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Cobra picture - photo of a snake

Picture of a Cobra

During my exploration of the world's tax havens, one of the places I visited was Sri Lanka. There I met a snake charmer who showed off these remarkable animals. I paid the snake charmer a few hundred Sri Lankan rupees and I was given the privilege of getting this close to a live cobra without the usual problem of getting this near to a deadly snake and the associated risk of death.

The snake may have been "charmed", but it didn't look delighted, and as you can see, it's not smiling in the photographs!

Anyway, I got some good high-resolution pictures of a cobra,and it's only when this close to the lethal creature that you can see into its eye and see the world reflected. Eye of the CobraFor some people seeing this, at such a close distance, it would be the last thing they saw, like an event horizon.

At the time, having got such pictures, I considered I could go into the photo licensing business and set up an image catalogue, collect vast numbers of interesting pictures from around the world, and possibly make a lot of money. But then I realised that the world is changing and it is no longer a good business plan, to have a business that relies on copyright and protecting stuff online that can't possibly be protected. Plus, these days the number of people going around with high resolution digital cameras, going to all sorts of interesting places, and taking some amazing shots, is such that the business plan of selling image rights would be dead.

However, some years later, after the nuisance legal demands from Getty Images, I realised that some of the initial idea could be used, not to set up an expensive image copyright-protected system, but to set up an image catalogue based on the Open Source system, like the way Linux is licensed, and to put Getty Images out of business. So, this image of a snake is being used as a test-piece with which to set up the open-source image licence.

A larger version of this picture is available: i4229a.jpg , but even that is not the original. I'm keeping the original offline as evidence.

Close-up of the eye of a creature? See Eye of the Bird

Currently the picture is Copyright Zyra 2006 (all rights reserved) but we are looking for some help to draw up a licensing agreement so as to make it like Linux. Linux can be freely distributed but not captured and monopolised by Microsoft or any other proprietary system.

If you're interested in helping with this open-source image catalogue, please write in with constructive comments

If you'd like to use this particular image before we get the open source imagine licensing sorted out, please write in and I'm sure a reasonable agreement can be reached for specific cases.

When we get the open source image licensing sorted out, some of the key features will be:

* Images will be available for use and distribution.

* The creators of the images will be paid according to what's done with them.

* Attribution will be made, so the creators will receive fame.

* Getty Images, Corbis, and misusers of the old way of proprietary copyright will be specifically banished from using the images, and for the avoidance of doubt, a heavy fee will be stated up front for violations. It may even be possible to charge fees proportionate to the size of the companies misappropriating the images.