What has been the plague of social network might generate a tool that could become a standard for image licensing on the web. A German company has announced that is about to unleash a software that will automatically make an image posted on the internet inaccessible after a certain time.
The idea behind X-Pire is to allow people to post images of “that party last night” for everyone to enjoy for a month after but then make them disappear so that those incriminating pictures of you will not appear 10 years from now. We all make mistakes, don’t we ?
The system is quite simple : you drag your image via a software that tags it with a code and an expiration date . Once online, that image is linked to a database that holds this information. Once the date has expired, the image is no longer visible. Pretty straightforward.
For image licensors, like agencies or photographers, that could be a great tool. You license an image online for one month, let’s say, and after that time period, it is no longer visible. If the client wants more, he pays accordingly and you can reissue a time based license.
During the period when it can be seen, the image can be copied without the embedded key. Thus, It will not prevent the image from being used maliciously elsewhere, although they could certainly tweak the system to do so.
For now, this system, entirely geared for Social network users, is per a subscription model ( 3 months = 6.99 Euros) .
Not sure who will use it : You have to be the one posting the image in order to use it: Who really posts damaging images of themselves, even with a time limit ?
However, with a few tweaks, this could be the basis of a strong system to license images online, even automatically. A website would come to your site, select the image it needs, put it the time it needs it for and download the hi- res before posting it. In the background, your top of the line website will have inscribed the time limit key inside the image. Once the license expires, poof, the image is gone.
This could revitalize the RM ( rights managed) model in exciting new way. Another step closer to reaching the “intelligent image“.