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05-04-2009, 12:09 AM   #1
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Would you let someone use your photos?

So I've gotten a few emails at Flickr to use my pictures for whatever purpose (usually commercial) and I'm not sure what to think of this. In particular, I don't know if I want to sign over permission to use my photos for somebody else's commercial benefit. While it's nice to be asked, unless I try to negotiate a specific release, it just seems overly broad and open to uses that potentially I may not forsee and agree to. This is part of the message that was sent to me: "We would like your permission to use photos from your Flickr space..." This would seem to suggest that I'd be giving them permission to use all my photos... In the past, these requests were of a specific picture for a specific use, and usually, I'd receive attribution. But this request would cover all my pics on Flickr and the message says nothing of attribution...

05-04-2009, 12:52 AM   #2
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Depends, I'd say. If you've waived all your rights to your images and made them public domain, you really don't have much say in it, but if your images are a version of CC that requires, e.g., attribution, then if anybody asked permission to use your photos freely w/o attribution... well let's just say if it were me, I'd be giving them the big ol' finger.
05-04-2009, 02:01 AM   #3
Dom
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Don't let them. There is an ongoing debate about this. Make the buggers pay.

If you do decide to give them away. Only let them use them for very restricted purposes.

May I suggest also that you have a look at MostPhotos.
Search for unique royalty free stock images and photos. Buy unique stock photos at Mostphotos.com
05-04-2009, 01:29 PM   #4
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I'm taking my lead on this from the recent "work for free" blogs that Chase Jarvis and David Hobby did a month or so back...

If it's YOUR idea in the first place and doing so fits YOUR agenda - then by all means it's okay to give some prints/copies away.*
If it's THEIR idea - make 'em pay.

* appropriate usage licensing should be used!

05-04-2009, 01:44 PM   #5
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Chase Jarvis and David Hobby are certainly in a great position to do that, and it's a good idea for those two for a couple reasons... Control, they call the shots on the shots and that allows for greater creativity. Second, it's free advertising. Good for them.

Now, us mere mortals, well obviously the OP has the right attitude that it would be foolish to sign over all the rights to all his photos on flickr.

I'd say if they really want to use them, especially for commercial work make sure such a deal only pertains to specific photos with limited rights release for a limited time-frame and for reasonable compensation. Reasonable compensation is up to you. If it's merely attribution, fine. If it's $50, fine. If it's $500 they probably will stop pestering you and move on.

Regards,
Mike
QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
I'm taking my lead on this from the recent "work for free" blogs that Chase Jarvis and David Hobby did a month or so back...

If it's YOUR idea in the first place and doing so fits YOUR agenda - then by all means it's okay to give some prints/copies away.*
If it's THEIR idea - make 'em pay.

* appropriate usage licensing should be used!
05-04-2009, 01:44 PM   #6
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The people at Schmap.com contacted me about use of one of my photos on Flickr. They did not offer to pay me anything, but the terms credited me for the image, restricted use to their online city guide and left my copyright intact. The final image on their guide also links back to my Flickr account. Maybe not the best deal, but harmless enough I guess.

Steve
05-05-2009, 01:59 AM   #7
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NO!

Flickr are the greatest suckers of photographic resources I've ever read about. Tell them if they wanna make money from your work then they can pay you for it. If you give the carte blanche to use all the photos that are in your flickr account then they'll prolly be using your images, for free, for the rest of your life.

That's just stupidity!
05-05-2009, 02:44 AM   #8
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it's quite simple. reply asking them to name the photos they want, the purpose they will be using them for, and the size, and you will come back to them with a quote. you either get a reply and can do it right, or there will be silence

05-05-2009, 06:24 AM   #9
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I spent a large part of yesterday tracking down and reporting copyright infringer's and theft on flickr. I will also be spending a large part of next week doing the same.

I'm very careful what I put on flickr.

My advise, if you have a photo that's worth anything don't put it on flickr. Use MostPhotos and/or Alamy.

If you use MostPhotos you friends and family can still you photos and you can make money.
05-05-2009, 01:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The people at Schmap.com contacted me about use of one of my photos on Flickr. They did not offer to pay me anything, but the terms credited me for the image, restricted use to their online city guide and left my copyright intact. The final image on their guide also links back to my Flickr account. Maybe not the best deal, but harmless enough I guess.

Steve
Yeah, I was about to mention them - I let them use a photo as well. They don't really ask for a lot, and it's not like I was going to make money off the photo anyway.
05-07-2009, 10:21 PM   #11
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Thanks all for the advise...

I guess part of my little bit of uncertainty is thinking about why I'm taking pictures... am I just doing it for my enjoyment which would make others using my pictures more of a compliment, or am I doing this with the idea that I might eventually want to try to make some money so letting my pictures be used for other people's needs might undermine my goals? At the moment I'm in the former, but I have thought about the latter as well.

In some ways, just having my pictures seen and hopefully appreciated is satisfying enough. And if they bring attention to certain places or events, perhaps these places I enjoy can gain appreciation that I think they deserve.

Now, I don't know exactly how I'd react if I found one of my pictures being (mis)used by a stranger, but I doubt it would be very positive. What some have said about securing my pics on Flickr a bit more is something that I need to think more about because I don't think I want to be put in that position. But I also know that the people whose threads are only viewable in smaller sizes reduce the amount of enjoyment/ appreciation I have looking at their pictures.

Regarding the original issue I posted though, it clearly would be a bad idea for me to authorize use of my whole flickr account. But many of these other related issues are ones that I still need to think about more. Thanks to all that have brought up these points; they are clearly things that we all need to have a grasp on to be able to control how our pictures are used.
05-12-2009, 02:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
it's quite simple. reply asking them to name the photos they want, the purpose they will be using them for, and the size, and you will come back to them with a quote. you either get a reply and can do it right, or there will be silence
I've had requests to use photography for free ever since I first got into this in 1992. I've never had this problem with Flickr specifically, but for some reason fewer people are willing to pay for photographs.

Digital has only increased this, unfortunately. I wish I knew the solution, but for now I agree with the above post. Get the proposed usage for each image, consult the ASMP pricing guide, and send a quote to them. If they don't answer, you don't want to work with them anyway.

PS - All of my Flickr images (not that many) state "All rights reserved." Maybe that's why I've never had a request (I guess it could be that nobody wants my images, of course...).
05-12-2009, 03:16 AM   #13
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For me, it depends who is asking. I have many of my photo's used on speciality insect sites which I allow for free on request with proper attribution. I've also been approached by the National Trust (UK) and they've used one of my photo's in a story they were running, also for free, but then they are a charitable organisation.

If you're taking photo's to make money then I'd certainly be circumspect about posting anything that you wouldn't want easily copied, but if you're just doing it for fun, then I think you can be a little more relaxed about it.
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