Getty to License Flickr Images

UPDATE: Lots of interesting views in the comments, and PhotoShelter has now responded.

Seeing how many of you have photos on Flickr, this is gonna be a topic of conversation around here.

We have one of the largest groups on Flickr, and the quality is such that the photos in the Flickr Strobist group regularly make explore. So this is definitely gonna be relevant.

Main points:

1. They come to you, based on your photos. Not everyone will be involved.
2. It's an "opt in" thing. You do not have to participate.

Full official FAQ, links and your comments, after the jump.

Flickr/Getty FAQ

What is being announced?

Getty Images and Flickr are announcing an exclusive partnership that allows Getty Images to invite Flickr members to participate in a Flickr branded collection on that will be available for licensing to Getty Images’ creative and editorial customers in the coming months.

How does this benefit my customer?

We know that our customers were already going to Flickr for inspiration and they often would try to license images. This partnership allows them to more easily find the images that are commercially viable, and then to license them with confidence.

It also means customers will have access to even more fresh, authentic and regionally relevant content that expands our best-in-class imagery offering.

Are all images on Flickr going to be in the collection?

No. At launch (which is scheduled for later this year), we will have tens of thousands of high-quality images available for commercial licensing on Getty Images. Our goal is to make thousands more available over time. Getty Images editors will select the most marketable Flickr images and create a Flickr Collection for customers to license at They’ll select images for the Flickr collection according to Getty Images’ unique understanding of what our customers need, using insights gained from the creative research processes developed by Getty Images. Photographers will have the option to take part, or not.

The images selected will be cleared with their Flickr copyright owners, so that they are ready for license on

Their prices will vary, depending on the licensing model assigned to each image and each customer’s intended use.

What license model will the images be under?

At launch, the edited collection of Flickr images will be available to Getty Images customers through the Flickr branded collection on – which will span across all three licensing models – rights managed, rights ready and royalty free. Prices will vary, depending on the license model, but the pricing will be similar to other RM, RR and RF imagery at

When will the collection be available?

The collection will be available to customers in the coming months (it is not available right now). Prices will vary, depending on license model, but the pricing will be similar to other RF, RR and RM imagery at

Will customers be able to find the selected images available for license on Flickr?

A “license this image on” button or function will be enabled on Flickr for images included in the Flickr collection, to enable Flickr visitors to license such Flickr images through Getty Images.

Can Flickr photographers distribute the images they have on Getty Images through any other distributor, or is this an exclusive deal?

This is an image-exclusive deal. If a Flickr photographer decides to have an image distributed through, they cannot distribute that particular image, or any similar image, through any other site. They may, however, choose to distribute other images anywhere else.

Does this deal mean that our customers can legally use images from Flickr?

Yes. When the Flickr collection launches on, customers can be confident in the rights and clearances of any Flickr image licensed by Getty Images.

What customer segment does this deal address?

All of Getty Images’ customer segments: media, agency and corporate.

What is the goal of the Flickr collection on

This partnership represents the continued innovation that moves the industry forward to meet the changing needs of Getty Images customers. This relationship offers a responsible way to bridge the world of Flickr’s photo-enthusiasts with traditional photography, offering a customer experience that is different than microstock. Getty Images customers will have even more fresh, diverse and regionally relevant imagery to use for their communications projects, with confidence.

What does the deal mean for each company?

Getty Images will have an exclusive partnership with Flickr to source and license select, potentially marketable photos discovered on Flickr for Getty Images’ creative, commercial and editorial customers.

For Flickr, this partnership gives members a potential entry into the world of stock photography, leveraging Getty Images’ strengths and expertise for their members’ benefit. The Flickr collection on Getty Images is a testimony to the photographers who have influenced the aesthetics of commercial photography with authentic, creative and personal images.


More reading:

Previous Strobist Series: Flickr and You
Press Release
Interview (PDN)


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