Flickr owns my pictures? No.

In News

For some reason I’m not able to post a response to a comment, and so I’m posting here.

Rick Deutsch
November 6th, 2007 21:25
Just FYI..I head that when you sign up to Flickr, they become the owner of all photos posted…with rights to them! This is buried on Pg XX of YYY pages. True?
Rick D

Dear Rick;

Here is Yahoo’s Copyright/IP (Intellectual Property) Policy:

(Yahoo! is the owner of Flickr.)

Seems to be pretty straightforward to me, one page saying basically they respect copyright of the artists, and will fight on behalf of copyright owners in case of infringement.

Considering Flickr lets me mark my images with my choice of copyright marks, (including Creative Commons) it is highly doubtful that they have snuck in a clause saying they own anything I post. It would be laughed out of court, if it ever got that far.

Further, take a look at the Yahoo! Terms of Service.

Section nine states the following:

Yahoo! does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service. However, with respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service, you grant Yahoo! the following worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license(s), as applicable:

… b. With respect to photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service other than Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Service solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available. This license exists only for as long as you elect to continue to include such Content on the Service and will terminate at the time you remove or Yahoo! removes such Content from the Service.

In layman’s terms, if you upload a picture, you give Yahoo/Flickr permission to display it. If you remove it, they can no longer display it.

While I am no copyright and IP lawyer, I’d have to say that what you read/heard is pure bunkum. Word of advice; Always ask for a link or source when you hear rumors like this. If they can’t provide one, take it with a small Siberian saltmine.

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