Millions of quality images set free, by Getty Images

Photo by Uri Schanker/WireImage

I recently briefed a client at length, about the risks of filling their news and features pages with images grabbed from across the web.

“To be clear, you are in breach of copyright when you use any image that you don’t own, haven’t licensed or created” – is how these conversations always start.  Whether you’re caught is another matter, for a range of reasons.

i) How many hits does your site actually get per day?  ii) How many are on the page(s) containing ‘dodgy’ images?  iii) How much exposure does the contraband material actually get?  The chances of the right/wrong person recognising unlicensed material and then issuing legal proceedings, can be vanishingly small.

The temptation: swipe an image picture here and a photo there; paste it into the article; published and be damned.  The risk: the copyright-holder recognises the image as theirs; fires a hefty invoice at the culprit; backs it with the threat of legal action.

A good job then, that Getty Images have made the bold and brilliant step of freeing up 35 million images.

You can find the image directory via this link,


Weapons of mass production

Adaptive layout arrangement

Adaptive layout arrangement

I’m guilty of overlooking technologies, trends and practices because I’ve been too busy.  I worry about important technical advancements passing me by and I neglect to explore those shiny new ideas that ricochet around blogs and technology sites, like the latest weapons of mass production.

There is a reason for this.  I have work to do, lots of it and it can be done using tried and tested methods.  Only – now and again – I’ll wonder whether there is another way? Is there a different approach?  Is there something purpose built that solves my problem?

As much as the next man I need to strike a balance between working, learning and having a life.  Although I’ve put the latter on hold until spring 2014.  But when the pressure is on to get things done, when there is no need for research & development, learning takes a back seat.

Lately, I’m starting to research adaptive layouts and mobile site design for new client projects.  It’s classic learning ‘on the job’, instead of priming myself for the moment when I’ll use adaptive layouts.

Being too busy to brush up on new techniques feels like a high-class problem.  But not doing so is storing up problems.  Not like I aspire to be Jack O’All-trades or anything, it’s just hard to know what you need to know.