Free Images From Getty/iStock On Google

Posted on 1/11/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (8)

Sean Locke (one of iStock’s highest earning contributors) discovered recently that some of his best selling images are now available on GoogleDrive for FREE. There is a major thread in the iStock forum. I’ll try to summarize what seems to be known so far.

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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:  


  • Bill Bachmann Posted Jan 11, 2013
    Surely we can beat FREE.... next some agency will offer to PAY clients to use the image and then the agency will subtract the cost from the photographers, of course. Can't be the agency -- they have stockholders & investors that want their investment money.

    The race to the bottom continues ...

  • Todd Klassy Posted Jan 11, 2013
    I think it's time to set up a new trade association. Clearly the existing trade associations are not doing their part to protect their members.

    A new trade association will have three goals: (1) the complete democratization of the stock photo industry, in part by setting up a platform/website where users set their own price for stock images and where it removes the middleman, (2) educating those who give away images for free and chastising those who continue to do so, and (3) a legal team that vigorously prosecutes copyright infringement on behalf of the image's owner and the industry much in the same fashion that RIAA went after those who stole music.

    Who's in?

  • Ellen Boughn Posted Jan 11, 2013
    Jim, it might be interesting to look into just what the discount for authors is. This from the private URL for Random House writers:Getty Images offers preferred pricing for Random House authors. Hopefully it isn't anymore than a bulk pricing fee but how low can editorial photos go?

    "Random House authors can take advantage of our preferred pricing with Getty Images for any projects they are working on for Random House. For more information about the discounts available, please contact the Getty Images account representatives listed below and provide them with the following information about your Random House project:"

    Book title
    Publication Date
    Print run/Unit count
    Edition (format such as: HC, Trade Pb, ebook, etc)

    Getty Images account representatives:
    Nancy Matherson, Account Executive

    Jeanine LaBorne, Account Manager

  • Bill Bachmann Posted Jan 11, 2013
    I agree with Todd Klassy. With backing from ASMP, PPA and others, I think we should pursue this. I hate to commit the time, but I would be willing to be involved in this project.... as I'm sure you would be, Jim.

  • Matthew Sniff Posted Jan 11, 2013
    Check out for a site where you can sell your images for the price you want.

  • Todd Klassy Posted Jan 11, 2013
    Meh. We need an industry wide revolution; something that is strong enough to lure all photographers away from existing stock photo companies, grab attention, and establish sound legislation and business practices that bring an end to the things that have been crippling the industry for the past 10 years; image theft, the vultures stealing profits in stock photography companies, and educating amateurs that their photos are worth money.

    The first thing I would do would be to hire in-house counsel, including possible a intellectual property attorney that either works for or worked for the RIAA, and a former sales & marketing executive at Getty, Shutterstock, etc. Followed by an intensive membership drive. Tell me that wouldn't shake things up in the photo industry.

  • Bill Bachmann Posted Jan 12, 2013
    Todd.... I like the concept, but I know most photographers are not joiners. I think we should look into it. As far as Matthew's comment & site, there are several of them. But how do they draw attention away *and customers) from the already too powerful "big boys" stock agents??

  • Todd Klassy Posted Jan 13, 2013
    Most photographers will be joiners once their bottom lines are affected. Most aspiring professional photographers will join when they realize their dream may never be realized as the value for their work continues to dwindle because of thievery and money leeching middle men.

    As for drawing photogs away from Shutterstock and Getty, we will need to demonstrate with actions (i.e. make deadlines) that a trade association best represents the interests of photographers, not a private entity who leeches > 90% from the sale of their image. Initiate a few high profile RIAA type law suits with a press release that says, "If you stole a photographer's intellectual property, we will find you, and we will come after you," we'll get members. Then, possible, after weakening those other trade associations who do nothing but collect dues, maybe then they will merge with us, on our terms, and create one very loud voice for photographers once and for all.

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