Important : Upload-FAQ No.30 change proposal
At the moment FAQ No.30 says :
"What if I want to have my photos removed from your site?"
Currently the answer is :
"Well, if it comes to that we'll remove them."
The proposal is to change the answer to :
"In principle, photos cannot be removed.
Exceptions to this rule can be made when :
1) a better quality upload of the same photo is made (via the Re-upload button).
2) a legal issue forces a removal.
3) a copyright infringement is found, or a "photographer" who uploaded photos made by another person without that person's consent, or who uploaded pictures copied from books, magazines, postcards, and such.
4) a photo is found to be a composite or fake.
5) duplicate photos are found.
6) a better quality picture is available for the same aircraft, with the same registration, the same color scheme, and at the same location.
7) special circumstances, to the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief, ask for removal."
In the past photos have been removed from the site for the reasons mentioned above in the "Exceptions". But photos have also been removed, a.o. because the photographer :
-passed away and his family requested a removal
-could no longer, or was not willing to, handle all the e-mails he received in connection with the photos
-wanted the photos to become exclusive for a book he was writing
-didn't like Airliners.net anymore
-was no longer content with the quality of his early uploads
-lost interest in aviation photography
-didn't like the idea that people did, or could, copy his photos from the internet.
We, the editors, were not really happy with that for several reasons. Quite a few of the viewers just browse a bit through the photos, and some photographers possibly see Airliners.net only as a good selling medium, or an advanced kind of slide show, and there is nothing wrong with that.
But after the tremendous and continuing grow of Airliners.net, many viewers and aircraft historians are now considering the site also as a photo archive to which they return regularly to view the photos of a subject which they are researching, or for which they have a special interest. Those subjects could be e.g. an aircraft type, or some airline company, or an airport. For them it is very important that there is some permanency in the availability of the photos. It is very frustrating for them to discover that a photo has disappeared. It is the same as a postage stamp collection which you try to get complete, but from which stamps inexplicably disappear at random, or an encyclopedia in a library where other people have torn out pages to which you wanted to return for some further study. Also pilots, aircraft owners and operators, airport and other aviation authorities, airshow visitors, and many more, are known to highly value a permanent availability, so they can always refer back to a picture.
Another reason is that some photographers check if a photo of a specific aircraft is already available at Airliners.net, and, when it is, don't upload the photo. It is clear that permanent availability is very important in this respect.
Also, some protection of the site is important. Especially when the photos of a photographer with more than a few hundred photos would suddenly be removed, this is not only a loss for the site, but is also showing a disrespect for the many people who were enjoying those photos, and maybe wanted to see them a second time.
Not a subject you want to think about, but also photographers die. We would like to keep the photos for all future. The work of a deceased photographer will thus live on on Airliners.net, and his name will not be forgotten. Deleting those photos would mean that older rare photos would constantly disappear. That would be very unfortunate, as photos from the 40s and maybe 50s could now already start to disappear, not speaking of accidents that can happen to younger photographers (remember the late Stephen Piercey of Propliner magazine ?).
And last but not least, Johan, the Editor-in-Chief, has invested a proportional amount of all his time, energy, knowledge, and money into everybody's photos. Also Andrew, the Corrections Editor, and myself, the Standardization Editor, have invested an enormous amount of time (an on-line money) into adding details, making corrections, and standardizing entries, in a few cases even spending half an hour to find the details for just one photo. You can imagine our feelings when such photos are suddenly withdrawn and you have done all the work for nothing, just because somebody changes his mind. It would make you wonder if it is not better to change to some other pastime where your work is not so easily thrown in the wastebin. Also, all the people who send in corrections, and there are many of them, should not be forgotten, they also spent a lot of time and research on those photos.
Some photographers might remark "how about our copyright?". Well, this has nothing to do with a transfer of copyright, as the photographer had and has the copyright and can do with the photos what he wants, except that the availablility of the photos on Airliners.net would be changed from a, sometimes, temporary basis to a permanent basis. Just like publishing photos in a book or a magazine, where a photographer can also not withdraw his photos when he doesn't like it anymore !
Airliners.net has absolutely no plans of starting to charge photographers to display their photos. We truly enjoy running the site and hosting the photos. The servers, storage space, publicity and our work will continue to be free for those who's photos are good enough to be added. We hope you will see our "permanent licence" to display your photos as a small price to pay for the services we provide. Instead of charging photographers we will try to find other forms of revenue (like the store and Airliners.net merchandise) to pay for costs of hardware, Internet connection etc.
For photographers who, for some reason, don't want to receive e-mail for their photos anymore, there is some good news : coming very soon is a registration feature for photographers. On your own personal "admin" page on Airliners.net, you will be able to check detailed photo stats and change personal information like email address and name. You will also have the ability to add photos of yourself and other personal information if you wish, that will be displayed on your public contact page. Furthermore, you will be able to write a personal FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that people will have to read before contacting you via the email interface on the contact page on Airliners.net. Finally, you will have the ability to disable the contact form altogether so that no one can contact you via Airliners.net.
So, let's hear your comments ! But, as this Forum is mainly visited by the photographers, please try to see also the arguments of the viewers and users of your photos.
Database Standardization Editor