Getty Images makes 35 million images free to use

March 10th, 2014 at 2:34 pm by David Farrar

Nieman Journalism Lab report:

Getty has, remarkably, decided to allow 35 million of its images to be used for free for noncommercial purposes

Superb.

In the past few years, found that its content was “incredibly used” in this manner online, says Peters. “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.”

To solve this problem, Getty Images has chosen an unconventional strategy. “We’re launching the ability to embed our images freely for non-commercial use online,” Peters explains. In essence, anyone will be able to visit Getty Images’ library of content, select an image and copy an embed HTML code to use that image on their own websites. Getty Images will serve the image in a embedded player – very much like YouTube currently does with its videos — which will include the full copyright information and a link back to the image’s dedicated licensing page on the Getty Images website.

So why would they do this?

Getty’s not doing this out of the good of its heart. It recognizes that images on the Internet are treated as de facto public domain by many people on social networks, blogs, and the scummier parts of the content web. It knows it’s highly unlikely to ever get significant money out of any of those people. Even you and I, upstanding Internet citizens, are unlikely to license a photo to tweet it to our followers.

So if it can (a) get some people to use an embed instead of stealing while (b) making the experience just clunky enough that paying customers won’t want to use it, Getty could eke out a net win. (More on that second point below.)

What does Getty get from the embed? Better branding, for one — the Getty name all over the web. Better sharing, for another — if you click the Twitter or Tumblr buttons under the photos, the link goes to Getty, not to the publisher’s site. But there are two other things Getty gets, according to the terms:

Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetize its use without any compensation to you.

Basically they are developing a new business model around how the Internet works. That’s what smart businesses do.

Tags:

6 Responses to “Getty Images makes 35 million images free to use”

  1. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    Basically they are developing a new business model around how the Internet works. That’s what smart businesses do.

    Anyone can choose to give their stuff away. The issue is the legal consequences when they don’t and people take it anyway.

    Maybe you should post a ripped copy of The Lord of the Rings trilogy with a link on Kiwiblog so anyone can watch it. If Peter Jackson sues you, tell him to go away and develop a smarter business model. Good luck.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. UglyTruth (4,028 comments) says:

    So if it can (a) get some people to use an embed instead of stealing while (b) making the experience just clunky enough that paying customers won’t want to use it, Getty could eke out a net win. (More on that second point below.)

    Yet another numpty who doesn’t know the difference between copying and theft.

    Fair use is not something that is “allowed”.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Viking2 (11,147 comments) says:

    Must have been talking to Dot Com. :lol:

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    I guess it seemed easier than defending their copyright, one million lawsuits at a time?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Techdirt have had some interesting discussion about IP and restaurants. Chefs and restaurants can’t copyright or patent the recipes for their dishes, which means that they can copy and improve upon the dishes of their competitors. This leads to constant innovation, competition, and benefits for the consumer.

    The experience of the film and music industries means that you can imagine what an IP-based restaurant industry would look like. The descendants of the inventor of the burger would be suing anyone putting meat between the two halves of a bun. Apple would have patented the all round fruit. And the courts would be considering whether adding barbecue sauce to a meal was a new recipe, or if it was covered by the existing tomato sauce recipe patent.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Harriet (4,532 comments) says:

    “…..Chefs and restaurants can’t copyright or patent the recipes for their dishes, which means that they can copy and improve upon the dishes of their competitors…..”

    Strawman I think.

    The likes of Mccains, Cambells & Heinz do have patents on some of the same products you speak of. Some of their patents are also to do with the ‘process’ of how the ingrediants are put together.

    The ‘process of meringue’ on a Sara Lee’s product is patented as I understand – as I once worked with a person who was in the development team and he told me how they had done it. From memory he said it was patented.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.