Flickr has announced it will stop selling wall-art prints shot by its community of photographers after a heated debate around Creative Commons licensing.
On Thursday, Flickr apologised, saying the service – which offered high-quality mounted and canvas prints – wasn’t in the “spirit” of the Creative Commons community.
“We’re sorry we let some of you down,” Flickr’s Bernardo Hernandez wrote in the apologetic blog post.
Flickr said images licensed through Creative Commons have been removed from the Flickr Wall Art pool, and those who have purchased prints of such images will receive refunds.
“As a first step, we’ve decided to remove the pool of Creative Commons-licensed images from Flickr Wall Art, effective immediately. We’ll also be refunding all sales of Creative Commons-licensed images made to date through this service,” Hernandez wrote.
“Subsequently, we’ll work closely with Creative Commons to come back with programs that align better with our community values.”
Even though Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo, has decided to exclude Creative Commons images, users can still order Wall Art products using their personal images and those shared by “licensed artists”.
Backlash against the service came from those upset that Yahoo was turning a profit on the backs of the sharing community.
Under the original plan, Flickr would keep the profits from sales of prints based on photos shared to Flickr using the Creative Commons “commercial attribution” license, while photographers of images not covered by the license would receive 51% of the revenues.
Though the service sparked controversy, it wasn’t illegal. The prints were made from photos shared to Flickr using the attribution license, which allows commercial use.
Responding to the outcry, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s intellectual property director, Corynne McSherry, said: “It doesn’t appear that Flickr is doing anything wrong.”
This article was written by Lauren Gambino in New York, for theguardian.com on Friday 19th December 2014 17.01 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010