Time Incorporated, a unit of Time Warner, is using its vast resources of magazines--which includes People, Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated--to sell and license pictures online.
The Picture Collection contains some of the most famous photographs ever taken, the company claims.
The collection includes Alfred Eisenstaedt's photo of the sailor kissing a nurse on V-J Day in Times Square, J.R. Eyerman's audience wearing 3-D glasses, Lisa Larsen's pictures of the wedding of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Martha Swope's theater and dance collection, and images of last week's important news and sports by award-winning photojournalists, according to Time.
The company just added more than a million new historical images with its recent acquisition of London's Mansell Collection. Many of the photos date back to the earliest days of photography.
Time claims photography is one of the Web's fastest-growing businesses, and most contentious, frequently pitting photographers and artists, who don't want to lose financial and creative control of their work, against publishers and archives.
Customers can select an image, place the order online, and receive an electronic-mail confirmation, similar to ordering books from Amazon.com. An employee of Time's syndication unit will then call and arrange to deliver the photo either digitally over phone lines or through regular mail.
Eventually, users will be able to conduct the entire licensing transaction online using a credit card or established billing account, and be able to download high-resolution image files directly to their PCs, the company claims.
Membership is free. There's no charge for searching the Picture Collection, and users must be using a Netscape 3.01 or newer, or Internet Explorer 4.0 or newer for browsing the archive.