Getty Embed Tool Already Subverted: You Can Crop Out the Credit Line

Update: It looks like it’s already been fixed. Kudos to Getty for the quick response.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 3.57.00 PM

Getty’s embed tool has been live for less than 24 hours and ALREADY somebody has figured out how it can be taken advantage of. It turns out that all it takes is some extremely simple code to remove attribution entirely.

Pointed out to us by photographer Todd Owyoung, it seems photographer’s credit is ridiculously easy to crop out of the embed code. In fact, even the most novice of HTML users could make the adjustment in a matter of seconds.

All you have to do is shorten the height of the image without altering the width. Instead of resizing the whole thing, it crops from the bottom up. As such, the first thing to go is the credit. Here’s an example of credit slowly being cropped out as I change the height of this image (originally 540px) to 500px and then 460px.

No Crop:

First crop:

Final crop:

As you can see, you can even choose to leave in Getty’s credit and the share links, while nixing the photographer’s name entirely.

Of course, clicking on the image itself still takes you to the image on Getty, but if you cut everything out there’s no guarantee anyone will even know that the image is clickable. What’s more, this sort of alteration doesn’t seem to be a violation of the Terms of Service that Getty has set out, so people who do this aren’t technically doing anything wrong.

Fortunately, this should be an easy fix — either by making it a violation in the TOS to alter the code, or by somehow changing the system so this doesn’t happen — but the sooner Getty gets on this the better.

A big thank you to Mr. Owyoung for pointing out this flaw to us. Check out his blog post on the issue for more examples and a more detailed look at the code.

  • Guest


    #embed-body footer {display:none;}

    would probably get rid of the credit line on every Getty image you embed without needing to do it on every single one.

  • Dustin Wagner

    You know what gets these companies to notice, not using them… Boycott until at least this is fixed.

  • vcoelho

    mad hacking skillz

  • zengrrl

    I have no problem leaving the photo credit on there. If it were my photo, I’d hope people would do the right thing and leave the credit there.

  • ISO640

    I would imagine most people who would use this wouldn’t know how to apply the hack, let alone go looking for it.

  • ST84Photography

    It’s hardly surprising the embed got ‘hacked’ so quickly – inevitable really. Getty just don’t understand the internet at all.

  • Carlini Fotograf

    Epic Fail.!!!

  • werrwr

    well thry understand the internet very well.
    but you don´t get it.
    this idea is fantastic for getty.
    all the bloggers are now running a giant ad network for getty
    and getty doesn´t have to pay a dime for the content.
    i call that pretty clever… well in an evil way.

  • 4235423523523

    will be fixed…… and they will overlay ads over the image anyway. :)
    so only the poor photographer is fukd….

  • Cindy Dalfovo

    Already fixed?

  • Donald Giannatti

    Sorry. look pretty much the same with different sizes. I see the credit line perfectly on all three. Chrome/MBP

  • Strappster

    On my PC each of the cropped images is being resized in both dimensions and the full credit line has been retained. It’s the same on the linked blog, same through Chrome and IE. Has this been fixed already?

  • K S B

    I don’t see any difference in the images other that they are getting smaller and smaller as you scroll down the page. The image credits are still perfectly intact. I am using Google Chrome.

  • Renato Murakami

    I’m guessing it was already fixed, because I tried this page on Chrome, IE and Firefox, and they are all displaying credits properly.
    All in all, easy fix, more like an error from whoever coded the embedding functionality. To the commenters, this isn’t exactly a hack… just plain HTML code to set a fixed size for the image which apparently could crop the credits off. Some might perhaps have already seen this in early versions of YouTube embed, in pages where buttons or part of the video screen where missing.
    People using it could do it by accident, as well as on purpose actually.
    But it’s an easy fix. The embedding function could be tweaked to fit the display screen while keeping the original proportion – seems to be what they’ve done.

  • Brian Coale

    Yep, I can see the credit on all three images just fine.

  • ST84Photography

    The ad for Getty doesn’t work as well as it could if they had designed it so their logo couldn’t be cropped out – hence my comment that they didn’t think through how this product could be used.

  • Kaouthia

    And how many images a week did you typically purchase from or sell through Getty in the past?

  • Guest

    Didn’t work in Internet Explorer, nor Opera. I haven’t tried Chrome.
    I was like, what crop? :D

  • SwedishKiwi

    Yes, looks like Getty fixed it.

    Oh, crop.

  • Alex

    Seems like they already fixed it?

  • Beady Milne

    “Fortunately, this should be an easy fix — either by making it a
    violation in the TOS to alter the code, or by somehow changing the
    system so this doesn’t happen — but the sooner Getty gets on this the

    Bearing in mind the reasoning Getty has given for this change is because it feels it is impractical to chase copyright violators does anybody really think the same people will be scared by a change in the TOS.

