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Getty Images Makes 35 Million Images Free For Non-Commercial Use

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the can't-beat-'em dept.

Businesses 66

kc123 writes "In an effort to deal with copyright infringement Getty Images is launching a new embedding feature that will make more than 35 million images freely available to anyone for non-commercial usage. Anyone will be able to visit Getty Images' library of content, select an image and copy an embed HTML code to use that image on their own websites. Getty Images will serve the image in an embedded player – very much like YouTube currently does with its videos – which will include the full copyright information and a link back to the image's dedicated licensing page on the Getty Images website."

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Embedded player (5, Insightful)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 9 months ago | (#46420899)

Getty Images will serve the image in an embedded player

Yuck...

Re:Embedded player (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46420983)

So much for hot-linking...

This post brought to you by Johnson's Wax using the Geddy Posterizer Player

Re:Embedded player (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 9 months ago | (#46421003)

Getty Images will serve the image and advertisements in an embedded player

Fixed the summary for you.

Re:Embedded player (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 9 months ago | (#46422371)

Maybe it works for them without other advertisement than a Getty logo. Every image becomes a banner for their site, after all. And it possibly boost their search engine ranking.

Re:Embedded player (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 9 months ago | (#46422853)

Hell just forcing dofollow or remove seems like it would work to that end.

Re:Embedded player (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 9 months ago | (#46423665)

Let me guess -- it's all Silverlight, right?

Embedded Image Player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46420923)

What kind of shit is this...

Re:Embedded Image Player? (3, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#46420933)

The kind that appeases the lawyers and preexisting contracts.

Creative Commons exists for this kind of thing (4, Insightful)

nurhussein (864532) | about 9 months ago | (#46420951)

Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivitives will do the trick. I question the need for heavy-handed control mechanisms such as embedded players. I suppose they want to guarantee attribution and a link back to them, but people who are intent to steal their images are going to do it anyway.

Re:Creative Commons exists for this kind of thing (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 9 months ago | (#46421343)

but people who are intent to steal their images are going to do it anyway.

Except it's not stealing, is it? Nothing is being taken. The people are just using the image for their own purpose with the idea being the image is still attributed to Getty, the distributor, and the photographer, who doesn't get paid for the use of their work.

Obviously at some point the person would return the image since they're just borrowing it, not stealing it. That's what happens when someone "shares" their music with someone else, right? They let the other person borrow the music and when done, the person returns the music back to the person who bought the cd/album/mp3/whatever, not keeping a copy for themselves.

Re:Creative Commons exists for this kind of thing (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 9 months ago | (#46422563)

Thanks for being the first person on Slashdot to eloquently explain the difference between theft and copyright. :/

Re:Creative Commons exists for this kind of thing (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 9 months ago | (#46422735)

And thank you for missing the sarcasm in my post.

Because when you "share" music you've purchased, the person to whom you've "shared" returns the music to you, and doesn't keep a copy for themselves, right?

Re:Creative Commons exists for this kind of thing (1, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | about 9 months ago | (#46423161)

This is Slashdot. I'm going to need a car analogy if you want me to understand these things...

Re:Creative Commons exists for this kind of thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46423165)

Because when you "share" music you've purchased, the person to whom you've "shared" returns the music to you, and doesn't keep a copy for themselves, right?

Just like how when I "share" my food, the person to whom I've "shared" returns the food pre- or post-digestion. Or how when I "share" my seat, the person to whom I've "shared" returns the favor perhaps or literally cuts away at the seat to physically give the seat back to me even when I didn't per se ever own it. I mean, gosh, it's almost as if to share a physical object and to share access (and potentially copy a thing) are different--as if to light my candle from another's doesn't inherently diminish the first flame.

In any case, the whole issue at hand is that theft implies a lack of consent from the owner of a thing to possession of the original copy of a thing. Once you get past that, it's no longer really theft if someone along the chain starts handing out copies after returning the original. It may be copyright violation, trade secret violation, trademark violation, a contract violation, or something else. But it's not theft. It's nothing like theft in most the above circumstances--the level of expectation of respecting an intent not to copy is mostly proportional to the personal or professional level of loyalty to possession the original. Once you get down to mass produced copies of music, games, etc by the original publisher, it's nothing like theft. But to borrow an original Picasso in a person's private collection and to make copies for sale or for free against that owner's intent, well that's another thing. But, then, even that's a point about the private collector's position and not Picasso or his heirs.

