Why flickr won’t be selling my photos


20141202-featured20141218A welcome update/retraction from flickr 

If you are a flickr member you may have seen at least one of these high profile commentaries about flickr’s recent shenanigans:

Jeffrey Zeldman: WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? FLICKR IS ABOUT TO SELL OFF YOUR CREATIVE COMMONS PHOTOS 

Thomas Hawk: The Controversy Around flickr Selling Creative Commons Licensed Photos

Cnet: Some photographers bristle over Flickr’s selling of photos

PetaPixel: Flickr Taking Heat from CC Photographers for Selling Their Work as Wall Art Without Compensation

“More than 300 million publicly shared Flickr images use Creative Commons licenses, making it the largest content partner. Yahoo last week said it would begin selling prints of 50 million Creative Commons-licensed images as well as an unspecified number of other photos handpicked from Flickr.” –WSJ

The default license on flickr is “©All Rights Reserved”, unless you change your default license to one of the Creative Commons Licenses which allows others to use your uploaded photos. Since signing up in 2006, at least 99% of my images have been tagged either © or licensed under a BY-NC-ND Creative Commons License (the same license in my site’s sidebar) and therefore, thankfully, not eligible for this new “feature.”

“Yahoo says it is complying with the terms of Creative Commons by selling only images that permit commercial use.” -WSJ

While there may be nothing illegal about what flickr is doing with images that have a Creative Commons “Attribution” License**, there is a very wide moral chasm  between an individual ordering a printed wall art image from their own photostream and flickr offering those same images for sale to 3rd parties.

Come on flickr! Don’t be that guy.*

(*from the flickr “Community Guidelines“)

** Just to clarify, the images being sold by flickr are any images that have a CC License that does not include the “Non-Commercial” clause, not just those that only have an “Attribution” License.

2 thoughts on “Why flickr won’t be selling my photos

  1. For years i have used Flickr to host my WordPress blog photographs and I also used a CC Non Commercial license for them. I don’t trust Yahoo so as of earlier this week I have started hosting all new photographs on 500px and stopped using a CC License. If anyone is going to make money from my photographs it’s going to be me.

    1. I think flickr lost a lot of their members’ trust when they were taken over by yahoo!(tm). There was so much bad mojo in the flickr forums following that move. But for all that it doesn’t seem like flickr members are slowing down. Perhaps with this latest smack upside their head, people will rethink why they are using flickr to share their images. There are alternatives available.

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