Look At Our Flickr Faves

Image redacted.

UPDATE: Ben Popken apologizes for improper photo policy with regards to Flickr and offers a new one.

People are always complimenting us on our photos. The quality of the photo work shown on The Consumerist mainly stems from our preternatural ability to steal images from Flickr. In the course of searching for just the right image, we encounter many, some of which we favorite.

Over the past few months, we’ve amassed a sizable library of favorites. Some of them you’ll recognize from the front page, others were left on the cutting room floor, or referenced for possible future use.

So for glimpse in our thought process, check out our faves. By the way, not all images are work safe. — BEN POPKEN

The Consumerist’s Flickr Faves

Comments

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  1. JLam4911 says:

    How do you deal with copyright issues? Do you ask the creator for permission to use the photos on consumerist.com? Or do you just yank them and repost them?

    I’m just trying to understand where this falls under copyright laws.

  2. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’ve noticed that the Consumerist at least links back to the Flickr account where the picture was found. Click on the Taco Bell picture..

    http://consumerist.com/consumer/taco-bell/let-the-taco-bel

  3. Michael says:

    I’m sure Consumerist knows this, but for the benefit of readers I’ll mention that you can search Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr via http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons

    While some have restrictions against commercial use, there are still millions offered which require nothing but attribution.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    Transformative means fair use.

  5. kenposan says:

    Steal is the correct word, unfortunately. The Consumerist, as far as I am aware, has never asked an artist’s permission to use an image found on flickr. In fact, there was a big thread about this a month or so ago when a flickr user complained about his image being used. I am sure Ben remembers that thread.

    What people tend to forget is that just because something is posted on the Internet does not mean you can grab it and use it w/o permission. Copyright still applies.

    I am actually surprised that The Consumerist engages in this behavior. If some corporate entity was doing this, The Consumerist would be all over the story.

    Why does this matter to me? My wife is a professional photographer. We have seen many of her colleagues’ images “borrowed” by people without permission.

    /’nough said.
    //don’t ban me for having a dissenting opinion.

  6. Harlan says:

    I agree with kenposan. Flickr images are labeled “all rights reserved”, unless changed by the photographer, and that applies to Consumerist. Use Creative Commons licensed images (I usually make mine Attribution-Non-commercial), or expect to get sued, and to lose.

  7. rlee says:

    Sign of the apocalypse #4379:
    “favorite” used as a verb.

  8. Mike_ says:

    What do you mean by “transformative”? You’re using rights-reserved images, largely unaltered, to embellish and illustrate your own work. (That’s more akin to a newspaper firing its staff photographers because it’s cheaper to scan and reprint photos from Time, People and Newsweek.)

    Sadly, these images are often “borrowed” from defenseless individuals and hobbyists who lack the will or the resources to protect their copyright interests from a for-profit blog and its crack legal team. Ironic, isn’t it? Individuals’ rights willfully being trampled upon by a business … here, of all places.

    … anyway, Ben has said in the past that he’s going to pick the best photo possible, and let the lawyers sort out all of that copyright infringement mumbo-jumbo. It is what it is.

  9. agdTinMan says:

    Yeah, it’s actually pretty crappy that you don’t even give credit, or link back to the actual flickr page. You know it’s the right thing to do.

  10. rich815 says:

    You forgot to add the TAG “Silly” for most of those.

  11. RandomHookup says:

    Just send your invoices to Nick Denton c/o Gawker Media.

  12. RogueSophist says:

    Ben, the “purpose and character” of use is one of four main factors of the affirmative fair use defense to copyright infringement, see 17 U.S.C. sec. 107. To the extent a work is more “transformative” than “derivative,” it is afforded more protection. But this is only one factor to consider in a delicate balancing of rights and public policy interests.

    An artist’s making his art available to the public via Flickr is not putting the photograph in the legal “public domain.” With regard to the Consumerist, while plucking a protected photograph from one site and reprinting it verbatim on another site (in conjunction with a news story) might, in certain cases, constitute fair use, to call it “transformative” use borders on laughable.

  13. AcilletaM says:

    A lot of softcore pr0n in there, Meghann.

  14. agdTinMan says:

    It looks like Meghann follows flickrs guidelines and links back to the flickr page where the image is found (which seems fair). Ben needs to get on the ball though.

  15. scingram says:

    As a new photographer, I will take the advertisment where I can get it as long as I am credited properly (that’s the key). A site like Consumerist (or anything on the Gawker network for that matter) generates a ton of views, and as such exposes individuals art to the web on a large scale.

    Just a note though, you may want to add a coment in their flickr image as to you using it on your site, just as a nice way of saying you appreciate their work. And of course remove the art if they dont want it posted there.

  16. Kluv says:

    While I love Consumerist, this is one of the things that really disappoints me about the site. As mentioned, the last time this came up, Ben dismissed concerns by saying it was “more trouble than it’s worth” to credit the original photographer.

