Home Should Flickr Do More to Promote Creative Commons?

Should Flickr Do More to Promote Creative Commons?

Yahoo’s giant photo sharing site Flickr launched a new search interface this morning and it looks great – but searching for Creative Commons (CC) licensed photos remains buried at the bottom of the Advanced Search options. Flickr is the world’s largest repository of photos using CC licenses, a system whereby creators can communicate various conditions for reuse of their creative work without requiring their further permission. Despite that, there’s a lot more that Flickr could be doing to promote Creative Commons.

When Creative Commons is promoted, so too is creativity, collaboration and innovation. Users may not be so interested in that, though, as is evidenced by the distribution of use of the CC options for publishing on the site – the most popular CC licenses on Flickr are the most restrictive ones. What do you think: should Flickr be doing more to promote Creative Commons?

To chose a CC license as the default for your photo uploads, you have to scroll down towards the bottom of your privacy settings page. Searching for CC photos requires that you scroll to the very bottom of the Advanced Search page or start at this page. There would be a whole lot more CC photos on Flickr if those options were given better placement on the site. In 2006 13% of the photos uploaded to Flickr were given a CC license; today that number is 4%. Flickr is much bigger and now includes the perhaps more cautious former users of Yahoo Photos as well. Only about 1% of the photos on Flickr can be used in a commercial setting (like this blog) even with attribution given; otherwise, explicit permission is needed. That’s a real loss.

More collaboration equals more creativity equals more communication equals a better world – and more photography for Flickr. It certainly seems in their interests to promote CC more as well.

What do you think? Should Flickr do more to promote Creative Commons or ought we simply be grateful for everything they’ve done already?

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