Allowing people to download a subset of images on Flickr

My photostream on Flickr is reasonably well locked down.  I try to strike a balance between sharing and protecting my intellectual property (not that I use it to generate an income…).  Basically, I don’t add watermarks but everything is All Rights Reserved © (although they could be licensed, if they were good enough); only I can access my original image files; only I can print my images; and only I can download images.

RNLI Little Haven 7A few weeks ago though, I was enjoying a family holiday in Wales and I saw the local RNLI lifeboat crew returning from an exercise. I picked up my camera and grabbed some snapshots (and that’s all they were – there was no planning; I was shooting straight into the sun, etc.) but the Helmsman asked if I could send the images to him. Email’s not great for shipping around 12 megapixel images, so I thought I’d share them via Flickr. Unfortunately it seemed that I couldn’t let him download the images… not unless I dropped the security on the whole photostream.

Then I found a workaround.  Even though the default license I selected is All Rights Reserved ©, I can change the license on selected images. Granting a Creative Commons (i.e. Some Rights Reserved) license to the Little Haven lifeboat images gave others the option to download them. Result.

I’m sure this information is buried somewhere in the Flickr website but it didn’t come easily to me, so I’m sharing it here – hopefully it’s useful to someone else!

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