This new tome showcases the brilliant book cover designs that publishers reject

As someone who writes and designs, seeing what didn’t work is more interesting than seeing only what worked.

Also, the publishing industry has a long history of reprinting books with a new cover design, often with a new title, too.

Some thoughts about this:

  • I think some of the photos (such as the Kennedy one used in the BBC article) should have been free to use. Little thing called historical value. That’s just me.
  • They could have considered a Creative Commons license that disallows commercial use while allowing others to use the image. But maybe they don’t agree with CC licensing.
  • Who in their right mind is going to use a photo on their site by embedding an iframe linking to it? Isn’t Getty aware that a number of browser-based adblockers and malware filters, plus some corporate firewall/web-filtering systems, block iframe sources by default?
  • And – photos cannot be resized? What do they think websites are – pieces of printed paper waved in peoples’ faces? Print media has been resizing photos for ages to fit their layouts.
  • Or flipping them because they want people in the photo facing toward the text. Is that allowed? If so, the neat little “Getty” tag will be mirror writing. But, I guess if you need to do such things to the photo – you just grab the photo itself and not even bother with their embedding code. Sure, give credit. But that should be routine practice for any site or business. You want to get credit for the things you put out there? Give credit for the things out there that you use!
  • I doubt that many sites want Getty making money from their page by serving ads on the embedded link. Maybe Getty will offer a Google-style affiliate program and share some of the revenue with the linking site (should there ever be any revenue).
  • Finally, just how many photographers are making any money from most of those photos, anyway? If they were shot by a US photographer employed by a US company, they’re all works-for-hire and any usage fees are probably going to the company, not the photographer. (IANAL, so don’t be surprised if I’m wrong about that.) Some of those photos date back to the era when musicians didn’t own their own recordings – the record companies did and could do anything they wanted with it, regardless of what the musician wanted, and didn’t necessarily have to pay the musician a dime for it. Were photographers treated any better back then?