Unsure about renewing Flickr Pro membership

Back to a Flickr free account

I don’t feel confident in paying another $24.95 for a year of Flickr Pro.

These recent posts regarding Flickr aren’t comforting.

In addition, I keep hearing stories of photographers getting their photo(s) swiped by some organization/company without permission. The latest is from my friend, Noel Kleinman, where his boy, Jack, and President Obama was inserted into a newsletter.

I know it isn’t Flickr or Yahoo’s job to police. But, why doesn’t Flickr display the copyright information in a prominent location? Why is it in the same font and color as the other additional information?

I have a Premium Zenfolio account[1. Use my referral code for a $5 discount: 8E1-4V5-FH4] for my photos (Bryan Villarin Photography), so I don’t need Flickr for image hosting.

However, I’ve kept with Flickr because I can’t beat the traffic and community that it brings to photographers.

Until someone gives me a compellling reason, why should I patronize a company that seems to scoff its users?

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

9 thoughts on “Unsure about renewing Flickr Pro membership”

  1. Good points. I just renewed, but I’m liking the way Flickr is managed less and less. People seem to treat it as a free stock photography site without any respect for copyright at all. Normally I’m rather meh about that issue when it comes to blogs and things of that nature, but it seems to be happening more often lately with large multinational corporations.

    The community is what keeps me here, but if Flickr doesn’t introduce some better protections for it’s users, I may start looking elsewhere.

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  2. I’ve been a little disappointed with Flickr recently, too, but I’ll probably stay with them a while… or until they screw me somehow.

    As for the copyright info, I think displaying it prominently would be a good idea. But, if you set up the permissions and copyright properly, a potential thief could still get your photo but they’d have to specifically work to steal it. They couldn’t “accidentally” download it claiming they didn’t see the copyright info. It’s not hard to do but you’d have to look to specifically circumvent the controls… not something anyone can prevent really. Displaying an image on a website means the browser has to download it. Trying to prevent theft is just a matter of obscuring how a user can access it to save it. An impossible task, really.

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  3. It’s definitely about the community (It helped me meet people like you!) so I think they’ve got my $25/yr for a long time to come. I did stop uploading full resolution pix quite some time ago and started watermarking most of my shots a few months ago. It won’t completely prevent theft, and it makes viewing the photos a little less appealing, but if even professional photographers ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytripsmypics/) can get some use/exposure out of Flickr, I think it’s worth it, however I agree that Flickr should do more than they are doing right now.

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    1. Thanks for the input, fellas. Don’t get me wrong – I love the Flickr community and friends! I want Flickr to improve.

      It doesn’t look like the feeling is mutual, though.

      The main issue for me is the lack of respect for its members, especially paying ones. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to address us.

      In terms of copyright, maybe I should be registering my photos with the U.S. Copyright Office. At least I’d have more fighting power. I’m like Broderick by uploading low-res, watermarked photos.

      Like Shawn, I’ll probably stay until I’m personally affected.

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  4. As someone who both loves the community and GREAT photographic inspiration that flickr brings AND someone who uses Flickr as a “stock photography” site, let me say this…

    Flickr is very clear about terms of use as far as linking back to the original Flickr page. They also have a great Creative Commons image search function which allows to view only CC images licensed for non-commercial. While I don’t view my site as commercial, I search non-commercial just to be sure I don’t step on anyone’s toes.

    People who are going to steal are going to steal no matter where you go or what you do. If you make it harder for them, it will just make it harder for them, it will not prevent them from doing it.

    I hope you don’t wander away from Flickr, but I hope they do make things easier in the future for everyone. Why not change who can download on the privacy page?
    http://flickr.com/account/?donedownloads=1&tab=privacy

    This also limits who can access “all sizes”.

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  5. I’m with Chris — good points. That said, it would be good if Flickr would give photographers an option for a watermark to be automatically added to their photos at upload.

    By the way, one tool you can use to see if your photos are being used without your permission is http://tineye.com — it is a reverse search by photo. They are still building their database, so not all pictures will produce results. As they grow, it will get better and better. I’ve used it several times with success, and it’s free.

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