Edmund Nagele's comment >> Buccina Studios >> Getty's response >> EPUK
Do to our images whatever you
want to do
German humour has always been a bit suspect, so it is refreshing to see that with a little help from our friends across the Atlantic, this is presently undergoing a dramatic change. Ignore the advert at your peril: call it clever, humorous or "in the face", it still is crude, in bad taste, insensitive, obscene and offensive to many.
The conveyed message which translates:
"Do to our images whatever you want to do" and "pay
once, use forever, for whatever" must be deeply disturbing to all of us
- unless of course you don't give a monkeys fart to what happens to your work.
There may be moral and legal implications
too: photographers need to keep full control over the way their work is used to protect
themselves. International copyright laws generally prohibit derogatory usage of ones work
- photographers now have a moral right to object to having their photographs treated
in a way which amounts to distortion or mutilation or is otherwise damaging to their
"honour and reputation" (Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, United
Kingdom). You may think you covered yourself with a specific model release, but keep in
mind that many countries outside the USA treat any obscene or immoral contracts - a model
release is a contract - as null and void. When that time arrives the photographer is on
his or her own. No friendly chats with library editors, no parties to launch another stock
catalogue, suddenly the image with all of the associated problems belongs to the
To Whom It May Concern:
The following is in response to the inquiries about my image, which Getty Images/PhotoDisc defaced and published as an advertisement for PhotoDisc of Germany.
As soon as I became aware of the advertisement, a letter was sent from my attorney to PhotoDisc expressing my disappointment. Never did I believe that my work would be altered when I agreed to contribute to Getty's stock library. Never was I asked for permission to use the image in the distorted manner, nor would I have permitted the use of my image in this manner. Never did I anticipate such disrespect in regard to the image created, those involved with the project (especially the models), or myself. I am disappointed and offended.
In response to the above publication, the following communication has been received from Getty Images via the office of BAPLA (British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies):
Getty Images rejects the PhotoDisc advert in European magazine Visuell. A number of people have expressed concerns regarding an advertisement for PhotoDisc, which appeared in a recent issue of Visuell, the European photographic magazine. The advertisement featured a PhotoDisc image of two women which had been altered as if by a 'Magic Marker'. The copy suggested that PhotoDisc images could be used by clients in any way they choose, which is not accurate. We wish to emphasize that Getty Images imposes strict restrictions on the use of the images it licenses and on a customer's ability to alter these images. In this instance, the internal approval and creative sign-off procedures were not followed and, unfortunately, this advertisement neither complied with Getty Images' position nor reflected our philosophy and process for creating and distributing high-quality imagery to customers world-wide. While we regret that it was published, further use of the advertisement was halted immediately after we became aware of its publication and we have undertaken a review of our procedures to ensure that similar incidents do not recur in the future. Please be assured that we respect the imagery our artists create, their copyrights in those images, and the rights of the models who appear in them. Given this, the advertisement was clearly unacceptable, and we apologize if any offense was caused.