Two girls doing sports. The image that accompanies these lines may seem random, but it is not: it belongs to Getty Images, one of the most popular and complete online paid image banks on the Internet. However, Genbeta has not paid anything for her. How is it possible? Simple: Getty Images just announced that has made a large part of its catalog available to everyone of pictures. In total, more than 35 million photos.
The reason? Athough it does not seems, fight against unauthorized use of your images. “Today everyone is a publisher thanks to social media and publishing platforms. And it’s incredibly easy to find content online and just right-click to use it.”says Craig Peters, Senior Vice President of Getty Images, speaking to the British Journal of Photography.
According to Peters, from Getty Images they have been checking over the years how people use their images without permission, and they have very difficult to avoid it. If one of your clients pays for the license to use one of your photographs and publishes it on their website, nothing prevents another user from arriving and taking that photograph, free of watermark.
Insert images as if they were videos
How then can you use a Getty Images image on your website in compliance with its license? Simple: when you get to a photo, under it you have the option to send to Twitter or share on Tumblr. Next to it appears a symbol with
</> and, if you click on it, it offers you the code that you must copy on your website to insert the image. Similar to what, for example, YouTube does with its videos.
In this way Getty Images explains that not only can it give credit to the author of the photograph, but it also links to its own website for those who want to buy the image for commercial use. In addition, they explain that being on their own servers, they will have details about who and how each image is looking. “We reserve the right to use this data to benefit our business”they say.
The comparisons with YouTube do not end there: from Getty Images they also say that, as the video portal does, they also reserve the right to monetize these inserted content with advertising. They do not give more details but hope to have it ready in the near future. Come on, what appears in this article today is an image, but that tomorrow it could be covered by an ad that must be closed beforehand in order to see it.
Free, yes, but for non-commercial use
So will Getty Images continue to make money? The answer is yes. You are only allowed to use these embedded images personal use only. In the event that someone wants to make commercial use of them, they will have to go through the checkout.
What does Getty Images understand as a commercial purpose? Those who need the image to promote a service, a product or their business. In that case the license will be required. However, a website that makes money from its ads doesn’t seem to fall within this definition. “We would not consider this a commercial use. The fact that a website is generating profits would not limit the use of the embedded image.”says Peters.
But will it do any good?
With this move, Getty Images intends terminate the use of images without permission by 1) people who use them in social networks and 2) people who do not know that there is something like “rights of use” for an image that are published on the Internet (and, although it may not seem like it, of these there are many ).
Although the Getty Images initiative is very interesting and will surely force other image banks to take some action, the problem of social networks does not solve it. You can’t insert an image on Twitter with that code, nor on Facebook. In the same way, few people with limited knowledge of licenses will go to your website, enter the details of the image and copy an html code when the easiest thing, if they find the image online, is to download and upload it. The embed code is so basic that it does not allow automatic resizing.
And watch out for data and advertising theme. What data does Getty Images extract from the use of embedded images? They do not specify it. What will happen if the Internet fills up with embedded images of this type and tomorrow Getty Images decides to put banners on top of all of them? We do not know what type of ads they will include, or how they will do it. In short, an interesting and very useful change in strategy for those of us who frequently publish content on the Internet, but I don’t think it will have an impact on the average Internet user, who is precisely who this measure is aimed at.
Via | “Nieman Lab”: http: //www.niemanlab.org/2014/03/getty-images-blows-the-webs-mind-by-setting-35-million-photos-free-with-conditions-of-course /