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PicScout expands catalog; adds Ito as adviser

Image rights-finding service PicScout is making its catalog more than 7 million images larger.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Image identification company PicScout is expanding its efforts to help people identify the rights holders of images they find online.

On Tuesday the company is set to add microstock site Dreamstime's more than 7 million images to its Image Exchange catalog. What this means is that users who have the company's Image Exchange Firefox add-on installed will be able to identify when one of those images (or the other 40 million or so that are in the catalog) winds up on Web sites and in places like Google's image search.

PicScout cross-references images on the Web with its Image Exchange library to find matches of photos and stock imagery that is in its catalog. CNET

The add-on, which was introduced in October and remains in private beta, displays a little blue "i" on top of images that are within PicScout's image catalog, and that can be linked back to the rights holder or stock image site. This includes images from Flickr, as long as they've been marked by their uploader with a Creative Commons, attribution-only and noncommercial license.

Either way the end user will see whose image it is without having to do the legwork. PicScout goes one step further to link people directly to where they can then buy it, or get in contact with the image owner to secure the rights to reuse it.

The company says it plans to expand to Internet Explorer next, but chose Firefox first since it offered cross-compatibility with both PC and Mac users. The two platforms will offer identical functionality since they'll be working off the same master index.

Along with the addition of Dreamstime, PicScout is also announcing that it has picked up Joichi Ito as one of its advisers. Among some of his other gigs, Ito sits on the board of the Mozilla Foundation, is the founder and CEO of venture capital firm Neoteny, and is also the CEO of Creative Commons.

Previously: PicApp offers ad-sponsored stock photos (Note: this company has since been spun out by PicScout.)