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Now that Getty Images has made 35 million of its pictures free for non-commercial use online, some entrepreneurs may be able to take advantage of the offer -- but with limitations.
One caveat to embedding the free Getty images on a website or blog is that a footer crediting Getty and a link to the company's licensing page will appear below the image, Forbes reports.
But since businesses are "commercial" by nature, can you even use the free images without violating Getty's policy?
Here's what the embedded viewer policy says:
Getty's free images also can't be used in a manner that's defamatory, unlawful, or pornographic. And the images can't be used outside the context of Getty's embedded viewer -- meaning you can't just copy-and-paste any Getty-owned image that you want.
Though Getty's terms state free images cannot be used "for any commercial purpose," there are some scenarios that can arguably land a business owner in a legal "gray area."
For example, can you embed a free Getty image on your business' official blog, or on a part of your business' website that's solely "informative"? While you may argue that it's for an "editorial" purpose, it can also potentially be argued that a business blog or website serves an inherently commercial purpose. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be best to consult an intellectual property attorney in your area for more guidance.
One final note: Getty Images isn't making its entire database free, so users will still have to pay to use the vast majority of Getty's photo collection, Forbes reports.
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