If you haven’t heard, stock image giant Getty Images has announced that 35 million of it’s 150 million image collection will now be available for free to bloggers. There are a couple of stipulations…all “free” images are intended for non commercial use only and will include embedded code which links back to Getty’s website (similar to how a Youtube video displays).
Getty says it knows there is no way to fight the piracy problem the company has faced, so they are adapting to the situation and hope to at least gain some more exposure out of the inevitable. What sounds like a smart move for Getty, is a bit disconcerting to many of Getty’s stock image contributors however, who feel what many creatives do when asked to work for “exposure”.
“My Twitter feed has exploded with very angry photographers going ‘I don’t want Getty giving away my images for free’. For some of them, it might mean their images are never used commercially and they’ll never make a penny. They feel very strongly about that because photographers don’t work for free and they don’t work for exposure. They say: ‘Exposure won’t feed my children’. So a lot of people are very, very angry, and I sympathize with them. But at the same time, the genie is out of the bottle. There are so many images that are being shared and liked and tweeted and clicked on.” -Photo Journalist Daniela Bowker
Apparently there is already a wide selection of free embeddable photographs to choose from on Getty’s website. The photo above is how they appear embedded onto a page.
Personally, I don’t see the appeal. Not when there are free image sites, and less expensive options like Fotolia or Istock; which come without the extra code bloat, without having to show an image credit, without the white space issues (see the gap below the image above?) and without display issues in feeds (images don’t appear at all in Feedburner emails).
And regarding the whole moral debate over this Getty decision, I can personally see both sides to the argument (apparently I’m in the minority). So, what do you think? Was this an inevitable move in an age of piracy?…or a low blow by a corporate giant? Please share your thoughts below.