Citizen journalism site, Scoopt, shuts

A SCOTTISH website that allowed members of the public to upload their photographs for possible syndicating to media outlets – on a revenue-sharing basis – has been closed down.

Scoopt was the brainchild of Glasgow-based Kyle MacRae and his wife, Jill, which they sold to the global photo library, Getty Images, two years ago – two years after it had been founded.

But as from today, says Getty, it will not be taking on any more photographs from the general public, in the process closing the website’s facility for pics to be uploaded. Getty also says it will, as of today, “cease licensing any imagery through Scoopt”.

When Scoopt first started, it offered members of the public a 50-50 split on any sales of photographs to the media. When it was sold to Getty, it had over 20,000 people registered to upload their images.

Says Kyle – who is launching another website, “I am personally very sad. After Getty took over Scoopt, I worked for them for over a year to develop it. The business had to be sold to an organisation as big as Getty because Jill and I just didn’t have the contacts to sell photographs around the world.

“As a business model, I am not sure Scoopt would have ever worked. We were bought because we were first to market and the best-known citizen journalist service.

“But things have moved on quickly since then and so long as people seem keen to post their pictures for free, with one click of a button, on social networking sites, such as Twitter, then a commercial operation is probably always going to struggle.

“People seem keener to share their pictures for free – even really dramatic ones such as the recent aeroplane crash on the Hudson River – than consider trying to make money from them through syndication.”

MacRae refutes suggestions he sold Scoopt for a million pounds. He says: “The terms of the sale prevent me from disclosing any details of it, but one newspaper suggested I was the latest ‘Glasgow millionaire’ and it simply wasn’t true. I wish it had been.”