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Be extremely cautious before you use Getty’s “free” photos

(Tech News) Getty Images is now offering millions of free professional photos for your site, but the Terms of Service outline some catches you must know about.

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Getty opens their libraries, but you should know the details

Getty Images recently announced that millions of their photos are now up for grabs by bloggers and media alike, completely royalty free, at no cost to the user. They offer an embed code that can be copied and pasted, and voila, you have a professional photo on your site or blog.

But there’s a problem that has been wildly overlooked, and that is in Getty’s Terms of Service, which only allows photos to be used for non-commercial purposes, and while their description appears quite relaxed, there are other Terms that could stand in the way of use on your site.

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The challenges range from availability to advertisements and even modifications.

Challenge one: disappearing photos with no notice

In the Terms of Service, there is a sticky little phrase that caught our attention: “availability may change without notice.”

That means that you may use a Getty image on your blog today, and you may open that page up in a month or a year or a decade, and it may no longer be there. For some sites (like ours) with thousands upon thousands of stories written every year, there is no notification system in place, and unless you manually check in to every single post using a Getty image, you will have no idea that a site visitor is seeing a broken image. Ouch.

Challenge two: advertisements

Further, the Terms note, “Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetize its use without any compensation to you.”

Let’s dissect this. First, it’s not just Getty that can collect data, third parties may do so as well, and there is no notice as to who those third parties are, so you’re giving away data about your site – traffic, demographics, and so forth. There’s a tremendous legal disadvantage here for sites that use Getty Images that don’t include the third party data collection notice in their Terms of Service. Users these days are smart, and they know that web privacy is important. This could threaten that and put site owners in a perilous position.

Further, Getty can slap on an ad and call it a day. You don’t get a cut of that, and it’s not a program to generously give you famous images, it’s an ad program that will eventually roll out. You get what you pay for, we suppose.

Challenge three: reuse and search

Can you make an image bigger? Can you crop it? Can you use only part of the image? The Terms of Service says the user may modify images, but the embedded viewer required to use the images does not allow for modification.

Another challenge is the search function which does not offer an option to search only embeddable images, which users are already tweeting is confusing, noting that discerning embeddable images from non-royalty-free photos is difficult, and you should make sure you’re not using the inappropriate photo which could end up in your being fined.

The takeaway

If you can understand that the images may not always be on your site after you embed the code, that ads will likely become part of the image, and that data is being collected about your site and users, then use the generously sized library of images, by all means, just do so with eyes open.

The American Genius (AG) is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Crawford @AgentSteph

    March 19, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    So, a real estate blog is a commercial enterprise I assume?

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Tech News

Jenzy helps perfectly measure your kids’ feet

(TECH NEWS) Jenzy is a mobile app currently in beta that helps you perfectly measure your kids feet and buy shoes without having to leave your home.

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Parents rejoice, there’s now a mobile app that sizes your child’s feet to determine their correct shoe size. No more carpet charts that every kid has put their dirty little socked foot on, or those weird metal sizing instruments.

With Jenzy, you just take a picture of your child’s foot, and the app calculates the measurements. It then generates personalized size and style recommendations, which you can order directly from the app.

Jenzy partners with podiatrist recommended brands designed for active kids, including pediped, Robeez, and Morgan & Milo. However, you don’t have to purchase their suggestions to receive the sizing info.

Incorrectly sized shoes are a literal pain for everyone, but this especially affects children, who don’t have purchasing power.

Additionally, shoes that don’t fit can have long-term effects on children’s growth and development, and lead to foot problems in the future. Properly fitted shoes are necessary for healthy foot development.

Wearing incorrectly sized shoes is just part of the problem. If shoes aren’t suited for every day use, children’s feet and overall growth can also suffer.

Flip flops, ballet pumps, and shoes with raised heels are not recommended by podiatrists for frequent use, as they can cause discomfort, or even musculoskeletal issues.

