in flickr

Flickr: Photos from oregonianphoto

This is wicked cool: Flickr: Photos from oregonianphoto

Someone from the big state newspaper The Oregonian is posting all the photos that go with stories in the paper to Flickr. I found it because I follow my small town’s photos by flickr tag feeds. The paper gets new readers by mixing it up on Flickr, and they get to sell more photo reprints of stuff people like.

People keep saying that the internet is going to kill newspapers but stuff like this is the future: mixing a paper’s output with related web communities that benefits both parties in the end.


  1. Why is it against the Terms of Service? It seems to be a lot like other professional photographers with streams.

  2. 1. The rule is one person per account.
    2. It’s a commercial use.
    I should mention: I don’t work for Flickr. It’s not up to me. But I don’t think this is what they made Flickr for.

  3. I didn’t know about the one person per account thing. I see lots of families using a single account and it seems ok.
    I dunno about it being a strictly commercial use. They don’t link to the buy prints page, you have to dig around the Oregonian to find it. They just link to the related stories.
    It seems like a good experiment (I don’t know if it drives more people to the newspaper, I just thought it was a cool idea) and communities like flickr have always seemed pretty flexible about people toying with the edges (illustration groups, people that do screenshots, comics, drawings, etc).

  4. Wow, really? The one-person-per-account thing’s news to me. I still can’t find anything about it on the TOS page, but maybe it’s in lawerly language I don’t speak. (Not challenging your statement, Derek, I just can’t find it.)
    As far as commercial use, I suppose it could be construed that way in the sense that most anything we as a business do is commercial. But is it any different than a professional photographer putting his photos up and linking to his business’s site? Or blogs like Gothamist or Gawker using it? Maybe it is. (I did, actually, have a link to the reprints page on our profile, but yeah, that seemed pretty clearly commercial, so I nuked it.) And I see the links back to the stories to be more “Hey, if you want to learn more about the situation in this photo, go here” than “Hey, go to our website so we can make advertising money.”
    It might drive a few new people to the paper’s site, but I’d imagine the number’s pretty small in the scheme of things. To me, mainly, it just seemed like a cool experiment. I’m a huge Flickr fan (and an Old Skool member myself) and I thought it’d be fun to put up a whole bunch of pictures our photogs took at a recent war demonstration (many of them went up live during the march as memory cards were being couriered back to the office). We also encouraged local Flickr-ites to tag their own protest photos a certain way, and then we linked to the tag from our protest blog (people tagged about 200 photos as a result). And after the protest we just kept going.
    I guess it never occurred to me that something like this would be somehow against the Flickr ethos. I figured that entering this community and sharing our stuff could give our photography some wider exposure and the community might be interested in seeing them. We have some fine photography and Flickr’s certainly a place where that is appreciated. And I’ve tried to make sure we’re a good Flickr citizen (not flooding groups or spamming discussions or anything like that).
    Matt hit it perfectly with his sentence about mixing a paper’s output with related web communities being the future. I think that’s exactly right.
    Anyhoo, it’s Flickr’s ballgame and their call.
    Mark Friesen
    online editor
    The Oregonian

  5. What about getting each photographer from the paper their own Flickr account, and then creating a photo pool?

  6. Ethos, eh? What about the New York Times feed on Twitter, or small newspapers using Blogger to host their blogs? Do those uses violate TOS?
    Of course, the supercool way to use Flickr at a newspaper is promote the use of a tag — “oregeonlive” — and automagically feed pics with the tag onto a “your photos” page on the news site.
    There are obvious risks to that, of course…

  7. It may violate TOS, but the photos are pretty damn cool nonetheless…
    I didn’t know about the one person / account thing either… some digging will have to ensue…

  8. Wow! Sorry. I didn’t mean to stir the pot. It’s just that, as the founder / editor of a similar community, I’m particularly sensitive to these issues.
    Thing is, Flickr is optimized for individuals to share personal photos. The way the Oregonian is using Flickr is clearly a little bit off from that. But it’s up to Flickr to determine what’s okay in their town.
    If it was in JPG, it’d be a grey area. We require that all uploaders own the copyright to their uploads. In this case, the individual photogs may not own the copyrights because it’s work for hire, so technically they couldn’t upload their own work – the paper would have to.
    At the same time, we really don’t want any member to share an account, or upload photos they didn’t take (even if there is no copyright issue). This is so members always know that the bylines they see are correct.
    In any case, I commend The Oregonian for getting out there, taking some risks, and participating in the community. It looks like they have a great editor in Mark Friesen.

  9. I think what the Oregonian did was fantastic and I hope sites like Flickr and other newspaper publishers do more of this in the future. I’m a big fan of newspapers and I love to see innovation and multimedia collaboration.
    Derek, you seem upset because someone might make a buck off your service. If people want to use your site, it is up to you to figure out a way to make them pay for it.
    I cheer the Oregonian for their inventive spirit. YAY!

  10. Derek,
    Thanks for the kind words. I can certainly understand your point of view (I’m a JPG fan as well). I do think that newspapers will need to know how to step respectfully into these communities. If they’re seen as somehow trying to take over or flood it with their “brand,” the whole thing will backfire quick.

  11. I asked specific questions of Flickr about commercial use- never got an answer. From the reading I did it seemed more like asking about commercial use and then being ‘yea or nay’d’. Lots of pros showcase their work and their commercial websites are listed there.
    I’ll go with ‘Anyhoo, it’s Flickr’s ballgame and their call.’ Love to see the photos also! Did you have anyone at the OSU-USC game?

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