Getty's policy threatens photographers' authors' rights

(05.03.14) Getty’s recent decision to make 35 million images from its portfolio available for free through a new embedding feature raises serious concerns over photographers’ authors’ rights and their income.  
Photos will be available with an embedded code which will include copyright attribution and a link back to the image’s dedicated licensing page on Getty’s website. Photographs will be available for anyone to use on their own websites, blogs and social media without any further authorization from Getty nor the authors as long as the use is non-commercial. The decision is mandatory for most of Getty’s contributors.
The IFJ is concerned that this initiative will lead to an impoverishment of photographers without preventing Getty from additional revenue streams through advertising. Bloggers can also use Google Ads to generate revenue from their blog’s traffic without losing their ‘non-commercial’ status. “This is a massive blow for press photographers who have had to cope with increasing photo fees reductions over the years,” said Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary. “The risk is that their professional work is used extensively and generates revenues for an unlimited number of people without any additional remuneration for the authors. This also leads to serious concerns over photographers’ moral rights and their right to protect the integrity of their work”. 
News images sourced from Agence France-Presse and distributed by Getty Images will also be available in the upcoming weeks for non-commercial use.
Jeff Moore, chairman of the British Press Photographers’ Association, told the British Journal of Photography that the initiative will make people redundant.  “Freelance photographers will have to start thinking outside of the box,” he warns. “If you have a unique library, you’re going to have to start promoting yourself as your unique library. That’s your selling point. But not everybody can do that, obviously. I think a fair amount of photographers will go to the wall over this”.