One of the big challenges to writing a history blog is finding good images. Well, things just got a lot easier with Getty's announcement that it is making up to 35 million images available for bloggers to embed in their sites for free. The company has created a new embed tool that allows images to be shared and includes proper photo credit information. The photo above, which pictures the crowds at the Washington Coliseum for the Beatles first American concert on February 11, 1964, is an example of the new tool at work.
So, why would they do this? According the to BBC, Getty is essentially admitting defeat. "By offering the ability to embed photos, Getty is saying it cannot effectively police the use of its images in every nook and cranny of the internet." Getty's Craig Peters basically admitted as much to The Verge, "If you want to get a Getty image today, you can find it without a watermark very simply," he says. "The way you do that is you go to one of our customer sites and you right-click. Or you go to Google Image search or Bing Image Search and you get it there. And that's what's happening… Our content was everywhere already."
As The Verge article points out, this new policy introduces some big questions for photographers. And, of course there are some restrictions -- for one, commercial users will continue to be charged to use images. But, for the rest of us, this seems like a win. After all, a good blog post is a good blog post. But, a historic photo really brings the story alive.