Re:Creative Commons exists for this kind of thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46423871)

That's like the "I'm going to email this to you now, but I need it later so PLEASE email it back when you're done!" "Oh, ok, yes I will!" thing. My favourite trick :-)

But what good is it, really... (2)

RandomUsername99 (574692) | about 9 months ago | (#46420991)

But what good is it, really, without the built-in ability superimpose moronic LOLcats style text on them.

Too bad they don't actually allow their use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46421001)

Their definition of noncommercial means that no one can use them. I got a job based on some work I did for free for a group that helps an organization of foster parents, and according to Getty, that makes me a criminal. They are so anti-nonprofit that you have to wonder why the person that rules that place hates people that do good work so much. They've repeatedly attacked children charities around their office here in Fremont. They are obviously Republicans given how much they hate children.

Re:Too bad they don't actually allow their use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46421155)

They canceled our license agreement for supporting a local Democrat for city council. They didn't give us time to remove their images before suing us. They are hard-code Republicans.

Re:Too bad they don't actually allow their use (1)

imatter (2749965) | about 9 months ago | (#46423761)

is that like?

gettyPoliticalParty = "Republican"

or was that supposed to be hardcore?

Re:Too bad they don't actually allow their use (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46424473)

I anonymously saw getty images on the street corner the other day beating up people exclusively in classes protected by EEO. OMFG they are TOTALLY SUPER DUPER REPURBLICANZ!!!!

Re:Too bad they don't actually allow their use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46426141)

Was this in Fremont near their office? That place is pretty hardcore conservative despite the statue of Lenin a block away.

Re:Too bad they don't actually allow their use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46438331)

You mean _anyone_ can use them, just not _for a profit_ as you want to, so their definition of "noncommercial" means you cant use it for "commercial" work? shocking!!! (I like how you added the "for the children" angle with the foster parents, but even rightous people are required to follow the rules you know...)

Photographers? (5, Interesting)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | about 9 months ago | (#46421011)

This looks like a trojan horse to allow Getty to gain a wide foothold around the web in a way they can control. There is nothing to stop them — in fact it's in their TOS — from adding ads to the iframe at some point. They will then be in a position of monetizing their images in a different way than licensing them, which mean they probably will not need to share revenue with the photographers.

Getty is currently owned by the Carlyle Group, which makes me wonder if this is part of a grand strategy to break the company up into sellable pieces. Having a segment with a internet-friendly, sharing, youtube-esque, business model and no existing liability to contributors is probably pretty attractive to them.

But my guess—nobody wants their nasty embedded frame on their site and this will be a dud.

photography has been reduced to commodity status, (2)

dot_bull (950360) | about 9 months ago | (#46421175)

Getty's new free editorial use policy is unfair to photographers. Writer? Paid. Editor? Paid. IT staff? Paid. Photog? Sucks to be you.

Re:photography has been reduced to commodity statu (2)

Spazmania (174582) | about 9 months ago | (#46421431)

You think the writers and IT staff are pad. That's funny.

Re:photography has been reduced to commodity statu (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 9 months ago | (#46422029)

Eh. Getty probably still pays the photographer. They make it back on (hopefully) licensing fees from folks who see the pictures and want to do more with them and (more likely) ads.

Re:photography has been reduced to commodity statu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46422303)

The decision itself will have an impact on photographers who sell stock photographs, as well as other institutions that license stock photography. Getty Images contributors cannot opt out of the new system, for one thing.

Re:Photographers? (1)

normaldotcom (1521757) | about 9 months ago | (#46421511)

“We reserve the right to monetise that footprint,” Peters explains. “YouTube implemented a very similar capability, which allows people to embed videos on a website, with the company generating revenue by serving advertising on that video.” And while Getty Images has yet to determine how these ads will appear, Peters is confident that this capability will be introduced in the near future.

TFA actually states that they plan on adding advertising soon, although they don't mention how these ads will be displayed in their "embedded player". I have no idea how they plan on advertising without being incredibly intrusive; I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Re:Photographers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46422127)

But my guess—nobody wants their nasty embedded frame on their site and this will be a dud.

My guess is that everyone will use a soon-to-be-released Firefox plugin to "rip" the images from the embedded "player" just like they already do with YouTube videos. This won't be a dud in the way you're thinking, but it won't last long once Getty figures out that they have no control over things they distribute, regardless of the DRM.

Flashblock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46421015)

My extensions guarantee I'll never see a single one of these 35 million images

Re:Flashblock (3, Informative)

santajon (22325) | about 9 months ago | (#46421087)

But you will because the "player" is an iframe.

Re:Flashblock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46421205)

When did Apple get into the frame business? They're unstoppable!

