The question of how Getty Images will respond to emerging competition from user-generated content was answered in part today with -- surprise! -- another acquisition.
Getty bought Scoopt, a 2-year-old Glasgow, Scotland, company that specializes in citizen photojournalism. The purchase price was not disclosed. Scoopt allows anyone with a camera to capture images and sell them on its Web site.
In one of the more famous examples, a bystander shot a picture of the Manhattan plane crash that killed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle last October. The photos, e-mailed to Scoopt, eventually made their way onto the front page of The Times of London.
Getty said it will invest in technology upgrades and release news, sports and entertainment images from Scoopt that meets its editorial standards. I just tried looking up the most popular images on Scoopt's site today, and it's mighty slow.
Also interesting that Getty noted the need to "apply rigorous standards" to "validate the authenticity" of some of the works, many of which are coming from non-professionals wielding camera phones.
The voluntary code of ethics says: "Scoopt will always endeavour to protect you, but we can only do this if you tell us the whole truth about everything you submit."
Photographers who submit imagery to Scoopt retain copyright, but grant the company a 12-month exclusive license. Photographers get 40 percent of the royalties.