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Flickr photos being joined to advertising -- without consent

Dave Ward Photography says:

This...

wii.yahoo.com/

...is not acceptable, now or ever!

It needs to be discontinued immediately, and nothing of this sort must ever be attempted again by Yahoo! or any of its "partners."

---------------------------

STAFF UPDATE:

"Update! I have spoken with the team working on wii.yahoo.com and they are going to be changing the site to only use images with appropriately licensed Creative Commons photos effective very soon. " -- mroth (here)

"A few points which I hope will help clarify... -- Stewart (here)
Posted at 2:30PM, 31 January 2007 PDT ( permalink )
heather (staff) edited this topic ages ago.

(301 to 400 of 415 replies in Flickr photos being joined to advertising -- without consent)
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inkswamp says:

THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK this is all about anti-commercial sentiment, please read my entire explanation below. You are wrong and need to stop being rude about it. Some of us have issues with this that are not just philosophical.

----

The Searcher: So. um. What, exactly is wrong with commercial use? How is that evil and wrong and vile?

Who's saying it's "evil and wrong and vile?" Some of us have serious and legitimate business questions about unrestricted commercial usage by Yahoo.

I use Flickr because I like the way it allows people to share and view my work while giving me a reasonable amount of control over it. Some of my photos have been spotted on Flickr and purchased for usage in various places. When I sold the rights to the photos in question, I signed a contract with the buyer to allow exclusive usage of the photos for advertising and promotional purposes. I retained the rights to show those photos on my Flickr stream but they are to be used nowhere else.

So, if Yahoo comes along and decides to lift my photos out of my Flickr stream for those kinds of uses on their sites, they are putting me in the position of appearing to be in breach of a contract that I signed. At the very least, it's embarrassing for me should the buyer of the photo see it; at worst, it makes me liable to the buyer of the photo.

Now, you can argue that I shouldn't have that photo on my Flickr stream anymore, but I pay to be a member of Flickr and I have an agreement between me and the buyer of the photo that I can continue to display it on my own Flickr stream. I believe that this gives me rights to display my work there and have control over what goes on with it.

As you can see, this isn't a matter of commercial things being evil and wrong (if I felt that way I would never have sold the usage rights to any of my photos in the first place.) However, if Yahoo plans to make commercial use of my photos, I need to know about it. I think, as a paying customer, I'm entitled to a clarification about this.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
inkswamp edited this topic ages ago.

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Jason Abbott says:

inkswamp said, "you can argue that I shouldn't have that photo on my Flickr stream anymore." I might instead argue that you should mark the photo All Rights Reserved (albeit by someone else) and no blogging, no API. Then Yahoo! won't "lift" it. That seems simple enough.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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inkswamp says:

Jason, the problem is (if I understand it correctly) Yahoo was using photos on their Wii page regardless of how they were marked in terms of rights and usage.

But even if they weren't, their TOS appears to give them the rights to do this anyway. So I think a clarification that any photos marked as OK for commercial use may be used by Yahoo, others will not. I don't think that's too much to ask. Thus far, their TOS doesn't clarify this at all.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
inkswamp edited this topic ages ago.

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chacal la chaise PRO says:

note that in the wider blog world, some believe yahoo's promotion/advertising mashups are a good thing. in fact these people applaud yahoo for developing things that, in their estimation, are better than what google develops.

in the end, we are pawns in the war between google and yahoo.

check this out as it has screenshots of flickr photos being used for promotion of yahoo apps, such as yahoo our city:
gigaom.com/2007/02/02/yahoo-beta-testing-local-mashups/
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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inkswamp says:

note that in the wider blog world, some believe yahoo's promotion/advertising mashups are a good thing.

Wonderful. I think it's a good thing too under the right circumstances. But if Yahoo is to continue doing this, they should show some respect for the rights allowed by Flickr users. There are lots of professional photographers on Flickr (and amateurs who have sold some of their own work) and Yahoo's attitude that Flickr photos may be used in that manner without regard to rights is ridiculous. It puts some of us in a difficult position.

As a paying Flickr customer, I don't feel that it's Yahoo's business doing that to me. As I've said repeatedly, it needs to be clarified in their TOS. Will photos marked as "non-commercial" or all rights reserved still be used on Yahoo's other sites without notice to the copyright owner?

I'm having a hard time believing that I've had to explain this so many times. It doesn't affect everyone (including bloggers) but it's not that hard to understand.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Norby PRO says:

inkswamp: Still, you should turn off blogging. Anybody could be using your photos without your knowledge right now, so you're already in breach of contract, wii or not.

-/\/
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

> Still, you should turn off blogging. Anybody could be using your photos without your knowledge right now, so you're already in breach of contract, wii or not.

turning off blogging does not prevent people from blogging your public photos. it just makes it slightly more complicated (i.e. the blogger must write a snipplet of html). but any public photo can still be blogged easiely, that's how the web work, and there is nothing that you can do about it.

the only way flickr could possibly prevent this would be by checking the "REFERER" in their http server and refuse any GET request to an image if the REFERER is not one of their own server.

then bloggers would have to download and copy the image on another server in order to blog them, which is significantly more difficult and probably completely illegal if the photo is "all rights reserved".
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Henrique Vicente PRO says:

inkswamp,

1st. Yahoo! worked to 'fix' it as soon as the users asked it to be 'fixed'. So what are you all asking now? Just trolling or do you want something else? We were already told that the Flickr staff will contact other departments, etc, to avoid this happening again in the future. If you want also anything more I recommend you to be objective, otherwise let's all stop crying. If the problem is with the Yahoo-Flickr accounts merge let's discuss it where it is appropriate, not create buzz over this subject because of other thing. Please, be direct, go straight to the point if you have anything more to invoke, etc. So we can avoid coming back to the same point everytime someone posts anything.

