No stealing: Getty Images puts up millions of photos for free non-commercial use

getty images puts tens millions photos free non commercial use embed

Getty Images just did us all a solid. The company announced that anyone could share tens of millions (35 million, to be exact) of images from the agency’s library, all without cost. That means you can now utilize many of Getty’s high-quality shots taken by experienced photographers for your blog, website, Facebook, etc., provided it’s for non-commercial purposes. (This announcement is separate from the Getty Museum’s Open Content initiative, as the two entities are separate.) Photo topics are wide ranging, from news to sports and entertainment. 

To properly use content from Getty Images, it’s not simply a copy-and-paste job. The agency has created a new embed tool that includes photographer attribution and a link back to the Getty Images website where the photo can be found. Getty says “this will provide people with a simple and legal way to utilize content that respects creators’ rights, including the opportunity to generate licensing revenue.” For commercial use, you’ll have to go through the licensing process. Attendees at this year’s SXSW festival will get a hands-on look at the new tool, at the Getty Images House.

“Innovation and disruption are the foundation of Getty Images, and we are excited to open up our vast and growing image collection for easy, legal sharing in a new way that benefits our content contributors and partners, and advances our core mission to enable a more visually-rich world,” said Getty Images CEO and co-founder Jonathan Klein in a press statement.

The tool is simple to use. Simply find an image, hover over it, and if the embed </> icon appears, then it’s available. Naturally, not all images have this option, such as the selfie Ellen Degeneres took at the Oscars.

This latest endeavor follows Getty’s partnership with Pinterest last year, which saw Getty adding photo credit information to any of its images that users “pin” to their page. (Pinterest pays Getty for the metadata.) Today, Getty also announced another partnership, with EyeEm, that will see a selection of images from the photo-centric mobile app available for licensing through Getty’s channels, including iStock.com.

All these initiatives demonstrate that how difficult it is to police the Internet for illegal use of copyright images, as well as to monetize off copyright images. Web content creators who freely utilize images without payment or attribution can make money off them (via ads from traffic to their sites), while the photographer loses out. Instead of trying to criminalize the innocent use of its images, Getty instead will make it easy on everyone, bring proper attribution to the photographers who shot the images, and help make them some money. Like the music industry in the early days of digital MP3 downloads, you can either fight it or try to work with it. (Getty will continue to pursue those who improperly use its content, however.)

According to the British Journal of Photography, Getty found that it alone cannot enforce the illegal use of its content, which has been a significant problem. “We’re really starting to see the extent of online infringement,” Craig Peters, senior vice president of business development, content, and marketing at Getty Images, told the BJP. “In essence, everybody today is a publisher thanks to social media and self-publishing platforms. And it’s incredibly easy to find content online and simply right-click to utilize it.”

Like the Getty Museum, Getty Images will study the information it gains from users, such as how its images are being used and for what purpose. Getty may also implement advertising in the future.

“Getty Images’ move is expected to have drastic repercussions across the entire stock photography market, which has been forced, in recent years, to compete against the number one stock library by slashing its prices,” the BJP wrote.

“You have to adapt to survive,” said Kevin Mazur, celebrity photographer and director, and co-founder of WireImage Inc., in the same press statement.Evolving to embrace technology that encourages responsible image sharing is the way forward for the industry.” 

While users have always had access to royalty-free images, the addition of Getty Images certainly increases the number of images available, not to mention the quality. Getty photographers, however, won’t have an option to opt out.

(Via Getty Images, British Journal of Photography)

Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Photography

Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

In this week's Photography News, see why Instagram is testing a version that excludes the number of likes a post gets. Also, see the impressive winners from two photography contests and the latest features coming to the Fujifilm X-T3.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Product Review

Equal parts tool and toy, the Lensbaby Edge 35 bucks photographic tradition

The Lensbaby Edge 35, part of the Composer Pro optic swap system, creates tilt-shift-like blur without the tilt-shift price. Made for photographers who want find tradition boring, it opens up new ways to work with blur.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Photography

Etch-A-Snap camera puts a modern spin on one of your favorite childhood toys

Can't draw on an Etch A Sketch? Snap a photo with the Etch-A-Snap and the camera will draw out the scene for you. The weirdly cool camera designed by Martin Fitzpatrick replaces the usual LCD screen with an old-school Etch A Sketch.
Photography

The Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 is a knockout lens for any smartphone

Where cheaper wide-angle accessory lenses add distortion, and costlier models don't always justify their higher prices, the Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 offers a valuable balance of modest price and high quality optics.
Photography

Family feud: Huawei P30 Pro vs. P20 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro camera shootout

The Huawei P30 Pro's camera has an amazing zoom mode and low light capabilities. But take these away, and how does it compare when facing its sibling phones, the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, taking regular photos?
Photography

Nikon Z 7 vs. Sony A7R III: High-res mirrorless cameras compared

The Nikon Z 7 and Sony A7R III both have over 40 megapixels, but which one comes out on top? With similar image quality, the answer comes down to speed, autofocus, battery life, and design.
Deals

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera gets a steep price cut at Walmart

Modern smartphones can snap pretty impressive pics, but if you want pro-quality photos, you need a dedicated digital camera. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras on the market, and it’s on sale right now for…
Photography

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Nikon Z 7: When megapixels matter, which do you choose?

The 47-megapixels Lumix S1R and 46-megapixel Nikon Z 7 are the two highest-resolution, full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market. The S1R features a high-resolution mode that can take 187MP images, but the Nikon is lighter and cheaper.
Mobile

Selfies are now banned at China’s gigantic Aperture Spherical Telescope

You can't take a selfie with the world's largest single-dish radio telescope anymore, as the Chinese government has banned everything from smartphones to digital cameras in the surrounding 5-kilometer area.
Photography

Light on price but rich on features, these are the best cameras for students

Need pro-level features on a budget? The best cameras for students mix advanced features with a more palatable price point. From $2K entry level full frame cameras to $600 budget picks, here are five of the best cameras for students.
Photography

After controversial video, China bans ‘Leica’ on social media

A video that referenced Tiananmen Square got the name of the camera company Leica banned from the social media platform Weibo. Leica says the video wasn't an officially sanctioned promotion.