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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Getty opens 'embed' option for millions of photos

Getty Images, arguably the largest private storehouse of digital images, announced this week that over 35 million photos will be made available for use via a new 'embed' feature. While this does not include all of its collection, and is strictly limited to non-commercial use, it is a huge deal for independent newsbloggers (including yours truly), those who wish to honor copyright protections with the materials used.

Getty has been fighting a losing battle for years regarding its digital property, due to the proliferation of 'right-click' distribution of its photos through the Internet. This step is being compared to YouTube's sharing model, and while on the surface appears to be a complete surrender to the marketplace others are quick to note that the company undoubtedly has plans to monetize the action; how this will affect photographers and smaller 'pay-for' distributors remains to be seen.

While many are lauding these policy changes, a few are quick to point out the limitations of going through Getty. You cannot change the size of the images, for example (making the comparison to YouTube a bit misleading), and Getty reserves the right to pull the feature at any time, somewhat keeping bloggers at the mercy of the company.

Others consider Creative Commons a much better choice, however those licenses are often convoluted from image to image, and usually do not include timely captures of the news-of-the-day; these pitfalls do not exist using Getty, thus making it a tempting - albeit risky - possibility.

Let me know via Twitter or Facebook what you think of this, especially if you too are a blogger.

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