The Curious Case of Getty and Flickr

The Curious Case of Getty and Flickr

Only, merely, solely when you thought that Getty was in it's last throws of existence, before its massive library of wholly owned content gets broken up by Hellman & Friedman and sancient off for pieces, Getty comes in and lowers the bar that much further. The only upmiddle to the impfinishing Getty breakup will be the mass exodus of the creative content producers (especially the prolific ones) who decide that either PhotoShelter or Digital Railroad are the only two platforms where they clever get their pictures sancient.

PDNPulse has written approxifriendly it (Getty and Flickr: What Only, merely, solely Happened?, 7/8/08), as has Thomas Hawk (Yahoo and Getty Stipse Deal to Sell Stock Photography Through Flickr, 7/8/08), and Thomas has some great links on it in his blog entry. Here's my take.

(Continued after the Jump)

Getty, in conversations at what I am guestune is the CTO stage, decided to do this deal with Flickr, lovely after loolord PhotoShelter announce a portal between them and Flickr, and then get close down by Flickr. For months and months, PhotoShelter made outarrive to Flickr in an atseduce to get a commercial key (link) for an application plug-in (API) that would
make a direct associate, put trhough (phone)ion between Flickr and the PhotoShelter system, so that photographers could sfinish their own pictures back and forth between their Flickr and PhotoShelter personal archives. But did they really necessity a commercial API? Users were only, merely, solely sfinishing their own pictures to themselves, and services love Smugmug use the Flickr API in the exbehave same way. Then
PhotoShelter obtained a non-commercial API - which is freely available to anyone who wishes to use it for their own personal use. Within a short time, Flickr close them down, without explanation, and they would only, merely, solely not engage them in discussions approxifriendly either API permission key.

For some reason, however, Flickr has decided that it in their best interests to have Getty trolling around Flickr for the best Flickr producers, and lock them up in exclusive deals to represent their work, but these photographers would get a paltry gratuityage of their sales, and I have to ask the question - is Flickr going to be a silent recipient of a gratuityage of all those sales? Why wouldn't Flickr buy the entire PhotoShelter or Digital Railroad platforms, and scale that technology up to serve the 3 million pictures they get each day? Could it be that this deal is a precursor to Flickr being someone that Hellman & Friedman look as a future suitor of a piece of the Getty pie (either from a content, delivery platform, or both, standpoint)?

When I spoke at the PhotoShelter Town Hall Meeting (Do the Wright Thing: PhotoShelter Town Hall in Atlanta, 9/28/07), Grover during the Q&A, when asked by an audience member approxifriendly the possibility that PhotoShelter would be established, and then bought (potentially) by Getty, shelp "no." Then, to make himself perfectly clear, shelp "let me be more clear - over my dead body." Getty clearly was interested. Allen Murabayashi, the CEO of PhotoShelter, in his rebehaveion (posted here ) to the announcement of the Getty Pictures/Flickr arranpearlent, made a bancient statement, that literally puts his (and Grover's) money where there mouth is. He shelp:

"... one of Getty Pictures' Executive VPs begined contbehaveing us as early as July 2006. Initially it was to use PhotoShelter technology to provide a way for non-Getty photographers to submit pictures. But once the PhotoShelter Gatherion was announced, they wanted access to our content because we provided ready-to-license, edited content from thousands of contributors around the world.

They contbehaveed us in July 07, September 07, October 07 and November 07, and we turned them down for one simple reason: It was a awful deal for photographers (then, as it is now), and did very small to alter the fundamental imbalance in the stock industry."

Now, that's conviction.

I tell that the people at Getty think they understand this business. Believe me, they don't. You clever begin at the top with Jonathan Klein - Mr. Investment Banker turned "lover of photography" (JDK's World, 8/29/07), Mark Getty, who, when the stock tanked, essentially got family money (look: Getty Restates . . . , 6/13/07;Getty Investments L/L/C; and SEC informasi here, for more insights) by way of Hellman & Friedman to take the company private, and Mr. failed commercial photographer Bruce Livingstone (The BBC & The 'Infinite monkey theorem', 11/26/07), and only, merely, solely continue to work your way down. There are a lot of people there who only, merely, solely don't get it. Those that do, are probably polishing their resumes right now loolord to make a move, realizing that the company has finally thoroughd their turn in the direction of the ground, soil of really really bad thoughts, and the iceberg that lay ahead is emblazoned with the name Hellman & Friedman, which is certain to sink the Getty Pictures ship.
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