Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Getty Images Makes Its Pictures Free to Use

Getty Images, the premiere collection of professional quality photos on the Internet, has for years charged licensing fees to those who wanted access to its extensive portfolio, but that is changing.

In a surprise move, Getty Images is freeing up around 35 million photos from its collection spanning over a hundred years so that websites and bloggers can post them without getting smacked in the face by a lawsuit. These images will not contain a watermark, though people who post them will need to use Getty's Embedded Viewer tool and abide by the company's Terms of Use. Acknowledging that its images have been widely pirated on the Web for years by users merely right-clicking on photos, Getty says the purpose of the program is to find new revenue streams for the photographers and the company.
Because the metadata remains with the image, users can click back to Getty Images for more information on the image or photographer or to license the image for other purposes. However, one cannot help but wonder whether this change will have a positive or negative effect on the company’s success. It's a real risk for the company, since it's easy to screenshot the new versions for those looking to get an unlicensed version on their hands.

Getty is a name most associate with photography and photojournalism. For them to change their business model so substantially comes as a bit of a shocker. For more on Getty Images’ changes, read  Getty Images Removes Watermarks

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