2nd. In licensing your photo for someone's exclusive use, have you stated that it would continue available from the API, Flickr's (and eventually external) search engines, and map (if applied)? If you did, you better know that someone may use it for non-commercial use under fair-use, etc and this someone may be out of control of either Flickr or Yahoo!... So, you better take care.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Henrique Vicente PRO says:

loupiote (Old Skool), yet this is not completely illegal as may be conditions where fair-use applies (as thumbnails). And what Flickr does (whitespace.gif, etc) is already enough to avoid this... We don't need to be too crazy about that... It's simple how things work.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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inkswamp says:

1st. Yahoo! worked to 'fix' it as soon as the users asked it to be 'fixed'. So what are you all asking now?

That it be clarified in Yahoo's TOS to which we are all going to be subject as Flickr customers. Just pulling down the Wii page doesn't answer whether Yahoo policy allows that kind of usage. Some of us need to know one way or the other.

Just trolling or do you want something else?

Given that Stewart himself has acknowledged this as something that needs further clarification from Yahoo, I'd say you can keep your name-calling to yourself--unless you think Stewart is trolling too.

We were already told that the Flickr staff will contact other departments, etc, to avoid this happening again in the future.

That's a start, but it needs to be clarified in Yahoo's TOS, otherwise I could be agreeing to let Yahoo do whatever they want and I can't allow that with all my images.

If you want also anything more I recommend you to be objective, otherwise let's all stop crying.

I'd really love it if people would stop trying to boil down the concerns of others to "crying." You sound like a teenager when you talk like that. That's the sort of oversimplification I associate with very young, inexperienced kids. And it adds nothing to the discussion.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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inkswamp says:

Norby: Still, you should turn off blogging.

Blogs aren't an issue. That doesn't put me in any breach of contract. I've given people exclusive rights to the commercial usage of the images. Someone blogging it directly out of my Flickr stream (where I'm contractually allowed to display it) isn't encroaching on that. What does is when a company like Yahoo puts it on a page appearing to promote a product. That's a commercial usage of the image--or close enough to cause problems for copyright owners.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dr. Keats PRO says:

Said it before, say it again:

I'm perfectly happy for Yahoo to use my images for commercial purposes, so long as:

a) they give me a slice of the revenue pie. Why? Because they're using my stuff to help them make money...

b) they ASK ME FIRST! Why? Because I might disagree with the way they're planning to use my stuff, and choose not to play.

Fulfil those two criteria, and there's surely no problem...
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

inkswamp: what about Stewart's recent large post on the topic? The one where he admits he can't speak for the legalese and they're working right now to get a decent legal clarification to back up his non-legal opinion that the Yahoo TOS allows use for the purpose in which you posted it, ie Flickr and only Flickr, if that's the license you chose. So you're getting what you want, legal people are getting together to confirm or deny yours and Stewart's opinion on the TOS, with some word forthcoming. It's the weekend, and Stewart is sitting in economy class somewhere over the Atlantic, so what do you want to happen RIGHT NOW? If you're concerned, I'd consider setting your images to Private temporarily, or pulling them from Flickr until this is resolved, to protect your existing contracts.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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loupiote (Old Skool) pro PRO says:

Dr. Keats

yes, i would also be very happy to license some of my photos to yahoo for commercial use, for some fee of course.

but clearly yahoo has already spent a lot of money acquiring flickr, so now what they want is to "monetize" this "asset" (flickr) i.e. use some photos hosted by flickr in their giant marketing machine, without having to pay royalty fees to photographers.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

sure, and those photographers who are ok with that. If you're not, you know the license menu you can choose from to not allow it.

but try to expand your perspective a bit. Flickr is getting close to half a BILLION images, and sure a lot of that is crap and parties and belly buttons. But if Yahoo and/or Flickr were to look at a direct way to "monetize" this ginormous database, they'd be in a pretty good position to take on the stock image market in a big way.

And that sort of thing is where, if they make money, I make money.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dr. Keats PRO says:

Sure, that's the crux of the matter - if they'd asked in the first place (and thereby given people the option to say "Fuck off, you dirty materialistic capitalist pig-dogs"), there wouldn't have been a problem.

Instead, they took, and just assumed that everyone'd be cool with it.

Nup...
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

but it was a mistake, doc. As they run it now, they CAN take, as long as they only take the ones people want them to. If this turns into a backlash that forces them to create some sort of system that requires asking for every little thing, it'll kill any commercial opportunities under bureaucracy and paperwork. That's the whole point of those licenses, to get the asking out of the way.

If they keep making "mistakes" and taking stuff not set up for taking, then yah sure, pitchforks and torches. But I'd rather let this one go as learning experience, for them and us. and see if they learn.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dr. Keats PRO says:

'Course it was a mistake, and one which was quickly rectified. No problem with that...

Point certainly taken about bureaucracy and paperwork, but realistically, the second they use an image without asking the owner first, there'll be a repeat of this debacle, and citing this as a precedent - "they haven't learnt anything", "they're doing it again", etc.

