Getty Images unshackles photo library

The Internet is packed with stock images, some that are public domain, some that are free to use with restrictions, and others that require a specific fee based on resolution and intended use. Arguably biggest among them all is Getty Images, which revealed today a drastic change to its business model: opening the doors to its digital library, with one condition.

Under its new model, the library of some 35 million photographs will be made available with a new embed tool, which tacks the image inside a player of sorts containing copyright data and a link back to the Getty Images website. The strategy has already drawn a lot of criticism from stock photography websites and photographers alike, who fear what it could mean for the industry as a whole.

Getty Images' SVP of Business Development, Content and Marketing Craig Peters addressed this, saying: "We're really starting to see the extent of online infringement. In essence, everybody today is a publisher thanks to social media and self-publishing platforms. And it's incredibly easy to find content online and simple right-click to utilize it." As the Internet changes, so follows the business model.

Astute readers will have noted this comes after a relatively big deal with Pinterest, which teamed up with the image service in order to add relevant details to pins. By doing this, Pinterest said it added value for its users by way of providing details on pins that might otherwise be lacking.

SOURCE: The British Journal of Photography