Getty offers free images – with strings

Getty Images has given up on trying to stop people from copying and using their images with or without proper attribution, permission, etc. Instead, they’ve thrown open their files to the world and provided several ways for bloggers and others to embed their images. It’s a boon to all of us, considering the number and quality of their photos.

I decided to run a little test on the available options, and these are the results. It’s Getty’s copyright note that changes.

If I simply copy the URL of the image and paste it directly into my visual editor, this is the result:

If I copy/download the preview image directly from the Getty page and then upload it to my media library like any other image, this is the result:


And if I mouse over the image and click on the embed icon (</>), I can copy the embed code and paste it directly into my visual editor. This is the result:

Embed from Getty Images

Frankly, I think just copying and pasting the URL is the simplest thing to do. The set-up won’t let you download and keep a nice clean image in your files for future use; it makes certain that anything you can use has a credit line attached. I can’t blame Getty for doing that, but I do wish they’d opted for the typical caption-sized credit line instead of their larger, more conspicuous credit (read: small ad) which protects them but violates the established style of any blog using it. There’s also no readily apparent way to add one’s own caption to the image.

So all in all it strikes me as a mixed blessing. You can use Getty’s images but with a large credit line and links attached and no way to add a caption.

Note, Oct. 2, 2022: Information here may no longer be accurate. WordPress changes have greatly complicated efforts to edit/fix old posts. At best I could only guess what the third image used to look like; it was missing when I landed on this page today.

4 thoughts on “Getty offers free images – with strings

  1. I usually just use photos from WikiMedia, with credit as a caption. But this may come in handy, too. Thanks for sharing. Now I suppose I should actually post an entry, eh? Oy.

... and that's my two cents