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Snap the perfect photo that you're uploading to Flickr? Find the perfect photo on Flickr for an article you're writing? Thanks to an expanded relationship between Flickr and Getty Images, licensing that perfect Flickr photo is now a lot easier.

Based on the apparent success of the Flickr Collection on Getty Images, the companies have launched a new 'Request to License' program that could significantly expand the pool of Flickr photos that are available for licensing.

For photographers, starting the process to make a photo available for licensing is as easy as clicking a "Want to license your photos through Getty Images link?" that now appears under the Additional Information section of public photo pages. Once set up, prospective licensees will see a 'Request to license' link in the Additional Information section of the photographer's public pages. By clicking on this link, prospective licensees will be connected to a Getty Images representative who can help structure an appropriate license.

Already, a number of photographers are using the program and it's reasonable to believe that professionals and semi-professionals on Flickr will be interested in joining as well. Unfortunately, it is currently only possible to activate 'Request a license' on an entire Flickr account, not on a per-photograph basis. For some photographers, this may not be desirable, and it may not be a good fit for amateurs either.

'Request to license' is a good example of how value can be extracted from the best user-generated content. Obviously, this relationship offers an easy way for Getty Images to grow its inventory of licensable content and ostensibly, Flickr will get a cut of any licensing sales, making it a win-win both parties.

Most importantly, the photographers have a lot to gain too. There are quite a few examples of Flickr photographs being taken and used by news organizations without permission. With this program in place, perhaps we'll see less 'theft', and more photographers being adequately compensated going forward.

Patricio Robles

Published 21 June, 2010 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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