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Getty Images releases 35M images – Free to ’embed and share’

Updated: scroll down for detail from a Getty Images email to their contributors which goes some way to explaining their bold move to allow access to their images and attract licensing where needed.

You have to adapt to survive,” said Kevin Mazur, celebrity photographer and director, and co-founder of WireImage Inc. “Evolving to embrace technology that encourages responsible image sharing is the way forward for the industry.”

Getty Images today launches a new image embed tool, for the first time, the ability for people to easily embed and share its imagery – at no cost – for non-commercial use on websites, blogs and social media channels through a new embed tool.
The embed capability will be supported anywhere HTML can be posted and users will also be able to share images on major social platforms including Twitter, as well as WordPress, which, with 75 million users, is the world’s most popular blogging platform.

They say: ‘Through the embed tool, individuals can draw on Getty Images’ latest news, sports, celebrity, music and fashion coverage; immense digital photo archive; and rich conceptual images to illustrate their unique passions, ideas and interests. This innovation 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.’
“Images are the communication medium of today and imagery has become the world’s most spoken language,” said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO of Getty Images. “Whether via a blog, website or social media, everyone is a publisher and increasingly visually literate.
Embedded images will include photographer attribution and, when clicked, will link back to where the image can be licensed for commercial use. This will provide people with a simple and legal way to utilize content that respects creators’ rights, including the opportunity to generate licensing revenue.
“This new Getty Images embed capability will open users up to a huge new creative repository in a simple, legal way,” said Raanan Bar-Cohen, senior vice president of commercial services at Automattic, the company behind “We look forward to seeing all the amazing ways that our users can take advantage of this new access.”
• To embed these images, people can visit, hover over an image in the search results or on the image detail page, and click the embed icon ().The embedded images will be hosted on the site, but they will appear in the context of the viewer on the site where they are embedded.
• The viewer includes the name of the photographer and image collection, and a link back to the image page on where people can license it for commercial use.
See how it works here

UPDATE 2:30pm : this is a section of an email Getty Images have sent to contributors:
below is detail from a Getty Images email to their contributors which goes some way to explaining their bold move to allow access to their images and attract licensing.

….’There will be no charge for non-commercial use of an embedded image because it allows us to promote the imagery, contributors and our brand in the important and growing new-media segment. Besides providing attribution and a link to licensing, embedding gives us greater visibility into how and where images are used, which in-turn can help us align our digital media strategy with the way people use content today. We also intend at some point in the future, to explore revenue opportunities that might emerge as a result of embedded use once it has scaled enough and we’ve had a chance to learn more. For now we are fully focused on promoting our content in digital media with proper attribution and link-back.

Many of our images are being shared, re-shared and used in this space already, much of it without attribution, watermark or license despite our aggressive and continuing compliance program. Unfortunately, it is not economically viable to pursue individuals for non-commercial use given the cost of enforcement, the exploding extent of unauthorized use, and the reality that individual infringers usually have a limited ability to pay. Getty Images’ content is highly relevant to ‘new’ media so we see an increase in our content being used without a license or image credit; often accessed via aggregators such as search engines or from legitimate customers’ websites. As a result, attribution is lost as is our ability to track usage and potentially earn revenue.

We believe one of the key reasons for the growth in illegal use has been the lack of a legal and compelling alternative. We are seeking to address this with the embed feature, which permits non-commercial use subject to Getty Images’ terms and conditions of use. Getty Images is hosting and serving the embed codes and we will work to request removal of images from websites that violate our terms of use.’
Embedding is an opportunity to reverse the negative trend in our favor.
A simple tool that gives individuals an easy way to use our images legitimately and with proper credit is something we think will appeal to users. Embedding will benefit Getty Images and our contributors by promoting our imagery in digital media, linking to licensing and by setting the stage for engaging new revenue streams. By encouraging non-commercial use and sharing of embedded images in blogs and social media sites, we can actually begin to transform these users into an active digital marketing channel. This is why we believe an embedded viewer is our best business response. YouTube and other services encourage embedded content sharing because it promotes their brand, drives traffic back to their site, and provides a revenue stream from advertising. This is an approach that has been followed successfully by Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Photobucket, and many other leading digital platforms. Once use of our embedded viewer has grown sufficiently and can be monetized successfully, we will explore these options as well and will pay contributors/partners a royalty at contract rates on any revenue-generating activity that takes place within the embedded viewer.’….