‘Since It Can’t Sue Us All’: Getty Images Makes Much of its Photo Portfolio Free to Use

Getty Images now allows everyone to use its content for free.

Popular image service allows to use for free about 35 million photos via a new HTML embed tool. Photo: Getty Images

For years photography company Getty Images has charged licensing fees to those who wanted to get access to its extensive portfolio, but not wind of changes is blowing.

The stock images provider annonced that now it officially made it legal to use its iages for free. The catch is that photos can be posted for free only if the new Getty Images embed feature was used to upload the image to a website, or even a Twitter account.

This just introduсed novelty reminds similar one used by Getty Images’ analogue, Flickr, and popular video source YouTube.

As of now, the stock images provider embed the feature that was designed specially for using on such sites as WordPress,Tumblr and even Twitter, and generates the relevant HTML code for the destination platform.

But does Getty Images’ move meansDoes that mean any website that makes money (say from Google Ads) cannot use these images? That’s not the case.

“We would not consider this commercial use,” Craig Peters, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Content and Marketing at Getty Images, told reporters in one of his reent interviews.

“Over time there are other monetization options we can look at,” Peters said. “That could be data options, advertising options. If you look at what YouTube has done with their embed capabilities, they are serving ads in conjunction with those videos that are served around the Internet,” he added.

“The fact today that a website is generating revenue would not limit the use of the embed. What would limit that use is if they used our imagery to promote a service, a product or their business. They would need to get a license.”

NDTV explains how the process of taking pictures is going: “In order to embed an image, a user needs to click the image’s embed icon (</>) from the Getty Images search results or image detail page, and then after choosing the platform in the embed window, needs to copy the embed code.”

“Once that is done, the user will have to paste the HTML code at the social media platform, or into the source code of their website or blog where it has to be uploaded,” the tech blog adds.

Mashable also summed up Getty Images’ move, suggesting: “This way, Getty also gets to keep control of those photos. If the company removes an image from its collection, the same image will disappear from every site that embedded it.”

Colin Daileda from Mashable adds: “Ultimately, Getty is acknowledging that its content is in high (often illegal) demand. Instead, it’s making a strategic choice to monetize photos via more creative means. If the gamble works, the company will have tapped a revenue stream for years to come.”

Meanwhile, Peters also concluded his thought: “Over time there are other monetization options we can look at. That could be data options, advertising options. If you look at what YouTube has done with their embed capabilities, they are serving ads in conjunction with those videos that are served around the Internet.”

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