This is one of those articles where I wish I had more than one upvote to give.
Great stuff! Love this way of thinking, wrote a bit about this here http://www.mobileinc.co.uk/2014/09/introducing-picdeck-co-a-tweetdeck-style-viewer-for-instagram/ after we made picdeck.co
Side-projects are super fun but i agree with the post, keep it simple as possible
Giving away free shit wins, right? Unsplash is an amazing resource but do individuals submit work for the exposure alone and are they aware what they’re getting themselves in for? I think I’d know how I’d feel if I saw some large corporation using one of my shots as the centrepiece of their marketing campaign. Very possible scenario given their current license.
Interesting how they’ve copyrighted the ‘presentation and collection’ of the images though. Wonder what that specifically means.
You're right the photos have been used by a ton of companies, including some big ones like Medium, Twitter, Wordpress, Volvo, Rdio, and Adobe. The license makes the terms really clear and so far at least, none of the submitters have expressed any concern.
In fact most contributors have expressed how much they love Unsplash. It's increased their exposure dramatically and directly lead to a ton of freelance work as photographers, as people have found them through Unsplash.
This is a fantastic read! I interviewed Mikael for Signal Tower a year ago, and he talked in great detail about how they had benefited from side projects like Unsplash. I think it is a pretty good playbook to follow for startups. See companies like Invision and projects like TETHR.
EDIT: My interview with Mikael http://signaltower.co/mikael-cho/
follow up post: how SSL errors killed our startup?