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Let's Get Rid of Getty Images ?

A proposed outline solution to destroy the underlying market which sustains such companies as Getty Images, Corbis, and various protectionist corporations who misuse copyright.

The initial problem is not copyright, but is the misuse of copyright, and a market which allows companies to abuse copyright for evil ends. I propose an outline solution which could rid the world of this scourge, and instead bring about a more reasonable and sensible way to approach copyright and intellectual property.Picture of a Cobra The result would also give a better deal to photographers / artists, who as far as I know currently get a very poor share of any money gained by their works.

In the similar field of Operating Systems, there came a time when people got so sick of the mucking-about that was going on with expensive proprietary products of poor quality dumbed down to the lowest intelligence user bracket, that they invented Open Source and Linux, and after that the proprietary protectionist model was on a gradual fall into destruction. I propose something similar could be implemented with images.

So, whereas at present there are seriously questionable things going on with proprietary rights being asserted to photographs which were previously available in FREE photo resources, instead this could be outmoded, and instead there could be what amounts to a CREATE COMMONS / OPEN SOURCE / GNU OPEN COPYRIGHT system behind an IMAGE CATALOGUE. In effect, the images in the catalogue would be a bit like most of the images in Wikipedia and many by NASA where they are classed as Copyright Free and can be used by everyone but can not be bought-out or be restricted by anyone. (That is the Linux Open Source model of copyright, as mentioned in the Gnu Licence).

This, I consider, is an idea so subversive, and so dangerous at the time, that I feel my life will be under threat because of persecution by corporations who would rather keep things in the same bad-old-ways style they have been in for such a long time in the past. I wonder if I will need to make a Martyrdom Video, and make a speech with a big flag in the background, possibly with the Linux penguins and A for Anarchy symbols on it. However, my health is not good, and I may not have long to live anyway, so if my enemies have me killed it would be a futile gesture as I've already done the damage, just by suggesting the ALTERNATIVE IMAGE CATALOGUE.

The reason I felt is necessary to take this drastic action is for reasons detailed on the page about the Problems of Getty Images

In terms of a Creative Commons Copyright Licence to the images, I suggest that as well as a general free-for-all for folk using the images in the catalogue generally, there should be an option to have attribution, and the donation of voluntary shareware contributions to the originator of the works. That's The Originator, the Artist, the Photographer, not some agency that's a dog-in-the-manger.

If you'd like to see open-source images in action, there are already plenty of examples. Take a look at our own pages about such things as Jupiter, the Planet Mars, and Mount Everest, etc, and notice the images (and the credit attributions at the end). Then follow through to Wikipedia and then follow through the image there to the no-copyright licence.

I believe that the originator of works of art has a PRIMARY right to their works, whereas any agency which pretends to buy the rights only has a SECONDARY right. The law may yet be changed in the future to reflect this, which should see an end to such nonsense as people being sued because someone has copyright on some silence. The original artist would never have pursued such a ridiculous case, and it was only pursued because Secondary rights holders being allowed the same rights as the Primary rights holder.

LinuxI also think that with images in the ALTERNATIVE IMAGE CATALOGUE, some companies and organisations (but only a very few) should be barred from being allowed to use the images. In effect, the blacklist would only contain those corporations who have been caught abusing copyright privileges to persecute people in the past. You can see the type of behaviour described on the page about Getty Images. The notion is a bit like the way that the RSPCA, if they convict someone of animal cruelty, they can have that person barred from keeping any animal for so-many years. Also, it's already a legal precedent that pub landlords can have any nominated person BARRED from their pub. There was a pub landlord in a small town in England who barred the Chancellor of the Exchequer from his licenced premises! Not that the chancellor had any intentions of visiting that pub; it was a symbolic gesture, but it got the landlord on the front page of the local paper!

To start a blacklist, it would probably have to start with Getty Images, Corbis, and Picscout, and any derivatives of sub-companies thereof. They'd also be banned from robotically downloading images from the catalogue, copying, selling on, using, etc, although they would still be allowed to manually view them.

It's also important that the ALTERNATIVE IMAGE CATALOGUE be protected against viral attacks, legal false accusations, etc, so it would need to be a DISTRIBUTED catalogue. This means that thousands of people would have the images at their own sites, and these would all be connected together. This would make it much more difficult for any enemy hellbent on attack, from being able to damage the catalogue or to do any form of distributed denial of service attack.

This page was started at an unearthly time in the morning when the writer was unable to sleep, and in danger of taking too many sleeping tablets. A further note is that many people who have been "bumped off" because what they did was considered subversive, were not assassinated by being shot dead, but were "hounded to death" by authorities and litigious persecutors making their lives unbearable. I wonder how many suicides have already been caused by the misbehaviour of Getty Images?

Link Here To See a Page going on about The Getty Images problem in detail

To summarise the proposal:

* We the People set up a rival image catalogue in competition with Getty Images.

* We have an open source / creative commons / attribution set of licence conditions such that artists are rewarded to the extent of the value of the images in actual use.

* As surely as Linux is gradually defeating Microsoft, we will prevail over the copyright-misuse market model. We undercut them, and we have more people working for us.

* In the same sort of way that Linux can not be bought out by Microsoft, by definition of the fact that it's public property, our charter will be such that we can not be bought out by Getty Images or any other proprietary system.

* We banish Getty Images (and others on the blacklist) from ever using or acquiring any rights to, any of our images.


In the general case, we have a massive advantage, as these days anyone can be a photographer. This, combined with the public feelings about rights and wrongs, means the open source image catalogue is likely to attract a vast number of modern images.

In the specific, if we are to set about targeting Getty Images (for example), we could take a look at their catalogue and then deliberately seek out to make a replacement for each of their images. Some of these will be relatively easy, and we'll often be able to create a better image and give it away for almost nothing, hence destroying the expensive market. However, for some, mostly historical images, then something else is required. I saw a clue to this on a recent documentary about the Second World War. Almost no historical footage was used, and the film makers had reproduced the scenes by dramatisation, simulation, and modern computer techniques. The results were so realistic that the makers felt they had to put "simulation" on a subtitle.

The way the likely success of this is going, we may be able to open those bottles of champagne to celebrate the bankruptcy of Getty Images surprisingly soon, long before the champagne becomes vintage.

Another company whose bankruptcy would be celebrated is Facebook. Let's get rid of it!