Michael Zhang, PetaPixel:
500px just shut down its Marketplace stock photo platform in favor of selling photos directly through Getty Images and VCG, as the company announced a month ago. And as part of the major change, 500px has wiped out over 1 million of the Creative Commons photos photographers had uploaded to the service.
Creative Commons licensing allows photographers to make their works freely available for others to build upon and share while following certain guidelines. 500px introduced the licensing option back in 2012, following in Flickr’s footsteps.
But overnight, all of the CC photos that have been uploaded since 2012 have been nuked from 500px. Users can no longer choose a CC license during uploading, search for CC photos, or download them.
And prior to the wipeout, 500px provided no migration path for 500px users wishing to keep their CC photos on the service alive.
This sucks for anyone who wants to share their photography while maintaining control over its use or licensing it to third parties.
Flickr, meanwhile, has been shuttled around from owner to owner before landing with SmugMug earlier this year. Aside from Instagram, there really aren’t any successful photo-centric sharing websites or services — at least, not in North America. Why is that? Is it simply because Instagram consumes the entire market in much the same way that YouTube is the video sharing platform?