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I found an image on the Corbis images website:

enter image description here

(Full image here.)

At the end of the description there is a small note:

This is a publicly distributed U.S. government created image. Image is in the public domain.

If I cannot obtain a copy freely via Corbis (it does not seem that I can), presumably there is a copy somewhere else that is. Would such a source be online, or is the value Corbis adds to the image the fact that it is available electronically?

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I am not sure I understand your question: can you not use the image you refer to? It does say it's in the public domain. – Gene Golovchinsky Nov 28 '12 at 17:11
@GeneGolovchinsky The image provided is not very high resolution. Within the Corbis site I tried finding a higher resolution image to download for use (as it is a public domain image, right?) but the Corbis site seems to be requiring that I pay for a license to use the image. At the resolution/purpose I'm interested in Corbis wants $150 (!) – fbrereto Nov 28 '12 at 17:26
I see... I doubt that a newspaper archive would have a higher quality image... have you tried looking for this stuff in NARA? (Might take some doing) – Gene Golovchinsky Nov 28 '12 at 19:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This image comes from the Bettmann Archive, an extensive collection of negatives and prints that Microsoft purchased and rolled into Corbis (to much anguish from historians). As the note indicates, they do not own the image but they do hold the rights to its digital representation.

I would assume that the image was taken as a piece of Navy PR to capitalise on the public interest in the Marblehead action. My guess is that it almost certainly appeared in a San Francisco paper in mid-1942 (hometown hero story) or was recycled when the movie was released on 4 July 1944. So I would head to the newspaper archives.

Update January 2013:

On 18 January, The Legal Genealogist published a post called Copyright, Corbis & terms of use that bears directly upon this issue.

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Thanks for the update, that was 100% pertinent to the question. The newspaper archives, in general, have a cropping of the image above (and at digitized newspaper quality), so it's close (though obviously not the same). – fbrereto Jan 21 '13 at 20:34

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