Flickr and Getty Images Join Forces

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Flickr’s massive collection of photos has already received plenty of attention from photo buyers, but there has never been any official system in place for the completion of transactions.

It looks like that’s about to change. On this short FAQ page, Flickr has announced that it will partner with Getty to “build a platform that will enable the creation of a first class collection of royalty free, rights ready and rights managed photographs that will debut later this year.”

Details are scant at this point, but it’s safe to assume that the images of regular flickr users will soon be seen side by side with the work of established Getty photographers and the line between amateur photographers and pro stock shooters is all but obliterated.

It will be interesting to see how the two businesses will integrate with each other, but it may be something as simple as: Getty editor sees flickr image he/she likes. Getty editor contacts photographer and asks if they want to sell the image and under what rights system. Photographer opts in and on that image’s flickr page, there is now a “License This Image” button. Presumably, photo buyers will be able to limit flickr searches to images that are on sale. And a new kind of stock agency is born.

I can only hope that the photographers end up being treated well and get a fair payment for their work.

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