Think You Can Sell That Photo of Your Cat on Your Living Room Couch as Stock Photography? Think Again.
I just got an email from Getty Images that I suspect is a mass email to all of their various contributors. In the email Getty is asking for help in identifying our photographs that might contain images of designer furniture. The email states that French courts have found in favor of the Le Corbusier rights-holders against Getty in a case where furniture was in the stock photograph.
Here is the email below with emails redacted:
“Attention all Flickr Collection on Getty Images Contributors!
You may have heard about a recent case (actually more than one case) where Getty Images and some of our photographers have had claims lodged against us in French court for images which include designer furniture, even as a minor part of the image.
This is a serious issue that involves potential liability for you as photographers.
The French courts have found in favor of the Le Corbusier rights-holders who initiated these claims. While we disagree with the decision and we are appealing it, we are very mindful that for now, it is a valid decision. It is critical that you understand that any claim like this one is extremely serious and requires action on your part in order to protect your interests, not just ours. We will continue to fight this decision, but in the meantime we must continue to actively pull content from our site that may be deemed infringing. We simply cannot identify all problematic images as quickly without your active participation. And quick action is vital.
Most importantly, if you believe that any of the images you have uploaded to us might possibly include any designer furniture, please email the Getty Images ID numbers to [email redacted] as soon as possible! The sooner we can identify and remove potentially infringing images the better we can reduce potential legal problems.
We are including links to information and FAQs that give more information on this issue and we strongly request that you read them and study the visual guides included.
You can also read the original Le Corbusier complaint here:
Please note: because we are still engaged in litigation, we are very limited in what comments we can make or questions we can answer. If you do have questions please email [email redacted] especially for any specific images you believe may be a problem.
This is only for images you have on the gettyimages.com site. We cannot answer questions about images you have posted on Flickr or elsewhere.
Thank you for your help and attention to this very important matter.”