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Search by royalty

Image or other search by licence
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I've just been looking for images which are in the public domain and have found this difficult. On the whole, i normally either go to Wikimedia, NASA or ex-Soviet sources for this purpose but this is an old strategy similar to the kind i used to use before the likes of Google Image Search existed.

What i want is, some kind of search engine which allows me to find the likes of audio, text, video, software or images which have particular licences for reuse. I believe this is possible because images, for example, can be tagged for content and there are clearly people who do things like trawl through YouTube videos to find copyright infringement. I would like this to be possible for two reasons. Firstly, i don't want to rip people off and use their stuff when they're just trying to make an honest crust. If i look for images in the public domain, this does have some impact on such people through the images they have created for money which i then won't use. Secondly, if i want to reuse something which in fact is restricted, i might want to pay them. This would seem to be a way of getting money to people without a huge wasteful apparatus like EMI or something.

So, i propose that there be a unified search engine which allows one to search for content by licence. If one chooses to filter by non-royalty free, something like thumbnails would be displayed with payment buttons next to them, linking to PayPal or something else which works and is fairly secure. A single action allows one to pay and download inseparably in such cases. I know there are sites which do this, but i'm talking about an internet-wide facility to enable it.

That way, no copyright infringement occurs, people get paid and there's no waste.

nineteenthly, Feb 09 2011

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       I thought this was going to be something that allowed you to add modifiers to your search requests, like "-tudor". Or maybe something which submitted your search request to a team of minor royals, one of whom would come and knock on your door with your search results beautifully printed on vellum.
hippo, Feb 09 2011

       [Ian], there are no images at all on my blog, stolen or otherwise, other than the banner at the top which Wordpress put there, but yes, people are cavalier.   

       Actually no, tell a lie, there are scans of course materials from an educational institution which had long since gone bust, but they're only samples, not wholesale plonking of content, and i did it to argue the case for herbalism with Ben Goldacre, who made a claim with which i strongly disagreed.
nineteenthly, Feb 09 2011

       Flickr (and I am sure other image sites) has a search option (within the "advanced search" section) where you can restrict your search by creative commons licence type.   

       Besides, doing a search on an image site often yields better results than an image search on Google.
Jinbish, Feb 09 2011

       Yes, true, and they may want to encourage people to visit their site directly, but they can exclude search engines if they want that to continue and it just doesn't work the same way as internet-wide search engines, because there's no one-stop place for doing this.   

       [Ian], hmm, i'm thinking about bloggers i know as opposed to blogs which i frequent written by people i don't know, and i can't recall them ripping off any images at all. They link to their own content on YouTube sometimes or post their own photos but i can't say i've noticed them do that. I've generally assumed that the majority of images on the internet which aren't free are watermarked in some way, so linking an image payment service to that watermark would presumably achieve a balance between the advertising revenue coming in and the usage rights going out.
nineteenthly, Feb 09 2011


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