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Google Strikes Controversial Licensing Deal with Getty Images

Back in early December, Google announced that the company would be adding 5,000 new stock images of "nature, weather, animals, sports, food, education, technology, music and 8 other categories" for free use in Docs, Sheets and Slides.

At the time nobody knew how Google got these images, who took them, or what kind of license they came with. The mystery continued on unsolved until a week ago when an iStocker discovered one of his own images in the search results. As it turns out, the use of these photos is the result of a little known licensing deal between Google and Getty Images.

Getty Images Auction Draw Bids of $4 Billion

Photo agency Getty Images is on the auction block, in a second round of bids that are climbing towards $4 billion for a potential sale. Investment firm KKR & Co. and private equity investment firm TPG are on the list of at least five interested bidders, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Handcuffs and Temptation of Stock Agencies

Someone finds your work on Flickr. They contact Getty Images to buy it. Getty Images contacts you for permission to sell it to their buyer. Do you do it?

Getty Images Changes Watermark from Annoying Logo to Useful Shortlink

Wanting to shed its image of being "old media" and "old fashioned", Getty Images has unveiled a new watermark that does away with the annoying logo in favor of short links. Rather than plaster the words "Getty Images" across the front of photos, the new watermark is actually useful: it provides a short link that directs viewers to the webpage for that particular image and also gives credit to the creator of the work. Inspired by the plaques found at exhibitions, the new watermark is offset to the side rather than smack dab in the middle.

AP Challenging Getty’s Supremacy by Spinning Off a New Photo Agency

When it comes to photography agencies, Getty Images reigns supreme. Founded in 1995 by Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein, the Seattle-based behemoth in many ways took stock and editorial photography into the digital age, causing the slow decline of "former-rulers" like the AP. Between Getty's editorial supremacy and the rise of an era where photojournalists find themselves replaced sometimes by average Joe's with smartphones, the last few years have consisted mostly of the AP trying to staunch the bleeding. But now it seems they're ready to fight back.

Dropped Getty Photographer Says He Made ‘Fatal Mistake’ in Sending Golf Photo

Freelance photographer Marc Feldman lost his job when Getty Images discovered that he had sent in an altered golf photo for distribution. But Feldman says that it was all an innocent mistake.

Feldman says he was in the press tent after the event, reviewing some photos. The golfer in the image, Matt Bettencourt, and his caddie came by to look at photos as well. The caddie had suggested that the photo would look better without him in it, and Feldman demonstrated how easily he could be removed.

The photographer said he thought he saved the altered image on his desktop, but somehow accidentally transmitted the image along with his final images to Getty."I certainly did not mean to send both of them to Getty," he told Guy Reynolds, the Dallas News photo editor who originally blew the whistle on him.

Getty Photographer Terminated Over Altered Golf Photo

Earlier today, Dallas Morning News photo editor Guy Reynolds noticed a strange relationship between two Getty images of golfer Matt Bettencourt at the Reno-Tahoe Open golf tournament. One photo featured a tight image of the golfer holding up his ball, victorious, after the 11th hole. The other image, vertical, shows the golfer in the same position, but with another person standing in the background, possibly the golfer's caddy. Initially, Reynolds assumed the photograph was taken by two different photographers, from different angles. However, upon further inspection, Reynolds realized the photo was taken by the same photographer, Marc Feldman, and it appeared that the tighter image was actually altered to omit the second person.