CoolChaser Blog

Apology to Flickr users

Posted on: September 2, 2007

Update: We did an emergency patch to our code to search for only Creative Commons licensed Flickr images and to attribute the flickr user of the image selected. We’re still looking into how we can insert an attribution in the Myspace profile itself (this will take more time).

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We’ve gotten several messages that our CoolChaser tool is enabling the copyright violation of Flickr users. I now realize that we could have coded our tool to more specifically list only images of Flickr users that allow sharing and to properly attribute such users. This was on my todo list and I apologize for not implementing it sooner. I appreciate that some Flickr users have chosen the Creative Commons license to share their photos to varying degrees, and that Flickr actually does allow us to filter for only such photos. Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention. Rest assured this matter has my highest attention now, and we’re looking to fixing this in the next few days.

We’re looking to build better tools to avoid copyright violations, but in the mean time please make sure the background you use don’t violate any applicable copyright laws.

Please drop me a line if you have constructive ideas about what we should change. You can follow also the Flickr discussion thread.

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13 Responses to "Apology to Flickr users"

How do we tell you if one of our Flickr photos is being used without attribution or consent?
http://www.coolchaser.com/layout/create/885846

The Avenue trees in mists and sun

Thanks for your help. I’m glad that you are taking this matter seriously.

Using someone’s publicly avaliable image as a background to your pubic (or semi-public) myspace profile is not a violation of copyright law.

Putting it on a t-shirt and selling it is, but this is nothing like that.

Bottom line, you don’t want your images used, don’t leave them laying around in a public place. In the case of flickr, if you don’t make your photos public they can’t be searched in this manner.

Just because Flickr has photos available to the public does not give rights to use them in any manner. They have copy right infomation listed on their site.

Glad you are taking steps to not use these photos as it would have been an easy case to win.

“Using someone’s publicly avaliable image as a background to your pubic (or semi-public) myspace profile is not a violation of copyright law.”

YES IT IS. It is a very clear violation of the law. You are using a copyrighted work that has not been licensed to you to use. Feel free to prove the teeming millions of lawyers wrong on this one. I doubt you will.

Just because you can view something publicly does not allow you to steal it.

I s there a reason why I go 2 make my profile it says error? none of the pics I choose come up..it’s all gray..whats going on?

My photo may not be in the search but the thumbnail and access is still here: http://www.coolchaser.com/layout/keywords/wedding/1

Remove this photo NOW. I’m getting so fed up with your crap and the crap of other companies/websites that feel like it’s OK to do whatever they please on the internet.

Hi diyosa, we have removed your background from that page and should never appear on our site again.

Sorry for all the trouble and thank you very much for your patience.

Hi algo, we have removed your background also and should never appear on our site again.

Sorry for all the trouble and thank you very much for your patience.

I don’t think this is good enough:

“Attention: CoolChaser is just an image search engine. If an image is copyrighted, please ensure you have the permission to use it.”

You have to ensure that the photos you serve up in your search are not copyrighted images. Your users have no way to determine this (they can’t see the flickr data) and have no incentive to do so.

Mine are still showing up in your search engine under various searches. Remove all pictures belonging to flickr user “electrasteph” from your search.

I THINK THAT THE PICTURE R COOL AND U GUYS SUCK!!!!!!!
JUST BECAUSE EVERYTHING U DO YOUR NOT HAPPY WITH DOES NOT MEAN THERE NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT THEY DO. . .

U GUYS NEED TO GET A LIFE N STOP HATING ON SOMEONE
THAT HAS A LIFE. . .

P.S GET A LIFE HATER

I wrote a separate email identifying two of my copyrighted images that are being offered for free through your website and have received no reply. The images remain.

I only was able to find them by doing very general searches such as “butterfly” and “rainbow”but have no idea how many others were co-opted for this infringement. Remove all images with the source “pixability” from your offerings. I do thank you for your action on this but please know every day they remain in a continued violation of copyright law whether I can find them or not.

As an example I found another of Algo’s copyrighted photos still being offered:
http://www.coolchaser.com/layout/create/874841

I believe you should wipe app images then stream in new ones you are sure are available for use, anything less is continued infringement.

Coolchaser.com is not the end user of these images any more than Google’s images search or Flickr itself.

If MySpace users have your copyrighted images as part of their backgrounds, your issue is with them. You should contact the person that you believe to be illegally using your images and request they remove them.

Coolchaser.com is not at fault here.

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