A communication sent to all photographers who have licensed their photos using the Flickr-Getty partnership has leaked, detailing that the agreement between the image sharing site and the stock house has reached its term and will not be renewed. For five years, editors from Getty have been able to trawl Flickr looking for photos that they think might sell and contact their photographers directly, giving them the option to license their images through Getty. The contract is now up, and while it won't be renewed, Getty hasn't ruled out working with Flickr again:
Our original agreement reached its end, and while we continue to be open to working with Yahoo!/Flickr, we do not have a new agreement at this time. We will continue to work with the tens of thousands of contributors and license the existing content.
So what does this mean for Flickr contributors who've licensed images through Getty, and what does it mean for Flickr?
Nothing changes for Flickr photographers whose images are licensed through Getty already. Just because the Flickr-Getty contract has concluded, the photographer-Getty contracts won't be terminated. The Flickr collection will be renamed 'Moment' and will include images from Getty's new iPhone app of the same name. Combined with its freshly signed agreement with EyeEm, Getty looks to be venturing deeper into the mobile photography market.
As for Flickr, and by extension Yahoo!, this presents them with the possibility of licensing images themselves. Yes, this is pure speculation on my part, but it isn't beyond the realms of imagination. An easy licensing option administered by Flickr or Yahoo! based on an archive of in excess of five billion images might be attractive to its users, attractive to image buyers, and offers Yahoo! the chance of some much-needed income. It would take more than feather to knock me down if Flickr announced an in-house licensing deal for its users within the near future.
(Headsup to Amateur Photographer)