Corbis Transition Almost Complete

Posted on 4/28/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty has supplied Corbis contributors with the information below. For many the most important information is that after May 2nd Corbis contributors who have not signed a separate agreement with Getty Images will be released from their contributor contracts and all survival periods will be waived.

Dear Valued Contributor,

We appreciate your patience and wanted to provide an update on the transition process.

What’s next?
  • On May 2nd, the and sites will be retired

  • Following the May 2nd site retirements, you will receive notice from VCG/Unity Glory releasing you from your Corbis contributor contracts following a notification period.

  • Following the notification period, all survival periods will be waived.

  • As of May 2nd, your content will no longer be licensed by Corbis, Unity Glory/VCG, or Getty Images (unless you have a direct agreement with Getty Images)

  • The majority of invitations for content migration to Getty Images have now been delivered and content migration is well underway

  • If you have received an invitation for a Letter of Assignment (for those who already have a direct contract with Getty Images), or a contract invitation (for those not previously working direct with Getty Images), please complete the signing process no later than May 16th.
Important advice re: past royalty statements

You will have access to view statements from the beginning of your Corbis contract until the Contributor Gateway closes after final royalties are paid in July. However, we recommend that you download/save/print any royalty statements you wish to save for reference before that date.

A recap on the key elements of this transition:
    Corbis has announced the sale of the Corbis Images (excluding Splash), Corbis Motion, and Veer licensing businesses to Unity Glory International, an affiliate of the Visual China Group (VCG), a leading Chinese visual communications and new media business.
    Following this transaction, VCG is expanding its longstanding partnership with Getty Images, and, after a transition period, Getty Images will become the exclusive distributor of Corbis content outside China.
Again we’d like to thank you for your patience as we work through this transition process. The Corbis team greatly appreciates the partnership we’ve shared over the years, and the Getty Images team is very excited to represent the rich catalog of Corbis content and many of the talented contributors who have created it going forward.

The VCG, Corbis and Getty Images Content Teams

One contributor who contacted me was confused as to how sales within China will be handled since there has been no direct communication between VCG and contributors during this process. The following is my understanding of how it will work.

VCG will not maintain a separate database of Corbis images. They will show their customers the Getty Images database. If one of their customers chooses an image, then VCG will negotiate the sale and collect the money. VCG will keep a portion of that money (we don't know what percentage) and pay the remainder to Getty. Getty then reports what they receive to the contributor as the "gross sale" and calculates the contributors royalty based on what they received.

Neither VCG nor the customer will probably ever know that a particular image was originally part of the Corbis collection. All images will be treated as Getty Images. The information on the contributor’s sales report should indicate the country where the sale was made.
This system for distributing royalties is exactly the same as Corbis’ previous system for reporting  Chinese sales except that the company making sales in China on behalf of Corbis was Imaginechina.

Copyright © 2016 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 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, 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:  


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