Images on the internet tend to get used without the permission or even credit to the original creator. Getty Images, which licenses stock photos for official use, has decided that if you can’t beat them you might as well join them. As a result it is now allowing anyone to use its high quality images; as long as they use the embed feature.
The embedding is currently designed to work with sites like WordPress and Tumblr; as well as a separate function for Twitter. These images will not be watermarked, but they will link back to Getty – similar to how YouTube’s embedding works.
From a business sense, it would appear that Getty has finally realised that there is no stopping the Internet from using the pictures they want to use; even if those images are hidden behind a paywall. It probably won’t lose the company much income anyway, since nobody on the internet was paying to begin with. Hopefully other companies will also follow suit.