@Home, which provides Internet services over a cable infrastructure, and Intel have been developing together a broadband portal for digital imaging resources and tools. This portal, dubbed "Making Pictures," was created to be a one-stop shop for users to develop and digitize film, create and distribute digital images, and learn about the latest imaging products.
Corbis will be the first content provider to this portal. The companies hope that users will use the agency's collection to create e-postcards, print images, and purchase prints, and posters.
Corbis is a privately held digital media company founded by Bill Gates in 1989. Corbis, with guidance from Microsoft chief Gates, has created some of the world's great treasure chests of photographs and images.
With his conviction that content is king, Gates has acquired the Bettmann Archive, one of the world's largest collections of photographs. Corbis also purchased Leonardo Da Vinci's manuscript Codex for $30.8 million in 1994. The Corbis stash also contains images by legendary photographer Ansel Adams.
The battle for controlling and transmitting digital images is just heating up as Gates prepares to battle Mark Getty, heir to part of the Getty oil fortune. Getty has funded Getty Images, now a $142 million publicly traded firm that has purchased four stock photography or video houses during the last year.
"@Home's broadband capabilities and market appeal combined with our e-commerce capabilities and extensive, high-quality image database represents a perfect match for online consumers' needs," David Rheins, vice president of Corbis Productions, said in a statement.
@Home subscribers will have access to search through more than 500,000 pictures online from the Corbis Collection, including images of world cultures, travel, historic news events, and famous celebrities. Subscribers will be able to access The Bettmann Archive, United Press International, and the LGI collection.