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Does the Flickr Widget violate copyright/terms of service?

  1. I have a very angry Flickr user who is sending me lots of ranty emails and comments.
    Basically, my blog uses the Flickr Widget to display 4 constantly updating thumbnails linked back to Flickr, that are tagged "insect":
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/insect/
    As best I can tell, this is perfectly consistent with both the instructions on wordpress.com for using the widget on a public search/feed.

    Complainer-dude's photos are marked copyright protected; but they are labeled for display in a public search (which is why they show up in the tag search.) He is enraged that a thumbnail of his work showed up for (maybe?) 5 minutes at my blog, and sent traffic to his page via a link on the widget. He claims I have violated his copyright.

    Who, exactly, is the "author" of the widget, so I can direct this guy somewhere constructive for all his complaining?

    (I've already explained, several times, with links, that he needs to change his Flickr privacy settings if he doesn't want anyone to see his photos; you can see the less alarming of his comments here:
    http://membracid.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/photos-flames-and-copyright/ )

    Help? I'm about ready to remove the widget just to make him go away, but I don't like being intimidated.
    Blog url: http://membracid.wordpress.com/

  2. The photographer is pointing to the Flickr API Terms of Service but the widget actually does not use the API to pull the photos. We use RSS feed (which you copied and pasted into the widget field), where all public photos are included.

    http://www.flickr.com/services/feeds/docs/photos_faves/

    Please feel free to refer to this post or have the photographer contact us for clarification if that's necessary.

  3. So, I am in the clear here?
    It would seem so, since the default is the "interestingness" page, which includes all sorts of Flickr users.

  4. Yes, if the RSS field is left blank, the widget displays photos from the public feed at http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting

  5. You may wish to update the instructions on the Flickr Widget page, then.

    Because the language there is mostly "your photostream", he's interpreting it to mean that anything that I didn't create can't be shown there.

    (IMHO, this particular person is a bit unhinged, but might save hassles for you down the line.)

  6. Good idea. I've updated the documentation: http://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/flickr-widget/

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