Upload & Sell: Off
| p.1 #3 · "Getty makes 35 million photos free to use" |
This is how I basically read it:
1) Getty buys a software company that combined a webcrawler with a photo-scanner to try to find unauthorized copies of copyrighted images quickly, anywhere on the Internet. Getty assumes they could use this to root out copyright infringers and sue them, and thus set a "precedent" to discourage others.
2) Getty sets up a system to webcrawl for their images. The webcrawl returns millions of hits, as in, literally millions of different webpages and blog posts that contained Getty's images. Getty replies, "Oh, f***."
3) Getty realizes that suing literally millions of individual infringers would take an enormous amount of money and time, so instead they choose to grant a non-commercial use license for millions of their photos to essentially anybody. This lets them focus resources on enforcing their rights against commercial entities (which, let's be honest, are the ones that would have any money to recover in a lawsuit anyway), and avoids creating an immense amount of bad publicity like what happened to the MPAA when it started suing single moms and computer-illiterate senior citizens. Getty comes across looking generous, probably saves some resources by focusing on infringement by publishers and advertisers going forward, and doesn't lose any more than they already have.