Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Getty Images Sued by Stock Photographers


Stock photographers Roger Ressmeyer and Richard Minden are leading a $100 million class-action lawsuit against Getty Images over its Premium Access subscription plan. The Premium Access service is an unadvertised product that Getty offers its high-volume costumers.

Joining Ressmeyer and Minden are 84 other photographers, who claim that Getty has violated copyrights and contracts by including rights-managed images in the Premium Access product.

Getty is standing behind its product, saying that it was created with feedback from both clients and photographers as an optimal licensing process. Corbis, a Getty competitor, has cut royalties awarded to photographers for their rights-managed images. Jupiterimages, scheduled at press time to be acquired by Getty, offered a similar service called Jupiterimages Unlimited.

The lawsuit, filed last October, says Getty pays photographers only a fraction of their royalties when images are purchased through the Premium Access product as compared to conventional rights-managed processes. The class action is being brought on behalf of rights-managed photographers who have been with Getty during the last five years.

Ressmeyer runs Science Faction, a supplier of rights-managed images to Getty, and is the former president of the Picture Archive Council of America, a trade group for stock photo agencies. Minden's Minden Pictures had previously supplied images to Getty.