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Getty Adds Expiration Clause to Royalty-Protected Images


Stock photo giant Getty Images recently amended contract terms for its contributors, which enable the agency to move images that haven’t been licensed for three years or longer to its royalty-free collections.

This new addendum has caused an uproar among the photography community. In May, the American Society of Media Photographers and the American Photographic Artists released memos that advised their members to remove their rights-protected images from Getty and to refuse the agency’s new contract terms.

Photo groups say the new terms undermine stock photo pricing and increase photographers’ concerns about their ability to maintain control over their work and their ability to protect their copyrights.

In rebuttal, Getty has reportedly explained that the creative contributor agreements are meant to “meet customer needs and grow sales in keeping with market changes."

Getty has said it has taken feedback into consideration and made several changes to its contracts as a result. For example, Getty has said it will allow contributors to exclude a limited number of their images from being moved to royalty-free collections, but all exclusion requests would be subject to approval and must have been submitted in writing by May 20, 2011.