Skip to main content

500px will no longer allow photographers to license their photos under Creative Commons

500px will no longer allow photographers to license their photos under Creative Commons

/

The photo-sharing site is also closing down 500px Marketplace, its stock photo platform

Share this story

Image: 500px

Photography platform 500px will no longer allow photographers to license their photos under a Creative Commons license, and is removing the functionality to search and download such images. The site also closed down its stock photo platform, 500px Marketplace yesterday, replacing it with distribution partnerships with Getty Images and Visual China Group.

Earlier this week, the site updated its contributor FAQ, explaining that the closure of 500px Marketplace, in favor of Getty Images and Visual China Group was “part of a strategic repositioning of 500px’s network of contributors and the licensable content they submit to 500px.”

Founded in 2009, the Toronto-based company is a photography platform and, since its inception, has gained 13 million users with its Marketplace. It was billed as a platform that connected photographers and clients looking for stock images. The company has gone through a number of changes this year: it was acquired by Visual China Group in February, while in May, it announced that it was partnering with Getty Images, beginning on July 1st. Just last week, it brought on a new CEO, Aneta Filiciak, formerly its vice president of strategic development.

Buried in its contributor FAQ are some drastic shifts for 500px: the company explains that Marketplace “hasn’t performed as well in the stock photography space as hoped,” and that it “had to choose between” investing more in building the platform, or simply finding a new revenue model. The Marketplace operated through June 30th, and now, photographers who have signed up for distribution will have their images transferred over to either Visual China Group (if they’re in China), or to Getty Images (if they’re anywhere else in the world). 500px notes that the royalty rates for photographers won’t change, and that its users will reach a much wider marketplace. Photographers who want to opt out of global distribution have the option to do so.

There’s other drastic changes as well: photographers who post their photos to Marketplace under a Creative Commons license — i.e., a structure that allows creators to set a variety of terms on their work — won’t be able to do so anymore. The company says that it also isn’t providing a migration plan for contributors with existing Creative Commons images, and that users won’t be able to download or search for such images. A 500px spokesperson told The Verge that they could change course in the future, based on what their users’ response is like, saying that “there may be an opportunity to integrate Creative Commons back into our platform in the future.”

The company says that it won’t “offer another public copyright license option,” but notes that photographers can select a royalty-free 500px license, which will allow the company to distribute those images through Getty or VCG.

500px says that it reached out to Creative Commons in May, and explained at the time that the reason for the shift was that they weren’t seeing a lot of activity with Creative Commons images, that they still had a number of bugs when it came to searching for such images, and they only had outdated licenses for photographers. In short, there’s not enough activity for 500px to justify continuing it.

But the changes have concerned open-internet activists and online archivists, who say that access to freely available images is important to the larger internet community. Jason Scott, who works with the Internet Archive, noted on Twitter that the change comes with little warning, and that with more than a million Creative Commons licensed images on the site, getting them transferred off before they became inaccessible was a tall order, and launched an effort to grab what they can. Scott says that they were able to archive 3 terabytes of photos in 48 hours.

Scott isn’t the only critic of the company’s change in strategy: 500px’s founder, Evgeny Tchebotarev (who left the company in 2016), tweeted that “Creative Commons is critical to the growth and support of the open web,” and that the company’s decisions in recent years have perplexed him greatly.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 31 minutes ago 10 minutes in the clouds

J
Twitter
Jay Peters31 minutes ago
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenAn hour ago
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
Andrew J. HawkinsTwo hours ago
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins6:11 PM UTC
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.


E
TikTok
Elizabeth Lopatto5:52 PM UTC
Spain’s Transports Urbans de Sabadell has La Bussí.

Once again, the US has fallen behind in transportation — call it the Bussí gap. A hole in our infrastructure, if you will.


J
External Link
Jay Peters4:28 PM UTC
Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).

Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.

“Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.

In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.


E
External Link
Elizabeth Lopatto4:21 PM UTC
Insiders made the most money off of Helium’s “People’s Network.”

Remember Helium, which was touted by The New York Times in an article entitled “Maybe There’s a Use for Crypto After All?” Not only was the company misleading people about who used it — Salesforce and Lime weren’t using it, despite what Helium said on its site — Helium disproportionately enriched insiders, Forbes reports.


J
Youtube
James Vincent2:50 PM UTC
Nvidia’s latest AI model generates endless 3D models.

Need to fill your video game, VR world, or project render with 3D chaff? Nvidia’s latest AI model could help. Trained on 2D images, it can churn out customizable 3D objects ready to import and tweak.

The model seems rudimentary (the renders aren’t amazing quality and seem limited in their variety), but generative AI models like this are only going to improve, speeding up work for all sorts of creative types.


R
Richard Lawler1:02 PM UTC
Green light.

This week Friday brings the debut of Apple’s other new hardware. We’ve reviewed both the new AirPods Pro and this chonky Apple Watch Ultra, and now you’ll decide if you’re picking them up, or not.

Otherwise, we’re preparing for Netflix’s Tudum event this weekend and slapping Dynamic Island onto Android phones.


The Apple Watch Ultra on a woman’s wrist
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
J
External Link
Jess Weatherbed12:31 PM UTC
Japan will fully reopen to tourists in October following two and a half years of travel restrictions.

Good news for folks who have been waiting to book their dream Tokyo vacation: Japan will finally relax Covid border control measures for visa-free travel and individual travelers on October 11th.

Tourists will still need to be vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test result ahead of their trip, but can take advantage of the weak yen and a ‘national travel discount’ launching on the same date. Sugoi!


T
External Link
Thomas Ricker11:00 AM UTC
Sony starts selling the Xperia 1 IV with continuous zoom lens.

What does it cost to buy a smartphone that does something no smartphone from Apple, Google, Samsung can? $1,599.99 is Sony’s answer: for a camera lens that can shift its focal length anywhere between 85mm and 125mm.

Here’s Allison’s take on Sony’s continuous-zoom lens when she tested a prototype Xperia 1 IV back in May: 

Sony put a good point-and-shoot zoom in a smartphone. That’s an impressive feat. In practical use, it’s a bit less impressive. It’s essentially two lenses that serve the same function: portrait photography. The fact that there’s optical zoom connecting them doesn’t make them much more versatile.

Still, it is a Sony, and like.no.other.


C
External Link
Corin Faife10:44 AM UTC
If God sees everything, so do these apps.

Some Churches are asking congregants to install so-called “accountability apps” to prevent sinful behavior. A Wired investigation found that they monitor almost everything a user does on their phone, including taking regular screenshots and flagging LGBT search terms.


J
External Link
James Vincent8:41 AM UTC
Shutterstock punts on AI-generated content.

Earlier this week, Getty Images banned the sale of AI-generated content, citing legal concerns about copyright. Now, its biggest rival, Shutterstock, has responded by doing ... absolutely nothing. In a blog post, Shutterstock’s CEO Paul Hennessy says there are “open questions on the copyright, licensing, rights, and ownership of synthetic content and AI-generated art,” but doesn’t announce any policy changes. So, you can keep on selling AI art on Shutterstock, I guess.