Getty Images

New Getty Contract: Further Details

Concerns regarding the new Getty Contributor Contract were first brought to the attention of ASMP around the end of March 2011. At our Board meeting in Chicago at the beginning of April, the issues were discussed and the message below was sent to our ASMP Stock List:

Dear ASMP Stock List Members,

The Getty offering appears to be an acknowledgement of the realization that the business model is not working. For most, stock has been a race to the bottom beginning with the end of the “agency” relationship and the commoditization of stock through “distributors.”

The most troubling aspects of the current offering are the automatic movement of some images from RM to RF along with the fine points of the “rate card” and its impact on future pricing. ASMP, working with our resources, will be in contact with Claudia Micare to clarify Getty’s position and determine what, if any thing can be improved. We welcome comments and suggestions from this list.

ASMP Stock is primarily a volunteer driven effort. While we are interested in distributors, stock, and their impact on the overall industry including assignment work, we have proposed for some time that photographers should consider taking back control of the sale and license of their images. While this remains a challenge, there are more options today than ever before. IPN, PhotoShelter and LicenseStream amongst others each offer possible alternatives to conventional distributors. If you are not happy with the contract, I would encourage you to seriously explore your options over the next few weeks…

In early April, ASMP had a conversation with highly placed representatives of Getty. We discussed the major issues related to the contract along with other issues. It was announced subsequently on the Getty Contributor List that some changes had been made in the agreement related to the movement of images from RM to RF. These changes offered some improvement over the original contract, but still left photographers with what many would consider to be far less than a favorable contract.


From the Getty Contributor List

Getty Contributor List comments related to RM to RF movement and revisions below are reproduced with permission.


Steps involved when moving images from RM to RF:

Images are not moved automatically if they have not sold for 3 years or more; they are moved only if, after a manual review, we determine that they are more appropriate for another licensing model or collection.


In lieu of selecting images to move, we may choose to cull some non-selling images if we believe they are no longer relevant to our customers’ needs. For example, we would cull images with outdated mobile and computer devices or other technology that looks obsolete.


Movement of images will not always be from RM to RF. In some cases, we move images between RM collections or between RF collections to redefine our various brands. When selecting images in RM that should be moved to RF, we will look at the following:

  • We will isolate a set of candidate RM images starting with a list of images that have had no sales activity for 3 or more years.
  • First, images with restrictions will be removed from the list of candidate RM images.
  • Next, we will review image sets to ensure no single image or its similar has sold in the last 3 or more years. If there have been sales of similar images, the set will stay together in RM.
  • We will look at the entire sales history of the image(s) and any that we feel have potential to sell as RM in the future, would not move to RF.
  • Our sales team will identify any sales transactions pending for candidate images and be given a month to complete open transactions. Sold images will not be moved.
  • Our Content team will do a careful visual review of the images that remain on the list and select what is appropriate for movement to RF. We will either leave images that are not appropriate for RF in RM, or cull them.
  • Selected images will then be migrated to the collections designated in the review.
  • Once the move is complete we will send a communication to artists detailing the images moved and their corresponding new collections.

House Collection (non-placement fee collection) Policy Changes Relevant to the New Agreement:

Thanks to some great points raised in the forum, we’ve developed the following solutions to enable you, on an image by image basis, to restrict select RM images from movement to RF.

Please be aware that the numbers of restricted images will need to be quite limited so that we can continue to react swiftly to changes in the industry and technology.

If this is an important issue for you and if you have images that fall into any of the following categories, please begin to prepare as detailed below:

Existing Imagery:

  1. Images that were shot under the condition (to models) that they would not be licensed as RF: If you have promised a model that his/her image will not be used in RF, we need you to notify us of this restriction immediately. Depending on the nature of your conversations with models we may need to cull the images if we believe the release itself is inaccurate as a result of any assurances you may have made to models. The assurances provided to models may not align with how images are used in RM so we will need to examine these on a case by case basis.If this applies to you, please provide by May 20th 2011:
    • A list of existing images by images number
    • This list must be in the form of comma separated values (e.g. 924486-001,769354,560328-001) No thumbnails or light boxes please.
    • Please provide a summary of the assurances you have provided to models and how those assurances were presented to the model (writing, verbal, release)
    • If these assurances were made in writing or stated in the release, please provide copies.
  2. Images that should not move for to RF due to high production value investment you committed to create the image or the unique circumstances of the subject matter depicted.If this applies to you, please provide by May 20th 2011:
    • A list of existing images by images number
    • This list must be in the form of comma-separated values (e.g.924486-001,769354,560328-001)
    • A summary of your rationale for not moving these images

New Imagery (going-forward submissions):

  1. House collection RM images you wish to exclude from movement to RF:
    For images submitted after this policy change, we will introduce a restriction that will allow you to flag new images that are not available for movement to RF under any circumstances. This restriction will need to be noted in the ingestion portal at the time of submission per the submission requirements. Important: please use this restriction sparingly as it may significantly reduce retention rates as we will weigh the value of acceptance against its limitations. This is the risk with any restrictions you place on submitted

Important: The solutions presented above are feasible only if you are extremely discerning about the images you choose to restrict from movement to RF, and with the understanding that you are comfortable with the remainder of your images moving after 3 years of no sales. We will review these requests carefully and on a case-by-case basis. Also keep in mind that as with all edits, we cannot revisit decisions to reject for reason of a restriction against movement to RF. The decision is final based on the editor’s discretion.

Photographer’s Choice policy changes

The changing landscape of the industry and increased competition mean that we need to keep pace with developments. We have been listening to your feedback and decided to act. By announcing the following changes to the Photographers Choice collection, we hope to reflect changing market realities and to encourage diversification so that you may increase exposure to additional markets.

  • PC RMPC RM images will not be subject to movement to RF without written consent, we will assume that your images in PC RM cannot be moved to RF. Should we see a need to cull the collection, we will review images that have not sold for the past 3 years or more and select any we think should be removed. We will send you a list of PC RM images to be culled if your images are selected. You will have 30 days to send us written permission to move the images to RF, however minus receipt of this permission within the timeframe given we will cull the images to make room for new material.
  • Placement Fees for the PC RF collection are to be removedAs of May 1st 2011, Placement Fees will no longer be charged for images submitted to the PC RF collection. All images submitted to the collection prior to this date will be charged as normal.
  • RF Quota introductionIt’s critical that we maintain the creative integrity of the RF collection. Dilution of quality is in nobody’s best interest so to help prevent this we will introduce a quota of 40 images per contributor, per quarter.If you exceed this quota, we will charge the $50 placement fee for any excess images.
  • What material should I submit to PC RF?We have no plans to limit the numbers of similar images you wish to submit. We would remind you however that in order to maximize potential of this offer, you make considered decisions with regard to variation in submissions. The same degree of care used in creating submissions which were subject to the Placement Fee should be maintained so we can continue to keep this flexible for you.
  • The ‘Sell 1 get 1 free’ offer is to be retired for RF but will be retained for RM This offer has been a great success with so many of you benefitting from free placements since its introduction. This offer will no longer apply to RF images as these are submitted free of charge.There is no change to the terms of the sell 1 get 1 offer for RM – the $50 fee and 12 month licensing period for eligibility will still apply.
  • PC RF and SubscriptionAll PC RF material submitted prior to May 1st 2011 which has been subject to the Placement Fee will not be mirrored in subscription. This includes images submitted as part of the ‘Sell 1 get 1 free’ offer.However, all RF images submitted to the collection after this date will be eligible to be included in our subscription products. This will allow us to increase your exposure to additional markets and revenue streams.