How to stop Yahoo from cashing in on your Flickr images

If you post Flickr images with a commercial-use creative commons license, Yahoo has a little surprise: it will soon be free to sell them and keep all the money. It recently decided to peddle canvas prints of selected photos for up to $50, taking 100 percent of the revenue from creative commons users who permit free use of their images. That contrasts with a recent decision it made to give select users with non-commercial-use licenses 51 percent of sales for the same "Wall Art" collections. The new policy has made many of the site's devotees upset -- especially pro account users -- who say that while they're fine with third-party companies using their photos, they're not fine at all with Flickr itself selling them for profit.

Though Yahoo isn't breaking any laws, some feel it has broken the circle of trust with its large community of photographers. Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield told the WSJ that "it's hard to imagine the revenue from selling prints will cover the cost of lost goodwill." There is something that artists can do to stop Yahoo from using their work: switch the creative commons license to deny commercial use. Unfortunately, such a scorched-earth approach would also heavily reduce the supply of photos available to other businesses or non-profit groups.