I'd be happy with an initial check-box along the lines of "Do you consent to Yahoo using your images for commercial purposes?". Opt in, or opt out. Although, theoretically, that's what the current "licences" are for...
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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chacal la chaise PRO says:

re: the searcher's comments

this would be a more positive way to go--portions of income from stock photo sales. it is a safer way for using images. it pushes down the imagery, whereas the other way is for a photographer to find a venue to put their photos out for use for money. there are some, but in contrast to flickr are very obscure.

also, my initial post was not against blogging. i am a blogger, i blog my own images, and have blogged two contacts once each.

my aim was to point out that the mario bros screen shot with flickr thumbnails was not the only time yahoo was including flickr images in their apps. while i like the idea of the my cities app, is it really a better intended use? how do i know what a non-human corporation thinks or intends in terms of revenue streams gained by the flickr aquisition?

in addition, i do not feel this discussion group is whining. it is discourse intended to explore how a user's rights may or may not have been violated, and the hows and ifs corporate intends to ameliorate any issues that arise from our conversations.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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podiluska says:

around here, they have a phrase "ignorance of the law is no defence". Yahoo should cough up a fee on a page impression basis to everyone who's images they used in direct contravention of the applied licence. Don't tell me Yahoo! don't know how many there were, either!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Norby PRO says:

inkswamp: somebody could blog your photos and sell ads on their blog - against the ToS, but that's not going to stop people with truly malicious intent. We've had sites shutdown in the past for such reasons, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take steps to protect yourself. If you are truly serious about protecting them, leaving them up on flickr (in its current state) doesn't necessarily sound like the best option (IMHO).

loupiote: flickr has publically had talked about intentions to get people a piece of the pie in the stock-type market in the past, separately from any Y!-based initiatives like the wii site.

-/\/
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

podiluska: around here, they have a phrase too, it's um. well it's something about keeping your own house clean, or something like that.

Where'd you see screenshots of the Wii page? here? on some folks' Flickr pages? I know I have. Lots and lots of them. And every single one of them is in direct violation of Yahoo's copyright, as posted at the bottom of the Wii page. I wonder how much Yahoo wants to charge them?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

Wouldn't those fall under "fair use for purposes of criticism"? :)
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dave Ward Photography says:

Henrique Vicente wrote:

inkswamp,

1st. Yahoo! worked to 'fix' it as soon as the users asked it to be 'fixed'.

And not any sooner. They had been using the photos since November, and didn't fix it until they were caught.

Yahoo! will do this kind of crap for as long as they can get away with it.

Do you get it yet? (No, of course not.)
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

till they could get away with it? Or until they were notified that there was an error?

I admit I can't be inside the giant corporation's head, but if I go by what I actually can measure, which is how responsive they were to fixing the error (literally minutes), I have to give them the benefit of the doubt on this round.

How about you, dave? Are you taking down the copyright protected material on your own Flickr page? or are you waiting for a takedown notice from Yahoo?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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The Searcher PRO says:

brenda: very possible, that usually goes to taking some sort of "Excerpt", so it would depend on whether a screenshot would count as one.

Also, the screenshots are all from AFTER Yahoo corrected their page, and are mostly trophies showing off when their mis-tagged images (images with the proper CC license) got onto the page. So considering that they aren't for criticism, but to show proof of vandalism, maybe not so protected.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dave Ward Photography says:

The Searcher wrote:

till they could get away with it?

As long as they could get away with it. Yahoo! knows what they're doing. And we know what they're doing, too.

People aren't stupid. Not us, and not Yahoo! Don't treat them that way.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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LarryB PRO says:

I'm not going to be too quick to buy into the corporate nefariousness theory here. Instead, I'd just bet that it was someone being overly enthusiastic and not considering the implications. I don't know if Yahoo! has internal policies on this kind of thing but I know that the megacorp I work for does. If someone at my company had done this, there would be career implications - we're very big on both privacy and everyone's intellectual property rights.

Frankly, I'm concerned about the TOS change from flickr to Yahoo! and this incident is pretty much the perfect storm since it illustrates an inappropriate (but possibly perfectly legal) usage of members' photos. The degree of passion on this thread and on the sign in thread shows that people (perhaps especially O.S. members) are emotionally attached to flickr, and the flickr brand. If the Yahoo! brand and biz dev folks have half a brain, they'll realize that they should nurture and not destroy flickr.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Henrique Vicente PRO says:

www.DaveWard.net, since November? God! Is the Wii that old..? I thought it was released at December.


Anyway, could you sell me your prediction system you use at your company to avoid copyvio/fair-use-haters problems? Because in order to something to be fixed, afaik someone has to notice it needs to be fixed.

Do you get? I pray you do, otherwise I think you fall on the same error about someone there I don't remember who was that always asked 'about the manager', as a developer needed one for every little thing...

And when will the civil vandalism, oops, disobedience, campaign show off?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Pacdog PRO says:

Mabie this is how Yahoo got to be in the top ten companies to work for in the USA.. Hmmmm.. BTW: Google is #1.. I'm so very sure Google would never want this to happen to them! (It's a freakin joke people!!!) LOL?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dave Ward Photography says:

Henrique, I think it's great that we have fantastic, brave people like you around here to stand up for the big guy, and to root for the overdog.

And remember, people: If somebody steals your photo and puts it up in their storefront window, then you have vandalized their property!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Henrique Vicente PRO says:

If you act like a kid and start firing stones on the park so people can't find their cars you are vandalizing... And let's say, a big photo covering all the storefront window with your contact number on it... Very interesting.

`Pacdog, lol :P
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Doug Watt says:

Henrique, what an entertaining posting style you have ;-)

However, I have to correct the assertion you made here:

Do you get? I pray you do, otherwise I think you fall on the same error about someone there I don't remember who was that always asked 'about the manager', as a developer needed one for every little thing...

Since I wrote the original post, where I said that I didn't think the managers or the developers were dumb enough to not know to look for the CC permission and you first twisted that to claim that I was saying developers needed a manager to figure things out for them, now (if I understand you correctly) you're at it again.

If you are going to make things up, don't use me as a source, thanks.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Doug Watt says:

If you act like a kid and start firing stones on the park so people can't find their cars you are vandalizing... And let's say, a big photo covering all the storefront window with your contact number on it... Very interesting.

