Fotolia  have announced the launch of photoxpress.com, a site which offers free stock images via the fotolia free API . fotolia members have been adding images to the 'free collection' for several years by opting in if their images do not meet the standards of the main collection. Photoxpress currently offers almost 350,000 images.
Image users are free to signup and download up to three images per day. Upto ten images can be download by completing a profile at the site which includes receiving a registration code via SMS.
The site is great, but I'm failing to see the advantage for stock contributors at fotolia here? Is there a profit share? who would want to advertise on a site that attracts people not willing to buy anything? One of my images was featured on the front page with links to lots of my other photos (for free) but there is no mention of me, my name, nor a link to my profile or any links to images from fotolia.
I still stand behind what I wrote in microstock photos for free , I think 'free' marketing works well and is beneficial to all involved if done correctly. The dreamstime  free collection includes a link back to the contributing photographers profile page and a selection of thumbnails of their paid images, most microstock photographers are happy with this deal.
I would urge any fotolia contributors who have donated free images to not make snap decisions into deleting them until fotolia have made a response. Fotolia have done nothing wrong technically, and as contributors to the free collection we all 'opted in' to give the images away for 'free'; it was only an assumption that this would be in reward for a printed text credit or link to our profiles from the source.
The internet is riddled with free stock photo sites so photoxpress has some work to do if it wants to be a success. The competition has image quality and usage terms just as good as those on photoxpress, but few have so many images. Marketing has been given a jump start by this launch due to the controversy it's caused in the microstock community but also the fact that this site, while a separate entity, is linked to the reputable brand fotolia has. Time will tell if the site becomes as popular as sxc.hu  which spawned stockxpert .
Fotolia.com Review