Flickr ends sale of Creative Commons-licensed photos, says sorry

19 Dec 2014

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In October, the Yahoo!-owned image-hosting website Flickr announced a new feature that allowed users to turn photos into wall-ready pieces by ordering printed copies on wood or canvas.

The launch of Flickr Wall Art received much criticism, however, as the site included work licensed by Creative Commons, a service where artists allow their images to be used for free with various restrictions.

That Flick were profiting off a non-profit service irked many photographers, and the backlash has moved the company to pull the images and apologise for the scheme.

"We’re sorry we let some of you down," wrote Flickr VP Bernardo Hernandez in a blog post.

"Over the past few weeks, we’ve received a lot of feedback from the community and beyond – while some expressed their excitement about the new photography marketplace and the value it would bring, many felt that including Creative Commons-licensed work in this service wasn’t within the spirit of the Commons and our sharing community.

"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. Given the varied reactions, as a first step, we’ve decided to remove the pool of Creative Commons-licensed images from Flickr Wall Art, effective immediately."

The Wall Art service will continue to be available, but will now longer feature the Creative Commons-licensed images. Flickr has also agreed to refund all sales of Creative Commons-licensed images made to date. 

Sorry image via Shutterstock

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com