Getty To Shutter Photolibrary Websites

Posted on 6/29/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Getty Images has notified agencies (Image Partners), whose work is currently being licensed by Photolibrary, of Getty’s intention to “retire” (close down) all the Photolibrary websites during the last quarter of 2011.

The following letter was received by image suppliers.
    We recently announced the completion of Getty Images’ acquisition of Photolibrary.  We have since evaluated the various Photolibrary offerings and have decided that we will retire the websites previously owned and operated by Photolibrary (the “Photolibrary Websites”) during the last quarter of this year.  

    This letter, written by Getty Images on behalf of Photolibrary Group, shall serve as formal notice of termination of the License Agreement between [agency]., and Photolibrary PTY Limited “Photolibrary”, effective as of  [date] (the “Agreement”), such termination to be effective when the Photolibrary Websites are retired (the “Termination Date”).  We will provide you with advance written notice of the Termination Date.  Capitalized terms used in this letter and not defined herein shall have the meaning set forth in the agreement.
When asked for additional clarification Jodi Einhom, Getty Images Public Relations Manager said, “As we integrate our two companies, decisions will be made about how to best manage any changes and this information will be communicated directly to image partners.”  

It is unclear if any of the Image Partners will be offered new Getty Images agreements.
It is unclear if individual photographers currently represented by Photolibrary will have any of their images moved to the Getty website and, if so, in what brand the images might be placed. Undoubtedly, any photographer whose images are moved to the Getty site will be required to sign the new Getty Images contributor agreement.

The individuals and brands that are lucky enough to have their images accepted for the Getty site may find that they make many fewer sales than was the case when their images were being licensed by Photolibrary. Despite the fact that Getty Images makes many more sales on a daily basis than Photolibrary ever made, a great deal depends on where an image appears in the search return order. A high percentage of the images that appear early in the Getty Images search return order are in the Digital Vision, Lifesize, Stone+, PhotoDisc, The Image Bank, Taxi, Photographer's Choice and Flickr brands. There are over 150 other brands on the creative section of, but very few or their images appear early in the search return order. See here for more details on search return order.

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 301-461-7627, 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:  


  • Bill Bachmann Posted Jun 29, 2011
    I would hope that Getty does not require exclusivity on images, or most of Photolibrary's images will not be available!

    Bill Bachmann

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