BP oil spill protest at the White House

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Getty Images, the world's leading photo agency, announced on March 6 that 35 million of its images have become available free of charge for "non-commercial" social media and personal blog use.
Similar to the way users can embed YouTube videos, the new Getty model provides an iframe code that includes a mandatory credit and link along with the image. Because the image is hosted remotely on Getty's server, this allows for data tracking and the future possibility of adding advertisements.
To give you a better understanding of the gravity of this announcement, here are just a few amazing Getty images that previously might have cost you a pretty penny, including the one above of demonstrators hugging in "the name of humanity" during an anti-BP rally outside the White House in Washington, D.C. on April 18 — almost one year after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
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Twilight at Morant's Curve

Photo: Joe Klamar/Getty Images

Twilight in Banff National Park

Mist hovers above the frozen Bow River and the Canadian Pacific Railway on Dec. 7, 2013, as twilight falls on Morant's Curve in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

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Exxon Valdex oil spill

Photo: Chris Wilkins/AFP/Getty Images

The Exxon Valdez spill

An oil-skimming operation works to absorb a heavy oil slick on April 1, 1989, off the coast of Latouche Island, Alaska, just a week after the Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound.

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Daryl Hannah at a Keystone XL pipeline protest

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Eco-celebrity arrests

Actress Daryl Hannah sits in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 30, 2011, to protest the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Hannah was among the dozens of protestors arrested in the demonstration against the oil pipeline which, if constructed, would run from Alberta's oilsands in Canada to Texas.

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Wildfire at Taim Ecological Station

Photo: Lauro Alves/AFP/Getty Images

Wall of wildfire

A wildfire rages across the Taim Ecological Station in this aerial photo taken on March 27, 2013, in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

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Activists sitting on a tree stump cut down by loggers

Photo: John Mabanglo/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-logging activism

Earth First environmental activists sit atop the stump of an old-growth coast redwood tree that was cut down by a logging company on Sept. 28, 1996, in Headwaters Forest, Calif.

As one of the last remaining unprotected old growth forests in the state, Headwaters Forest was the site of many anti-logging demonstrations and tree-sits until it was finally established as a forest reserve in March 1999.

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Wind power and full moon

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Supermoon and windmills

A perigee moon, commonly known as a supermoon, rises behind wind turbines on May 5, 2012, near Palm Springs, Calif.

The full moon appears especially large and bright during this once-a-year cosmic event because it's at its closest position to the Earth in its elliptical orbit. The perigee side of its orbit is about 31,000 miles closer to the Earth than the opposite, or apogee, side.

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Yamuna river pollution

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

A river of wastewater

Indian men bathe in industrial waste foam found on the polluted section of the Yamuna River on May 24, 2013, in the outskirts of New Delhi, India.

As one of India's holy rivers, the Yamuna traverses various urban centers like Delhi, Mathura, and Agra, where fresh water is gathered for daily use and then dumped back into the river as waste.

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Save the Whales boycott

Photo: Chris Djukanovic/Getty Images

Saving the whales

Protestors stage a demonstration with an inflatable whale on the River Thames at Vauxhall, during a London meeting of the International Whaling Commission in June 1974. In an attempt to stop whaling, the protest group called for support for a Friends of the Earth boycott on Japanese and Russian goods.

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Oil-covered pelican

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Bearing the brunt of the BP oil spill

A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the surf on June 4, 2010, after oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident reached the coast of East Grand Terre Island, La.

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Tree grows in the middle of a tire field

Photo: Eric Cabanis/AFP/Getty Images

Flourishing in a field of rubber tires

A stubborn tree grows amidst a field of tires on April 16, 2013, in an abandoned 25-acre recycling yard in Lachapelle-Auzac, France.

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Beautiful riverbed in China

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Dried up waterways

A man strolls along the dry riverbeds of the Hanjiang River on April 9, 2013, in Shiyan, Hubei province, China.

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Bicycle passes nuclear plant in Beijing

Photo: Stephen Shaver/AFP/Getty Images

Coal-burning cities

A man bicycles down the road on April 21, 1999, as the giant water-cooling towers of a coal-burning energy plant loom above a suburb of Beijing.

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

13 great environmental moments to savor in honor of Getty Images
Getty images announces that 35 million photos from its archive may now be used free of charge for "non-commercial" purposes.