Probably more than a few libraries have been on the receiving end of the unpopular Getty Images demand letter. For many years, these letters were sent out to companies and organizations that had used images owned by Getty on their websites without obtaining the proper licensing, resulting in a demand from Getty for payment. (Sad to say, too many libraries don’t pay attention to image licensing when they grab stuff off the Internet for their websites and social media.) So the announcement last week that Getty was releasing a tool to allow some types of sites to use some of their images for free was big news for people who post content on the Web.
- Getty Images jumps into the age of social media with a free embed tool for its photo library (TechCrunch/Ingrid Lunden) “So, in the first instance, the tool will be free to use — a pretty big step for a library that has been built around paid content — and will cover around 40 million pictures out of the 150 million that make up Getty Images. But further ahead, Getty says it will evaluate how to develop the embedding tool. Some of the options for what it could do include adding advertising overlays, paid features, sharing limits and extending it to video. All possibilities, or not — it all depends on how people take to the endeavor.”
- Getty Images makes 35 million images free in fight against copyright infringement (British Journal of Photography/Olivier Laurent) “The controversial move is set to draw professional photographers’ ire at a time when the stock photography market is marred by low prices and under attack from new mobile photography players. Yet, Getty Images defends the move, arguing that it’s not strong enough to control how the Internet has developed and, with it, users’ online behaviours. ‘We’re really starting to see the extent of online infringement,’ says Craig Peters, senior vice president of business development, content and marketing at Getty Images. ‘In essence, everybody today is a publisher thanks to social media and self-publishing platforms. And it’s incredibly easy to find content online and simply right-click to utilise it.’”
- Free Getty Images no threat to photo market says Shutterstock CEO (Forbes/Steven Bertoni) “As [Shutterstock CEO Jon] Oringer notes, the fat part of the $11 billion image market is made up companies in the business of selling – large corporations, advertising agencies and marketers. Under the new plan, they all must still pony-up for pictures. Even if they did get images for free, Oringer doubts they’d give up control over the picture to Getty to save a few bucks. ‘Any business that is trying to sell something should be willing to spend a couple dollars for a stock photo to not have ads in it and not distract the user from using the product they’re trying to sell,’ says Oringer.”
OPLIN Website Kits fact:
Needless to say, OPLIN is very careful to secure the appropriate licensing for any images we use when building a Website Kit for a library – and we encourage the library to be equally careful as they add content to their Kit.