beta

PicScout Looking for Creative Professionals to Beta Test ImageExchange

Fred Benenson, October 27th, 2009

Are you a creative professional who frequently finds yourself using Google Image search or the Flickr commons portal to discover new images? PicScout, a company specializing in image recognition software, is working on a Firefox extension called ImageExchange that they want your help to beta test. Right now the program is in closed beta, but they’ve already implemented support for recognizing images licensed with our Attibution Non-Commercial license.

What does this mean in practice? If you come across a CC BY-NC licensed photo anywhere on the web, PicScout’s ImageExchange extension will recognize it and give you what it believes is the source URL on Flickr. Here’s a screenshot to give you the idea of the results from a search for “flowers” on Google Images:

PicScout Image Exchange Screenshot

The important part to understand is that PicScout’s extension can recognize photos anywhere on the web — from Google Image Search results to a blog you stumble across. When you click the round information button at the top right of the thumbnails that it recognizes, you’ll get a dialog box with more information. If PicScout believes the photo is CC BY-NC licensed and from Flickr, it will point you to the photo’s original page on Flickr. PicScout also recognizes rights-managed and micro-stock images from various industry databases as well. This allows image re-users to get in touch directly with the owner of the photo and secure commercial rights to use it.

Recognizing commons content and identifying its original source is an important part of our community and it’s something we’ve been thinking a lot about. Take for example, the vigilant editors and administrators of Wikimedia Commons, which serves as the multimedia backend for all of the Wikipedia projects. A good portion of their time is spent weeding out copyright violations from the newly uploaded content to the project. If they had an easy way to determine whether an incoming photo was freely CC licensed, public domain, or All Rights Reserved, their jobs could be a lot easier. While PicScout’s ImageExchange is only indexing CC BY-NC licensed photos (which Wikipedia doesn’t accept anyway), we’re looking forward to seeing the database expand its reach into other domains in order to serve more and more communities.

For now, if you’re a creative professional searching the web for new images to use in your day-to-day work, sign up with Pic Scout’s ImageExchange beta program today!

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Twidox launches private beta

Jane Park, November 17th, 2008

Twidox, “a free, user generated online library of ‘quality’ documents,” launched their private beta today. The “private” beta can be accessed with a beta-code, which virtually anyone can obtain by registering. For readers of this blog, you can simply type in the beta-code “creativecommons” to check out Twidox.

Twidox is a content repository where anyone can upload and publish their work under a Creative Commons license, donate it to the public domain, or retain “all rights reserved” copyright. They have built in CC licensing, so you can easily tag your resources under the license of your choosing. Twidox’s focus is on:

  • academic papers and articles
  • research material
  • professional and industry specific documents
  • coursework and dissertations
  • data and statistics
Like Scribd, IssueLab, and a host of other platforms that have built in CC licensing, ccLearn encourages the open publication of educational materials on the internet. We will follow the progress and evolution of Twidox, who “[does] not see similar sites as competitors.” They state that “Rather than trying to compete with organisations such as the ‘Max-Planck Institute’ and ‘Frauenhofer Institute’, for example, we see them as potential co-operation partners and welcome partnerships.” They also differ from other content repositories in that they are working to cull content on a wider scale by collaborating with various European organizations, versus simply hosting individually contributed materials. So far, Twidox is working with the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking and also their Office on Drugs and Crime.

Twidox was founded by Nicholas and Daniel MacGowan von Holstein and Jan Deppe. The idea for Twidox began in a university when they began “discussing the difficulty of searching for relevant quality documents for research purposes (access to knowledge). The greatest obstacle lay in the relevance of search results returned from search engines, getting access to subscription-paying sites that did have relevant information and the vast number of websites from different organisations that held documents on the same subject.”

We look forward to seeing collaborations occurring between Twidox and organizations with similar aims.
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