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Third party website allowing users to download photographs from Flickr

Stewart Fullerton Photography says:

It has recently come to my attention that a new photo search engine website was launched, but the thing I find concerning is that even though you have downloading disabled, this site allows any user to download your work, full resolution photographs.

I have disabled the ability for anyone to download full res versions of my pictures, but this new website gets around that rule, this doesn't just affect me, it affects every other Flickr user that has downloading disabled, your work can be downloaded by anyone even if you have downloading turned off.

This surely has to be a breach of the Flickr terms and conditions, and I'm not too pleased that my work is being made downloadable on this site.

I have reported this matter to Flickr, but just to make everyone aware of this.
Posted at 2:53AM, 13 July 2021 PDT ( permalink )
Stewart Fullerton Photography edited this topic 2 months ago.

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Ulster1916 says:

An excellent website, thanks for posting the link
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Richard Harvey UK says:

Is this one of those Flickr API things? Every image is on there (well, the several pages I looked at, including the OP and my stuff).
That said, clearly it needs tweaking to respect download/ privacy and content settings from source.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )
Richard Harvey UK edited this topic 2 months ago.

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Richard Harvey UK says:

Stewart Fullerton Photography:

You were wise to delete the link I think but I did catch it. They appear to be UK based so why not contact them directly?
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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albyn.davis says:

Stewart Fullerton Photography:

This is why I watermark my pictures.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Ulster1916 says:

Are not the photos identified by any tags the user has applied to their own photos. The first one on the website has 31 tags, if that is the case the answer is simple.
photofinder.tdbtools.com/
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Richard Harvey UK says:

Ulster1916:

Yes they are. But I think the point is that the site developer should respect the wishes of the image owner, which they don’t currently. A strongly worded communication from Flickr lawyers might be in order methinks..

And I wouldn’t give the site the oxygen of publicity. It’s not very good imo.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Ulster1916 says:

Richard Harvey UK:

Better that members can see what the subject is IMO
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Richard Harvey UK says:

Ulster1916:

Fair point. I see they’ve trawled todays explore. That won’t be troubling me then! 😂
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Stewart Fullerton Photography says:

Richard Harvey UK:

As a Software Engineer I would guess they're using the API, and some kind of hack where you can get full res images from accounts that have downloading disabled, "dl.php" does all the work.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )
Stewart Fullerton Photography edited this topic 2 months ago.

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mikerofoto says:

Stewart Fullerton Photography:

You can go in your settings, privacy and permission, hide your stuff from public search : yes, on 3rd party sites.

Thats about all you can to prevent them, as for downloading images on flickr, it always been an unresolved issue.


*** edit:
Don’t upload full res pictures, so they’ll only get max what you upload!
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Stewart Fullerton Photography says:

mikerofoto:

That didn't work unfortunately, the photos are still on the site. Flickr got back and told me to go to them, which I've done but I'm expecting a polite F off or being ignored completely.

I rather upload full res photos because one of my hard drives packed in a decade back and I lost a bulk of my photos, but they were still on Flickr which was good, I was able to retrieve them all again.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Silanov says:

In their DMCA policy they say: "We rely on copyright owners to protect their own copyright interests by communicating with us. We will immediately take down the link in response to a valid notice of alleged infringement submitted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA")."

Unfortunately that's not how things are meant to work. Hence, the statement above doesn't protect the website owners from any legal action taken against them. They might even know this, therefore - as usual on websites like that - they haven't published any imprint.

The legally correct procedure would be to ask the copyright owners beforehand if you are allowed to publish their photos. By no means it's the duty of the copyright owners to ask the owners of such websites to take down images, they have never been allowed to publish and make downloadable without even posting any copyright information.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )
Silanov edited this topic 2 months ago.

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Mitchel25J (46 million + Views Thank You ) says:

Stewart Fullerton Photography:

Since it's a UK-based website that reaches out to the UK Government that handles digital images and explain the issue they should be able to resolve the issue. If not reach out to a Digital Photography Lawyer based in the UK and ask them to look at your case.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Ulster1916 says:

Good luck with the copyright issues I think that you will need it, a lawyer really, that will not come cheap!
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Richard Harvey UK says:

It is still Flickr’s problem as this site breaches the contract they (the 3rd party) agreed to.

www.flickr.com/help/terms/api

Read paragraph 1a.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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splinx1 says:

Richard Harvey UK:

Yes, but the problem, as such, really falls on TDB Tools, which brands itself as a "photo search engine," since they are in violation of Flickr's terms of use, as you note.

