APA Finds Getty Images Proposed Contract Changes Unacceptable

Posted on 5/9/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

APA (American Photographic Artists) members have “uniformly agreed that Getty Images’ proposed changes are unacceptable.”

Through its counsel, Nelson & McCulloch LLP, APA contacted Getty Images prior to the April 30th deadline and made clear its position on the new contract. The organization requested, “that Getty Images stay or extend its self-imposed deadline for forcing contributors to sign (its) agreements.” Getty Images refused to respond to APA’S inquiry.

At that point APA recommended that its members decline Getty Images’ invitation to agree to the unacceptable changes. In a press release they said, “While we recognize that this is an extremely difficult situation for many contributors given Getty Images’ dominant position in the stock photography market, APA firmly believes that these changes are unacceptable and that the ‘solutions’ that Getty Images has offered are entirely inadequate and fail to resolve even the most basic concerns.

“In fact, the various ‘solutions’ offered by Getty Images in the contributors’ forum demonstrate that the fundamental problem with Getty Images’ proposed changes are that it presumes that all images should be licensed under the RF model and makes the photographer justify why particular images warrant special treatment.”

“APA fundamentally rejects this view of stock photography licensing. As the creator and owner of the intellectual property, the photographer has the inherent right to determine how an image is to be licensed, including whether an image should be maintained as an RM or RF image. Getty Images’ effort to leverage its position in the industry to undermine that fundamental right and force its contributors to relinquish control over the manner in which their creative works are licensed is completely improper.

“Perhaps more importantly, APA also is seriously concerned about the manner in which Getty Images has attempted to force these radical changes on its contributors. Adopting baseless, self-imposed deadlines and threatening to terminate contributors who do not accept changes to their existing contracts is not acceptable. As a community, we cannot continue to ignore Getty Images’ efforts to intimidate and strong-arm contributors, and we must not allow Getty Images to force contributors into signing these new contracts under duress.

“While each of our members ultimately must decide for itself whether to accept the new contracts being imposed by Getty Images, APA recommends that, as a community, we resist and reject the direction in which Getty Images is trying to take this industry. Given Getty Images’ overwhelming stature in the licensing industry, it is clear that we can be heard only if we stand together and stand up for what we believe to be right and just.”


Copyright © 2011 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

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