Google Drive + Update

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mr_erin
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:11PM
Thanks to everyone for your patience while we've learned more about the Google partnership/deal. As I explained briefly in a post yesterday, due to the volume of sales deals that are constantly in progress we in the content team are not always able to learn about them before they are implemented. I agree this communication is currently not working how it should and I'm working with the sales team on a plan to help us stay better informed earlier in the process. We would much rather be able to answer questions quickly or share information proactively with you than have things unfold the way they have this week. This is not intentional and we apologize for the speed at which we've been able to respond.

A few facts:
  • This is a license deal arranged with Google through Getty Images, this is not a promotional arrangement like the 2007 MS deal also being discussed here recently.
  • There was an initial pool of several thousand images licensed from Getty and iStock RF collections that are on the Getty Images platform.
  • No RM content was included in this pool or deal.
  • Royalties for these images were paid through Getty Images and were processed in October and November of 2012.
    Of images licensed, just under 700 are from a group of about 490 iStock contributors.
  • Just under 100 of those contributors have multiple files within the pool, the rest have a single file.
  • There may eventually be additional content added to this pool/agreement, but at the moment there are no concrete plans


License information:

Google licensed these images for use by Google users through the Google Drive platform; Users of this platform are granted rights to place this imagery in content created using Google Docs, Google Sites, and Google Presentations, which end uses can be for commercial purposes.
Users are not granted rights to use this imagery outside the context of Google Drive created content.
No rights are granted to Google users to redistribute image files outside of the context in which they’re used.
Google’s license rights are not the same as the standard RF license rights. We have specifically given them the right to enable that content to be used by their end users within the confines of the Google programs. They have a bespoke EULA.

Copyright protection:

There have been copyright concerns raised specifically around the right click functionality and lack of embedded metadata within the Google platform, although not ideal from some perspectives this is fairly standard practice for this type of product placement. Lack of attribution has also been mentioned, but this being a license deal rather than a promotional arrangement attribution is not typical or required.

That said, we are very aware that copyright enforcement is vital to the future of our business, Getty Images purchased PicScout and the Image IRC and we continue to develop new methods for copyright protection on behalf of our contributors and partners, many of which could help this platform and others like it improve in this way over time.

Google is an important partner for us and we have many innovative licensing arrangements with them in place and in negotiations. Our goal is to continue to expand and improve this partnership over time – to the benefit of everyone involved including Google and it's customers, as well as Getty Images and our contributors. This is a long term objective that includes pricing, copyright protection, and volume.

Again, thanks for your patience while we've pulled together this information. We understand and accept that not everything about this deal is going to make every contributor happy, but we hope this gives some additional context to the scale and intent of this arrangement, and that it gives some sense of what we are aiming to achieve in the longer term through partnerships of this kind.
kelvinjay
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:22PM
Reserved.
Susan_Stewart
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:26PM
The problem is surely, that the possible number of users of Google drive, which is a free service, is the total number of users of Google ie every Internet user outside a few countries like China that ban Google. You don't need to have redistribution rights for Google drive users to redistribute. This effectively gives rights to pretty much everyone on the Internet to use these images on any google doc, presentation etc they do.! All for a tiny sale figure of apparently $12 to the contributors.

Edit to add- and that is the best case scenario of possible image use, assuming that all google drive users read the Eula and don't just use these downloaded images for whatever purposes They see fit. And with that many copies of the images circulating how on earth can you protect the copyright?

(Edited on 2013-01-11 17:33:45 by Susan_Stewart)
IvanJekic
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:31PM
What about 12$ deal that you made/paid to those contributors? Is that "the benefit of everyone involved including Google and it's customers, as well as Getty Images and our contributors." All I see is the benefit to Google and you.

I think I'll just stop reading/writing here about these issues. Too much hypocrisy and false truth.
lisafx
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:32PM
This is a very bad deal for contributors.  It appears Getty feels they can do what they like with our content without consent from us. I suspect they're going to discover they're wrong. 
StanRohrer
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:32PM
If I am the 1st party, iStock/Getty is the 2nd party, and Google Drive is the 3rd party, where are the rules for the 4th party download users? This is completely out of control for the 1st and 2nd parties! Better stop it now!
sjlocke
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:34PM

Posted By mr_erin:
Google licensed these images for use by Google users through the Google Drive platform; Users of this platform are granted rights to place this imagery in content created using Google Docs, Google Sites, and Google Presentations, which end uses can be for commercial purposes.
Users are not granted rights to use this imagery outside the context of Google Drive created content.
No rights are granted to Google users to redistribute image files outside of the context in which they’re used.
Google’s license rights are not the same as the standard RF license rights. We have specifically given them the right to enable that content to be used by their end users within the confines of the Google programs. They have a bespoke EULA.

