Friday, May 18, 2007

Copyrights & Flickr

I just read an article in BBC News' site that I thought worth sharing. The issue of copyright and proper compensation for one's work is an on-going concern of mine and others as well. The digital medium has allowed us to explore hobbyist photography and share our works with the world like never before. Unfortunately, it's also somewhat of a curse because it's easier than ever for people to steal your work. Since I don't make a living, or really any money at all, I don't bother with watermarks but there are a lot of people who lose a lot of money because they don't protect themself. At the same time, you really don't want to whore all your pictures with watermarks because anything that's going to prevent stealing ruins the aesthetic quality of the images.

Since I have a dedicated portfolio site I don't use Flickr for anything other than exposure but this brings up an interesting point. I'm of the personal belief that anyone who is semi-serious about the pictures they take shouldn't be using Flickr as their portfolio but a lot of people do. Given that number, should they add more in the way of allowing users to protect their images? Now that I think about it, Flickr's use of the term "Pro" for their paid accounts has always bothered me. I don't think the features they offer for $25/year should be considered a "Pro" but rather an "Amateur" or "Plus" account. There should then be one above that with watermarking (et al) for more money that's considered the "Pro" feature set. Their market share is huge but I think they could expand it even further if they catered to the true pros. Photography snob talking or just plain good idea? You decide.

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