Getty Supplies Corbis Contributors With Information

Posted on 2/19/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images has sent Corbis contributors the following information about the migration of Corbis material to Getty representation. While some questions have been answered there are still a number of issues that are not clear.
    Dear Valued Contributor,

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

    First a quick 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.

    What’s next?

    • Over the coming weeks, select content from the Corbis collections will be identified and invitations will be extended for migration of those files to Getty Images.

    • If your content is selected and you already have an active contract with Getty Images, you will be asked to e-sign a letter authorizing Getty Images to move content selected for migration to your existing Getty Images’ agreement.  Getty Images will begin distributing these letters this week and will continue for several weeks.

    • For those of you whose content is selected who do not currently work directly with Getty Images, you will be offered a direct contract with Getty Images that will apply to migrated content and any new submissions you choose to make going forward to Getty Images.  Distribution of these contract invitations will begin in late February and will continue for several weeks.

    • In calculating royalties, you will be treated the same as any other Getty Images’ direct contributor.  There will be no additional deductions in license fees or royalties for participants in this transition.

    • During this transition period, all content will continue to be available through Corbis, and, as it’s migrated, content will also become available through Getty Images.  Any licensing activity during this time will fall under your respective agreements with Corbis and Getty Images, and royalties will be paid by the two separate entities through their standard processes. For clarity, Corbis will pay royalties on licenses via the Corbis website and Getty Images will pay royalties on licenses via the Getty Images website.

    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 the talented contributors who have created it going forward.


    The VCG, Corbis and Getty Images Content Teams

Issues To Consider

1 – It is likely to be several weeks before photographers know if their content has been selected for migration into the Getty collection. Sources tell us that it is likely that only a very small percentage of the Corbis content will be chosen for migration.

2 - There is no indication that those whose content is not selected will be told when the selection process is complete.

3 - The royalty percentage Getty will be offering in its “standard” contract is likely to be less than what Corbis has been paying. For some the revenue they receive from a sale is likely to be between 10% and one-third lower than they have been receiving from a similar priced Corbis sale. In addition, Getty’s average gross license fees tend to be lower than contributors have seen from Corbis, but it is possible that Getty will make a significantly much higher volume of sales.

4 - Not surprisingly, there is no indication as to where migrated content will fall in the search-return-order. This will be a critical issue. If when a customers does a search using a particular keyword, the Corbis images are delivered after all of Getty’s existing content relating to that keyword has been shown, it is unlikely that customers will even see most of the Corbis images.

5 - Getty does not say what will happen to the Corbis content they choose not to represent, or when those whose content they choose not to represent are free to find an alternative distributor.

6 - There is no indication as to what a photographer who does not want to be represented by Getty needs to do to terminate his/her Corbis contract.

7 - There is no indication as to whether VCG will be issuing new contracts to the photographers whose work they want to represent in China, or whether the Corbis contracts will remain in effect for those sales.

8 - There is no indication as to when the Corbis site will be closed.

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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