Flickr has just jumped into the photo licensing market with both feet, hoping to help you sell your stunning photos to a variety of “photo agencies, editors, bloggers and other creative minds.”
Image licensing isn’t a new idea for Flickr, long a repository for the best in high-quality photos posted by professional and amateur photographers alike. Flickr’s always allowed photographers easy access to creative commons licensing to tell editorial staffers which photos could be used, and for what purposes. It also allowed creators the ability to license their photos professionally via Getty Images and get paid, though the specific deal with Getty was discontinued back in March of this year.
Now, though, the list of places that you can sell the images you take on your iPhone to is even larger.
Apple may be signing its first licensing deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) as soon as next week, according to several sources with knowledge of the matter, says The Verge. UMG and Apple are in the final stages of negotiations, and Warner Music is close behind, say those sources. All Apple needs now to complete the licensing for what the media has dubbed iRadio is an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment and other music publishers.
Apple is widely expected to launch a streaming music service later this year, perhaps this summer, with features similar to Pandora, assuming it can get all the licensing squared away for such a service.
HTC China president Ray Yam believes the Taiwanese company’s new licensing deal with Apple will allow it to “take broader steps” and create better products this year. The Droid DNA maker recently entered into a 10-year licensing agreement with Apple that covers all current, pending, and future patents, and ended the litigation ongoing between the two companies.
Apple has been named in a California lawsuit filed by EPL Holdings for allegedly infringing a patent that covers audio and video playback at varying speeds. The filing reports that EPL met with Apple back 2002 to discuss licensing over the patents it had developed. But the Cupertino company is alleged to have used the technology anyway without reaching a licensing deal.
Now that Microsoft has unveiled the pricing and licensing models for Windows Server 2012, it’s easy to see why Apple’s focus on the small business market has been a genius move. Apple has been positioning its server platform as a small business solution for a while and Mountain Lion Server is the premier example of this focus.
Mountain Lion Server provides all the core needs for a small or mid-size firm – file sharing, email and messaging, shared contacts and calendars, and collaborative tools – for both Mac and Windows users. It also provides Mac deployment and update services as well as Mac and iOS device management capabilities. All of that is insanely affordable at just $31.98 ($19.99 to buy Mountain Lion, if needed, and then $19.99 for Mountain Lion Server).
By contrast, Microsoft’s so-called streamlining licensing for Windows Server 2012 lists a Windows Server Essentials Edition, which is the new equivalent of Windows Small Business Server, as starting at $425 with serious limitations.
With the incredible success of the App Store, sometimes it’s easy to forgot that there are still many, many countries the world over that don’t have access to it yet. That number has been reduced today, however, as Apple brings its mobile marketplace to another 32 countries, bringing the total number of countries with access to the App Store to 155.
OS X Server has always been something of a bargain compared to the various flavors of Windows Server. Unlike Microsoft, Apple never focused on a client access licensing model in which organizations must pay for the server software itself plus additional licenses for users or devices that connect to it. Apple also doesn’t break OS X Server down into multiple variations each with its own features, licensing needs, and upgrade limitations.
When you buy OS X Server, Apple gives you everything from file sharing to Internet and collaborative services like wikis and internal messaging through Mac and iOS device management. If you start as a small business with a single basic server and eventually grow to the point where you need to support and manage dozens or hundreds of Macs, PCs, and mobile devices, there are no limits imposed on licensing or data migration.
Microsoft is a company known for creating strict, labyrinthine, costly terms in its commercial and end-user licensing. With Windows 8 seen as a make-or-break product for Microsoft, the company has already been adding licensing terms intended to strengthen its hand in the mobile market. As we reported earlier this year, Microsoft’s enterprise licensing for Windows 8 has provisions to coerce businesses into buying ARM-based Windows RT tablets while punishing those that deploy iPads with more costly terms.
Ratcheting things up a notch, Microsoft’s general counsel Tim Fielden announced new details about the company’s end-user license agreements. Although not mentioning specific products or services, Fielden posted on a Microsoft blog that many new agreements will prohibit users from initiating a class action lawsuit against the company.
Microsoft is using its home field advantage in the business market to alter the playing field between its upcoming low cost Windows RT tablets (formerly called Windows on ARM or WOA tablets) and the iPad. To date, the iPad has been the business and enterprise tablet of choice and that gives Apple a significant leg up over competing Windows RT tablets.
Aiming to neutralize that advantage, Microsoft has written Windows 8 licensing for enterprise organizations in a way that makes supporting the iPad and other non-Microsoft devices more expensive – essentially penalizing companies that opt for the iPad and want to use a virtual desktop (VDI) solution such as those from Citrix and VMWare for remote access to a Windows desktop.