Not music-related but it has significant implications for how licensed content could be distributed online. Getty Images is dropping the visual watermarking from the majority of its picture collection so that websites can use them. They must, however, include a footer with the images that gives it its full credit and links back to the licensing page. Craig Peters, business development executive at Getty Images, was sanguine about this all. “Look, if you want to get a Getty image today, you can find it without a watermark very simply,” he told The Verge. “The way you do that is you go to one of our customer sites and you right-click. Or you go to Google Image search or Bing Image Search and you get it there. And that’s what’s happening… Our content was everywhere already.” Peters draws a parallel with SoundCloud, saying it enables sharing but on the creator or owner’s own terms, noting also how YouTube takes steps to fill this hole by adding “buy here” links to videos. It is unlikely labels and publishers will be rushing to replicate this move just yet, but The Verge points out that Getty’s profits increased between 2007 and 2011 because of digital licensing. It also notes that photographers have been hit with lower fees as part of this digital transition (sound familiar?), yet Getty is arguing this will ultimately lead to bigger flows on money in the near future. Ah, it’s that “jam tomorrow” argument all over again.

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