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Millions of Getty photos now free for the public

Getty photos

Getty photos

Online photo archive Getty Images is opening 35 million images to online publishers to use free of charge, acknowledging that many of its pictures are already being copied anyway.

The company will allow “noncommercial” users such as bloggers and tweeters to embed its images using a code similar to what’s on sites such as YouTube.

The image that appears will include a Getty photo credit and will be linked to the company’s website, where viewers can have the opportunity to license the photo.

“This will provide people with a simple and legal way to utilize content that respects creators’ rights, including the opportunity to generate licensing revenue,” Getty said in a statement announcing the move.

The decision “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.”

Craig Peters, Getty’s senior vice president for business development, said Getty saw its content being copied online, and that “spoke to an opportunity.”