Time to ditch Unsplash photos?

It happened again — the Big Guy (Getty) bought out the little guy (Unsplash). And the Big Guy usually ruins the little guy.

Getty Images has an notorious reputation among photographers (low pay) and is a copyright tyrant (charges for public domain images, buys popular existing images and ex-post-facto goes after folks for using ’em).

From Om Malik:

Hearing this was like a red hot spike through the eyes. A startup whose raison d’être was to upend draconian and amoral companies like Getty Images was going to now be part of Getty.

My initial thought was despite promises made, Getty will find a way to charge for Unsplash’s images, perhaps along the slippery slope of commercial usage.

Om seems to think the same:

In a couple of years, when the Unsplash founders are gone, I won’t even be surprised if Getty’s strongmen started sending legal notices to those who used the photos. New rights-related legalese is probably already being drafted.

Technically, Unsplash’s license says it is irrevocable but they have changed their terms of service before.

I’d start going through your Unsplash images and swappin’ em out with other, more friendly alternatives out there.

Better to be safe than sorry.

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6 Comments Time to ditch Unsplash photos?

  1. pimoore April 1, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    @alongtheray Unfortunately, yes. I really feel bad for the photographers who’ve put so much time and energy into that platform, only to now be facing the business end of this acquisition spear.

  2. Ray April 1, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    @pimoore You bring up a very good point — the photographers themselves who helped built that service up end up getting screwed. Very unfortunate. Would not be surprised to see many pull their images from the platform.

  3. numericcitizen April 1, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    @alongtheray @pimoore I’m sad about this surprise move by the Unsplash owners but I’m adopting a wait and see attitude for now… won’t pull out from it.

  4. alongtheray April 1, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    @numericcitizen I respect that. At the least I expect alternatives to rise up, hopefully more in the format of the Unsplash of old.

  5. Ray May 2, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Test reply.


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