Whether or not Flickr decides to go after TDB Tools remains to be seen. I don't know if Flickr would have grounds to sue them for damages, and of course lawyers aren't cheap, but I doubt the "photo search engine" would exist unless some benefit accrued to TDB.

I have virtually all of my photos marked "All Rights Reserved," which in simple language means anyone wanting to use my photograph for any purpose must first get my permission.

I also now discretely put my mark on all photos I post to Flickr, as I saw complaints about Flickr users stealing other people's photographs, and posting them on their own Flickr photostreams. Unfortunately, discrete marks like mine are fairly easily removed or cropped out.

By now, of course, it should not be a news flash that there are thieves in this world.

[Edited to correct company name]
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )
splinx1 edited this topic 2 months ago.

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Stewart Fullerton Photography says:

Sent to Flickr after they responded to my concern.....

Hi there Nicole, using the API to "view" my pictures on screen is not my concern here, as I use the API to do that myself, my main concern is that photofinder.tdbtools.com are providing users with "download" links, even though I have downloading disabled.

I contacted them about this situation and they claim that some of my pictures had the "Creative Commons" license, but I can assure you that all my pictures are "All Rights Reserved".

The link below was a photograph I took on Sunday, "All Rights Reserved"... if you scroll down the page, you can see on the right hand side of the page the download links to every photo size, including one to the full-res original.

photofinder.tdbtools.com/photo/51305114099/colonel-mustar...

Reading paragraph 1a of the Flickr API Terms of Use it mentions the following.

You shall comply with any requirements or restrictions imposed on usage of the photos by their respective owners. Remember, SmugMug doesn't own the images - Flickr users do. Although the Flickr APIs can be used to provide you with access to Flickr user photos, neither SmugMug's provision of the Flickr APIs to you nor your use of the Flickr APIs override the photo owners' requirements and restrictions, which may include "all rights reserved" notices

I think that what they're doing is a clear violation of this, because as I said I have downloading of my pictures disabled, but you can download the photographs with the click of a button on this site, they are "overriding" my restriction and anyone who visits can steal my photos.

Stewart Fullerton
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Richard Harvey UK says:

Stewart Fullerton Photography:

Well put. Let us know how you get on.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Viejito says:

Stewart Fullerton Photography:

anyone who visits can steal my photos.
They are giving access to the same sizes of your photos that Flickr does, and they do give a link to your flickrpage. The difference, as you point out, is that they give an easy download link, whereas on flickr it takes a few extra clicks to download the photos.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Stewart Fullerton Photography says:

Viejito:

If you have downloading disabled however, you can view the picture but you can't save it, but if you're techy you can press F12 to enable dev tools and download the image that way.

A hack job to me.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Stewart Fullerton Photography says:

I figured out something, if you set the "largest shared image size" to just large, the full-res version of your photo no longer appears as a download on their website.

That kinda solves my biggest complaint, but how are other people who have downloading disabled meant to know that?
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )
Stewart Fullerton Photography edited this topic 2 months ago.

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Viejito says:

Stewart Fullerton Photography:

can press [info removed] to enable dev tools
It can be done without using those tools. On Firefox one does not even need to view the page source.

Some sites do a better job preventing downloading. What Flickr does is not preventing downloading but just not giving a direct link to do it.

In general, it is safer to not ask Flickr to keep things from viewers, but to just not upload any photos or info that you do not want viewed.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Flickr Staff

katie_ko says:

Thanks to everyone for jumping in!

Stewart Fullerton Photography:

Thanks for alerting the community-- I see you’re in touch with staff directly who have passed the report on to the appropriate team.

For anyone in the future looking to bring any potential violations to our attention, the best way to do so will be through the "contact us" form:


1. Go to the Contact Us form.
2. Fill out the form and select Trust & Safety from the dropdown.
3. Select Issue.
4. Enter a message detailing the report.
5. Click Send.

Thanks!

(Just a note that we've removed a few comments from the thread that were starting to steer the conversation away from the topic at hand & from the spirit of being helpful. Thanks for understanding & continuing to assume good intentions)

(edited 7/15 to add missing word- "good")
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )
katie_ko (staff) edited this topic 2 months ago.

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