In an email to contributors that subsequently leaked online, Getty Images explained that its original agreement with Flickr reached its end and no new agreement had been set upon.
The partnership originally allowed Getty to search through Flickr’s archives and directly invite its members to become Getty contributors.
As a result, people browsing Flickr could expect to quite frequently see an option to ‘license this photo on Getty’ on the profiles of prominent users.
The email assured current contributors that ‘Your status as a contributor to Getty Images is unchanged by this news. Your current agreement with Getty Images remains the same and agreements will NOT be terminated by us as a result of this change.’
What will change is that Getty’s Flickr Collection will be renamed ‘Moment’, forming part of a new ‘Moment-Mobile app’ that will allows users to submit images to Getty from their mobiles.
All current Flickr collection contributors will be invited to this service, which Getty says has already garnered more than 30,000 image submissions.
Speaking to AP, a spokesperson for Getty said, ‘Getty Images and Flickr have worked together for five great years, celebrating the originality of photography enthusiasts worldwide. Getty Images curators have assessed over 90 million images, selecting 900,000 from 42,000 contributors as part of our Flickr collection.’
‘Getty Images has provided notice to terminate our existing agreement with Flickr. Our original agreement reached its end, and while we continue to be open to working with Yahoo!/Flickr, we do not have a new agreement at this time. We will continue to work with the tens of thousands of contributors and license the existing content.’
‘Innovation and evolution are at the core of our work at Getty Images and we are continuously developing new technologies and tools to enhance our crowd-sourced imagery for our contributors and customers. We recently launched Getty Images Moment, our new iPhone app designed for contributors, as well as global content partnerships with EyeEm and Samsung. We look forward to announcing further developments in the coming months. Watch this space.’
A spokesperson for Yahoo!, which owns Flickr, also spoke to AP regarding the news:
‘We’ve enjoyed partnering with Getty for the past five years to provide Flickr users licensing opportunities through Getty Images. Our members share an incredible amount of amazing work on Flickr. As always, if you’d like to request to license a photo from a user, please contact the member directly by sending a FlickrMail message. Thanks to our incredible community for creating beautiful images that are showcased around the world.’