From The Wall Street Journal:
About twice a week, someone asks Liz West ’s permission to use one of the nearly 12,000 images the amateur photographer has uploaded to the photo-sharing site Flickr over the past decade.
Ms. West is usually happy to comply. One woman in England created notecards using her floral pictures and sent her 100 cards in appreciation, she said. Vermont Castings, a stove and fireplace maker, used one of Ms. West’s photos on its website and shipped her a small stove as a gift.
But she’s not happy about a recent move by Yahoo Inc., Flickr’s owner, to make canvas prints from the photos she and others post to the site, sell them for up to $49 apiece and keep all of the profits.
“It ticked me off that somebody else is selling them when I was giving them away,” said Ms. West, a retired writer in Boxborough, Mass., who goes by “Muffet” on Flickr.
. . . .
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.
For the handpicked photos, the company will give 51% of sales to their creators. For the Creative Commons images, Yahoo will keep all of the revenue.
Yahoo says it is complying with the terms of Creative Commons by selling only images that permit commercial use. The licenses “are designed for the exact use case that we’re enacting through our wall-art product,” Bernardo Hernandez, vice president of Flickr, wrote in an email.
. . . .
Yahoo’s plan to sell the images appears “a little shortsighted,” said Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, who left the company in 2008. “It’s hard to imagine the revenue from selling the prints will cover the cost of lost goodwill.”
The Wall Street Journal contacted 14 photographers with Creative Commons-licensed works on Flickr. Eight said they didn’t object to Yahoo’s move and are happy to get additional exposure for their work. “Any amateur photographer would love to have his or her photos hanging on walls around the world,” Andreas Overland, a Flickr user in Oslo, Norway, said in an email.
Six others objected to the company profiting from their works.
“When I accepted the Creative Commons license, I understood that my images could be used for things like showing up in articles or other works where they could be showed to public,” Nelson Lourenço, a photographer in Lisbon, Portugal, said in an email. Yahoo “selling my work and getting the full money out of it came as a surprise,” he said.
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)
PG says pay attention to the Terms and Conditions whenever you submit your creative efforts online.