Getty Images, stock photo company based in Seattle, Washington decided to allow non-commercial online publishers such as bloggers and tweeters to use its 35 million images for free since a huge number of its photographs have already been copied shared without proper licensing.
According to the stock photo company, non-commercial online publishers will be able to used its images by embedding a code, which includes a photo credit to Getty and a link to its website wherein individuals will have the opportunity to obtain a license for a particular photo they’re interested in.
In a statement, Getty Images explained, “This will provide people with a simple and legal way to utilize content that respects creators’ rights, including the opportunity to generate licensing revenue.” The company added that its decision “opens one of the largest, deepest and most comprehensive image collections in the world for easy sharing, thereby making the world an even more visual place.”
Craig Peters, senior vice president for business development at Getty Images emphasized that tens of millions of the company photos were already shared without proper licenses. According to him, “There are two ways to look at the world. People sharing content without a license is an issue—or it’s an opportunity.”
Peters added Getty Images’ move to provide limited access to non-commercial online publishers to its images will generate new brand awareness in the market for the company. Furthermore, he noted the fact that people are excited to share their ideas, interests, and passions using its photos.
Moreover, Peters emphasized that majority of the photographers have positive comments regarding Getty Images’ decision, and he also accepted the reality that not everyone will be happy about it. He said, “We have over 200,000 photographers whose work we represent on a global basis. In that world, not everyone’s going to always agree with the things we do.” He added that some of the photographers he met on Wednesday night were “incredibly excited about it.”
Getty Images said embedded images should be used for editorial purposes and are not allowed for advertising. The company pointed out that it will enforce that terms of its license if people will start using its images to products or businesses.