Things are moving very fast right now in the world of stock photography. The latest development throws another curve ball to the traditional way of licensing images. New functionality on Flickr now allows anyone that has their pictures on the site to let Getty Images license them on their behalf. In principle this means that, if the author of the images allow it, any picture on the site could now be available for licensing. The Getty Images blog mentions it and this is what the Flickr blog has to say:
Starting today in the Flickrverse, Flickr members and visitors can work with each other through a new program with Getty Images called “Request to License”. We’ve built this program on the success of our launch of the Flickr Collection on Getty Images just over one year ago. So, how does it work? Under the Additional Information heading on your public photo pages you’ll see a “Want to license” link. Only you see this link. Visitors to your photos won’t.
Clicking the link will take you to your settings page where you can decide if you’d like to join the “Request to License” program. Choose the option that best suits your needs and “Save” to remove the “Want to license” notice from your page. If you join, visitors to your public photo pages will see a Request to License link.
This is yet another way that connects picture creators directly with sellers through a direct monetization option. On Google and other search engines picscout is actively promoting their monetization solution ImageExchange and now Getty Images is tapping into the 70 million images on Flickr. For picture buyers this will certainly make life easier. For picture sellers this means there is yet more competition and further opening up of the markets. There are a number of interesting comments on the BJP site and you can find more information on Flickr. Photographers that are interested in participating can do so on the Flickr sign up pages. Please note that photographers will get 30% of revenue while Getty Images retains the rest.