Another world-renowned AOP Member, multiple AOP Awards winner, Frank Herholdt said:
"I feel this whole Getty saga is deplorable. Their desperate scramble to placate shareholders is detrimental to the whole industry and this makes me question whether public ownership is the best business model for our industry.
"My Getty image sales pay my mortgage. Their move will cut heavily into this revenue and as a result, I feel that I'll now have place future images with another stock image provider that has more respect for its photographers."
Award winning AOP Member Bob Elsdale said:
"We are facing a crisis that could have long term repercussions to be felt worldwide throughout the photographic industry. During the 1980’s some of us will remember the AOP facing up to the print unions when they set their sights on placing control over our industry.
"We now face a situation of possible similar proportions. If the Getty initiative of the $49 web images is placed across all brands to include RM, other stock agencies may decide to follow in order to compete and the whole devaluation process could snowball throughout the stock industry.
"This will certainly cheapen the work of photographers working on smaller numbers of higher value images. Will clients want to buy exclusive and possibly lucrative print licenses if they have seen the value of an image diluted by $49 dollar web sales?
"Perhaps Getty’s clients, who obviously include advertising agencies and designers, should think about this too. Apart from photographers, art directors and art buyers are involved in creating images too.
"What am I going to do about it? Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate my loyalties."
Widely lauded AOP Member, Jo Sax, told AOP:
"$49 for a digital media license is an affront to the time, funding and energy that goes into producing a high quality creative photograph. "I am not prepared to have my work devalued this way. "Additionally, negotiating for a fair digital media fee on commissioned work may become a real sticking point. I work with several agencies that also license stock from Getty. The disparate pricing this new Getty ‘product’ introduces will confuse the market at every level.
"I am terminating my contract with Getty Images, and I would like to ask other GI photographers to examine this situation carefully and then respond appropriately."
Getty’s proposed change affects premium RM and RR photography in particular and it is here that the AOP’s concern is mostly focused. The groups believes it seriously devalues the high quality and evocative photography that members specialize in and which Getty markets for many of them. AOP joins with partner organizations in calling for Getty to remove RM image collections from this business model.
AOP did not include comments by Getty in its statement.
The AOP was formed in 1968 to promote and protect photographers’ rights. Today, the group works closely with trade association partners, who collectively represent over 40,000 photographers worldwide, to fight against this business model.