Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What is Getty Thinking? Metrics More Valuable than Photos!

  I just got my copy of the latest ASMP Magazine and there was a great article inside about how Getty is likely making more money off of the metrics they are measuring from people downloading (for free) photographers' copyrighted work than they are selling the actual work.
  Huh?
  OK here is how this works.
  You are a consistent blogger and you are writing about Sterling, the (hopefully former) NBA team owner in L.A.  You write your blog and then you need a photo of Sterling like one of these.  There are, at present, 435 free photos of Sterling on their site.
  So, you peruse them at your leisure and then pick one to use on your blog as I did below:

  As you grab the image that was shot by a photographer, Getty "measures" all kinds of things about you.  Where you are from, what kind of device you are using, who provides your access to the internet, what image you selected, what other images you looked at, etc...  They gather all this information in seconds and then they have something really important that advertisers would love to buy:  you!
  I wonder how Reggie Evans feels about this photo now, after all that has transpired in the last few days?  But I digress...
  So the sad thing is that Andrew D. Bernstein, the photographer that shot this image, will not likely see a dime of money collected by Getty for my metrics that they captured when I legally decided to use this image as an example on my blog.  I just took his image and published it on the internet without so much as a howdoyoudo...  Andy got nothing, I got a free image that I don't have myself, and Reggie gets embarrassed because I won't likely be the only one pulling images of Sterling making nice nice with African American NBA players court-side.  So Getty wins, Andy loses.
  Situation normal except that now Getty has figured out a new way to screw the good people that work so hard to make these images in the first place.  That's bad for all of us and it will get worse unless people wake up and stop shooting for next to nothing, giving up their copyrights, and continuing this travesty of common sense.  
  Our collective dignity as shooters is not only under fire but we are losing the war as well as the battles.  Thanks for reading...  You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.  -pm-r
  

17 comments:

Alan Randolph said...

Interesting perspective, and I agree with much of it.

Worth pointing out, though, that contrary to what you wrote, I do believe that you did NOT "legally decide to use this image as an example on [your] blog." Also, those who adhere to Getty's Terms and Conditions would not "pick one to use on your blog as [you] did below."

What you actually did was to download or screen-capture the watermarked version, and upload it to blogspot. I do believe that Getty's Terms require you INSTEAD to "embed" the image by putting special HTML coding into your page. This results in an image "showing up" on your page, when it's actually hosted at Getty. And it results in an automated set of icons that allow the end-reader to click through to Getty's site, or to access the embed coding themselves so that they too can have the image show up on their page.

I could be wrong here, but I do believe you didn't follow Getty's demanded process for utilizing the image.

Andrey Popov said...

Alan has a valid point. I do hate Getty with a passion but this example is not a correct, legal usage of the photo. You need to embed it to make it legal.

David Sanger said...

though this is arguably fair use since he is commenting on the photo itself and its uses. But then again maybe not...

David Sanger said...

"Where you are from, what kind of device you are using, who provides your access to the internet, what image you selected, what other images you looked at, etc... They gather all this information in seconds and then they have something really important that advertisers would love to buy: you!"

Actually that is not the data they gather...at least they don't get info about you, the blog host, who is embedding the image on your blog.

What they get is basic info on people who visit your site, since the embed is served to your visitors each time they visit you. That way, using cookies, they can correlate it with other interests your visitors have have from other sites they visit. Eventually Getty will then be able to overlay the images with ads customized to the viewer.

Getty will of course also get traffic info on your blog post. But they can't see what other sites you yourself visit.

If they do ever decide to overlay ads on the image they have said that revenue will be shared with the photographer, so we'll see if that happens.

Chris said...

"That's bad for all of us and it will get worse unless people wake up and stop shooting for next to nothing, giving up their copyrights, and continuing this travesty of common sense."

This has been said time and time again, but as work for photographers get scarcer and as the amount of competition increases, it becomes a buyers market. It would be lovely if all photographers united, turned around and said "no, these rates are too low, and I'm retaining my copyright" but it's wishful thinking at best. If you stand your ground the likelihood is you'll lose your client, and the next guy, eager for the work, will accept the low rate and be more than happy to give up their copyright.

