Getty Images Announces Partnership With Google

Posted on 2/9/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

Getty Images and Google have announced an agreement that includes a multi-year global licensing partnership, enabling Google to use Getty Images’ content within its various products and services.

“This agreement between Getty Images and Google sets the stage for a very productive, collaborative relationship between our companies,” said Dawn Airey, CEO, Getty Images. “We will license our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors’ work and thereby growing the ecosystem.”

“We’re excited to have signed this license agreement with Getty Images, and we’ll be using their images across many of our products and services, starting immediately,” said Cathy Edwards, Engineering Director at Google.

Dawn Airey added, “With this landmark achievement, we can move forward with a strong partner to deliver innovative ways to access creative and editorial content online. It also advances our mission to move the world with images.”

At The Same Time – Sent To Contributor Community

    Last year, we rallied you, our contributor community, to support a competition complaint we lodged with the European Commission concerning anti-competitive concerns with Google Inc. We want to thank you for your support. Thousands of you lent your voices to this fight over the past several years, supporting us as we lobbied industry regulators in the US and EU.

    We believe our combined strength has been instrumental and today we are pleased to announce that after working cooperatively with Google over the past months, our concerns are being recognized and we have withdrawn our complaint.

    Google has worked closely with us to address many issues raised by Getty Images around Google Images, the image search functionality of Google. Moving forward, Google has agreed to make changes in Image Search, including making the copyright disclaimer more prominent and removing the view image button. This is a benefit to all image owners globally and we expect this to have a positive impact on traffic to our site.

    In addition, we're announcing that Getty Images and Google have embarked on a global strategic partnership that will see deeper integration of Getty Images’ world class imagery across Google’s suite of products and services. We will work closely with Google to improve attribution of our contributors' work and grow the ecosystem.

    We are encouraged by Google’s approach to address our concerns and believe that with your help, we have fought for a fair and respectful marketplace for content creators around the world. We believe our approach to work closely with Google will best protect copyright and the livelihoods of photographers, and other artists who rely on licensing to earn a living and fund the creation of new works

    This is a significant milestone, but we know that other battles remain. We thank you for your continued support; we'll continue to uphold creatives’ rights and safeguard intellectual property ensuring that content and its creators are respected.

What’s It All Mean?

It is unclear exactly how this will benefit image creators. Some creators suspect that when Getty says that the partnership will result in “deeper integration of Getty Images’ world class imagery across Google’s suite of products and services,” that means that creators will start seeing more “fraction of a penny” royalties on their sales reports.

This sounds very much like the deals Getty has done with other ISP’s that have agreed to pay Getty a very small fee whenever Getty finds one of the images they represent on the ISP. So far we have not heard of any creator who has earned enough from these ISP compensations to buy a cup of coffee, but maybe there are a few out there.

While “Google has agreed to make changes in Image Search, including making the copyright disclaimer more prominent and removing the view image button,” it is not clear that will make it any more difficult for those who find images as a result of a Google search to copy and paste those images to their own websites. That is how a significant number of infringements occur.

It will probably take a few weeks or months to begin to see how this agreement is implemented. At that point, it will be interesting to see if this really deals with the European Commission’s anti-competitive concerns with Google Inc. or whether it just provides a slight benefit to Getty (none to creators) and gets the EU off Google’s back.

It is not clear that anything is being done to really make it easier for someone who finds an image as a result of a Google search that they would like to use to actually contact the image creator and ask permission. See my story about an Image Creator Locator.

Copyright © 2018 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:  


  • Larry Minden Posted Feb 9, 2018
    FYI - The licensing agreement applies to Editorial and Royalty Free content. No Rights Managed content.

  • Sabine Pallaske Posted Feb 12, 2018
    in Europe editorial content normally is Rights Managed content... the Agreement only can be addressed to Royalty Free..

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