The Web’s Next Layer of Innovation: Q&A With Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito

Web surfers, whether hardcore business professionals or amateur Website creators, frequently find images online either through search engines or Webpage browsing. However, in most cases, these images are not free to use.

Maybe the photographer who created the image would be open to selling rights for a small fee; perhaps he or she only wants attributionbut no pay. In any case, the Internet lacks a standardized method to ensurethat intellectual property (IP) owners get the recognition and/orpayment they are due.

Tracking down the copyright owner for images found on the Internet is oftena time-consuming research effort. For many other consumers of images,it is much easier to simply right-click and save rather than find whoowns an image and determine how to buy the rights to use it.

PicScout, a software firm that offers image services to professionalphotographers, provides several browser inserts and tracking tools,such as ImageExchange and PicScout Image IRC, and a suite of productsto enable online image transactions for users and licensers of images.

Internet luminary Joi Ito, CEO of Creative Commons, recently joinedPicScout’s advisory board to further advance his goal of solvingongoing legal concerns about getting professional photographersattribution and pay for their images. Ito is among the most recognizednames in Web technology as cofounder and board member of

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