For years, ignoring the pleas of its customers, and seemingly unbeknownst to most of us, flickR has been stripping author, license, and other information from the resized versions of every image we upload.
To most of you, this probably sounds like pointless geekery, but it poses a serious copyright problem. This practice contributes massively to the developing “orphan works” issue and needs to be addressed by flickR, pronto.
Most cameras insert data into images when they are created, and many photographers insert additional data such as copyright information, author information, and so on. The idea is that this information follows the image as it travels the world, and hopefully helps people (who are curious enough to look) to understand who made it and how. It also helps honest people who, down the road, discover an image they like and want to find out how – and if – they can legally use it.