    I suspect the same people will just continue to do a screen grab and use that.

    I also think it would be funny seeing Getty try to pursue such a misuse as they seem to have left a lot of loopholes for defendants either through the companies actions or statements which I suspect would see a judge asking why they were wasting the courts time.

    I’m more curious as to how Getty plan to ensure contributors will be suitably recompensed for their efforts. Nothing I have read so far explains how the benefits that are supposedly being generated by giving work away for free will be distributed to the photographers as those benefits seem to come from unrelated fees.

    I find it sad for the photographers that their employers value them and their work so badly. I have spoken to several picture editors who say they would rather use a wider range of photographers work and how much they dislike dealing with Getty but that the accountants have dictated an image licensing policy based on the low fees and subscription deals. I think it is a pity that what should be a role model for the industry now seems to have become some kind of grasping and grabbing spiv.

  • Peter Steiner

    FYI: Seems fixed now.

  • lexplex


    This easy to fiddle code is a honey trap.

    This embedding tool means that Getty has a huge database of every website using every image. If you crop the logo out and use the image, Getty will know about it and will be knocking on your door to ask you for the licensing fee. Even if you take it down, they’ll have a solid log of what image you used and for how long, so you’ll legally have to pay them and they have all they need to enforce it.

    This is a fantastic idea by Getty for making sure that photographers get proper payment for photos being used on the Internet.

  • Gregory Cazillo

    No, that doesn’t work. Local css changes don’t apply to iframes.

  • Gregory Cazillo

    If it were me I would have added the getty logo and attribution to the TOP of the embed, not bottom that way a simple hack like this can’t crop it out.

  • Chris Pickrell

    I’m using chrome, and maybe I’m missing something, but the Getty/Credit was there in every photo. They shrunk in size, both height and width.

  • Chris Pickrell

    It must be nice to be as optimistic as you.

  • David Addams

    What Browser are you using when viewing the cropped images? I still see the photo credits. The image is just smaller.

    Just checked the original article. Getty has altered the code on their end.

  • headshots Los Angeles

    “People will get scared by the TOS”


  • Paul Danger Kile

    All versions look the same, in my browser, with nothing hidden: Chrome 33.0.1750.136 on Android 4.4.2.

  • John Reinert Nash

    Yes, you can still be a copyright jerk. Making it easy to do the right thing when it comes to attribution and linking is a good thing. There will always be jerks who will take the effort steal things instead.

    This is not a “copy protection” scheme that has been defeated by mad hacking skillz.

  • zengrrl

    I’m optimistic because I think people should do the right thing and leave the photo credit on there? I don’t get why people have such a hard time with this. You didn’t take the picture and if all you have to do to use it for free is leave a photo credit on there, it seems like a fair trade off to me. If you don’t like the terms, don’t use the photo. It’s as simple as that. How would you like it if someone used your work – a photo or a story – for free without giving you credit?

  • CurrentCo

    Looks like they’ve fixed it. the attribution is back in every photo.

  • Rob

    The hack was working fine for me until I just updated Chrome. I’m now at 33.0.1750.146 and it’s showing the attribution, but the previous Chrome version removed the attribution as the article describes.

  • Chris Pickrell

    You’re optimistic cause you think people would. This has nothing to do with me or what I would do with the credit. I’m not the one on trial.

    Your issue was what other people would do. I simply stated it must be nice to be as optimistic as you.

    Reality isn’t that pretty.

    And I’ve found my work lots of places without credit. Not much I can do about it. Unfortunately, the internet makes it impossible to do, it’s exponential in how it spreads sometimes.

  • zengrrl

    You’re right – I do think there are people out there who will do the right thing and leave the credit on. If you want to label me an optimist, fine.

    But I’m firmly based in reality and I don’t think every person that uses this new feature wants to deny a photographer proper credit – especially when they get to use the work for free. Credit in lieu of payment seems a fair exchange, to me.

    I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, and yes, there are some people who will screw an artist (writer, photographer, etc) over, but there are also quite a few that will do the right thing.

    Which one are you?

  • Chris Pickrell

    What does it matter? It sounds like you already have an idea what you think I am, so nothing I say will matter.

    But, this isn’t about me, and I don’t use Getty.

  • zengrrl

    Actually I don’t carry preconceived notions about anybody. That is why I asked. If I already thought you were one way or the other, I wouldn’t be wasting my time asking you.

    The optimist in me hopes you’d do the right thing. The realist in me isn’t going to assume you’re one way or the other.I don’t judge people on assumptions. =)

  • CurrentCo

    Oh I see. thanks for the info! (unfortunately?) my chrome is set to auto update. haha.

  • Chris Pickrell

    I just don’t see how it matters.

    But coming from a journalism background, I leave credits in and dislike cropping of them or watermarks.