“You Have to Adapt to Survive,” Getty Images Makes 35 MILLION PHOTOS FREE FOR USE! #Entlaw #fashionlaw

In Fashion Law by FASHIONENTLAW™

Coming off my recent discussion at UC Hastings College of the Law on a Panel titled ‘Social Media and Fair Use’ and of course knowing the current state of anxiousness with respect to digital media and copyright issues for creative business owners  across music, fashion and the film industries, I find this recent story and move by Getty Images quite interesting.

They say if you can’t beat them, join them. Getty says, “look, people are already pirating and infringing on our copyright work. The cost of litigation would be exorbitant to go after them, plus there is this thing called fair use. Even if the court system made sense to use, which it does not in this scenario for us,  policing piracy/infringement on the web is simply arduous and impossible. “ So what do they do? They essentially monetize piracy by licensing 35 million images for free!

What say you about this move, especially as it pertains to the fashion industry?


I decided to check it out and below is an embed from Getty, for free.

“Millions of images – including famous shots of Marilyn Monroe and Barack Obama – will now be available without cost to blogs and social media sites.

The photos will be “framed” with a code that links back to Getty’s website.

Getty said it had made the move after realising 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.

Users can choose from sports events, fashion shows, stock images and celebrity gatherings like the Oscars and the Brit Awards.

However, there are some notable exceptions – primarily editorial photos of events such as the 11 September terrorist attacks on America or the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

In essence, it is admitting defeat. By offering the ability to embed photos, Getty is saying it cannot effectively police the use of its images in every nook and cranny of the internet.

Its code, which can be cut and pasted onto any website, is similar to the tool YouTube provides for sharing its videos. Images cannot be resized and they will all incorporate a Getty Images logo, as well as a credit for the photographer.

Like YouTube, the company may use the code to serve advertisements in the future, allowing it to make revenue by sharing its catalogue. . .”

BBC News has the full story.