Tag Archives: Copyright

Embed Getty Images In Your Blog For Free

Scanning the Getty Images archive, and sticking an appropriate image into Photoshop for a quick bit of tinkering before publication, is as much a part of the online journalist’s toolkit as calling the police press office or doing the tea run.

Or at least it is if you’re working for a professional publisher paying for a proper licence to access Getty, the world’s best known photo agency. But bloggers and social media users have instead faced a choice: nick something that’s not yours and hope you don’t get a legal letter, or try to find a copyright-free image. Flickr Creative Commons has 300 million of these, so there are options, but it’s relatively rare to find much freely available on either current or archive news and sport events.

Until now. Getty has taken the decision to make 35 million images from its library embeddable in blogs like this one, which is why I’m able to put a picture from tonight’s demonstration in Sevastopol at the top of this post. I don’t pay anything: but I have to use Getty’s embed code, which at least ensures a credit if no money for both it and the photographer. I also had to tinker slightly with the image sizes within the code to make it fit nicely, but this only took a few seconds.

Click on a picture in the Getty library and this is what you see. I've highlighted the Twitter, Tumblr and embed code links below the image.

Click on a picture in the Getty library and this is what you see. I’ve highlighted the Twitter, Tumblr and embed code links below the image.

All very nice, then. But you might ask why Getty is doing this. A fair summary of the reaction from people far more knowledgeable about photography than me would be that it’s simply realised it just can’t prevent its images being stolen and shared. So it may as well let us do it for nothing in the hope that it can develop some revenue-raising tools around that freely-available content, like YouTube does.

Commercial publishers are still going to have to pay for a proper licence, so Getty will hope its bottom line won’t be affected, but photographers, relying on Getty for cash from those licensing deals, may well wonder where this will end. There’s a blogpost from the British Journal of Photography here, and more reaction from Business Week and the BBC.

There’s more about exactly how it all works on the Getty website here.

And just because I can, here’s a picture from the Getty archive of the last time Crimea was the focus of the world’s attention; Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin at the Yalta Conference of February 1945.


Lecture: Copyright Law

I delivered my latest media law lecture to the journalism and media first years at the University of Huddersfield this morning. It was on copyright law, with a particular focus on the law as it applies to social media.

It’s a bit of a challenge making copyright law interesting enough to sustain the attention of several dozen students in a large lecture hall for close to an hour. But I did my best, using clips and examples ranging from the IT Crowd, the recent plagiarism row involving Carly Fallon and the Press and Journal, the familiar story of Peter Pan and Great Ormond Street Hospital, as well as who exactly owns what on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Wikipedia, Flickr and all the rest.

The full presentation is here.

My New Tumblr: American Civil War Beards

General Ambrose Burnside. Better remembered for his facial hair than being a general.

General Ambrose Burnside. Better remembered for his facial hair than being a general.

I’ve finally got round to getting myself a Tumblr. For the unitiated, it’s a flexible and easy-to-use microblogging platform, pitched somewhere between a shorter form of traditional blogging and a social network. Recently purchased by Yahoo for $1.1bn, it’s going to be fascinating to see how it develops. And there’s no better way to keep an eye on something than by actually using it.

Many Tumblr users have expressed the fear that Yahoo will mismanage the site, as it arguably did with Flickr, once the darling of photo-sharing but long since put in the shade by Instagram. Ahead of the Tumblr deal there were some predictions that Yahoo might roll them both together, but that hasn’t happened, and instead Flickr was relaunched last month. I’ve always found the communities there to be extremely useful for both images and knowledge, and I suspect a revitalised Flickr may prove more useful for journalists than any number of Tumblrs, fun though they are.

I decided to do my Tumblr on the impressive beards sported by generals during the American Civil War, largely because I’m currently reading Shelby Foote’s classic and absorbing three-volume history of the conflict. But another good reason is to avoid infringing anyone’s copyright. I’m using the public domain Civil War photography of the great Mathew Brady, placed online by the US National Archives using, yep, Flickr.