Oh yeah? Well,

All Your Base Are Belong To Us!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Adam Lawrence says:

Someone just sent me this
www.wired.com/news/technology/0,20472-0.html
I'd love for a Flickr staff person to once and for all confirm that this sort of behavior will NOT happen here.
Thanks!

(edit, i know the article is ancient, but it shows a past pattern is all)
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dave Ward Photography says:

Gee, I wonder who sent you that? :-)

Yes, what Wired reported was true: When Yahoo! acquired GeoCities, they wrote a new set of terms. Those terms included the user agreeing that GeoCities is the owner of the content on the user's web site. Yahoo! blocked users from modifying their website until they agreed to these new terms.

And if it's not bad enough that Yahoo! literally tried to claim ownership of all the user-generated content on GeoCities then or in the future, some wise analysts predicted Yahoo's handling of matters:

"I bet that once it comes to light, they'll modify it. They can't get away with it. They'd have people leaving in droves," said David Post, a law professor at George Mason University who teaches intellectual property law.

"My prediction is that Yahoo will say, 'That's not what we intended. We don't really want to do all these things with their content. We had it as an insurance policy,'" Post said.

In some cases, it is simply not enough to say, "They've learned from past mistakes." That answer will not do this time.

People don't trust Yahoo. And there's a LONG list of reasons why -- many of those reasons being Yahoo!'s repeated efforts to steal or misuse other people's content.

Do you see, there are damn good reasons why people don't want Yahoo! to get their grubby paws all over our Flickr?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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pberry PRO says:

Yahoo owns Flickr now. That is just fact at this point. There is no 'undo' button on this one.

If you feel your copyright is being infringed, you need to report it.
docs.yahoo.com/info/copyright/copyright.html

I found that link in the Community Guidelines. If you don't think Y! would take a complaint against themselves seriously you should engage outside legal counsel. Legal pontificating in online forums typically wont get the results you might be expecting.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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inkswamp says:

Norby, I appreciate your responses, but I feel like you're trying to corner me, and that's not going to happen.

There is a shade of difference between someone blogging one of my photos (even one purchased by a third party for commercial usage) and a company using one of my photos on an advertorial. Even if the blog has ads, the main intent isn't to use my image to promote any particular product and so it's a non-commercial use and does not infringe on my contractual obligations. The intent is to draw attention to the image and link back to my Flickr page.

On the other hand, if Yahoo is pulling Flickr photos into their Wii page, the intent there is (it appears) to drum up interest in the promotion of a product. That crosses the line in a way a blogger does not.

In fact, clicking on the images on the Wii pages did not take you back to Flickr, but an intermediate page. I've worked with marketing people on Web sites and one of their primary goals is to get you to stay on their page no matter what you click on. The fact that the Flickr thumbnails on the Wii page did not link back to the user's Flickr stream speaks volumes about the intent there. It was a commercial usage of Flickr user photos and therefore problematic for some of us.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

Norby PRO says:

I'm not attempting to corner you, or say that "Yes, Y! deserves to stomp on your images and treat you like dirt", or "No, it wasn't commercial usage, you're making this up", and if somehow I managed to say as much without realizing it, I apologize. I just wanted to point out that Yahoo! does not have a stranglehold on doing this and that if you really are trying to use breach of contract as a point, then you can't just dismiss the ramifications.

If somebody has a Wii blog, blogging nothing but flickr Wii images, and has contextual google ads on their site, that are pitching presumably wii and wii related products/sites, it is slightly different shade, to be sure, but it appears to be in the same realm. What if the blog were something akin to Sony's "All I want for christmas is a playstation" blog?

Anywho, I will not argue with you further, as we seem to agree on the main point about the original problem.

-/\/
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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inkswamp says:

No need to apologize. There's some nuance to this and maybe I haven't been totally clear. I'll concede that you're right about the possibility of the blogging problem and I understand the point you're getting at.

However, the majority of blogs out there are just an individual's daily thoughts and whatnot--very much a non-commercial thing even if the obligatory Google ads box is present. I know there are many blogs out there that are much more than that (although I personally don't use the term "blog" for those kinds of sites) and have crossed over into being a for-profit endeavor. If one of my photos were "blogged" on such a site, I would feel compelled to contact the site owner and ask them to remove it. But then, I don't think those kinds of sites should be using the term "blog" and functioning in the same way. I can't see cutting off the blogging feature because of the possibility that.

It is very much a gray area kind of thing, and I have to fall back somewhat on the old "I know it when I see it" defense. And Yahoo's use just screams it at me. Further, I can't imagine what context Yahoo could use one of my photos in such a way that it's not going to appear commercial in nature.
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vrai the dotty prof. says:

This same point came up several months ago. Is yahoo so fricken forgetful?
Stewart, thank you for this: "even if the use was allowed under our terms of service, it doesn't mean we should do it."

I don't want to feel icky.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Kirk.Brooks says:

After seeing the deal with the wii I have begun uploading my photos with a name and copyright watermark.

I read Stewart's synopsis of how the deal may have gone down and that reads reasonable to me. However, the case described where the commercial site would link to a search page wouldn't bother me. I want my images to be searchable. I don't want them used to promote a commercial venture without my permission. That's the distinction. Especially yahoo.

I continue to hear nice talk fromt he staff and I believe they believe they can deliver. The situation makes me uneasy nonetheless because yahoo is bigger than they are and can fire them. So unless there is some sort of right of recision that would allow the original flickr owners to take it back I can't help but believe flickr will be subsumed by yahoo like a boat with a slow leak. But I'm biased and I'm OK with that.

