Now the first important change to the 500px business model has been announced. The platform is closing down its online photo marketplace. As of July 1st 500px images will be licensed through Getty Images in most regions and VCG in China. There is no change to royalties but photographers will lose some control over how they share their images.
In an FAQ on the 500px website the company posted the following statement:
"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."
Gone is the option to upload images under a Creative Commons license, allowing for free-of-charge reuse of images under certain conditions. In the new system there won't be any way to search for or download existing CC-images either. According to 500px this is not a move to force photographers charge for their pictures but is an acknowledgement of the fact that not many people were using CC-images, many licenses were outdated and the search function was buggy.