You Can Now Use Millions Of High-Quality Pics From Getty On You Site For Free

By: Chris Crum - March 6, 2014

Getty Images, long known for suing people for using its photos on blogs, has surprised the Internet by making millions of them free to use. The photography giant announced that tens of millions of its photos are now embeddable, which means you can feel free to embed them on your blog. Just make sure you’re using the photos the way you’re allowed to.

Do you intend to take advantage of Getty’s new embedded photo offering? Let us know in the comments.

Here’s what it says about embeds in the terms of service:

You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used: (a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; (b) in violation of any stated restriction; (c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or (d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.

That last one is important. You can use these photos, but you better make sure they’re within Getty’s embed code.

To find something you can use, go to, hover over an image in the search results or on the image detail page, and click the embed icon. The viewer includes the photographer and the image collection, as well as link to the image page on Getty’s site. There, those who wish to use it commercially can obtain the relevant licensing information.

Here’s what the embeds look like:

How about that?

“With people increasingly turning to imagery to communicate and tell their stories online, the embed capability opens up Getty Images’ award-winning imagery for seamless sharing,” the company said in an announcement. “Through the embed tool, individuals can draw on Getty Images’ latest news, sports, celebrity, music and fashion coverage; immense digital photo archive; and rich conceptual images to illustrate their unique passions, ideas and interests. This innovation opens one of the largest, deepest and most comprehensive image collections in the world for easy sharing, thereby making the world an even more visual place.”

CEO Jonathan Klein said, “Images are the communication medium of today and imagery has become the world’s most spoken language. Whether via a blog, website or social media, everyone is a publisher and increasingly visually literate. Innovation and disruption are the foundation of Getty Images, and we are excited to open up our vast and growing image collection for easy, legal sharing in a new way that benefits our content contributors and partners, and advances our core mission to enable a more visually-rich world.”

Just to be crystal clear here, note that he said “blog, website or social media.”

It is a definitely a new day.

Of course you won’t be able to embed any photo of Getty’s, but as the pics above illustrate, the embed code is available on a wide range of photos, including celebrities.

The new offering certainly has plenty of benefits for Getty. It will get plenty of links and branding out of this. It’s also great for the photographers, as it will get their names out there, and ensure that credit is given where it’s due.

Getty says the embeds will provide people with a “simple and legal way to utilize content that respects creators’ rights, including the opportunity to generate licensing revenue.”

“You have to adapt to survive,” said Kevin Mazur, celebrity photographer and director, and co-founder of WireImage Inc. “Evolving to embrace technology that encourages responsible image sharing is the way forward for the industry.”

The embeds are supported anywhere HTML can be used. WordPress, which has 75 million users, is already telling users about the feature.

“This new Getty Images embed capability will open users up to a huge new creative repository in a simple, legal way,” said Raanan Bar-Cohen, senior vice president of commercial services at Automattic, the company behind “We look forward to seeing all the amazing ways that our users can take advantage of this new access.”

WordPress says you can actually just grab the image URL from Getty, and copy that directly into you post.

But it doesn’t matter what blogging platform you use. If it uses HTML, you can use the Getty embeds.

Go ahead and go over to, and search for something. There’s a good chance you’ll get some results, and good ones at that. This has the potential to significantly increase the quality of you blog posts.

Was this a good move by Getty? Do you expect to use the embeds? Let us know.

Images via Getty Images (Thanks, embed code!)

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • Michael David Curley

    That’s quite presumptions really, I wouldn’t give those wankers sh*t.

  • Destination360

    I’ll be curious to see what they do to people that use images without permission. They backed down from lawsuits and so now it appears they hope to get some linkjuice, branding, and an occasional sale.

  • Mike

    We had a website created by a 3rd party that used some Getty images. The 3rd party let the liscense lapse and Getty tried coming after us. Once we become aware we asked our the website company to take down the offending images. It was a simple graphic of a globe barried in pages of site people don’t visit. Getty clamed an adsurd amount of damage for using there pic. Eventually it was resolved, however I would never risk dealing with Getty again.

  • dog_cat_rescuer

    As if “news” were not a “commercial purpose.”

  • Sven Slootweg

    Ah yes, let’s include an iframe hosted off-site for every image. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Peter Yates

    Quote: “Whether via a blog, website or social media….”
    It doesn’t work very well on Facebook. The default size of the image seems
    to be an issue.
    The thumbnail image in the Timeline is fine, but when you click on the thumbnail the resulting photo is much too large for the screen to display — even on a widescreen
    display! Adjusting the width and height in the embed code does not seem to make any difference on Facebook.

  • Christopher Jones

    A good friend of mine was sued 18,000 Euro by Gitty. I would not trust them.

  • Michael Wiener

    I’ve heard some people getting sued by Getty by using their images. Personally, I wouldn’t risk using these images from them even if they’re offering it for free. I haven’t read the entire terms, yet, but it’s just risky. This would eventually result to something else and not to mention…they can modify the terms anytime. If you happened to used 100s or even 1000s of images from them, that’s a lot.

  • Jay Jones, Ph.D.

    After my battle with Getty and what I have seen them do to other people, they are a rip off and there is nothing that I Getty could do to get me to do any business with them, even if they paid me. Just watch, there will be a large number of law suits over the use of these pictures because someone will, according to Getty, have use them against their rules. Nasty who do not play fair and honest.

  • James Hall

    This must mean simply that damages received minus legal expenses made the entire effort of suing people for unauthorized usage unprofitable. Getty lawyers promised profits that did not appear and now they are out the door and chasing ambulances.

  • Warren Redlich

    Yes I will definitely use these.

  • Jeff Moreau

    What I don’t get is why? They have gone after so many people and created such a negative image for themselves. Why should we even want to use their images?


      Because they now realize they could gain a foothold in potentially millions of sites around the world, which they can then exploit in a years time to include advertising.

      Even though I would not find use for this in my business, I would not touch this at all. I can guarantee that they will be adjusting the code in another year or two so that every embed of their content includes an ad. They are relying on the fact that most bloggers who use this will not want to go back through all their content after a year to remove all those ads.

      Remember, Google doesn’t like a lot of things, and it’s certainly not going to like another company muscling in on its advertizing revenues. Google will find an excuse to devalue sites using this option when Getty starts including ads.

  • Keith James

    I don’t think I would take the risk. Getty seems to be a bit on the litigious side,

    • Phase 4

      No risk, no glory.

  • Scotch Macaskill

    It’s been pointed out elsewhere, but worth repeating – the embed code is an iframe, controlled by Getty. Should they suddenly decide they no longer want to include celebrity images, for example, your blog or website will show blank spaces instead of images. Getty can also at any stage include ads within the iframe, with revenue going to Getty, not the site publisher. It’ll also be interesting to see if the so-called “exposure” is of any real benefit to the photographers, who cannot opt out of having their images embedded.

  • Robert

    Does this mean I can copy and paste or do I have to wait for Getty’s server?