Friday, 6 March 2009

Can I have something of yours for nothing?

Nottingham City Council has joined flickr, the photo sharing website, for the express purpose of scrounging photo content for their promotional campaigns without having to pay for it. Here's their profile.

What happens is you get a message on one of your photos asking the following;


Nottingham City Council would like to use your photograph on the back of city bus shelters - can you please confirm that you are happy for us to do so free of charge? We will credit all photographs used and therefore can please let us know what credit you would like to appear on the photograph?

Many Thanks"

Sadly, a few people appear to have fallen for it.

This hasn't gone down particularly well with Nottingham flickr members with a long discussion thread on the matter appearing. The general consensus seems to be that its a bit of a cheek not offering payment and that people should respond to requests in the positive only on the condition that a payment will be forthcoming.

NCC on the other hand thing they are doing the togs a favour;

"Nottingham City Council does have a photo library and images from this library were considered for the purpose of the bus shelter poster locations. However after some team discussions and given we are aware there are many photographers in the city, we felt it would be a great opportunity for you to show your work and for us to recognise your creative approach to photography."

However one of the contributors described his experience of applying for a job for NCC as a photographer for the 'Arrow';

"In March 2008, I applied for a job with the NCC (namely, The Arrow) as a photographer. They were interested after seeing my work, and asked me if I was a published photographer, to which I said yes. They wanted to see my portfolio, and what works I'd had published. I showed them copies of the NEP which had used my pics for stories several times. When they asked how much I'd been paid/charge for usage, I said "Oh, I let them use them for free", they suddenly lost interest."

So, it seems that letting NCC use your photographs for free isn't that much of a 'great opportunity' after all.


Anonymous said...

check that profile link... it ain't NCC's flickr profile.

Andy said...

Well spotted! Fixed, ta.

Phil Lowe said...

Thanks for the info. they won't be getting any of my pix on flickr for free that's for sure.