Photographer Remi Thornton has decided to terminate his contract with Getty Images, following a controversial deal struck by the stock photo agency with a third-party company.
Remi Thornton is a photographer like the others, who uploads his photos to Getty Images, hoping that a client will license his content.
Popular photographer Remi Thornton waves goodbye to Getty Images
However, Thornton is different from most photographers because he decided that he has had enough with Getty Images’ controversial agreements with other companies.
Recently, Remi thought about checking to see whether someone is using his photos without permission or not. He discovered that some of his images were being used by CafePress, an online retailer, but Getty did not pay him any licensing fees for the pictures.
CafePress is allowed to borrow photos from Getty Images for free
His discovery was pretty shocking because CafePress was authorized to do so, courtesy of Getty Images.
Apparently, CafePress is a loyal Getty Images client, hence the two parties have a special “Royalty Free” agreement. This allows the online retailer to put photos on its website and will pay a fee to Getty Images only if the image in question attracts clients.
This deal is only available for photos also available on Flickr, while images exclusively uploaded on the stock photo agency are kept safe from this controversial “loan” deal.
Photographer ditched the stock photo agency before it was too late
Remi Thornton says that, normally, he would not make such a big deal out of this. Nevertheless, he feels compelled to quit Getty Images because the agency might sign such agreements with other companies in the future and he would be left with nothing.
The photographer does not agree with this policy, therefore he decided to terminate his contract with Getty Images on an immediate basis.
Amateur photographers are not so lucky
Fortunately, Thornton can move his content elsewhere, but amateur photographers will not be so lucky. It appears that this is common practice for Getty Images, who is unlikely to get sued by lensmen who do not have enough resources to lead a legal fight against the agency.
The photographer says that CafePress is the single company which receives special treatment from Getty Images. He will monitor the retailer’s website closely to see whether or not his photos will be removed after the contract termination.