Yep – one day in and to some apparently online = free

Following yesterday’s post – I found it interesting that when I clicked on an image on Gawker.com – it led back to the Life.com / Getty Images site.   The words “For personal non-commercial use only” were clearly put on the bottom of the linked image.  Although I do not know if Gawker paid to use this image – I highly doubt it.  If they had I’m sure that the disclaimer would not be there. hmmm… 

As I mentiond – Life.com encourages the use of their images on blogs, e-mail, and social networking sites “for free.”  As you can see Gawker runs ads on their pages… so clearly they are a COMMERCIAL publication as they derive revenue from those ads.   They should be paying to use this image. 

While the usage rights are very clearly spelled out in their terms of service – I think this goes to show how dangerous printing those words “free” can be…  

To those that aren’t professional photographers out there – understand that photographers and entire agencies have been able to make a living for decades by building large collections of images and selling them to publications and splitting the profit with the photographer (those small fees add up!)  When an entity decides to put their entire collection online and then encourages people to use them “for free” – they are giving up on the old revenue model – and worse making it incredibly difficult for others to compete!   Then everyone wonders why agencies are no longer profitable and people (both editors and photographers) are being let go…  it’s not so difficult to figure out is it?

It appears that some “unintentional” infrigement may have taken place here – but as dangerous as it is to say this: I’ve got to wonder if Life.com and Getty Images’ wording wording and marketing tactics are partly to blame.  You reap what you sow.  And what Life.com and Getty Images sows – we all get to reap whether we want to or not.  Great…

This is the page the article links to - click to read the clear "for personal non-commercial" disclaimer...