Getty Images, the stock images provider, has now legally made it possible to use its images for free. The catch is that images can be posted for free only if the new Getty Images embed feature is used to upload the image to a website, or even a Twitter account.
The feature is similar to the embed feature that websites like Flickr and YouTube use. As of now, the Getty Images embed feature is specifically designed to be used along with the sites like WordPress, Tumblr and even Twitter, and generates the relevant HTML code for the destination platform.
Getty Images is opening over 35 million images for non-commercial use under this initiative. Does 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 the British Journal of Photography. "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."
The Getty Images users embed will not be watermarked, but will link back to the Getty Images website, and feature an attribute to the photographer who clicked the image. This makes it a win all situation we feel, benefitting the end user, Getty Images and the photographer behind the work.
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.
On its website, Getty Images specifically says that it is 'leading the way in creating a more visual world'. The new embed feature is said to make it easy, free and legal for anybody to share Getty Images on their blogs, sites and social media platforms.