Re:Flashblock (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46423547)

You think that's funny, you fucking stupid asshole-licking son of a bitch. Everybody hates you and your miserable attempt at humour. Die, die,die, bitch!

Hacker's Dream (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 9 months ago | (#46421047)

Once a hacker gets control of it they can have the embedded players show anything they want much more easily than before. They could possibly even have the player show video. Sounds like a very juicy target.

Why the embedded "player" doesn't work (5, Interesting)

santajon (22325) | about 9 months ago | (#46421083)

Tried this out last night. It's highly restrictive to the size of the image they select.

Doesn't fit in the place you want to put it? Find another image.
Don't want the whole image? Find another image.

That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you wan (5, Insightful)

penguinstorm (575341) | about 9 months ago | (#46421235)

Getty: "Here, take these high quality images and use them for free"
Santajon: "I don't want that image. I want to crop it, and I'd like to apply an artificial aging filter to it so I can look like a douchebag."
Getty: "That's not the image we're offering...for free. If you buy the image, you'll have a file that you can use however you'd like."
Santajon: "Why would I buy an image...photography is free."

That conversation doesn't end well for anybody except Santajon.

Take the free image that's offered or take your own damn picture and use it. The fact that you have to pay to use someone else's product is not a valid complaint.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (4, Informative)

lemur3 (997863) | about 9 months ago | (#46421913)

the problem is that if GETTY actually intends people to use these images in their IFRAME embedded player.. then giving people at least the option of choosing the proper size for the layout of their little blog news site/food blog/whatever will go a long way towards doing that..

i tried this yesterday and i don't think id ever use it... it was difficult to find embeddable images and once one did find an image that one could embed: you were faced with an image that didnt fit the layout.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | about 9 months ago | (#46422783)

I'm quite sure that the embedding tool will change/evolve/improve over time based on mutual desire...keeping in mind that you're not paying for it, so your desires are probably a relatively low priority.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about 9 months ago | (#46422861)

"The problem is that if the FSF actually intends people to use GNU code in their own creations, then giving people at least the option of relicensing that code in any way that might support their business model will go a long way towards doing that."

I don't see how what Getty is doing here (use it for free in this way, or pay money to use it some other way) is any different from what many companies are doing with GPL'd code (use it this way for free or pay money to use it some other way). Other than "in this case, it affects ME-E-E!!"

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (1)

ceview (2857765) | about 9 months ago | (#46425955)

I just tried this on my site and the main problem I have is that their caption for 'getty images' is really too big. It needs to be just a simple caption one line style. I think it is sufficient to have the image clickthru to getty.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46421925)

Except photography is not always free. If you're not a photographer, and you need an image, your options are to pay a photographer or buy it from one. And if you're looking at those options, you're looking at which is cheaper: the cost of pay-as-you-need-them images or the cost of a photographer's wage. For a lot of blogs and news sites, the photographer wage is not a great option.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46422055)

Which is, of course, why Getty will sell you a license to use an image however you want. This putz is complaining because they don't offer him exactly what he wants FOR FREE.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46422173)

I shouldn't feed you, I know, but here goes. This 'putz' wants to use their service for its intended purpose, put in the time to try it, discovered its shortcomings, and explained them clearly. You seem to be reading it defensively - did you work on the embedded player or something?

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (1)

santajon (22325) | about 9 months ago | (#46422199)

Thanks for sticking words in my mouth.

To start, you can't buy images from Getty. You may only buy licenses to use an image.

Second, The purpose of the program is to offer images at no cost to non-commercial users. I evaluated for those purposes. For such a program to be successful the images must be useable. I'm suggesting that even non-commercial users will find it difficult to use.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | about 9 months ago | (#46422857)

No problem man. Anytime.

To start, your point is true, though ridiculously semantic. If I buy a lifetime exclusive licence for use from Getty, what's the difference between that an "buying" the image. Are you planning on giving Getty your credit card number so that you can have the images on your hard drive and never look at them?

To the people who are using Getty, they are "buying images." Yes, the purchase comes with conditions.

Second, the images are usable--they just didn't fit your use case. Have you got any data to back up that people find images so they can only use part of it?

Yes, there's a use case for that but it's not 100%. For what it's worth, every one of my photos that's been stolen has been stolen in full and reposted without more than being resized...but that's not data either--it's just an example.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46423741)

If I buy a lifetime exclusive licence for use from Getty, what's the difference between that an "buying" the image. ... To the people who are using Getty, they are "buying images." Yes, the purchase comes with conditions.