A good thing this has done is to compel me to really think about what I get from flickr and why I want to participate with it at all. I'm trending more to concern about displaying my work rather than the social networking aspect. So smugMug is looking pretty good right now. I've also got an account at Exposure Manager. SmugMug looks good for selling items by the one & two. EM is good for galleries of images such as team photos from sports events.

I'll probably keep some sort of presence here just to hook people and refer off to my site. I think I'm going to start managing my own galleries on my own site and then let users drift off the smugMug or EM if they express interest in actually buying something.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dave Ward Photography says:

And the next to use the work of flickr members to help promote a massive corporate behemoth?

Pontiac

Press release about it here.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

Yup, and they learned from the Wii thing, didn't they? I clicked at least 15 photos, and they were ALL licensed for commercial use.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Dave Ward Photography says:

Yup, it's a good thing those poor corporate behemoths have us "little people" to produce their advertising content for them for free. It would SUCK if they had to actually pay people for advertising materials. Why, that would help photographers, designers and artists actually make a living at their art and craft.

Thank you, Yahoo! and flickr, for helping to undermine any hopes of artists being able to find work and be reimbursed for their work. Instead of hiring people, now they can just scrape peon-generated ad content for free.

And thank you, Brenda, for standing up for the "big guy" and defending the overdog. Who would stand up for the powerful if not you?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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iansand PRO says:

daveward I think your complaint is with the people who chose to add commercial licences to their photos.
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Dave Ward Photography says:

No. You don't think. That's the problem.
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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

just scrape peon-generated ad content for free.

So anyone who uses a Creative-Commons license allowing commercial use is a peon? Fair enough, every is entitled to their opinion.
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iansand PRO says:

daveward Fortunately that is for others to judge.
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The Searcher PRO says:

no, dave's complaint is with the sheep who don't mind sharing their images on the pontiac site. Because not only are they licensed correctly, but they're actually only using images from people who click the big "Add Your Photos" button at the top there. Those bastards.

You're not wrong dave, on the general undermining thing. If a site like Pontiac can get what they want with using crappy snapshot images that a toddler could take, what use is there for an expensive professional? That pretty much happens with the democratization of any craft, though. I remember when web design was so obtuse any shmoe would have to hire a designer to put their star wars collection page up. Now with auto-design blogs left and right, anyone can do it (sadly.)

Same with the microstock sites, which this is likely going to be an extension of. Sell an image for a $1, why go to Getty and pay $300?

I think I get it now. You're not anti-commercial. You're anti-no-one's-paying-you. The "peons" are going to get all the attention, and for free. everyone's a sucker here on Flickr. That's Flickr, the photo sharing site.

it's only gonna get worse. or better, depending on if you're a mega-corp or not.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
The Searcher edited this topic ages ago.

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Dave Ward Photography says:

Brenda Anderson dribbled:

So anyone who uses a Creative-Commons license allowing commercial use is a peon? Fair enough, every is entitled to their opinion.

No. Anyone who is not paid for their work when it is used by a major corporation as advertising is a peon.
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Dave Ward Photography says:

The Searcher wrote:

The "peons" are going to get all the attention

Uh, sure. Just like all the slaves who got whipped got all the attention.

Duh.
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Lú_ PRO says:

Dave, if that's the attitude that enthusiastic amateurs are to expect from pro photographers (or wouldbe pros), why *shouldn't* they *want* to undermine the profession? If commercial photography is that good, it'll survive. It might not do every job it used to, but it'll survive. At least let it survive with respect.
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The Searcher PRO says:

The slaves? really? that's where you want to go? You want to get into a conversation about slavery with an african-american, and you want to use this as your example, people f@#$ing volunteering their images, their images that no one in their right mind would ever buy in the first place? no kidnapping, no murder, no rape, no labor, no whips?

you'd best try a less insulting analogy.

seriously. duh.
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Flickr Staff

treebjen PRO says:

Yo! Everyone! Don't make me get all Heather on this thread!
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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striatic PRO says:

i use a license that allows commercial use of my photos. this will mean that huge, baby killing mega corporations like yahoo will use my photos on occasion.

i suppose that makes me a baby killer by proxy, but let's face it - babies are kind of smelly and loud and having less of them around wouldn't be so horrible, now would it?
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striatic PRO says:

seriously, if people are uncomfortable with companies using their photos, CC non-commercial is all good.

yahoo made a mistake here by using the wrong photos and deserve to take flack over it.

they also fixed the problem very quickly and it seems like it was an honest mistake.
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*omnia* says:

as far as I understand it, the "fair use" argument over rides the copyright or CC license - and this is what yahoo is defending it's use on

therefore, simply relying on CC non commercial licenses may not prevent this from happening again

also, the yahoo terms of service may allow yahoo to use flickr photos on other Y! sites regardless of the license (that has yet to be clarified)
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striatic PRO says:

and this is what yahoo is defending it's use on

well yes, stewart said that what yahoo was doing wasn't "illegal" but it was still a mistake and one that yahoo would try to avoid in the future by using CC non-commercial photos only.

(that has yet to be clarified)

well, i agree with you that some additional clarification would be useful. a statement of intent outlining where and when copyrighted photos will or will not be used on other yahoo properties. something like that.

i think it is in the interest of both yahoo and flickr photographers to have this clearly outlined moving forward.

looking at THIS situation, yahoo clearly decided that using only CC licenses allowing commercial use were the appropriate course of action to make everyone feel comfy.

also, i don't want to sound like a yahoo apologist on this .. but stewart says that nintendo did not sponsor the yahoo wii site. if that's the case, i think that continuing to refer to the wii site as 'advertising' is inaccurate. 'commercial use' certainly .. but not advertising.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
striatic edited this topic ages ago.

