Photographers' Getty grip

PHOTOGRAPHERS who supply pictures to the Getty Archive have serious objections to a new draft contract - so they've got together to produce their own draft and to negotiate. And - you guessed? - they've done it online.

While one photographer describes Getty's offer of a uniform contract across all brands as "a major step in the right direction," it raises problems. They're being offered 40% to 50% of sales in their home country, but only 30% of sales elsewhere. This discriminates in favour of US-based snappers. Western Europeans would do better if Getty noticed that there's notoriously a Single Market hereabouts. Tuvans are scuppered. And Getty wants to pay the lower rate of 40% for "digital sales" - where machines do all the work for them.

For up-to-the-minute news on progress, photographers should join the Editorial Photo UK mailing list - go to - or you can directly email gArtists-subscribe@

MEANWHILE Corbis, through which Bill Gates is competing with Getty in a race to corner the world market in still images, announced major redundancies in January. Or, rather, the EPUK mailing list announced it for them on 12 January, wondering whether "the Microsoft founder is tiring of such a drain on his personal resources".

The official announcement is full of the expected anodyne stuff about efficiency - and an ominous note about "consolidation" at the many agencies Corbis has acquired. Talks with photographers remain stalled, with many leaving for more hospitable environments.

Last modified: 19 February 2001 - © 2001 contributors
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