500px recently made some major changes to the photography platform. According to an update in their Contributor FAQ, 500px says:
“In late June 2018, 500px shifted from the stock photography destination known as 500px Marketplace to offer a spectrum of premium and midstock-priced royalty-free imagery directly through two exclusive distributors: Getty Images (exclusive worldwide, except People’s Republic of China (PRC)) and Visual China Group (VCG), exclusive in PRC.
This is part of a strategic repositioning of 500px’s network of contributors and the licensable content they submit to 500px. These changes enable 500px to serve the needs of a broader cohort of visual media customers, and represent a significant revenue opportunity for the company and its contributors.”
Users will also no longer be able to upload an image under a Creative Commons license or search and download them from the website.
Why the change? According to 500px, Marketplace hasn’t performed well in stock photography so they had to switch to a distribution-only model. Those signed up for distribution in China will have their images moved to Visual China Group, and those elsewhere will have them moved to Getty Images. Royalty rates won’t change and you do have the option to opt out of global distribution.
If you missed the opt-out of distribution page, you can still do it by changing your licensing under your settings. Learn more on the 500px support page.