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*omnia* says:

yeah, these types of issues will probably get more contentious in the future - what is commercial, what is advertising etc

i think any promotional material related to a specific product could be construed as advertising, especially where it is part of an articulated "brand" strategy (as this was, it was the first one of more to come). If it is a generic subject, maybe not. But when it is clearly a brand name associated with only one product it is only promoting that product (regardless of whether it was sponsored by the manufacturer)

i don't think cc non-commercial license is the type of license you mean, non-commercial licenses explicitly state "non commercial" use? i will need to go back and look again at the cc licenses, but this is one reaaon i use all rights reserved currently

i agree this area is messy and very grey and some clearer statements on it would be welcome
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*omnia* says:

and also, although they have said it was a mistake - they can do it in the future and argue they are not acting outside of the current law and that would be correct ... so, it is not a great feeling to just be relying on the good will of yahoo in the future
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striatic PRO says:

i meant "cc allowing commerical use". i edited the above post to clarify.
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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striatic PRO says:

i still don't think it is advertising or should be called advertising, as it implies that nintendo somehow paid for the wii site, which they did not.

you know, if only not to sully nintendo's good name.
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*omnia* says:

yeah, right :)

still - we don't know what type of product tie-ups or cross-promo deals those companies have entered into

they may not have paid directly, but i doubt yahoo is doing the whole "brand universe" thing without any benefit ... unless they are now in the business of charity

besides that, some of the best advertising is free

those adverts for flickr on the mobile phone posters - wonder if flickr paid for them? (they are on tv here, with nokia)
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

The Pontiac/Yahoo site is certainly advertising, though. But with that site, they are only using CC-commercial use allowed photos.
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The Searcher PRO says:

and the pontiac site isn't using tags, at least not directly, they're only using images that people expressly gave them permission to use (probably a better system than the random tag hunt anyway, at least to keep the tag-graffiti to a minimum.)

I also don't think that a site has to be using our photos as adverts to be considered commercial use. I'd say any use for any commercial activity, should be protected (off limits) via the non-commercial CC license. and so far that seems to be the case.
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Dr. Keats PRO says:

Holy moley... heard a joke many years ago about what the letters "PONTIAC" stood for... was going to offer it up here, then thought better of it: the "N" is the standard derogatory term for African-Americans (or seeming badge of honour for rap artists..), and I figured it might offend if I shared it.

Given Searcher's earlier comments, now I'm reeeeally glad that I thought before posting (for once!).
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
Dr. Keats edited this topic ages ago.

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Abhorsen The Final Death PRO says:

If yahoo makes cash off my copy righted pics on this wii site, using the Diggital copy right melliam thing, you have over their in the USA can i do what teh RIAA does and ahve a lawyer right to yahoo's ISP and have their web site taken off line?

In the same sort of nee jerk reaction that would happen if yahoo or any one esle for that mater wrote to my isp telling them to take it down? (not that i live in the usa)
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Philippe and Angie PRO says:

"and the pontiac site isn't using tags, at least not directly, they're only using images that people expressly gave them permission to use (probably a better system than the random tag hunt anyway, at least to keep the tag-graffiti to a minimum.)"

Not only is the pontiac site not using tags to find the find the photos, the first 5 accounts I checked back to only have pontiac photos in their photostream, AND they were all uploaded on Feb 7 AND none of those 5 "users" have any profile information at all....

www.flickr.com/photos/25966653@N00/
www.flickr.com/photos/61618048@N00/
www.flickr.com/photos/88303082@N00/
www.flickr.com/photos/30697552@N00/
www.flickr.com/photos/70521144@N00/

Does anyone else find this odd?

Philippe

edit - included my name
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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Philippe and Angie PRO says:

Would flickr allow this behaviour if google was building a brand site and using accounts in this way?
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

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spidrwegian_no_more says:

Does anyone else find this odd?

Not odd, just some people using their flickr site for commercial purposes. No wait, that's not allowed is it?
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Dr. Keats PRO says:

Well, if it is orchestrated, this guy's screwed it up:
www.flickr.com/photos/61618048@N00/

His first shot is of a Plymouth...
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Dave Ward Photography says:

Some limited commercial use of Flickr is acceptable. Stewart posted a good explanation of the difference between acceptable and unacceptable commercial usage here.

One specific quote from that:

what we're really trying to prevent are (i) people creating accounts for the purpose of promoting their business/getting people to buy their stuff/etc. which don't add any particular goodness to Flickr and Flickr members' experience of it, and (ii) people exploiting the social tools of Flickr to spam (commenting, group spamming, adding zillions of contacts, favoriting zillions of photos and all kinds of other more subtle methods)

Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
Dave Ward Photography edited this topic ages ago.

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Dr. Keats PRO says:

Changed the link, pasted the wrong one...
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The Searcher PRO says:

oh that's funny. So to bolster pontiac's grass-roots look here's the people sharing their beloved car shots on our site, they're actually faking the public part of that with fake flickr accounts?

So now they're a greedy corporation not because they're sticking it to the peons who don't know better not to charge bucks for their crappy photos, but because they're pretending to stick it to the peons and use their photos for free.

In which case, [heh. heheh] they may have actually paid for that crap, and worse, paid extra to have them made to look amateur.

marketing's hilarious.
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*omnia* says:

yeah, that is hilarious

creating fake accounts to feed into the pontiac site ... sheesh ... they really are starting to use flickr in creative ways!

in the media section of the paper yesterday, it was mentioning how amateur content was currently considered the hottest thing in marketing and advertising (looks like yahoo knows that and the easist thing is if you haven't got any just make it up)

that is such a big joke, love it
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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

Why do you think they are fake accounts?

