Flickr is a Yahoo hosted photo sharing website that enables registered users to upload, share and tag their personal photos. This is not a stock photo agency like Shutterstock or Canstockphoto. The default copyright setting on all Flickr accounts is an “All Rights Reserved” license unless the site user changes their licensing preferences. Flickr photos can be purchased by using two options outlined by Yahoo in their Community Guidelines.
Two ways to purchase Flickr Photos
- On the Flickr photo there is a link “Request to license” near the photo licensing description. Yahoo has partnered with Getty Images to facilitate the licensing and purchasing option. If you hit the link and request a license, Getty Images will review the photo and contact the photographer for you if the photo is fit for licensing. Once the correct agreements are in place, you will be able to purchase the photo through Getty Images.
- If you don't see the ‘Request to license’ link you can send the photographer a Flickr email and start the ball rolling. You must be a member of Flickr to do this. To find the Flickr email option, move your mouse over someone's buddy icon and click the little arrow to open the “person menu”. Then select “Send FlickrMail” and compose your message. Make sure you have a copyright agreement before you start this option. Let the photographer know how you wish to use the photo, where it will be used and for how long you would like to use it.
What if I just use the Flickr photo and credit the photographer
Flickr photos are copyrighted and require written permission and consent from the photographer. It is illegal to use someone else’s work without permission. Public credit does not provide copyright permission nor are Flickr photos public domain.
It is best to protect your interests and use stock photos for your personal, commercial and marketing needs. By paying for a cheap Royalty Free stock photo from a stock photo agency like Shutterstock, you are protecting yourself and your business against any unauthorized use of other people’s photos.