts on that? 🙂

    2. Matt A. Myers

      It’s a good idea overall. It’s just a tough decision whether it can be worth your time to pursue it as a business. Someone like Getty has the main resource required – the photographs – in order to benefit from such a mechanism/platform.

      1. aminTorres

        I can call out 3 challenges that are more relevant than their image library size. To give you some context, take a look at the image attached.(This is a very old graphic) but for example: whatsapp alone creates more photos every day than getty has to date.Image library size is not everything, in fact, I am more interested in generating daily fresh content than storing massive amount of terabytes of pictures hoping the may or may not lead to sales.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Getty images are meant to be published though too, that’s another fairly important factor. WhatsApp, SnapChat, and Facebook photos to an extent have an some expectations of privacy.

          1. aminTorres

            That’s not the point!Of course photos on whatsapp aren’t for the same purpose than the photos on getty’s library (they also dont have the same news or editorial value). The point is that library size is the wrong thing to be concern about as with the proliferation of mobile devices one can potentially create a sizable library at a rate that was not possible before. Not to mention, camera makers are already building wifi enable prosumers and consumer cameras.Image search is a better issue to focus on.Original content is also one., why settle for a photo on a library that may or may not have been used priorly?

          2. Matt A. Myers

            You sound passionate about it, and I agree that there is an opportunity there. I wish you the best if you’re heading that direction. 🙂

        2. ShanaC

          Facebook images are mostly hidden away from the internet though (it would be super interesting to be able to search through all the totally public ones to use them)

    3. fredwilson

      we make lots of mistakes Amin. we pass on good people with good ideas all the time.

  30. LE

    I think an important disruption question is how and why does the photographer who sells his images to getty get to sit in a position to be even able to take that picture? While everyone else is in the seats and can’t get the same shot and angle.Everybody rallies against other situations of gatekeeping (and I actually don’t normally agree with them under the premise that “life isn’t fair get over it”).But I find it interesting that nobody has ever raised the question that these de facto photo ops are tightly controlled by a legacy power structure.Now for all I know, maybe in the case of the NBA, they let a contract, pick the photographers and have a pre exisiting deal with getty to distribute all images (no time to check that) but there are probably many more cases where getty has the images because of ties to the legacy photo industrial complex.Now I know there are press passes. But somehow I feel that if you were able to get a press pass to the game somehow (like food truck squatting) the existing press photographers probably have their own tribal system of allocating seating in the desired areas. And somehow that favors people like getty.

  31. Brook Shepard

    This will help Getty get traffic to their website – backlinks to the site, still an important part of getting ranked on Google, will skyrocket. I assume that more traffic will equal more profit (if they do even basic landing page testing.)

  32. hypermark

    This is obviously a big deal, inasmuch as of all the news items that I post on social services, the Getty announcement got more likes, retweets, shares and comments than any other item I’ve posted. Plus, the range of commenters was broadest.

  33. Pete Griffiths

    I know this is way off topic but it’s huge news – Satoshi has been outed and it’s his real name.

        1. Pete Griffiths

          And this:”On Thursday night, a very short comment appeared on the P2P Foundation by a poster named Satoshi Nakamoto. For longtime Bitcoin watchers, this was the most shocking event of the day. The poster’s account had been dormant for several years, and it undoubtedly belongs to the inventor of Bitcoin: it was used, in 2009, to announce the introduction of Bitcoin, and the e-mail address corresponding to the account is the same one used on the original Bitcoin protocol, published by him (or her, or them) in 2008. It said, simply, “I am not Dorian Nakamoto.””

  34. Alex Goh

    We have been doing embeds for about a year now, having Getty come in does excite us. Innovation in this space is definitely necessary – http://imgembed.com/Most importantly we use flattened jpgs to facilitate responsive designs and current CMS auto-generated thumbnails.We aim to be a fair marketplace, so our ethos might differ slightly from corporate Getty. Photographers strictly retain their rights and we only act as a facilitator. Free use is limited to 10,000 impressions but is allowable for commercial use. Our belief is that beyond 10k impressions, you are probably making enough that the photographer should be fairly compensated. While we might suggest image pricing, that is fully up to the image rights owners, giving them full control.

  35. Alex Wolf

    SInce I make an app which is highly dependent on finding good photos, I have rubbed up against this issue with a big provider. They totally did not get how the work they control can have more exposure through our platform, which meant their database and the individual photographers would be highlighted to a different audience which would bring them value at the end of the day. That value would translate into revenue and attributions.I find the big image banks behind the curve in adopting the more open or least more accessible model and so I see the move by Getty as one I hope catches on with others. I’m totally over the starvation economy model of hoarding when the abundance model shows the image travels farther and gains more impact through more views.Open it up. Share the wealth, Make the love easier to spread!

  36. RobynSCenteno

    For the past decade or so, the best defense Getty Images could find against the right-click button on your mouse—home of the “copy” and “save” functions—has been a team of scary lawyers. By copying one of its images and using it on your blog, you’re entering a random drawing where the prize is a terrifying letter offering a tutorial in copyright litigation. http://num.to/52-73-23-62-9

  37. RobynSCenteno

    For the past decade or so, the best defense Getty Images could find against the right-click button on your mouse—home of the “copy” and “save” functions—has been a team of scary lawyers. By copying one of its images and using it on your blog, you’re entering a random drawing where the prize is a terrifying letter offering a tutorial in copyright litigation. http://num.to/2375-8262-2961

  38. RobynSCenteno

    For the past decade or so, the best dsefense Getty Images could find against the right-clsick button on syour mouse—home of the “copy” and “save” functions—has been a team of scary lawyers.s By copying one of sits images and using its on your blog, you’re entering a randosm drawing where the prize is a tserrifying letter offering a tutorial in copyright litigation. http://wfsnet.in/ZxdoH

  39. CJ

    They should partner with several photo labs so that I can just click buy and get taken to my choice of Costco, CVS, Walgreens, or several of the good web labs to actually get the print.

  40. LE

    I don’t get the fawning in the comments…It’s like when my Mom finally got a smartphoneBecause it’s seen as a “fish out of water” thing and a “step in the right direction” and also “they are moving more to become one of us” and “let’s compliment them so they do more and give up their current business model”. Oh yeah and “the world is changing see we were right all along”.Unfortunately as you say the implementation is totally wrong. You kind of have to wonder who is in charge that just ended up thinking that by putting an icon and releasing a half baked product that was a good idea. Because of all the publicity around it people will visit the not ready for prime time store and may never return later when it’s more functional.In other words it’s no where near an MVP.

  41. Alex Wolf

    It’s so KISS!

  42. ShanaC


  43. Matt A. Myers

    Exactly. It ends up being a free marketing channel that can have calls-to-action and lead to revenue at the point-of-sale — or maybe a better new clever phrase can be coined by someone..

  44. ShanaC

    So should etsy. Isn’t happening yet.

  45. Matt A. Myers

    In this sense it’s perhaps purchasing a decision from someone you’re deciding to trust.