The photographer's business model has to change (particularly here in the UK where the average client isn't as sophisticated as in the US when it comes to licensing, usage etc.) otherwise we'll all be out of a job, and those willing to work for less will gazump us. Their careers may be short lived, when they realise they can't make a living from it, but they will be replaced with the next lot of fresh photographers, and then they will be replaced by the next lot and so on.

I don't claim to have the answer, but the more I hear people saying "stand your ground on cost, and hold on to your copyright" the more I think these people are going to get left behind. The days of the superstar photographer are over, it's time for a new approach to making a living from photography.

Now if only someone could tell me what that is, I'm all ears.

channing said...

Ok let's be clear because all that have responded already a white men.... it is not "wishful thinking" that photographers take a stand against Gettysburg, it that many of us are too selfish and greedy, and in actually just like Gettysburg images, to even have the political will to do anything... we continue to see white men dominate the industry and literally shut down opportunities for others simply through their opinions of "wishful thinking", instead of taking up the leadership that is needed.... not once have I seen anyone speak on this bbc.co issue in terms of lobbying other photographers to do anything, not once have I seen really tons of photographer to approach PPA or other photography agencies that rep many people to ask for their legal support to seek action against Getty Images. Not once have I seen people actually do anything except write blogs about impossibility...
What are you really trying to accomplish here, and are you really wanting to get anything changed or are you just pissed off at the moment

channing said...

Excuse my kindle's auto-correct

channing said...

Please Excuse my Kindle's Auto-Correct, here is the corrected version

Ok let's be clear because all that have responded already are white men.... it is not "wishful thinking" that photographers take a stand against Getty, it's that many of us are too selfish and greedy, and in actually just like Getty Images, to even have the political will to do anything... we continue to see white men dominate the industry and literally shut down opportunities for others simply through their opinions of "wishful thinking", instead of taking up the leadership that is needed.... not once have I seen anyone speak on this issue in terms of lobbying other photographers to do anything, not once have I seen any one rally tons of photographer to approach PPA or other photography agencies that rep many people to ask for their legal support to seek action against Getty Images. Not once have I seen people actually do anything except write blogs about impossibility...

What are you really trying to accomplish here, and are you really wanting to get anything changed or are you just pissed off at the moment

ann tracy said...

What do we do about it as Photographers... do we push for better copyright protection? Why did the guy give the image to Getty? has he registered it via US Copyright Office?

Lee Salem said...

Ann raises two good questions. But Bernstein is not a babe-in-the-woods. If you look at his website, you will realize he is one of the top sports photographers in the nation. If he has made deals in the past, or been forced by his clients to give up his copyright (if you work for any of the major sports franchises or leagues it is highly likely) today's atmosphere may make it even worse. Where or when do you get off the hamster wheel-when you are still making a living or when you see diminishing returns that will ultimately destroy you or your business

Over 50 Health & Beauty said...
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Over 50 Health & Beauty said...
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Over 50 Health & Beauty said...

Yes, you do need to embed the image - which creates an i-frame on your site (or blog) that is branded with Getty's logo and links to the Getty site and related sites.

Infinity Fusion said...

Everyone is same color when they're standing behind the camera... put down your deck of race cards and take said 'leadership role'. All I'm really seeing is "I'm not a white man and I'm angry that one isn't doing what I want done for me so I don't have to do it myself"

Patrick Murphy-Racey said...

I agree with you to a point. I no longer shoot sports as I will not give up my copyright and want to continue to own everything I shoot. But there are plenty of other things to shoot out there. My plan is simple: keep doing great work that wannabes cannot duplicate with their "Lifestyle" actions, capture real moments, and by doing excellent post processing. We'll see how it goes in the next few years... Maybe I will look at something else in the future, but for now video is paying my bills... pat :)

Patrick Murphy-Racey said...

"That guy" is an NBA photographer and the only way he gets to work at what he does at this point in time is by giving up his copyright to do it. He's been at it for 25 years +. He's on the inside, so to speak, but his kids will never get royalties once he is gone as I will for my images on file with SI.

Patrick Murphy-Racey said...

Agreed. I did a blog post a while back commenting on the NCAA's and how it was so cool to actually cover them in the past. You had to earn your way to the gapher tape square at the end of the court. Not so any longer. You just have to be young, dumb, and be willing to work for $125 per day, or in some cases be older and know in your heart that you know better. Here is that post:
http://pmrphoto.blogspot.com/2012/03/more-remotes-on-post-than-shooters-on.html?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&max-results=9