Getty Images opens up its library of pictures for everyone to use, for free

Getty Images, a huge virtual warehouse of pictures, has only ever sold its photos until now. Today users can embed images from the site for free.

Using a new embed tool a users are able to include an image from Getty on their websites, blogs or social media channel legally and for free. That includes images of news, entertainment, sport, archival and creative shots. This will work anywhere HTML can be posted. But how can photographers still make money from their work?

Any image that is embedded will include the photographer's attribution and when clicked will lead back to the Getty Images site where the image can be paid for if needed for commercial use. Up until now Getty Images photos were always watermarked and digitally protected against theft.

READ: Getty Images 3D and 360-degree camera to capture a different side of London 2012

Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO of Getty Images, says: "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."

Celebrity photographer and co-founder of WireImage Inc Kevin Mazur says: "You have to adapt to survive. Evolving to embrace technology that encourages responsible image sharing is the way forward for the industry."

READ: Samsung NX Rover bot wants you to remotely control it photographing world events