Images On Getty They Can’t License

Posted on 4/24/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Does anyone know. who owns the copyright to image 607387712 of Marilyn Monroe on Evidently Getty doesn’t.

It seems that Getty has the rights to license the image for “Standard Editorial Rights,” but that does not include commercial use rights or print cover rights. Evidently it also doesn’t include the right to license a use for wall décor because Getty will not license the image for that purpose.

One presumes that if Getty licenses the image for an editorial use they just keep all the money, or maybe they pay a share to Visual China Group (VCG) who acquired Corbis.

The credit line on the photo is “Frank Povolny/Twentieth Century Fox/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images.” Since Povolny is an unusual name, I was able to determine that there is a Frank Povolny who lives in New South Wales, Australia, but from looking at the family picture on is Facebook page I suspect he is not the person who took the Monroe picture in the 1950s.

Getty got the image from Corbis after its acquisition by VCG. It seems highly unlikely that any information about how Corbis got the image, or the rights that were granted, were passed along to VCG. Presumably, Corbis got the image from Twentieth Century Fox. Given that the picture was taken before the change in the 1976 copyright law, the copyright probably belongs to Twentieth Century Fox, not the photographer. However, it is probably impossible to find anyone at Fox who knows if they still own any rights to the image, or what rights they granted to Corbis.

One wonders how many other images there are in the Getty collection where the ownership cannot be traced.

Marshall Retail Group (MRG) would like to use this picture of Monroe for wall décor. MRG is America’s largest, independent specialty retailer in the casino-resort and airport marketplace, but they can’t license use of the image because they can’t determine who to pay. For 60 years, MRG has provided clients with a portfolio of attractive, successful brands that turn pedestrians into window shoppers, window shoppers into buyers, and buyers into loyal, repeat customers. The premiere retail development company currently operates more than 160 stores across the United States and Canada.

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:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff