Since It Can't Sue Us All, Getty Images Embraces Embedded Photos

by sbucciarel Banned
21 replies
For the past decade or so, the best defense Getty Images could find against the right-click button on your mouse—home of the “copy” and “save” functions—has been a team of scary lawyers. By copying one of its images and using it on your blog, you’re entering a random drawing where the prize is a terrifying letter offering a tutorial in copyright litigation.

But this week the photography company is embarking on a different strategy: Anyone can now visit its website, grab some embed code, and display an image on blogs or Facebook (FB) pages without paying a licensing fee. As a technological feat, of course, embeddable media is unremarkable. It’s a basic feature on YouTube and Twitter (TWTR) and many other major websites. Yet it marks an unlikely pivot for Getty, which makes its money selling permission to use photos from its vast library of work from more than 150,000 individuals, stock photo agencies, and media organizations. Creating an embedding tool is a tacit acknowledgment that Getty simply can’t police the use of its images to the four corners of the Internet.

Craig Peters, a senior vice president at Getty, is more explicit about the futility of trying to maintain control of its images. Three years ago, Getty acquired PicScout, which makes a technology to crawl the Web and track the images appearing online. PicScout described itself an intellectual-property protection service, but Getty eventually learned a different lesson from the acquisition: The problem of purloined images is too big to solve on a lawsuit-by-lawsuit basis. Peters found that “tens of millions” of Getty photos have been shared without legal licensing. “There are two ways to look at the world,” he says. “People sharing content without a license is an issue—or it’s an opportunity.”
More here

Looks like a win win for bloggers who want to use Getty Images without paying or getting sued.

There is a catch though:

The embedding tool is intended only for noncommercial uses. In many cases, Peters says, publishers will prefer to pay for images because they will get more control and won’t have embedded images sending information about their Web traffic back to Getty. Embedded images will not be allowed in contexts that promote products or businesses. “That’s a pretty clear delineation,” Peters says. “We’ll enforce the terms of this license if people start using these images to do that.”
#embedded #embraces #getty #images #photos #sue
  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    So essentially this is for editorial use only. Looks like entrepreneurs who don't blog in their moms basement will still have to buy their images
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Brad Gosse View Post

      So essentially this is for editorial use only. Looks like entrepreneurs who don't blog in their moms basement will still have to buy their images
      The way I'm reading it is that it will not be allowed "in context" with promoting products or services, but if you put it in an informative article on a blog that also just has ads in sidebar, etc., I'm assuming that is OK. Will have to look over the TOS more.
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      • Profile picture of the author AlexCN
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        The way I'm reading it is that it will not be allowed "in context" with promoting products or services, but if you put it in an informative article on a blog that also just has ads in sidebar, etc., I'm assuming that is OK. Will have to look over the TOS more.
        I don't know... ads are promoting products and services, right?

        Additionally, advertisements as a whole are 'commercial' by their very nature...

        Could just be a ploy to unleash PicScout technology (in which they are already heavily invested in) on unsuspecting bloggers that now think it's 'safe' to use Getty Images...

        Best of luck to all the bloggers out there deciding to dip into this pool of 'Free' images.

        Is it a Trojan Horse?

        I don't know, but I don't intend to find out either.

        Alex
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by AlexCN View Post

          I don't know... ads are promoting products and services, right?

          Additionally, advertisements as a whole are 'commercial' by their very nature...

          Could just be a ploy to unleash PicScout technology (in which they are already heavily invested in) on unsuspecting bloggers that now think it's 'safe' to use Getty Images...

          Best of luck to all the bloggers out there deciding to dip into this pool of 'Free' images.

          Is it a Trojan Horse?

          I don't know, but I don't intend to find out either.

          Alex
          No .... it said "in context" ... meaning that you could not use them on a sales page. Saying you can't use them on a site that serves ads renders their decision moot, since there are practically no sites that don't serve ads.

          You get the imbed code from their site and they reserve the right to promote their artists and later ads in that code, so there's no big conspiracy here. Just a new way of doing things since threatening to sue everybody wasn't working out for them.
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      • Profile picture of the author IanM723
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        The way I'm reading it is that it will not be allowed "in context" with promoting products or services, but if you put it in an informative article on a blog that also just has ads in sidebar, etc., I'm assuming that is OK. Will have to look over the TOS more.
        Yeah, you could go nuts trying to figure out all the intricacies of their policy regarding "commercial" vs "non-commercial" use. The example you gave is where you are not promoting anything commercial in the actual post but you have ads and monetization on the blog itself is a great one. I guess we will just have to wait and see how it plays out. But, I think overall it is still a good thing for those of us who struggle to find usable images.
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    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by Brad Gosse View Post

      So essentially this is for editorial use only. Looks like entrepreneurs who don't blog in their moms basement will still have to buy their images
      With the huge amount of low cost royalty-free image sources available online, getting highly-relevant PROFESSIONALLY-MADE images is not a problem. Since image selection forms a key part of a blogger's total online BRAND, these images are definitely worth investing in. I mean, how much can people beat up the CC section of Flickr? :confused: At the end of the day, it's all about stepping up to the plate and making the necessary INVESTMENTS in your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
    I don't know about any of you, but the last thing I want is Getty Images having any code on my site that relays any of my information back to them. After some of the horror stories I've heard about them, I wouldn't use their images if THEY PAID ME to do so.

    As I've said many times, I create and use all of my own images on all of my blogs. This way, I KNOW that I own all of my images completely. More work, but more peace of mind. Thanks anyway Getty Images.

    And how many people think that their rule about not using the images for commercial use is going to get broken like crazy? I really think they could care less if people break that rule because it's more people they can then try to extort.
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    • Profile picture of the author TerriL
      Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

      I create and use all of my own images on all of my blogs. This way, I KNOW that I own all of my images completely. More work, but more peace of mind.
      I have to ask, as I read quite a bit of posts tonight, several depicting your dislikes of Getty (which I am not a fan of either, btw) but, is your WF avatar a "Breaking Bad" image?

      In theory, adding text to or altering an image doesn't allow the use of an image, or remove copyrights, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
    Does this include their company istock.com?

    I've kept out of the loop withe them, but remember Getty images from long time ago before they immerse themselves in B2C and remember them being mainly B2B, so I don't know if this applies to iStock.com also.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    ...but Getty eventually learned a different lesson from the acquisition: The problem of purloined images is too big to solve on a lawsuit-by-lawsuit basis. Peters found that “tens of millions” of Getty photos have been shared without legal licensing. “There are two ways to look at the world,” he says. “People sharing content without a license is an issue—or it’s an opportunity.”
    Sure took them a long time to see the "opportunity" they now profess to see. Maybe the beating their reputation has been taking had a little something to do with their change of perspective as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Sure took them a long time to see the "opportunity" they now profess to see. Maybe the beating their reputation has been taking had a little something to do with their change of perspective as well.
      I'm guessing it's partly their reputation and acknowledging the fact that it is hopeless to continue to scour the Internet for their code and send those threatening demand letters, when they know that they don't have the resources to actually litigate all those, and they don't really litigate any of them. They would have to keep an army of high priced lawyers and pay high court fees, etc. to keep trying to make money off of the few who are scared of the letter and cave.

      They're likening it to the MP3 revolution. Instead of fighting it, they're going with the flow and attempting to monetize it.

      Personally, I hope it works out for them. I'm not much interested in Getty images, although inadvertently, I buy them. I've been a customer of istock since before they were acquired by Getty.
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    • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
      Obviously a trojan horse. They will get the embedded photos on everyone's sites and then start displaying ads over everything. There is no money in simple attribution links pointing to Getty. They have to sell ads to make this work.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I prefer to continue to pay for my images rather than put my trust in Getty....
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

        Obviously a trojan horse. They will get the embedded photos on everyone's sites and then start displaying ads over everything. There is no money in simple attribution links pointing to Getty. They have to sell ads to make this work.
        A trojan horse would be covert. They already stated that they intended to monetize the new scheme.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Langham
    I agree with one of the other posters there are so many decent images for a dollar or two why bother to try and 'Game Getty' ?

