Getty Images: free at last?
For years, Getty Images has tried to stop web publishers using images from its library of pictures unless they pay money to Getty. The company has tracked down pirates and chased them through the courts to recover licence fees. But, in a sudden reversal, the company has announced a new scheme. Bloggers and other non-commercial users can use images on their websites at no charge—as long as the images remain on Getty’s servers and are displayed using Getty’s code.
I know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. When I first heard about it, I didn’t see why Getty Images would do this. But now I do—thanks to Peter Krogh who has explained how this could be part of a cunning plan.
With that new understanding, and just as an experiment, I am happy to try it out. So here is a picture of a lighthouse, courtesy of Getty Images.
The lighthouse in this fine photograph is properly called the Entrance Island Light. The boat in the picture is passing through Hells Gate, the narrow entrance to the harbour. I think the camera is looking across the shallow mouth of the harbour towards the rugged coastline to the north. It was taken from an elevated position, perhaps the upper deck of the Lady Jane Franklin II.
I like the way the morning light shows off the octagonal form of the wooden tower. There are few wooden lighthouse towers like this still standing in Australia. The 1891 Entrance Island lighthouse, and its companion on Bonnet Island about 300 m away inside the harbour, are the only ones I know still in service. Five of them, all built in the 1860s, survive in Queensland in various states of repair, but none of them is lit.