PACA’s mission has always been to support a healthy and sustainable market for licensing the use of photographic images, as well as to encourage and support innovative ways for photography to be legally used in the rapidly changing marketplace. Clearly, models for licensing of photography have had a difficult time keeping pace with changes brought on by the Internet, social media, and the blogosphere.
Recently, Getty Images announced embedding technology that they believe can address a significant source of unauthorized use. Getty Images’ embedding technology allows the free use of millions of images for “non-commercial” use by bloggers and other editorial websites. While it is too early to forecast the impact of this new offering from Getty Images or other similar embedding technologies from Stipple, IMGembed, and others, PACA recognizes the need for new approaches to address the proliferation of infringing uses.
PACA believes from the perspective of the industry and photographer communities that there are intriguing opportunities as well as significant concerns from embedding technologies. These technologies could potentially reduce infringing uses as well as generate new revenue for copyright holders, but there are still many questions to be answered including Getty Images’ definition of “non-commercial use” which appears to allow, not only use in personal blogs and websites, but also in a broader editorial context. Also unclear is how any revenue from advertising or data monetization will be shared with copyright holders. PACA also believes it is important for the industry to understand how Getty Images will enforce its terms of service, and what other benefits photographers would derive from the extension of free use.
As businesses explore new solutions to the rapid and revolutionary changes in the way people consume media, PACA believes its role is more critical than ever to represent our collective interest in protecting the rights of content owners, in refining copyright law, and in educating creators and users in support of an ethical and sustainable marketplace. As a forum and industry body, PACA will continue to support and promote a dialog around image embedding and other new business models.