It is common knowledge that a large chunk gettyimages business model is based upon finding websites using their images without a license to do so, gettyimages victims are usually bloggers and website owners who never thought that grabbing a image off google image results could land them in such bother and sending them a email demanding money sometimes in thousands otherwise gettyimages will sue them.
GettyImages are now allowing people to embed watermarked images from their site onto your non commercial websites for free along as you are using the images for editorial purposes such as illustrating news reports and things of public interest only which some are arguing falls under fair usage anyway. The images maybe free to use for bloggers and those who want to post on social media websites but it does come at a cost as gettyimages say the only way to use their images is to use their embedded code and with this code gettyimages will advertise to your website audience by attaching ads onto the images with alos the possibility to track your website visitors as well. Gettyimages has added a piece to the terms of conditions that allows them to collect data and advertise using the embedded code on your site to advertise without compensating the website owner.
This is great for gettimages as it means that they are able to monetize images to people that would never have bought the images anyway but many are concerned that gettyimages of whom can change the terms and conditions at anytime which could mean gettyimages could go back to their old tactics of suing anyone using an unlicensed copy of their images (using bots trawling the internet to find victims) many people saying that getyyimages once enough people start using their images for free could then change the terms and conditions and in turn have a lot more victims to sue.
Another concern will be the fact that people usually will right click, save, share and add to their own websites these images that they find on other sites… this may cause tons of people to start using non embedded coded gettyimages from other sites without even realizing giving gettyimages a whole load of new people to sue for using their images.