Last November, SmugMug announced a number of changes the photo-sharing site would be undergoing in the coming months as part of a clean-up operation of sorts to help streamline Flickr assets and unused accounts. One of those changes was the news that free accounts would be limited to 1,000 images and any images over that limit would be deleted.
Almost immediately, Flickr caught flack for the decision, especially surrounding the vast amounts of Creative Commons images hosted on the photo sharing site. Within a week, Flickr announced it was sparing Creative Commons and public domain images and also sparing non-profits from the 1,000 photo cap.
Now, Flickr is going a step further. In a blog post, Flickr says it will not be deleting any public, freely licensed images from its platform, regardless of who’s operating the account.
‘In this spirit, today we’re going further and now protecting all public, freely licensed images on Flickr, regardless of the date they were uploaded,’ reads the blog post. ‘We want to make sure we preserve these works and further the value of the licenses for our community and for anyone who might benefit from them.‘
Flickr isn’t just rolling over though. To combat accounts from simply switching all their photos to Creative Commons without understanding what all it entails in hopes of still hosting their photos on the site, Flickr has disabled the bulk license change tools in the Settings menu.
‘We’ve done this to prevent community members from flipping all their images to a new license without first understanding the significant implications of the various free licenses we support. Any member (Free or Pro) can still change the license of any of their photos on the photo page.’
Additionally, Flickr is introducing ‘in memoriam’ accounts. These accounts come after concern from users about what happens to their images after they pass away (or late photographers who still have images on Flickr).
Flickr says ‘in memoriam’ accounts ‘will preserve all public content in a deceased member’s account, even if their Pro subscription lapses […] The account’s username will be updated to reflect the “in memoriam” status and login for the account be locked, preventing anyone from signing in.‘
|Flickr has created this dedicated form to help identify accounts in need of ‘in memoriam’ status.|
To help preserve the accounts of members who have already passed away, Flickr is asking for help to identify existing accounts that are deserving of ‘in memoriam’ status. A dedicated article has been added on Flickr’s Help Center to help explain the process.