    (Of course, it wasn’t “more trouble” to actually go through the process of stealing the picture, editing out a logo, and posting it on the site.)

    It’s common courtesy. I’m fairly certain that The Consumerist wouldn’t appreciate it if I took one of their stories, posted it on another site, and edited out the fact that they wrote it…

  17. 24fan24 says:

    I too would like to add my disapproval of posting images without authorization. I’m sure gawker would not appreciate it if I began to copy entire posts and post them on my blog without attribution or permission.

  18. 24fan24 says:

    I too would like to add my disapproval of this practice. If you can link to bloggers with interesting stories, you can link to the photographers of interesting photos.

    I would prefer no picture than a stolen picture.

  19. 24fan24 says:

    Sorry for the double.

  20. Michael says:

    Ben, your attitude on this seems very anti-consumer. Creative Commons licensing was largely created in the spirit of giving consumers more rights than they’d be afforded otherwise. I realize that you’re following Gawker Media’s own flawed Terms of Use, which allows editors to cull “images published on Flickr or other public photo sites, with an implied license for use under the Creative Commons license associated with such sites”. There is no such license implied except when a Flickr user has indicated CC licensing explicity.

    I’m sure many Flickr users are happy for the extra traffic, but just try borrowing something from one of the more serious pros and you could find yourself in trouble. Claiming transformative use is a weak defense considering the substantiality of the material borrowed. If I were to take the Consumerist logo and repurpose it for a discount dental prosthetics store, that might be transformative but it’d hardly hold water in court.

    I thought Consumerist was about educating and empowering people to stand up for their rights and be treated fairly. Clearly you only believe in such things insofar as it suits your own purposes.

    Not that it will be any loss to the site, but from henceforth consider me unsubscribed (or banned), and consider the Consumerist reported to Flickr for abuse.

  21. MarahMarie says:

    I love you guys, but God, learn some Photoshop. It looks hypocritical when you claim to uphold consumer’s rights and then rip everyone and their brother off for their pictures next to your pro-consumer articles. Without giving proper photo credit no less! C’mon, how hard is it to include a backlink to the original photo site/photographer?

    Are you guys having a passing delusion in which you think “Do as we say, not as we do?” will go over well?

    Yes, I’m against hotlinking photos, too, as it steals both bandwidth and credit for the photo unless it’s explicitly stated where it came from…it’s not hard to do things the right way, and the right way is more beneficial to your reputation than the wrong way will ever be.

  22. drsmith says:

    Hmm. Call me crazy, but I just don’t get what’s so great about flickr. It’s slow. The organization of the photos is inefficient since the entire page loads when you switch from photo to photo. I also feel it takes entirely too many clicks to browse through a photo collection. When I view one of the photos in the collection, I don’t have any controls on the page to directly browse to/from the next/last photo within the collection I was viewing.

    Other sites on the internet do all of the above a lot better, imho.

  23. inajeep says:

    drsmith, Your crazy. ;-)

    Out of all the photo posting sites I have visited and tried, flickr is my favorite because it’s not filled with ads and navigation is very simple. Regarding your specific navigation complaint, when ever I view a photo page you can navigate to the next or previous photo either in the stream or group if it’s part of one. Look in the upper right corner of the page. You really need to pay closer attention to the navigation.

  24. inajeep says:

    As far as the actual issue:

    Many above say it perfectly: MarahMarie , Michael, Kluv, scingram have perfectly worded responses.

  25. xister says:

    As a photographer/Photoshopper/Graphic Designer whose trying to get his work “out there”, I personally would be very disappointed to find one of my images stolen (because that’s what you’re doing) and put on your site without credit. Something that I also find it troubling is that first line at the top of the page here:”People are always complimenting us on our photos.” Your photos??? No, someone else’s photos. If it wasn’t for those other people taking “your” photos, you wouldn’t have such nice images to post. I think I’ll copy and paste some portions of the articles here on the consumerist and post them as opening blurbs on my blog…. I mean, fair is fair, right?

  26. xister says:

    As a photographer/Photoshopper/Graphic Designer whose trying to get his work “out there”, I personally would be very disappointed to find one of my images stolen (because that’s what you’re doing) and put on your site without credit. Something that I also find it troubling is that first line at the top of the page here:”People are always complimenting us on our photos.” Your photos??? No, someone else’s photos. If it wasn’t for those other people taking “your” photos, you wouldn’t have the reputation for having such great photos on your site, would you? I think I’ll copy and paste some portions of the articles here on the consumerist and post them as opening blurbs on my blog…. I mean, fair is fair, right?

  27. FranzPatzig says:

    It is very easy. On flickr you can set up seven different licenses.

    1 – all rights reserved – you must ask to use them
    2 – 7 CC licenses: Attribution + specific instructions by the copyright holder.

    There is nothing to discuss about it. These are legal licenses. The photos are owned by people and only they decide what you may do with them. All personal interpretations are irrelevant.

    CreativeCommons has a “human readable” version for all of its licenses and a full legal text. That is not hard to understand.

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/