And there you have it. If one were buying anything else, it wouldn't come with a usage agreement. If it were actually buying the image, then they wouldn't be wrapping it up in a usage agreement and merely licensing use for a limited time--if copyright is considered limited because it's a lifetime plus 70 years...well, we can already well establish you'll probably die before the copyright expires and hence any heirs will be in breech of copyright if they continue to use the image once you're dead.

Really, the best you can argue is that Getty is incredibly generous considering whatever circumstances that are imposed upon them to have amassed their collection. Well, then, Getty just might not be the right pick for a lot of people because of the impositions.

Second, the images are usable--they just didn't fit your use case. Have you got any data to back up that people find images so they can only use part of it?

Great. So, santajon gives his own anecdote about what his use case(s) and how it's not of much use to him and presumably to others and now you want data to back that presumption because...? Is the presumption unreasonable? I don't think so. Does it cover the majority of use cases? Probably not. But, then, that's not the point. The majority of people who would use Getty considering everything are likely already using them. This non-commercial use aspect doesn't really open the door much for most people precisely because of the various impositions they're placing on the use. And your whole response to "buy" the image to work around them just proves the point.

Yes, there's a use case for that but it's not 100%. For what it's worth, every one of my photos that's been stolen has been stolen in full and reposted without more than being resized...but that's not data either--it's just an example.

True enough. Just like what santajon was doing. I don't see santajon condemning Getty but merely pointing out how Getty's technological "solution" to the issue of allowing use has problems. A better approach would be to allow a means of specifying the display size of the final image in the iframe as well as the iframe itself and leave it up to Getty to decide which source image size to use and whether the said sizes are acceptable. Now, perhaps as another has suggested this is v1.0 and things will improve on that front. But, santajon is just giving a review of how as it stands this isn't a solution for him and implicitly others.

In any case, you seem to be rather touchy about the point and have an agenda given your "stolen" images. I'll presume a lot here, but I take it that you like (or at least tolerate) what Getty's trying to do and feel that insufficient encouragement is tantamount to condoning working around Getty's limitations which will further lead to piracy of your or others images. Well, the sad truth is that the people who "steal" your images probably don't even have the mindset of how much effort you put into making your images and certainly don't think in terms of "well, I really should be paying them at least $0.01/100 views." The thought doesn't even occur and most people are too greedy to part with the money or simply not interested in dealing with all the hassle of tracking views or keeping tabs on all the images they may use.

So, I can see Getty's approach actually working--although I'd imagine a better approach would be to do the above iframe thing with display sizing, possibly with a viewport into an image, only allow "thumbnail" (depends on the image, but something like 600x400 or 800x600) images in the iframe, and to have an embedded link to Getty to display ads with the full-size image and recoup the costs. None of the above will ever do anything to resolve people who don't know any better and "steal" your images. And it certainly won't help all those who willfully contravene your or others copyright on their images for commercial gain. But, then, as you've already seen for yourself, that's a given.

Regardless, it seems like you're trying to kill the messenger instead of listening to them and seeing if their ideas could make Getty or similar services create a better middle ground for all the non-commercial usage that people want while still giving the original author the money they desire. Focusing on the point that most people display (or repost) full images and your inability to envision wanting to view partial images is just a distraction from what should be a shared goal.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46423215)

Getty: "Here, take these high quality images and use them for free"
Santajon: "I don't want that image. I want to crop it, and I'd like to apply an artificial aging filter to it so I can look like a douchebag."
Getty: "That's not the image we're offering...for free. If you buy the image, you'll have a file that you can use however you'd like."
Santajon: "Why would I buy an image...photography is free."

That conversation doesn't end well for anybody except Santajon.

Take the free image that's offered or take your own damn picture and use it. The fact that you have to pay to use someone else's product is not a valid complaint.

With an embedded player DRMing their use these photo's are not free. Not even monetarily - they are being paid for by an explicit Getty advertising link.

Unfortunately this is typical marketer dishonesty.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (1)

LordNimon (85072) | about 9 months ago | (#46423993)

photography is free

No, it isn't.

Re:That's not "why it doesn't work"....that's you (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | about 9 months ago | (#46424261)

You really should re-read that. Pro-tip while doing that: I run a photography business.

Re:Why the embedded "player" doesn't work (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | about 9 months ago | (#46423961)

You can't resize the source image, but you can resize the iframe and it will scale to fit. Scaling above the source image size will obviously lead to reduced quality/blurriness, but you can shrink it. If you want to have it be responsive design (and scale width/height due to browser size) it's fairly straightforward to chuck a little jquery at it, as is pretty common when dealing with making iframes responsive. I imagine a jquery plugin akin to fitvids.js will be along shortly to make it easier.

