Bill Gates founds Corbis
Corbis Corporation is an American company, based in Seattle, Washington, that sells and otherwise distributes photography and film footage and related rights.
It has a collection of more than 100 million images and a footage library.
Corbis is privately owned by Bill Gates, who founded the company in 1989 under the name Interactive Home Systems (a name currently held by an unrelated, slightly older company based in Concord, Massachusetts). One major reason for starting the company was Gates's belief that people would someday decorate their homes with a revolving display of digital artwork using digital frames. The company's name was changed to Continuum Productions in 1994 and to Corbis Corporation a year later. "Corbis" is Latin for "wicker basket", which at the time referred to the company's emerging view of itself as a receptacle or storehouse for visual media. Its Bettmann Archive (acquired in 1995) is stored 220 feet underground in a refrigerated cave in the Iron Mountain storage facility.
1989: Gates founds Corbis, an archive of art and photography from public and private collections. Corbis later becomes one of the largest collections of visual information in the world.
At its third Annual Meeting with Bill Gates, Corbis (www.corbis.com) today unveiled its vision for the future of the professional image market and digital media. The Annual Meeting is the one time each year that Microsoft Chairman and founder Bill Gates steps forward to publicly talk about his other company Corbis.
Founded in 1989 with the purpose of exploring the potential created by combining the internet with digital media, Corbis today is a global leader in image licensing and related services. The company's early vision and exploration have been the foundation for building out a unique suite of services that manage a complex merger of art, commerce, technology and rights.
"We have been building Corbis for a long time with the goal of expanding the possibilities for content created by the convergence of technology and media," said Bill Gates, Corbis owner and founder. "Corbis is now uniquely positioned to capitalize on these new and emerging content markets. 2006 is the year to watch Corbis."