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Thread: Is flickr safe?

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    Is flickr safe?

    Hi all -

    I am really interested in getting a flickr account to share photos with friends, family and customers. However, I don't want them to be able to save the images to their own computers and potentially edit/print them. I do some travel photography and I'm particularly interested in making sure my travel photographs are protected.

    Does anyone have thoughts/experience with this?

    Thanks!
    Amanda



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    If you're only uploading images of around 800 x 600 px, the quality isn't really sufficient to do any sort of decent quality printing from (most reasonable quality printing is done at 300 DPI so you are talking about a final print size of less than 3" on the long side). There is no web site you can use where you can fully prevent some form of image download, even if it's only a screen capture. Flickr does offer the ability to restrict who can view, but I think by common consent, it's limited. Can't think anywhere else is much better though to be honest, unless you are providing password protected access to everyone who needs to view.
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    Yes, what it really boils down to is that if they can see the image, they can save it. You can prevent some of the simple, commonly known ways of saving, but if it's in memory, it can be saved. Your best bet, as Chris said, is to just make the images small enough in size to be useless for any decent printing.
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    Low res may keep them from printing the photo (maybe), but many applications require only low res images.

    After several experiences with my photos being stolen (low res versions used on commercial websites) even with all the privacy and copyright notice settings turned on I had to take my photos off Flickr. In one case it turned out that Flickr had facilitated the theft: they allowed access to and commercial use of my marked private/marked copyrighted photos. When I (and lots of others) brought it to Flickr's attention they claimed it was a glitch. I don't think the rest of the web is much safer, but I do think that people who are looking to shoplift images go to places like Flickr first because it's easy to search through lot's of photos, and hard to get caught.

    The Wall Street Journal and Virgin Mobile are 2 big companies off the top of my head that have been caught stealing photos for commercial purposes from Flickr. I've seen lot's of complaints regarding Chinese and Middle Eastern companies and publications.

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    Any image that is visible on the internet can be stolen.. if you try to protect an image by disabling right-click in the browser, or use flash, etc, the user can always copy your image from a screen capture. So from that perspective, flickr is no better or worse than any other site. However there is one big issue with flickr, and that is the flickr API. The API (application programming interface) allows 3rd party software developers and website developers to directly access flickr's content, and ignores your copyright license.. It's up to the 3rd party developer to honor the images' licenses, which of course doesn't always happen. This is how every photo on flickr would up for sale on MyxerTones, and I have heard many similar stories.

    The only way to protect your images is 1) Do not upload them anywhere, 2) Upload only small/low-res versions (but then people can't see the true quality of your work), or 3) add a watermark. I like a combination of options 2 and 3, I've been adding a watermark to some of my flickr images, that way if they are stolen, at least there is a copyright notice and my email address. You could also put your website name, etc, so at least you are getting free advertising! ...But bear in mind if anyone is determined enough, they can remove most watermarks. Also I don't upload full size images to flickr, and I disable the "Show all sizes" button in my flickr preferences.

    As long as your comfortable with all this, flickr is amazing, I love the community and I have learned so much and been inspired so much by other photographers there. So I think, unless you are a serious/established pro, then flickr is worth the risk, but you need to understand the risks!

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    on the subject of watermarks I agree with Andrew99 - they can be removed by a determined theif so I don't view them as needing to cover the whole of a photo - doing so rather removes the point of showing the photo on the net in the first place - simply adding a small watermark with your name and website is going to work in many cases where your photo starts doing the rounds of the net - free advertising as Andrew said
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    If I am not mistaken, 72 dpi is all you pretty much need for internet viewing. When printing in 72dpi, it turns out like garbage. I tend to use 72dpi and something like 800x533 for all my photos on the net that I don't want people to print.

    As for flickr, I really don't care for the setup. I think you can get a much better looking gallery from Smugmug for just a little more. Their referral program is pretty nice too which can easily pay for your yearly subscription.
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    If someone wants the photo they are going to take the photo. Are you making any money of these photos? If so thats the only reason I can see being all Fort Knox about the "protection" of your photograph.

    However Flickr is cool because its cheap, has a "community" built around your own work where people can comment and refer your photos and is generally just easy to use.

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    fancy people having to watermark images so people dont steal them........

    u can add watermark by using photoshop,or any other professional program like Batch Watermark Creator.It can batch proccess my pictures and lets i watermark pictures very easily.
    You can find it here

 

 

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