A stock photography vendor founded by Bill Gates. They are using their immense financial resources to buy up huge swathes of the world's collected imagery and turn a profit on it. The Bettman Archive, for example, was the world's largest collection of public domain images and films. Remember the Hindenburg burning at Lakehurst? What about Neil Armstrong on the Moon? Ansel Adams? Just about every photo of great jazz musicians you've ever seen is owned by Corbis. They recently bought the archives of the Sygma news agency, suggesting intent to move into realtime news.

Bettmann himself said of the deal that Gates was buying History.

As a designer, I never buy Corbis stuff because I consider that sort of acquisitiveness to be both evil and bad for the market. Unfortunately, for some images, particularly historical and photojournalistic ones, there's now no other source.

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