According to Dr. Stewart Morrison, a University of Brighton podiatrist, “children’s feet are still growing and are more susceptible to damage than adult feet, so it’s really vital to ensure they are wearing shoes which fit them well – in width as well as length – and that are suitable for age, as well as the task they are wearing them for.”

As online shopping has taken over, fewer parents are getting their children’s feet sized by in-store experts. Of course, there’s also a cost-barrier, as many stores that offer shoe-sizing are often more expensive.

Jenzy hopes to bridge that gap, providing parents both proper shoe sizes and affordable products designed to last.

Right now the app is set to launch in December, but if you don’t want to wait, apply to take part in the beta test on Jenzy’s site.

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Tech News

Time is money and Clockify helps you make the most

(TECH NEWS) Tracking your time worked as a freelancer can easily be lost in the shuffle. A new tool has been designed to make this important aspect easier.

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After years of searching for a method that works for me in terms of organization and productivity, the answer seemed to be simple: a calendar I can write on and Post-It notes. This method is a little old school, but seems to get the job done for my organizational needs.

However, there are some things that slip through the cracks with this method, but it’s more user error than it is the actual practice. One thing I struggle with is keeping track of my freelance hours this way.

I have a tendency to guesstimate how much time I worked throughout the day and know that I wind up underdocumenting my hours. I would hate to know how much money I’ve missed out on keeping (sometimes inaccurate) handwritten notes.

But, like many other small scale issues, there is a simple solution. And that is found in the form of time trackers.

One of the newest members to join the online time tracker team is Clockify, who operates under the idea of “your time, your rules.” It is a free time tracking tool designed for agencies and freelancers.

Clockify allows users to manage as many team members, projects, and workspaces that you need in an effort to help your business run smoothly. This allows for a complete overview of team productivity.

The tool offers a way to enter time manually as well as clock time automatically. This way you can keep tabs on what you’re working on and assign and label time logs to the appropriate clients.

With this time tracking, you are able to generate weekly, monthly, and annual reports at any given time. These reports can be saved, exported, and shared with clients to give them more information about your work process.

The real-time tracking helps to improve business efficiency and gives more insight into what each team member is spending their time on. Having this information available can give visual representation of how to improve in the future.

Clockify currently exists in desktop format with iOS and Android apps coming soon.

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Tech News

Russia vetoed cryptocurrency and came back with CryptoRuble

(TECH NEWS) Russia put a hard pass on other cryptocurrencies in their country so that they could hop in the crypto-game with their own CryptoRuble.

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Just days after The American Genius reported that the Russian Central Bank would attempt to block access to cryptocurrency trading cites, the Coin Telegraph has reported that the Russian government will issue its very own cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble.

The report cited local Russian papers, who quoted the minister of communications, Nikolay Nikiforov.

Earlier this week, head of the Central Bank, Sergei Shvetsov, said that he would work with the Prosecutor General’s Office to ban Russian citizens from accessing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, calling such currencies a “negative phenomena for our markets” and a “pyramid scheme.”

Now it appears that the Kremlin will create its own cryptocurrency – one it can keep an eye on — which, some might argue, defeats the entire purpose of cryptocurrency.

However, like other cryptocurrencies the CryptoRuble will be based on blockchain and will presumably help prevent online fraud.

CryptoRubles will be exchangeable with regular Rubles, although the systems of exchange have not yet been set up. Experts think that Russia is hoping to stimulate e-commerce without the need for foreign money markets, which will allow them to have more independence from the United States.

According to Nikiforov, the Russian government is setting up its own cryptocurrency under the assumption that if they don’t, other European governments will.

Said NIkiforov, “I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after two months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.”

Traders using CryptoRubles will be asked to provide documentation of retail transactions and services rendered – or pay a 13 percent tax for undocumented transactions, leaving a wide loophole for money laundering.

Critics say that Russia is trying to facilitate, while also profiting from money laundering; that the Kremlin is stealing the market from other cryptocurrencies; and that the CryptoRuble fundamentally defies the spirit of decentralization that inspired other cryptocurrencies.

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