While it might be a desirable dream for many photographers to generate income from sales of their work, it is not that easy. The main reason being ability and budget for marketing. While photographers flounder in their efforts, other enterprising organisations are capitalising on these concepts. These organisations set themselves up as virtual market places pulling together photographers and printed media product producers in an outsourced fashion to offer finished products in their boutique online marketplaces.
Such organisations include Redbubble, Zazzle, DeviantArt, Fine Art America, Smugmug and others. Their product value is based on printed media, where artists and photographers provide the images, while product manufacturers produce the final product, be it wall hanging art decor, a shirt, cushion covers, or souvenirs. The marketplace organisation provides the online E-commerce network and site, the administration, service co-ordination, legal indemnity, distribution and customer support.
One of the largest repositories of images, Flickr; owned by Yahoo Inc, has now entered the fray to capitalise on such a large resource.
With suppliers of images (Flickr subscribers) choosing to share them publicly on Flickr under a free to use (with limited or no restriction) creative commons licence, Flickr had a huge pool of images to offer on their new derivative product—mounted canvas wall art decor.
The only problem was that Yahoo profited on the contributions of their subscribers who were not all aware of this. Complaints arose as suppliers of images learnt of this. Although Flickr/Yahoo were legally able to do this, it was more a question of ethics. As a result, Flickr withdrew the creative commons allowed image assets from their print products catalogue, leaving only those that the artists and photographers who opted for the service provided. Of course subscribers could use the service to purchase products from the images they owned for them selves. Despite its’ shaky start, it is still an evolving service.
This first link is to an article that enlightened readers of the Flickr initiative. The second link is to another article the following month, enlightening readers on the modification to the initial service.
Written and researched by Gavin Lardner CC-BY 2016.