View Full Version : Me vs. Getty Images

12-03-2013, 09:58 AM
Hey Guys,
I shared this issue with Andrew and he wanted me to share it with you. This past June I had the pleasure of working Consumer Electronics Week here in NYC. One of the big vendors at the event was Sharp who was unveiling their amazing 90 inch LED TV. The night after I saw the presentation I recieved a press kit from the Sharp PR rep to use in our write up. I wrote up the event and used the assets Sharp sent me including hi res images of the TV which had a swimmer on the screen.

Let's fast forward to this past Saturday when I got home to find a lovely packet from..... Getty Images. Getty Images stated in their letter that I used a photograph with owning the rights to its use. I went to the back of the packet and lo and behold it was the image of the TV with the swimmer on it. The first response from me was anger since this picture was on a TV stream and it was given to me by Sharp. The second was concern since they wanted me to pay $875 for using the "image". I calmed down and looked through my emails and got the email from Sharp PR and reviewed the assets. Sure enough the photo in question was give to me and probably countless other members of the press. I contacted the Sharp PR rep yesterday who requested the packet so that they could resolve the matter. I am now waiting to hear back from the Sharp PR rep which if I don't hear back from Friday will hear from me before I call Getty.

Now here is the lesson:
1- Source your photos as much as possible
2-Make sure the person you get photos from has the right to distribute
3- Save emails
4-If at all possible use your own photos to avoid any hassles.
5- Don't let a company strong arm you if they are in the wrong. Fight back with facts and proof whenever possible.

I will post an update to the thread as soon as things are resolved.


12-03-2013, 01:22 PM
Isn't Getty Images notorious for this? These strong arm tactics are ridiculous.

12-03-2013, 02:10 PM
Isn't Getty Images notorious for this? These strong arm tactics are ridiculous.

Getty is notorious for this AND they do strong arm. They have gone after several radio stations, individuals, and media of all sorts. They will pull in lawyers and will sue.

Unfortunately they are well within their rights to do so (like it or not).

Sourcing images is absolutely necessary. I haven't always done the correct job of doing that and blogging becomes much more difficult when you can't just grab from the internet, but at the same time, Getty knocking on your door is something you never want to have happen...

Good luck with your fight. We'll see if Getty backs down.

12-03-2013, 03:03 PM
I will definitely keep you guys posted but I am taking the fight to Getty and if Sharp doesn't back me up they are gonna get it too.

12-03-2013, 04:23 PM
Wow Rich that sucks!... I hope you don't have to pay them for this..

12-11-2013, 10:19 AM
Hey Guys,
So the Sharp PR rep along with Sharp reached out Getty Images and resolved the issue. It seems Sharp licensed the photos for advertising use and not for distribution to the press which required different licensing. Sharp and Getty clarified the mistake and we are in the clear. I will be getting a letter from Getty in a few days acknowledging the case is closed.

My pockets keep $875 which is good. Keep every email from every PR rep that includes assets that you use on your sites and on air!

12-11-2013, 11:51 AM
Congrats Rich. Its really insane that you have to go though all of this BS.

Spencer Kobren
12-14-2013, 08:41 AM
Well done Rich!

Dan Ortego
12-14-2013, 10:49 AM
As a amateur photographer I've learned to be very careful with any and all photos except that of my own family and close friends. When I photograph human subjects I ask them to sign an authorization for me to use the photo. In certain zip codes I even ask permission to use photos of their animals if the owner is present. When I go to Europe it's not a big deal at all, but here in the USA where everyone is so damn sue-happy, you have to cover your tail.

By the way, I'm actually glad you posted this thread because it gives me a good excuse to consider a new lens. :)