Explaining the Getty Images “freebies” (see the fine print) 2

In a revolutionary move, Getty Images has just made some of its stock photos free to use on websites, blogs and social media so long as the photos are used for editorial purposes and with Getty Images’ new Embedded Viewer.  Undoubtedly, Getty Images is motivated to try to control and “cash in” on the rampant on-line photo piracy.  In exchange for “free use” of Getty Images’ photos and images, folks will authorize data collection and advertising by Getty Images and others.  Here is how Getty Images explains their new Embedded Viewer and defines the permitted editorial purposes in their website Terms of Use:

Embedded Viewer

Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer (the “Embedded Viewer”). Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice. Getty Images reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove Getty Images Content from the Embedded Viewer. Upon request, you agree to take prompt action to stop using the Embedded Viewer and/or Getty Images Content. You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used: (a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; (b) in violation of any stated restriction; (c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or (d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.

Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetize its use without any compensation to you. (http://www.gettyimages.com/Corporate/Terms.aspx)

As you can see, Getty reserves the rights to 1) change the terms, 2) remove the image, 3) place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer, 4) collect data from folks who use an embedded image, 5) permit 3rd parties to collect data from folks who use an embedded image.

This is an interesting way for Getty Images to “make new rules” regarding free use of their images on blogs, websites and social media.   It will be interesting to see if folks who are currently copying and using Getty Images’ photos without permission take the time to use the Embedded Viewer.  Using the Embedded Viewer has more steps than simply right clicking and copying an image, which is how I’d guess most infringers currently access Getty Images’ photos.  To use an image with Getty Images’ Embedded Viewer, HTML code provided by Getty Images needs to be copied and pasted into the source code of a website.  Here is a link to steps for using the Embedded Viewer http://www.gettyimages.com/Creative/Frontdoor/embed and a screen shot of the code that needs to be used in order to embed an image of a surprised guy:

Embedding an image from Getty Images http://www.gettyimages.com

Embedding an image from Getty Images http://www.gettyimages.com

Will be interesting to follow this development and see how it goes.

BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.


For more information see, Getty Images websites at http://www.gettyimages.com/Creative/Frontdoor/embed; and the Terms of Use at http://www.gettyimages.com/Corporate/Terms.aspx;  an article by Russell Brandom in The Verge website titled, The World’s Largest Photo Service Just Made Its Pictures Free To Use available at http://mobile.theverge.com/2014/3/5/5475202/getty-images-made-its-pictures-free-to-use; for other blog posts on Photo Copyright; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.

                                                                Screen shot from Getty Images   http://www.gettyimages.com


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