The image and video hosting service Flicker has announced that is has abandoned its controversial policy of limiting and deleting the files of its users if they allow their images to be licensed for Creative Commons.
In early 2018, non-paying users were told they were only able to upload up to 1,000 files free of charge; a while later the same year, the users learned that active deletion of the oldest files, counting by the date they were taken, will begin until the limit of 1,000 files is met.
To prevent this from happening, they had the option of upgrading to paid membership of USD 50 per year.
Flickr is no stranger to controversies that are prone to unsettling or even angering its community – in 2014, still under Yahoo control, the company said it would start selling prints of photos licensed under Creative Commons. Although the license in question formally permitted commercial use, the decision caused the ire of the users who were unable to opt-in – nor would they have been able to share any of the revenue with Flickr.
In December the same year, Flickr backtracked, announced that its “Wall Art service” will continue to be available, but will not tap into Creative Commons-licensed images.
In a blog post on March 8, the company – now owned by SmugMug – announced, in reference to the November 2018 decisions, that “all public Creative Commons works on Flickr are now protected from deletion,” at the same time reaffirming their commitment to supporting Creative Commons – a leading US NGO “devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.”
Flickr has also disabled bulk license change tools, in order to “prevent community members from flipping all their images to a new license without first understanding the significant implications of the various free licenses we support.” But a free or pro member can still change the license of any of their photos on the photo page.
Another new feature announced on March 8 is “In Memoriam” – these are the accounts that will keep all public content, previously posted by a deceased member of the service, even if their Pro subscription had lapsed.