Getty Images going free? Not quite

Getty Images holds one of the worlds largest photographic archives, until recently Getty Images business model was largely copyright based, i.e. if you wished to use an image that Getty owned, you would have to pay royalties.

Getty are well known for being very thorough in enforcing their rights by pursuing those guilty of copyright infringement of their work and demanding significant sums for the unauthorised use of their work.

Craig Peters the business development executive for Getty has recently stated

“Our content was everywhere, you can find it without a watermark very simply you go to one of our sites and you right click”

For the above reason Getty have now decided to change their strategy, by making their work almost freely available, in exchange, they require web publishers to use an embedding system with native codes for use on sites such as twitter, Pinterest and similar weblogs.

The Getty Image archive is now divided into two sections:

  1. Rights Managed (RM): in line with the usual copyright regime.
  2. Royalty free (RF): Three small icons will appear under all pictures on Twitter and similar websites.

Royalty free

Once on a sharing platform an image is embedded on third parties’ websites along with the name of the author and a link to the Getty Image website, allowing the user to obtain a commercial licence for use of the image.

The embedded content also allows Getty images to monitor the use of the image.

An important point to note is that Getty Images content is only freely available for non-commercial use!! So anyone intended to use the images for professional activities requires the classic licence!!

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