Thursday, March 06, 2014

Getty Images to set 35 million images free with new embeddable widget

Bloggers who need images to use on their sites can now consider Getty Images as their first source. On Wednesday, the organization (via BJP Online) announced that it had made 35 million images available for "non-commercial use," through embeddable widgets that provide proper attribution and details for the image.

The term "non-commercial use" is generously applied here, as well. Even bloggers who have commercialized their blogs with ads are able to use the widgets. According to Craig Peters, senior vice president of business development, content and marketing at Getty Images, that sort of use is OK.
We would not consider this commercial use. 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.
In fact, it was just those bloggers who may have pushed Getty Images to make this move.

Basically, and anyone blogging will know this, a frequent way to get an image for a story or post would be to find it. They may find an image at a licensed Getty Images site, right-click to download, and viola -- copyright infringement. Most of these, Getty said, were people who didn't know about the issues, and wouldn't have budget in any case.

Peters said,
We’re really starting to see the extent of online infringement. 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 utilise it.

[Getty's content was] incredibly used” [in this manner]. And it’s not used with a watermark; instead it’s typically found on one of our valid licensing customers’ websites or through an image search. What we’re finding is that the vast majority of infringement in this space happen with self publishers who typically don’t know anything about copyright and licensing, and who simply don’t have any budget to support their content needs.

What we’ve seen is a significant amount of infringement online in an area, unfortunately, that we can’t control because this is how the Internet has developed. What we’re trying to do here is to put a legal method in place for that to happen and that actually benefits our content owners.
Getty Images is "solving" the problem with its embeddable images. Similar to how a YouTube player can be embedded on sites, anyone can visit Getty Images’ library of content, select an image and copy an HTML code to use that image on their own websites.

The front door to the embeddable image section of the site is here. Not everything is embeddable, mind you. To embed something, you will need to see the embed icon when you look at the detailed view of an image (as above).

While for now there is no monetization attached to the program, aside from the obvious link back to Getty, that has not been ruled out for the future.
Over time there are other monetisation 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.
A spokeswoman for Getty Images confirmed to BJP that editorial websites, such as The New York Times or Buzzfeed, will also be able to use the embed feature as long as the images are used in an editorial context.

Finally, there will be no opt-out clause for Getty Image photographers. “If you’re a Getty Images contributor, you’ll be participating in this," Peters concluded.

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