What does Getty Images care about Lenin?
June 21, 2008 6:20 PM   Subscribe

SeattleFilter: What does "[t]his photo opportunity © Getty Images" mean?

Today, while wondering around the magnificent and awesome Fremont Fair with many naked people riding bikes, I noticed two instances of the following statement template-painted:

"This photo opportunity © Getty Images"

It was in front of the Fremont Statue of Lenin and near Gas Works Park. I can't find any references to this online, so I was wondering what it means? I'm assuming it's parody of something, but I can't figure out what!
posted by saeculorum to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It sounds to me like the someone sold the sponsorship rights for those photo ops. Sort of like this photo I took in Puerto Rico a couple of years ago (this was taken at our hotel in the SW part of the island, far from the normal tourist spots).
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 6:52 PM on June 21, 2008

This was a joke statement though, right?
posted by phrontist at 6:58 PM on June 21, 2008

You know they're located in Fremont, right?

That's a weird way of advertising, claiming that they own the rights to a photograph in advance.
posted by O9scar at 7:21 PM on June 21, 2008

I'm guessing it's a protest against a Getty pricing policy that started in Sept 07 that has a lot of photographers upset. Some details here and here, although I haven't seen anything that references your signs.
posted by saffry at 7:28 PM on June 21, 2008

I'm guessing this was some sort of "culture jamming" prank.
see this for a similar idea.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 7:33 PM on June 21, 2008

You just sparked a memory, but I probably have the details wrong. My memory is very vague here.

What I'm remembering is that there was some location whose owners claimed to have a copyright on the structure and its surroundings. If a professional photographer took pictures there and tried to sell them, the owners claimed those photos were "derivative works" and therefore couldn't be sold without license -- and fees -- paid to the owners.

I think was the Getty Museum in California.

Doing some googling, I did find this:
Pike Place Market, Seattle
The Public Market in located in Seattle, WA. The distinctive "Public Market," "Public Market Center," and clock signage are trademarks of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority. Images of these landmarks may not be used in commercial photography without prior permission from the PDA.
So it sounds like they're trying to do the same stunt.
posted by Class Goat at 10:04 PM on June 21, 2008

Class Goat is probably thinking of either the Eiffel Tower, whose current lighting scheme is copyrighted (and thus photos are subject to publication rights as derivative works), or Chicago's "the Bean" aka Cloud Gate, because the Chicago Park District has occasionally restricted professional (but not amateur) photography of the sculpture. These are not the only instances, of course, only two of the best-known.

I can see the messages being a joke, but I don't see the specific connection with the Fremont Fair, so I can also see them as completely serious. Getty isn't a fair sponsor, but there are corporate names there so it's possible there is some kind of licensing.
posted by dhartung at 11:28 PM on June 21, 2008

What I was thinking of was definitely in California.
posted by Class Goat at 11:32 PM on June 21, 2008

I agree with Dr. Bunsen: culture-jamming would be my guess too, not parody. I've seen other instances in that area--last time I was there, I saw a fake traffic sign across the street from the Lenin statue. It's supposed to make you "think".

It's a very Seattle thing to do. I think it's due to it being a type of "silent protest" that has very little danger and fits in with the passive-aggressiveness there. Or maybe too many people subscribe to adbusters.
posted by jsmith77 at 6:22 AM on June 22, 2008

probably just copyright and the appropriation of culture in general.
posted by delmoi at 6:32 PM on June 21 [+] [Flagged]

How is this helpful at all?

Anyway, I'm torn between thinking that this is protest or merely viral advertising by getty. When I saw it at Gasworks on Friday, I was thinking that it was a joke by getty implying that the view from that spot is extremely picturesque and that getty knows all the best spots from which to take good photos.
posted by proj at 8:53 AM on June 22, 2008

Disneyworld used to have (and probably still has) little 'Kodak Photo Op Spot' (not a direct quote) signs placed at especially snapshot-prone vistas. I figured it was a)a way of throwing a bone to semi-competent tourist photographers, and b)another place to put advertising.
posted by box at 9:09 AM on June 22, 2008

Class Goat: heard about that too... also very vague. was it the Hollywood sign?
posted by Craig at 9:34 AM on June 22, 2008

You do know that Getty Images has an office in Fremont, right?
posted by xil at 12:07 PM on June 22, 2008

oops, sorry, O9scar already mentioned it...
posted by xil at 12:23 PM on June 22, 2008

« Older How to design a book   |   Heading to Madrid! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.