Flickr has added a new option by which people can turn their images at Yahoo's photo-sharing site into revenue.
In Flickr's initial partnership with photo licensing powerhouse Getty Images, Getty representatives cherry-picked Flickr photos and photographers they liked. Later, Flickr members could offer their own candidates for evaluation by Getty for licensing.
The new option, called Request to License, lets photographers nominate photos in a way that those who want to license figure into the transaction.
Here's how it works. A photographer can label a photo to be part of the Request to License program. When somebody who's interested sees it, he or she can click a link that brings Getty into the transaction to handle permissions, price, and such details.
It's a significant addition to the Flickr-Getty partnership, which now offers 100,000 images for licensing, since it adds the customer's voice to the equation. That increases the potential to make the combination a more competitive alternative to microstock photo licensing sites where customers are used to being in the driver's seat when browsing photo candidates. And it increases the incentive for serious photographers to share photos on Flickr.
Getty isn't in competition with the microstock world of low-cost, royalty-free licensing, though: it operates one of the biggest such sites, iStockphoto.
The new Getty-Flickr program has raised some hopes among those discouraged by earlier attempts to work with the Getty program.
"Getty wants everything perfect and are working to a formula, whereas the buyers might just want a photo for computer desktop or cellphone desktop. And they aren't looking for a technically perfect photo," said Flickr user Made in New Zealand in a Flickr forum post. It's not clear, though, what standards Getty will use for the licensing program even if a customer wants a photo.