Getty Images launches

Getty Images has launched a new website for picture buyers.


Seattle & London – 17 May, 2010 – A new educational resource launches today, which aims to unravel the complexities and expose the potential legal pitfalls of image use. has been set up by Getty Images, Inc. for the good of the photographic industry. The site is designed to represent image providers and has the support of BAPLA (British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies) and PACA (Picture Archive Council of America). The resource provides image users with information and advice they need to license images with confidence, by connecting them with key stakeholders from the industry.
In the digital age, a wealth of online content is now available at the click of a mouse. With the creative industries experiencing redundancies and cut-backs, which have caused tighter budgets and greater time pressures for young creative professionals, shortcuts to seemingly harmless imagery now often appear to present a tempting solution.  Getty Images has identified that there is a lack of online resources for people to get clarification and understanding on image use. With these factors in mind, it is easy to see how the knowledge gap has widened for the image buying community. launches in response to a new survey which has identified an unsurprising lack of understanding among some image users. The survey, carried out by Redshift Research on behalf of, asked more than 1,200 new and established image users in the US and the UK involved in sourcing stock imagery about their views, habits and understandings around image use.

The survey found that image users in the UK and the US are taking chances when it comes to how they source their images. More than one-third (39%) of the image users surveyed admitted to regularly exposing themselves to potential risk by using images copied directly from image search engines, and nearly one quarter (22%) said they source imagery for commercial use directly from photo-sharing websites.

Almost half of the respondents (48%) said they did not fully understand legal protection or indemnification, (the form of warranty where the image supplier agrees to bear liability and assume certain legal costs if a claim around the image arises). Almost 45% of respondents were unaware that you can still face a legal claim relating to an image you used, even if you license it. A mere 18% reported paying for legal protection when licensing an image. Even among respondents who understood that certain image licenses include legal protection, 26% said they have considered themselves at risk by sourcing an image which doesn’t include it.

The need for a one-stop online resource for information surrounding licensing issues was identified by many of the image users surveyed. was developed to act as this online resource for image users to better understand the complex issues surrounding image licensing. The resource provides a simple, user-friendly, one-stop shop for anyone wishing to learn more about licensing stock imagery for commercial use. The content featured on includes frequently asked questions, case studies, an image licensing checklist, a short educational video, a rolling feed of relevant news, informative links and a forum where users can discuss related topics.

Simon Cliffe, Executive Director from BAPLA said: “BAPLA is delighted to see this resource being made available for anyone who may wish to license and use imagery. At a time when the use of online visual content is being discussed at the highest level, with the Digital Economy Bill currently addressing this very area, we are pleased to see an accessible forum and destination for anyone looking to understand how to use imagery.”

Cathy Aron, Executive Director from PACA said: “PACA welcomes the launch of This new resource can help to fill the knowledge gap and provide a place to go for those seeking information regarding image licensing.”

Further key findings from the survey include:

  • 33% of small business decision makers think that legal protection is important when sourcing an image
  • 41% of small business decision makers think it’s important to obtain the necessary permission from the models in an image
  • 44% of small business decision makers source their images from Google Images
  • 41% of small business decision makers aren’t aware that they could face a legal claim relating to an image, even if they licensed that image from a reputable supplier
  • 27% of small business decision makers said that they do nothing consciously to ensure that the necessary permissions have been obtained from the copyright and trademark owners or models, they just license the image and assume “it’s all ok”
  • 53% of those working in the creative industries said they did not fully understand legal protection
  • 49% of those working in the creative industries obtain signed consent forms from models featured in the image
  • 86% of those working in the creative industries said that they are aware of the legal consequences of using an image without a license agreement
  • 16% of those working in the creative industries pay for legal protection when they license an image

“Getty Images set up on behalf of the stock photo industry to provide an educational resource for image buyers and a go-to place for debate, discussion, news and information for members of the photography community,” said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and chief executive officer of Getty Images. “It is our hope that will continue to evolve as we gain feedback from the industry and from image buyers and competitors.” is now live for image buyers and other key stakeholders. encourages users to provide feedback on the content and suggest ways the site can improve and evolve with the goal of becoming a valuable resource for information on image use.



Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

5 thoughts on “Getty Images launches

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  • May 18, 2010 at 9:33 am

    How noble of Getty to spend valuable time and resources creating this website for the good of the whole picture industry. How philanthropic. I doubt it has even occurred to them that people registering on the site will form a valuable database of new clients. And when it does occur to them I, for one, am certain they will share this information with other picture libraries. After all, it’s for the common good isn’t it? And it can only be an oversight that the only companies and collections listed in the agencies section belong to Getty. I’m sure that list will soon expand to include all their competition. Nice to see the traditional Bapla endorsement as well. Have Getty actually bought Bapla? They’re in the same building as Rex so maybe they came as part of the deal?

    • May 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks for your insight as always Steve 😉 it’s good to see a bit of passion in the industry. I’m trying to reach Getty Images to see if some of these tools could become available for visitors of Fast Media Magazine. I think that would make some sense for the picture buyers here. So, if anyone from Getty Images is reading this, do give me a buzz….

      • May 28, 2010 at 9:08 am

        I should clarify that I have no issue with Getty setting up a service like this which I’m sure will benefit them in any number of ways. There’s nothing to stop other companies doing the same thing. What I object to is the way it is presented as being for the common good. Getty is looking after Getty’s interests and no one else’s. A little honesty wouldn’t go amiss. And a little less naivety on the part of other organisations that are taken in by this bluster….


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