Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The world's largest photo service just made its pictures free to use

Getty Images is the worlds largest image database with millions of images, all watermarked. These represent over a hundred years of photography, from FDR on the campaign trail to last weeks Oscars, all stamped with  transparent square placard reminding you that you don't own the rights. If you want Getty to take off the watermark, until now, you had to pay for it. Getty Images, in a rare act of digital common sense, have realised that so many of its images are online in the public space accessible via a Google image search. So, providing you register, you can simply embed one of their images in your web page (like you would for a YouTube clip) and you can now legally use their image, along with a label that indicates its source. It's very refreshing to see a company be so pragmatic about digital rights. Rather then employing teams of people to issue take down notices and legal threats they've made it easy for everyone to use their wonderful images. So here's a lovely photo of the beautiful Auckland waterfront at night curtsy of Getty Images.