I just did a moderate dance of joy. This afternoon, my friend Nicole shared this article by the BBC with me. In an effort to curb piracy (something that I emphasize is a real problem in the world of media, including photography), stock imagery powerhouse Getty Images has just launched an embedding feature for bloggers. Now, folks like me who run personal blogs from which we do not profit (yet!), can embed an image from Getty free of charge. If one wants to use the image outside of a blog or personal site, one would still need to purchase the image, but it means access to thousands of new images and new ways to engage our readers.
I find Getty’s strategy to be an interestingly savvy one. Thousands of Getty Images were being pirated. Instead of trying to chase down the offenders, Getty has developed a long-term plan for ensuring photographers get credit for their work. While these images cannot be used commercially and the photographer isn’t making money on the embed, it continues to emphasize the importance of good photography and also evolution. As one proponent said, “Evolving to embrace technology that encourages responsible image sharing is the way forward for the industry” (Source).