Getty Images is giving up on Scoopt, the citizen photojournalism agency it bought from Glasgow, Scotland-based founder Kyle MacRae in 2007. The picture wire will stop taking uploads this Friday and close the site entirely on March 6. Scoopt invites users to upload pictures and gives 40 percent of royalties if it can sell images on to photo desks at papers and other agencies. It's not clear how many photos Getty had managed to scoop from paparrazzo wannabes since the acquisition. MacRae told contributors via Twitter: "Sorry it didn't work out. The idea was for it to scale under Getty (NYSE: GYI). Shame that didn't happen."
The buzz about "citizen journalism" may have died down since its height in 2005, but it's not as if the potential has gone away - every week, mere platforms like Twitter, initiatives like iReport and newsdesks like that at BBC News get newsworthy images and stories across their bow. But perhaps those armed with cameras on our streets are sharing their photos directly with outlets like these, rather than formal "citizen journalism" projects.
So Getty is closing this chapter: "We remain convinced that there is a demand for this kind of material as part of an editorial product, but for the moment are choosing to focus our energies within Getty Images on our core products in news, sport and entertainment." All photo rights will revert to creators but Getty will offer to buy rights to a few of the best images. Read the email to members at paidContent:UK (via Stock Photo blog)...
By Robert Andrews