Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How to slow down others posting your Flickr pics on blogs

Today one of my friends who occasionally models for me emailed that a blog had used a couple of images without permission and she wasn't happy about it. I looked into it, and it turned out that the photos had been found on her Flickr page and subsequently displayed/linked on the offending blog.

I gave her instructions on how to remedy this, but I thought it was worth sharing.

If you find a blog or web site that is linking to and posting your Flickr photos without your permission, by all means get in touch with the site admin or blogger and tell them to remove the content. But if the site is non responsive or has no contact info, there is something you can do to get the image off there - if they are not hosting the image and are pulling it right from Flickr. That can be determined if you hover over the image on the blog and a Flickr URL is visible on the bottom of your browser or under your mouse pointer.

First, log in to your account and go to that image's page. Click on the all sizes button above the image. Copy the largest version of the image to your hard drive renaming it from the 42407xxxxx_d5181a417c_o sort of file name to something else so you can find it again. Next, go to the Replace This Photo link on the bottom right of the Flickr photo page (in the Additional Information section on the right). Browse for the image you just saved, and upload it. Flickr will tell you it is then replaced.  It will look the same, and all the comments will still be there, but to Flickr's servers it is a new photo. Go back to the offending blog page that had your image. Refresh the page (CTRL + F5 in Windows) and the image should now be replaced with the above 'unavailable' graphic.

If you want to slow down this happening again, go into your Flickr Account settings. Find the Privacy and Permissions link. The first option is 'Who can download your stuff'. Select who can do it and who can't. From the Flickr verbiage on that page:

When people are looking at the main display page for one of your photos or a video (e.g), they will see a button labeled "all sizes" underneath the title. From there, they can download any of the different sizes available, including the original file, unless you choose to prevent it. Preventing people from downloading something also means that a transparent image will be positioned over the image on the main photo page, which is intended to discourage* people from right-clicking to save, or dragging the image on to their desktop.
* By "discourage" we do mean simply "discourage". Please understand that if a photo can be viewed in a web browser, it can be downloaded. The transparent image overlaid on the photo will not keep your images safe from theft, and is intended only as a slight hindrance to downloading.

As it says, it discourages it. It can be circumvented, but it will stop someone from casually linking to anything on your Flickr other than your image's Flickr page - not the image itself. They can no longer easily link to the actual image, and the "all sizes" url which is often how bloggers do it when taking images from Flickr. If they can't quickly get to that sort of link to post it on their blog, it might cause them to skip over your pic altogether.

One last thing. If you want people to know that your images on Flickr are available for sharing on blogs or not, make sure you set the copyright info accordingly. It is under the same Privacy and Permissions link, under Defaults For New Uploads. Edit the What License will your content have? information.  CC or Creative Commons, usually implies that you are fine with others posting your images on their blogs and web pages. And ARR or All Rights Reserved, means you are not.  That is grossly oversimplifying it, but it is a way of letting people know you might take issue with them using/posting your work without your permission. You can go back and change the copyright on all your previously uploaded images as a batch on Flickr too using the Organize and Create dropdown menu.

If you are fine with people re-posting your photos without your permission, you can ignore this post. Otherwise, I hope it was useful.



Criz said...

Thanks for posting this, Mike, it's the sort of useful info that people come looking for in the Help Forum on Flickr from time to time.

There is an easier way to change the URL for the image file, though, by using the Rotate link above the photo. Rotating the photo will break the URL and generate a new one (always be sure to clear your browser's cache afterwards if the photo is blogged somewhere or posted to a comment or forum).

You can also make the photo private and then public, however this will cause any favorites the photo has to drop; this will also cause the image to fall out of any galleries it's in. Using the Edit link to replace an image also changes the URL to the image file.

Quick recap: to change the filename of where the photo is stored on Flickr, there's Replace (your method), Privatize/Unprivatize (but you'll lose faves), Edit > Replace, and Rotate (my favorite as it's the easiest).

Mike Wood said...

Those are great ways too, Criz. thanks for the comment. :)