Any wonder why people use images without attribution?

Found the perfect image for my @BSidesDE talk. Noticed in the corner a tiny ‘GettyImages’ watermark, so I went to their site to see how much it would cost to license. Because I happen to know they require a license… which I imagine 99.9% of the modern Internet world does not. The auto-pricing options did not seem to match my intended use, a regional talk to maybe 75 people. I chatted with a rep to ask if there was a better price than $495 quoted by the web site.

Welcome! A representative will be with you shortly. For your security, do not give out your credit card number or other sensitive personal data during a Live Chat session.
You are now chatting with Andy.
Andy: Hello! How can I help you today?
Brian Martin: When selecting the pricing options, the drop down listing possible uses does not include anything close to what I want to use the image for.
Andy: How do you plan to use the image?
Brian Martin: For a regional public conference (free to attend), I am not being compensated for the talk.
Andy: Okay, will it be in a presentation?
Brian Martin: Correct
Andy: Okay, we do have a license for that. What image were you interested in?
Brian Martin:
Brian Martin: That is an IBM 7094 if you would like to update the information =)
Andy: Michelle Williams at Beyonce’s bday party?
Brian Martin: No…
Andy: Okay, I must have pulled up the wrong image
Brian Martin:
Brian Martin: “woman at computer control panel 1960 high res”
Andy: Okay, woman at her computer panel?
Brian Martin: yes
Andy: yes, I see it.
Andy: Okay, so this usage will fall under our External Presentation license
Andy: You can find that under our Marketing Use category
Brian Martin: OK, that was not on the drop down list. How much is it to use the image for such a purpose?
Brian Martin: OK, but this is not marketing at all. Just a talk about the history of software vulnerabilities. I am with a 501c3
Andy: How many people do you think will be ata this conference?
Andy: Right, but it’s a public conference right? Not just your company?
Brian Martin: think they are expecting 150 max across two days, maybe 75 max in my presentation
Brian Martin: Correct
Andy: Okay. Even though it isn’t marketing, that is the correct license for this use.
Brian Martin: OK, how much is that?
Andy: Pricing for that license comes out to be $685
Brian Martin: Unbelievable
Andy: Is that anywhere near your budget for this project?
Brian Martin: Since GettyImages hates 501c3 non-profit work for the advocacy of better computer security, I will have to find an alternate image. Thank you for your time.
Andy: No problem. Enjoy the rest of your evening!
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I understand they want to make a profit, but without more granular licensing, do they have any doubt people freely use their images in presentations or web sites, simply cropping out the watermark?

If I had used GettyImages for each image in my presentation, I would be looking at a convenient rate of about $34,250.

3 responses to “Any wonder why people use images without attribution?”

  1. $34k is a healthy income, especially if you’re collecting that from 1,000 people at the same time. Damn.

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