IStockphoto Guarantees Its Collection

Starting today, iStockphoto, the micropayment royalty-free image, video, and audio provider, will legally guarantee its entire collection from copyright, moral right, trademark, intellectual property, and rights of privacy disputes for up to $10,000. The new iStock Legal Guarantee, delivered at no cost to customers, covers the company's entire 5 million-plus collection. Additional coverage for an Extended Legal Guarantee totaling $250,000 is available for the purchase of 100 iStock credits.

"Our first line of defense has always been--and continues to be--our rigorous inspection process," said Kelly Thompson, chief operating officer of iStockphoto. "The Legal Guarantee is simply an added layer of protection for our customers, many of whom are using microstock more than ever before."

Although common for traditional stock houses, such legal guarantees have not been standard in microstock because of the low prices. Recently however, Vivozoom, another microstock company, took a similar action to guarantee its collection.

iStock says that files purchased and used in accordance with its license will not breach any trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights or rights of privacy. And, if a customer does get a claim, iStock will cover the customer's legal costs and direct damages up to a combined total of $10,000. iStock customers can increase their coverage for legal fees and direct damages up to a combined total of $250,000 by purchasing the Extended Legal Guarantee via the iStock credits (which costs between $95 and $138).

iStock expects that this program will be popular with a very small percentage of sophisticated media buyers with very specific needs, and considers it to be a value-added service to customers rather than a major source of revenue.

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