Getting more free images.

Durova writes a nice piece for the marketers recruiting more free images. Nice one!

I’m wondering how to do this for entertainers. Bad live shots, snapshots and so forth under a free content licence always supersede something that isn’t free content. (Many have argued the toss on this, but as things stand that’s the way things are.) I’m wondering a useful way to reliably get entertainment industry promo photos to flock to us. I suspect our really crappy examples would be a start. e.g. “Top ten site, our rules. You don’t get to have a good photo under your control. You get a crappy photo that’s under a suitable license, or you give us a good photo under a suitable license. The latter is probably a lot more to your liking and that of your artists.”

The hardest part is publishing that somewhere it would actually get read by the target audience. Ideas?

By the way: if you have decent photos you’ve taken of someone who’s got a Wikipedia article but no good free content photo, we’d love ’em. CC by-sa and GFDL both require your name staying attached to the image details page.

7 thoughts on “Getting more free images.”

  1. Not publishing it as, or from, Wiki?edia would most likely be a good idea – let someone else make the suggestion and then you can set the rules for it. Might also help avoid the impression of encouraging people/corporations to take ownership of articles about them.

    There isn’t a company in the world that doesn’t have a long history of giving away crap for free, and NC-ND-SA basically translates as “Here, have some of our flyers, give them away to all your friends, xerox more when you run out”.

  2. Yeah, I know how they’d like things done, and I also know that BY-NC-ND is their idea of radical openness. (There are people who do nothing all day but copyright clearances; in that context, it is radical.) That’s why I’d like to present it as “if you do this thing that helps us, it’s a win for you. Top 10 website, here’s how to get on it! w00t!”

    In my experience, it takes about five minutes’ gentle explanation to someone in a media company – even a fairly low-level peon – to get across the idea that we really mean it about letting go of control. Invariably it explodes their heads. I then have to point out again that we’re a top 10 website, it works for us and they approached us so we’re clearly doing something right.

    Teaching media corporations something beyond a toddler’s ideas on ownership (“if I thought about it ever, it’s mine”) will, I suspect, come down to a combination of gentle, patient explanation and gentle, patient application of a cattleprod. “Don’t do that then.”

  3. Even better, replace “entertainers” with any specific target group. The pitch is that the person or corporation trades an image or two in return for free (as in beer) distribution to thousands of people around the world. And if they worry that this image will be used to defame them (I dunno, say, a picture of a CEO playing footsie in an airport restroom with Larry Craig), the solution is “don’t be evil”. After all, people *are* going to create such images, copyright or no.


  4. When free is not free but obtained through blackmail, eh David?

    If you look at the reasons why celebraties would refuse to release commercial- and derivitive-allowable high quality photos of themselves, coupled with the reputation of Wikipedia despite its Google-fueled ranking, you’ll see why Wikipedia will continue to have the crappy celebrety photos for a long time to come.

  5. Er, bitterness? How about stating the obvious? Otherwise please show me all the celebrities who 1) are unaware of the existence of Wikipedia; 2) are unaware that they have an article there about them, and 3) the ones who have rushed to donate a commercial- and derivable-allowable photo of themselves. Surely you have read all the many posts on WP that asks this same question!

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