For chucking in stock header image in a blog post and not having to screw about trying to find a CC image that suits (or risking a nastygram by ripping something off google images), it's not completely useless. Though the limited sizes of the source images I looked at mean it's not going to be useful for much more than that, and I think the DRM overhead is pretty annoying.

It's not like most of us can afford to pay stock photo rates for our personal blogs though...

New Revenue Stream (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46421185)

I also submitted this story. Here's a link to the Bloomburg Businessweek article. [businessweek.com]

From T other FA: "Eventually, Getty could include advertisements within the embedded images, much like YouTube videos embedded on personal blogs show ads [...] But Peters says Getty hasn’t figured out how exactly that will work."

Note that they are also specifically *not* stating that they will stop filing lawsuits over unlicensed use of their images, although they're moving away from that in the case of non-commercial use. The big question is, where will Getty draw the line and decide what is and isn't a "commercial use" of their images? And, is this a means for them to justify seeking larger payments for unlicensed use - because they will be able to argue that there's a "free alternative"?

The first one is always free (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#46421223)

Get used to using them, expect a charge to come later.

Sounds watertight to me (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46421465)

Getty Images will serve the image in an embedded player

And as we all know, there is not, and has never been, any way to take a copy of something displayed on your screen. NO WAY.

Re:Sounds watertight to me (0)

penguinstorm (575341) | about 9 months ago | (#46422867)

They've acknowledge this. This is the business risk they're taking. Mod this down.

Re:Sounds watertight to me (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46423491)

Just because they've acknowledged it, doesn't mean it's not worth pointing how dumb it seems.

Re: Sounds watertight to me (1)

Derkec (463377) | about 9 months ago | (#46424683)

They point out that anyone bwi wants an image they find in the Getty catalog will find it via image search and steal it. The goal is to offer the embed as a slightly easier way to get the image for free and so have some home of monetizing use from people who will not pay.

That's reasonable.

Re: Sounds watertight to me (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46426057)

I thought (okay, assumed) that everything in the viewable catalogue was watermarked.

Yet another flash based piece of shit (0)

Torp (199297) | about 9 months ago | (#46421629)

Good thing I run FlashBlock :)

Conditions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46421881)

They always throw conditions into it or try to find some way to control us. Nope, I'll just continue to not recognize copyright and will obtain them by other means.

Love this part (3, Funny)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 9 months ago | (#46422117)

Quote: will continue to “pursue online infringing use as we’ve done traditionally.”

Print Screen (0)

Sigvatr (1207234) | about 9 months ago | (#46422147)

Just save the frickin' image to your hard drive, or print screen and crop. Screw those jerks.

Re:Print Screen (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46422369)

Or better yet, don't take images from Getty without paying for them. Need an image for free? There are plenty of sites you can use such as OpenClipArt.org [openclipart.org] , Morgue File [morguefile.com] , or Wikimedia Commons [wikimedia.org] . You can also search Flickr for images with Creative Commons licenses that allow for the type of use you need. If you really, really, REALLY need an image on a stock photo site like Getty Images and no other free alternative will do, then why not actually pay for it?

Re:Print Screen (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 9 months ago | (#46422619)

Yeah! They're not spending all of their time giving me free stuff. Screw them sideways!

Getty Extortion (a very real thing) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46423183)

I've had at least 2 clients extorted over accidental _minor_ usage of parts of getty images. (clip art from one company combined from another through a 3rd party, client wasn't at fault)

They send extortion letters to you, threatening you with litigation for using their images on your site.
http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/

Stay away from Getty at all cost, just a dirty evil company.

Public Domain -- Getty commiting fraud (1)

Kirth (183) | about 9 months ago | (#46423807)

Saying nothing that a lot of these images are actually in the public domain, which means you can copy them however you want, and are not, and never ever, bound by any of gettys licenses.

Like this here:
http://www.gettyimages.ch/deta... [gettyimages.ch]
Whatever getty says is moot, you can copy this over wikimedia commons and tag it "public domain", because replications of two-dimensional works of art always retain the original copyright -- public domain, in this case. there is NO right getty has on this, what-so-ever. Actually, by claiming a copyright, they're committing fraud.

man page? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46424615)

I just tried "/sbin/getty --help", and also "man getty", and haven't found any references to images yet.

Anybody know when this hits upstream?

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