Say you were a Pontiac fan and you didn't have a Flickr account. You come across this Pontiac fan site and it says "Add Your Photos". And when you click it, you're required to sign into your Flickr account or create one. So that's what you do. Create a Flickr account, upload your Pontiac photo(s).

Why does that make it a fake account? To me, it's just a new account. Yeah, sure, maybe they'll never use it for anything else, but that doesn't make it fake.
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*omnia* says:

they are only allowing you to upload photos from a flickr account?

hahhaaaa gets even weirder
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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

Why is that weird? Would you expect them to have a separate photo uploading/storing site just for this? Why duplicate? And seeing how Yahoo Photos doesn't really let you share outside of the Yahoo Photos interface, Flickr is the obvious answer.
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*omnia* says:

because there are numerous ways to submit a photo to a website, and needing an account for a specific service seems restrictive (and also channels people to flickr who may not otherwise have needed to use it)

why doesn't yahoo photos let you share outside of their interface?
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The Searcher PRO says:

totally true brenda, it was just an assumption, otherwise the rest of my humorous post would have gone tragically unwritten.

The way the site is set up, when you click the "add your photos" link it explains it's through Flickr, so yah a really ambitious car-owner wanting his moment of fame would have to make an account just for those images.

One of the accounts linked to above appears to be a single image by a graphic designer who made his own concept design for a trans-am. So there's a nice example of making the pontiac site exposure work for you.
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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

channels people to flickr

Bingo. Yahoo *is* a business, right?

why doesn't yahoo photos let you share outside of their interface?

Like most photo websites, it was designed to share "with your friends/family". You can now set your albums to 'public' but there is no API or method for displaying those photos outside of the yahoo photos page (that I know of).
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*omnia* says:

"bingo - yahoo is busines right?"

um, exactly my point Brenda - cross promotional activities will become commonplace (... and so much for flickr not being used for commercial purposes)

*sigh*
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The Searcher PRO says:

wait, I'm confused. Is Pontiac part of Yahoo? I thought Pontiac was using Flickr, (which I would think would be only for the good since Flickr is also a business and wants the essentially free exposure and potential new customers)

how does Yahoo figure into this?
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Brenda Anderson PRO says:

From the press release that Dave Ward linked to above:

Pontiac and Yahoo! Leverage Social Media to Create New Form of Dialogue with Consumers
New Site Combines Strength of Pontiac’s Enthusiast Community with Yahoo!’s Leading Social Media Assets

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Pontiac division of General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) today launched a new online destination for Pontiac owners and enthusiasts, Pontiac Underground (www.pontiacunderground.com). The Web site combines some of the best social media content from Yahoo! including Flickr photos, Yahoo! Answers, Yahoo! Video, and Yahoo! Groups with consumer-created Pontiac content from hundreds of Pontiac fan communities throughout the Web. This initiative is a key component of Pontiac’s broad community-marketing initiatives for 2007 as well as an important demonstration of how Yahoo!’s social media assets can enable an open dialogue for Pontiac and its customers. ...

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The Searcher PRO says:

ahh. that'll teach me to ignore most of what dave writes...

omnia: what's wrong with flickr being used for commercial purposes? when did that become a bad thing? I'd think the millions of images licensed to allow such things are a sign that many users have no problem with it. If it turns out to be successful, maybe some of that commercial use will even start to line our pockets.
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*omnia* says:

i think how you feel about that would depend on where you sit on the professional-amateur spectrum - so I can't really respond to your question without a generalisation which isn't really appropriate

i thought using flickr for commercial purposes was against the TOS which make a point that they don't want flickr over run with a commercial ethos and that flickr was first and foremost about sharing photos (and not using the site as a professional vehicle to generate income)

a flickr stock photo development will probably be inevitable in some form in the future, i have no problems with that if people want to opt in - but taking photos regardless of copyright under "fair use" is a different issue and doesn't generate income for the users (only saves income for Y!)
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*omnia* says:

wonder how the social media asset ... ooops, i mean flickr ... will be used in the future??
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myjuditz ( on Hubble ) says:

This person stole at least one of my photos!

[ URL removed by Staff - Heather ]
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
heather (staff) edited this topic ages ago.

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Flickr Staff

heather says:

myjuditz, I've removed the URL from your post.

Issues of infringement are handled for us by the specialists within the Yahoo! Copyright Team. Please file a Notice of Infringement (NOI) with them. Once they have received the NOI, they will work with us for the takedown:

While the process might sound daunting, all you have to do is plug your info into the following and email it to copyright@yahoo-inc.com:

------- NOI start -----------

Notice of Infringement

My work: [link(s) -- if available, if not available, describe the infringing material]

Infringing material: [link(s) on Flickr]

I have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright or intellectual property owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear under penalty of perjury, the above information in my Notice is accurate and that I am the copyright or intellectual property owner or authorized to act on the copyright or intellectual property owner's behalf.

/Your Name/

Your Name
Your Postal Address

Your Phone Number

Your Email address

------- NOI end -----------

There's more information about the Yahoo! Copyright Team available at the following URL:

docs.yahoo.com/info/copyright/copyright.html
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myjuditz ( on Hubble ) says:

This is absurd!
You can see when my photo was posted on Flickr - and commented by others - and you can also check when his/her so called photo was posted!
I will write to Yahoo Copyright Team - but it's a waste of time!
And it is not the first time when it happens on Flickr - yet you need an approval from Yahoo Copyright Team - to complicate things as much as possible!
Seems to me Flickr doesn't want to take any responsibility !
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The Searcher PRO says:

It's not a waste of time, the takedown thingy works, lots of people have used it successfully. It's also required by law (DMCA) and has that nifty perjury thing in there, to keep people (most people at least) from wrongfully accusing people left and right. It honestly isn't Flickr's responsibility until they've recieved a notice of infringement.

back to the topic of this post (roughly), omnia: very true, the essential use of Flickr is non-commercial. If pontiac is faking accounts, that's likely against the TOS. But third parties using images from Flickr that are properly licensed, isn't.

