Getty Images – one of the biggest photo banks out there - has given up the fight and are now offering all their images as free embeds rather than try and sue everyone who steals one of their pictures. Instead of charging you they’re letting you embed the image without a watermark but with a credit to them underneath. Fair enough really. At some point they may put ads in the embeds but there’s no plans for that in the near future.
Great news for blogs and smaller NGOs for sure. Finding free images is always a pain in the ass. Larger NGOs will probably still want to pay for the full rights to images though to have more control over them.
Word of warning though, the embeds are in iframes which means that Getty has control over them. At some point your picture could disappear without any notice. That’s really no different than how YouTube embeds work though.
That being said, free is still a hell of a lot cheaper than not free (that’s science). For example, a sweet picture of a dog playing poker would have cost me $565 dollars to license for a month. (Ed note: unfortunately Getty’s servers seem to be under duress from all the people embedding awesome pictures of dogs playing poker. It’s understandable. You’re stuck with this picture of a lady computing since I could rip the iframe code from that Business Week link).
You can search for embeddable images here.