Sunday, January 04, 2015

Weather …or not?

The weather appflickr are probably sailing close to the wind on sharing their vast photo collection, yet again! This time it is being handled more sensitively. I received an invite to join a new project they have called the weather project. The basic idea is pretty sound, via a free smartphone app called Yahoo7 Weather, you will be able to see flickr photos of your location showing current conditions, supposedly backed by "the most accurate forecasts" (aka the weather channel with temperatures in Fahrenheit), Now this is an opt-in situation whereby joining the group you can expect to have your images shared, provided that are selected as suitable, by “a team of trained Yahoo Weather photo editors". This is clearly a better way to handle the public sharing of photos. So I say cautiously, congratulations flickr.

The first drawback for me is I can’t install this app on my older android phone, not such a big deal because I already have a weather app that accesses the local bureau of meteorology (even when I’m travelling) and it works fine (and the temperatures are in Celsius. However before joining the group I want to make sure I understood the conditions of use. There is a quite comprehensive FAQ section which did deal with my primary concerns, which where conditions of submitting, who “owns” the photos and attribution. It is also clear that flickr, or yahoo, will not be making any payment for images used. Fair enough,

What constitues a picture of weather?
BUT and its a big issue for me, they don’t mention licencing, and specifically anything about creative commons usage.They do acknowledge that the photo are your works not theirs, but they want you to share them freely, unrestrictedly freely! After the fuss over their wall art I expected flickr to be more upfront about licencing.

The condition include that the photo is yours, your original work. Again fair enough. The clause "You also hereby waive the benefits of any provision of law known as Moral Rights or Droit Moral" does concern me but I'll have to research what it means in Australia, since we do have a similar rights in law, COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT (MORAL RIGHTS) ACT 2000 

I do intend to join the group and very carefully watch how they handle attribution, I don’t expect a lot of traffic from their phone apps, but will be happy if any photo I share are considered worthwhile, since I am very unlikely to share my best ones into a group with rules like the clause above!
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