I'll point out here, that there is no such declaration of restriction of rights anywhere I can find, anywhere related to the stock image search. The entirety of their "learn more" says:
When using the Google Image Search feature in Google Docs, your results will be filtered to include images labeled with a license that allows you to copy the image for commercial purposes and modify it in ways specified in the license. Only select images that you have confirmed you can use legally in your intended context, including with appropriate attribution if necessary. If you find images with the wrong usage rights in the search results, please report them in the help forum.

Which says basically nothing about any restrictions, except maybe "buyer beware". It says "labeled with a license" and I have no idea what that means. In fact, it declares all the images have permission for the user to copy and modify the image for commercial purposes, which is not at all restrictive to Google Apps, and could include templates for resale, cds of images, etc.

If I can't find the "license", I'll bet $100 no user will or even care. And I'm sure the last thing Google cares about is monitoring usage of images they give out freely. So, that is really a non-issue.
OliverChilds
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:34PM
Somehow the more you try and explain it the worse it gets.
loooby
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:34PM

Hmm, I am understanding correct.. you trust people not to use the images, just because it says somewhere they can't without a license??


Ok then..By the same logic, why not just leave all images free for anyone to download in high rez without watermarks on the istock-site and write underneath "only for private use" "you can't use without a license" 


I am sorry, this doesn't hold water for a second..
mlwinphotoCLOSED
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:37PM
Does anyone have any RM images in this 'deal'?  My impression was that some did.....
Feverstockphoto
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:38PM
Glad that's all explained then, business as usual. Next....
matthewleesdixon
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:38PM
Posted By mr_erin:

Copyright protection:

There have been copyright concerns raised specifically around the right click functionality and lack of embedded metadata within the Google platform, although not ideal from some perspectives this is fairly standard practice for this type of product placement. Lack of attribution has also been mentioned, but this being a license deal rather than a promotional arrangement attribution is not typical or required.

That said, we are very aware that copyright enforcement is vital to the future of our business, Getty Images purchased PicScout and the Image IRC and we continue to develop new methods for copyright protection on behalf of our contributors and partners, many of which could help this platform and others like it improve in this way over time. 

These two paragraphs contradict each other, why strip out meta data as standard practise and then go to trouble of using PicScout to find copyright data. How is it possible to know if these images will be distributed outside of the Google Docs agreement?
sjlocke
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:39PM

Posted By mr_erin:
There have been copyright concerns raised specifically around the right click functionality and lack of embedded metadata within the Google platform, although not ideal from some perspectives this is fairly standard practice for this type of product placement. Lack of attribution has also been mentioned, but this being a license deal rather than a promotional arrangement attribution is not typical or required.

I don't know what kind of "product placement" we are going for here. Giving product away for free does not make any business sense to me. I'm afraid that lacking attribution or copyright information is a failure of this set up. It would make sense that the information be intact, so as to assure the user could find the image if they would like to purchase a license (unlikely) or credit the contributor (as is required by the iStockphoto content license for editorial, for example).

That said, we are very aware that copyright enforcement is vital to the future of our business, Getty Images purchased PicScout and the Image IRC and we continue to develop new methods for copyright protection on behalf of our contributors and partners, many of which could help this platform and others like it improve in this way over time.

Picscout or similar is useless for RF imagery, afaik, so that is a non-issue here.

(Edited on 2013-01-11 17:40:12 by sjlocke)
Juanmonino
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:41PM
Why can not the contributor choose not to participate in these deals? Getty has plenty of images, why create upsets with contributors? Give us the chance to opt out, please.
JoeGough
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloads
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:42PM
Posted By OliverChilds:
Somehow the more you try and explain it the worse it gets.

You can say that again. This is utterly unbelievable. Vetta quality images, unlimited free distribution ... for $12? Don't make me laugh.
benjikat
Member is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloads
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:42PM
Total obfuscation as per usual - glad I spent the day looking at alternative distribution options.
Susan_Stewart
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:43PM
The only way to explain this deal is a grab by Getty for short term cash flow at the expense of their core business. Either they are totally incompetent or the company has some major league short term problems. My money is on the first, given their track record of failing to see how in the Internet age you can't easily compartmentalize buyers into different price segments. If you undercut or give away images, even the buyers who usually pay big bucks for images will start to question why they need to.

(Edited on 2013-01-11 17:44:36 by Susan_Stewart)
CaseyHillPhoto
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:44PM

Why can't these deals be limited to Getty-owned images? They're your images. Do with them whatever you want, but leave ours out of these types of deals.
TheRealDarlaCLOSED
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Illustration downloads
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:44PM
I think you guys need to stop being "innovative" for a while, and let things settle down.  Maybe try one trick at a time, in the future.
travelif
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:44PM
The images were processed in October and November of 2012. Google is in a class of its own. So, why would it take more than 2 months to gather some information regarding the deal with such a customer as Google. Besides, you decided to inform us, contributors, only after Sean raised the question in Forum and only under tremendous pressure from the contriutors.

(Edited on 2013-01-11 17:49:52 by travelif)
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