I discovered something interesting today: Getty, one of the world’s great photo libraries, is making 35 million (yup, million) of its images free to use on blogs and social media.
Don’t get too excited, however. As with embedding a youtube video on a site, you embed the photo with some code; this means you can’t edit it in any way, and Getty adds a photographer credit and link back to its site (as you can see in the photo I’ve used here). That said, there’s nothing to stop you from grabbing the image via a screengrab or Snippet, doing what you like with it, deleting the embed code and then using the edited version of the image.
Nothing, that is, but your own honour and sense of what’s right.
I assume that the people who follow my photo blog are, like me, photographers. People who like to take a photo, to edit it, to make it their own and then (given we’re on WordPress) share it with like-minded people. I, personally, would never consider passing off someone else’s work as my own. Sadly, though, there are people who would.
So I do wonder where Getty is going with this initiative.
There’s no denying that people who like to add an image to a non-photo blog post, something to liven it up and draw the eye, will welcome Getty’s move. On my writing blog, I always use an image on a post: some are photos I’ve taken myself, some are from stock.xchang (a useful, albeit limited, source of free images that generally have no restrictions on their use), and some are photos that I’ve bought from iStock or Shutterstock for work (I’m a digital and print designer in real life) and, um, repurposed. My first experiment in using the newly (legitimately) free Getty images was on my writing blog earlier today: you can see it here.
There’s no doubt that Getty’s giveaway is a remarkable thing. But what’s behind it?