Getty, meet free market.

heads up: this is a pretty old post, it may be outdated.

Yahoo and Getty Images said Tuesday that they have entered into a partnership under which Getty editors will comb Flickr in search of interesting images. They will then invite photographers to participate in the program and ensure that their images have the proper releases to be licensed legally. Those who are included in the program will get paid at the same rates that Getty pays photographers who are under contract with the company.

Great Photo on Flickr? Getty Images Might Pay You For It - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

Finally, a good reason to use flickr, perhaps even pay for a pro account!

While flickr has always been cool from a technology front, I've never really been encouraged to use it. In part, because I'm afraid my images might get stolen, and in part because I was never too keen on the 200 image maximum.

Now, from the unlikely source of Getty, who also runs iStockPhoto, Flickr has become a stock image site. iStockPhoto is very controversial because it does not pay photographers royalties and charges little for a purchase. Yet:

Getty also runs a site called iStockPhoto, where amateurs contribute photos that the company markets at lower rates. The photos on Flickr are of sufficent quality to demand higher prices, Mr. Klein said.

It seems that there is something to be said for the free market. iStockPhoto offers an inferior product. Here's the market correcting itself.

“Because the imagery is not shot for commercial services, there is more authenticity,” Mr. Klein said. “Advertisers are looking for authenticity.”