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(Pocket-lint) - Getty Images has taken a huge leap forward with online image licensing and now allows anyone to embed its photos for free. Famous for being one of the largest image databases, with nearly 13 million embeddable images, can it really be that easy to get access?

On the surface it is. Much like embedding a YouTube video anyone can find the image they want on the Getty site, click the embed icon, copy the code, and paste it into the HTML of their site.

But how is Getty protecting the licenses of its photographers so they keep making money when everyone is using images for free?

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By giving an embed link and not the file photos can only be embedded into the body of a piece for most systems using a CMS. This is a clever way to allow bloggers to use images but make it more difficult for content management systems of commercial websites to use as a head image. Of course it could still be an option depending on the code of that site.

In our case we can only drop the image into the text and even then it will be a set size and justified to the left. Even changing the size in the iframe won't affect the final image size. There is also a credit and various social network sharing buttons. Presumably this means more exposure and potentially more money making opportunities for the photographer. Here's what it looks like:

If anyone wants to use the image for commercial purposes, like an advert, they will have to pay a fee on Getty. Similarly anyone clicking on the image will be taken back to Getty where options to pay for it are offered. 

Some images didn't have the embed options. Yet there is no option to search for embed only images. This gets old very, very quickly.

Despite the search issue this is an exciting move for online imagery and we would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Writing by Luke Edwards.
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