Getty Images happy to work for exposure
Photography agencies are under as much pressure to deal with copyright infringement as the recording and film industries, but the proliferation of images through services like Google, Bing and flickr has made policing catalogues expensive and, when it comes to pursuing small blogs, a source of terrible PR.
Now Getty Images, one of the world’s biggest agencies, is dealing with the problem in a new way, allowing users to use what they want from a library of 35 million pictures, so long as its done with a new embedding tool.
“Our content was everywhere already,” Getty business development executive admitted to the BBC. “If you want to get a Getty image today, you can find it without a watermark very simply.”
The embed tool automatically attaches frame and watermark to an image, preserving copyright while allowing free use. Using this method means users won’t actually ‘own’ any pictures and should Getty reserves the right to remove pictures from the public domain – potentially leaving websites bare or, in cases where many images are used, incomprehensible.
Not everyone is going to benefit from the decision. Media companies will still be charged to use pictures in print and online, sometimes on licences as short as three months.