Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 24 August 2012
I promise I won't do it again, Mr Getty
I was trawling through Google images the other day, trying to find a picture to illustrate one of my gloriously entertaining and well-constructed blogs. As you probably know, I am a bit casual about seeking permission for the use of such images - actually I don't really care at all, not making any money out of them as I don't.
Possibly the largest archive of digital pictures in the world is Getty Images who charge a six-figure fee for any stock image or video which is used in a .T.V. commercial, and probably a repeat fee thereafter as well - I don't know because I have never read the small print.
Every time I have found an appropriate little thumbnail on the Getty site, it has had a big and ugly watermark plastered into the middle of it, to stop unscrupulous people like me from borrowing it for a short while without paying - rather like some of you ambitiously optimistic bloggers who water-mark the pictures of ducks and your grandchildren, just in case someone finds the image so adorably cute, that they decide to print and distribute thousands of it, worldwide, in the form of a greetings card. I don't think that is going to happen, so why not leave the water-marking to Getty and show us the photo in all it's unadulterated glory?
Anyway, I found a suitable little image on the search, and I clicked on it to get the slightly larger version, and see who posted it up in the first place. My policy is that if the amateur picture is a brilliantly superb one, I will usually give a little mention (together with an apology for the theft) of the author in the comments section, but this is rare. Usually the photo which grabs my attention is a tourist snap of a place that could have been taken by anyone, just not me, and I don't have the time to pop over to it to take my own. This is what I feel is in the 'public domain', and slapping a copyright on such snaps is just stupid and arrogant.
Anyway again, I found a vintage picture of a group of Eton schoolboys which looked as though it was taken in the 1930s, and it was on the Getty site. Surprisingly to me - at the time -was that it had not been water-marked, so I dragged it off and stuck it onto the desktop for immediate use.
I eventually selected it for a blogger image, and when I downloaded it onto the header of the post, it completely froze the whole computer - everything, including the photo editor and the browser. I had to shut the whole machine down and restart it. Luckily, it all seemed to restart without any horrific changes having taken place, so this was just a warning from Getty not to mess with their images without paying them a load of money.
Once I had got over my fear of the possible consequences, I had a sneaking admiration for Getty for being so clever about teaching pirates a lesson. I won't be using them again in the foreseeable future.