When is it mine? at Jason-Preston.com: Jason Preston weighs in on the debate of who owns the content hosted by Web 2.0 companies, Flickr specifically:
“Here’s the line as I see it: if Flickr provides me with a useful service. If I use them to host my pictures, and they pay for the bandwidth I use displaying them…however much that is…it’s perfectly legitimate for them to use my pictures to try to make up that investment. That’s the way the deal works. They give me something useful, I give them something useful. They don’t (or at least I don’t think they do, and if they do they shoudn’t) own my pictures. I can take them down any time I want. But I certainly license the images to them so that they can stay in business.”
Actually Jason, you are correct, Flickr does not own your photos when you upload them there. Unlike some other photo hosting services, you give up no rights to your photos on Flickr and can take the photos back at any time. You have a variety of ways to license them on Flickr including various creative commons licenses. You also have options to restrict other people from downloading high res versions of your photos etc.
Flickr gives you a great deal of control over how your content is presented and used on their site.
I’m with you on this one. I think Flickr represents a very fair way for the artist and they to relate.