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March 10, 2014

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Daniel Beaver-Seitz

"Trojan Horse" implies deception, and Getty has been pretty upfront about their plans to make this a revenue-generating product, so I think that's overstating things, but the rest of your misgivings are worth considering.

I have shared your questions about what "commercial" means. Even if my blog doesn't include ads, would earning money from consulting based on the writing on that blog, for example, count as a commercial outcome of using Getty's pictures?

To date, I have used public domain/CC-licensed images to illustrate my blog and will likely continue to do so all or most of the time.

Alan Aitken

I agree with the earlier comment that "Trojan horse" is a tad strong, but I'd like to add a couple of other comments.

RE: "...like Google's advertising program, but the difference is that Google pays you - Getty won't." True, but you could argue that Google is only handing over actual cash because it doesn't have anything it can barter/swap for your advertising space. My guess is that Getty feels that not paying for the advertising space is the quid pro quo for not charging for the images. Not everyone is going to agree with that approach, but those that don't have the option of not using Getty images in future, in a manner remarkably similar to the way in which they haven't been using Getty images until now.

RE: "Looking at this from the viewpoint of the photographer it's a disaster. If you have licensed Getty to use your images, this isn't something that you can opt out from." Which I take to mean that a Getty licence has one of those "you allow us to use your stuff in ways we haven't even thought of yet" clauses. Again I can see a lot of people not liking some of the consequences of this, but then again it was there when they signed. And I suspect that such clauses are not unique to Getty licences.

But the "editorial purposes" thing? Don't worry. As any tabloid editor will tell you, pretty much everything is "of public interest" so I don't foresee any problems with that bit.

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