But recently I was slapped by one of their policies regarding a new way I was using it (under another account), and have gotten non-replies to my appeals. Is there a Supreme Court level I can take my case too? Has the Yahoo-ization taken away their spirit? Who knows?
But let’s back track. For our Second Life Project at NMC, I have been working on the NMC Campus Observer, a blog-published site that aims to be the news source for the project, modeled after a campus newspaper, or sorts. As an associated adjunct, I created a new flickr account to load pictures taken within Second Life and to syndicate back to the blog in the sidebar. To extend the photo reach, my plan was to take others who visit the NMC location, to also post their images, and tag them with a common nmccampus tag, ultimately creating a potentially large (maybe) set of shared images (I also set up a flickr pool as well).
But as I kept returning to the all flickr tag for “nmccampus” at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/nmccampus/, I noticed my images never were included. So I submited a help request to ask why. I did get a response from Ana:
I am sorry but screenshots are non-photos, so your account has been marked NIPSA. Please see our Community Guidelines for more information:
NIPSA? I have been painted with the scarlet letter of Not in Public Site Areas (NIPSA). And this after we upgraded the account to Pro!
I decided to quibble, because if you know anything about SecondLife, these are not strictly screen captures; you actually do manipulate a virtual camera, zoom, pan, etc, and I think the definition of what is a photo gets rather blurry. I know I am splitting virtual hairs, but a screen shot would be just a screen capture, showing the interface, a flat image. Taking the snapshot inside SL, involved the same decision making I do with a digital camera (except expoosure- you always get perfect light there). So I tried again with Ana:
I understand but ask one more opportunity to split a few hairs.
(1) Technically you may call the images posted “screen shots” but they are not captures of screens or windows in a computer application. These images all taken with a different kind of camera, a virtual camera inside the virtual world of Second Life (http://secondlife.com/). For each one, I need to frame a shot of a 3D scene, zoom in, zoom out, crop, etc, more or less the same actions I do with a real camera.
(2) These are in support of an educational project under the auspices of my employer, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting innovation in education, technology, and the arts (http://www.nmc.org/). We are asking participants in our virtual place in Second Life (http://www.nmc.org/sl/) to share their images via a flickr pool and to tag their images. It was our hope we could use a paid for flickr pro account to post images, syndicate to our blog, and include them in the global tags we are asking our participants to use. We could most likely live with your SIPSA marking– it really means our images here are excluded form a al users tag. It also means we will likely not renew the pro account next year. I can just as easily post them from my own personal flickr account– we were hoping to brand this flickr account for our organization.
I have been a heavy flickr user and major fan since March 2004. But it is your call, and I did ignore the guidelines thinking what I was posting were not screenshots.
Alas, Ana has not responded, and I am still wearing a FIPSA sticker. I can still syndicate the images into our blog. I could have done an end around, and loaded these in my personal account (and flickr would have had one less paid Pro account), where my “accepted” photos would outweigh what they deem as “screenshots”.
If anyone has some inner pull with the grand flickrians, please lobby for firstname.lastname@example.org.
And please, flickr, don’t get all big and corporate on us.