With the amount of images that are used on the Internet these days, we can’t really blame Getty Images. For years, the image provider has been charging licensing fees for each image downloaded from their portfolio of over 150 million stock images, even scaring those who “illegally” right click and save images with terrifying letters about copyright litigation.

Now, Getty has decided to throw in the towel and is introducing a new embed tool that allows any user to embed any Getty image onto their blog, social media site, or website for free for noncommercial use. The embed tool generates HTML iFrame code that can be copied and pasted by the user with the appropriate attributions. You’ll see similar embed code tools on sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo.

Get Giddy! Getty Images Stock Photos Are Now Available For Free

Getty Images says it can’t control the rate of image usage and sharing on the web. And that what they’re “trying to do is take a behavior that already exists and enable it legally, then try to get some benefits back to the photographer primarily through attribution and linkage,” says Getty vice president of business development, Craig Peters.

The image site is still playing around with developing the embedding tool, but Getty’s approach may become much similar to YouTube. YouTube has been granting users embed capabilities, but are serving ads on those videos that are shared and embedded all over the web. The image might take that route and is planning to host and track the images shared from their site with this new embed tool, unless users want to pay a licensing fee to use the images for other purposes.

We have to note that Getty is still getting paid plenty by the big guys who buy licenses for many of its images. The new embed tool is simply aimed at the world of social media and user generated content. And while the embed tool is only available for 35 million out of a total of the 150 million images on the Getty Image site, it’s be big step nonetheless for the Internet, content marketing, and for the image site itself.

(Credit: CNET)

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