    I think you need to ask yourself if your business model isn't broken if you can't afford a few bucks in order to enhance or grow your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    PhotoDune (and countless others no doubt) so high quality stock photos and graphics for $1, it's a small price to pay and not have to worry about being sued.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    There's a new twist to the story. Photographers who contribute the photos are not happy with this new deal.

    But groups representing photographers--including APA and the American Society of Media Photographers--believe Getty's plan is tailored for the benefits to flow to the company. By encouraging free use of the photos, the agency will gather information it could use for advertising or other purposes. Getty says it will share that windfall with photographers--if such revenue ever materializes. The company's control over the data associated with photo use will give it a pretty strong hand whenever the day comes to negotiate splitting up that pie.

    "I would hope some of that revenue would work back to photographers," says Eugene Mopsik, executive director of ASMP. "I'm not holding my breath."

    So the photographers groups are working on their own plan. Unfortunately, it isn't as easy to explain as the one from Getty. It requires money to change hands, and it needs action from Washington.
    Photographers Hate Getty Images's Plan to Give Away Their Work - Businessweek
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    I said it before and I'll say it again; the license rights on these websites aren't what people think. (I've seen so many people claim they get 100% full rights to the images for a buck, which isn't true).

    The truth is that the license terms aren't very flexible nor are they practically priced. They're a huge cluster.

    I'm all about agility and fast execution. Not combing the license rights and finding out that I need to shell over hundreds of dollars to use an image, when I see others just highjacking the images anyway. (I don't highjack images ever, but I won't play in a game that's rigged against sticklers for the rules).

    (Not only that, but the licenses are EVER-EVOLVING. So if you start a lot of projects, or want your projects to be evergreen, forget about using these services).

    Just my $.02.

    I'll stick to pixabay. The images are 100% free for commercial use period. No shady "between the lines" license agreements.

    You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.
    -pixabay.com
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    • Profile picture of the author edlewis
      This move really has no impact on the "IM" world, but it's a big change in other markets - especially for anyone who runs a website/blog/Twitter/Tumblr focused on topics like news, technology, entertainment, movies, celebrities, or sports.

      Yeah…you can buy stock images fairly inexpensively. (I do all the time.)

      But with the new Getty embed, (right this minute) I can go and find photos from Nascar, soccer, SXSW, The World Golf Championships, NCAA Basketball, IAAF World Indoor Championships, MLB spring training, etc…

      You can't go to Photodune or Fotolia and get a picture of Tiger Woods from today at Doral on Photodune…or any other stock photo site. But now with Getty's new embed feature I can use a photo like that on my Golf blog.

      As has been stated, the embed feature is for non-commercial use. Most of these images are for Editorial use, so most "IMers" will have zero use for them. But those who run news or opinion blogs will.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by edlewis View Post

        This move really has no impact on the "IM" world, but it's a big change in other markets - especially for anyone who runs a website/blog/Twitter/Tumblr focused on topics like news, technology, entertainment, movies, celebrities, or sports.

        Yeah...you can buy stock images fairly inexpensively. (I do all the time.)

        But with the new Getty embed, (right this minute) I can go and find photos from Nascar, soccer, SXSW, The World Golf Championships, NCAA Basketball, IAAF World Indoor Championships, MLB spring training, etc...

        You can't go to Photodune or Fotolia and get a picture of Tiger Woods from today at Doral on Photodune...or any other stock photo site. But now with Getty's new embed feature I can use a photo like that on my Golf blog.

        As has been stated, the embed feature is for non-commercial use. Most of these images are for Editorial use, so most "IMers" will have zero use for them. But those who run news or opinion blogs will.
        Absolutely. Getty images are made for news and opinion blogs. I'd use them embedded for that as the photos are current and relevant to news stories.
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