Flickr Surprises Everyone, Announces New Licensing Opportunities

As the stock photography market continues to expand at dizzying speeds, photo hosting conglomerate, Flickr, made an unexpected announcement this morning saying that they will be rolling out new opportunities for it’s users to jump onto the stock photography bandwagon.

flickr0lic-01While the website already has some image licensing options already in place through Getty Images, it appears as though Flickr is expanding this feature in hopes to be able to compete with growing websites like 500px, ImageBrief, and a whole host of microstock sites.

At the time of writing, the announcement still lacks  a lot of the details, including the ever important fine print. It’s not clear yet exactly how the service will work, but the blog post made today by Flickr’s Content Manager, Lizz Lapp, it is eluded to that a team of in-house curators will hard at work sifting through the millions of images hosted on and making a list of images they deem to be marketable.

The announcement says they will be trying to pair images with agencies (agencies was used in it’s plural form, suggesting they will be working with agents outside of Getty) that buy photos for big name clients.  The New York Times, Gizmodo, and the BBC are among those clients mentioned on the Flickr’s Marketplace. Flickr also reports they are exploring opportunities to use the images on other Yahoo owned entities such as the Yahoo Homepage, Yahoo News, and Yahooo Sports.

Interested in participating in Flickr’s all new Marketplace? TechCrunch reported earlier that some users will receive messages directly from Flickr inviting them to join while others are invited to sign up for the service via Flickr. As far as negotiation licencing fees and payment, the announcement was pretty vague, but according to a statement made on the Flickr Marketplace, it appears  as though the photographer may not have to deal with all the paperwork themselves. Lapp’s blog post says:

We’ll handle the tedious work and keep you focused on taking great photos!

We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that will work to photographers advantage or not. In the meantime, stay tuned for updates.

[Flickr via TechCrunch]

  • Gabriel Lovas

    “: #Flickr Surprises Everyone, Announces New #Licensing #Opportunities –”

  • Peter Bower

    My main concern with this is whether it is voluntary or forced, and if forced, what happens to my back catalogue?

  • Wil Fry

    If any of those “opportunities” are like the Getty partnership that Flickr’s had for a few years now, they’ll likely only benefit the corporations involved, with very little upside for the user — other than the opportunity to refuse.

    I suppose for someone who’s never sold an image before, it might seem exciting or a way to “get my name out there”, and that’s valid enough. But always keep in mind the other party’s point of view: the big company isn’t just feeling gracious or trying to promote your work. They’re trying to promote their *own* product in the least expensive way possible.

    As an 8-year Flickr user, I suggest going one of two routes: either (A) use the All Rights Reserved licensing option and make any selling arrangements personally and privately, where you can set the terms, or (B) use one of the Creative Commons licenses and allow your images to be used with attribution for no cost, out of your own good will.

  • jaysna

    There was a time when Flickr felt like a site for the users, now Flickr is just a site for Flickr. I whitewashed my account ages ago and while I miss some of the relationships I had built with like minded photographers, I don’t miss being a member of that site—paying or otherwise—in the slightest.

  • InTheMist

    So, it it also “we’ll let you make the content, but we’ll keep the majority of the money”?

    That’s why I told Getty to blow me.