What part of the pontiac thing is "taking photos regardless of copyright under "fair use" ? because that's not what they're doing. There's nothing about "fair use" or yahoo or anyone else trying to take images for monetary gain through fair use. There's licensed use, which is what yahoo and pontiac are doing. The licensing of your images is up to you, and not at all against the TOS.

Trying to keep Flickr non-commercial has more to do with porn-spam and hosting images for eBay sales than trying to stop photographers from selling their work. The more Flickr shows itself as a viable collection of images and photographers, the more value the work builds. Early money seems to be coming from the journalism side, which makes sense, but if some sort of stock thing were to start, it will be very interesting, and possibly scary, to see how it affects the personality of the overall community.
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*omnia* says:

the reference to "taking photos regardless of copyright under fair use" wasn't made about the pontiac site

it was made as a distinction between 2 possible "commercial" uses of flickr content (1 that may commercially benefit the member and 1 that does not)

not all potential "commercial" uses have monetary benefits that automatically flow to the members like you implied ... ("If it turns out to be successful, maybe some of that commercial use will even start to line our pockets")

i'm not so optimistic or naive as to think yahoo bought flickr so it could give us money from developing applications from our content - nice thought, but i wouldn't hold my breath

it's such a new and developing area that most of this is speculation and it will need to be a "wait and see" scenario - but it is clear that user generated content is currently a hot commodity
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Dr. Keats PRO says:

So, I'm the only one who thought it was funny that a suppoosed Pontiac (GM) nut actually posted a photo of a Plymouth (Chrysler, for those who don't understand)?

If Pontiac ARE paying people to set up bogus Flickr accounts for promotional purposes, you think they'd at least pay people who have some knowledge of what a Pontiac looks like...
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The Searcher PRO says:

no matter what, there's no such thing as "fair use" for advertising or commercial gain. period. Currently, the "sharing" nature of Flickr is what allows other sites to benefit, including financially. You and I have control over whether or not we should allow that. Personally, none of my artwork is allowed for any use without my permission, but most of my photos I let go, since I'm not a pro and would rather someone else found a good use for them.

That balance of sharing and wanting to sell, we'll see how that shakes out as time goes by. But as a member who signed up to a sharing photo site, I can't criticize an entity that finds a way to leverage it successfully, if they're abiding by everyone's license restrictions.
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*omnia* says:

the searcher, i have noticed a tendency you have to make a lot of blanket statements or exaggerations which are presented as fact. More informed people tend to be a little cautious on complex topics such as "fair use" - e.g. you state categorically "no matter what, there's no such thing as "fair use" for advertising or commercial gain. period."

that is not the case, for example - in the case of parodies, or where commercial entities use the content for specific things. In addition "since many, if not most, secondary uses seek at least some measure of commercial gain from their use" this test as an exclusionary point is not fully valid (meaning commercial use in itself does not always discount fair use applications)

you can read more about it on the link stewart provided en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use but suffice to say, it is not as cut and dried as you are implying
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The Searcher PRO says:

that tendency stems from nothing more than an utter lack in need or desire to research or back up any of my claims, due to often waning or distracted interest and not taking this terribly seriously. I'm barely paying attention here, as actual real life tends to jut in. So really, it's just sloppy, on my part. sorry. I had some nice things to say in another thread, found out Plato said some things that I did, almost verbatim. So I'm kind of hit and miss.

I think, if I sat and parsed what I was thinking while sitting in my meeting arguing about swatches or somesuch while writing that last post, is that the "fair use" that you keep complaining about, would not be viable for commercial use. In that how you seem to keep fearing that Yahoo is just going to sweep all of Flickr up into some kind of fair use blanket to start printing money with, that's not possible. and isn't on display in the pontiac nor original, nintendo page in dispute here.

I'm not so distracted now, but I have been drinking, so be wary anyway. As I tend to throw out blanket statements that hit 50/50 for accuracy, so too do you and others throw out near constant fear-mongering over use of images on Flickr.

If it is a problem for you. The only solution is to remove your images. Because no amount of logic nor license protection will protect you from fear. from threats real or imagined.
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solow says:

If Yahoo is going to grab Flickr photos for use in their advertising based on tags alone they're going to leave themselves wide open to abuse. Check out some of the "wii" tagged photos on the wii.yahoo.com homepage this morning.

wii.yahoo.com
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )
solow edited this topic ages ago.

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inkswamp says:

www.flickr.com/terms.gne

The Flickr service makes it possible to post images hosted on Flickr to outside websites. This use is accepted (and even encouraged!). However, pages on other websites which display images hosted on flickr.com must provide a link back to Flickr from each photo to its photo page on Flickr.

Maybe I'm being pedantic, but doesn't the Wii page break Flickr/Yahoo's own TOS? The thumbnails on the front page don't link back to the Flickr page. Clicking one takes you to an intermediate page of thumbnails and those are the ones that link back. Yet, the TOS says you must provide a link back to the photo page on Flickr from each photo, not just the ones that suit your purposes.
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miczl says:

what a huge topic .. could i post a practical question?

i was wondering if anyone knows how to include Creative Commons in building a flickr badge? i'm guessing it's not in the API yet .. i tried adding &L=cc, like in the search, but it didn't work.

Could be a good way to enable creative commons displays in other places ..
Posted ages ago. ( permalink )

This thread was closed automatically due to a lack of responses over the last month.

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