Friday, 7 March 2014

Getty Images joins the 'sharing economy'

This week, the largest photo agency on the planet decided to make available, for free, many of the images in its database. With a right-click, bloggers and other noncommercial users can embed the code leading to selected Getty images.

If I wish to embed this recent photo of Joanna Lumley and Alesha Dixon opening the Kids Shwop Boutique in Marks & Spencer, I simply right-click, copy the code as shown below in the pop-up window, and paste it as HTML to put the image into my blog. Note that Getty's image identifier is on the photo, along with a photo collection identifier.

'Our new embed feature makes it easy, legal and free for anybody to share our images on websites, blogs and social media platforms', Getty's website explains.

Here's where things get interesting: Once a Getty photo has been embedded, Getty will be able to track views and possibly serve ads into that space or remove the photo at a later date, if it chooses. 

Content providers (meaning photographers) are unhappy that they receive no payment, however, which may complicate the situation. Still, Getty's move into the 'sharing economy' is an acknowledgement that images are being shared already, with or without proper credit or payment.