Thinkstock On Google Drive For FREE

Posted on 8/16/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Keeping up with new technology developments certainly makes my head swim. I wonder if it does the same for 20 and 30-year-olds?

In April 2012 Google launched Google Drive, a cloud storage service where customers can store the documents, photos, music, videos, etc. that they own, all in one place.   

Customers can get up to 5GB of space free, and upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or 1TB for $49.99 a month. When you move to a premium account it also automatically expands your Gmail storage to 25GB.

So far, so good. For a more complete explanation check here. But, now it seems that Google has done a deal with Getty Images to make Thinkstock pictures available for FREE  to Google Drive customers.

In a recent Google+ post Google announced that it had created a gallery of stock photos that could be freely used in documents and presentation by Google Drive customers. It also asked it’s users to help “curate” the photos they would like to have available in this collection by going to and submit image numbers for up to 10 photos. Customers use this form to submit image numbers.

Google doesn’t guarantee that the suggested images will eventually appear in the gallery, but says, “We’ll use your ideas to create and curate the next generation of our stock image library.”


This raises a host of questions.

1 – Is Google paying Getty anything when they add an image to the gallery? (We suspect not.)
2 – If so, how much?
3 – Does the image creator get any compensation for the use of his image?
4 – Since once an image is in the gallery and it may never be used or used hundreds of times is there any way the creator is compensated for multiple uses?
5 – Are all Thinkstock images available for addition to the Google gallery, or only images that Getty wholly owns, or which photographers have agreed to give away for free?
6 – Is there any reason to believe that customers who use images that are found in the Google gallery will later go to Thinkstock to actually purchase images?

We posed these questions to Gettty public relations hoping for an explanation of how this program will benefit photographers but so far they have been unable to supply any answers.

Copyright © 2012 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:  


  • Sylvie Fodor Posted Aug 16, 2012
    Good points, Jim. Let see if Getty comes up with any answers to your questions ...

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