Whatever your thoughts about the merits or otherwise of micro-stock there's no denying that iStockphoto is doing great business. As well as the spiffy new website redesign (and the iStockphoto site really is looking very splendid right now) they've come up with a great way to sell even more of our stock photography and at the same time providing a service I think bloggers will quickly find invaluable. iStock are launching a Wordpress plug-in that helps bloggers browse, buy and insert the perfect stock image to accompany their post or web page and with the rise of smart feed readers like Flipboard, Apollo and Pulse (three of my favourite news reading apps on the iPad) the importance of an eye-catching image for gaining attention and building traffic has never been greater. The plugin pulls tags from your blog post and uses them to search against iStockphoto's catalogue of images. It was written by GuteWolke for Wordpress version 3.0 and is available at www.microstockplugin.com. Images purchased through the plugin are the same price and licensing terms as those bought through the website.
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The illegal use of images has become quite a hot topic on the internet since the launch of photo sharing websites. Making sure that the stock images you're using are legal is one more thing to worry about. So iStockphoto have decided to offer a guarantee to their customers on their entire collection. On Sept. 16, any video, image or audio file purchased and used correctly by the customer, will automatically be guaranteed against any copyright or moral right, trademark and other intellectual property dispute, up to $10,000. This has been something that traditional, more expensive stock agencies have offered but it's brand new to micro-stock.