Yahoo Launches Search For Nontraditionally Licensed Content - InformationWeek

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Yahoo Launches Search For Nontraditionally Licensed Content

Yahoo releases in beta a search engine that looks for pictures, writings, and other creative works that are available for reuse under nontraditional copyright licenses offered by a nonprofit group.

Yahoo Inc. on Thursday released in beta a search engine that looks for pictures, writings and other creative works that are available for reuse under nontraditional copyright licenses offered by a nonprofit group.

The new online tool searches the web for sites with a Creative Commons license. The San Francisco organization has created a range of protections for authors and artists by replacing the "all rights reserved" of traditional copyright with "some-rights-reserved" alternatives.

For example, photographers could choose to make their work available for free for noncommercial use only and with attribution. The nonprofit group also has licenses covering cases where parts of an artist's work are used by a third party in another project, which is then distributed to others. Creative Commons offers a total of 11 licenses.

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., claims to search "millions of web pages" that carry the Creative Commons logo. Visitors can click on the logo to read the conditions in which content on the page can be reused.

The new tool, according to Yahoo, is to assist people in finding and sharing creative works.

"Yahoo Search is focused on providing innovative, useful technologies that enable people to find, use, share, and expand human knowledge," David Mandelbrot, vice president of search content at Yahoo, said in a statement.

Experts, however, say search engines dedicated to specific categories are expected to eventually dominate the paid-search market. Fully 79 percent of the $2.6 billion advertisers spent last year on sponsored links and other forms of paid search were in four categories, retail, financial services, media and entertainment, and travel, according to JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corp., said.

Yahoo and rivals Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN have launched so-called vertical search engines in areas like retail and entertainment.

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