Protesting Too Much About Getty Images

The Getty Images scheme to make 35 million of their images free-to-embed has been more controversial than I’d have ever guessed it would be.

I’ve written a little bit on my personal blog about Getty’s change in the way they handle image sharing, and the reaction:

I embraced it because to me, it’s a pretty good thing when a corporation or organisation works out a way to navigate through the cultural sense of entitlement users of the contemporary web have, without resorting to fear tactics, litigation, or DRM that breaks the content that we’re trying to use…

…All of those methods are corporate ways of dealing with a cultural problem, and they don’t really help anyone. And all the while, the social internet has been moving further and further into the wild west of sharing stuff with abandon, and without attribution.

“Protesting Too Much About Getty Images”

I lied, of course. I didn’t write a little bit. I actually wrote a lot. But it may be helpful, so I hope you read it.


Where to source images from

If you are looking for pictures to brighten up your presentations, for your web pages, for any other projects you may have, here is a list of some useful image websites which offer images under various licences as stated below.

Free and open – With and without attribution requirements
You can freely use any image from this website in digital and printed format, for personal and commercial use, without attribution requirement to the original author.
You need to sign up for this but a lot of images are free to use and sit under the ‘Standard Restrictions’ licence. This means you can use it for digital use on websites and presentations without attribution.  It is best to check the specific restrictions on each image as you go.
You can do an advanced search on images to include a Creative Commons Licence.  This usually means that an attribution must be given to the creator.
This is a public domain site and you can search on reputable sites that host photos such as Flickr, Google images, etc.  You do need to check certain conditions on specific images and double-check the licence agreement but you should be ok for non-commercial use.  You must provide an attribution to the creator unless it specifically says that it is in the Public Domain.
You can click on the images and see the licence.  The ‘Public Domain’ licence states that if you are to redistribute the image online, then linking to the image page is mandatory.

Free and embedded use – Automatic attribution
This is one for web pages (rather than presentations and the like). You don’t need an account and the home page tells you exactly how it works.  You need to look out for the embed icon (</>) on the image. It does have a built-in attribution underneath each image. Think ‘youTube’ for images.