Getty Images

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Getty Images International

legal form LLC
founding 1995
Seat Seattle , Washington , United States
United StatesUnited States 
  • United KingdomUnited KingdomDawn Airey ( CEO )
  • United StatesUnited StatesJonathan Klein ( Chairman )
Number of employees 2,000
sales $ 837 million (2017)
Branch Picture agency

The Getty Images Gallery in London

Getty Images, Inc. is an American stock photo agency . It was founded in 1995 by the billionaire heir Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein and is one of the largest photo agencies in the world. Their headquarters is located in Seattle , Washington , the European office in London , the German subsidiary in Munich . Getty Images has approximately 1,600 employees in over 50 countries. The company sells images and videos worldwide, as well as premium digital content including footage and music.

Getty Images has an archive of over 80 million images and illustrations and around 30,000 hours of film footage. The company operates in three business areas: advertising / graphic design, media (print and online publications) and corporate communication with other companies. For a long time, the company was in direct competition with Bill Gates ' Corbis photo agency . At the beginning of 2016, Bill Gates sold the Corbis library to the Visual China Group , which entered into a cooperation with Getty Images as a direct result.


In 1996 the company acquired the Picture Post's picture archive , which now operates under the name Hulton Picture Library or Hulton Archive. The archive is one of the largest photography collections in the world and houses, among other things, press photos from the British press archive from the 19th century onwards, which are digitally accessible. In April 2003, Getty Images entered into a cooperation with the news agency Agence France-Presse , with which both companies secured access to the respective image archives. In 2005, the company launched the Grants for Good and Grants for Editorial Photography grants of $ 150,000 annually to photojournalists, nonprofit photographers, and students. In February 2006, Getty Images took over the Canadian microstock agency iStockphoto .

In January 2008, the agency put itself up for sale and after a month of searching found a new owner in the holding company Hellman & Friedman . The takeover price including debt was $ 2.4 billion and the purchase price of $ 34 per share (55% premium on the last closing price) was $ 2.1 billion.

In 2009 Getty Images entered into a cooperation with Flickr , which enables the members of the image host to have their images licensed by Getty Images.

In August 2012, the listed US private equity firm Carlyle Group took over the majority stake in Getty Images. Co-founder Mark Getty and his family will retain almost the same stake in the company as before.

As of March 2014, the company made 35 million images available for free use for non-commercial purposes. However, the photos must be integrated into the website as an embedded link and Getty reserves the right to collect data via the embedded code, to display advertisements and to delete the photos again.

On January 28, 2016, Corbis Images announced the sale of its licensing business to Unity Glory International , a subsidiary of the Visual China Group (VCG). As a partner of VCG, Getty Images will in future take over the distribution of the former Corbis content outside of China. In addition to the image and film archives from Corbis Images , Corbis Motion and Veer , the sale also includes all associated brands and trademarks, including the Demotix web portal .


In early 2008, Getty Images came under criticism from the network community because the company apparently warned in large numbers of unlicensed image material and demanded four-digit sums per image for unlawful use. According to media reports, Getty Images made mistakes, so that customers who had a valid license were also warned.

Getty Images is working with the US-Israeli company PicScout to search the Internet for copyrighted images.

In September 2008, a computer company challenged Getty Images with a negative declaratory action and suffered defeat in the process.

In May 2011, in cooperation with the Federal Association of Press Image Agencies and Image Archives, an information campaign was launched with Stockphotorights , which endeavors to provide information on copyright law and the licensing of image material.

Photographer Carol M. Highsmith was sued by Getty Images because her website contained photos that the photo agency claimed as their copyright. The photographer once donated a huge collection of her photos to the Library of Congress . Of these photos, Highsmith found 18,755 photos marketed worldwide in the archives of the Getty photo agency, for which Getty Images has no legal claim. Therefore, the photographer also filed a lawsuit on July 25, 2016. The picture agency also sued other people for using Carol M. Highsmith's photos. In addition to the expected legal value of just under 469 million US dollars due to the number of images, Highsmith demanded 1 billion US dollars. She was referring to the precedent set by photographer Daniel Morel against Getty, who had been awarded $ 1.2 million for widespread copyright infringement on a photo. Highsmiths' lawsuit was unsuccessful and the court dropped the case on August 28, 2016. By donating the images to the Library of Congress, Highsmith had given up its claim to copyright in the images. Getty Images successfully argued in court that works in the public domain are regularly commercialized and that the author has no right to stop this unwanted exploitation.

Web links

Commons : Getty Images  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1.,bei%20rund%20837%20Millionen% 20 dollars .
  2. A story behind every picture . In: FOCUS Online , November 14, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  3. GETTY IMAGES AND AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE (AFP) ENTER INTO PARTNERSHIP TO INCREASE BREADTH, DEPTH, REACH AND QUALITY ( Memento of the original from October 24, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Getty Images website. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. GETTY IMAGES CONTINUES ITS FUNDING PROGRAMS IN FULL SCALE IN 2010 ( Memento of the original from March 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Getty Images website. Retrieved July 20, 2011.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Grants offered ( Memento of the original from August 18, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Getty Images website. Retrieved July 18, 2011.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Getty taps into Flickr snappers . In: BBC Online , June 17, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  7. Carlyle buys Getty photo agency for $ 3.3 billion . manager magazine. August 15, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  8. ↑ Photo agency Getty releases pictures at, accessed on March 6, 2014
  9. ^ Information about the sale of Demotix on, accessed on January 28, 2015
  10. ↑ Photo agency Getty starts online warning wave . In: Spiegel Online , April 15, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  11. ^ LG Munich, Az. 7 O 8506/07, judgment of September 18, 2008 - text on
  12. Court: Six copied pictures justify more than 10,000 euros in damages - article on from November 24, 2008
  13. Article on . Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  14. Article on . Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  15. Andreas Albert: Picture Agency: Getty demands money from the photographer for her own picture . In: Spiegel-Online from July 29, 2016.
  16. ^ Andreas Th. Fischer: The photographer is suing Getty Images for payment of one billion dollars . In: Heise online from July 29, 2016.
  17. $ 1 Billion Getty Images Lawsuit Ends Not with a Bang, but a Whimper

Coordinates: 53 ° 15 '4.08 "  N , 6 ° 11' 1.19"  W.