New Getty Deal Compliments Flickr’s Photographers

    July 9, 2008

Here’s the less exciting side of a new development: Flickr users aren’t being given any choice other than to go about their business as usual.  But on the more interesting front: Getty Images will begin swooping in to offer some of them commercial opportunities.

Everyone who’s spent any amount of time on Flickr knows that the community’s users create some top-notch photographs.  It seems Getty – and presumably some of Getty’s clients – noticed this, too, and so the company intends to build a collection of images that will be available for licensing.

Jonathan Klein
 Jonathan Klein

Dan Richman reports, "Flickr users . . . will be paid in the same manner as professionals if their images are used commercially.  Getty customers usually pay between $29 and $200,000 for an image, depending on how freely they may use it.  Photographers receive 30 percent to 40 percent of the licensing fee if the customer’s rights to use the image are limited in scope or time, or 20 percent if the image may be used with fewer restrictions."

This deal won’t be big enough to have a real effect on bottom lines at either Getty or Yahoo.  Getty wants to collect thousands of images, though, so the average Flickr user has a reasonable chance of getting noticed.

A tip: according to Richman, Jonathan Klein, Getty’s co-founder and CEO, "said Getty’s customers will likely prefer scenic or creative images, not those of news events."