Getty LogoA couple of weeks ago I reblogged and added to a very helpful blog post by Catana at Tracking the Words. That post included lots of helpful links to sites that had large stores of images that you can use for free in your own on-line (and other) works.

Today brings word that one of the largest trove of digitized photographs  – gettyimages  – is making 35 million out of its 80 million photographs available for use without charge, but with a few not-unreasonable strings attached.  The hook is that you’ll first have to confirm whether the image you want to use is one of the freebies, and then you’ll have to include embedded code in the image that Getty provides when you repurpose it. Getty provides instructions on how to do this, but unless you already know how to add data to images, they probably will just leave you puzzled.

What’s a bit odd about the story is that Getty apparently is tired of people simply copying and reusing their images from Internet sites without worrying about paying for them. So…what makes them think that anyone will go to the trouble of observing the new restrictions?

In a spin on the old adage, “all that locks do is keep honest people out,” one assumes that the real beneficiaries of Getty’s largesse will be those responsible publishers that never reused an image unless they either confirmed that it was free, or bought the image. So in other words, what it sounds like Getty has accomplished is to tell the world that anyone who used to pay for their images can now have them for free.  There’s progress!

In any event, it’s good news for those that like to shop for just the right image to accompany their prose, to remix, or to do whatever else their hearts desire (so long as they embed that code…or not).

Bonus: the article also includes links to four more pieces that describe  repositories holding  more millions of free images. And the site hosting the article – Open Culture – is a treasure chest of all manner of other free classes, texts, content and more.

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