“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
“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.
This article started life as a note on why anyone would steal your photo given the number of free or low-cost resources available to bloggers today. As I was writing it, the universe kept tripping me up by throwing articles at me on letting your digital images go, some with very compelling arguments/viewpoints. For example:
If you were to take an informal survey of everyone in your morning train/bus/subway/tram car commute whether they would license their photos in such a manner so as to let other people use them freely, without knowing what the end-product was, I suspect that there would be a split along age lines, with those having grown up from day one in the Digital Age being more likely to let their photos go. Before you jump on me for being ageist, stop and think about how the overall attitude towards online privacy has tipped over the last 5-10 years and what demographic has joined the online community in that time.
As a photographer who has encountered her photos used both with and without permission, I still tend to cling to the idea that it couldn’t hurt to ask beforehand, even if my Creative Commons licensed photos both here and on flickr don’t really require it. It’s the human thing to do.
Thanks to Google Alerts, today I discovered a new thread in the Community Support Forums about the Gallery feature. The Gallery Carousel that WordPress.com implemented in November last year has finally gotten some Staff attention so that every photo’s EXIF data is being displayed (if your photo has EXIF data attached to it when you upload), to a hastily renamed “Download Original” to “View Full Size” link, disproportionately large image titles, double scroll bars (lulz web design!), and most probably a host of other goodies. Most importantly there’s NO WAY to get to the image’s Attachment page because the “Permalink” has been replaced with “Reblog”.
Update: As these changes to the Carousel are a work-in-progress and user opinion is, thankfully, being considered, an option to hide the (EXIF) metadata in the Gallery Carousel has now been added. You can find it in your Dashboard>Settings>Media >Image Galleries.
Another Update!Fantastic! Not only can users choose to display EXIF metadata or not, we can now choose the Photo Carousel’s background color (available in fab black or lustrous white) or choose to turn off the Photo Carousel completely and revert to the original Gallery function of displaying either the larger image or an image attachment page.
Thank you WordPress.com for listening to your users!
How timely! My 2-year flickr pro subscription expired this past weekend and it looks like flickr got a whirlwind of a makeover at the same time.
Not that flickr and I have been the best of friends over the last couple of years, given that flickr has become the defacto “go to” service for many people’s search for images to use on their websites and my pastserendipitousexperiences of finding my flickr photos used on sites without my permission or without attribution. flickr has gone through a lot of changes from those halcyon days when I signed up just over 7 years ago (pre-Yahoo! even). Where once flickr was for me a vibrant photo community, it turned into not much more than photo storage and, quite frankly, not even that. Over the last two years, I may have uploaded around 100 photos and for that I can use my backup drive or any other online storage. Makes me wonder why I’m even considering plunking down another $25 for an annual subscription.
Will the changes coming to flickr (including an in-house replacement for Picnik) get me excited again about using flickr again? Not just now, but I’ll keep an open mind.
The site owner replied to my flickr mail this morning that the image has since been deleted from their site. Still, anyone running a website of any size (especially one of this size and breadth) should know copyright basics. There really isn’t any excuse. Sadly , however, looking a little further on I see another copyrighted photo this website has “faved” on flickr and used in an article on their website.