If you go to the Getty Images website, you'll see millions of images, all watermarked. There are more than a hundred years of photography here, from FDR on the campaign trail to last Sunday's Oscars, all stamped with the same transparent square placard reminding you that you don't own the rights. If you want Getty to take off the watermark, you'll have to pay for it.
Starting now, that's going to change. Getty Images is dropping the watermark for the bulk of its collection, in exchange for an open-embed program that will let users drop in any image they want, as long as the service gets to append footer at the bottom of the picture with a credit and link to the licensing page.
Getty said it had made the move after realizing thousands of its images were being used without attribution.
"Our content was everywhere already," said Craig Peters, a business development executive at the Seattle-based company.
"If you want to get a Getty image today, you can find it without a watermark very simply," he added.
"The way you do that is you go to one of our customer sites and you right-click. Or you go to Google Image search or Bing Image Search and you get it there. And that's what's happening."
The company says it is making up to 35 million photos available through the new "embed tool", and images can also be shared on social media sites Twitter and Tumblr.
Staring page for search: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/embed
To confirm an image is embeddable, hover over it and look for an embed symbol at the bottom that looks like this: </>.
Click the embed symbol and a new window will open with the embed code. Simply copy and paste the code and drop it into your blog post's html (like you would with a YouTube video or Twitter embed code) and you're done.
Open content images can be used for any purpose without first seeking permission from the Getty. Images of many other works in the collections are also on our website in varying formats. The Getty supports fair use of images when the applicable legal criteria are met.
Here is image of Vladimir Putin, embedded from the Getty:
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