Yesterday I received a message from Schmap, an online travel guide service asking to use one of my Flickr shots for their Seattle guide. Reading through the terms, I noticed this wasn’t compensated, but as I am not a professional, my first thought was “who cares?” Turns out there are many (see here, and here to start). They aren’t going to get filthy rich off of my one shot. However, after a bit of research, in their business model, they only use free photos. And with that comes the real question: am I contributing to the demise of the professional photographer by taking part? This sort of effort does bring up many issues with the technological age we find ourselves in. Does this put photographers out of work? Or does it just kill off the mediocre? Which is “bad”?
I’m not sure the ethics here, and have not made a choice one way or another. I’d love to hear what others thing off all this. Have any of your used Schmap before? Anything similar out there?