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Thread: Flickr silencing artists: mild protest request

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Flickr silencing artists: mild protest request

    Hiya ArtRageous Types...

    I've got a request to make... I'd like you to take two small actions in support of a protest I'm mounting against Flickr.

    The two actions are:

    (1) To email Flickr admin a politely-worded message asking them to reconsider their policy of marking artists as NIPSA. (I'll explain below.) Here's the Flickr email link:

    (2) To go to the DIGG site, and add your vote. This will push my story up the rankings, and bring it to the attention of the media, where, hopefully, it will add pressure to Flickr to reconsider. Here's the DIGG link:

    Here's the issue...

    And it's not a simple one.

    Flickr is a photo sharing site. Which lets artists post their work and store it.

    They have a clause in their 'Community Guidelines' section that states that any member who has more artworks in their photostreams than photos will be marked as 'NIPSA', meaning, 'Not In Public Search Areas'.

    What this means is that the artist becomes invisible. The only way to find an artist's work is by having a direct link to their photostream (here's mine:, or by stumbling upon a pic by that artist in one of the public groups that that photo belongs to. That's it. If you search for me, you won't find me.

    Now here's the rub... the actual NIPSA marking is invisible to the Flickr member. And they do not inform you that you have been marked NIPSA. And they don't inform you how you can reverse the marking.

    The issue is complex because the guidelines are quite clear about artworks and their offensiveness.

    At the same time, they're accepting money from people for PRO accounts without telling them that they're going to be NIPSAd.

    Now all of this could be seen as a matter of just saying, 'Well, if you're PAYING to be on a site that allows PHOTO sharing, then you have NO BUSINESS demanding rights as an artist.'

    Which is a valid argument, until you delve below the surface. Flickr has hundreds of thousands of artworks on the site. And it has thousands of groups that only allow artworks on them. Flickr has allowed these artworks on the site, and they've allowed these groups. Which means that the site is NOT only a photo sharing site. It's de facto an art sharing site too.

    Various artists have also raised the objection that they take photos of their artworks, and the images on the photostreams ARE indeed photos. But Flickr chooses to interpret those photos as 'artworks', and they are therefore NIPSAd.

    So, it's not a clear cut case.

    The case I'm making is that it's simply a matter of tagging artworks as such, and not being so rigid about the TYPE of image that is being called a photo. It seems to me that Flickr is being bureaucratically rigid, and living by the 'letter of the law' rather than the 'spirit of the law'.

    I would like them to start treating artists as first class citizens.

    This is what I'd like them to DO:

    1. They must either ban artworks entirely.

    2. Or, allow artworks equal status.

    3. Or, create a Flickr Art site.

    4. Inform artists that their accounts have been marked NIPSA.

    5. Have a procedure for removing the NIPSA marking.

    6. Have the NIPSA marking visible and easy to identify.

    What I would like them to STOP doing:

    1. Stop marking artists NIPSA without informing them.

    2. Stop offering uninformative responses to queries, citing 'the guidelines'.

    What I would like you to do is to email them ( and visit DIGG (, and cast your vote.

    Thanks for your attention!

    Blue skies

    Visual Facilitator:

    ArtRage 3.5.5 and 4.0.4 on:
    Fujitsu T901, Asus R1E

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Hudson Valley, New York. USA
    This is why you must read the small print. I have my own web site administered by me with all due rights credited. Maintaining and running your own web site is both time consuming and expensive. It does give you complete control however. Advantages of site(s) you mention is that the servers are faster bigger and for the most part reliable.
    You'll know when you get there!

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