Getty Images’ business model was entirely copyright-based. In a nutshell, all Getty Images’ pictures featured a [very elegant, thinks Merpel] white watermark remembering that, although images could be saved on your PC, you could hardly make something more out of it without paying the due copyright royalties. In this latter regard, users were asked to submit information as to the territory, the period, the kind of media and the commercial field in which they intend to use a certain picture. On those basis, the system tailor-made a licence price: e.g., using the British Kat [right] for “advertisement within an application, website, game or other software … including banner ads, over-page, in-page or web video advertisements” in the sole UK for one month would cost 255 Euros [Euros for a copyright licence over a British Kat in UK? Merpel would rather use her selfies…].
“you can find it without a watermark very simply … you go to one of our customer sites and you right-click. Or you go to Google Image search or Bing Image Search and you get it there".
|"How could I embed this fresh fish?"|
“First, there will be attribution around that image … Second, all of the images will link back to our site and directly to the image’s details page. So anybody that has a valid commercial need for that image will be able to license that imagery from our website. Third, since all the images are served by Getty Images, we’ll have access to the information on who and how that image is being used and viewed, and we’ll reserve the right to utilise that data to the benefit of our business.”The brand new free-to-use model, however, is not for all. In the mind of Getty Images, contents will be freely available for non-commercial usages only ["embedded images may not be used for commercial purposes", the embedding panel warns], while anyone who intends to use contents within professional activities must still ask for a classic copyright licence. Remarkably, Getty Images adopts a notion of “commercial usage” that is far more user-friendly than that adopted by some Courts in Europe. Indeed, according to what Mr Peters declared to the British Journal of Photography, Getty Images considers websites using Google-Ads a non-commercial: “the fact today that a website is generating revenue would not limit the use of the embed. What would limit that use is if they used our imagery to promote a service, a product or their business. They would need to get a license.”
In a chaotic scenario where the undeniably-needed modernisation of copyright is often left in the hands of sanguinary fights among tribal groups of interests, it is comforting to know that some creative people are still peacefully trying to figure out how to implement concrete solutions to face modern challenges in a way that is insightfully and auspiciously relieving. Although not entirely new, Getty Images’ idea to apply a quasi-trade mark regime to creative material allowing uses “not in the course of trade” is totally worth a try [and worth supporting too, sniffs Merpel], not least because it makes copyright closer to a fair idea of exploitation that sometimes it appears to have lost on its way. Surfing the sharing instead of contrasting it sounds exciting and could be convenient as well, as promotion given by third parties’ embedding activity is for free and usages’ information that one can get from the embedded contents is still an autonomous commercial value.