Pierrick on Piwigo

Piwigo is the open source photo gallery for the web

Posts Tagged ‘flickr

Dropbox, data ownership, who cares?

Dropbox, the famous storage solution in the cloud, has announced this week-end a change in their Terms Of Use. I hope I understood correctly: by signing up on dropbox.com, Dropbox gets the right to use content uploaded by users. Dropbox doesn’t own your files, they just can “use” it. It doesn’t mean that Dropbox will start to sell your photos, videos and confidential documents you have sent on their server, it just means they can “use” them. Facebook, Picasa Web Albums by Google, Flickr by Yahoo… they all have the same kind of conditions in their Terms Of Use.

I work in the “hosting content” business and maybe what’s obvious for me is not that obvious for the average user: nothing is free. If you don’t pay for your 2GB of storage, you have to wonder how the provider pays his own bills! So when a provider doesn’t ask you for money, he asks for something else. The right to use your data the way they want, for example. Displaying targetted advertisements is another example.

So who cares? I thought that “nearly nobody” was the right answer, until I saw a huge number of messages on Twitter saying “today I close my Dropbox account, I disagree with their new TOS”. Actually, it seems that “a few people” care. See also blog posts Put it in the Cloud? Are You Nuts?Oh Dropbox, We Loved You Once…I’ve deleted my Dropbox account or the  less “panic” style Dropbox, cloud storage, and who owns your files?

For example, if you want to share your photos, publicly or privately, what’s the solution if you want to keep your full right of use on your own photos?

  1. host it by yourself. You can use a software like Piwigo: download it from Piwigo.org (Zenphoto or Menalto Gallery are also fine)
  2. if you don’t want to host it by yourself, you can open an account on Piwigo.com: this is not free, that’s €39/year, but we don’t use your data.

In the end I think that “no so many people” care, but we hear them on Twitter, and it’s good to know that some solutions exist for them.

Written by plg

July 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm

What if Flickr fails?

Two weeks ago, Doc Searls, which is a senior editor for Linux Journal and has many other roles, wrote a blog post that anyone who share photos online should read: What if Flickr fails?

The origin of this question is the:

One cause for worry is reports of sudden and unexplained account deletions.

But I doubt it concerns more than a tiny list of users. Okay it’s really not cool for these users, but I don’t think all Flickr user should fear for deletion. What I think is the most important is:

And the greater risk is not of Flickr’s deletion of customers, but of the market’s deletion of Flickr. Because, after all, Flickr is a business and no business lasts forever.

Then Doc Searls explains the Pro Vs Free accounts and how Flickr generate revenue with Free accounts (with advertisement).  Doc concludes with a solution for the future:

First is to pay more for what’s now free stuff. […] Second is to develop self-hosted versions of Flickr, or the equivalent.

I couldn”t agree more. This is exactly what projects like ZenPhoto, Menalto Gallery and of course Piwigo are trying to propose. The major problem with these systems is that they require higher technical skills because you need to get a hosting provider, install your photo gallery software (with concepts like database settings) before you can host your photos.

This is where Piwigo.com comes into action. Just like WordPress.com let you create a WordPress blog without worrying about technical requirements, Piwigo.com let you create a Piwigo photo gallery with just a 4 fields sign-up form to fill. This is what I explained in my comment to Doc Searls blog post.

Fortunately Flickr has a generous API Garden that does allow the copying off of most (or all) data that goes with your photographs. I’m interested in being able to copy all my photos and metadata off into my own self-hosted system.

Well Okay, you can perform request on an API and hope you will be able to fetch all your data, but for sure the gallery features will be lost : at best you only get your data back. With Piwigo.com you can get your data back and the software as well (from Piwigo.org) and then you can run your photo gallery anywhere you want. This is what we call the no vendor lock-in feature. And YES I think this is an important feature. Piwigo.com has many other features, such as the ability to customize your photo gallery theme but also activate or deactivate features, but I admit I’m very proud of this one.

Piwigo.org to run Piwigo on your own website

Piwigo.com to start a Piwigo photo gallery in a few seconds

Written by plg

January 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Posted in piwigo.com, piwigo.org

Tagged with ,

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