Flickr Apologizes for Selling Creative Commons Photos as Wall Art, Promises Refund All Sales

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Flickr has apologized for selling creative commons images as wall art, turning a profit from images specifically labeled not for commercial use. As a penance Flickr has pulled down all the CC pictures from its wall art selection any sales it’s made with the photos will be refunded.

Bernardo Hernandez, head of Flickr at Yahoo, posted a blog post entitled “An Update on Flickr Wall Art,” humbly noting “we’re sorry we let some of you down.”

“[…] [M]any felt that including Creative Commons-licensed work in this service wasn’t within the spirit of the Commons and our sharing community,” Bernardo wrote. “We hear and understand your concerns, and we always want to ensure that we’re acting within the spirit with which the community has contributed.”

Flickr’s Creative Commons section has long been a special part site, which allows photographers to freely post and share their images for anyone to use with the only caveat that these photos cannot be sold for money. Oddly enough Flickr broke its own rule in November by adding a large portion of the CC collection Wall Art printing service. Soon after the Flickr community began complaining that the image-hosting site was selling photographers’ work without giving part of the profit to the original artists.

Still Flickr was technically within its own rights picking only images with a “non-commercial” restriction. In the same statement Bernardo outlined the Wall Art service will continue, but it will not tap into creative commons-licensed images unless photographers reach out to the Flickr curation team themselves. Jump past the break to

Via DIY Photography

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Brooklyn.